Fantasy Football Boom or Bust: Week 15

Randall Cobb
Randall Cobb has a tough matchup this week against Buffalo

Week 15 officially means all fantasy football playoffs have started. This week was particularly hard for me to find bust players because there are so many great matchups and if you are in the playoffs it probably means your lineup has been pretty consistent. For quarterbacks this week I found two guys who are within the top 12 for points that I think will fail to live up to expectations. If I am going to tell you two guys that are going to be outside the top 12 I need to tell you two guys that will make their way in this week. For running back and wide receiver I found players that are usually wavering on the flex position or guys that have been inconsistent this year. Even in a tough week there are players that you definitely want to play and ones that I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

Good luck! And remember, if you lose it’s your fault but if you win it’s mine!

Boom:

Kyle Orton: For those of you who own Cam Newton or Colin Kaepernick and need to stream a quarterback this week, Kyle Orton is your man. He is coming off a performance where he threw for 355 yards and a touchdown in a game where they trailed Denver from the start. I suspect the Bills will be in a very similar situation this week when they host the red-hot Packers. Orton will also benefit from the sub-par Packer pass defense that has allowed quarterbacks to throw for multiple touchdowns 9 times this year.

Matthew Stafford: Calvin Johnson has been healthy for 8 games this year and in 4 of those contests Stafford has thrown for at least 290 yards and 2 touchdowns. The common denominator? Both of those games have come over the last 2 weeks. On paper this is not a great matchup for Stafford as the Vikings have held 7 quarterbacks to single-digit fantasy performances in 2014. Look for Stafford to have a rebound game at home with his favorite target in the lineup.

Mark Ingram: The Saints have won 3 of their last 8 games, woof! In those wins Ingram’s stat lines read as follows; 24 carries 172 yards 1 TD, 30 carries 100 yards 2 TD, 23 carries 122 yards 0 TD. If the Saints want to win the worst division in the NFL they should follow their running back rather than their struggling aerial attack.

Chris Ivory/Chris Johnson: The Titans have allowed opposing teams to run for over 97 yards in 11 games. They’ve also given up a touchdown on the ground in 9 of their 13 contests. Ivory and Johnson have combined for 65 carries over the last 2 weeks and should continue to pile up the touches in week 15. Both are solid flex options in week 15. Oh yeah, and this is a revenge game for the former CJ2K.

Isaiah Crowell: Cleveland backs ran for 169 yards and 3 touchdowns in their first meeting with the Bengals. This week, Crowell should benefit from Johnny Manziel’s dual-threat abilities, which should open up the Bengal defense some. Even in a shared backfield, Crowell should still see a healthy carry count. Cincinnati was shredded last week against the Steelers and Le’Veon Bell, allowing 194 yards and 2 scores on the ground.

Sammy Watkins: After 4-straight disappointing performances, Watkins had a huge week 14, catching 7 balls for 127 yards. After watching the Monday night game it became very evident to me that the Packers’ defense is below average. They have allowed 10 touchdown to receivers over the last 4 games and are fortunate to have such a great offense that forces the opposing offense into catchup mode. The Bills should try and control the ball against the Pack to keep it close, but if they are not able to, get ready for some big garbage time points out of Watkins.

Roddy White: This pick is somewhat dependent on Julio Jones’ status. If the burner doesn’t play, White becomes a must start. Even if Jones does suit up I still think Roddy could have a solid game. In each of their last 6 games the Steelers have allowed at least 1 touchdown catch to receivers and are allowing 205 yards per game to opposing wideout corps. The Steelers are also very susceptible to the big play giving up pass plays of 69, 80 and 81 yards over their last 3.

Bust:

Russell Wilson: Two weeks ago in San Francisco, Wilson rushed for 35 yards and passed for 236. As bad as the 49ers’ offense has been their defense has still preformed as a top-5 unit, holding opposing quarterbacks to under 200 yards passing 5 times this season.

Joe Flacco: The Jacksonville pass defense has been surprisingly solid over their last 3 games. During that time, they have surrendered only 2 scores and just 211 yards through the air per contest. On the contrary, Flacco has not put up big numbers recently considering the success of his team. He hasn’t thrown more than 2 touchdowns in a game since week 6 and has only broken the 300 yard mark 3 time all years. Baltimore will have to continue their success by running the ball and playing sound defense.

Frank Gore: In his previous meeting with Seattle, Gore rushed 10 times for 28 yards. The Seahawks defense is holding opposing teams to an average of 26 rushing yards per game over the last 3. Avoid Gore against a defense that seems to be turning their swag back on.

Lamar Miller: Miller hasn’t eclipsed 100 total yards in any game since week 3. He also has only 6 touchdowns on the year and has received more than 15 carries just once. With New England almost completely shutting down opposing run games over the last month plus, I’m sitting Miller if I can.

DeSean Jackson: Jackson was held to 1 catch for 9 yards in his earlier meeting with the Giants. Since that time, the Redskins quarterback situation has become a complete mess and the Giants pass defense has improved. The Giants haven’t allowed a receiving corps to break 200 yards since week 3. With the Redskins being what they are and Jackson not being 100% healthy don’t expect that streak to end in week 15.

