Articles by Brett Goldhammer

Since abandoning his dream to play third base for the Philadelphia Phillies, Bretsky has turned his attention to the fake playing fields of the world. His inability to turn down an invitation to a fantasy league has spawned more rotisserie teams than one any one man should own. Bretsky covers the Marlins beat for Rotowire and also owns and manages BretskyBall.com

RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship – Week 13

Some 240 years ago, a group of no-nonsense, wig-headed renegades declared themselves free of tyranny and oppression from their over-bearing government mark the brith of this great nation. Many will take this long weekend to celebrate with family and friends. You’ll eat BBQ, drink beer and and do like The Simpsons told us “celebrate the independence your country by blowing up a small part of it.” But what summer weekend would be complete without also mixing in a little MLB action.

Friday you have yet another chance to earn yourself a spot in the 2016 Rotowire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship with your weekly chance to qualify for the Championship round to be held on July 22. A top-10 finish in the weekly contest will earn you a ticket for the big dance.

Rotowire Expert Competition

Brian Pelowski put together a 200-point effort in the week 12 competition to top the field. A 41.1-point performance from James Loney along with solid nights from Mookie Betts, Manny Machado and Nolan Arrenado helped him best the field.

With three weeks left to go in the overall competition, Josh Fathollahi has put nearly 100 points between himself and the next best performer as he looks to finish out strong and wrap up the 15-week expert competition. Derek VanRiper and Andrew Par remain within striking distance, but there is very little margin for error.

Here’s how the top-11 for the year shakes out. Why top-11? Because everyone knows it just gives a much more complete picture than presenting just the top-10.

  1. Josh Fathollahi (jashfath) – 1651.8
  2. Derek VanRiper (rotowiredvr) – 1566
  3. Andrew Parr (aparr013) – 1561.1
  4. Aaron Quinn (aaronq) – 1519
  5. James Seltzer (schweppy23) – 1513.2
  6. Scott Jenstad (oaktownsj) – 1513.1
  7. Ken Crites (kencrw) – 1512.3
  8. Ronny Mor (ronnymor2) – 1507.3
  9. Jake Letarski (rotojakeski) – 1506.7
  10. AJ Scholz (bcswimmer10) -1503.7
  11. Brett Goldhammer (bretskyball) – 1480.10

Also, be sure to continue to keep tabs on the race with the full leaderboard.

Daily Strategy

Many think the DFS game takes hours and hours of prep work each and every day. And yes, having the time to thoroughly research the matchups, lineups and players can be time consuming. The great news, however, is that we’ve already done the work for you. My DFS routine has three simple steps. First, identify a solid slate — I don’t like playing with too many staggered starts given FanDuel’s lineup lock policy. Next, find your pitcher. Since you’re only starting one, just pony up the cash. And finally, plug that pitcher into RotoWire’s Daily MLB Lineup Oprtimizer and let the magic of the interwebs find you some value. Sure, there’s always room for tweaks, but really, the heavy lifting is already done. It’s as simple as that.

Value Plays

SP Jason Hammel Chicago Cubs @ New York Mets

Fanduel Price: $8,800

For a few years now, Jason Hammel has remained one of the more underrated starters in the game. Since 2014, he’s quietly posted a 3.40 ERA, 1.12 WHIP while racking up 8.3 K/9. These are top-30 type starter numbers in the fantasy game but he’s rarely recognized as having ace-type upside. Hammel is in the midst of his best season as a pro, holding a 2.58 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through his first 15 starts this season. Despite a recent dip in strikeouts, he’s remained effective and  gets a solid matchup Friday against a Mets offense that ranks in the bottom third in the league against right-handed pitching. Take the plunge.

SS Jonathan Villar Milwaukee Brewers @ St. Louis Cardinals

Fanduel Price: $3,300

He remains one of the biggest breakout bats of the 2016 season, bringing an overall .299/.380/.430 line into Friday’s action. Villar has done his best work against left-handed pitching, posting a .321 average with 18 runs scored  in 81 at-bats against southpaws this season. He’ll get lefty Jaime Garcia on Friday and makes a solid investment with some power/speed upside at an affordable price.

