This has been the most difficult position to nab consistently week to week. It’s all fine and dandy to look at the lowest rated rushing defenses and the teams that have given up the most fantasy points to running backs and then select backs that face those particular defenses. This can also be a trap if you’re not careful. It’s not a bad thing to do, you almost have to as a starting point in assessment, but those stats are skewed by so many factors that may no longer be all that relevant on a particular week. When it comes right down to it, even the “worst” run defense can usually shut down the ground game if they completely sell out to stop it. I feel the biggest correlating factor to success is number of carries. Not that what’s happened in the past is guaranteed to repeat, but it’s a starting point.
Zac Stacy ($7,400) – has received 88 touches the last three weeks. He’s averaging just over 4 yards per carry and has 3 touchdowns over that span. It doesn’t hurt that the Bears visit St. Louis, giving the rookie a nice matchup on paper.
Bobby Rainey ($6,500) – toted the rock 30 times against the Falcons. In Week 10, Tampa starter Mike James had 5 carries before giving way to Brian Leonard (20 carries that game) due to an injury. In Week 9, James carried the mail 28 times. Tampa has got it going on, on the ground.
Reggie Bush ($7,700) – wasn’t benched for fumbling, if you believe the Detroit Lions coaching staff. Fact is he had only 12 carries (2nd lowest total of the year) and will likely have a little extra motivation this week, plus Joique Bell is supposedly a little dinged up.
Wes Welker ($7,400) – is making progress in his recovery from a concussion last week and is on track to play Sunday night. His divorce from the Patriots wasn’t on the warmest of terms, despite what the PR machines might say. I expect a chip on his shoulder when he enters Gillette Stadium, making him an attractive play.
Nate Burleson ($4,500) – is not for the risk averse. He has been out for weeks and could be on a limited snap count, but the somewhat injury prone wideout is on track to return this week while Megatron draws Darrelle Revis. In Week 11, Revis shadowed Roddy White and Harry Douglas caught 6 passes for 134 yards and a score. In Week 10, it was Mike Wallace getting all the attention while Rishard Matthews turned 14 targets into 11 catches for 120 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Emmanuel Sanders ($5,600) – is another number two that could benefit from a number one shadow. Joe Haden will focus on Antonio Brown this week. Marlon Brown had two TD receptions in Week 9 while Haden blanketed Torrey Smith. Check the injury reports Sunday morning as Sanders had to leave Week 11 against the Lions due to a foot injury and he may not be 100%.
Peyton Manning ($11,000) is clearly the best play this week but you have to pay through the nose to get him. A lot of people will roll with Mike Glennon ($7,100) due to weaknesses in the Lions secondary. That might work out, but keep in mind Tampa has been running a lot more lately. Eli Manning ($6,300) is cheap and gets the Cowboys. Case Keenum ($6,100 vs. JAX) and Scott Tolzien ($6,000 vs. MIN) are options for players looking for a true blue light special.
There's only 5 more seats left in FanDuel's Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship Tournament. A total of $1 Million in prizes will be awarded with a grand prize of $200K. But to participate, you need to win a qualifying tourney such as the $10 entry fee DFBC Qualifier tonight! The winner gets a free trip to Vegas to compete for $200K!
Click on the HERE or on the FanDuel logo below to enter your squad. Here's mine.
P Gio Gonzalez SDP@WAS $8,600 - There are some interesting cheap options but I don't want to fall short with my pitcher so I'll go with a high priced home option facing a weak opponent. I'm guessing Gio will be a popular choice so I will have to pick a couple of hitters I expect no one else will. Well, very few anyway.
C Wilson Ramos SDP@WAS $2,500 - I'll need to make sure Ramos is in the lineup but since it's an early game, the info will be available on DFSEdge (you may recognize one of the writers over there). If Ramos is sitting this one out, I'll pick whichever Reds' catcher is playing since they are facing Aaron Harang and cost $100 less so they will both fit under the cap.
1B Joey Votto SEA@ CIN $4,100 - LHB versus RHP at home in a great park. And the RHP is Harang!
3B Pablo Sandoval LOS@SFG $2,400 - This is trying to take advantage of Panda's reduced price as he's been struggling since he returned from injury. I'm hoping his scuffles keep others away while he snaps out of his funk. Plus, we fat guys stick together.
