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RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship – Week 3

Week 2 RWBC Recap

It was another exciting week in FanDuel's RotoWire Baseball Championship as hundreds of subscribers squared off against RotoWire experts. Week 2 of the RWBC saw FanDuel user, fantasymennis, take home the $200 prize with a 66.00 point performance. Leading fantasymennis' squad were top positional performers Corey Kluber ($10,700 - 14 pts) and Stephen Vogt ($2,900 - 13.75 pts). And while I also rostered both of those players, the difference between fantasymennis' first-place finish and my middle-of-the-pack finish was his/her ability to spend the remaining salary wisely. Value picks such as Ike Davis ($2,700 - 7.5 pts), Danny Espinosa ($2,300 - 6.5 pts), and Khris Davis ($2,600 - 4.75 pts) helped seal the victory for fantasymennis in the second week of the RWBC.

Among the RotoWire experts, James Seltzer (schweppy23) finished in first place with 58.25 points. Strong performances from Corey Kluber ($10,700 - 14 pts) and Bryce Harper ($4,200 - 10.75 pts) helped, but the pick of Alex Rodriguez ($3,300 - 14.75 pts) - who was owned in just 3.3% of FanDuel teams worldwide - set his squad apart from the rest of the pack. Seltzer is one of two RotoWire 'perts who finished in the top-5 in both week 1 and week 2.

Below is the overall RotoWire top-10 standings through two weeks:

1. Paul Sporer (pjs24) - 114.50
2. James Seltzer (schweppy23) - 114.00
3. Tony Goldenstein (trookie83) - 111.25
4. Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) - 95.00
5. Adam Wolf (rotosomething) - 91.50
6. Ryan Rufe (rmrufe) - 89.00
7. Ed Kensick (chicagoed) - 82.75
8. Kevin Payne (kevinccp) - 82.50
9. Darin Brown (dabsabre) - 82.50
10. Kevin O'Brien (rotokob) - 76.75

See The Full Standings Here

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Strategy Tip

Along with the tools listed above, RotoWire subscribers get the benefit of seeing daily lineups all in one convenient location. This tool can be extremely useful when looking for value picks in daily fantasy leagues. Starting a backup catcher who is in the lineup when the starter is getting rest is a good way to fill the position with a minimum salary contract. This strategy also helps with identifying hot bench players who happen to be getting a spot start on a particular day (i.e. Alex Guerrero). Not to mention it is a great way to make sure one of your players isn't getting a day off.

Value Picks/Sleepers

(SP) Gerrit Cole: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

FanDuel Price: $8,700

Gerrit Cole's start to the 2015 season has flown under the radar; but with a 2-0 record, 2.65 ERA, and a 10.6 K/9 he has been a steady contributor in daily fantasy leagues. The only thing holding him back from being a top-tier arm (and having a top-tier price) is his inability to go deep into games. I see that changing Friday when Cole faces a Diamondbacks' lineup that will likely feature a couple of free-swingers (Mark Trumbo and Yasmany Tomas) who will help keep his pitch count down and his innings pitched up.

(C) Mike Zunino: Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Price: $2,500

Catchers are historically the weakest fantasy producers, which is why I generally do not break the bank for them in daily fantasy leagues or season-long leagues. That being said, I am taking a hard look at the bargain-priced Zunino. He has gotten off to a slow start in 2015 after finishing third among catchers in home runs (22) in 2014, which has caused him to be one of the cheapest starting catchers early in the year. But he appears to be heating up with two homers over his last four starts, and facing the homer-prone Phil Hughes (1.93 HR/9) has me rolling with Zunino in all of my daily lineups Friday.

(1B) Adrian Gonzalez: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres

FanDuel Price: $4,700

It's no secret that Gonzalez has been one of the most productive first baseman in baseball, and his price tag reiterates that sentiment. However, he is facing Padres' starter, Andrew Cashner, the same pitcher he took deep three times in one game a couple of weeks ago. That is what you call ownage. It would be unrealistic to expect another three-homer game this time around, but you have to believe that Gonzalez will be stepping into the batter's box oozing with confidence. Even if Cashner decides to nibble around Gonzalez, he should still get on base more times than not, making him a low-risk, high-upside option.

(OF) Gregory Polanco: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

FanDuel Price: $3,400

The talented youngster has been heating up at the dish, hitting .440 with a homer and three stolen bases over his last seven games. Scheduled starter Josh Collmenter is coming off of a complete game shutout against the Giants, but he generally pounds the strike zone and dares hitters to put the ball in play. With Polanco looking locked in at the dish, he is bound to have a successful day with the bat, or at least swipe a bag.

(OF) Lorenzo Cain: Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Price: $4,000

Cain has quietly been one of the best outfielders in fantasy this season. His high batting average (.377) coupled with his power (two home runs) and speed (five stolen bases) combo have made him a multi-category contributor. Cain gets to face left-hander Jose Quintana - who is coming off of a nine earned run disaster - and should fill up the stat sheet in more ways than one.

High Risk/High Reward

(SP) Felix Hernandez: Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners

FanDuel Price: $11,500

Many FanDuel contestants' eyes will light up when they see King Felix's tasty matchup against the Minnesota Twins, but he may not be as safe as a pick as you might think. Hernandez has been dealing with quadriceps tightness and the injury flared up in his last start against the Rangers. He still put together a strong start, but manager Lloyd McClendon said that he wanted to limit his ace to just six innings that game. Hernandez convinced his manager to let him go seven frames, but given that his quad tightened up during the start, McClendon may be less inclined to push his most valuable asset too hard this early in the season. Don't get me wrong, Hernandez could come out and shut down the Twins in dominating fashion, but his injury concerns make his premium price a little harder to swallow.

Steer Clear

(P) Jordan Zimmermann: Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins

FanDuel Price: $9,400

Something just doesn't seem right with the usually-reliable Zimmermann. His strikeouts are way down (4.3 K/9) and his walks are trending in the opposite direction (3.1 BB/9). His fastball velocity is a couple MPH down from last season, and he could be hiding an early-season injury. The matchup and name-value may look great on paper, but at that price, there are definitely better pitching options available Friday.