2013 Fantasy Baseball, The Daily Fix: July 25, 2013
Yesterday was one of those days you love to have. You try a new strategy and it worked. I spent most of the evening on top of the leader board. Several players jumped out and had productive evenings and I walked away with nearly twice as much as I wagered. I love those evenings. It goes to show even experts can do things inefficiently for awhile. That’s the great thing about daily games. You can learn from your mistakes quicker.
Today, I’m playing in a Double Up! contest again. They range anywhere from a dollar to ten dollars, but each works the same way. If you finish in the top half you get almost twice as much as you put in. Naturally, DraftKings gets their cut because they have to pay their employees, the light bill, and make a little for their trouble. That being said, they are very generous to those that start playing as they will give you a deposit bonus you can access here.
The newer strategy involves picking players that seem undervalued at the price. To reflect that new strategy, I will replace the column with the opposing starting pitchers and replace it with the player’s fantasy points per game average. In most cases, the player I picked averages between 1.5 and 2.0 points a game more than the players immediately before and after him. This is a sign of inefficiency and something we can exploit.
I would caution you against plugging in the same lineup every time like you would fill out a lottery ticket. Draftkings is constantly changing a player’s salary based on past performance and expected future performance. So, it takes a little work to stay ahead of them as they are doing their best to keep up with performance trends. I will offer one lineup and that is the one I am playing. Keep in mind to keep tabs on starting lineups as Draftkings will allow you to change your lineup up until game time.
|Joe Mauer||8.0||4,000||He is a top three catcher and he can be had for 4000. That’s a no-brainer.|
|Joey Votto||8.9||4,100||An elite first baseman for 4,100? How is this even possible?|
|Kyle Seager||8.2||4,200||He is flying under the radar again this year despite the efforts of some at the Fantasy Fix.|
|Josh Donaldson||8.4||4,100||He might be the most unsung hero on that Athletics team.|
|J.J. Hardy||6.7||3,900||He’s not elite, but this seems too good to pass up at this price.|
|Shin-Shoo Choo||9.0||4,400||This seems like stealing candy from a baby at this price.|
|Carlos Beltran||8.4||4,300||He is still a productive player, but a recent cool streak has dropped his price to acceptable levels.|
|Nate McLouth||8.0||4,000||He is not as good as he was earlier, but he has settled into a productive role with a playoff contender.|
|John Lackey||18.9||8,700||He has been solid all season and the FPPG reflect he is better than some that are more expensive.|
|Jeremy Hellickson||14.8||7,800||His ERA has gone down a full run in his last ten starts.|
Twitter Question of the Day
I get quite a few questions on twitter at my twitter handle @sbarzilla. One fantasy player in particular asks me at least one question a day. I love getting the questions and wish I could answer them in more detail, but 140 characters or less has a way of limiting that. So, I will dedicate this section to answering a question I found interesting, but could not address it like I wanted to on twitter.
Does Salvador Perez have any fantasy value left?
Everything is relative in fantasy baseball. Perez burst on the scene in 2011 and had a robust .331/.361/.473 slash line in a little more than 150 plate appearances. Last season, he missed much of the first half with an injured knee but came back to post a .301/.328/.471 slash line in about 300 plate appearances.
This led many to think of him as a top ten catching prospect in terms of fantasy baseball. This is where paying attention to scouting reports makes a big difference. Perez was highly touted because of his defensive prowess and he really hasn’t disappointed on that front. Last season, baseball-reference.com had him at +9 runs above the average catcher and he is currently sitting at +7 this season so far.
Unfortunately, the bat is not where it once was, but he is still hitting .282 with a respectable .707 OPS. When you look at his minor league numbers we see a guy with a collective .726 OPS in nearly 1400 plate appearances. He is still young at 23, so there is a chance that he could get better, but usually when a guy doesn’t dominate in the minors, he isn’t going to dominate in the majors.
Still, a .700ish OPS catcher has some fantasy value. He just might not be a top ten fantasy catcher overall like some people thought he would be. He might be closer to top 15 which still carries some value with it. He is on pace to have more than 500 plate appearances on the season. A simple counting of everyday catchers shows that there probably aren’t many more than 20 of those. So, consider him as a solid backup fantasy catcher and allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised when he gets on a hot streak.