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.
- Chris Olson (christop) - 300
- Aaron Quinn (aaronq) - 280
- Paul Bruno (paulyb22) - 274
- Chris Benzine (crispy272001) - 266
- Kevin O'Brien (rotokob) - 265
- Ken Crites (kencrw) - 261
- James Anderson (realjranderson) - 254
- Kevin Payne (kevinccp) - 253
- AJ Scholz (bcswimmer10) - 252
- 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.
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.
SPFelix 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.
2BBrian 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.
OFSteven 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
1BPaul 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.
SPMatt 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