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The Daily Duel: Mesoraco Hits The Ground Running

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 ($2200) or a higher-priced option that is still undervalued based on expected production.

Catcher

Devin Mesoraco, $2500 He's nearly the minimum price and it's likely due to starting the season on the DL. Mesoraco has hit the ground running since coming off the DL going 7-for-14 in his first four games. Those seven hits include five extra base hits and two home runs. He should be a regular in the lineup now that Dusty Baker isn't his manager and Ryan Hanigan is no longer on the roster. Look for this to be his breakout season.

First Base

Justin Morneau, $3000 Morneau is off to a decent start, batting .325 through 11 games but only has three extra base hits in 44 plate appearances. The power may be coming back though as he hit his first home run in San Francisco over the weekend. Morneau should be a better play at home than on the road this season, and will return to Coors Field this Friday for six straight games. Look for him to take advantage of the home park the rest of the season.

Allen Craig, $2900 Craig is off to an atrocious start this season going 5-for-41 (.122) with no extra base hits. Unless he's nursing some injury he hasn't disclosed, it should only be a matter of time before Craig turns things around. Despite his lack of power, he surpassed 90 RBI again last season due to the potent lineup he hits cleanup in. Once he appears to be heating up at the plate look to use him as a cheap option.



Second Base

Jedd Gyorko, $3000 Gyorko appears to be heating up finally after hitting safely in three straight games over the weekend which included a home run and a triple. His home ballpark didn't affect him last season as he had a higher home OPS than on the road. He got a new six-year contract Monday, and there are few players at the position capable of hitting in the mid-20s as far as home runs go. Gyorko had an OPS 124 points higher against left-handed pitching than right-handed pitching last season, telling you which split to target.

Third Base

Eric Chavez, $2700 Chavez is a sneaky play in that he doesn't play every day but is productive when he's in the lineup. His part-time play will keep his price depressed all season so he's more than affordable when he's in the Diamondbacks lineup. Despite heading into the twilight of his career, Chavez has posted over a .800 OPS in each of the last two seasons and benefits from playing in a potent lineup and plus-hitters park.

Shortstop

Andrelton Simmons, $3100 The shortstop position is something of a wasteland after anyone named Troy Tulowitzki. Simmons is one of the few options I'll consider after Tulo, who has 20-home run potential. He also showed some speed in the minors that could at some point translate in the big leagues, adding to his potential fantasy value.

Outfield

Desmond Jennings, $3200 Jennings has gotten off to something of an odd start, recording a strikeout or walk in 21 of his first 52 plate appearances. Jennings still has a ton of upside as one of those players who has the speed/power skill set that I bring up every week. He's got a 20-home run, 30-stolen base season in him and I might be selling him short on that. Note that he had better numbers against left-handed pitchers last season than right-handed pitchers.

Billy Hamilton, $3100 Hamilton's price has come down since the beginning of the season and his penchant for striking out likely has something to do with that. Still, there's a ton of upside with Hamilton and while I'd hesitate using him in cash games, I think he's a great GPP play. The perfect illustration of Hamilton's likely production happened last week. He went 3-for-4 against the Cardinals with a triple, two runs and two stolen bases for fantasy gold. The speedster then followed that game with two consecutive 0-for-4 games. This is why until he shows some consistency he should only be used in tournament formats.

Domonic Brown, $3000 Brown's critics will be quick to show how much he produced last May, did well in June, but was average outside of those two months. However, the fact is, he has looked excellent at the plate so far this season. He's hitting .304, has eight RBI and a home run to start the season. It should be a matter of time before he's moved up in the lineup and is another player who benefits from playing in a hitter's park.