Randall Cobb: With it being the playoffs it would be pretty hard to bench Cobb, but maybe you own a couple other receivers with better matchups. Cobb has only broken 100 yards and scored a touchdown once in his last 5 games. If you own him, you probably have to start him. Just know that Buffalo has a strong pass defense and a big day out of Cobb is probably unlikely.

Photo cred: http://goo.gl/rxIJnt

Check out FantasyRundown.com for all of our latest articles and other great fantasy content.

Payton is the newest fantasy football contributor to The Sports Script. Be on the lookout for more of his work in the coming weeks and follow him on Twitter @PaySand!

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Top DFS Plays for 09/02/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Torri Hunter vs. Carlos Carrasco – hitting .500 (6/12) with a 2B, a 3B, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs & a BB

Justin Upton, Chris Johnson & Freddie Freeman vs. Kyle Kendrick – Wouldn’t be mad if all three guys were in the lineup today.

Giancarlo Stanton vs. Jonathon Niese – hitting .375 (9/24) with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs & 2 BBs

Gregor Blanco vs. Jordan Lyles – hitting .500 (2/4) with a HR, 2 RBIs & a BB
Blanco took Lyles deep in their 1st head to head matchup, can he do it again?

Russell Martin vs. Adam Wainwright – hitting .370 (10/27) with 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs & 4 BBs

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Giancarlo Stanton

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Clayton Kershaw vs. Washington Nationals – I don’t care who this guy is facing if he is on the mound, I am starting him.

Movie of the Day – Hot Rod – This movie is one of my all-time favorites!!!!!!!! If you haven’t seen this, you need to change that tonight.

Follow me on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Top DFS Plays for 08/22/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Mark Teixeria vs. John Danks – hitting .533 (8/15) with 2 2Bs, a HR, 5 RBIs & a BB

Jacoby Ellsbury vs. John Danks – hitting .429 (6/14) with a 2B & a RBI

Jayson Werth vs. Tim Hudson – hitting .366 (15/41) with 4 2Bs, 3 HRs, 11 RBIs & 5 BBs

David Ortiz vs. King Felix – hitting .324 (11/34) with a 2B, a HR, 6 RBIs & 6 BBs
Love this matchup

Freddie Freeman, Justin Upton & Chris Johnson vs. Mat Latos – All hitting above .400 against Latos as well as over .400 over the last week.

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: David Ortiz  

Top DFS Pitcher for today:

Robbie Ray vs. Minnesota Twins – In his only start against the Twins this season he went 6 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs and 2 Ks. The Twins aren’t much better than they were on 5/11 of this year and they might be worst. It’s not going to be the flashiest starts today but he will get the job done and afford you to put some big time hitters in the lineup today.

Drew Smyly vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Smyly has gone back to back games into the 7th inning as well as striking out 13 over the course of those two games. Toronto hasn’t been playing it’s best baseball and neither has the Rays but I really like Smyly and his value today.

TV Show of the Day – Modern Family – All the tops Fall Shows are just a few short weeks away from coming back and this is one of the my favorites to watch. I love catching the re-runs on the 80 millions channels they are on.

5 Burning Questions: Fantasy Running Backs

The fantasy football Season is upon us and our team here at The Sports Script wants to make sure you are completely prepared for your draft! Our football staff will be periodically releasing questions and answers to burning questions that the readers have at each position. Our talented team of writers  has you covered! Today we continue with our running back installment.

5 questions about fantasy RB:

1. Who are you taking with the #1 pick? Why?

Gallimore: I am taking Adrian Peterson. With Norv Turner in town I see the receptions increasing and AP getting the ball in space which will lead to good things. Also, truth be told, I am a huge AP fan and just like watching him play. Fantasy Football is about having fun too, right?

Moore: Jamaal Charles. Not sure why isn’t getting picked #1 overall in PPR. He’s a dynamic runner and a hell of a receiver. He had more receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns than Shady last season. Sproles is an Eagle now and should eat into McCoy’s targets. Charles will once again be the team leader in Kansas City in pretty much everything.

Hines: If you haven’t looked at it yet, make sure you read my column on why I think AP should be #1 in almost any fantasy format this year. In this article I compare AP to Jamaal Charles but the stats on AP really show why I think he is looking at a huge 2014.

Valero: Peterson. Charles just got paid and while he will be good this year, he just isn’t going to finish #1 overall. I actually think he finishes outside the top 5. McCoy will finish in the top 5 and don’t hate him at #1 but Sproles is going to cut into some of his targets.

2. Which late-round RB will make the biggest impact?

Gallimore: I am considering late round as anything after pick 100. Based on that, I like Chris Ivory with an ADP of 133 right now. He will be the goal line back and I just don’t trust Chris Johnson to run hard. If Ivory stays healthy (big if) he could be in line for a nice season. The Jets are going to run the ball a whole lot.