OF Ryan Braun Milwaukee Brewers @ St. Louis Cardinals

Fanduel Price: $3,800

Sticking with a little Brew-crew mini-stack, lets turn our attention Ryan Braun who enters the game riding an 11-game hitting streak over which time he’s put together a .409/.458/.705 line with a couple of homers, eight runs scored, eight RBI and a steal. Braun’s body has been anything but durable in the recent past, but he’s clearly feeling good right now and, hey, we only care about today!

High Risk/High Reward

1B Paul Goldschmidt Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants

Fanduel Price: $3,900

Goldy’s .350/.432/.563 performance in June made everyone forget about his sluggish start of the season. He remains one of the top true hitters in baseball and certainly warrants being one of the pricier bats in his lineup. A Friday showdown with Johnny Cueto may give some potential owners pause about inserting the big slugger into their lineup, but Goldy has done solid work when given the chance against Cueto, notching six hits in 16 at-bats with a home run. Of course, Cueto is capable of dominating just about every time he takes the bump, so risk remains.

Steer Clear

SP Johnny Cueto San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Fanduel Price: $10,700

Cueto is the unquestioned top pitcher going on Friday, but the Diamondbacks at Chase Field is a tough draw and the ace is coming off his worst start of the season. I wouldn’t necessarily run from this matchup, but I would certainly be wary of making the investment.

RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship – Week 3

It’s hard to believe we are already three weeks into the 2016 MLB season, but it also already feels like we’re in midseason form. Kershaw is throwing up zeroes, Harper is hitting bombs, and my Philadelphia Phillies have been outscored 39 to 13 over the past week. Just another summer at the ballpark!

Friday marks your third chance to compete in the 2016 Rotowire & Fanduel Fantasy Baseball Championship with your weekly chance to qualify for the Championship round to be held on July 22. It’s just $10 to jump in the weekly 50/50 game with a top-10 finish also punching your ticket to compete for the crown.

The Rotowire crew is also joining into the festivities with a parallel Expert Championship that runs weekly through the first half of the season. The cumulative contest represents an exciting format in the DFS game, with both weekly winners and cumulative standings. Through the two weeks, Chris Olson (cristop) leads the expert competition on the strength of two straight top-5 finishes among a field of 51 competitors. Aaron Quinn, who took the Week 2 tournament on the left arm of Chris Sale, ranks second through two weeks. Here’s how the rest of the top-10 shakes out.

  1. Chris Olson (christop) – 300
  2. Aaron Quinn (aaronq) – 280
  3. Paul Bruno (paulyb22) – 274
  4. Chris Benzine (crispy272001) – 266
  5. Kevin O’Brien (rotokob) – 265
  6. Ken Crites (kencrw) – 261
  7. James Anderson (realjranderson) – 254
  8. Kevin Payne (kevinccp) – 253
  9. AJ Scholz (bcswimmer10) – 252
  10. Eric Caturia (etcat30) – 246

To get you prepped for the daily contest on Friday (and every single other day of the week all season long), Rotowire has plenty of resources to cover your bases:

Weather could be a factor this evening with the Rays/Yankees, Cubs/Red and Mets/Braves all posing potential problems during the Friday evening slate.

Value Plays

Before we dive into the lineup recommendations, it’s important to note that I do not believe there is a pitching “value play” in the Fanduel format. You only throw one arm out there, and he’s capable (and likely) to net you more fantasy points than any other contributor in your lineup. Don’t skimp, always pony up for that ace.

SP Felix Hernandez Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels

Fanduel Price: $11,000

Felix is the most expensive pitcher on the market, but if you missed the note above, let’s reiterate: there’s little incentive to look for a bargain when it comes to pitching. King Felix will need to be wary of Mike Trout who has put up a career .354/.389/.646 line in opposition, but the Angels currently rank dead last in the majors with a meager .289 wOBA against right-handed pitching. Though Felix has shown a little bit of wildness early on the season, walking 13 batters 18 innings pitched he’s striking out over a batter per inning and is a strong bet to put up points on Friday.

2B Brian Dozier Minnesota Twins @ Washington Nationals

Fanduel Price: $2,900

Dozier is currently working a six-game hit streak and finally pushed his way well over the Mendoza line (.203!) after a 1-for-4 effort on Thursday. He homered, walked and scored a pair of runs on the evening. A career .271/.353/.490 bat against left-handed pitching, Dozier will square of with southpaw Gio Gonazaelz on Friday with a great opportunity to extend his hit streak as he continues to find his stroke at the dish.

