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 (seven-game) slate starting at 7:07 ET.
Pivot: Joe Musgrove – Houston (FanDuel Price: $8,000)
Musgrove has displayed fantasy potential this season, racking up 38 and 34 fantasy points in two of his past three starts. He has a nice repertoire to inspire strikeouts, but consistency has often eluded him. That’s the risk/reward profile we are looking at for tournament purposes. However, starting in Miami’s pitcher-friendly park will mask mistakes better than his home ballpark in Houston.
Pivot: Rene Rivera – NY Mets (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Arizona pitcher Zack Godley has looked impressive through two starts this season. I’m not buying it. Is there a chance Godley has improved? Sure; but his true talent level probably lies between his current 2.25 ERA and the inflated 6.39 ERA through nine starts last season. In other words, he’s a regression candidate starting in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Rene Rivera is a sneaky value pick to inflict some damage on Godley, racking up 14 hits over his past eight starts while filling in for Travis d’Arnaud.
Pivot: Lucas Duda – NY Mets (FanDuel Price: $2,600)
Keeping the theme against overrated Arizona pitcher Godley, Lucas Duda could enjoy the hitter-friendly park shift of Chase Field. Duda returned to action over the weekend after missing nearly a month. While most people will take a wait-and-see approach to let him shake off the rust, you could be ahead of the curve by locking in his power potential with this fine matchup. It’s hard to argue against the discounted price.
Pivot: Danny Espinosa – LA Angels (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
This write-up applies to whoever is starting between Espinosa and Cliff Pennington (listed as shortstop). Whichever player gets the nod, they’ll probably hit down in the Angels order, attracting a low ownership rate as a result. However, the matchup looks promising for these switch-hitters, going against Mike Pelfrey and his .379 wOBA split vs left-handed bats.
Pivot: Adonis Garcia – Atlanta (FanDuel Price: $3,000)
Adonis has flexed respectable upside this season, and he’s looking at an underrated matchup tonight. Playing in a hitter-friendly park against mediocre Toronto pitcher Mike Bolsinger isn’t the best matchup of this position, but it also inspires some room for fantasy potential. Don’t forget Adonis as a sneaky upside candidate when assembling multiple tournament lineups.
Pivot: Brandon Crawford – San Francisco (FanDuel Price: $2,800)
As mentioned earlier, if Cliff Pennington of the Angels is starting, he’s a fine value pivot in a well-aligned matchup … Otherwise Brandon Crawford deserves some recognition, even though most people will avoid targeting against (likely) popular DFS pitcher Brandon McCarthy. As it turns out, Crawford has some pretty decent numbers against McCarthy throughout his career, and the price is non-prohibitive.
Pivot 1: Ezequiel Carrera – Toronto (FanDuel Price: $3,300)
Carrera is making the most of his promotion towards the top of Toronto’s order. He has recorded multiple hits in four of the past five games, including some homerun and stolen base upside to boot. The matchup looks good against Bartolo Colon’s .338 wOBA 1.60 HR/9 split vs left-handed hitters, and the park factor in Toronto is a nice landing spot to take advantage.
Pivot 2: Curtis Granderson – NY Mets (FanDuel Price: $2,500)
Granderson is a buy-low nominee whose salary has fallen due to a lack of production. However, a park boost in Arizona against mediocre right-handed pitcher Zack Godley could lead to a breakout performance. If you haven’t noticed, I believe the Mets represent a quality (yet underrated) tournament stack tonight. Granderson is a cheap leverage play within that.