The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – April 17, 2017 April 16, 2017  |  Doug Shain

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Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for April 17, 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.

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.

Feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@bankster17) to keep the conversation rolling. On to the picks!

***These plays are NOT ranked in order of preference***


HuLo PitchersHuLo StacksSample Lineups
Ivan Nova (PIT/RHP) @ St Louis Cardinals: $7.5k DK/$7.3k FDPittsburgh Pirates @ Lance Lynn (STL/RHP)Fanduel: Robbie Ray ($8000), JT Realmuto ($2400), Paul Goldschmidt ($4200), Josh Harrison ($3000), Jake Lamb ($3700), Adam Frazier ($2100), Giancarlo Stanton ($4100), Michael Brantley ($3700), Starling Marte ($3800)
Derek Holland (CWS/LHP) @ New York Yankees: $5.7k DK/$6.8k FDMinnesota Twins vs Danny Salazar (CLE/RHP)Draft Kings: Ivan Nova ($7500), John Lackey ($10200), JT Realmuto ($3400), Anthony Rizzo ($5300), Dee Gordon ($4000), Kris Bryant ($5000), Jordy Mercer ($3000), Giancarlo Stanton ($4400), Marcell Ozuna ($3500), Nick Markakis ($3600)
Jharel Cotton (OAK/RHP) vs Texas Rangers: $8.2k DK/$7.0k FDMiami Marlins @ Ariel Miranda (SEA/LHP)Fantasy Draft: Robbie Ray ($18800), Derek Holland ($11200), Anthony Rizzo ($10400), Kris Bryant ($9900), Brian Dozier ($9600), Starling Marte ($9000), Giancarlo Stanton ($8700), Max Kepler ($7800), Marcell Ozuna ($6800), Dee Gordon ($7800)
Chalk Pitchers: Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, Arizona DiamondbacksChalk Stacks: Danny Salazar, John Lackey, Robbie Ray


Ivan Nova (PIT/RHP): Nova’s numbers would look a lot more impressive if he has recorded more than 1K in his last start. He only gave up 3ER in 6 innings pitched and didn’t walk anyone. He got BABIP’d to death (8 hits in those 6 IP) but that’s not going to happen regularly to him. I think he’s a lot closer to the pitcher we saw in his first start of the year (6IP/4K/0ER) than the guy we saw in his last start. I actually love that Nova hasn’t walked a batter at all yet this year. The Cardinals have the fourth worst batting average and have a 27% K-rate against RHP this year. As a matter of fact, the only thing they have done well against righties is draw those walks but that shouldn’t be an issue with the new found control we are seeing from Nova. I wouldn’t except to see a 0 run effort today but a line of 6IP/6K/2ER (Sunday afternoon Dylan Bundy numbers) is very much in play. I also expect PIT to provide Nova with some run support (see below) so a win is not out of the question. At his price, that’d be outstanding.

Derek Holland (CWS/LHP): Remember back between 2011 and 2013 when Derek Holland was a pretty good pitcher? Don’t tell anyone but it would appear that he’s approaching that level of play once again. Over his two starts this year Holland has managed to average 6IP/4.5K/1ER per start. That doesn’t seem great until you look at his price ($5.7k on DK and $6.8k on FD!?!?) and realize that he’s crushing that number. His opponents today, the Yankees, have looked great all season but that’s really only been against RHP. They are the worst team in baseball against LHP with a .148 BA, .204 SLG, and only 1 HR in 54 AB. I know that the sample size is small but those numbers a pathetic. I think it’s very realistic to think that Holland can put up similar numbers to his season average today in the Bronx. Pair him with Nova and you can load up on bats, or use him as salary relief when you roster Lackey as your SP1.

Jharel Cotton (OAK/RHP): Apparently Cotton has one of the better changeups in baseball. That changeup lead him to a great start his last time out against the Royals (7IP/6K/0ER). The biggest issue I can see with Cotton today is that his price tag is pretty high relative to his peer. That will only serve to keep his ownership down, which makes him a perfect HuLo play. The Rangers hit a lot of HR against RHP (their total of 14 is third in baseball) but otherwise they are fairly mediocre against righties. They’ve got a .231 BA with a 25% K-rate, neither of which should instill fear in Cotton owners. If Cotton can keep is ground ball to fly ball ration in check, something he’s struggled with so far this year, then he should be in line for a pretty good start and a shot at a win (facing AJ Griffin and his 6.75 ERA).




Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have been pathetic against LHP this year but they have been a top 10 offense against RHP on the season. They are batting .261 with a paltry 17.2% K-rate. This means that they are putting the ball in play and when the ball is in play, good things happen. Jordy Mercer, Starling Marte, and Josh Harrison have all had successful careers against Lance Lynn (.371 BA with 8 XBH in 62 combined AB) and they’ll be way under the radar tonight with so many big boy stacks out there to use. I’ll probably look Adam Frazier or Andrew McCutchen to complete my stack. I may end up using both of those guys and passing on Josh Harrison depending on how the lineup shakes out.

Minnesota Twins: Yes, I’m a BvP junkie. I totally admit it. BvP isn’t the end all be all but it does have a ton of value and influences a lot of the decisions I make when coming up with a GPP lineup. Today’s recommendation of the Twins is a total BvP play. Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer, and Max Kepler have terrorized Danny Salazar in their careers to the tune of .458 BA with 5 HR in only 48 combined AB. That number of AB isn’t the most reliable sample size but it’s enough to see a trend with those batters. It helps that Salazar is struggling this year as well with a 4.63 ERA and 6 BB in only 11.2 inning of work. Yes, he’s struck out 20 batters in those 11.2 innings but that doesn’t really matter to me if MIN can get to him for 4+ runs while he’s in the game; let them strike out 15 times for all I care. Nobody is using the Twins today so if they do get to those four runs, you’re going to shoot up GPP leaderboards.

Miami Marlins: The combination of Marcel Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton are on fire so far this year, combining for 8 HR and 25 RBI in only 11 games played. Today they get to face Ariel Miranda, a lefty with a 5.06 ERA and 3 HR allowed on the season. His ground ball to fly ball rate is 13:12 and he’s walked 5 batters in his 10.2 innings of work. This tells me that if the ball is going to leave the park, there’s a good chance it’s going to be for multiple runs. This twosome could provide more than enough firepower to make this stack work, but I’m going to go even deeper with JT Realmuto and Dee Gordon to really add up the runs (because if someone is going to be on base for Stanton/Ozuna it’s likely to be those two guys, each of whom is hitting well above .300 for the season). I really love this stack tonight because I think it’s going to be very overlooked with it being a west coast road game for a traditionally weak offensive team.




Other names to consider:

Matt Joyce (OAK/OF): Joyce isn’t even guaranteed to start today but if he does he’s a guy to consider if you’re looking for an OF punt. In his career has only has 2 hits in 7 AB against AJ Griffin but both of those hits have been home runs. He was in the leadoff for Oakland on Saturday and if he’s back in that top spot again today then he’s an immense value.

Nick Markakis (ATL/OF): There’s only been one game so far this year where Markakis went hitless. He’s been a surprisingly reliable source of fantasy points at a really low price all year and he should be good to go again tonight against Jered Weaver (.290 BA/.829 OPS with 2 HR in 31 career AB).

Charlie Morton (HOU/RHP): Morton hasn’t set the world on fire but at his low price he doesn’t need to. The Astros coaching staff is high on Morton this year and he looked pretty good in the preseason. The Angels hit RHP pretty well but they’re not an offense to fear outside of Mike Trout. I think we can see Morton put up a stat line that equals his season’s best (6IP/6K/2ER). If he’s able to do that then you’ve got yourself a great SP2 option on DK or Fantasy Draft that will easily hit value.


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.



One Response

  1. Heath Capps says:

    Love these articles. I like Miami too…I’m thinking Ozuna will be pretty popular on FD where he’s cheaper than Stanton and a known lefty-masher. Realmuto will be too at his super-low price point (2400!!!). Do you think my Braves are popular against Weaver? I know Freeman will be but I can’t see people falling over themselves to do a full stack with guys like Inciarte/Swanson/Markakis.

    I dig the MIN call at home vs a RHP and with BvP on their side.

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