Moore: James White. The Pats like to rotate backs and he has impressed so far in camp. If Vereen gets hurt and/or Ridley has ball security problems again, White will be a starter and could easily put up RB3 stats. He is a 3-down back and will have the chance to get some serious touches right out of the gate if he keeps this up.

Hines: André Williams went #130 in my last mock draft on ESPN and I think he has a chance to be a s-t-u-d! He was already projected to be in the mix this year in a Coughlin offense that loves to run. Unfortunately, David Wilson’s injury is going to keep him out but his carries have to go somewhere and I think they are going to go to Williams. Look for him later when people are drafting “elite” defenses.

Valero: Mark Ingram is a guy that I am targeting super late in drafts. He’s not in the best situation for a running back, but I think he could have a nice season. He is the 47th ranked RB (according to Fantasy Pros) and I think he has a chance to finish in the top 25 this year which means he’d be a steal for fantasy owners.

3. Your biggest bust? Go.

Gallimore: I’m going with Arian Foster. He is already hurt and the Texans will be running a new system. It just doesn’t appear that Foster is into football at the moment (talking about retirement a bit). I wouldn’t touch him until the late 2nd or early 3rd round and he will be taken before that.

Moore: Tie between Bishop Sankey and Trent Richardson, but since Sankey is being drafted higher. He is going to be playing in an offense where they will pass the ball a lot.  Sankey may only end up being a 2-down back and Shonn Greene will take both 3rd down and goal-line touches. Sankey is being drafted as a mid-tier RB2, but probably won’t even perform as an RB2.

Hines: Frank Gore. Year after year we think Gore is going to decline and year after year he proves us wrong. That being said, I think 2014 is the year where we finally see a decline in workload and production. The 49ers also just released their backup RB in Kendall Hunter. Carlos Hyde is currently going undrafted in 10 team drafts. If you are looking for this year’s Zac Stacy, I think Carlos Hyde could be a game changer. Don’t sleep on him.

Valero: I have a laundry list of guys I don’t like this year but I am going to roll with Le’Veon Bell. While I like him a lot and think he has a ton of talent, the signing of LeGarrette Blount is really going to have an impact on Bell’s goal-line touches. Being selected in the top 10 right now, I just don’t see him finishing there.

4. Best handcuff target?

Gallimore: I tend not to target handcuffs just for handcuff sake. I look for someone who has skills to flourish and take over if possible. The obvious name on everyone’s list is Christine Michael so I won’t go there. Instead, I am looking at Charles Sims in Tampa. Thought of as a Matt Forte type as he can do it all given the chance plus he is Lovie’s guy and might get a shot even if Martin doesn’t get hurt.

Moore: Bryce Brown. The Bills wouldn’t have traded for him if they didn’t really like him. CJ Spiller is prone to getting hurt and Fred Jackson (while I adore him), could break down and need to rest. Enter Bryce in the most run-friendly offense in the league. He has talent but was always over-shadowed by Shady McCoy in Philly. He could put up low-end RB2 numbers if opportunity knocks.

Hines: Whoops, did I just combine questions 3 & 4? Carlos Hyde is one of my handcuffs for 2014, but my biggest handcuff would be Christine Michael. Michael will be backing up Marshawn Lynch and is the RB of the future in Seattle. If you are in a dynasty/keeper league, make sure this guy is on your team. I am also looking at Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is “backing up” Trent Richardson in Indianapolis. Remember what T-Rich did last year? Draft Bradshaw at the end of your draft, even if you pass by Richardson.

Valero: Playing the handcuff game can be tricky. I like taking starting tailbacks early and often. Joique Bell is obviously the top handcuff this season but his ADP doesn’t represent him as such. So give me Terrance West, there has been a lot of ranting and raving about the guy in practice. Ben Tate is someone I love this year but an injury to him would make this West’s team and I think he would thrive.

5. Is Montee Ball a top 5 option?

Gallimore: I don’t think Montee Ball will live up to the hype. However, now with the appendectomy clouding things, his ADP might drop a bit to a point where he is worth taking. He still doesn’t hit the top 5 because I believe CJ Anderson will steal more touches than people realize.

Moore: Nope, and I’m skeptical he will even finish in top 10. I know he is in a Peyton Manning offense and Moreno put up RB1 numbers last year, but he didn’t have the ball security issues like Ball does. I don’t trust him until I see him keep a firm grip on the rock. If Ball starts repeating last year’s mistakes, he’ll be yanked quickly. He’s on a short-leash and has ball security issues, not a good recipe for a RB.

Hines: Montee Ball is the main man in Denver now. Moreno has moved onto “bigger and better” things, leaving the former Wisconsin stud in charge behind Peyton Manning. Ball is an explosive back who will get almost, if not all, the goal line carries but is that going to be enough to make it into the elite status on RB in 2014? While I do love Ball, I think we are looking at a solid option but one that finishes in the 8 to 13 range. The elite of the elite (Peterson, Charles, McCoy, and Forte) will most likely be ranked 1-4 in any order as long as health is costant. Lacy, Murray, Lynch and Foster look to be the top contenders for the 5th spot in 2014.

