The regular season is winding down, but a little more than a week of baseball is still a whole lot of DFS action. Here are some names for you to consider from Friday’s slate of games, at every position and price range. Good luck.
Jose Fernandez vs. ATL ($12,700) – Fernandez has been over 20 fantasy points the vast majority of the time all season long, with a floor somewhere in the mid-teens. That’s what his strikeout ability gets you. And the other thing it gets you is his 40-point upside, which Atlanta and their 22.7% K-rate could bring to the surface.
Carlos Carrasco @ KC ($10,300) – Apparently you just really don’t want to start Carrasco against the White Sox. Three starts against them since the end of July, three losses, and a fantasy average around ten. Meanwhile, he faced Kansas City a week ago and he struck out nine in six innings en route to 29 fantasy points. In fact, he has totaled 27.5 or more fantasy points in five of his eight starts (against the A’s, Angels, Yankees and Royals).
Jordan Zimmermann vs. PHI ($8,600) – It’s mostly about the matchup, of course. But Zimmermann has been over 20 fantasy points in four of five, and even though he gave up six runs to the Phillies last week, he also had eight K’s in six innings, and being scared of the Phillies putting up a bunch of runs just doesn’t feel right.
Ryan Weber @ MIA ($4,500) – I just wanted to make sure this kid was on your radar, for the next couple of starts. He has only pitched three games so far, and two of them were against Philly, but he has looked good. And as far as matchups go, Miami might be just as good. I know I also recommended the pitcher going opposite him tonight, but for $4,500, he doesn’t have to get the win to be worth the price.
Brian McCann vs. Rodon ($4,500) – I think there is a solid chance the Yankees put up a decent run total in this one, which makes everyone in their lineup worthy of consideration. But McCann is a good example of why tonight might not be the best night to spend big on a catcher – all the top names are either scuffling at the plate (McCann, Martin) right now or faced with a tough matchup (Posey).
Yasmani Grandal @ Hale ($4,000) – When in doubt, the catcher with the halfway decent home run total in Colorado is never a terrible choice, especially when you don’t have to break the bank to roster him.
Stephen Vogt vs. Leake ($3,500) – He has still not been cleared to catch, but he is getting time pretty regularly at either first base or DH. Check the lineups tonight before you decide to go with him, and keep in mind that he doesn’t have a hit since returning to action a few days ago. Maybe he’s due.
J.P. Arencibia @ Dickey ($3,300) – Catcher really is a tough roster spot to fill tonight, which makes me want to lean towards the cheapest of options. He has seemed to come back to earth after suffering a hand injury a few days back. But, from the beginning the injury was not thought to be serious, and it never actually kept him out of the lineup, so the further removed we are from it, the more he should be able to look like the player he was at the plate through his first 15 games or so – hopefully, anyway.
Paul Goldschmidt @ Kelly ($5,200) – He is the kind of bat you save up for. This is the way you like to spend big, on a player who almost definitely isn’t going to let you down, and who might just surprise you. He has double-digit fantasy points in four of his last five, and at least some fantasy points in every game going back more than two weeks.
Evan Gattis vs. Gallardo ($4,100) – With six hits – including two home runs and a double – in his last five games, Gattis has been his best self in the recent past. Averages will always play out in the end, and he is never going to hit for a high average, but he does have 26 home runs, and he is connecting at somewhat more than his usual rate over the past two weeks (hitting .241 both pre- and post-All Star break, but just over .290 for the past two weeks).
Justin Morneau vs. Bolsinger ($3,900) – One of my favorite picks of the night – maybe even my very favorite – he has faced Bolsinger one other time, and went 2-for-3 with a triple and a RBI. He is also 10-for-18 in his last five games, with four extra base hits over that same span. He started off at $3,300 less than a week ago, but I am not sure the price spike has kept pace with the production spike.
Victor Martinez vs. Pelfrey ($3,800) – He’s getting up there in years – maybe expecting any level of sustained production for 162 games was a fallacy. But he is closing the season strong right now, hitting safely in eight of his last nine starts.
Dustin Pedroia vs. Chen ($4,600) – Chen has had a lot of success against the Red Sox, but Pedroia has had his number throughout. If the Sox don’t put up big numbers as a team, that might limit his upside, but he has been on his own personal little tear lately to close out the season, slugging .685 over the past ten days, with three home runs and and six total extra base hits. He loves hitting in Fenway. And, he has a lot of exposure to Chen, in a good way – 17-for-35 (.486), with six doubles and a triple (to go along with three walks for an OBP over .500).
Justin Turner @ Hale ($4,400) – A second baseman with 15 home runs playing in Colorado is enough of a reason to consider someone. Inside the last five days, he has had a couple of doubles and a three-hit performance, so he is swinging the bat well right now, and Hale is not a matchup that should scare you.
Logan Forsythe @ Dickey ($3,600) – He’s been swinging the bat well again lately, which is something that comes in waves for him. He has four doubles and an average over .290 over the course of the last ten days, which, when coupled with his .316 average in 19 at-bats against Dickey, makes me confident to get him in my lineup tonight if I want to spend my bigger money elsewhere.
Jonathan Schoop @ Hill ($3,600) – Despite all the missed time, he is still up to 15 home runs on the year (in 79 games), looking more like a corner infielder at the plate than someone with a good glove and quick feet. Hill has looked pretty good for the Red Sox so far, but he is still inexperienced, and a veteran lineup like this one is certainly capable of getting to him. Once that happens, all bets are off, and the upside for all your Orioles skyrockets.
