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Going All In: High-Priced Elite Starters Still Trailing

Going All In: High-Priced Elite Starters Still Trailing
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Going All In: High-Priced Elite Starters Still Trailing

As a reminder, this Thursday piece is a continuing examination of the merits of spending on DFS high-priced pitching. (You can always look back here for the introduction.) This entire season, I’ll be tracking lineups on DraftKings, FanDuel and FantasyAces. There will be two competing lineups on each site, one using the highest-priced pitchers and another avoiding the those. As a FYI, “highest-priced” means the Top 1-3 guys on most days. In addition, many of the hitters will remain the same to get a decent lineup-to-lineup comparison with the saved money used at 1-3 spots to improve the hitting choices.

For the method in choosing pitchers, it’s not arbitrary. I use the DailyRoto pitcher rankings to break ties or close calls. I’ll never take the highest-priced pitcher if he’s not even a recommended play, and I won’t use a cheap pitcher that should be avoided.

Before anyone asks, when you see skipped days, that could be for various reasons: too many weather concerns, small slate to get a fair comparison, wasn’t home for enough research (happens often on Sundays). Hey, we still have lives too.

April 17

DraftKings: Scherzer and Kluber 97.60, Kluber and Nelson 108.65 (-11.05)

FanDuel: Scherzer 42.50, Wacha 44.25 (-1.75)

Notes: Even with Scherzer and Kluber coming up big, they couldn’t make up the difference of Mike Trout and Brandon Moss swapping in on DK, and Bryce Harper and Kole Calhoun getting the call on FD.

April 20

DraftKings: Arrieta and Shoemaker 79.10, DeSclafani and Volquez 94.35 (-15.25)

FanDuel: Arrieta 51.25, DeSclafani 53.75 (-2.50)

Notes: Shoemaker posting a negative scores hurts the most, especially with Edison Volquez posting a top pitcher line. Over on FD, Jake Arrieta and Anthony DeSclafani tied with 17.0, which make the difference come down to Jedd Gyorko versus Robinson Cano.

April 21

DraftKings: Liriano and Lynn 120.50, McHugh and Archer 120.30 (+0.20)

FanDuel: McHugh 45.00, Liriano 45.00 (0.00)

FantasyAces: Liriano and Lynn 71.75, McHugh and Archer 73.25 (-1.50)

Notes: Weird day that nearly balanced out across the board, and depending on the site, Francisco Liriano was more expensive or less than Collin McHugh. Even with the savings, the replacement players were nearly identical in scoring to the lower-priced options.

April 22

DraftKings: Kershaw and Price 62.95, Nelson and Kelly 87.25 (-24.30)

FanDuel: Kershaw 25.50, Kelly 31.00 (-5.50)

FantasyAces: Kershaw and Price 33.25, Nelson and Kelly 46.00 (-12.75)

Notes: Not a good day, period. The big difference came from Price recording negative points. Even if you gave Price a zero though, the DK lineup would have scored 78.10 and FA 39.25. Being able to use David Ortiz, Devon Travis and Gregory Polanco with the savings made the big difference.


DraftKings tracking -148.15 or -16.46 FPPC (Fantasy Points Per Contest)

FanDuel: -25.34 and -2.82 FPPC

FantasyAces: -20.00 and -4.00 FPPC

Team “avoid high-priced/elite starters” is still winning. The per game difference dropped a bit, and we could see these numbers grow closer as the weeks go on. Even so, it appears that high-priced/elite pitching method has a hill to climb… for now.

Going All In MLB