GPPs are very different from your cash games and you use a different strategy with them. In our GPPs we are not interested in safe plays, since GPPs are all about UPSIDE. We want players who can explode, as all-or-nothing type players can become GPP gold, and your value players are just as important as your star players. You need your players to have huge nights in order to take down these big tournaments.
My goal is to provide players who will be under-owned and have that big game upside you are looking for. I will also try to find as much value as I possibly can. Now, let’s get to the FanDuel MLB GPP plays!
Alex Wood, Atlanta Braves – Wood posted outstanding numbers last season (2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, with 170 Ks in 171.2 IP) and is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. Many fantasy owners will shy away from him tonight due to the matchup, but I actually love the matchup for him. Wood will be pitching in a very pitcher-friendly ballpark and he has shut down the Marlins’ biggest offensive threat in Giancarlo Stanton (2-for-16) so far in his young career. Wood has elite skills and is likely to fly under the radar tonight.
James Paxton, Seattle Mariners – Paxton got off to an outstanding start for the Mariners last season before injuring his shoulder. The 26-year-old Paxton throws a mid-90’s fastball and he has three plus pitches that can all induce a strikeout when needed. Paxton has big game upside and I like him to get the win tonight over C.J. Wilson and the Los Angeles Angels. At his salary, Paxton is one of the best bargains across the industry.
Yasmani Grandal, Los Angeles Dodgers - Despite a terrific season in 2014, Tyson Ross struggled on the road, posting an ERA almost two runs higher away form Petco Park. Grandal is a talented young hitter and he very quietly hit 15 home runs against RHP in just 303 at-bats last season. He should be under-owned tonight and the upside is there.
Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners – The Seattle Mariners got off to a great start with their 4-1 win over Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels on opening day. The Mariners are much improved this season and they just might be the class of the A.L. West division. Zunino has big time pop in his bat and he handled LHP quite well last season. Zunino led all American League teams in home runs this spring with seven and makes a great boom-or-bust play at catcher tonight versus LHP C.J. Wilson.
Adam Lind, Milwaukee Brewers – The Milwaukee Brewers may have lost 10-0 yesterday to Kyle Kendrick and the Rockies, but Adam Lind still did his part going 3-for-4 at the dish. Lind has beat up on RHP his entire career and he finds himself in a good spot again tonight. Jordan Lyles actually pitched quite well at times last year and he had a solid spring, but he still had issues getting LHB out (.389 OBPA) and I think Lind can have another multi-hit game tonight.
Stephen Vogt, Oakland A’s – Vogt had a monster opening day for the Oakland A’s, producing two hits, including a double, homerun and three RBIs. Vogt raked versus RHP last season (.331 OBP) and he is in a great spot to produce again tonight. Colby Lewis was awful last year (5.18 ERA) and LHB hit him very hard (.320 BAA). Vogt has big game upside and is easily the best bang for your buck at first base tonight.
Ben Zobrist, Oakland A’s – Zobrist got off to a great start (2-for-5 with a double and a homer) with his new team and is one of my top GPP plays at second base tonight. Zobrist is an on-base machine, generating a .353 OBP or higher in each of his last four seasons. Colby Lewis was pounded by LHB last season and I think we see more of the same in Oakland tonight.
Scooter Gennett, Milwaukee Brewers - Like a lot of Brewers bats, Gennett disappointed last night in a matchup against Kyle Kendrick. In daily fantasy baseball we must quickly forgive and forget. Gennett was outstanding versus RHP last season (.307 BA, .338 OBP) and I expect him to bounce back with a solid game tonight.
Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies - Sometimes the contrarian thing to do is to pay up for the top dog at a position. The two best shortstop options in the game (Hanley Ramirez and Troy Tulowitzki) both went off yesterday and perhaps Tulo does it again tonight in Miller Park. Tulowitzki picked up right where he left off last season, rolling out three hits, including two doubles. The Rockies have an explosive offense as they showed us yesterday and I would not be surprised to see Tulowitzki and company have another big game tonight.
Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs - Castro is hitting clean-up in a Cubs lineup that has some very nice upside this season. Castro can get you points in multiple ways with his combination of pop and speed. Lance Lynn is another pitcher who had more success at home then on the road and Castro has hit him well with a .333 BA in 30 career at-bats.
Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays - There are many times that the obvious play at a position is still the right play in your GPPs. With only eight games scheduled tonight, there are not as many great options at third base as we would like. Rostering Evan Longoria at home versus a LHP (Wei-Yin Chen) just seems right. Longoria is off to a great start, homering yesterday off of Chris Tillman and he certainly enjoys hitting against lefties. Longoria has as much upside as any third baseman playing this evening.
Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks – If you are not interested in most of the higher priced third basemen and you are considering punting third base, have a look at Jake Lamb of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lamb had a huge bases-clearing pinch hit double in the D-Backs’ loss to the Giants yesterday and he has some serious thump in that bat of his. Ryan Vogelsong is a very hittable pitcher, especially on the road (5.10 ERA) and versus LHB (.336 OBPA). At his price, Lamb makes a great roll of the dice in your tournament play.
Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners - C.J. Wilson really struggled away from home last season (5.31 ERA) and RHB hit him very hard from the beginning of June until the end of the season. Cruz is a notorious lefty killer and he has the multi-homer upside we are looking for in our tournament play.
Justin Upton, San Diego Padres – I think it is safe to say that Justin Upton will be less than 10% owned in all GPPs tonight with his a matchup against the Los Angeles Dodgers’ stud pitcher Zack Greinke. Under-owned hitters with huge upside can make all the difference in the world on a short slate. Despite the tough matchup, Upton has had success against Greinke with a .500 batting average in 14 career at-bats. It is a risky play, but the potential is certainly there.
Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers - Playing every day and hitting in the middle of the Dodgers order, I expect Carl Crawford to be completely rejuvenated this season, assuming he can stay healthy. Crawford is another player who can hurt the opposition in many ways thanks to his speed and decent pop. Not too many fantasy owners will be on the Dodgers due to their matchup against Tyson Ross tonight. However, I mentioned earlier that Ross has extreme splits (1.88 Home ERA / 3.79 Road ERA) and Crawford has hit Ross quite hard in a fairly small sample size – batting 7-for-13 (.538 BA), with three walks.