Matt Carpenter vs. Pena ($5,000) – Pena faced off against the Cardinals just about a week and a half ago, and Carpenter went 0-for-3. That’s not enough of a sample size for me to give the nod to Pena in this matchup – ultimately, he went only five innings in that contest (just like in both of his other starts as well). In this, his fourth start, and his first time facing an order twice, it is hard to imagine him making it much deeper into the contest, and Carpenter could be part of the reason why – with a .350 average, five double and five home runs in his last ten games, he is giving even the most veteran pitchers headaches.
Alex Rodriguez vs. Rodon ($4,500) – Rodon faced the Yankees one other time this season, and he only made it through three innings. A-Rod was a big part of the reason why, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a double. Plus, I am bored of recommending Bogaerts – but I almost did anyway.
Daniel Murphy @ DeSclafani ($4,100) – He’s not that cheap, but he IS a value. At $4,100, you’re getting a player who is leading his team’s offensive charge lately, usually intimately involved whenever the Mets throw together a big inning. He has fifteen hits in his last 41 at-bats (.378), and ten of them went for extra bases. He’s not just producing – he is producing in exactly the way you need for a big DFS tourney lineup.
Lonnie Chisenhall @ Volquez ($3,100) – I know, he hits .250, so maybe this was an anomaly. But, he faced Volquez one other time, and he went 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, and a walk. That is the kind of small sample size you like to see.
Carlos Correa vs. Gallardo ($4,600) – 19 home runs and 22 doubles in only 90 games. That’s 35 and 40 when you extrapolate over a full season – for a short stop! That’s A-Rod two decades ago kind of stuff.
Xander Bogaerts @ Gausman ($4,300) – I was just kidding before – I am still going to recommend Bogaerts. Of course I am! Why not? Averaging more than a dozen fantasy points per game over the last two weeks, he gets overlooked because of the lack of obvious power and speed numbers (seven home runs and only ten steals). He does hit a lot of singles, but he has an OBP over .400, and his batting average is more than 30 points better than the second best short stop in the majors. When the Red Sox start to produce, his value explodes. In a year where the team performed better, giving him a chance to record more runs and RBI, we’d be talking about him as one of the best young fantasy prospects in the game.
Yunel Escobar vs. Eickhoff ($4,100) – Escobar has been priced under $K for much of the season, reaching his cap right around this point, at $4,100 or so. It’s not surprising he is there now, with the way he has been performing at the plate – .383/.468/.473 over his last 41 at-bats. The power is not there in a big way, obviously, but he is still hitting enough that he’s been at 9 or more fantasy points six times in his last ten.
Asdrubal Cabrera @ Dickey ($3,400) – Teams are always looking to put more runs on the board against this Toronto offense, and even if the Rays are 12 games back, they always want to stay competitive in these divisional matchups. Cabrera could be a part of any offense the Rays manage to generate, with a great history against Dickey (6-for-16 with three walks, a double, a triple, and two home runs).
Bryce Harper vs. Eickhoff ($6,100) – Harper has apparently decided to try to put an exclamation point on the end of his MVP application to close out the year. With 14 hits in his last 33 at-bats, with TWELVE walks mixed in (for good reason), he has five home runs, ten RBI and 12 runs scored in that same span. He cannot be stopped. At least not by Eickhoff.
Mookie Betts vs. Gausman ($4,800) – This could be a high scoring affair at Fenway tonight, and Betts and his .379 average since the beginning of September could be a big part of the reason why. For whatever it is worth, the Red Sox have got to be encouraged by the way some of their bats are closing out the season. A few pitchers in the off-season could go a long way.
Jason Heyward vs. Pena ($4,400) – Heyward is averaging nine fantasy points per game over his last ten, mainly by virtue of his four doubles, six runs scored and four RBI. Against Pena, in one other matchup, he had two doubles, a run scored and a RBI. Sound familiar?
Khris Davis @ Martinez ($3,700) – If DFS is about making the most of your opportunities, Davis is your man tonight, because he has certainly made the most of his opportunities against Martinez, going 4-for-10 with two doubles, a home run, two runs scored and a RBI. I’ll take that kind of upside for this price.
Carlos Beltran vs. Rodon ($3,700) – In his only other matchup with Rodon, he went 2-for-2 with two doubles as the Yankees put eight runs on the board in three innings. He also has been swinging the bat well as of late, with three home runs in the past week – that combination tells me there is some cheap upside to be had here tonight.
Colby Rasmus vs. Gallardo ($3,200) – Rasmus is what he is – 21 homes runs and a .233 average. Obviously, there is risk. But the reward can be worth it if you manage to zero in on the nights where he isn’t just going to go 0-for-4, and maybe tonight will be one of those nights. There is evidence for it, considering his history against Gallardo, which includes a .318 average and a .486 OBP, not to mention the two double and two home runs (29 plate appearances).
Anthony Gose vs. Pelfrey ($3,100) – Sometimes, you just need to hope. This is obviously the kind of play you make in a GPP where you have big upside plays going on everywhere in your lineup, not in a 50/50 or something similar where you just want some guaranteed production. Because nothing about Gose is guaranteed. But he does have five hits in twelve tries against Pelfrey (.417), including a pair of doubles, so if there was a night he could be a contributor for you, tonight might be it.