The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – September 22, 2017
September 21, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for September 22, 2017. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Doug Shain and I’ve been a part of The Fake Sports team for the last three years (NHL, NFL, MLB). I’ve been playing season long fantasy for over 25 years and DFS for the last 5 years. Besides being blessed with the job to write for this site, I’m pretty much just like the rest of you. I’m a teacher that likes to play DFS as a way to relax and maybe make some money along the way. I don’t really look at cash games and I’m not terribly interested in min-cashing a GPP. I want the big money. Because of this, I tend to have a high level of variance in my play. I know that I have to take some risks with my lineup in order to move up in a field of thousands of players.
Over the course of my time at the Fake Sports I’ve come be known as the HuLo guy. HuLo is a term I invented (fine, my dad came up with it) that means High Upside, Low Ownership. It’s similar in concept to a contrarian play. With the way that I play DFS, and the way that most of the general public plays DFS, we are going to have to find a few HuLo plays along the way to take down a GPP.
For this year’s version of this article I’m going to try to put a strong emphasis on some of the more overlooked plays of the day instead of just firing chalk at you. I want this article to give you a different perspective on your lineups instead of being a blueprint of how to make lineups (we’ve got Cheat Sheets for that). I’ll be sure to reference the chalkier plays each day but the main focus is going to lean heavily towards the HuLo end of the spectrum.
I’m a big proponent of playing short slates (Turbo/Late, etc.) and a lot of my HuLo picks are going to play really well on those types of slates. Make sure to keep that in mind when considering full slates and shorter ones.
One big thing to keep in mind with this refocused philosophy – HuLo plays are far from a sure thing so we are going to miss more than we hit, but when we do hit we should hit big. To be clear, I’m not advocating that you use a solely HuLo lineup. I’m merely giving you something more to think about; plays that can supplement the chalk that you are going to use in your lineups.
***Just wanted to throw it out there that I’m going to try to change the format up a little bit for the Longball for the time being. In theory, it will combine my favorite parts of the two formats I’ve used this year: a HuLo chart and then musings on how I construct my sample lineups. The lineups are still not optimal lineups, so don’t mistake them for that, but I think it’s important that you get a closer look into how we can use these HuLo plays to construct the lineups. So instead of spouting off stats that you can easily look up (and don’t worry, I won’t totally avoid stats) I’ll spend my time talking about how to best attack the slate using the HuLo picks. Any feedback is more than welcome.***
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@bankster17) to keep the conversation rolling. On to the picks!
|HuLo Pitchers||HuLo Stacks||Sample Lineups|
|Alex Cobb (TB/RHP) @ Baltimore Orioles: $7.5k DK/$7.3k FD||Milwaukee Brewers vs John Lackey (CHC/RHP)||Fanduel: Rich Hill ($9500), Stephen Vogt ($2100), Eric Thames ($3600), Brian Dozier ($3900), Eduardo Escobar ($2900), Jorge Polanco ($3500), Byron Buxton ($2900), Ryan Braun ($3800), Brett Phillips ($2500)|
|Michael Wacha (STL/RHP) @ Pittsburgh Pirates: $8.2k DK/$8.2k FD||Oakland Athletics vs Nick Martinez (TEX/RHP)||Draft Kings : Alex Cobb ($7500), Kyle Gibson ($8500), Jorge Alfaro ($3200), Rhys Hoskins ($5200), Cesar Hernandez ($3500), Maikel Franco ($3100), Marcus Semien ($4400), Aaron Altherr ($4600), Matt Olson ($5400), Matt Joyce ($4600)|
|Marco Estrada (TOR/RHP) vs New York Yankees: $7.1k DK/$7.7k FD||Seattle Mariners vs Trevor Bauer (CLE/RHP)||Fantasy Draft: Justin Verlander ($24400), Jon Gray ($17400), Robinson Cano ($8000), Kyle Seager ($7200), Ozzzie Albies ($6900), Nelson Cruz ($8000), Ben Gamel ($6300), Mitch Haniger ($7800), Jean Segura ($7600), Brandon Nimmo ($6400)|
|Chalk Pitchers: Justin Verlander, Jacob DeGrom, Zack Greinke, Rich Hill, Jon Gray, Kyle Gibson||Chalk Stacks: Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Philadelphia Phillies|
