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.
We are focusing on the main slate starting at 7:05 ET.
Pivot: German Marquez – Colorado (FanDuel Price: $8,800)
If you are looking for salary relief away from the top aces, Marquez is a steady option to consider. The 22 year-old righty has been a revelation for the Rockies and fantasy backers alike. He has flexed some adequate DFS upside with 43+ fantasy points in three of his past six starts. A dramatic shift to pitcher-friendly Petco Park against a Padres team that ranks 28th in wRC+ and third highest in strikeout rate gives Marquez an excellent floor/ceiling combination.
Pivot: John Hicks – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $2,200)
I’m really hoping Hicks plays tonight, and there’s a decent chance that will happen against left-handed pitcher Derek Holland. In his past four starts, Hicks has notched four hits, a homer, three runs, and three RBI. Meanwhile, I’m expecting plenty of regression for CWS pitcher Derek Holland and his 2.37 ERA. The oddsmakers seem to agree, assigning Detroit one of the highest run scoring projections of this slate. Hicks will look to take advantage of Holland’s .344 wOBA, 1.35 HR/9 split against right-handed bats.
Pivot: Brandon Belt – San Francisco (FanDuel Price: $3,400)
The Giants are coming off a long home stand, meaning most people likely forgot about Belt as a solid fantasy option. AT&T Park tends to stifle his upside, but we don’t have that problem with the Giants playing in Philadelphia. On top of a nice park shift, the matchup looks good against Jerad Eickhoff’s .350 wOBA, 1.70 HR/9 split vs left-handed hitters.
Pivot: Brandon Phillips – Atlanta (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
I’m expecting plenty of runs between Atlanta and Cincinnati in “Great American Small Park”. Reds RHP Bronson Arroyo is easy to target against, holding a 6.62 ERA and .381 wOBA 1.79 HR/9 split vs right-handed bats. Phillips is a cheap way to gain exposure alongside his well-aligned teammates of Kemp, Adams, and Inciarte.
Pivot: Luis Valbuena – LA Angles (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
The Twins tried sending Kyle Gibson down to the minor leagues (due to poor performance), but an injury to Phil Hughes forced Minnesota to recall the struggling pitcher. Gibson has gotten shelled this season with a 7.85 ERA and no tangible signs of improvement. Majority of this LAA order is in play against him, but Luis Valbuena really catches my eye with capable power and a premium lineup spot (potentially batting cleanup).
Pivot: Brandon Crawford – San Francisco (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Crawford follows the exact same rationale outlined earlier with Brandon Belt: park upgrade, nice matchup, reduced salary, and lower-than-deserved ownership rate makes him a sneaky-good fantasy target this evening.
Popular Picks: Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, J.D. Martinez, Jackie Bradley Jr, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Cody Bellinger, Billy Hamilton
Pivot 1: Kole Calhoun – OF – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
I started my research last night, marking Kole Calhoun as a highlighted pivot play. Then he went and slapped two homeruns. However, I still believe Calhoun will be underrated due to an extremely competitive outfield position with seemingly endless quality options. As I mentioned earlier in this article, Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson has been beaten like a piñata this season, and now it’s Calhoun’s turn to take a swing.
Pivot 2: Kevin Kiermaier – OF – Tampa Bay (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
I really like the prospect of an underrated Tampa stack. Christian Bergman has been all over the place this season, showing flashes of brilliance then getting shelled for double-digit runs. In the case we see Bergman’s bad side, the Rays solid offense will be ready to take advantage. Bergman holds a .347 wOBA, 1.98 HR/9 against left-handed hitters for Kiermaier to pounce on. Kiermaier is underpriced despite swinging a hot bat with 12 hits, three homers, five RBI, six runs, and two stolen bases in his past eight games.