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RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship – Week 8

Week 7 RWBC Recap

The Week 7 action in our ongoing FanDuel event featured a Gerrit Cole-led attack complemented by homers off the bats of Evan Longoria, Steven Souza and Ryan Braun, with those big performances leading FanDuel user milbestdrnkr to 66.58 points and a $200 prize. Now, here's my question about milbestdrnkr: Does his name mean "Milwaukee's Best drinker" — an imbiber of that college-famous brew we affectionately called 'Beast' — or "Milwaukee's best drinker" — the finest, most capable drinker in the city of Milwaukee? 

Either way, his pitcher scored more points last Friday than my entire team, so he should probably be the one writing this article. Indeed, yours truly has been the single worst RotoWire expert so far, receiving consistently poor performances from any player unlucky enough to be selected by me. But hey, you gotta own it, and I look at it this way: I'm due. And I really like my lineup for this week. This week is the week, I'm telling you.

Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum is Paul Sporer, our new leader among RotoWirers, who placed third this week, less than seven points behind Week 7's top expert scorer, Jason Brown (55.50). Jason didn't overlap with Drinker at all, as he got his pionts from some unlikely sources: Alfredo Simon, Brandon Belt, DJ LeMahieu and Chris Colabello. Talk about hitting on your value plays. The big week moved him well within striking distance of the top 10, as he's now 11th overall.

Updated RotoWire expert top-10 standings:

1. Paul Sporer (pjs24) — 289.08
2. Ryan Rufe (rmrufe) — 278.16
3. Tony Goldenstein (trookie83) — 269.00
4. James Seltzer (schweppy23) — 261.24
5. Chris Liss (cliss11) — 260.91
6. Scott Jenstad (OaktownSJ) — 259.65
7. Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) — 258.74
8. Ed Kensik (chicagoed) — 254.00
9. Joel Bartilotta (joelbartilotta) — 251.41
10. Kevin Payne (kevinccp) — 248.82

See The Full Standings Here

Strategy Tip

FanDuel can be a bit slow with giving credit to certain types of players, which can create a lot of opportunity. It seems like there's a distinct human element to the pricing, as players without hype (particularly hitters) tend to see their prices stay low even while they're putting up the best numbers at their position. Meanwhile, established stars can see their prices stay high even when there's no good reason for it. As a for-instance, Troy Tulowitzki, who hasn't homered in more than a month, has only one multi-hit game in his last 13, and is on the road, is the highest-priced shortstop Friday ... against Cole Hamels. In short, don't pay for names; pay for skill sets, matchups and ballparks.

Value Picks/Sleepers

SP Lance McCullers: Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox

FanDuel Price: $5,400

Despite having delivered a pair of credible outings with plenty of upside on display to start his MLB career, McCullers gets no love from the FanDuel price-setters, as he's the cheapest pitcher Friday — below such luminaries as Chris Capuano and unspectacular knuckleballer Steven Wright. But there's a ton to love here for DFS players. After all, he's facing the fourth-place White Sox, who have exceeded three runs in a game exactly one time in their last 12 contests and are dead last in the American League in offense. And McCullers is the kind of hard-throwing, bat-missing young arm who can give their underperforming lineup fits.

SS Brandon Crawford: San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves

FanDuel Price: $2,900

For the seventh-highest price (a full thousand cheaper than the aforementioned Tulo), you can get this year's top fantasy shortstop, bar none, and you can have him in a home game against a rookie pitcher, Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz, who has some strikeout ability, but also has a ways to go before establishing himself as a reliable big-league starter. Crawford was considered a glove-first shortstop with a bit of pop entering the year, but he's actually developed into a well-rounded hitter, and he's coming off a fine effort on Thursday, having gone 2-for-4 with an RBI double.

OFMookie Betts: Boston Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers

FanDuel Price: $3,000

Betts has lost a lot of his preseason and early-season love thanks to his struggles hitting for average this year, not to mention the evaporation of his power after an early surge. But he's still got a premium position in the Boston lineup, hitting second, and he's been coming on of late — over the last four games, Betts has gone 7-for-16 (.500) with a double, a triple and a steal. It helps, too, that the Sox are down in hitter-friendly Texas, facing the fairly hitter-friendly Yovani Gallardo. Get on him now before the price goes back up.

High Risk/High Reward

3B Josh Donaldson: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins

FanDuel Price: $4,800

Donaldson has been on a mission to mash opposing pitching this year, most recently having annihilated White Sox pitches for seven hits (including four homers) in this week's three-game set. Now, the man who's been one of the game's best hitters faces 25-year-old Trevor May; the 25-year-old righty's game is coming around, but he still owns a 4.95 ERA on the season. And frankly, there just aren't a lot of pitchers who are getting Donaldson out consistently these days. Under the category of "for what it's worth," Donaldson's 2-for-2 with a double off May.

Steer Clear

SS Troy Tulowitzki: Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies

FanDuel Price: $3,900

I went into this a bit earlier, but there's really no reason to roll Tulo out even at this mildly discounted, but still aggressive price. He's slumping, he's away from hitter-friendly Coors, the Colorado lineup as a whole isn't hitting well, and he's 2-for-12 in his career against Hamels. Nothing in this formula adds up to an expectation of great success for the game's most offensively gifted shortstop on Friday; I fully believe that he'll come out of these early-season struggles, especially as the weather improves in Colorado, but this most likely isn't going to be the day, so stay away.

You can praise or trash me on Twitter: @akfiorentino