With only twelve games on tap for Monday night, your choices are somewhat limited compared to most other nights. The DFS action, though, is not limited, so you will still have plenty of decisions to make. Here are some players to consider, at every position and price range. Good luck!
Dallas Keuchel vs. SEA ($12,100) – Most of the time, you come away from watching this guy pitch just dumbfounded. The fact that anyone can touch his stuff seems impossible sometimes, and it is the occasional low-scoring fantasy performance than ends up feeling shocking and looking like the outlier. Against a weak-hitting Seattle lineup with a 21.8 K%, though, he has legitimate 40-point upside.
John Lackey vs. WAS ($8,900) – One of those high-priced pitchers who isn’t so high priced that he really makes you feel squeezed at every other position. There is value in that, but there’s a reason you can save three grand – the upside isn’t there. The odds of getting a random 35 point game out of Lackey are slim to none, so you just have to recalibrate. At this price, upside is 30, not 40.
Colby Lewis @ SD ($7,800) – He’s inconsistent, with a seriously low floor (two negative fantasy-point games in his last ten, and another with only 2,9). But in the other seven, he’s got at least 15, and he cracked 28 twice. That’s not a half-bad ceiling. He’s on the road against a weak-hitting lineup in a pitcher’s park, so if there was going to be a night to trust him, why not tonight?
Bartolo Colon vs. PHI ($6,800) – Colon is not easy to trust, but the choices are slim at the lower end of the pitcher rankings tonight. And, Colon faced the Phillies in his last start, just five days ago, and threw seven innings of shutout ball, with five hits and eight K’s. In between, he made an appearance out of the pen, throwing eleven pitches for two more K’s and a clean inning in lieu of a bullpen session. All of which is to say, he apparently is going to pitch for 100 years.
Travis d’Arnaud vs. Eickhoff ($5,200) – He is averaging 13 fantasy points per game over his last ten, while slugging over .700 (due to the four home runs). And now he’s looking to continue it against Eickhoff, making his third start of the year.
Welington Castillo @ Bettis ($4,400) – With a pair of home runs in the past week to get him to seventeen for the year, it appears that the upside is for real. Hitting in Colorado certainly doesn’t hurt.
Buster Posey @ Anderson ($3,800) – Posey is priced lower than usual after a little bit of a slump where he was doing some hitting, but never seemed to be good for more than a single and a couple of points. Over the last few days, though, he has connected for a couple of doubles, and seems to be on an uptick. He’s hitting just over .300 with a pair of doubles in 13 at-bats against Anderson – which is strikingly similar to his season averages. I guess if you like what you’ve seen this season, generally speaking, expect more of it tonight.
Yadier Molina vs. Gonzalez ($2,800) – Molina has his average up above .280 for the year, and has been averaging just about eight fantasy points per game over the past two weeks – no reason not to take advantage of a hot streak like that. He also has a decent history in a small sample against Gonzales, going 5-for-12 (.417) with three doubles.
Joey Votto @ Hendricks ($5,500) – It’s funny – you usually need more to convince yourself to pull the trigger on an expensive option than on a cheap one. They’re just so important, I get it. But it ends up meaning the very best players have to have the most other options going for them before they get drafted, when, in fact, they are so good precisely because they’re the most likely to succeed despite a bad matchup, bad park, etc. You want to do what’s most likely, which makes sense, so, for this one, take note: Votto has five plate appearances against Hendricks and has a walk… and two home runs.
David Ortiz vs. Nova ($4,300) – He is hitting well over .300, with an OPS solidly over 1.100 for the past couple of weeks, and he has hit Nova well before – going 8-for-22 (.364) with two doubles and a home run. Nova gave up four runs on eight hits for the loss the only other time he faced the Red Sox this season, and Ortiz would likely be at the center of any kind of similar performance from the Sox in this one.
Logan Forsythe @ Chen ($3,600) – Forsythe is the kind of player you fill in the bottom of your roster with in a cash game rather than a GPP. He is the slow and steady 7 ppg performer who very rarely kills your chances, but who is unlikely to put you over the top in a big tournament.
Ryan Zimmerman @ Lackey ($3,500) – With hits in four straight, he’s getting a little easier to trust, seeming to round back into form after his stint on the DL. He faced Lackey one other time and went 2-for-3, so he’ll come into this one hoping he can build some momentum.
Dee Gordon @ Miller ($4,600) – His ownership percentages continue to be lower than I’d expect, and I can only explain it by assuming it’s the lack of power looking like a lack of upside. But with four-multi hit games and five steals in the past week, including a 4-steal game, the upside is real.
Daniel Murphy vs. Eickhoff ($4,200) – Still averaging just about a dozen fantasy points for the past two weeks, this hot streak just seems to keep getting longer. Jump on board. He had four hits including two doubles and a home run in the last three-game series against Philly, and that was just back in the middle of last week.
Brock Holt vs. Nova ($3,700) – With the success a few of these Red Sox have had against Nova, it certainly seems like there could be a few runs scored in this one. Holt likes to be involved in that sort of thing, with 44 runs scores and 37 RBI in just 371 at-bats so far this season.
