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Saturday 17th Feb 2018

For years, I have avoided participating in daily fantasy leagues, dismissing the whole concept as something that appealed to a different audience than the hardcore fantasy sports community. Chances are I wouldn’t even enjoy playing the game, as the tiny sample size results in a contest that is more based on luck than skill. But over the past week, perhaps influenced by Lawr’s Fanduel articles in addition to the plethora of ads, either online or on TV, for FanDuel and Draft Kings, I finally caved, investing a small sum of money in FanDuel. To be honest, it’s very addicting, and I’ll admit that there is a decent amount of strategy involved.

So far, I’ve played in six paid contests, all of them NBA, winning a prize only once, a $9 return on a $5 entry fee. Sure, Daily Fantasy is exciting, but for me at least, it has brought more frustration than joy. I will continue with it for a bit longer, but my experiment in Daily Fantasy might not last far beyond next weekend’s Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs.

As for Daily Fantasy Baseball, I think it’ll be too much to handle, being that I’m already in five full-season leagues. Just for fun, however, while we’re on the Daily Fantasy theme, let’s take a look at some of the top single-game performances from the 2014 MLB season.

Lonnie Chisenhall (6/9 @TEX): 5-for-5, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2B, 3 R

A former top prospect, Chisenhall has fallen well short of meeting expectations, but for one day at least, he was the talk of baseball. The Indians third baseman ended up being one of only three players to post a 3 HR game last year. Both his nine RBI and 15 total bases were single-game records for 2014. Overall, Chisenhall’s 2014 season was a rocky one, but he’s slated to be Cleveland’s starting third sacker on Opening Day 2015. Still just 26 years of age, he offers some under the radar appeal, particularly in AL-only leagues.

Ryan Braun (4/8 @PHI): 3-for-5, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 R

Despite battling a thumb ailment right out of the gate (an injury that never quite went away), things looked so promising following this monster performance. But 2014 turned out to be a huge disappointment for the former MVP. Whether the letdown should be attributed mostly to the PED factor or the thumb issue is unclear, but after undergoing a thumb procedure in October, Braun insists that he’s back to 100 percent. Can he return to elite form? We shall see, but I have my doubts.

Chris Davis (5/20 @PIT): 4-for-5, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R

Coming off a 53-home run campaign in 2013, Crash was a top-10 pick in drafts last spring, and though he did manage 26 homers across 127 games, Davis was arguably the biggest fantasy bust of the season relative to draft position. This was by far the highlight of his season. Maybe he gets back to 30-plus homers in 2015, but considering all the strikeouts, expect his batting average to be closer to the .196 mark he registered last season than the .286 average from two years ago. All in all, I think you’re better off letting him be someone else’s problem.

Dee Gordon (4/13 @ARI): 1-for-3, R, 2 BB, 4 SB

Aside from the four steals, there’s really nothing special about this stat line, but since steals is a roto category and Gordon was the only player to record a 4 SB game last year, I had to include him here. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of expensive stolen base specialists, preferring instead to spread out my speed sources, so I can safely say that Dee will not be a member of any of my fantasy squads in 2015.

Charlie Blackmon (4/4 vs. ARI): 6-for-6, HR, 5 RBI, 3 2B, 4 R

If not for Chisenhall’s 3 HR, 9 RBI outburst, this six-hit performance by Blackmon would easily win the top single-game award. While I won’t be avoiding the Rockies outfielder on Draft Day 2015, I am somewhat concerned about his pedestrian .264-5-20 line in the second half, this after batting .305 with 14 homers and 52 RBI prior to the Midsummer Classic. And then there’s the extreme home/road splits. At home, Blackmon’s numbers were MVP caliber. Away from Coors Field, he was no better than a mediocre player.

In other words, he’s an ideal Daily Fantasy target, and as long as he remains on the Rockies, that should continue.

Even if my career in Daily Fantasy does not.

OK, gotta go finalize my Wild Card Weekend FanDuel picks.

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