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: Jhoulys Chacin – Atlanta (FanDuel Price: $5,600)
I also wrote-up Chacin in the FanDuel MLB Bargain column, but he certainly qualifies as a pivot play as well. This game features two of the worst offenses in the league, and they rank similar in strikeout rates also (Phillies 11th highest, Atlanta 12th). You could make a case for Jared Eickhoff in this situation as well, but Chacin makes for a better “per dollar” pick at a $1,300 cheaper salary. He actually has a pretty solid strikeout rate also, recording 27 punch-outs in 26 innings this season. Add it all up, and I believe he’s a plausible, cheap, lower-owned pitcher to target around.
Pivot: Stephen Vogt – Oakland (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
I’m guessing most people will stay away from Mr. Vogt today, as opposing pitcher Rick Porcello has been very strong to begin the season. Also contributing to that point, Vogt has been pretty moderate on the fantasy-front over the past few weeks. However, his price is suppressed because of that, and Porcello holds a .333 wOBA over the past three seasons, suggesting a sliver of susceptibility despite his so far resurgent 2016 campaign. The park factor in Boston is also in Vogt’s favor.
Pivot: Kendrys Morales – Kansas City (FanDuel Price: $2,100)
Morales hasn’t been good as of late. In fact, aside from a homer on May 7th, he hasn’t really done anything of fantasy significance over the past several weeks. As you can see, that has sent his price in a free-fall, and he’s nearly the bare minimum on FanDuel. Tonight’s matchup against homerun-prone Michael Pineda could work out nicely, as the Yankee hurler holds a .337 wOBA and 17.2% HR/FB split against lefties. Morales certainly has the power to take advantage of Yankee Stadium’s friendly park factor.
Pivot: Daniel Murphy – Washington (FanDuel Price: $4,000)
Murphy is wedged between the popular likes of Zobrist and Pedroia, which will likely keep his ownership rate on the lower side. That, and a matchup against Jordan Zimmermann appears tough on paper. However, Murphy is one of the only National hitters to face the Detroit hurler in previous games. For whatever its worth, Murphy has recorded 61 at-bats against Zimm, holding a .328 average with five doubles and four homers. Zimmermann is the type of aggressive pitcher that Murphy loves to jump on, and his track record suggests that as the case.
Pivot: Hernan Perez – Milwaukee (FanDuel Price: $2,300)
I’m expecting Perez to fall under the radar due to a lack of name recognition, popular picks in the upper-tier, and enthusiasm for opposing pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. Even though Miami tosser, Chen, appears to be in line for a solid performance, he isn’t exactly bullet proof against this righty-heavy Milwaukee lineup. Perez, batting second, is one of those platoon bats that could give him problems. The salary is cheap, and Perez has hit three homers in his past five starts. He has also stolen two bases over that span, giving him several ways to score fantasy points.
Pivot: Aledmys Diaz – St. Louis (FanDuel Price: $3,200)
The shortstop position is pretty thin tonight, so I’m not exactly sure how the ownership percentages will play out. However, I believe Diaz will be underrated, especially if he’s hitting towards the bottom half of the Cards lineup. Either way, I believe there’s upside to be had against Matt Shoemaker’s reverse splits of .352 wOBA and 17.4% HR/FB rate against right-handed hitters. The bright side of Diaz potentially batting 9th is the lineup security of Carpenter, Piscotty, and Holliday behind him (playing in American League park with DH).
Pivot 1: Gregory Polanco – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $3,400)
I’m expecting Polanco to slip through the cracks with a fairly low ownership rate tonight. Similarly priced players like Josh Reddick, Stephen Piscotty, and Brett Gardner will likely soak up most of the ownership percentage in this range. Polanco has always been an underrated part of the Pirates’ outfield, as Marte and McCutchen usually steal the headlines. However, he’s a left-hander with a nice speed/power combination that should serve well in Cincinnati’s hitter-friendly park against Alfredo Simon (.348 wOBA, 15% HR/FB rate vs LHB).
Pivot 2: Billy Hamilton – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $2,700)
Most daily fantasy enthusiasts will probably be looking for power in this range, but stolen base upside rates similarly in terms of production. That, of course, is Hamilton’s specialty, and he steps into a pretty good matchup against Juan Nicasio’s .356 wOBA against left-handed hitters. The lineup security hitting in front of Joey Votto certainly helps his cause as well. Multiple hits, steals, and runs is not out of the question.