Sunday takes on a new meaning on September 9th, as the first official day of daily fantasy football is finally here for the 2018 NFL season.
It’s going to be a wild ride and if you need help with your NFL DFS picks, feel free to check out my FanDuel daily fantasy football picks for week one. Also, check out our DraftKings NFL DFS picks as well as our DraftKings NFL DFS sleepers.
While football rules the day, there’s still some money to be made on the baseball front.
Last night I vouched for Jose Berrios (34 fantasy points) and also talked up Gio Gonzalez (44!), so if you rolled with my MLB DFS picks, you were good to go at pitcher. I also got a dong out of Travis Shaw, while Jay Bruce stayed hot and Michael Conforto also went yard.
My other bats came from Coors and while they didn’t all work out, they were logical plays in a great ballpark. Alex Avila was the lone gaffe of the night, as he was scratched. Hopefully you found a pivot and made changes in the right spots in order to cash.
Either way, it’s on to the next one as we take a look at FanDuel’s 10-game Sunday slate. Let’s dive into some of my favorite daily fantasy baseball picks for tonight:
SP: Andrew Heaney – Los Angeles Angeles ($8.2k)
I love Jacob deGrom as much as the next person, but he’s too much for me on this slate. Mike Clevinger isn’t a bad pivot and Zach Davies is an interesting punt, but I’ll settle in somewhere in the middle with Heaney.
There is risk with Heaney. He is on the road in a hitter’s park and the Chicago White Sox have a lot of mashers who tend to thrive against southpaws. While the Sox boast power, they also strikeout a ton and their power largely comes from only a handful of batters.
Heaney gives up a good amount of contact, but he can also make bats miss and this is one of the worst offenses in the league. At this price, I’ll take my chances.
C/1B: Francisco Mejia – San Diego Padres ($2.4k)
Tyler Mahle makes the start for the Reds on Sunday and he’ll be facing a bad Padres offense. I’m not stacking against him, but Mahle has had some serious issues stopping lefties (.419 wOBA, .281 ISO, 44% fly ball rate and 44% hard hit rate). Yeah, it’s been bad.
He still has a dream date with the worst offense in the majors, but I’ll take a one-off crack at him with Mejia. The sample size is super small, but he’s shown a .750 ISO against right-handed pitching and is a good contact hitter. If he gets ahold of one, he’s going to pay off in a hurry.
Eric Hosmer is probably the only other San Diego stick I’d seriously consider, but this is one of those rare time where a Padres stack isn’t silly. I’d do my best to keep it to the left side of the plate, however.
2B: Niko Goodrum – Detroit Tigers ($3k)
I don’t feel great about going after a fairly conservative arm in John Gant, but he has some problems with lefties (55% hard hit rate!). Also, he’s getting a major park downgrade on the road and Detroit can be dangerous.
Typically I prefer to try the Tigers against lefties, but Goodrum has been red hot and sports a nice .235 ISO against right-handed hurlers.
Gant is not a gas can, but I have to think his hard contact ways get him into some trouble here. A full Tigers stack isn’t insane, but I’ll roll Goodrum out as a fun one-off here.
3B: Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians ($4.7k)
I’m stacking the Tribe as they head to Toronto to take on young pitcher, Thomas Pannone. Cleveland is facing a guy who has some talent, but this is a good park for hitting and I think they can chase him off the mound early.
Pannone has had some control issues and so far in the majors has been getting away with a ton of contact. That may not fly against a stacked Indians offense, so I’m just going to aim high here and load up on a stacked lineup that can murder anyone, much less a 24-year old with little experience.
J-Ram hasn’t donged since mid-August and is beyond due. The park and matchup are fine here, while he boasts strong splits (.366 wOBA, .204 ISO) against southpaws. The guy needs to launch one in this spot.
SS: Francisco Lindor – Cleveland Indians ($4.8k)
Lindor has been in better form than Ramirez and is admittedly easier to trust.
I don’t love the SS position, either, so if you don’t/can’t pay up for both, I prefer Lindor. He and his gaudy splits (.434 wOBA, .216 ISO) against left-handed pitching are obviously worth rolling with on this slate.
OF: Jay Bruce – New York Mets ($2.3k)
I’m going back to the well and using Bruce yet again. It’s possible the Mets give the veteran lefty a break, but they lifted him early last night, so I have to think he starts again. He has been on fire lately and again will face a beatable righty in Vincent Velasquez.
Vince can rack up the whiffs, but he’s had some issues with New York’s power in the past and specifically has trouble (.350 wOBA, .221 ISO, 40% fly ball rate, 35% hard hit rate) against lefties. Bruce is still way too cheap to bypass here and he’s obviously had a lot of success against right-handers throughout his career.
A Mets stack probably won’t be high-owned and could pan out yet again tonight. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo stand out the most as they come from the left side, but Todd Frazier is also a dong waiting to happen in this matchup.
OF: Max Kepler – Minnesota Twins ($2.2k)
The Mets, Padres and Tigers are all sneaky tonight, but I think these offenses might be better with one-offs as opposed to stacks. I’ll leave the stacking to the elite lineups like Cleveland and the like. I still like some one-off tries and that includes the Twins.
Kepler is the guy I’ll go to there, simply because he’s one of the cheapest options they can lend to me. He sports respectable pop (.187 ISO) and will face a hard contact arm in Ian Kennedy.
Kennedy experiences a negative ballpark shift and gets lit up from both sides of the plate. A full Twins stack is very much in play.
OF: Melky Cabrera – Cleveland Indians ($3.6k)
I’ll pick it back up with my Tribe stack and that includes Melky and his .220 ISO against southpaws. He’s been a nice find for the Indians, while he sports an elite .400 wOBA even when he’s not sending them deep.
Simply being a product of this lineup can make guys worth using, but Cabrera is certainly doing his fair share and I think he chips in a bit today as well.
Util: Edwin Encarnacion – Cleveland Indians ($3.8k)
Jesus Aguilar and a few other sticks are appealing, but I’ll close things up with a full four-man Indians stack. Edwin is a great way to cap things off, as he has respectable splits against southpaws, but for his career has been quite imposing in these spots.
In the end, I really want the Indians and I don’t mind paying for them. I have to take a mild gamble at pitcher to do it, but I also just don’t like the hitting I get if I force deGrom onto my roster. Clevinger is too pricey as a pivot, too, while Heaney is in a great spot and gets me the bats I covet.
There is still a lot of risk being assumed here. While these other contrarian stacks I’m mentioning are appealing in a sense, they’re also coming from pretty awful franchises. Hopefully my one-off picks work out, though.
Remember, always be sure to track games for weather concerns and late scratches. If a guy in this lineup is out, hopefully I mentioned other options or you can at least look to some of the stacks I mentioned to give you an idea of who else could be useful.
Use this lineup as it stands or pick your spots. Either way, I hope I help you in some manner today. Good luck and enjoy the games!