I’m always interested in trying to predict tournament ownership. There are all sorts of little cues I use to help me do that, but one I’m focused on more of late is how position eligibility will affect popularity. I’ve noticed anecdotally that players with multi-position eligibility are perhaps over-owned in GPPs because they’re obviously easier to fit into lineups.

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On the flip side, there are guys who are difficult to fit into lineups because of their position eligibility. There are certain teams that have studs who you can’t fit into the same lineup. I’ve talked about the value I think Adam LaRoche offers against righties because pretty much everyone is still on Jose Abreu and you can’t fit both into your lineup, even if you want to stack the Sox.

The idea is to consider how other daily fantasy players are going to make decisions. You know when you stack Chicago that you need to decide between LaRoche and Abreu or when you play Houston you need to play either Evan Gattis or Chris Carter, which is a trouble for others as well. Most are going to go with the more high-value player, and it ultimately ends up creating a very predictable situation of underutilization. If there’s a knock on using ownership to make decisions it’s that it might not be incredibly predictable right now, but it does seem as though there’s some consistency with these players who play the same position as another stud on their team.


The Teams

EARLY: NY Yankees (vs Cole Hamels)

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a big believer in Vegas. Sportsbooks have a very clear financial incentive to get things right. Ultimately, if they create very accurate lines and predictions, they minimize their long-term risk and make money.

Vegas has the Yankees currently projected at 4.2 implied runs against Cole Hamels. I don’t know why that’s the case, exactly. This is a day game in nice weather with wind blowing out to right field, but it’s still a nasty lefty against a left-hand dominant lineup. Even though it’s not rare for daily fantasy players to check the Vegas lines, I still think most are going to be scared away by this situation. I’m going to chance it and assume ownership will be low here on a high-upside lineup that could be a potential league-winner.


LATE: Texas Rangers (vs Kendall Graveman)

The Texas Rangers are always intriguing at home, but the knock on them has been a potential lack of upside. They haven’t been good at converting runs into fantasy points, but that might be shifting. Adrian Beltre is back. Joey Gallo adds a ton of power from the two spot. The main downside is you can’t roster Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland together. I’d consider going with the latter, even though he’s probably an inferior value, because everyone who stacks Texas and everyone who chooses between Fielder and Moreland is going to go with the former.


The Players

EARLY: 1B Chris Carter, Houston (vs Matt Shoemaker) – $3600

As mentioned, Carter is another example of a player who will have reduced ownership as long as he has the same position eligibility as Evan Gattis. Today, Carter even costs $100 more than Gattis, and given that he hits later in the order, you can bet Gattis is going to be much heavier owned. I’ve been starting Carter quite a bit lately due solely to the ability to predict that ownership due to his position eligibility, and he’s clearly a high-upside player.


EARLY: OF Preston Tucker, Houston (vs Matt Shoemaker) – $3200

I didn’t list Houston as a stack, but I’ve mentioned in the past they’re pretty much always in play. They might strike out 10 times, they might go deep five times. Who knows. Tucker is arguably the best value on the team who I think you can play outside of Houston stacks. He’s crushed righties this season with a .349 wOBA and an insane .298 ISO. Basically, when he makes contact, the ball is going very far.


LATE: 3B Jake Lamb, Arizona (vs David Hale) – $4100

If Yasmany Tomas is back tonight, he’s going to steal ownership from Lamb. Tomas was scratched late last night, but he’s basically the Gattis to Lamb’s Tucker. Lamb has hit righties well this year and there’s obvious upside for him tonight in Colorado.


LATE: P Roenis Elias, Seattle (vs Kansas City) – $7400

Gerrit Cole is very clearly the best value at pitcher tonight. It’s so obvious that I think you could make a case you can consider fading him because he’s going to be a very popular choice. Even if you like Cole as your top dog, I think Elias is going to be under-owned because people will think he has limited upside against the Royals. Kansas City has been striking out more of late, however, Elias has a notorious “under” ump behind the plate in Greg Gibson. Vegas has Kansas City at just 3.5 implied runs, too.