If the weather cooperates today, I’m hoping Stephen Strasburg ($9,300) comes through as my ace in DFS games. There’s a chance of storms for this match-up with the Phillies, so start at your own risk. That said, the Phils own a wRC+ of 84 against right-handed pitching. That’s good for 28th in baseball and Strasburg should have little trouble against them. In his last start against the Phillies, the 26-year-old right-hander gave up two earned runs while striking out nine batters in just 5 2/3 innings pitched.  That was part of a recent string of four starts with at least eight strikeouts. He’ll have a tough time sealing the win with Cole Hamels on the mound for the Phils, but the strikeout upside here is enough for me to want him as my SP#1 this week. He’s ranked #1 on the Stream-o-Nator today at a $24 value.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 8/3/2014…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

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It’s nice to feel good about a call now and then. This week’s most added player was Austin Jackson (+42%). He was one of the first players in this column to get the “treasure” label back in early June when he was one of the most dropped. Back then I said, “It looks a little bleak now, but I still think Jackson gets to double digit homers and 20 steals by the end of this season. I’m not going crazy over him, and if you have better options please start them. However, he’s not a straight drop for a hot schmotato and it might be wise to inquire with a Jackson owner before the buy-low window closes.” And that’s me quo-, you get it. I’m not so sure about the homers and steals, but Jackson’s hitting for average and accumulating counting stats.

The 27-year-old outfielder has been starting regularly and leading off for the Tigers. In July, he’s hitting .351 with a .385 OBP, 18 runs scored and ten runs batted in. Should he continue to lead off, Jackson will be a nice source of runs scored from this point forward. Steamer projects him for another four homers and five steals. I think he could easily pass that steals mark with the Tigers being more aggressive this season.

Here are this week’s other big adds and drops for 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Emilio Bonifacio was activated from the disabled list last week. Entering Sunday’s slate he’d recorded a hit in each of his games since his return and threw in a steal for good measure. Part of Bonifacio’s charm is his position flexibility. He’s eligible at both second base and outfield in ESPN leagues. He’s a nice option for steals with 14 stolen bases in 282 plate appearances. With Arismendy Alcantara able to play the outfield and Bonifacio really able to play anywhere, he should see regular playing time. At this point, Bonifacio is owned in less than 20% of leagues, but his ownership jumped 5% in the last week. Now’s a good time to add him if some of the other SAGNOF options in your league have been taken. In 10-teamers he’s a stretch, but for 12-team leagues and deeper I’d look to add Bonifacio and use him as a solid bench bat similar to what Danny Santana brings to the table. For this week, Bonifacio has a full scehdule of seven games against the Rockies and Dodgers. The Rockies have allowed 59 stolen bases this season (17th in MLB) but as a commentator pointed out last week they have caught a league-worst 15% of base stealers. The Dodgers have allowed 60 stolen bases on the season (16th in MLB). Here are some other steals options for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Adam Wainwright ($10,500) pitches in Chicago today against a Cubs offense that has the third-worst strikeout percentage in baseball. The Cubs also own a wRC+ of 86, which is good for 28th in MLB. For a price under $11K, Wainwright makes the best play given how few legit aces will be taking the mound. Weather could be an issue for a lot of games today, including this one. While a rain shortened Wainwright is still better than nothing, we obviously want a full game out of our starters for DraftKings play. The Stream-o-Nator likes this start to the tune of $18. It’s second only to Mike Minor’s start against the Padres, but for the first time in a while I’m not recommending we throw somebody against the Padres. It’s just tough to trust Minor right now in a one-shot deal like DFS.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 7/27/2014…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