I’m a big proponent of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Twins ain’t broke by a long shot. They are crushing the ball right now and I’m going to keep riding them until they stop (and then probably some more). They hammer left-handed pitching and that’s exactly what they are going to be facing today. Daniel Norris isn’t terrible but he’s the definition of “meh.” Minnesota crushes “meh.” What I love most about using the Twins on FD, as opposed to DK, is that they are totally inexpensive so I’m not completely hamstrung by using them. Brian Dozier for under $4.0k? Seriously? He’s well over $5.0k on DK. That’s a huge disparity. Even wilder is Byron Buxton at $2.9k. I don’t know how he got mispriced so badly but that’s a huge value. While he can occasional bust out (3 or less FD points in his last four games), he has upside like few others in MLB right now (over 15 FD points in 40% of his last 25 games). For $2.9k, against a lefty, I’ll gladly shoot for that upside. Another team I had targeted today was the Brewers against John Lackey but I found that they just didn’t fit into any lineup I wanted on any of the three sites. I was happy to get a full stack here with Vogt, Thames, Braun, and Phillips. I would have preferred to get Domingo Santana and Neil Walker into my lineup but that wasn’t happening at the expense of Dozier and Buxton. Also, I wanted to make sure I had enough money for one of the stud pitchers on this slate. I knew I wouldn’t get all the way up to Verlander but settling in on Rich Hill was just fine for me. He isn’t throwing a ton of innings (when does he ever) but he’s been crazy efficient when he does pitch. Despite averaging less than six innings over his last three starts he’s still scoring 35 FD points per game over those starts. So yeah, he’s not going to get you a 5x return on his price but he could very easily get you to 4x (38 DK points). That’s enough to give you a bit of a run up a GPP leaderboard if your bats are clicking.
Well, we’ve finally gotten to the point where the A’s and Phillies are super expensive and relatively chalky. That’s what happens when Rhys Hoskins and Matt Olson have become the 2017 version of Sosa/McGwire (or the 2017 version of first half Judge/Bellinger/Gallo). Not only that, but the supporting cast hasn’t been too shabby either. Aaron Altherr, Jorge Alfaro, Marcus Semien, and Matt Joyce are all holding their own as well. It’s not surprising that all of their prices have risen over the last month or so. Today the Phillies fact a lefty and that’s like printing money lately. They even put up numbers against Clayton Kershaw, so Sean Newcomb (in a hitter’s ballpark) should be no issue. Nick Martinez isn’t any great shakes either so I expect the A’s to put up big numbers as well. I decided to go with five Phillies and three A’s but I could have easily used Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis instead of a couple of the Phillies bats. There’s a lot to like there. Stacking these two teams didn’t leave me with too much cap space left over but there was enough for a couple of guys in the mid-tier that caught my eye. Alex Cobb isn’t someone that will immediately jump in your head but he’s been half decent over his last six starts. In that time he’s got a 2.51 ERA and a 9.5 K/9. That’s worth $7.5k, right? I know that the Orioles present a challenge but I’ll take that chance based on his recent history (including a 7IP/1ER/6K game against BAL on July 26). For my SP1 I’m going to go with Kyle Gibson purely because the Tigers are pretty much toast at this point. He’s only given up more than 3 ER one time over his last ten games, and his 17.3 DK points per game over that time frame is at least a decent enough number to not crush your GPP lineup. We’ve seen what his upside can be (24+ DK points in three of his last five starts) so we know he’s got GPP winning potential (3x on $8.5k is really good on DK). At the very least, this lineup should be a lot of fun and the upside is off the charts with the way our two stacks are playing.
I’ve never stacked six players from one team before but as we know, I like to get a little crazy on Fantasy Draft. Trevor Bauer has been pitching well but he was kind of shaky in his last start. A road game in Seattle is not one where I’d want to throw out a shaky pitcher. The Mariners shouldn’t be highly owned, and they’ve got the type of power than can lead to a 5 HR game pretty quickly. I really like the idea of adding Ben Gamel into this stack since he hits RHP really well and won’t cost you anything in salary. What excites me most about this stack is that it allowed me to use my two favorite pitchers on today’s slate: Justin Verlander and Jon Gray. They are the two guys who I think legitimately can get us a combined 20 strikeouts given their matchup and recent history. If that happens, this could crush a GPP. I know that we’ve struggled recently when we’ve stacked two top pitchers with some value plays but today is different. Seattle is far from a bottom of the barrel team and getting all those guys in one stack means that if they crush, you win. Ozzie Albies and Brandon Nimmo aren’t household names but they playing time in prime lineup positions and both have reasonable matchups today. I’m quite happy using them for a combined $13.3k.
Come play me in a free game over at Fantasy Draft for bragging rights.
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17.