Valero: I am not on the Ball bandwagon just based on the fact he could fumble his way into the dog house with John Fox. Even if he protects the rock, I don’t see a top 5 finish out of Ball. He may finish inside the top 10, but I am totally against drafting Ball at his current ADP.

Make sure to follow Ricky, Jared, Shane and Doug on Twitter. The Sports Script is your one stop shop for fantasy football coverage in 2014.

Script Splits: Using Advanced Stats to Rank 3B

Arenado is quietly emerging in Tulo's shadow in Colorado
Nolan Arenado is quietly emerging behind Tulo’s shadow in Colorado

As this series continues, it is becoming apparent why some players have more value in the daily game as compared to seasonal leagues in fantasy. It is also showing how some players like David Wright are drastically overvalued in both formats. It also shows how important knowing the splits is especially when a star player is lost to injury. If a league has a deep enough bench with daily lineups, a savvy owner can take advantage of the split advantages and use a Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson replace a star third baseman lost to injury. If this piques your interest, then this article is for you. First I will list the five categories used to measure the third baseman’s value:

wOBA: Weighted On Base Average represents all the ways a player gets on base (HBP counts in this metric). It is used to measure a player’s overall offensive value.

ISO: Isolated Power  is simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average.

OPS: On base plus Slugging is exactly what it’s surname suggests, adding together both statistics (OBP and SLG%). In the daily game being getting on base via the extra base hit is preferred.

AB/HR: A simple stat. How many homers does a player hit between each at bat? The fewer the better.

wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus A measure of how many runs a player creates. The “+” accounts for differing ballpark factors. So a player who’s home park is Coors is weighted to equal one in Citi Field, for example.

Using these advanced can help to identify what players hold the most value without relying on the basic five category statistics that most rotisserie leagues value. It is especially important the two of the categories are weighted statistics which represent a player’s true value. Below will be the lists for each category with the players ranked in order and then an aggregate list to show the top 12 using an average of all five advanced statistics.

3rd Baseman versus Left-Handed Pitchers (minimum 70 at bats):

wOBA:
1. Josh Donaldson .461
2. Chris Johnson .459
3. Aramis Ramirez .444
4. David Wright .439
5. Adrian Beltre .395
6. David Freese .387
7. Martin Prado .380
8. Danny Valencia .374
9. Evan Longoria .372
10. Lonnie Chisenhall .371
11. Nick Castellanos .366
12. Nolan Arenado .363

ISO:
1. Josh Donaldson .427
2. Aramis Ramirez .318
3. Nolan Arenado .220
4. Todd Frazier .196
5. David Wright .185
6. Matt Dominguez .179
7. Nick Castellanos .179
8. Chase Headley .176
9. Trevor Plouffe .172
10. David Freese .169
11. Evan Longoria .167
12. Chris Johnson .164

OPS:
1. Josh Donaldson 1.098
2. Chris Johnson 1.070
3. Aramis Ramirez 1.043
4. David Wright 1.027
5. Adrian Beltre .916
6. Martin Prado .881
7. David Freese .880
8. Evan Longoria .872
9. Nolan Arenado .858
10. Danny Valencia .853
11. Lonnie Chisenhall .836
12. Nick Castellanos .833

AB/HR:
1. Josh Donaldson 8.7
2. Aramis Ramirez 11
3. Chase Headley 18.5
4. Nolan Arenado 20.5
5. Todd Frazier 23
6. Matt Dominguez 23.4
7. Brett Lawrie 30.5
8. David Wright 30.7
9. Pablo Sandoval 31.5
10. Nick Castellanos 31.7
11. David Freese 32.5
12. Danny Valencia 33.5
13. Chris Johnson 33.5

wRC+:
1. Josh Donaldson 202
2. Chris Johnson 199
3. David Wright 188
4. Aramis Ramirez 185
5. David Freese 154
6. Adrian Beltre 148
7. Evan Longoria 144
8. Martin Prado 140
9. Lonnie Chisenhall 140
10. Danny Valencia 139
11. Nick Castellanos 131
12. Todd Frazier 124

Overall Ranks Based on Aggregate Averages Above (2014 Stats):
1. Josh Donaldson – 96 AB, 24 R, 11 HR, 24 RBI, 1 SB, 281/389/708
2. Aramis Ramirez – 66 AB, 12 R, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 3 SB, 333/392/652
3. David Wright – 92 AB, 11 R, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 2 SB, 402/440/587
4. Chris Johnson – 67 AB, 10 R, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 433/473/597
5. David Freese – 65 AB, 11 R, 2 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB, 308/403/477
6. Nolan Arenado – 82 AB, 14 R, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 305/333/524
7. Adrian Beltre – 78 AB, 15 R, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 346/416/500
8. Todd Frazier – 92 AB, 14 R, 4 HR, 12 RBI, 1 SB, 272/346/467
9. Martin Prado – 74 AB, 11 R, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 338/381/500
10. Evan Longoria – 102 AB, 17 R, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 294/411/461
11. Chase Headley – 74 AB, 10 R, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 230/288/405
12. Nick Castellanos – 95 AB, 10 R, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 284/369/463

