Our Opening Day Freeroll At FanDuel: My Team
If you’re here reading the content of this site, chances are that you’ve played in at least a handful of full season fantasy baseball leagues. As such, we have a habit of looking for the trends.
- When a star player stumbles out of the gate, we’ll try and buy them low. Their production is bound to turn around based on their average level of production.
- When a scrub suddenly hits .400 with 6 HR in a two week span, we shop them around and see if someone will overpay for a hot streak. Hot streaks just don’t last forever.
- We focus on matchups, trying to find that one player who has an extreme history of success or failure against a certain team or pitcher to see if we should plug him into the lineup that day.
Since full season leagues – be they head to head or roto – are the only thing that most of us have ever known, we tend to use these splits and matchup advantages to help us build our teams for the long haul. What if we could find a fantasy site that would let us take advantage of that knowledge of matchups and hot streaks on a daily basis, though?
FIC recently added a new partner in FanDuel which does just that! The setup over at FanDuel rewards fantasy owners who pay particularly close attention to the matchups and trends by hosting daily and weekly leagues and tournaments with a salary cap format. It seems to me like a perfectly great idea for a couple of major reasons:
- In today’s ADD world, we’ll always find those owners who don’t stick with it. This is the perfect format for a fantasy player who “gets the bug” but doesn’t want to go through the process of setting their lineups on a daily basis. They can play once a week or once a month, just setting up a team that will only truly exist for one day.
- Specifically for owners who draft their regular teams over at CBS, ESPN, Yahoo, etc. and suddenly hit a rough patch (yeah…. I had a team in an 8 keeper league last season where I kept Kendrys Morales, Jayson Werth, Alex Rios, and Ryan Zimmerman…. it happens to me, too!) and drops out of the standings, it gives them a way to have fun other than simply continuing to set the lineup for a second division club.
Most of the leagues that I’ve seen have a nine man daily lineup (one pitcher, one player at every position on the field) and a $35,000 total salary. It’s my understanding that salaries will change throughout the year based on performance and how frequently owners are buying certain players for their daily teams throughout the year. FanDuel offers both free (fun) leagues and pay leagues with prizes, so you can give it a shot just for fun or you can put your money where your mouth is.
As we’re not just promoting their site, but also highlighting the FIC Free Roll, it’s time to unveil my team for our Opening Day contest.
Pitcher: Stephen Strasburg ($6,900)
There were some matchups that I considered here. I considered Roy Halladay, who is 3-1 lifetime with a 1.18 ERA and 0.92 WHIP against the Pirates, but Strasburg saved me $2,100 against him that I used elsewhere. Strasburg has never faced the Cubs, which I think should actually work to his benefit. They haven’t seen the overwhelming fastball, the high 80s changeup, or the nasty slurve.
Catcher: Brian McCann ($3,600)
McCann will face Johan Santana of the Mets. He’s 8 for 29 with 3 HR against him in his career. I wanted to grab a few stars, and was ready to go with McCann even when I was leaning towards Halladay as my pitcher. He’s a top catcher that I’d be comfortable plugging in my lineup against anyone, so if he’s hit 3 HR in 30 plate appearances against his opponent for the day, I feel good about him.
First Base: Miguel Cabrera ($4,400)
Cabrera was one of the spoils of leaving Halladay on the table for Strasburg. He’s not only one of the top hitters in the game, but he’s also 5 for 10 lifetime against Jon Lester. There’s no power on his ledger against Lester, but we all know how capable he is.
Second Base: Mark Ellis ($2,600)
To get that top talent, you’re going to have to find a scrub or two with a good history against his opponent. Ellis has only faced Edinson Volquez seven times in his career, but he’s 3 for 4 with a HR and 3 walks against him. I’ll take it.
Third Base: Ryan Zimmerman ($3,900)
More starpower, and a bit more of a history. Zimmerman is 6 for 16 (.375) lifetime against Ryan Dempster with a HR and a SB. Stars and scrubs may be the way to go in a daily format. Get the big bats however you can.
Shortstop: Jhonny Peralta ($3,100)
I was tempted to go with the hot hand and take Ian Desmond, who I don’t like (and yeah… I’m a Nats fan) but was destroying the ball late in spring training. Desmond is actually more expensive than Peralta (I had the $200 left exactly) and using him rather than Peralta was the only change I made in a separate opening day league that I decided to join (Desmond is 0 for 7 lifetime against Dempster in case you’re wondering). Peralta doesn’t have a great history against Jon Lester (4 for 17), but he has hit 2 bombs against him lifetime.
Outfield: Jose Bautista ($4,700)
The other spoil of taking Strasburg instead of Halladay, Joey Bats is not only a fantasy beast, but he’s also 4 for 8 with a bomb and a couple of walks against Justin Masterson. Yes…. Small Sample Size rules in this type of format.
Outfield: Lucas Duda ($3,300)
Another small sample size decision. I like Duda a lot for this season, so when I saw him among the outfielders I could afford, I went for it. He’s faced Tommy Hanson just six times in his career, but he’s 3 for 6 in those AB with a homer.
Outfield: Matt Diaz ($2,300)
Stars…. and scrubs. My biggest concern was that Diaz might not be in the lineup simply because it’s Opening Day and you want to play all of your regulars. He’s in there, though. Why is he in there? Diaz has historically crushed lefties throughout his career (.329/.368/.506 vs. lefties…. .264/.319/.369 against righties). Johan Santana has certainly not been the exception. Diaz is 16 for 32 lifetime against Johan with a HR.
Anyway, that’s my team (we’ll call it Small Market Pride, since that’s what all of my baseball teams are known as) for the Opening Day Free Roll. While I’m admittedly looking forward to my full season leagues more (always!), FanDuel seems to have found a new client in me already. I’ve deposited some money into the account and plan on playing (and hopefully winning!) there at least a couple of times a week. Consider me part of that ADD culture that wants to know how things are going to turn out in the next couple of days.