The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – April 19, 2017 April 18, 2017  |  Doug Shain

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Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for April 19, 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
Amir Garrett (CIN/LHP) vs Baltimore Orioles: $4.8k DK/$7.6k FDCincinnati Reds vs Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL/RHP)Fanduel: Vincent Velasquez ($7800), Salvador Perez ($2600), Joey Votto ($3800), Brad Miller ($2900), Justin Turner ($3900), Francisco Lindor ($4100), Yasiel Puig ($3400), Adam Duvall ($3200), Jose Bautista ($3300)
Vincent Velasquez (PHI/RHP) @ New York Mets: $9.4k DK/$7.8k FDAtlanta Braves vs Joe Ross (WSH/RHP)Draft Kings: Chris Archer ($9700), Dallas Keuchel ($9900), Salvador Perez ($3000), Freddie Freeman ($4600), Brad Miller ($3600), Justin Turner ($3500), Kike Hernandez ($3000), Kevin Kiermaier ($3400), Adam Duvvall ($4200), Bryce Harper ($4900)
Jason Vargas (KC/LHP) vs San Francisco Giants: $5.3k DK/$8.2k FDTampa Bay Rays vs Jordan Zimmermann (DET/RHP)Fantasy Draft: Clayton Kershaw ($26700), Jason Vargas ($10400), Joey Votto ($9900), Freddie Freeman ($8800), Justin Turner ($6800), Kevin Kiermaier ($6800), Adam Duvall ($8100), Nick Markakis ($6800), Logan Morrison ($6300), Mookie Betts ($9300)
Chalk Pitchers: Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Archer, Dallas Keuchel, Madison Bumgarner, Clayton KershawChalk Stacks: Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks


Amir Garrett (CIN/LHP): I don’t normally love using LHP against the Orioles but this game is being played in a National League park so Garrett will have one less “real” bat to worry about in this lineup. Still, he has to navigate through Mark Trumbo, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado but if he is able to do so (as he has done in his first two starts this year) then you’ve got a guy that can bring a huge return on his minimal salary. His walk rate is very promising (only 2 BB in 12.2 IP) and the fact that a guy this cheap is averaging 6.1IP/4.5K/1ER per start this year is outstanding. I love him as an SP2 on DK and Fantasy Draft, as he will allow you to grab Kershaw, Bumgarner, Archer, or Keuchel without sacrificing any bats in the process.

Vincent Velasquez (PHI/RHP): There is no team in the majors right now with a worse batting average against RHP than the New York Mets (.197 BA). They have a 27.7% K-rate against RHP this year, which is a pretty high number. Velasquez is a strikeout pitcher that has handled the Mets really well in his limited work against them. The current Mets roster has a combined .230 BA with a 37.7% K-rate against Velasquez in 61 at bats. We know that he’s going to give up some runs but those runs won’t hurt as bad if he’s going to give us 10K upside. In his last start against the Mets he struggled a bit with 5 earned runs and 4 walks in 5 innings but he also struck out 7 batters in those 5 innings. If Velasquez can control his walks then he’s going to have a lot more success. I’m not sure I want to pay up for him on DK where those walks will count against your score but he’s priced very well on FD, a site that doesn’t penalize you for those negative stats. On a night were the aces are out, he’s a HuLo play with a lot of Hu (high upside).

Jason Vargas (KC/LHP): Is Jason Vargas actually becoming a halfway decent pitcher? He’s crushed it in his first two starts this year with a total of 13.2IP/14K/1ER (and a very respectable 2:1 ground ball to fly ball ratio; only 2 total walks allowed). If Vargas is keeping runners of base from walks, keeping the ball on the ground, and finding an ability to strike people out then I see no reason not to use them against the Giants today. San Francisco is only hitting .222 against LHP this year, although they don’t strike out a ton (23.5% K-rate). Still, at $5.3k on Draft Kings, you can’t really be upset if he only gives you an outing of 5IP/5K/2ER. He’s another option you can use in a pairing with one of the higher priced pitchers if you’re more comfortable with him over Garrett.




Cincinnati Reds: Do you ever need more of a reason to stack against Ubaldo Jimenez other than saying “um, it’s Ubaldo Jimenez”? Fine, here’s goes. First of all, Ubaldo has been terrible this year. He’s given up 5 earned runs in each of his first two starts, he’s given up 3 HR in only 8.2 innings pitched (3.11 HR/9), and he’s got a 1:1 gound ball to fly ball ratio. That’s a very bad combination against a hot hitting Reds team that can get you in so many ways. I love the top of this order with Billy Hamilton, Jose Peraza, Joey Votto, and Adam Duvall. They hit well at home and their speed/power combination is lethal. I see no reason to think that Ubaldo is all of the sudden going to turn things around in this start. There are many stacks with bigger names today so ownership shouldn’t be a problem in this one either.

Atlanta Braves: Nobody ever thinks to stack the Braves but they are doing some work so far this year. Freddie Freeman has found his home run stroke and Nick Markakis is playing like the guy we saw in Baltimore early on in his career. Ender Inciarte shouldn’t be overlooked either as he’s on base all the time (.356 OBP over his last ten games) and crossing home plate often (7 runs scored over those same ten games). What’s been a shock for him, and something that won’t be sustainable, is his home run output; he’s hit 4 HR in the last week and a half. Atlanta is near the top of the league with a .265 BA and .437 SLG against RHP on the season. If I wanted to make my stack a foursome I’ll add in Dansby Sawnson to keep the top of the order in place for my stack.

Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays make their living by hitting the ball out of the ballpark (ninth in the league with 16 total HR entering Tuesday night). Jordan Zimmermann can’t keep the ball on the ground (7:16 ground ball to fly ball ratio, which is BAD). That’s a lethal combination that plays very much in the favor of Tampa Bay. Zimmermann has only given up 1 HR this year so far but if his opponents keep up that fly ball ratio, they’ve eventually going to fly out of the park. Add in the fact that he’s got a 1:1 K to BB ratio and those fly balls are going to end up being for multiple runs with all those guys on base. This sets up to be a potentially big day for guys like Brad Miller, Kevin Kiermaier, Logan Morrison, and Corey Dickerson. Depending on how the lineup actually shakes out you might find that Evan Longoria and/or Steven Souza make some sense as well in this this stack.  I really like TB tonight.



Other names to consider:

Jose Bautista (TOR/OF): In about one minute I’m going to recommend Rick Porcello as a name to consider but if you don’t think he’s in line for a good game, then the BvP suggests that today could be a breakout game for Joey Bats. In 38 career AB against Porcello, the Blue Jays slugger has a .421 BA and 4 HR.

Michael Conforto (NYM/OF): In only 7 career AB against Vincent Velasquez, Conforto has already hit 2 HR and manage 4 total hits (.571 BA). If he’s in the lineup for the Mets and you’re not using Vinnie K (I call him Vinnie K) then Conforto is definitely an under the radar guy you can look to for some HuLo power.

Rick Porcello (BOS/RHP): There are two reasons that Porcello is a name to consider tonight: Toronto is really bad (.199 BA, 4 HR, 26.5% K-rate against RHP) and he’s only a slight Vegas favorite (potentially lowering his ownership). Porcello has struggled a lot coming off his Cy Young season last year (7.56 ERA, 5 HR allowed in three starts) but if there’s any team he can turn it around against it’s this soft Blue Jays offense.


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.





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