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.
Pivot: Tanner Roark – Washington (FanDuel Price: $6,500)
In case you haven't heard, Stephen Strasburg has been scratched tonight with an illness. That means Tanner Roark will start and immediate become a value pitcher to consider against a weak Atlanta lineup. Despite the pitching change, Washingon still lines up as a reasonable -160 favorite, and the Braves project as one of the lower scoring offenses.
Pivot: Welington Castillo – Arizona (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
I’m expecting Castillo and a few other Arizona hitters to slip through the cracks tonight. The park shift from hitter-friendly Chase Field to pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium will likely turn many DFS players away. However, we shouldn’t count out the right-handed Arizona bats against erratic southpaw Alex Wood, who got beat-up for five runs in five innings while making his season debut. The D-Backs could inflict some damage, including Castillo and his .364 wOBA vs left-handed pitching.
Pivot: Freddie Freeman – Atlanta (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Stephen Strasburg has been scratched for Washington, and Tanner Roark will now start against Atlanta. That’s a significant upgrade for Freeman and the other Atlanta hitters, facing a mid-range pitcher isn’t of Strasburg’s “ace material”. Roark isn’t a bad pitcher, but he does hold a slightly inflated .320 wOBA vs left-handed hitters; something that Freeman could take advantage of. Many DFS enthusiasts may fail to recognize the upgrade for Freeman in this new matchup, creating a lower-than-deserved ownership rate.
Pivot: Brock Holt – Boston (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
I’m a big fan of Brock Holt and the upside he brings to the table. He’s batting 7th for Boston tonight, which will likely make him under-owned in proportion to his talent level and upside. Holt has flexed some great fantasy production to begin the season, averaging a hearty 17 FPPG as of now. Baltimore pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez was great in his first start of the season, but let’s not forget his .354 wOBA split against left-handed hitters last season. Holt and company could take advantage in Boston’s hitter-friendly park.
Pivot: Alex Rodriguez – NY Yankees (FanDuel Price: $3,100)
Most DFS player may view A-Rod as an old, washed-up player not to consider for fantasy purposes. Love him or hate him, he’s still a pretty good baseball player, holding a solid .378 wOBA and .205 ISO against left-handed hitters over the last few seasons. He face mediocre southpaw J.A. Happ in Toronto’s hitter-friendly, homer-friendly environment. Keep A-Rod on your tournament radar.
Pivot: Stephen Drew – Washington (FanDuel Price: $2,100)
Admittedly, this is a pretty risky pick, as Drew has been very inconsistent over the past few years, and this is his first start of the season. However, the situation couldn’t be much better, as he’s stepping in against Matt Wisler, who holds a .419 wOBA vs left-handed hitters. On top of that, Drew is batting second with Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy backing him it. The combination of those two points makes Drew worth considering as a cheap filler.
Pivot 1: Randal Grichuk – St. Louis (FanDuel Price: $2,400)
I mentioned Grichuk in the MLB Bargain column, how I believe he has power-upside in this matchup. Milwaukee pitcher Chase Anderson actually has reverse-splits, being more susceptible against right-handed hitters. Combine that with Grichuk’s recent awakening and power upside, then we are looking at a nice return on investment opportunity.
Pivot 2: Gregory Polanco – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $3,600)
Polanco may be a tad bit expensive, but that will likely keep his ownership rate low in a great matchup against Shane Greene (.386 wOBA against left-handed hitters). Polanco has been very solid to begin the season, and this is probably one of his better matchups to date. He has multi-hit, run, and stolen base potential along with some power upside to boot.