OF Steven Souza Tampa Bay Ray @ New York Yankees

Fanduel Price: $2,900

You’ll have to keep an eye on the weather if you plan to use Souza Friday evening as there is a threat of rain in New York. If the game goes, Souza is an affordable play in your outfield whose put up 27 fantasy points over his past two contests.

High Risk/High Reward

1B Paul Goldschmidt Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Fanduel Price: $4,500

Even when dishing out top dollar on a starting pitchers, it’s nice to invest in one high-priced stud who can carry your night. Goldschmidt is actually playing at a solid discount right now thanks to a sluggish start at the plate (.237/.378/.458). He’s also quick turning things around, collecting six hits in his past 19 at-bats while also drawing six walks. Goldschmidt absolutely destroys left-handed pitching and with Jon Niese coming to town Friday evening, the D-Backs slugger should have no issue continuing his recent surge.

Steer Clear

SP Matt Harvey New York Mets @ Atlanta Braves

Fanduel Price: $9,800

The price seems tempting for a potential ace in a tasty matchup but weather concerns and, more importantly Harvey’s overall mediocrity to start the season is the reason to shy away from using him. He’s failed to generate the strikeouts that fantasy owners need and has been all too hittable over his first three starts, posting a 5.71 ERA and 1.56 WHIP over 17.1 innings pitched. Look elsewhere for your Friday night start.

You can follow Brett on Twitter @BretskyBall

Rotowire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship – Week 15

And down the stretch they come!

Week 15 of the NFL season is upon us and the race to become the RotoWire Expert Champion is heating up. Of course, it’s likely the semi-final matchup in your year-long leagues this week, so if you are not one of the final four, FanDuel is now your go to option to squeeze  few more weeks of fantasy goodness out of this NFL season.

Christopher Olson (christop) eked out a 1.12 point victory in the Week 14 contest, riding the right arm of Ryan Fitzpatrick and studly performances from Doug Baldwin, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to victory.

The real story out of last week’s contest, however, was Tate McEntyre’s (tmac) continued excellence as he also took advantage of another Doug Baldwin masterpiece to finish second for the week and surge into first place overall in the season long championship. With thee weeks left to play, Tate holds an 11 point lead in the competition over Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) and Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon). Expect some drama within the top 10 over the final weeks of the season. You can also follow along with the full leaderboard.

  1. Tate McIntyre (tamc10) – 1,787.82
  2. Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) – 1,766.52
  3. Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon) – 1,765.90
  4. Peter Merrill (black26) – 1,731.52
  5. Josh Collacchi (JCollacchi) – 1,708.56
  6. Joel Bartilotta (joelbartilotta) – 1,706.92
  7. Ed Kensik (chicagoed) – 1,692.28
  8. Adam Wolf (rotosomething) – 1,689.66
  9. Chris Smith (smithca28) – 1,663.44
  10. Josh Fathollahi (jashfath) – 1,659.04

Turning to the action on the field in the weekend ahead, the Broncos-Steelers matchup highlights the action as Pittsburgh attempts to maintain its standing in the wild card race. The Bengals turn to backup quarterback AJ McCarron as they had to San Francisco with a chance to ice the division.

Value Picks

QB Alex Smith: Kansas City @ Baltimore

Price: $7,000

At an affordable $7,000 for the week, Alex Smith checks in as a fantastic value play against a reeling Baltimore secondary. The Ravens yielded a five-touchdown performance to the red-hot Russell Wilson last week and have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. At times, Smith’s fantasy upside is limited by thew Chiefs’ conservative offense, but the quarterback is playing efficient football as the team rallies towards the playoffs. Over the last three weeks, Smith has accounted for six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing) while providing a nice floor with his rushing ability.

RB Eddie Lacy: Green Bay @ Oakland

Price: $6,900

Though Lacy has been one of the most frustrating players to own is season long leagues, there is no way to ignore his dominant play down the stretch — whenever he is given carries. Lacy has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the past three games where he’s been given a starter’s workload while chipping in a couple of touchdowns along the way. After his Week 13 psuedo-benching, Lacy earned back my trust with a workhorse performance last week and is a bankable RB1 for this week’s matchup with a beatable Raiders defense.

