The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – August 31, 2017
August 30, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for August 31, 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!
Fanduel: CC Sabathia ($6700), Gary Sanchez ($3700), Jesus Aguilar ($2500), Daniel Murphy ($3500), Anthony Rendon ($3600), Trea Turner ($4000), Giancarlo Stanton ($5200), Domingo Santana ($3400), Pedro Florimon ($2400)
DraftKings: CC Sabathia ($7300), Kyle Hendricks ($10800), Jorge Alfaro ($3000), Jesus Aguilar ($3600), Jonathan Villar ($3500), Manny Machado ($5500), Javier Baez ($3400), Domingo Santana ($3600), Denard Span ($3500), Giancarlo Stanton ($5800)
Wow, this is not what I’d call a strong slate. This is the first slate in a long time where I just couldn’t bring myself to go with a full stack anywhere. I feel like this is the type of slate where we need to pick and choose some anchors for our lineups and then build around those guys. My anchors today are CC Sabathia, Giancarlo Stanton, Jesus Aguilar, and Domingo Santana. After that, I feel like there are a ton of different directions you can go to lock down a decent lineup. Baltimore is interesting, as are the Cubs, Yankees, and Nationals. The Phillies are always a team where we can extract some value as well if we are willing to overlook Rhys Hoskins and build around other players there. Let’s see how things turned out.
I love Sabathia at pitcher today. He’s been a little up and down all year but the one area where he’s been totally consistent is against the Red Sox. In three starts against Boston he’s pitched 20 innings with 12 K and only 2 ER. I’d love to see more strikeouts but at his lower end price I can deal with a more conservative approach. He’s a much better pitcher on the road this year (2.81 ERA with 6 HR allowed in 64 innings vs 5.08 ERA with 9 HR allowed in 51.1 innings) but I’m going to look at the three solid starts against Boston and use those to override my concerns with Sabathia pitching at Yankee Stadium. I don’t expect a complete game shutout our anything but a 6IP/5K/2ER type of game is in play. If he can get a win (and QS) out of that, then he’s going to keep you in the game. You’re not using Sabathia to win you a GPP on your own; he’s there to provide a nice base and allow you to load up with your bats. I think the Boston matchup is going to scare some people off so we should be able to get Sabathia at a relatively low ownership.
I feel pretty confident that Madison Bumgarner, Gio Gonzalez, and Michael Wacha are our chalk pitchers for the day (with maybe some people feeling a little Jeremy Hellickson love as well). I’m not interested in any of those guys, although I could be convinced to pay up for MadBum if I had a value stack that I really liked. As you see in my sample lineups, I like the idea of using some Brewers bats against Gio rather than jumping on the chalky bandwagon. I wanted to make sure I had at least some double whammy exposure in my lineup. The other pitcher that I like today, outside of Sabathia, is Kyle Hendricks. He’s got a good matchup against the Braves, and although they don’t strike out a ton I do think a 6IP/5K line is well within reach. Hendricks has hit those number, or bested them, in three straight starts. He’s not the guy we saw last year but he’s better than the guy we saw earlier this year. I prefer to spend down on my one pitcher on FD, so Hendricks is mostly in play for me on DK. I’m not in love with any other pitchers so I’m sticking to my two guys.
As for the bats, my main focus is making sure I get Giancarlo Stanton on my team along with Jesus Aguilar and Domingo Santana. I can’t do too much else with Miami because guys like Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich are a bit too expensive, but I at least want to make sure I get Stanton’s ridiculous upside on my team no matter the cost. Using the Brewers duo not only gets me the double whammy upside I’m looking for, but it also gives me a couple of inexpensive plays to allow me to not punt any other positions too badly. On my DK lineup I added in Jonathan Villar, as he was a decent value and gives me just that much more oomph to my Brewers plays since he’s been hitting well.
As I said with the Phillies, I can’t afford Rhys Hoskins if I’m paying up for Stanton but Jorge Alfaro and Pedro Florimon continue to be cheap despite their recent success (combined average of over .320 over their last ten games). Neither player is a guy that’s going to be a major home run threat but they are productive enough to return value on their prices. They also won’t see a massive ownership since they are Phillies, and nobody is on the Phillies (except Hoskins). The other team I seem to have invested heavily in is the Nationals. I know that they’re not the same team without Bryce Harper but they still have a number of great players that can lead you to GPP glory. I don’t trust Zach Davies at all, and his inability to strike anyone out is going to bit him in the butt against guys like Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, and Trea Turner. These bats are starting to heat up and today’s game could be a shootout. I definitely want exposure in both of my lineups on this game. As you can see from the sample lineups, I also did a little hunting and pecking with guys like Gary Sanchez, Denard Span, Manny Machado, and Javier Baez. They all have decent matchups and have the upside to add to what could be an already potent lineup. Depending on how the lineups shake out in the afternoon, those spots are pretty negotiable despite my preference for what I have in the current lineup.
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17.