DFS Primer: To Harper, Or Not To Harper?
March 30, 2016 | Jason Bales
Check out the Mock Draft Simulator and draft to your heart’s content!
Welcome to Spring Training, rookie! This article is intended for novice daily fantasy baseball players. If this does not describe you, this article will probably not be very useful. The information presented throughout this series may be rather obvious for the experienced fantasy player, but, again, this is not the target audience. If you are experienced, feel free to read through this article as a refresher prior to that start of the season, or to hear some opposing opinions regarding previously held game strategy. Now, let’s get you in shape for this fantasy season!
Now that we’ve covered the ‘Importance of Pitching,’ it is time to move on to the hitters. Everyone is always obsessing over Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Paul Goldschmidt, and rightfully so. They are great baseball players, but do they really deserve all the attention that they get in daily fantasy baseball? Is it really all that important to make sure that Bryce Harper is in your lineup? Today, we are going to tackle that question.
Should you focus on the ‘stud’ hitters?
Finding a stud hitter at a value price is a no-brainer, but do not overpay for someone like Bryce Harper. DraftKings definitely messed up his price for (fantasy) opening day, as he is less expensive than Chris Davis, Hunger Pence, Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones, Mookie Betts, and Denard Span. That is a little bit ridiculous, and in that specific case, play Harper. However, when his price starts to skyrocket because he is hitting a home run every game and stealing bases when he doesn’t, it isn’t essential to get him into your lineup. For example, if the difference between Bryce Harper and the random left fielder from the Cincinnati Reds’ stack is the difference between having Madison Bumgarner and Jeremy Hellickson on the mound, Bumgarner and the Reds’ left fielder, who happens to be Adam Duvall, gets the edge. As we previously mentioned, pitchers are a lot more consistent than hitters are. While it isn’t just as likely that Harper goes 0-for-4, it is a lot less likely that Hellickson out pitches Bumgarner. All in all, spend more money on pitchers and less on hitters.
Again, I’ll say that I would much rather pay up for a stud pitcher over a stud hitter. If I get the pitcher(s) I want and a stud hitter can also fit in my lineup, then that’s a bonus. As an example, Paul Goldschmidt is prone to going 0-for-4 just like anyone else. For that reason, start by building around stud pitchers and go from there.
I need a bit of context because I would base my team around different players based on different situations. If there are two value pitchers that I love, I have no problems paying up for players like Bryce Harper. If there aren’t value pitchers that I’m going to be using, I’ll be paying up for pitching and limiting the amount of money I spend of hitters. Overall, I tend to use a lot of minimum priced hitters that are hitting high in a lineup so I can fit the stud pitchers in, but I wouldn’t say that I’m completely against paying up for stud hitters. If I had to pick one or the other, I will pay up for my pitchers over my hitters.