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: Brent Suter – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $6,600)
Suter has posted two straight quality appearances since being called upon for spot-start duty. That includes a dazzling 52 fantasy point performance vs Baltimore on July 3 (6 IP, 4 H, 8 K, 0 ER). The left-hander has some reasonable upside, and the matchup is pretty good against a Pirates team that ranks below average in wRC+ and wOBA vs southpaws. A pitcher-friendly shift in PNC Park should help as well.
Pivot: Jonathan Lucroy – Texas (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
Lucroy has been disappointing this season, but I’m not letting that cloud my judgement this evening. Baltimore RHP Chris Tillman holds an eye-popping 7.90 ERA along with an exploitable .343 wOBA 1.50 HR/9 split against left-handed hitters. Whoever gets the starting nod between Lucroy and Robinson Chirinos ($2500) will be firmly on my tournament radar.
Pivot: Kennys Vargas – Minnesota (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
Vargas launched a massive homer yesterday afternoon, reminding us of his ever-present power upside. The intimidating switch-hitter profiles much better from the left side of the plate, which is where he’ll take his cuts against NYY spot-starter Bryan Mitchell (5.06 ERA this season). I’m keeping my eye on the Twins as a sneaky stack (Vargas, Dozier, Sano, Kepler).
Pivot: Jonathan Villar – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
There’s plenty of competition within this salary range at second base. That leads me to believe Villar will have a relatively tame ownership rate. He’s always a threat for multiple hits, runs, and stolen bases. The matchup is appealing against Pittsburgh RHP Chad Kuhl, who carries an inflated .403 wOBA vs left-handed hitters.
Pivot: Mike Moustakas – Kansas City (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
Moustakas sometimes slips through the proverbial cracks due to a discouraging home park factor within a mediocre offense. However, he has been amazing this season (.270 average, 25 HR, 55 RBI), earning regular fantasy consideration. That’s the case tonight, facing Jordan Zimmermann and his .369 wOBA 1.96 HR/9 split against left-handed hitters. The Royals check in with a healthy, top five run scoring projection, and Moustakas should be an integral part of that.
Pivot: Marcus Semien – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
Semien spent nearly three months on the disabled list, so there’s a good chance most DFS enthusiasts forgot about him. The Oakland shortstop has reasonable “pop” to be considered as a cheap option at a position that lacks bargain plays of that nature. Tampa RHP Jake Odorizzi has been struggling as of late, leaving room for Semien and company to take advantage.
Pivot 1: Clint Frazier – NY Yankees (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
Frazier has been impressive since getting called up earlier this month, most recently collecting seven hits, two homers, six RBI, and three runs over his past five games. He’ll hold the platoon advantage over Minnesota LHP Adalberto Mejia, who has been up-and-down all season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the wheels came off for the young Twins southpaw, facing this challenging NYY lineup.
Pivot 2: Seth Smith – Baltimore (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Texas RHP Andrew Cashner has been very generous to left-handed bats over the past few seasons. That provides a comfortable bounce-back situation for Seth Smith to deliver some nice fantasy upside. Baltimore’s hitter-friendly ballpark caters nicely to left-handed power, and Smith carries some excellent lineup security hitting leadoff for the Orioles.