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DFS Baseball 101: Value Hitters for August

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. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.

Last month, I wrote an article on value hitters for FanDuel and some of the names ending up paying off in a huge way. Players like Sandy Leon, Jett Bandy, Ryan Schimpf, Travis Jankowski and Matt Szczur crushed value in July and are still doing it in August.

The key to daily fantasy baseball, much like your waiver wire in season long, is keeping a finger on the pulse of the players inheriting playing time and capitalizing on it. You have to know when to jump on and when to jump off a player. Sometimes it might be for only two weeks, and other times it might be two months, or even the whole season. I've made a killing on Eduardo Nunez, Jose Ramirez, Tyler Naquin, Adam Duvall, Hernan Perez, Matt Shoemaker, Rick Porcello, Junior Guerra, Robbie Ray and Jon Gray because I was tracking them first in daily.

Data provided by DFS On Demand.

Aaron Altherr, OF – Phillies (called up July 28 $2,000; current salary $2,900)

Altherr was set to be the starting RF for the Phillies until he suffered an injury that set him back until now. Recently called up, he has been on fire, justifying his spring-training hype. The Phils started him in the five hole but immediately moved him to hit second and third. Altherr is averaging 12.9 FanDuel points overall, but much like the players from last month, we have huge value in a split. He crushes left-handers to the tune of 17.8 FanDuel points per game.

Keon Broxton, OF – Brewers (called up July 26 $2,100; current salary $3,100)

Broxton has already put up 11 double-digit games in just three weeks. His numbers against left-handed pitching are through the roof (21.7 PPG) versus his overall numbers of 12.6 PPG over the last 30 days. He has 15 stolen bases in just 143 at-bats, which is a huge part of his success. Be careful of Broxton, however, because his strikeout rate is 30 percent in the last month, so we could see some regression. But he contributes in a lot of categories, making him a great DFS play.

Tyler Collins, OF – Tigers (July 26 $2,200; current salary $2,300)

Collins started to get regular playing time about three weeks ago, but is mostly a tournament-only play. He kills right-handed pitching at a clip of 11.2 PPG in the last month. For whatever reason the FanDuel salary algorithm has not increased his salary, so continue to take advantage of Collins' value, especially if he is hitting second in the batting order.

Gary Sanchez, C – Yankees (called up Aug. 3 $2,000; current salary $2,700)

It seems like we have heard the name Gary Sanchez for years, and it is because we have. The Yankees signed him as a 16-year old and he has made his way up the system one level at a time per season. While it may seem like the development took longer than expected, remember he has been blocked by Brian McCann and no DH spot was open, until the recent ARod "retirement." Sanchez is hitting .340 with four home runs in just 49 plate appearances. His ISO is a whopping .319, and with eligibility at catcher, he provides tremendous value at his rock-bottom price.

Eddie Rosario, OF – Twins (recalled July 3 $2,000; current salary $2,800)

I've been critical of the Twins' handling of hitting prospects, and Rosario is yet another who has been productive in the majors but, for some reason, was given up on by the Twins. Well, he was recalled on July 3 and has hit .326 with five home runs, 18 runs batted in and .217 ISO. His FanDuel salary peaked at $3,300 on Aug. 10, but for the most part he has stayed in the mid $2,000s. Another example of a player where you can take advantage of a "glitch" in the FanDuel salary algorithm that seems to be very slow to adjust on midseason callups.

Andrew Benintendi, OF – Red Sox (called up Aug. 2 $2,000; current salary $2,800)

The Red Sox pulled the trigger on Benintendi about a month earlier than expected. The downside to Benintendi is that he is hitting ninth because the Red Sox lineup is so loaded. But he was the best hitter in college last year and moved up the minor league system very fast. His value is probably more of taking him in a stack where you wrap him around the 1-2-3 hitters.

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. Michael Rathburn plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: burnnotice, DraftKings: burnnotice, Yahoo: burnnotice, Fantasy Aces: burnnotice, FantasyDraft: burnnotice.