SS Josh Rutledge COL@ARI $2,600 - Rutledge is my biggest risk since there is no guarantee he'll play and the game is a late one so the rosters will lock before the lineups are announced. I'm hoping a solid effort last night earns him consecutive starts. The opposing hurler is rookie Tyler Skaggs, so I'll take my chances.
OF Mike Trout BOS@LAA $5,500 - This one hurts since Trout will be facing my hometown squad that is becoming increasingly likable again, but 200K is 200K and I like Trout's chances against Felix Doubront. Plus, I don't expect that many will want to fit in the highest priced player in the outfield.
That's my starting nine - what say you?
And second, and third...
If I don't really like Las Vegas all that much, why do I continue to try to have FanDuel pay my way there? I may not like Las Vegas very much but I can think of a couple of things to do with a $200K payday for taking home the Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship.
I'm going to try something a little different this time and go with a wild card at pitcher. There are several aces on the mound but I decided to eschew the top tier and look for a cheaper option. To that end, I visited a site where I contribute, DFSEdge where colleague Kyle Soppe authored MLB Strong Plays: June 21. He pimps Tyler Chatwood as a sleeper strong play and I concur so he's the guy for me tonight as I try for one of the few remaining seats in the DFBC. Here's the squad:
P Tyler Chatwood COL@WAS $5,600 - As Kyle points out, Chatwood has been outstanding on the road and Washington struggles versus right-handers
C Matt Wieters BAL@TOR $3,000 - If I'm going against the grain, I'm going all out. I'm breaking another cardinal rule by using a bunch of road hitters, specifically stacking against R.A. Dickey at home.
1B Chris Davis BAL@TOR $5,300 - At this point, I'll use Davis against any right-hander. The fact Dickey has a penchant for a allowing homers is a bonus.
3B David Freese TEX@STL $3,300 - Holland's numbers are a little off in that his K/BB is excellent but he also allows a goodly number of hits. I'll hope for the latter.
SS Jimmy Rollins NYM@PHI $2,800 - Rollins fits my standard criteria and he's at a price that reflects his inconsistency. This is an example of embracing volatility - something necessary when going for the big ticket.
OF Matt Joyce TAM@NYY $4,300 - I like Joyce against righties almost as much as Davis -- almost.
OF Melky Cabrera BAL@TOR $3,000 - I don't love this pick but the money works and Melky is hitting at the top of the order and is beginning to click.
OF Nick Markakis BAL@TOR $3,300 - Markakis closes out the pig-pile on Dickey
Click on the logo below to enter your squad.
The chances to win a seat at FanDuel's Daily Fantasy Baseball Championship are dwindling. All you have to do is win tonight's qualifier and you'll be one of 45 lucky individuals to win a trip to Las Vegas and have a chance to compete for the $200K top prize.
As you're likely aware, daily games are really booming. I've been writing for a new site, DFSEdge that specializes in daily strategy. One of the things I have learned from talking to some folks playing daily games is in order to win one of the larger contests you need to enter multiple squads with at least one embracing volatility.
By embracing volatility, one adds some high risk, high reward players to their lineup -- boom or bust if you will. Those of us weaned on traditional fantasy baseball may have a difficuly time pulling this off as playing it safe had been drummed into our skulls for over a decade. I actually find this to be a personal shortcoming in my appraoch to traditional fantasy.
Below are three lineups I am entering into tonight's DFBC. I'm going with three different pitchers - sort of a low, medium and high approach.
To enter a squad (or three) of your own, just click on the logo below.
Good luck to all those playing.
