OPS is a great indicator of point potential under the scoring system, with walks being worth just as much as singles and the progression of points per extra base is one per. On the pitching side, strikeouts aren't quite as overpowering as on other DFS sites, and pitchers that can keep their pitch count low and go deeper into games can be better rewarded on FantasyAces.
Also, its worth touching on FantasyAces's two formats. Classic is your run-of-the-mill salary cap format, but SalaryPro is an innovative new format giving those with the best ROI's the advantage. In SalaryPro, you earn bonus points for your team's payroll falling under the cap. Here's how it works:
Every $50 under the cap = +.10 Point (10 bonus points max at $5,000 under cap)* *Bonus doesn't kick in until you are at least $250 under the Salary Cap
So depending on which game you want to play, here are a few recommendations for Friday's slate:
Pitchers: Clayton Kershaw ($7,750): Kershaw hasn't gotten his season kicked off in the best fashion, but he didn't start last season phenomenally either. Back in the comfy confines of Dodger Stadium, the 2014 National League Cy Young winner and MVP, may be in line for his best opportunity to be owned on the DFS front with the potential skeptics out there – his price in relation to the rest of the pitchers is especially kind on FantasyAces. Arizona hit him up for seven runs in just 1.2 innings this time last year, a start he immediately bounced back from in the form of a shutout against the Phillies. Arizona took 6.1 innings to earn five runs this time around, so by that metric he's set up for an even better bounce back appearance. Kershaw owns a K-per-three-batters strikeout rate against the Rockies lineup, and last year against them he had a ridiculous 32 strikeouts, one no-hitter (an error from a perfect game), and a total of just one earned run allowed in 24innings. Kershaw did just get a root canal Monday, if you want an excuse to look elsewhere, but that's about as good as it gets.
Max Scherzer ($7,750): Recommending the other top priced past Cy Young winner feels dirty, but he makes way too much sense against the Phillies. This is a rematch from just five days ago when Scherzer unfortunately forfeited the win due to lack of run support and his bullpen. These concerns will be existent with the Nationals all season, but they have looked a little bit better on the offensive end of late. The Nationals are substantial favorites Fridy, and Scherzer has opened the season to the ring of a 0.66 ERA and a 1.2 K/inning strikeout rate. This really should be the instance where Scherzer finally collects his elusive first win of the season.
Drew Hutchison ($6,000): Very simply, Hutchison has huge upside with his substantial strikeout rate. The Braves enter on a two-game slide and have some serious offensive question marks; just hope Hutchison can keep the ball in the park, as his home field is certainly not advantageous to the pitching staff.
Jered Weaver ($5,750): If Weaver is going to provide some of his classic magic, the heavily strikeout-prone Astros will be as good a chance as he'll get. As a contrarian selection on an offensively gifted side, Weaver stands as a chancy GPP play.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy ($5,000): Lucroy hasn't had a great start to the season, but he bats second and faces left-hander Jeff Locke, who he has a career 1.217 OPS against, on Friday. The price for Lucroy in his current form admittedly isn't great, so if you don't want to spend on your catcher, just go as cheap as possible - there's usually at least one deeply discounted backup that finds himself in the starting lineup.
Corner Infielders Adrian Gonzalez ($5,850): Gonzalez has gotten on base multiple times in every single game this year. His current 1.706 OPS is .400 higher than the next highest player! He's more of a doubles hitter than a true home run slugger, despite that three-homer display he put on not too long ago. He's doubled in four straight games and has past success against opposing pitcher Kyle Kendrick. At least in cash games, there's no reason to get off the Gonzalez train until he shows some kind of downward trend.
Albert Pujols ($4,900): Pujols has been very disciplined at the plate this year, despite his sub-.200 batting average, and gets one of the more erratic pitchers you'll see Friday. Pujols can still jack the ball despite his age, so if Roberto Hernandez gives him something to hit, you can bet he'll give it a ride.
Brock Holt ($4,400): Holt probably won't find himself in the lineup, but if he does, cash in on the lefty. Pablo Sandoval missed out on his last game with a foot contusion, but he's expected to be back. Holt can potentially start in the outfield too, so he's worth monitoring.
Middle Infielders Jean Segura ($4,350): With Carlos Gomez on the DL and a lefty on the mound, Segura looks a near certainty to bat leadoff once again. Segura is batting a very solid .323 to start the season and has good base stealing upside too.
Devon Travis ($3,750): The solid offensive start to the season and expected time missed from Jose Reyes points to the starting second baseman possibly seeing some time at the top of the order. His season is off to a tremendous start with a .371 batting average, two home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs, and he he's been well worth his purchase price even at the nine spot.
Outfielders Ryan Braun ($4,850): Braun, like the rest of the team, has had a rocky start to the season. He has really had a rocky last couple of seasons with all of the injury problems, but there is someone in the Brewers' locker room keeping faith in Braun as he remains third in the order. The matchup against the lefty Locke is a good one, and it was just 2012 when Braun was seen belting 41 home runs.
Daniel Nava ($4,250): Nava has been sharing time with Shane Victorino in the outfield, with Victorino the preferred option, starting three of the last four games. Nonetheless, Nava provides a lefty bat against a righty in Ubaldo Jimenez he's had a history of success against. A lot of the Boston bats look poised for a good outing Friday night, but Nava provides a cheap option behind the big dogs. He isn't guaranteed to be in the lineup, but if he's in there, he is a great money-saving option on a very stackable Boston offense.
Dalton Pompey ($4,250): Pompey, like Travis, could see a shift to the top of the order with Reyes out. Pompey has more base-stealing ability, but is also much more hit-or-miss and carries an extremely high strike out rate. A feast-or-famine option, Pompey probably isn't worth the risk unless he manages to get slotted near the top of the order.
Jon Jay ($4,000): Despite a slow start to this season, Jay owns a spectacular 1.331 OPS against Friday's opposing pitcher Johnny Cueto. Make no mistake, Cueto is an ace, but Jay seems to have a groove against him.
Nelson Cruz ($5,750): Six home runs in five games, you'd have to be naïve to simply bypass this guy; especially against his former team.
Designated Hitter FantasyAces lists DHs as just that, and the only way to incorporate them into your lineup is through the utility spot.
David Ortiz ($5,150): Big Papi is a lefty that has really grooved out an extremely efficient hitting style in the stylistically unique Fenway park. With a right-hander on the mound, Big Papi is always a threat.
The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Alex Spalding plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: ajump08, DraftKings: ajump08.
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