RB Denard Robinson: Jacksonville vs. Atlanta

Price: $6,300

Robinson was a popular name on the waiver wire this week, and for good reason. TJ Yeldon’s knee injury opens the door for Shoelace to get starter’s touches in a tasty matchup at home against Atlanta as the Jags try to hang in the AFC South race. If you’re like me and enjoyed Denard’s brief sting as an RB1 last season, you’ll roll him out with full confidence once again in Week 15.

WR Jeremy Maclin: Kansas City @ Baltimore

Price: $6,700

As noted above, the Cheifs’ passing game is heading into a dream matchup against the Ravens this week. Maclin is the big play guy for Alex Smith and represents an affordable swing for the fences as you set your tournament lineup.

WR Michael Floyd: Arizona @ Philadelphia

Price: $6,100

Very quietly, Michael Floyd has re-emerged as an every week fantasy option. The Cardinal’s offense continues to roll and Floyd has racked up 100+ yards in four of his last five games while scoring four times over that span.

TE Delanie Walker: Tennessee @ New England

Price: $6,300

The most consistent tight end doesn’t flash the monster weeks that you may see from Rob Gronkowski, Greg Olsen or Jordan Reed, but Walker continues to get it done week in and week out. He’s snared 6+ receptions for 70+ yards in each of his last four games. The continued absence of Kendall Wright leaves Walker as the main possession receiver in the Titan’s offense, giving him a bankable floor at a second tier price point.

High Risk/High Reward

QB Cam Newton: Panthers @ Giants

Price: $9,400

Cam is the second priciest quarterback for Sunday’s slate, so you are going to need a dominant performance to justify the cost. He’s as good a start as any this week against New York’s consistently burnable secondary while also potentially taking over a larger role in the red zone with Jonathan Stewart sidelined.

RB Deangelo Williams: Pittsburgh vs. Denver

Price: $7,000

Williams has performed as an No. 1 throughout the season, but faces a brutal matchup against Denver’s top ranked defense as the Steelers host Denver in a must-win for Pittsburgh. Still, Deangelo’s involvement in the passing game and goal-line touches keep him in the conversation as a tournament play this weekend. He’s a discount play in Week 15 due to the matchup and could be a nice risk given his performance in recent weeks.

WR Odell Beckham Jr. Giants vs. Panthers

Price: $9,100

What happens when the best defensive back in the league takes on the best wide receiver in the league? Josh Norman was able to “limit” Julio Jones to a 7-for-88 day last week, but may face an even bigger challenge this week as he tries to keep up with OBJ. The difference for Odell this week is that he’s paired with a quarterback who is actually playing competent football and as the G-Men try to keep pace in the NFC East, they will again lean on their No. 1 playmaker.

TE Rob Gronkowski: New England vs. Tennessee

Price: $8,500

The price tag is the only thing making Gronk a risky play this week as he looked healthy and strong in his return from injury against Houston. Expect the snap count to rise and Gronk to once again be a focal point of the Pats’ offense.

 

Rotowire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship – Week 12

And that’s all she wrote, folks. After a grueling 10 Weeks of  between FanDuel users and Rotowire experts to qualify for the final round, the winner of the Rotowire & Fanduel Fantasy Football Championship was crowned in Week 11.

The RotoWire Staff competition rolls on with some serious competition at the top. Tate McIntyre (tamc10) maintained the poll position with a solid 94.38-point effort in Week 11, but just 50 Fanduel points separate the top 5. Last Week’s big winner, Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon)  piled up 124.28 points with a strong team effort. McKeown’s squad was led by a monstrous day from Doug Martin who sliced his way through a fading Eagles defense while also getting 20+ point contributions from Matthew Stafford and Julio Jones. McKeown’s Week 11 effort pushed him to the No. 3 spot in the season-long competition. Here is how the top-10 shakes out as Week 12 begins (see the full leaderboard).

  1. Tate McIntyre (tamc10) 1,395.74
  2. Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) 1,363.88
  3. Shannon McKeown (rotoshannon) 1,352.68
  4. Peter Merrill (black26) 1,348.64
  5. Brian Pelowski (brianp) 1,347.90
  6. Josh Collacchi (JCollacchi) 1,339.34
  7. Jesse Siegel (damon3nba) 1,334.62
  8. Tony Goldenstein (trookie83) 1,318.40
  9. Joel Bartilotta (joelbartilotta) 1,311.40
  10. Ed Kensik (chicagoed) 1,307.76

As you shake off that turkey coma and look ahead to Sunday’s NFL action there are a number of intriguing matches heading into the weekend. The top two teams in the AFC face off in what is shaping up to be a nasty Sunday evening matchup. Even without the Manning/Brady factor, the prospect of a depleted Patriots offense going to work against the stout Denver defense should make for some excellent football.

