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The Daily Duel: FanDuel Value Picks

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.

Values

Catcher

Josmil Pinto, $2800 The price is definitely right here. There always seems to be a different catcher who has a big game night in and night out, so I prefer targeting cheaper options like Pinto. He already has seven home runs in 150 plate appearances and has been seeing more time at DH as of late. Pinto's splits suggest using him away from Target Field (.870 OPS away) and against right-handed pitching (.788 OPS).

First Base

Adrian Gonzalez, $3200 Gonzalez has caught my eye at this price for a few reasons. First, he's tied for the 16th highest-priced player at first base despite being on pace to crush last year's home runs total of 22 (12 bombs to date). And he's heading into Coors Field this weekend, which should cure the .163 batting average he's sported over the last two weeks. The bright spot here is Gonzalez's ISO is at .219 (a five-year high) and his .272 BABIP suggest there's been a lack of luck so far.

Second Base

Jason Kipnis, $2700 Kipnis nearly made the "Newbies" section, but it's been over a week since returned from the 15-day DL. I've harped on how weak the second base position has been this season and the injury to Kipnis is partially to blame. Kipnis was widely considered to be a top-three second baseman heading into this season due to his speed/power skill set. A lengthy stint on the DL has resulted in his price has dipping far below the norm provided he's still not feeling the lingering affects of the injury. The sample size since his return is way too low to put stock in any numbers outside of looking at what he did last season.

Third Base

Evan Longoria, $3400 Longoria is such a tough player to figure out. Ever since the second half of the 2011 season, when he was arguably the best hitter in the game (20 home runs, 57 RBI), it seems like fantasy owners expect MVP-caliber production from him. While that likely won't ever happen, he's always remained a very productive fantasy option. His current .706 OPS is 135 points less than any season in his career which hints, given his price and regression to the mean, that improved production is likely right around the corner.

Outfield

Corey Dickerson, $3700 No, this isn't a great price considering other similarly priced players, but there's reason to take notice of Dickerson. First, he's going to get regular playing time over the next two weeks with Carlos Gonzalez on the DL. Next, he has a 1.061 OPS this season in limited playing time and has reached base safely in his last six games. He's actually had more plate appearances on the road and impressively has a better OPS away from Coors Field. Feel free to deploy him against right-handed pitching.

Newbies

Outfield

Josh Hamilton, $3600 Hamilton wasted no time in his return Tuesday night, clubbing a home run against the Astros. Keep in mind that while his time on the DL didn't exactly depress his price, he was raking prior to the injury. Even after Wednesday's 0-for-4 performance he still holds a 1.194 OPS with a 9:7 K:BB rate, albeit in a small sample size. He's immediately worth a look; just hope he doesn't slide headfirst into first base on the night you're using him.

Jonathan Singleton, $2800 Singleton's price earlier this week was only $2200 but after hitting a home run to right center for his debut with the Astros, the price has jumped a little. He's struck out four of his first eight plate appearances, but the young first baseman has made adjustments when given time at every level of the minors. I'd use him as something of a punt play in GPPs given there's going to be some 0-for-4 nights. The good news is he showed improved plate discipline at Triple-A this season and the Astros have put him in a run-producing spot in the middle of the order.

Oscar Taveras, $2600 I like Taveras as a better punt play this weekend than Singleton, as the Cardinals rookie will be playing in the hitter friendly Rogers Centre. Taveras has a better pedigree than Singleton and projects as a player who will hit for both average and power. There's a good chance this will be his lowest price of the season.