The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – September 15, 2017
September 14, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for September 15, 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|
|Carson Fulmer (CWS/RHP) @ Detroit Tigers: $6.2k DK/$6.3k FD||Washington Nationals vs Alex Wood (LAD/LHP)||Fanduel: Chad Kuhl ($7600), Jorge Alfaro ($2800), Ryan Zimmerman ($3000), Brian Dozier ($4000), Eduardo Escobar ($3300), Trea Turner ($4300), Byron Buxton ($3300), Michael Taylor ($3400), Howie Kendrick ($3300)|
|Zach Davies (MIL/RHP) @ Miami Marlins: $7.9k DK/$8.2k DK||Philadelphia Phillies vs Daniel Mendgen (OAK/RHP)||Draft Kings : Zach Davies ($7900), Trevor Bauer ($9200), Gary Sanchez ($4800), Yuli Gurriel ($3500), Carlos Asuaje ($3600), Chase Headley ($3800), Didi Gregorius ($4500), Aaron Judge ($5400), Jacoby Ellsbury ($3700), Nick Williams ($3600)|
|Chad Kuhl (PIT/RHP) @ Cincinnati Reds: $7.5k DK/$7.6k FD||Houston Astros vs James Paxton (SEA/LHP)||Fantasy Draft: Chris Sale ($25200), Robbie Ray ($24400), Jorge Alfaro ($6000), JP Crawford ($4800), Andrew Romine ($4800), Odubel Herrera ($7800), Nick Williams ($7200), Matt Olson ($8000), Greg Bird ($5700), Jayson Werth ($6000)|
|Make Leiter (PHI/RHP) vs Oakland Athletics: $6.4k DK/$6.7k FD||San Diego Padres @ Tyler Chatwood (COL/RHP)|
|Chalk Pitchers: Chris Sale, Robbie Ray, Luis Severino, Trevor Bauer, Rafael Montero||Chalk Stacks: Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees|
I really wanted to go with one of the chalk pitchers for this lineup (preferably Trevor Bauer) but I couldn’t find a mix of bats that worked for me at all with any of them in it. Heck, even Zach Davies was a little more than I could afford if I wanted bats that made me feel comfortable. With that in mind, I looked towards Chad Kuhl. He’s been excellent recently with an average of 40 FD points over his last three starts on the back of a 10.3 K/9. While that might like a realistic pace to keep up, he’s been successful against the Reds this year with a line of 7IP/6K/0ER. Yeah, it’s a small sample size but when you mix in his recent success, those numbers against the Reds this year, and his price then you get a guy who could realistically get you a 4.5 to 5x return on his price (33 FD points or more). When I plugged Kuhl into my lineup I was able to go after one of my favorite teams today, the Minnesota Twins. Minnesota has been pounding the baseball and they are in the thick of the Wild Card hunt. There are a number of directions we can go with the team but I’m opting for a three player stack of Dozier, Escobar, and Buxton. I could easily have gone with four players but I think that I’m better off with four Nationals and a slightly better catcher rather than forcing a fourth Twin onto this team. Even with only three Twins, we could see some serious run potential against JA Happ. I know that he’s looked a lot better recently (1.53 ERA over his last three starts) but Minnesota crushes lefties and the regression is coming for Happ. As I alluded to, the Nationals are my other stack and with them I decided to go with a full four players. I love the matchup against a struggling Alex Wood (6.35 ERA with 6 HR allowed over his last three starts). People should see the matchup and lay off the Nats, so you’re going to probably win the ownership game with them as well. My only concern is that Washington is going to rest some players down the stretch with the division locked up but they want to stay sharp this far away from the playoffs so I don’t think that will be a major problem today. I’m using my catcher spot on whoever ends up starting for the Phillies because I love the matchup and the team is hot offensively right now. I’d have gone with a full stack on Philly if I could have afforded their high prices (who thought we’d be saying that a month ago?).
Much like with my FD lineup, I had wanted to go with a big name pitcher here but just wasn’t comfortable with what I’d have to do with my bats to make it work. Even if I used a low end pitcher like Carson Fulmer (who I kind of like against DET), I still would have spent more when I paired him with either Sale or Ray than the combined price I paid for Davies and Bauer. When push came to shove, I’d rather have two pitchers I liked rather than one sure thing and one total lottery ticket. Davies leads the NL in wins and although advanced stat nerds hate that statistic, it’s one that matters in DFS. Getting a win bonus is huge when you’re at the top of a GPP and tenths of a point are all that separate you from a monster payday and mediocrity. It’s not like Davies has been pitching well and lucking into wins (**cough, 2016 Porcello, cough***), he’s actually been a solid pitcher for quite some time now. Over his last ten starts he’s got a 1.89 ERA with enough strikeouts to make him a decent play. His ten game average of 19.5 DK points won’t win you a GPP but it is nearly over 2x on today’s price and that’s not bad (and that being an average, it means there’s room for upside as well). The Marlins have some weapons but they aren’t a “good” team and they are currently slumping. Davies should be fine here. The other pitcher I’ve got is Trevor Bauer. I don’t see him being the pitcher on the mound when the Indians stop their 22 game win streak (what a comeback on Thursday!). He’s got similar numbers to Davies over his last ten starts except he’s added more than a K per inning. A while back I wrote about how Bauer saw something in how Corey Kluber has pitched and brought it to his repertoire. With an average of 22.3 DK points over his last ten starts, I’d say that this change has worked. I’m not worried at all about Bauer putting up a good game tonight. With those two pitchers locked in I wanted to make sure I had some exposure to the Yankees tonight so I just started clicking away with their best bats (except Starlin Castro, who I couldn’t make work). They are facing Gabrie Ynoa, he of the 4.19 ERA and .300 BAA this season. New York has found its power stroke lately so I fully expect a nice game out of them tonight. With only three spots left on my lineup I dinked and dunked my way to a complete team with Yuli Gurriel, Carlos Asuaje, and Nick Wiliams. All are players on teams that I looked to stack so I have no problem throwing them out there since their price and position fit what I needed.
I mean, you know I’m going here right? I love stacking the top two pitchers of the day on Fantasy Draft and then hunting for value with my bats. This was probably the furthest I’ve had to stretch to find enough value to make this pitcher stack happen. I’m sure that when the lineups come out tomorrow even more value will open up and this will be a much easier task. Even if it doesn’t, as you can see, it’s a possible exercise. Sale and Ray are the best type of top end pitchers; two guys who can strike out a dozen batters and who have a strong history against their current opponents. This play often blows up in my face when one of the chalk pitchers bombs but for those times that they hit, these lineups will usually finish at or near the top of a GPP. I feel fortunate that I was able to find enough bats in the PHI/OAK game to make this work because those guys are actually more expensive than you’d think! I couldn’t grab Rhys Hoskins but a stack of Alfaro, Crawford, Herrera, and Williams isn’t bad at all for the Phillies. I’m not sure if Greg Bird will be back in the lineup for the Yankees but he’s on pace to play today and he’s got a great matchup. He’s no lock to do well, of course, but his power potential is excellent. Jayson Werth and Andrew Romine should be in the lineups and at their prices that more than enough for me to click their names. Matt Olson was a total vanity play but I love his power upside and it’s not like Mark Leiter is a lock down pitcher (despite the fact that I think he makes for a sneaky GPP option as he pitches great at home).
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.