Value Plays

QB Brian Hoyer: Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints

Price: $7,100

New Orleans dumped defensive boss Rob Ryan before the bye week, and while a change in leadership certainly cannot hurt the struggling unit, it also won’t turn this band of misfits into the steel curtain. Through 10 games, New Orleans is allowing a league worst 24.1 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, nearly 5 point per game more than next team. Hoyer has tossed multiple touchdowns in five of his seven starts this year and really has a pretty simple path to success this week: chuck it to Deandre.

QB Josh McCown: Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

Price: $6,300

McCown steps back into a starting role after Johnny Manziel was grounded for misbehaving over the bye week. It’s rarely pretty, but McCown’s aggressive approach can get it done for owners against a pitiful Ravens secondary. McCown’s surprising elevation into the starting lineup also makes him dirt cheap for the week.

RB Tevin Coleman: Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings

Price: $6,200

Now that Devonta Freeman (concussion) has been ruled out, Coleman becomes a nice little discount play for the Week 12. Coleman has failed to truly impress when given opportunity so far this weekend and the matchup with Minnesota also represents a challenge, but it’s the volume that you’re paying for here.

RB Thomas Rawls: Seattle Seahawks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Price: $6,300

Similar to Coleman, Rawls draws the start thanks to an injury ahead of him but is also faced with a tough matchup against a Steelers team that has allowed just 10.5 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. Rawls’ 253-yard effort on 33 touches in Week 11 is going to be tough to duplicate, but the lead back in Seattle’s run-heavy scheme is as must start each and every week.

WR Martavis Bryant: Pittsburgh Steeler @ Seattle Seahawks

Price: $6,700

Few players at the wide receiver position posses the scoring upside of Bryant, whose elite playmaking ability has made him the No. 3 overall fantasy wideout on a points per game basis. While Antonio Brown draws the attention of Richard Sherman on Sunday, Martavis will get opportunity to add to his impressive numbers.

WR Stevie Johnson: San Diego Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Price: $5,500

The last man standing in Philip Rivers’ receiving corps, Johnson has been a PPR asset over the past couple of weeks, turning 18 targets into 14 receptions for 122 yards. He hasn’t hit the end zone since scoring in back to back games to open the season, but Johnson is a nice volume play with upside.

TE Jordan Reed: Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants

Price: $5,800

Remarkably, the Redskins could move into first place in the NFC East with a Sunday victory of the Giants as Kirk Cousins squares off with one of the league’s worst secondaries. The Giant’s have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing tight ends on the year and rank 31st in the league in fantasy points allowed to the position. Reed has been steady when on the field, posting 23 catches (on 32 targets) for 165 yards and a whopping five touchdowns over the last four games.

High risk/High Reward

WR Deandre Hopkins: Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints

Price: $9,400

Hopkins is the highest salary wide receiver for the week, perhaps making him a “High Risk” play, but the guy is never really a risk. He’s got a fantastic matchup against the league’s worst secondary and after scoring four times in his last three games, he’s the top play at the position in Week 12 and well worth the price of admission.

Steer Clear

QB Tom Brady: New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos

Price: $9,000

It’s really never a good idea to doubt Tom Brady’s ability to find success on the gridiron. But if there was a week to fade the top-priced QB is its this one. Brady heads into a matchup with the league’s best defense while dealing with some seriously depleted weaponry and will likely need to rely on the likes of Keshawn Martin and Chris Harper for critical roles in the Pats’ offense. With a number of intriguing and affordable options on the Sunday slate, pass on Brady’s price tag in Week 12.

Rotowire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship – Week 8

Week 8 of the RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship has arrived meaning that I will personally be spared from a painfully frustrating performance from my Philadelphia Eagles and, more importantly, you have just three weeks left to top our crew of experts and qualify for the $20,000 Championship Contest in Week 11. There is still time to jump into this week’s contest and earn your shot at the grand prize.

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