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The Daily Duel: Harper To Heat Up

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.


Brian McCann, $3300 McCann is off to a horrible start hitting only .171 with only two RBI despite hitting cleanup or in the five hole. It's only a matter of time before his bat heats up and he's back to his old self, having been arguably the most consistent power-hitting catcher in baseball. He has at least 20 home runs in six straight seasons and he should have no problem making it seven in Yankee Stadium as a left-handed hitter. There are several mid-tier catchers very close to McCann's price, making him a great value.

Derek Norris, $2800 Norris has been platooning with John Jaso to start the season and has been raking to start the season. He hit his second home run of the season Wednesday and has over a 1.300 OPS in a short sample size. He's the perfect punt option at the position whenever he's facing a southpaw, against which he had a .990 OPS last season. Norris could work his way to more playing time against righties too if he takes the step to figure out how to hit them.

First Base

Joe Mauer, $3400 Granted, I think 2009 when Mauer hit 28 home runs will easily be his best power season and I'd be surprised to see him hit 15 or more this season. However, Mauer still offers a lot of value and is at a good price right now. Historically he's had an OBP around .400 making him even better in the Fanduel format that penalizes .25 FPs for every out. To put his price in perspective, Paul Goldschmidt's price tag is currently at $4900, almost 50 percent higher than Mauer's.

Second Base

Brian Roberts, $2500 Roberts is one of those players who, similar to Grady Sizemore, you expect to miss an extended amout of time with an injury at some point. However, right now he's healthy and consistently starting for the Yankees. He's still got some wheels and has two stolen bases in seven starts this season. If he's able to stay healthy this year, he should easily hit double-digit home runs, especially playing half of his games at Yankee Stadium.

Third Base

Brett Lawrie, $2900 I wouldn't put Lawrie in my lineup just yet, but once he shows signs of life at the plate I'd jump on him. He's never been able to stay healthy, but was considered one of the better hitting prospects in baseball. It's easy to forget he's only 24 so his best years are easily ahead of him. Lawrie hits in one of the better lineups in baseball and his home ballpark plays well to hitters. Remember he has 20/20 potential and that could be as soon as this season.


Bryce Harper, $3900 The price has gotten too low for me here, as I think it's only a matter of time before he gets things going. If there is any concern here, it's that the blow to the head he took against the Mets is affecting him or there's some other injury he's playing through. More likely he's still getting his timing down and he should get back to being a top-10 fantasy hitter.

Curtis Granderson, $3300 Granderson is another fantasy stud who has gotten off to a slow start batting .154 through seven games. However, he might be turning the corner right now as he has four extra base hits (including a home run) and three walks over his last four games. He no longer has the friendly short right field porch at Yankee Stadium to use but is only a couple of seasons removed from back-to-back 40-plus home run campaigns. He's a great player to use in tournament formats where he's likely to be under-owned with big upside.

Melky Cabrera, $3200 It appears the Melky Man is on a mission and trying to prove that he doesn't need PEDs to be an All-Star caliber player. He's off to a hot start to the season, hitting a home run in four straight games over the weekend. Melky has a hit in every game this season and even swiped his first bag Wednesday night. Hitting atop the Jays' lineup is a great place to be and he should surpass 100 runs if he's able to stay healthy.

Marcell Ozuna, $2700 I feel like for all the hype Giancarlo Stanton gets (and rightfully so) that fantasy owners overlook Ozuna who is another young player with a lot of potential. He's gotten off to a scorching start with an OPS of .900 which includes a home run. I'm not sure why the Marlins are using him higher in the batting order, but I think it's only a matter of time before he hits behind or at least closer to Stanton. The only minor red flags are that it's a tough division to face starting pitching and his home ballpark doesn't exactly help hitters. Still, the Marlins should run him out there most of the time as they rebuild for the future.
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. Kevin Payne plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: Fanduel: kevinccp, Draft Kings: kevinccp, Fantasy Aces: kevinccp, Yahoo: kevinccp.