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The Daily Duel: Bargain Bin Backstop

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

This column will focus on players that are good values in FanDuel's salary cap contests. Typically, I'll try to cover a player or two at each position every week throughout the season. Remember, a value here could be a minimum-priced player ($2,200) or a higher-priced option that is still undervalued based on expected production.

Catcher

Dioner Navarro, $2,600 - I don't think a lot of people realize that J.P. Arencibia is now a Ranger and it's Navarro rather than Josh Thole who sits atop the Jays' catcher depth chart. Further, he's been hitting fifth or sixth in the Jays' order, a nice place to be. He hit 13 home runs last season in only 266 plate appearances while carrying a .300 average. Navarro is in a much more potent lineup this season and Rogers Center is a plus-park for hitters.

Mike Zunino, $2,300 - It's funny how quickly the catcher of the future label in Seattle shifted from Jesus Montero to Zunino. It appears he'll get the bulk of the starts for Seattle to start the season and is currently priced just $100 above the minimum price. The Mariners have a much better lineup that should see more secondary pitching this year, and there's plenty of power upside here. Use him if you're looking to save money and punt at the position.

First Base

Jose Abreu, $3,100 - I love this price given that there are 68 million reasons why Abreu will play every day and hit in the heart of the White Sox's order. He wasted no time this week making a splash, going 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI in his first game in a Chicago uniform. He doesn't have the same typed of speed, but the potential is here for Abreu to make an impact similar to fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig. Remember this price; it's likely the last time you'll see it this low this season.



Second Base

Daniel Murphy, $3,000 - Every week I rave about taking players who have a speed/power skill set and Murphy fits that mold. He had a career fantasy season in 2013 and very quietly hit 13 homers and stole 23 bases with a .286 batting average. The batting average was actually a three-year low, but it's likely that his increase in power and approach of going after more pitches was the cause. Murphy has been out on paternity leave so being absent the first couple of games could drop his price down further. Murphy was back in the lineup Thursday for the final game against the Nationals.

Third Base

Martin Prado, $3,300 - Prado has never been overly intriguing to me due to his limited upside in both the power and speed categories. He's likely not going to steal 17 bases in a season again, and it would be a shock to see him get to 20 home runs. However, he has been remarkably consistent over his career, and now he finds himself in a fortuitous spot this season. Prado has opened the season in the cleanup role for the Diamondbacks hitting behind Paul Goldschmidt and a spot or two in front of Mark Trumbo. The potential is here for Prado to have a career season in RBI, while scoring points in other categories for your fantasy team.

Casey McGehee, $2,800 - Last season McGehee took his baseball talents to Japan where he finished with 28 home runs for the Rakuten Golden Eagles. This season he finds himself batting cleanup for the Marlins and behind Giancarlo Stanton. The home ballpark isn't going to help his power numbers, but it will (as it did in the home opener) provide a lot of space to him to drive doubles to the outfield.

Shortstop

Chris Owings, $2,800 - Owings played well enough this spring to win the starting job and send Didi Gregorius back to the minors. He had 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases at Triple-A Reno last season and has a lot of upside as a 22-year-old regular. D-Backs manager Kirk Gibson should give him the green light on the basepaths and he offers good value if he can handle himself at the plate.

Outfield

Austin Jackson, $3,200 - I find Jackson intriguing considering a few different factors. He has started off the season hitting in both the fifth or sixth spot that should increase his RBI opportunities but should lower his run total. The other bright spot here is without Jim Leyland running the ship, Jackson should get the green light more frequently on the basepaths. The upside here is Jackson hitting 15-20 home runs while getting back to the mid-to-upper 20s in stolen bases.

Drew Stubbs, $2,800 - Stubbs won the center field job for the Rockies and will take over the spot formerly occupied by Dexter Fowler. Stubbs had an off season a year ago finishing with only 17 stolen bases after recording at least 30 in each of the previous three seasons. He still has some pop in his bat with double-digit home runs in each of his last four seasons and could approach 15-20 again playing in Coors Field. Look to use him in your lineup, especially when the Rockies are at home.

Jeff Baker, $2,200 - Baker is only usable whenever the Marlins are going up against a southpaw. He posted a 1.073 OPS against lefties last season and has historically raked against them. The Fanduel system will not adjust his price daily, so in theory you can get an elite player when he's going against a lefty for the minimum price. As a result, he's the perfect player to match up with a high priced pitcher in those situations.