RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Baseball Championship – Week 9

It’s 2015 and this is my first foray into daily fantasy sports. As I pore over the leaderboard, I currently rank 31 out of 50, ahead of several guys that know more about this stuff than I do, and I’m sure behind some that know less.

Here are the overall standings through the first eight weeks:

1. Paul Sporer (pjs24) – 337.33
2. Ryan Rufe (rmrufe) – 316.66
3. Scott Jenstad (OaktownSJ) – 314.15
4. Tony Goldenstein (trookie83) – 304
5. Chris Liss (cliss11) – 294.66
6. Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) – 281.24
7. James Anderson (realjranderson) – 279.4
8. Kevin Payne (kevinccp) – 278.57
9. Adam Wolf (rotosomething) – 277.24
10. Brett Goldhammer (bretskyball) – 275.57
31. David Regan (vtadave) – 244.99

See The Full Standings Here

Helpful Contest Links

Hey, I can make up 92+ points in the five remaining contest weeks, right?

Things actually started fairly well, as I sat in 9th place through four weeks, even finishing 7th out of 544 entries one week to pocketed a cool $40. Then in week five, I posted a whopping total of nine points. Seven via Matt Harvey ($10,700) who lost to the Phillies that day, and two points for the entirety of my “offense”. I’ve then tried several strategies, including going with Paul Goldschmidt ($5,500) and Bryce Harper ($5,700) in the same lineup. That didn’t work. I’ve tried the balanced approach where I went with no guys above $4,000 and spread the wealth.

Nope, no dice.

Week 9 Value Picks

Charlie Morton ($6,900) Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves
Sure, it may blow up on him at any moment, but I’m saving $2,200 off Friday’s highest-priced pitcher, Carlos Martinez ($9,100), and I’m pretty comfortable with the Braves as Morton’s opponent. Morton has a 1.93 ERA through his first two starts, and though he’s fanned just five in 14 innings, it’s far too early to conclude that his strikeout rate has collapsed. With Andrew McCutchen’s bat having heated up, I don’t think runs will be an issue for the Pirates versus inexperienced rookie Williams Perez.

Evan Gattis ($4,100) Houston Astros vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Yeah, it’s not a cheap salary, but I am still going with Gattis in a few contests Friday. First, he’s facing Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez, who has allowed seven home runs in 58 innings on the year. Even with Sanchez showing some improvement lately with three consecutive quality starts, he’s still allowed a homer in each of the three. Second, Gattis already has 12 home runs, with 10 of those coming from May 1 on. No, he won’t get you any SB points, but what catchers do?  I have no idea whether Gattis will hit a home run Friday, but he’s a better bet than most to do so.

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Avoid

Scott Kazmir ($8,600) Oakland A’s vs. Boston Red Sox
Kazmir has been solid overall this year with a 2.93 ERA and 8.8 K/9, but his control has taken a big step back from last year given his 3.9 BB/9 (2.4 in 2014).  Even worse, he was forced to exit his last start after just three innings due to a sore shoulder. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but I’m not spending this type of money on his first start back to find out whether he’s truly 100%. While it’s true that the Red Sox have been far from an offensive juggernaut this year, I’d rather see Kazmir get through a start or two pain-free before using him.