I was really surprised by how well Chris Johnson hits against left-handed pitchers. Not only is he in the top five against them, but he is ranked ahead of Adrian Beltre and Evan Longoria>. Huh? This is exactly what I am talking about. Perception and reality often do not meet in the world of splits and knowing what players excel in these splits helps owners take advantage of players like Johnson. While he only has two home runs versus southpaws, his .597 slugging percentage ranks him third on the list above. The splits also help by identifying a player like Nolan Arenado who gets lost in all the Tulowitzki love and how he is quietly emerging this year. Same goes for Nick Castellanos who does not have flashy stats, but is very productive against southpaws and should only improve in the second half. Now that we know who is at the top against lefties, here are the same categories but against right handed pitchers.

3rd Baseman versus Right Handed Pitchers (minimum 100 plate appearances):

wOBA:
1. Conor Gillaspie .409
2. Juan Francisco .396
3. Kyle Seager .383
4. Adrian Beltre .379
5. Lonnie Chisenhall .376
6. Pablo Sandoval .368
7. Todd Frazier .357
8. Manny Machado .351
9. Juan Uribe .350
10. Yangervis Solarte .347
11. Matt Carpenter .346
12. Pedro Alvarez .343

ISO:
1. Juan Francisco .313
2. Kyle Seager .251
3. Adrian Beltre .201
4. Todd Frazier .192
5. Pedro Alvarez .190
6. Mike Moustakas .188
7. Luis Valbuena .188
8. Lonnie Chisenhall .181
9. Brett Lawrie .178
10. Nolan Arenado .175
11. Manny Machado .173
12. Conor Gillaspie .162

OPS:
1. Conor Gillaspie .939
2. Juan Francisco .920
3. Kyle Seager .883
4. Adrian Beltre .873
5. Lonnie Chisenhall .856
6. Pablo Sandoval .850
7. Todd Frazier .811
8. Manny Machado .803
9. Juan Uribe .800
10. Pedro Alvarez .787
11. Yangervis Solarte .779
12. Matt Carpenter .770

AB/HR:
1. Juan Francisco 13.2
2. Kyle Seager 16.7
3. Brett Lawrie 19.7
4. Todd Frazier 19.8
5. Pedro Alvarez 21
6. Adrian Beltre 21.8
7. Manny Machado 22.4
8. Mike Moustakas 23.4
9. Yangervis Solarte 25.9
10. Josh Donaldson 26.1
11. Lonnie Chisenhall 29.8
12. Pablo Sandoval 32.5

wRC+:
1. Conor Gillsapie 161
2. Juan Francisco 151
3. Kyle Seager 148
4. Lonnie Chisenhall 143
5. Pablo Sandoval 143
6. Adrian Beltre 137
7. Juan Uribe 127
8. Todd Frazier 126
9. Matt Carpenter 122
10. Manny Machado 122
11. Pedro Alvarez 121
12. Yangervis Solarte

Overall Rankings Based on Aggregate Averages Above (2014 Stats):
1. Juan Francisco – 198 AB, 33 R, 15 HR, 38 RBI, 268/339/581
2. Kyle Seager – 251 AB, 27 R, 15 HR, 51 RBI, 3 SB, 275/357/526
3. Adrian Beltre – 284 AB, 42 R, 13 HR, 42 RBI, 1 SB, 317/355/518
4. Conor Gillaspie – 228 AB, 38 R, 4 HR, 31 RBI, 360/417/522
5. Todd Frazier – 317 AB, 46 R, 16 HR, 43 RBI, 15 SB, 281/338/473
6. Lonnie Chisenhall – 238 AB, 30 R, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 2 SB, 303/373/483
7. Pablo Sandoval – 260 AB, 35 R, 8 HR, 33 RBI, 323/370/481
8. Pedro Alvarez – 273 AB, 34 R, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 6 SB, 253/344/443
9. Manny Machado – 202 AB, 26 R, 9 HR, 22 RBI, 2 SB, 292/338/465
10. Brett Lawrie – 197 AB, 20 R, 10 HR, 31 RBI, 259/318/437
11. Juan Uribe – 207 AB, 19 R, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 319/346/454
12. Mike Moustakas – 234 AB, 26 R, 10 HR, 35 RBI, 205/267/393

Juan Francisco is averaging a HR every 13.2 AB vs RHP, Boom!
Juan Francisco is averaging a homer every 13.2 AB vs RHP. Boom!