P Matt Harvey WAS@NYM $8,800
C Michael Zunino CHC@SEA $2,200
1B David Ortiz TOR @BOS $5,000
2B Neil Walker MIL@PIT $3,000
3B Nolan Arenado SFG@COL $2,900
SS Josh Rutledge SFG@COL $2,900
OF Michael Cuddyer SFG@COL $4,700
OF Dayan Viciedo CLE@CWS $2,300
OF Marlon Byrd WAS@NYM $3,200
P Hisashi Iwakuma CHC@SEA $7,900
C Wilin Rosario SFG@COL $3,400
1B Garrett Jones MIL@PIT $2,600
2B Neil Walker MIL@PIT $3,000
3B Pedro Alvarez MIL@PIT $4,500
SS Hanley Ramirez PHI@LOS $4,200
OF Travis Snider MIL@PIT $2,500
OF Alex Rios CLE@CWS $3,500
OF Eric Young WAS@NYM $3,400
P Ricky Nolasco SDP@MIA $6,500
C Wilin Rosario SFG@COL $3,400
1B Chris Davis NYY@BAL $5,500
2B Neil Walker MIL@PIT $3,000
3B Miguel Cabrera DET@TAM $5,900
SS Stephen Drew TOR@BOS $2,500
OF Nate McLouth NYY@BAL $3,300
OF Dayan Viciedo CLE@CWS $2,300
OF Chris Heisey CIN@TEX $2,600
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Unless you win $200,000 in which case you're allowed to take a little of it home with you. How are you going to win $200K? Winning FanDuel's Daily National Fantasy Baseball Championship, that's how.
But the only way to do that is to win a qualifier. Fortunately, your friends at Mastersball can help you with that by clicking on the link below.
WEATHER ALERT! It is going to be wet on the East Coast. The tilts in Washington, New York and Boston will all be threatened with rain so it is best to focus elsewhere. Fortunately, there is a full slate of games so a multitude of nice choices remain. Here's how I intend on booking my trip to Sin City.
P James Shields HOU@KAN $7,900 - There is a bunch of top starters toeing the rubber tonight. What I did was fill in my hitters first, adding as many bargains as I could and then see which pitchers could fit within the cap. I actually had $8,400 after the first run thus was able to make adjustments elsewhere. I left such stalwarts as Matt Harvey, Cliff Lee, Adam Wainwright, Gio Gonzalez, Chris Sale and Justin Verlander on the table. I would have shunned Harvey and Gonzalez for weather reasons but the rest were all in play. My desire to find a spot for CarGo kept me away from the very top guys. I had the ability to slide in Hyun-Jin Ryu for exactly $8,400 but opted for Shields and the extra $500 to upgrade elsewhere. Innings are valuable in FanDuel and I like Shields to go deep into tonight's game.
1B Prince Fielder CLE@DET $4,400 - Even though I was looking to squeeze enough budget to afford one of the elite pitchers, I knew Shields was there as a fall-back and you can't go completely cheap with the bats as in order to win, you need a couple to have multiple point evenings, along with your pitchers with 15+ points. Prince is capable of the double digit production I need.
2B Jedd Gyorko SDP@COL $3,300 - Using Gyorko on the road breaks one of my tenets but when the road is a mile high, I'll make an exception. Jorge De La Rosa's surface stats are good, but his peripherals are mundane so I'll take a shot the rook gets a hold of one.
3B Nolan Arenado SDP@COL $2,200 - Arenado has been scuffling since his early success but at this price, I'll take a shot his recent resurgence has boosted his confidence. Edinson Volquez is not the same guy away from PETCO Park.
SS Didi Gregorius SFG@ARI $2,900 - I don't love this pick, but it is a salary-saver and fits the criteria, even though the left-handed hitting Gregorius will be facing solid righty Matt Cain. I still believe Cain is one of the best, but he has been dealing with a case of gopheritis.
OF Jay Bruce STL@CIN $3,600 - Those of you that follow the total body of my work are either laughing or asking WTF? This is likely the only night all season I will be rooting for Bruce as I infamously have him as a rest-of-season bust on the ESPN rankings. I never said he was going to strike out every time up, just a lot so tonight can he one of the nights he doesn't. It is Adam Wainwright 60 feet and 6 inches away, but I'll go with it anyway. Truth be told I hate this pick but the money works and the choices are limited with the potential East Coast wash-outs.
OF Carlos Gonzalez SDP@COL $5,400 - I realize the chance that lightning strikes twice in a week is slim, but in case it does, I want to be the one that gets hit.
That's what I have, what about you? Click on the FanDuel logo to reserve a spot in the DNFB qualifier. You have until 7 PM ET on Friday to adjust your lineup.