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The Daily Duel: Hold Daily Fantasy Baseball for Ransom

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.

Sponsored by FanDuel

This week we’re going to combine some of the different sections from the first three weeks of this column. If you have any suggestions or like a section in particular, please let me know in the comments and I’ll use that information for future articles.


Here are some good additions to your team who are currently out producing their value. Keep in mind that these prices can change daily, so take advantage of them while you can.

Cody Ransom, SS, ARI, $2600 – With Ryan Roberts off to a slow start, the Diamondbacks have turned to Ransom, who is the typical example of a guy who gets hot while maintaining a low price tag. Ransom was even moved up in the order, hurdling Paul Goldschmidt to take over the fifth spot for Wednesday’s tilt against the Phillies. Ransom entered Wednesday’s game with 4.75, 4.25 and 6.5 points in his previous three games. Make sure he’s in the lineup while his price tag remains discounted.

Eric Chavez, 3B, NYY, $2600 – Chavez opened some eyes with his two home run game last week and should see 2-3 starts per week, as he gives other aging veterans on the Yankees a rest in the field. He’s in a great home ballpark with a lineup that scores a ton of runs, especially against second- and third-tier pitching. Remember his name, especially when the games are in New York.

Bryan LaHair, 1B, CHI, $3200 – Would it surprise you that LaHair has scored significantly more points in FanDuel’s game than Albert Pujols? Of course, that speaks more to Pujols’ slow start, but it’s still amazing to see the late bloomer ahead of an all-time great. LaHair is doing his best Nelson Cruz impersonation, bursting onto the baseball scene as a 29-year-old. He’s reached base in every game he’s started and has homered in both Tuesday and Wednesday’s games.

Aaron Cunningham, OF, CLE, $2400 – While Cunnigham’s not always in the lineup and doesn’t score a ton of points on a daily basis, he comes as cheap as they get and can be added to a lineup loaded with studs from top to bottom. As he’s not a fixture in Cleveland’s lineup, make sure to double check that he’s playing that day before selecting him.


Try a “Stack” Sandwich

A strategy that can be used for FanDuel daily games is “stacking” your roster with as many players as you can from a particular team. This should be used when you think a team is going to run the score up against an opposing pitcher. Using this strategy can be a boom or bust as you can score a ton of points or could be shut down and score very few points if the opposing pitcher is on his game. Employing this strategy means you’re typically using teams with high-octane offenses such as the Yankees, Rockies or Rangers. It’s also possible to stack a game, if you think it’s going to be high scoring on both sides. This strategy usually forces you to use a very cheap pitcher who you shouldn’t expect a ton of scoring from. FanDuel requires you to use players from at least three teams, so matching up your “stacked” lineup with some of the “value” players listed above is a must.

Tournament vs. Heads Up or 50/50

The format you play should affect the lineup decisions you make when building a team. When competing in tournaments with 20+ entries, it’s typically pays off to take more chances. For example, if Matt Kemp or Ian Kinsler is on one of their hot streaks, you can bet that a large percentage of participants in the tournament will go with these studs. Instead of conforming and going with the popular players, you would increase your “pot odds” by finding another option. Mind you, you’ll need studs in your lineup no matter what; it’s which ones to go with that is the question. On the other hand, playing heads up or in the 50/50 leagues, it’s usually a better bet to play it safe and make sure you accumulate points rather than take chances. Granted, it can work both ways in each format but realize the winners who cash in the top-3 spots in most tournaments have done some thinking outside of the box.

Tip Of The Week

Taking Advantage of Early Games

With the season still in the early stages, there is plenty of opportunity to play in games with a 12:35 or 1:05 EST start time. Often owners will load their lineup with players from the early games as they’re guaranteed to be playing that day as opposed to the uncertainty of whether or not a player will play in a later game. Unless the early games are supposed to be high scoring affairs, this is often a mistake. Generally the odds of an everyday player sitting out a late game are very slim. As a result, there’s a profit to be made by taking the chance on using players in the late games. Once in a while you’ll end up using a player who sits out the later game but those occasions are usually rare. For example, using a sure fire player in the Pittsburgh/Colorado early game on Wednesday likely didn’t net you many points when compared to who you could have had with the later games. Technology has advanced to the point that you should be able to ascertain if a game will be rained out or not. Of course, picking dome players in later game eliminates any of that uncertainty. Don’t be afraid to go with your best overall lineup despite the uncertainty of all of your players playing that day.

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So how is FanDuel different from your regular fantasy baseball league?
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o You get instant cash payouts every day
o You don’t have to rely on your buddies – you can pick new opponents every day
o You can play for free, but playing for real money – for up to $10,000 in prizes per game – takes the fantasy baseball excitement off the charts!

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Good Luck!

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