Steve Pearce vs. Archer ($3,300) – Archer has been great this year, and especially lately. But he is 1-2 in three starts against Baltimore this year, and Pearce has been one of the guys to do the most damage, going 3-for-8 with a double and two home runs. He’s been back from the DL for about a week and getting regular at-bats, so there is no reason to think the injury is still holding him back any.
Kris Bryant vs. Lorenzen ($5,100) – Bryant has been the mainstay centerpiece of the Cubs offense all year, with his 77 RBI. He is up to 20 HR, and maintaining his .260 average. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, that figure is closer to .290, while he simultaneously hit a power surge (three home runs in the past week). There is no good reason to expect that to stop – Lorenzen hasn’t exactly been mowing down his opposition and Bryant has a pair of doubles against him in five at-bats, good for both consistency and upside in a small sample size.
Alex Rodriguez vs. Rodriguez ($4,700) – Even though Rodriguez has been very solid against the Yankees in his first two starts, holding them down forever is pretty tough – and with the way Nova has pitched lately, this one could get high-scoring. And A-Rod will probably be a part of that, with his .500/.571/1.167 slash line against Rodriguez in his two starts (3-for-6 with a double and a home run).
Manny Machado vs. Archer ($4,000) – The O’s have gotten plenty of exposure to Archer this year, so they should be as prepared as possible. Machado has gone 6-for-16 in this matchup so far, and the money is not too steep – at this price, it’s nice to be relatively confident you won’t be blanked.
Lonnie Chisenhall @ Price ($3,000) – You know a guy has had some rough stretches when he is 14 for his last 29 (.545) with a .752 slugging % over that span, but he still only costs $3,000. But the fact remains, he is 14-or-29. Also, he is hitting .364 in eleven at-bats against Price, with a double and a home run, which is weird. But also true.
Jose Reyes vs. Ray ($4,800) – While this recommendation isn’t because of the matchup, Ray isn’t enough to make me avoid Reyes either. With his .300 average over the past few weeks, he has hit three home runs in Colorado since the trade deadline, and still notches the occasional steal. A .300 average is enough of a baseline for this price based on consistency, which means you have to love seeing that speed/power combo shine through and providing some upside.
Francisco Lindor @ David Price ($4,000) – The switch-hitter doesn’t hit for quite as much power against lefties, but actually does hit for a slightly higher average. This price is almost holding a flashing sign that says “you have no right to be disappointed,” but imagine how good it would feel if nailed a $4,000 star for the night, especially one bound to have some extremely low ownership percentages. He is slashing .435/.480/.645 over the past two weeks, and crazier things have happened.
Yunel Escobar @ Lackey ($3,700) – He’s missed the last couple of games after getting hit with a pitch, but X-Rays were negative and his is listed as Day-to-Day. Obviously check to make sure he’s active before rolling with him, but if he is, he’s been one of the most consistent at his position all year long, and he has nice numbers against Lackey – 10-for-27 (.370) with three doubles. It’d be nice to see a solid option at a limited position return.
Addison Russell vs. Lorenzen ($3,300) – He came back from a minor injury last week, and it is nice to see him get through a few games without re-aggravating anything. He faced off against Lorenzen only one other time, earlier this year, and went 3-for-4, so maybe tonight is the night he shows he’s not just back, he’s ready to be a solid contributor to the Cubs and to your fantasy rosters.
Yoenis Cespedes vs. Eickhoff ($5,400) – Cespedes is going through a power surge of the like that makes you forget all about average. When someone has six home runs in a week, it doesn’t matter if he’s only connecting in one out of four at bats – that one was enough for plenty of fantasy usefulness.
Carlos Gonzalez vs. Ray ($5,000) – In a week where he left one game early and missed another with soreness in his knees, you have to be careful about rostering him, obviously. But even in that shortened week, he connected for three home runs and a double, and in a favorable matchup at home, he’ll probably return the value of his price tag – and might even exceed it – once you know he is going to be active.
Jacoby Ellsbury @ Rodriguez ($4,500) – Ellsbury has always been a lefty who hit lefties, and he has certainly shown the rookie that skill in their previous two meetings this year. Despite the fact that Rodriguez has only given up four runs in fourteen innings in his two starts against the Yankees (very respectable), it would have been better is Ellsbury wasn’t around (4-for-7 with 2 home runs).
Jason Werth @ Lackey ($3,200) – He has had a couple of extra base hits in the last few days, and at this price any upside at all counts. He’s had double-digits twice in the last week, with no zeroes. And against Lackey, he has hit .500 for his career (6-for-12) with three doubles and a home run. I’ll take that to save some budget space.
Alejandro De Aza vs. Nova ($2,900) – He is a long shot, hardly ever even playing lately. But I don’t know, if I managed the Red Sox, he might play tonight. He is, after all, 7-for-10 against Nova for his career, with a home run. That’ll do.
Michael Bourn vs. Narveson ($2,700) – Bourn is probably not on your radar. But if you just really, really love a bunch of expensive guys tonight, or want to start a couple of elite pitchers, he could be your longshot. For whatever unknown reason, he has faced Narveson ten times before – and he had hits in five of those at-bats. They were all singles – but singles can drive in runs when the rest of the offense is going well, which certainly seems possible.