Johnny Cueto vs. SF ($10,100)-There’s only been one game all season long where Cueto failed to go more than six innings, so look for him to get deep into the game and bring his usual hard-throwing stuff. Cueto is averaging 22.8 FPPG, with 47 K in 51.1 IP, over the season. I know you’ve got to spend high-end dollars to lock Cueto in, but he’s extremely worth it.
Jonathan Niese @ CHC ($7,900) – It’s funny to think that Wrigley Field is heavily favoring pitchers right now, but that’s definitely the case. Plus, Niese is averaging 16.1 FPPG over the season and he should have a pretty good shot at shutting the Cubs down, especially if he continues to limit the walks like he has over his last three starts.
Roenis Elias vs. BOS ($7,100) – I bet ya didn’t know that Elias has a 16.1 FPPG average over three starts? Not bad, eh? Elias has only been active since the end of April, so those numbers are interesting. I’ve never been a big supporter of Elias, but there’s something about him on Thursday. The $7.1 K price isn’t anything special, and really only a slight value.
Brett Anderson vs. COL ($6,500) – I love Anderson on Thursday. He doesn’t net the K’s I want to see, hence the $6.5 K salary, but he has stepped up nicely only giving up ZERO earned runs over his last 11 innings pitched. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting Anderson to blank the Rockies, but it’s not inconceivable for him to give up a run or two facing a weak Rockies club. Will the Rockies break their 10-game losing streak against Anderson? Um, no.
Russell Martin @ Roberto Hernandez – HOU ($4,900) – So far so good on the Blue Jays signing of Martin. Dude has been huge since the beginning of the season and I have no problem at all locking him in facing Houston while he’s on a hot streak. Martin is hitting .475 over his last 10 games, with 4 HR and 6 RBI.
Carlos Santana vs. Michael Wacha – STL ($4,200) – Check out the price tag on a catcher that can give you boom numbers. I mean, sure, Santana is prone to very bad days and streaks, but he drives in runs at a great clip.
Brian McCann @ Erasmo Ramirez -TB ($3,700) – McCann isn’t hitting well for average, but as long as he keeps driving in runs (19 RBI on the season), I’m good. That is all.
Miguel Montero vs. Jonathan Niese – NYM ($3,300) – Listen, you’re not going to get Russell Martin-like numbers, but Montero is playing well and he’s at a very affordable price, which is $1.6 K lower than Martin. While I don’t mind spending the big bucks on Martin, I’m good with locking onto Martin and putting my dollars into another position.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Pelfrey – MIN ($5,100) – Cabrera is only hitting .167 over his last 10 games, so you know a “boom” night is coming. Will it be Thursday? Yes, yes, it’ll be Thursday, as Miggy faces the soft-tossing Pelfrey. I would really hate to be the pitcher facing a struggling Miggy.
**Carlos Santana vs. Michael Wacha – STL ($4,200)* – Yep, Santana makes it here as well in the first baseman section. Re-read above at catcher if you want reassurance on Santana as your first baseman.
Joe Mauer @ Anibal Sanchez – DET ($3,800) – Hey, if you can roster a player in your DFS lineup without expecting a home run, or any major power at that, then Mauer is your guy. Mauer will get you 6-to-7 fantasy points, but don’t expect more than that. And, I understand completely if you want a bigger bat at first base.
Chris Colabello @ Roberto Hernandez – HOU ($3,300) – Yes, I know, it’s not going to last, but why not take a chance at this price considering the sub-level pitcher in Hernandez that Colabello is facing? Colabello has been scorching hot, going 14-for-26 over his last seven games.
Jason Kipnis vs. Michael Wacha – STL ($5,100) – Kipnis is 9-for-14 over his last three games played. Yeah, wow-zers! I’m geeked, are you? Sometimes you just have to go with the hot hand, no matter the matchup. I love Kipnis on Thursday and while I don’t expect three hits, two is about right. Dude is on fire.
Brandon Phillips vs. Tim Lincecum – SF ($4,100) – You’re not going to get boom numbers from Phillips, but he does have a homer and three extra-base hits against Lincecum in 17 career at-bats. BUT, keep in mind that Phillips is fighting a toe injury and could find his way to the bench. It’s worth monitoring.
Dustin Pedroia @ Roenis Elias – SEA ($3,800 ) – I’m sorry, but Pedroia at this price? Huge steal for what Pedroia is giving owners. Pedroia’s salary hasn’t caught up to his production yet. Lock him in.
Luis Valbuena vs. Drew Hutchison – TOR ($3,700) – Valbuena is listed here based on his sub-$4 K price and the power that he provides. Nothing else. If you don’t want to take the risk on him floundering, then I have no issue with you passing.
Miguel Cabrera vs. Mike Pelfrey – MIN ($5,100) – Ditto. Read the first baseman section again.
