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 FanDuel 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 MLB GPP plays!
Matt Harvey, New York Mets - Matt Harvey did not waste any time re-establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball on opening day, as he defeated Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals with an outstanding debut (6 IP, 0 ER, 9 Ks). The Philadelphia Phillies have only hit two home runs this season and they should be one of the weaker offenses in the National League. Look for a dominant performance from Harvey tonight, something we will get used to throughout the 2015 season.
Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians - Carrasco finished 2014 in spectacular fashion and carried that momentum into this season by throwing a gem in his first start of 2015 (6.1 IP, 0 ER, 10 Ks) against the Houston Astros. While many fantasy owners may look to roster Harvey, Strasburg and Arrieta instead, Carrasco’s electric stuff may very well out-produce them all tonight.
Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers - Greene came out of nowhere last year to post solid numbers for the Yankees, including 81 strikeouts in 78.2 innings pitched. Greene pitched great in his first start of the season and will now face the Pirates in one of the best pitching parks in baseball. Greene is inexpensive, has a great offense behind him and he has that big K upside we desire, making him a great value option tonight.
Jason Castro, Houston Astros - When I am making a GPP roster, I tend to look for value at Catcher. I still want a Catcher with home run upside, but I need to save some salary to load up elsewhere, and I feel that Catcher is a great position to save. Castro has hits in four straight games and he certainly has the power we require in our tournament play. With a matchup against RHP Kendall Graveman, Castro may just be the best bang for your buck at Catcher tonight.
Travis d’Arnaud, New York Mets – d’Arnaud reminds me a little of Devin Mesoraco, a young prospect that I think will bust out in the power department very soon. He may not have the same power as Mesoraco, but there is a lot to like. d’Arnaud is inexpensive, has some decent pop in his bat and has a nice matchup at home tonight.
Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers – Los Angeles Angels RHP Drew Rucinski will be making his first Major League start in Texas. This means all of the Texas Rangers bats are in play for me tonight. Fielder has five hits in his last two games and he has two or more hits in five of his eight games this season. Fielder seems to be a forgotten man in tournament play this year, although he remains moderately priced across the industry and he still has double-dong upside.
Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians - Never a popular play at First Base in GPPs, Santana is a guy I love to play in tournaments when he faces a Southpaw. With so many great options tonight, I expect Santana to once again get overlooked. Santana is a notorious lefty killer with multi-homer upside.
Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins – Left-handed batters are Trevor Cahill’s kryptonite. In 2014 Cahill allowed a .346 BAA to lefties along with a .411 OBPA and a .929 OPSA. Dee Gordon just happens to be a LHB and a pretty good one. Gordon was sensational last season (.326 OBP with 92 runs scored and 64 SB) and he has carried that success into 2015 (.345 BA, .387 OBP). Look for Gordon to reach base multiple times and wreak havoc on the base paths.
Ben Zobrist, Oakland A’s – Zobrist had another big game last night (3-for-5, with a double, 2 runs scored and an RBI) and he now has three multi-hit games in his past four. The Oakland A’s offense has scored the second most runs in baseball (51), averaging over six runs per game and Zobrist is a big reason why. Brad Peacock is a very hittable pitcher and I can see yet another multi-hit performance from Zobrist tonight in this hitter friendly environment.
Joe Panik, San Francisco Giants - Panik has six hits in seven games for the Giants this year and he finds himself hitting in the two hole. Panik will face Colorado Rockies RHP Christian Bergman who was hit pretty hard last season (5.93 ERA, 1.55 WHIP). The Giants should be one of the higher scoring teams tonight and that makes Panik a great value play at the keystone position.
Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays – Reyes has reached base in six of his first seven games this season, including three games with two or more hits. Reyes and the Blue Jays offense should bounce back tonight against Rays RHP Matt Andriese. Reyes is not only a better hitter from the left side of the plate, but he is also more likely to steal when facing a right-handed pitcher. Reyes has the ability to have a multi-hit/run/steal game and that makes him a great tournament play at Shortstop this evening.
Marcus Semien, Oakland A’s – Semien is another Oakland A’s player off to a hot start, reaching base safely in seven of his first eight games. Semien is seeing the ball really well right now, rolling out three multi-hit games in his past four and hitting his first homerun of the season last night. Runs will be scored at Minute Maid Park tonight and I expect Semien to be involved.
Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers - Over the last few seasons Beltre has hit much better not only at home, but against hard throwing right-handed pitchers. Tonight he will have all of those factors in his favor when he faces Los Angeles Angels’ rookie RHP Drew Rucinski at Global Life Park in Arlington. Beltre is riding a five-game hit streak and he has massive GPP upside.
Luis Valbuena, Houston Astros - Kendall Graveman was really roughed up in his last start, giving up seven earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched. Valbuena has hits in three straight games and will bat in the heart of the Houston Astros lineup. I expect this game to be the highest scoring game of the night and Valbuena has big game upside.
Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles - Jones has been a beast this season (.440 BA, .500 OBP, 3 HR, 9 RBI) for Baltimore and he has crushed LHP throughout his career. New York Yankees LHP C.C. Sabathia is no longer the pitcher he once was. The 6-7, 34-year-old Sabathia has already started to decline with a dramatic drop in velocity and big struggles versus RHB (.321 BAA, .356 OBP in 2014). Jones has two-homer upside and he has handled the big Southpaw extremely well in his career to date (17-56, .304 BA with four doubles, a triple, three homers and 12 RBI).
Kole Calhoun, Los Angeles Angels - The Los Angeles Angels are another team that should score a few runs tonight and Kole Calhoun will be leading their offensive attack versus Nick Martinez. Calhoun has hits in three straight games, including two doubles and a bomb. Calhoun has hit Martinez well (3-8, .444 OBP, with a double, homer and 3 RBIs) in a small sample size and should be in for a very productive night atop the Angeles batting order.
Dalton Pompey, Toronto Blue Jays - The Toronto Blue Jays are one of my top stacks tonight, facing a rookie pitcher in the very hitter friendly Rogers Center. Pompey has a nice blend of pop and speed and he will be hitting second in a very potent lineup. Pompey has multi-hit and multi-run upside at the very least tonight, making him a great option in the Outfield.