The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – September 11, 2017
September 10, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for September 11, 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|
|Reynaldo Lopez (CWS/RHP) @ Kansas City Royals: $6.3k DK/$6.9k FD||Colorado Rockies @ Zack Greinke (ARI/RHP)||Fanduel: Brandon Woodruff ($6700), Chris Iannetta ($2500), Paul Goldschmidt ($4200), Jose Ramirez ($3900), Yandy Diaz ($2600), Francisco Lindor ($4500), JD Martinez ($4200), AJ Pollock ($3400), Lonnie Chisenhall ($2900)|
|Brandon Woodruff (MIL/RHP) vs Pittsburgh Pirates: $7.1k DK/$6.7k FD||Chicago White Sox @ Jason Hammel (KC/RHP)||Draft Kings : Reynaldo Lopez ($6300), Carlos Carrasco ($13200), Kevan Smith ($2700), Jesus Aguilar ($4100), Jonathan Villar ($3600), Hernan Perez ($3800), Didi Gregorius ($4400), Ryan Braun ($4600), Domingo Santana ($3800), Yandy Diaz ($3300)|
|Chris Stratton (SF/RHP) vs Los Angeles Dodgers: $6.5k DK/$7.4k FD||Texas Rangers vs Ariel Miranda (SEA/LHP)||Fantasy Draft: Chris Stratton ($12900), Brandon Woodruff ($14100), Gary Sanchez ($9600), Didi Gregorius ($8400), Chase Headley ($7600), Aaron Judge ($9600), JD Martinez ($10800), Ryan Braun ($9000), Paul Goldschmidt ($9600), Nelson Cruz ($8400)|
|Chalk Pitchers: Carlos Carrasco, Kenta Maeda, Cole Hamels, Marco Estrada, CC Sabathia||Chalk Stacks: Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees|
When I first started looking at this slate I thought I’d like Brandon Woodruff. Usually I look at DK first, so when I saw his price tag on there I knew that he was going to be on my HuLo list but I wasn’t sure if I’d make sure he was on my team. Then I saw his price on FD, and relative to all the other pitchers I’m looking at today (especially a guy like Chris Stratton) he was such a bargain. It’s not that I think Woodruff is an amazing pitcher or that he’s going to even replicate his last outing (7IP/8K/1ER for 46 FD points) but in his four starts he’s hit 23 FD points or higher three times. At a $6.7k price tag, I’m very happy with happy with a floor of 23 FD points. Obviously I’d like to see him hit something closer to 33 FD points (which would put him at a 5x return on his price), and that’s not an outrageous number since he’s exceed that total twice in four starts. All four of his starts this year have come against offenses that are superior to the Pittsburgh Pirates (WSH, COL, MIN, and TB). I don’t think it’s out of the question to look at a line of 6IP/5K/2ER with a QS bonus as an unreasonable expectation (seeing as all those numbers are at or below his season averages). That would net you 31 FD points, well within range of what we want today. Using Woodruff allows me to attack two stacks that I really like today, Arizona and Cleveland. As a matter of fact, they are my two favorite stacks on this slate. I love the matchup that the D’backs have at home against Kyle Freeland. He’s a lefty that has not pitched all that well against ARI this year (10IP/4ER/6K/5BB in two starts). He hasn’t been blown out by them yet but they are a hot offense and I think that today is the day they really light him up. He has given up 3 earned runs or more in five of his last seven starts and he doesn’t strike out enough batters to really worry me. He hasn’t made it past four innings in either of his last two starts, so it’s possible the season has caught up to him. I like Arizona to score big tonight. My other stack is the Indians because of course they are. They are an historic winning streak and that won’t come to an end against Myles Jaye. You can go in any number of directions with the Indians today but because I’m pairing them with ARI there was only a limited set of options for me. Luckily, those options were some of their best bats. Woodruff is definitely the key here because I just don’t see these bats struggling at all. This is one of those rare cases when I intend to ride the chalk to a big win.
With my FD bats being very chalky, I thought it would be a good idea to switch it up for DK and go with the chalkiest pitcher on the slate and ride a less than obvious stack. I know that I have the Brewers listed in the chalk plays list but they shouldn’t see nearly the same ownership level as the Indians and Diamondbacks. My biggest concern with using a Brewers stack is that Stephen Brault hasn’t given up a home run yet this year but he’s only pitched 18.2 innings so it’s only a matter of time before he gets smacked around. In his last five outings he has a nearly 1:1 ground ball to fly ball ratio, he walks too many batters, and he doesn’t strike anyone out. That is a clear recipe for disaster. MIL is loaded from the right side and they crush at home. I’m expecting big things from this stack. You could definitely speculate a little with some cheaper bats in Manny Pina and Orlando Arcia but I don’t feel like you have to do that, so I’m not going to. Give me the biggest right-handed bats that this team has to offer and let me enjoy that potential upside. I wanted to stack the Yankees with the other three spots I had but they were far too expensive so I settled on only using Didi Gregorius at SS. I found some value in Kevan Smith and Yandy Diaz to round out this lineup. Back to the pitching for a second, we don’t really need to get too in depth with why I went with Carlos Carrasco. He’s facing a weak Detroit offense, he has the highest strikeout potential on this slate, and he’s actually combined those two factors to own the Tigers this year (2.14 ERA with more than a K per inning in five starts). What’s most impressive about Carrasco against DET this year is that he’s only given up 1 HR and walked 8 batters in those outings. My other pitcher is Reynaldo Lopez against the Royals. He’s been pretty consistent this year with three of his four outings averaging 6IP/2ER/5K, while his fourth start was one we just won’t talk about (4.1IP/5ER/4K). The Royals are a very up and down offense, but one that Loepz has already faced. In that matchup he scored 17.3 DK points, a number that puts him at just under 3x return on today’s price (a very good number on DK). If we can just get to 14 DK points then I’d be very happy given the makeup of this lineup.
I could not resist the lure of the big bats (what a shock). As it turns out I happen to like both Brandon Woodruff and Chris Stratton today, so it’s not like it was a chore for me to spend down on pitchers to get those bats. About Stratton, I’m looking at his recent output and I see that he’s a total boom or bust play. In his last seven starts he has two games with 1K, two games with 10K, and three games with 4K. Seriously, we don’t know what we are going to get when we put this kid into our lineup. What I do know is that the Dodgers have been playing terribly over the last three weeks and that Stratton is pitching in a very friendly home ballpark for pitchers. In his last four starts he’s had three that would be ones that I’d be happy with him replicating. At his low price, I’ll definitely take a 75% chance that he’s going to give me a good return on his price. As for those bats, I was finally able to find a spot to use the Yankees against Jake Odorizzi. This is a “road” game for New York but it takes place at Citi Field so let’s throw the away game factor out the window. New York roughed up the Odorizzi the one time they faced him this year (6IP/4ER with 2 HR) and I think we are going to get much of the same tonight. What’s awesome about using the Yankees today is that they are pretty reasonably priced so I have a ton of money left over to go out and hit even more big bats. A D’backs mini stack? Yes, please! Ryan Braun against a bad lefty? Let’s do this! Nelson Cruz against a lefty? Always use Cruz against any LHP. This team is awesome and I’m so excited to see how it turns out.
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.