The Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) – September 4, 2017
September 3, 2017 | Doug Shain
Welcome to the Longball (Daily HuLo GPP Plays) for September 4, 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!
Super weird day on Monday. DraftKings has their main slate as the early slate (9 games), while Fanduel has their main slate as the late slate (5 games). I guess that means you get a late lineup for Fanduel and an early one from DraftKings from me. Bonus for you! Happy Labor Day!
Rick Porcello ($8500), Christian Vazquez ($2300), Hanley Ramirez ($2900), Brian Dozier ($4600), Eduardo Escobar ($3300), Jorge Polanco ($4100), Chris Young ($2200), Jayson Werth ($2900), Byron Buxton ($3900)
For my Fanduel lineup, my decision on pitcher came down to Jose Berrios and Rick Porcello. I like the matchup for both guys, and while I think Berrios has the higher upside I think that Porcello will give me the best value. Yes, Berrios has been a strikeout king his last three starts but let’s not overlook what Porcello has done recently. In his last five starts he’s produced a FD score that would be a 4x or more return on today’s price four times. One of those starts was against the Blue Jays (6.2IP/7K/1ER with a W/QS bonus combination; a combo that he’s managed in four of his last five starts). The odds of Porcello once again hitting for 40 points is pretty high and that’s a score I’m very comfortable with out of my $8.5k pitcher. I was really mad when I went to make my stacks because I wanted to use both Arizona (double whammy potential) and Minnesota (kind of chalky but huge upside against Alex Cobb). When I input the players I wanted, I was about $4k over the salary cap so it was back to the drawing board. In the end I felt like I could do a lot more with the Twins than the Diamondbacks so that was where I chose to spend my money. A core stack of Brian Dozier, Jorge Polanco, Eduardo Escobar, and Byron Buxton has the chops to pop a GPP. I don’t know if they’ll replicate their hot weekend but even if MIN gets to 6+ runs we have a shot at a nice score. I then shifted my attention to the Red Sox bats against JA Happ. Happ can be a little up and down, more down than up this year, and Boston has quite a bit of value from the right side of the plate. Guys like Hanley Ramirez and Chris Young are not players that I usually think about in a GPP but both his LHP well and fit very nicely into this lineup. It’s total boom or bust, particularly with Young, but I’m ok with that given the makeup of this team. I made sure to leave $300 in the bank for this team in case Sandy Leon starts at catcher for Boston and I have to make that change. Doing so allowed me enough money to take a chance that Jayson Werth finds his stroke against Adam Conley.
Dylan Bundy ($9300), Mark Leiter ($7600), Stephen Vogt ($3000), Eric Thames ($4100), Neil Walker ($3700), Travis Shaw ($3900), Tim Beckham ($4600), Domingo Santana ($4600), Adam Jones ($4500), Kyle Schwarber ($4600)
There are three pitchers that stand out to me as obvious chalk plays and that’s the most expensive trio of Carlos Martinez, Jake Arrieta, and Trevor Bauer. All three are pitching well and none are facing an offence that’s going to scare anyone. While this isn’t a terribly small slate, it’s still one where I’d prefer to avoid as much chalk as I can as long as there are other pitchers are like. In this case, there are definitely other pitchers that I like. The two names that stand out most to me are Dylan Bundy and Mark Leiter. Bundy has quietly gone on a tear over his last five starts, averaging 31.6 DK points over that stretch. If you take out his ridiculous 50.9 point outing his last start, he’s still averaging 26.8 DK points per start. That’s a good number even with his elevated price tag for this start. The Yankees aren’t a great matchup for Bundy but he’s seen them twice this year and held his own (13IP/5ER/9K). He’s pitching better now than the last time he faced NY and I expect a better return than what those numbers would indicate. Like Bundy, Leiter has been pitching very well lately, too. Over his last five starts he’s only been blown out one time. The other four starts have seen him total 23IP/4ER/27K (an average of 22.5 DK points per start). He’s also got a 34:14 ground ball to fly ball ratio, so home runs shouldn’t kill him even if he does regress a little bit. Today’s matchup in New York against the Mets is a really solid one. I don’t know if they even have enough healthy guys to field a reasonable lineup. The last time Leiter faced the Mets he dominated (5IP/7K/1ER). I’d be thrilled if he could come out and give me a similar start today. Although I’m not paying for the highest end pitchers, I still have to be mindful of what I do with my bats because Bundy and Leiter are far from value plays. The best stack that I could go heavy with was the Milwaukee Brewers against Homer Bailey. Bailey has had flashes of being a half decent pitcher but those times are few and far between. In his two starts against the Brew Crew, Bailey has gotten hammered for 8 ER in 8 IP with 7 BB and 4 HR allowed. That’s definitely a line that I want to take advantage of. I’m going with a full stack on Milwaukee to take advantage of how poorly Bailey has looked against them. I’m taking a chance by not using Braun or Villar but I wanted to make sure I could get Walker, Santana, Thames, and Shaw in my stack. That left only one spot and I love the price on Vogt. Using Vogt at $3.0k lets me attack with an Orioles mini-stack of Beckham and Adam Jones; and a little Kyle Schwarber against Chad Kuhl bonus at the end. I could probably play around with those last three lineup spots (Lindor and Bruce make for an intriguing mini-stack against James Shields, for example) but I like the matchups and upside that the guys I chose bring me. If I was using more than one lineup then I’d probably stick to my main players and play around with those last three spots but if I’m going with one lineup, this is the one.
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17.