I found myself looking at my roster for Wednesday night at FanDuel, and realizing I was left with money. Not $300 in salary that I might use to upgrade a position. $2300.
That was enough money to think about going the expert route.
As a daily fantasy league, FanDuel uses a salary cap for selecting a team rather than an unmanageable draft system. The standard league format for MLB uses $35,000 in salary to be used on a starting pitcher and eight position players. However, there are also expert leagues available that limit you to $32,000 in salary, or $3,000 less than normal.
Since my assembled roster was already so close to that mark, all I needed to do was drop $500 and I could try out my roster in an expert league against others with the same constraint.
First let’s look at how I got to the $2500 in leftover cap space.
It’s almost impossible to have that much room leftover without a dark horse cheap pitching option, and I had one.
Believe it or not at first that pitching option was Miguel Gonzalez of the Orioles. That’s odd because I have gone with pitchers facing the Orioles for three of the last four nights, prompting me to call last night’s column Beating a Dead Horse. Yet tonight I was thinking of using a sleeper pitcher against David Price facing the kings of whiff in Baltimore. He was only $4700.
A closer look at matchups found me another sleeper I liked better. A.J. Griffin of the A’s. Just as poor an offense to back him up, really, but his 6K/9IP and 1.8BB/9IP looked better than Miguel Gonzalez’s 7.55K/9IP with over 4BB/9IP. The Rays strike out a lot, but they are also near the top of the league in walks. Plus Ricky Romero seems an easier assignment for the A’s than David Price for the O’s.
With one exception for the O’s, that is C Matt Wieters for $3200. He is 7 for 21 against Price, with 2 doubles and 2 walks. Wieters is a switch hitter, but far better from the right side of the plate – .358 BA versus .208 fom the left side of the plate. Putting a lefthander in against Wieters is doing him a favor. Wieters has only 1 hit in the last four games, but he walked and scored in two when he went hitless.
To try to take advantage of Romero I went with Oakland’s 1B Chris Carter ($3400). He has cooled off some since starting with 5 homers in 29 at bats, but Ricky Romero woudl seem to be the cure for that.
In Arizona, the Diamondbacks are facing Jeff Francis of the Rockies, who has been up and down. But OF Chris Young ($3500) is 8 for 24 facing him, OF Justin Upton ($3800) is 6 for 15, and SS Willie Bloomquist ($3300) is 2 for 3. Bloomquist is also red hot, with multi-hit games in 5 of the last 6.
Houston’s Bud Norris throws well against the Reds relatively, but OF Ryan Ludwick ($3400) is 5 for 15 against him. 3B Todd Frazier ($3300) has not faced him, but is 7 for 18 going into tonight.
That left me with $5800 for a second baseman. I figure that left me an extra $2300, which is where we came in.
That’s when I saw the name I should have been looking at all along. Derek Lowe. Oh, Derek Lowe. Who from the Tigers might take you out of the park? How about OF Delmon Young ($3200), 4 for 8 against Lowe with 1 HR and a walk to go with that. Sold. Swap out Young for Upton and expert league here I come. I might still want to get Upton in instead, but I like the look of my roster.