Mike Moustakas @ Ross Detwiler – TEX ($4,200) – Yep, Moustakas is still proving to be a solid DFS third baseman to roster. The price is decent and it becomes even more attractive when you see that Moose has an .859 OPS. Detwiler isn’t exactly an ace-like pitcher, and he’s struggled majorly this season with a 7.22 ERA.
Logan Forsythe vs. Chase Whitley – NYY ($3,200) – This is more about the price than anything, with Forsythe netting everyday at-bats. Again, no real numbers here to back up this suggestion. But, do consider there aren’t many full-time players that are hitting above .300 around the $3,200 price.
Casey McGehee @ Johnny Cueto – CIN ($3,000) – This is a total shot-in-the-dark play, so be sure to check if McGehee is even in the lineup on Thursday. McGehee is hitting .300 AVG in 20 at-bats, with a homer, against Cueto.
Alcides Escobar @ Ross Detwiler – TEX ($4,500) – Did you know that Escobar only has two stolen bases on the season? Sort of a bummer, I’d say, although Escobar is hitting the ball very well right now, going 11-for-28 (.393 AVG) over his last seven games. Plus, the stolen bases will come.
Elvis Andrus vs. Jeremy Guthrie – KC ($4,100) – Believe it or not, Andrus has a home run against Guthrie; however, the reason I list Andrus here is that he’s got a lifetime .360 AVG in 25 at-bats facing Guthrie. Throw in a few more extra-base hits and you’ve got a sneaky play at SS for an affordable salary.
Danny Santana @ Anibal Sanchez – DET ($3,900) – Santana has struggled this season, although there is some light at the end of the tunnel. In 11 at-bats, Santana is hitting .455 against Sanchez. I know, I know, there I go again with the small sample sizes. Still, I like Santana on Thursday, especially if you throw in a bit of gut feeling.
Ian Desmond @ Tyson Ross – SD ($3,800) – Okay, so Desmond isn’t doing what he’s supposed to do, but you see the value here, right? Getting Desmond locked-in for under the $4 K mark is way okay in my book. The value is pretty good, even with Desmond’s struggles to this point. I just can’t pass on the price tag.
Bryce Harper @ Tyson Ross – SD ($5,400) – Harper is just too flippin’ hot to ignore, with 7 HR over his last seven games played, which leads to a 16.1 FPPG average over his last 10 played. Dude is on fire right now – a must-start option for me even at $5.4 K AND playing at the cavernous Petco Park in San Diego.
Andrew McCutchen @ Aaron Harang – PHI ($5,200) – McCutchen is starting to finally bring up his batting average, as he’s hit a solid .283 over his last 10 contests. It’s not like Cutch was going to continue his .200 clip, right? He has good history against Harang, with a .391 OBP in 20 at-bats.
Starling Marte @ Aaron Harang – PHI ($4,900) – Yes, I like Pittsburgh against the Phillies on Thursday, especially the guys that can drive the ball out of the park. Marte’s personal numbers against Harang are sort of empty without any RBI or HR, although he is slashing .417/.462/.417 in 12 at-bats with a couple of drawn walks. I like the 9.9 FPPG average Marte has put together over his last 10 games played.
Shin-soo Choo vs. Jeremy Guthrie – KC ($4,200) – Choo is 7-for-14 over his last three games, while averaging 13.33 FPPG. It looks like he’s finally seeing the ball better and driving it. Although Choo doesn’t hit Guthrie terribly well (2-for-10, .200 AVG), both of his hits have gone for home runs.
Matt Kemp vs. Doug Fister – WAS ($4,100) – Fister is not a pitcher that should dominate Kemp with their limited history, so, while Kemp is hitting a putrid .095 over his last 39 at-bats, he’s going to break out of his slump at some point. The price really catches my attention at $4.1 K and presents itself as a decent value with the skill set that Kemp owns.
Denard Span @ Tyson Ross – SD ($3,900) – Span has been awful against left-handed pitching this year, but we don’t have to worry about that with the matchup facing Ross. Span has had a couple solid games of late, and he’s been drawing a few more walks than he did early on this season. There’s a good shot Span gets on base at least twice.
Delino DeShields vs. Jeremy Guthrie – KC ($3,800) – With Leonys Martin missing some time ahead it seems, DeShields is a reasonable choice considering his stolen base prowess. He’s 9-for-10 this season so far in SB attempts, while averaging 9.5 FPPG over the last 10 days of play.
Seth Smith vs. Joe Kelly – BOS ($3,800) – Joe Kelly is a right-hander and Smith hits righties well, enough to use in a DFS format. There’s always been a bit of pop in his bat and you have to love the fact that Smith leads off for the Mariners when he’s in the lineup. Smith is a great one-day play!
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