The purpose of this article is to outline potential popular selections at every position, then give some sneaky pivot plays with lower ownership rates for tournament consideration. Essentially, it’s your traditional “Tournament Picks” segment with an emphasis on getting away from those groupthink selections of the day.
In other words, I’m playing devil’s advocate in going against the grain. Hopefully, this will help find some lower-owned pivot plays to accompany the popular, well-aligned picks in your FanDuel lineups.
The focus below is on FanDuel’s “main slate” starting at 7:05 ET.
Pivot: Nick Tropeano – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $5,400)
There are plenty of quality pitchers within this condensed slate of games, but they are all somewhat expensive. That causes somewhat of a rift in lineup construction, as there are also a slew of expensive hitters begging for your attention (Harper, Correa, Stanton, Cano, Seager, Springer, etc). For this reason, I’m recommending Nick Tropeano as a cheap tournament pitcher, allowing you to stack stud hitters in the rest of your lineup. Tropeano isn’t a bad pitcher by any means, and he actually has some decent stakeout potential working his fastball-changeup combination. The Oakland offense is spotty, ranking in the top ten for strikeouts and bottom ten for walks drawn. That helps add to some feasibility in Tropeano’s fantasy prospects.
Pivot: Jason Castro – Houston (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
The Astros check in as the highest projected offense of the night, and that’s not surprising considering a juicy home matchup vs fly-ball pitcher Chris Young of Kansas City. However, I’m guessing Castro will be overlooked within a Houston stack, despite holding some pretty significant homerun upside himself. There aren’t any clear-cut catching options jumping off the screen today, so saving with Castro looks like a nice tournament strategy.
Pivot: Adam Lind – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Seattle and Houston will likely be popular stacks tonight. However, Lind may be left on the outside looking in for many people’s lineups, as he hasn’t done much of anything this season. Still, he’s a quality player with power potential, sitting on a great matchup vs Colby Lewis’ .344 wOBA and 1.47 HR/9 against left-handed hitters. Take the value and lower ownership here in tournaments.
Pivot: Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Admittedly, this is probably the pivot selection I’m least confident in. Despite having an apparently tough matchup against Jon Lester, Phillips has a few things working in his favor. He’ll check in with the platoon advantage, swinging a hot bat (5 hits in last three) with some decent career numbers against Lester. We can’t read too much into that, but if you are diversifying with multiple tournament entries, keep Phillips on your list.
Pivot: Luis Valbuena – Houston (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
Essentially, you can take the write-up about Jason Castro and directly apply it to Luis Valbuena. I’m guessing people will be drawn to other Houston bats like Correa, Altuve, Gomez, Springer, Rasmus – meaning Valbuena will hold a lower ownership percentage despite sitting on a cheap price point and significant upside vs fly-ball hurler Chris Young.
Pivot: Danny Espinosa – Washington (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
Majority of people will lock in Carlos Correa then move on to the next position. Admittedly, he does have very good upside, but you’ll need to look elsewhere when trying to diversify in tournaments. Ketel Marte should be the next popular selection behind Correa, as he’s a cheap part of a Seattle stack. However, don’t forget about Danny Espinosa here, assuming he’s in the lineup. He hits towards the bottom of Washington’s order, but the matchup is great against Bud Norris, who holds a .361 wOBA vs lefties (the worst among pitchers tonight). Despite having a terrible spring, Espinosa has come to life by reaching base six times in the past three games.
Pivot 1: Josh Reddick – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
I mentioned earlier how Nick Tropeano could be “hit or miss” tonight. In the case that he turns into a “miss”, you’ll want some Oakland hitters in your lineup. The best candidates to give the Angels’ hurler fits are Stephen Vogt and Josh Reddick. I’m guessing Reddick will get lost in the shuffle of Houston’s assortment of mid-range hitters, driving his ownership rate down. That comes despite a pretty good matchup and homers in two of the past three games.
Pivot 2: Michael Conforto – New York Mets (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
I feel like Conforto will always have a lower-than-deserved ownership percentage due to hitting lower in the order and lack of name recognition. However, Conforto has proven himself as a power, mop-up hitter who can provide GPP-winning upside with just one swing of the bat. He’ll face the epitome of a mediocre pitcher tonight in Miami’s Jarred Cosart.