If you were not convinced that third base was experiencing a down year in fantasy just look at this top twelve. Players like Pedro Alvarez were drafted in the middle rounds for power but a waiver wire pickup like Juan Francisco has not only hit more home runs against right-handed pitching, but is ahead of him in every category except runs scored. Anyone who had Conor Gillaspie as a top five target in this split please raise your hand and leave it there because you deserve a high five. While he is not a sexy target in daily games, his high floor represents great value on days when you need salary relief. He may not score double digits but should be able to get a solid three points versus a right handed pitcher. Sometimes a lineup just needs that. Manny Machado has been breaking out since his return from the disabled list and this exemplifies that. Both he and Brett Lawrie may be deciding factors in the AL East race going forward. While the statistics are not perfect, they do provide very informative glimpses into each positional split advantage. It also provides a more thorough understanding of what each player is capable of on a daily basis. It is not just a “Moneyball’ theory, but one that daily gamers can use to their advantage.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on Twitter @gjewett9!

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, ESPN.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/9UGPZn (Arenado), http://goo.gl/ckVEOA (Fransisco)

Post Break Preview: 3B

Not only a fantasy ADP All Star, the Toddfather has broken through in 2014
Not only a fantasy ADP All Star, the Toddfather has broken through in 2014

Third base is a position in serious transition. Entering drafts this year it was almost necessary to reach on a third baseman in order to secure stable statistics for the season. Not only that, of the ten third baseman drafted on average in the top 100, two of them (Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion) will not have eligibility in 2015. Further, two of the top three third baseman according to ESPN’s Player Rater were drafted after round 20: Todd Frazier (ADP of 248) and Anthony Rendon (ADP of 283). Although Rendon will have 3B eligibility in 2014 he is more appealing at second base in most formats, but his dual eligibility will only enhance his value in 2015. Drafters were hesitant to trust in Josh Donaldson and though he is streaky he still resides in the top five with a solid statistical year stat line. Before I get to my ranks, here is the present third baseman ranks according to the player rater with their last 365 day stats entering the All Star Break:

1. Todd Frazier – 158 G, 85 R, 28 HR, 84 RBI, 15 SB 264/327/464
2. Adrian Beltre – 151 G, 86 R, 23 HR, 90 RBI, 2 SB 328/386/503
3. Josh Donaldson – 159 G, 101 R, 29 HR, 100 RBI, 6 SB 258/347/459
4. Kyle Seager – 161 G, 65 R, 22 HR, 88 RBI, 10 SB 253/336/427
5. Lonnie Chisenhall – 127 G, 56 R, 15 HR, 56 RBI, 2 SB 290/350/481
6. David Wright – 112 G, 55 R, 13 HR, 62 RBI, 7 SB 288/344/438
7. Evan Longoria – 166 G, 88 R, 25 HR, 81 RBI, 4 SB 256/330/426
8. Pedro Alvarez – 162 G, 72 R, 27 HR, 85 RBI, 7 SB 227/306/400
9. Aramis Ramirez – 108 G, 53 R, 18 HR, 66 RBI, 3 SB 292/353/482
10. Matt Carpenter – 165 G, 115 R, 6 HR, 69 RBI, 5 SB 297/383/414
11. Brock Holt – 80 G, 43 R, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 7 SB 303/350/429
12. Pablo Sandoval – 159 G, 65 R, 16 HR, 78 RBI, 0 SB 283/345/438
13. Conor Gillaspie – 127 G, 56 R, 10 HR, 53 RBI, 0 SB 289/345/447
14. Chris Johnson – 158 G, 53 R, 12 HR, 73 RBI, 2 SB, 292/319/403
15. Juan Francisco – 129 G, 45 R, 21 HR, 51 RBI, 0 SB 221/294/461
16. Nolan Arenado – 120 G, 55 R, 10 HR, 56 RBI, 3 SB 292/314/446
17. Mark Reynolds – 126 G, 50 R, 20 HR, 53 RBI, 5 SB 211/298/393
18. Brett Lawrie – 139 G, 57 R, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 7 SB 262/320/413
19. Trevor Plouffe – 142 G, 57 R, 11 HR, 61 RBI, 1 SB 246/310/388
UR – Chase Headley – 135 G, 52 R, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 6 SB 248/333/395
UR – Manny Machado – 121 G, 58 R, 16 HR, 46 RBI, 2 SB 256/299/399

Omitted from this list with their rank in parentheses: Miguel Cabrera (2), Anthony Rendon (3), Casey McGehee (9), Josh Harrison (14), Martin Prado (18) and Carlos Santana (24) because they have more value at their other positions. (Rendon, Prado, Santana) and Miguel Cabrera will only have a first base designation in most leagues next year. To say the fantasy landscape at third base is dire is an understatement. Even with the breakthrough season by Todd Frazier, there has not been an infusion of talent at the hot corner for fantasy players to capitalize on. This is underscored by the list above. As pedestrian as David Wright’s stats have been over the last 365 days, he maintains a high ADP because of a combination of name value and lack of top options at his position. This further underscores how bad of a pick it was to take him in the first round in the FSTA by a “fantasy expert.” But we all make mistakes. A key to avoiding mistakes in the future is to use the projections and get the right breaks when a player not only achieves a projection, but more importantly exceeds it. Speaking of projections, here are the leaders using the ZiPS ROS projections via Fangraphs.com:

ZiPS ROS Projected Leaders:

