RotoWire Partners

The Daily Duel: Astros' Youngsters Worth A Look

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

Buster Posey, $3100 It wouldn't surprise me if this is the lowest price we see for Posey all season. He's $800 cheaper than Yadier Molina and is almost a must-play in cash games. He was stuck in a 1-for-24 slump heading into Sunday's game against San Diego, but hit one out of Petco Park, which is an encouraging sign. Posey already has four home runs and hit .229 BABIP which helps explain his .238 batting average. Look for Posey to turn things around soon.

First Base

Brandon Moss, $3000 Moss might have had one of the quieter 30 home run seasons last year, making the most of having regular playing time. He usually hits in the heart of a decent offensive lineup and historically has mashed right-handed pitching. In fact, he's gotten to the point where it wouldn't be surprising to see him sit against southpaws so always check the opposing pitcher before putting him into your lineup.

Eric Hosmer, $2900 Hosmer finally started heating up at the plate, raising his batting average from .244 to .292 over the last week. It is only a matter of time before the home runs and stolen bases come, adding to his fantasy value. While it's a small sample size, it's encouraging to see Hosmer's contact rate (91 percent) and strikeout percentage (eight percent) which both showed marked improvement. The elite options at first base are over $4000, showing why both Moss and Hosmer are good values.



Second Base

Brandon Phillips, $2900 Phillips is off to a little bit of a rough start with 19 strikeouts in 77 plate appearances. He's been battling back spasms that could be the culprit of his struggles at the plate. However, he should be able to get over them sometime soon and pick up his productivity. Phillips has hit 18 home runs in each of the last four seasons and while he hasn't yet, he has talked about running more on the base paths with Dusty Baker gone.

Third Base

Carlos Santana, $2700 Santana has been a little unlucky to start the season as evidenced by his .178 BABIP. He only has one home run and the BABIP has led to a .145 batting average. The good news is he has a 16:17 K:BB ratio and historically has been an excellent OBP guy who takes a lot of walks. This is an added bonus in the Fanduel format when players are penalized .25 points for every out they make. Hopefully getting the day off Monday will help get him refocused at the dish.

Shortstop

Jonathan Villar, $3000 I mentioned Villar a couple of weeks ago in the comments section and I wanted to make sure to highlight him this week. His .196 batting average makes him a risky play in cash games but his upside makes him an interesting GPP pick. Villar is another player with a good speed/power skill set that has the upside to go 15-15 this season. He already has three home runs and four stolen bases and has hit better at Minute Maid Park than on the road since being called up. With Jose Altuve entrenched at second base and Carlos Correa in the minor league pipeline, the Astros could have a good middle infield problem a couple of years down the road.

Outfield

Alex Gordon, $2900 Gordon hasn't gotten off to a terrible start but could be doing a lot better. He's hitting .281 with only one home run, nine runs and nine RBI to start the season. There are 40-50 outfielders priced higher than Gordon right now, yet he should finish the season as a top-25 fantasy outfielder given his track record.

Carl Crawford, $2900 He doesn't play every day anymore but that could be a good thing to keep him fresh and his price down. Crawford's value almost completely lies in his legs as he doesn't display the moderate power he once had. He has some potent bats hitting behind him in the order and he already had four stolen bases in just 15 games to start the season.

George Springer, $2400 You have to love Springer at only $200 above the minimum price on Fanduel. With the Astros lineup struggling to produce offensively he's already been moved into the cleanup spot. Last season at Triple-A Oklahoma City he had 18 home runs, 22 stolen bases while batting .311. Springer has hit safely in his first five games and already has attempted two steals. Use him while he's very undervalued.