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Daily Baseball 101: Breaking Down FanDuel Hitting 2.0

Michael Rathburn

Michael Rathburn

Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. He was also nominated by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association for Best Baseball Series in 2011.


Last week, I started digging into the first two months of hitting data for the daily fantasy baseball season on Fanduel to profile where to find value. This week, I delve into how to find consistency and ceiling plays for your cash games and tournaments.

As I started to analyze the data, I broke out the hitter points into several buckets:

10+ points - Monster (Elite)
6 - 9.99 points – Above Optimal
3 - 5.99 points - Optimal
0.25 - 2.99 points – Below Optimal
0 points or less - Bust

The average hitter score overall is only two points per game, so if you can land players who consistently get three points per game or higher you are 33 percent ahead of the field. For your cash games, you need to find players who are the safest and provide the best floor on a given day. In relation to starting pitching you need 10-12 points minimum to win over the long haul, so with eight hitters remaining at three points per game you should be in the 35-point range. A goal of 40 points would be your ideal safe target, but I have been able to profit most nights in the 35-40 points range.

Let’s start to profile hitters for your cash games; I took the players with the lowest Bust rate so far this season. (percentage of games less than 0 points). These are the players most likely to produce positive points in a given day. Note – this data is not taking into consideration your regular daily fantasy baseball research, so you still need to apply your handedness splits, park factors, opposing pitchers, and lineup spot.

All Cash Games "FLOOR" Team
(Players with the lowest Bust ratio; percent of games with 0 points or less)


C - Victor Martinez (13 percent), Jonathan Lucroy(14 percent), Russell Martin(18 percent)
1B - Adam LaRoche (9 percent), Anthony Rizzo (13 percent), Mike Napoli (14 percent)
2B - Robinson Cano (11 percent), Chase Utley (16 percent), Gordon Beckham (16 percent)
3B - Lonnie Chisenhall (13 percent), Josh Donaldson (14 percent). Brock Holt (16 percent)
SS - Troy Tulowitzki (13 percent), Xander Bogaerts (14 percent), Alexei Ramirez (15 percent)
OF - Jose Bautista (6 percent lowest overall), Michael Brantley (9 percent), Yasiel Puig (8 percent), Jayson Werth(13 percent), Alex Rios(13 percent), Andrew McCutchen(14 percent), Carlos Gomez(14 percent), Giancarlo Stanton(15 percent), George Springer(15 percent)

In daily fantasy baseball, you have two types of contests – Cash games (H2H and 50/50) and Tournaments. In cash games, you want the best floor players, and with tournaments you want the players with the highest ceiling. I looked at the players who got at least 6 points per game and 10 points per game, then combined the percentage. These are your top tournament plays.

All GPP - "CEILING" Team (Best Players for Tournament Play); (percentage of games 6+ and 10+points)

C - Devin Mesoraco, Victor Martinez, Evan Gattis
1B - Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, Brandon Moss
2B - Brian Dozier, Anthony Rendon , Ian Kinsler
3B - Josh Donaldson, Juan Francisco, Todd Frazier
SS - Troy Tulowitzki, Jimmy Rollins, Hanley Ramirez
OF - Nelson Cruz, Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Upton, Mike Trout, Yasiel Puig, Charlie Blackmon, George Springer, Carlos Gomez, Yoenis Cespedes

Sometimes when you are making a lineup, you have that tough choice of taking a minimum salary player or “punting” a position. Punting is ok, but you need to at least give yourself a shot. These are the guys you NEVER want to play regardless of price or matchup.

All-Bust Team (Highest percentage of games 0 points or less & less than 10 pecent with 6+ points)

C - Ryan Doumit, Rene Rivera, Hector Sanchez
1B - Daric Barton, Tyler Moore , Jesus Guzman
2B - Joaquin Arias, Daniel Descalso , Darwin Barney
3B - Ramiro Pena, Eric Chavez, Chone Figgins
SS - Ehire Adrianza, Jordy Mercer, Zack Cozart
OF - Jordan Schafer, Roger Bernadina, Tony Gwynn, Brandon Guyer, Cody Ross, Ryan Kalish, Moises Sierra, Chris Heisey, John Mayberry

The following list of players are capable of putting together a 10+ point game, but they can also kill your team, so they make for great “contrarian” plays in large field tournaments.

All Boom or Bust Value Team
(2 percent or more 10+ point games, <25 percent games 3+ points, <15 percent 6+ points, >35 percent games 0 points or less)


C - Anthony Recker, Robinson Chirinos, Ryan Hanigan
1B - None
2B - Jonathan Schoop, Stefan Romero, Ryan Flaherty, Jedd Gyorko, Dan Uggla
3B - Cody Asche, Mike Olt
SS - Ruben Tejada, Brad Miller
OF - David Lough, Gregor Blanco, Will Venable, Nate McLouth