Runs:
1. Matt Carpenter 33
2. Josh Donaldson 33
3. Evan Longoria 30
4. Kyle Seager 30
5. Adrian Beltre 29
6. Todd Frazier 28
7. Chase Headley 28
8. Manny Machado 28
9. David Wright 27
10. Pedro Alvarez 27

Home Runs:
1. Pedro Alvarez 11
2. Adrian Beltre 10
3. Evan Longoria 9
4. Todd Frazier 9
5. Josh Donaldson 9
6. Kyle Seager 8
7. Aramis Ramirez, David Wright, Pablo Sandoval, Chase Headley, Manny Machado, Mike Moustakas 7 each

RBI:
1. Josh Donaldson 34
2. Pedro Alvarez 34
3. Adrian Beltre 33
4. Kyle Seager 32
5. Evan Longoria 31
6. Todd Frazier 31
7. David Wright 29
8. Pablo Sandoval 29
9. Chase Headley 29
10. Aramis Ramirez, Chris Johnson 26

Stolen Bases:
1. Gerin Cecchini 6
2. David Wright 5
3. Todd Frazier 5
4. Klye Seager 4
5. Chase Headley 4
6. Brock Holt 4
7. Manny Machado 3
8. *Brett Lawrie 3

Batting Average:
1. Adrian Beltre .306
2. Nolan Arenado .284
3. Pablo Sandoval .279
4. Lonnie Chisenhall .278
5. Aramis Ramirez .278
6. David Wright .277
7. Chris Johnson .276
8. Brock Holt .276
9. Matt Carpenter .274
10. Nick Castellanos .274

Round mound of pound may be in store for a big second half
Round mound of pound may be in store for a big second half

While I like the safety that Beltre provides, the upside plays on this list could be the most important additions as the fantasy season winds down. It will go a long way towards developing ranks for third base in 2015 and beyond. It will be fun to try and navigate. I was fortunate to get Todd Frazier off the waiver wire in two different leagues and with the added stolen bases, I think he can maintain his value the rest of 2014. Here are my top 20 3B going forward:

1. Todd Frazier – Crazy? Maybe but why can’t he finish the year number one for present 3B? Projected for 9 HR, 31 RBI and 5 SB the rest of the way, I’ll take that.
2. Adrian Beltre – The Rangers offense is down but they still score at home and he is as solid as it gets, but a first round option? Not anymore.
3. Josh Donaldson – He is streaky but mashes lefties and Oakland’s offense will score runs down the stretch.
4. Kyle Seager – If the Mariners make a run at the playoffs Seager has to be a big part of it. Only he and Frazier have double digit home runs and steals over the last 365 days.
5. Pablo Sandoval – Somewhere Tim King is smiling. While his health is always in question, I see a big second half coming. Over his last 28 days he has hit 3 HR slashing .320/.378/.480.
6. Manny Machado – I do not have to love a guy to understand his value. It is time for him to bring his career arc forward and a big second half with the Orioles in a pennant race is just the way to do that. His last 28 games: 6 HR, 11 RBI and hitting .373/.420/.729, wow.
7. Aramis Ramirez – Hear me out, he is not flashy but the power is for real, he already had a DL stint so his power numbers will keep him relevant.
8. David Wright – I still respect Wright and he is a good fantasy option but he has been overvalued for too long. Casey McGehee is one spot behind him on the Player Rater.
9. Evan Longoria – Like Wright, he gets a pass for providing power at a weak position, but with only 25 over his 365 days, his price tag suggests it should be 30+.
10. Nolan Arenado – Great home ballpark. He has struggled to find his mojo post injury but it is coming soon.
11. Chase Headley – He is not a fantasy savior moving to New York, but it will not hurt his value. If he improves his average and a couple of fly balls clear the fence in right field, he justifies this spot.
12. Matt Carpenter – It is hard to maintain value at 3B with runs scored and batting average. That is a middle infielder, the league has adjusted to him.
13. Pedro Alvarez – Power is for real, his approach is not for the faint of heart. Third base’s version of Chris Davis or Adam Dunn.
14. Brett Lawrie – His rehab is nearing soon and his talent is so tantalizing, but I may be divorcing him after this year. Lawrie has 18 HR and 7 SB in only 139 games over the last 365 days, fantasy tease.
15. Lonnie Chisenhall – After his three home run performance in Texas he has hit, wait for it, two in his last 34 games. He is growing but is not a top ten option going forward.
16. Mike Moustakas – In fact, given the choice I would gamble on Moose, especially if I needed power for a team. His last 28 games: 4 HR and 255/311/491
17. Conor Gillaspie – Is this a run on the AL Central? Looks that way but Gillaspie deserves more attention than he is getting, slashing a respectable .315/.370/.462 for the season. Lacks power but helps in other areas.
18. Chris Johnson – Speaking of lacks power but helps, Johnson is nothing spectacular but if you got him late and he replaced an injured player you can tolerate his streaks but he just had a hot one.
19. Nick Castellanos – Solid rookie campaign and his star is on the rise.
20. Ryan Zimmerman – Would have had him much higher and he was just hitting his stride, until he popped his hammy. Out probably at least a month and makes him an upside play for the last 6 weeks.

