Winning MLB DFS lineups are those that get the most bang out of every DFS buck. Sometimes, that means paying up, like for "Great" SP play Jacob deGrom, who was well worth the salary on Monday, finishing as the top pitcher on the slate with 37.35 DraftKings points. On the hitting side, Jose Altuve (24 DK) and Yasmani Grandal (23 DK) both had big games, and you could slot both into your lineups with picks like Corey Dickerson, who was a great way to save money on Monday, especially on FanDuel, where he posted 18.7 points for just $3,000. Every morning, come back to find a brand-new DFS cheat sheet tailored to either DraftKings or FanDuel's pricing for that day's contests.
These cheat sheets, broken down by position and in order of their salary cap, will indicate whether that player is a good, great, poor or simply average value for the day. It's that simple. Pick the players you like with great value, fill it out with good value from games you like, and avoid the poor picks in any price range.
Here's how we help you set an optimal DFS lineup
• It starts with identifying the best values of the day, no matter the position or price point. DFS value can be found in a backup catcher just as well as it can be found in the defending AL MVP or NL Cy Young. It's not just a question of identifying platoon splits or picking on a team with a struggling starting pitcher. The obvious choices are obvious, and they are priced that way. Current DFS pricing more often than not reflects the commonly perceived value of a player in any particular series, factoring in the ballpark, the quality of the bullpens and recent hot and cold streaks. (Have you seen the price for Scott Kingery lately?)
• Find that one quality lineup: What you need is a tool to look beyond the matchup surface, to cut through the recent noise and to analyze each player's price without bias. That's where Derek Carty and THE BAT come in. Carty's projection system was found to be the most accurate non-aggregate projection system available in a season-long context last year according to multiple studies, including FanGraphs, and it has created scores of profitable DFS baseball players. In cash games and head-to-head settings, winning is achieved not by putting together dozens of lineups, but by meticulously narrowing down options to a single, optimal lineup. In tournaments, finding low-owned values that others are overlooking or are biased against can be a key way to differentiate.
• Large sample size is key. We can help. You can read more about Carty's projection system, THE BAT, if you like, but the TL;DR of it is this: the larger the sample size you look at, the better, and the more significant underlying stats you include, the more predictive the data. THE BAT generates ESPN's DFS cheat sheets to do all the heavy lifting for you, crunching the numbers and evaluating all the important aspects of the matchup -- from basics like opposing hitter and pitching quality to bullpens to umpires to pitch framing to air density and lots more -- to find the best objective values without overreacting to small sample size performance or factors that don't matter.