Greg Jewett is The Sports Script’s senior fantasy baseball writer. Follow him on the Twitter machine @gjewett9!

Statistical credits: Fangraphs.com, Baseball-Reference.com, ESPN.com, FantasyPros.com
Photo cred: http://goo.gl/gKJ46E (Frazier), http://goo.gl/SwBeFQ (Sandoval)

Top DFS Plays for 07/24/14

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Adrian Beltre vs. Brandon McCarthy – hitting .424 (14/33) with 4 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI and a walk

Buster Posey vs. Cole Hamels – hitting .636 (7/11) with 4 2B, a HR and 5 RBI
Posey is hitting .318 vs. LHP this season.

Braves stack (Gattis, Freeman, Johnson, & Heyward) vs. Henderson Alvarez – All hitting above .400 against him this season
BJ might even be a sneaky play today as he hit a 3-run shot off Alvarez in their 1st matchup of the season.

Omar Infante vs. Corey Kluber – hitting .357 (5/14) with 2 2B, 1 RBI and a walk

Ricky’s HR Guarantee: Evan Gattis

Top DFS pitcher for today:

Tim Hudson vs. Philadelphia Philies – Hudson is 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA and 17 K in 5 starts over the last 3 seasons at Citizen Bank Park.

TV Show of the Day: Suits – This show is not watched by enough people. It’s been one of the best shows for years now. If you haven’t watched it yet, start from the beginning.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

Top DFS Plays for 07/22/14 (Happy Birthday Mum)

Today is my Mum’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

*Top hitters and pitchers highlight exceptional matchups that may include stars, lesser-known players and those on your waiver wires.

When I put together my top hitters and pitchers I factor in several things. First, prior matchup history, whether the hitter is hot and the pitcher’s history against that type of batter. Also, these matchups are normally released in the morning so make sure that you double-check the weather leading up to games in case they were postponed or the player got the day off.

New to Daily Fantasy? Head over to FanDuel.com and use Promo Code SCRIPT and get 100% match on your first deposit!

Top DFS hitters for today:

Chris Johnson vs. Jacob Turner – hitting .250 (3/12) with 2 2B, a HR and 4 RBI

Giancarlo Stanton vs. Mike Minor – hitting .263 (5/19) with 4 HR, 6 RBI and 8 walks
Minor has given up 12 HR to RHH this season. 5 Hits, 4 HR for Stanton against Minor. Stanton will go yard tonight, book it!

Dayan Viciedo vs. Bruce Chen – hitting .344 (11/32) with 3 HR, 7 RBI and a walk

Brian Dozier vs. Danny Salazar – hitting .625 (5/8) with 2 2B, a HR and 2 RBI
RHH are hitting .341 with 6 HRs and 15 RBIs. Dozier has 12 HRs against RHP this season.

Brewers Stack against Homer Bailey – Davis, Weeks, Braun & Gennett all hitting above .320 against Homer

Top DFS pitcher for today:

Scott Kazmir vs. Houston Astros
There are several reasons why I like this matchup:
Kaz is 6-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 8 home starts, 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 12 K in 14 innings against the ‘Stros this season and he is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA and a 17:3 K:BB in July.

Movie of the Day: Life Itself – The documentary is about the life of Roger Ebert. It’s a fantastic look inside the life of one of the biggest movie figures of all-time.

Follow Ricky on Twitter @Rickygangster!

The Sports Script Fan Duel MLB Lineup for 04/10

Who is excited baseball is back????? I know I am which also means that Daily Fantasy Baseball is back as well. I really enjoy DFS Baseball as it keeps you even more involved and keeps you up to date with guys you normally wouldn’t care about.

YESTERDAY WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ervin Santana is a god!!!!!

Well everything I am going to bring you my lineup in which I am playing over at FanDuel.com – Which if you haven’t joined just click this link here: http://partners.fanduel.com/processing/clickthrgh.asp?btag=a_3360b_2

I am going to bring you the lineup I feel is the best for you to bring home some $$$ for the day. Early on we are fighting the guessing game but riding some of the guys hot bats to start the season.

The Sports Script Fan Duel MLB Lineup for 04/10

lineup

Digging into this lineup and really loving it. Here are some of the reasons I like the players I have in.

Carlos Gomez vs. Cliff Lee – hitting .323 (10/31) with a 2B, a 3B, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs & a BB

Giancarlo Stanton vs. Stephen Strasburg – hitting .381 (8/21) with 4 2Bs, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs & 2 BBS

For the Late Lineup Crew this is what I am rolling out tonight.

lineup2

Mets can’t hit the baseball and with the low cost in Hale you can fill your lineup with a bunch of stud hitters.

 

Don’t forget to tune into the Fantasy Forecaster each and every Wednesday at 9 PM EST here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/foryourconsideration or download the show on iTunes by clicking the link here. https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-sports-script/id850876078?mt=2