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Joaquin Benoit (+23%) was the most added player this week after Huston Street was traded to the Angels. Benoit was scooped up by those looking for saves obviously, but he’s a decent pitcher all around. Can he be trusted going forward? The big question isn’t whether we should pick up Benoit. That’s a no-brainer in the short term. No, the big question is will he actually remain with the Padres as their closer or will he be shipped out at the deadline to a contending team in need of bullpen help. I do not have the answer to that particular question, sorry. Teams like the Indians, Tigers, and Pirates (among others) have been linked to trade talks with the Padres regarding Benoit. Should he head somewhere and close it’s no big deal, but if he lands somewhere in a different role, it could kill some or even all of the saves value that makes him attractive target right now. To sum up, he’s a treasure if you need some cheap saves, but he could quickly turn to trash depending on how things shake out over the next two weeks and quite frankly, how many saves is he really going to rack up with the worst offense in baseball anyway? Here are this week’s other big adds and drops in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Washington, D.C. has two Spans. If you like politics and live footage of people walking around in suits on a video feed, then C-SPAN (2:43) is your best bet in the capital city. If you prefer players who can help you win some fantasy leagues, than you better go with D-SPAN. Denard Span is currently owned in less than 50% of ESPN fantasy leagues but he’s got as many steals as guys like Brett Gardner, Coco Crisp, and Alex Rios. He’s only been caught twice, and hitting at the top of a Nationals lineup that now sports a healthy Bryce Harper to go along with Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth should give Span nice opportunities to score runs as well. He’s hitting .276 on the year and should see that average maintain in the second half. If the Nationals offense cooperates, he should see 90 runs scored and 25 stolen bases by the end of the season. He hits for no power, but contributing to three of the five standard fantasy categories comes in handy from a waiver wire grab. This week Span will face the Rockies and Reds, who have both been stingy against the stolen base. If you have an injured outfielder or need a reserve, Span is worth a look though. Here are some other steals options for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Zack Wheeler ($7,700) takes the mound today against an impotent Padres offense. San Diego is hitting a cool .220 against right-handers this season. If you are into advanced stats, they have posted a 76 wRC+ against RHP in 2014. Any way you slice it, they suck. For less than $8K, I’m putting just about anybody out there against the Padres especially in their pitching-friendly ballpark. Wheeler isn’t just a warm body, though. He has posted a K/9 of 8.7 with a ground ball percentage of 54%. The walk rate is a little high at 3.8 BB/9, but in each of his last two starts he walked only two and gave up only one earned run. The Padres did tag Dillon Gee for some runs last night, but they also struck out eight times. I’m confident Wheeler will put the Padres’ bats back to sleep and provide DFS players with a great value today.

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 7/20/2014…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 Teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

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With the All Star Game, we were all witness to the unpredictability of baseball. It’s a long haul, and on draft day in March, very few, if any of us, would have picked Charlie Blackmon to make the All-Star Game roster for the National League. But that’s the case, and Blackmon, along with several other surprises, was most likely scooped up very late in drafts or off of the waiver wire in most fantasy leagues. For this week’s post we’ll look at four players, including Blackmon, whose average draft position (ADP) was 260 or higher but who currently find themselves in the Top 50 on both the ESPN and Razzball player raters. These players had phenomenal first halves but the question most fantasy owners want answered is whether or not they will keep it up. Are they “trash” or “treasure”? Will they carry teams to victory in September or are they about to implode? It’s hard to call any of these guys trash the way they have performed, but some may be more reliable than others going forward. Since all of these playerss have been good, I’ll use the term “TRASH” to designate the guys that are holds instead of buys. I’m not recommending they be dropped or sold for pennies on the dollar. Here are four names that came out of the woodwork in the player rater’s top 50 for 2014 fantasy baseball…

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The Futures Game was yesterday, and while I’m writing this post prior to the game actually being played, here’s about what I’d expect the broadcast booth banter to sound like – “Player X has a lot of loud tools. He has a bright future in the bigs. This kid is going to be a perennial All-Star. Comps, hyperbole, etc.” Sounds cynical, but unfortunately there are no crystal balls. It’s fun to dream on these guys, though, and really that’s what the Futures Game is all about to me – showcasing the best young talent in the game at the moment. Be sure to check out the Futures Game edition of the Minor Accomplishments series from Chris yesterday. On this short week let’s see if there are any players in the minors we should have our eye on from a steals perspective. Players like George Springer, Gregory Polanco, Mookie Betts, and most recently Arismendy Alcantara have already come up this year. They all have the ability to make an impact in the stolen base department. So let’s see who’s next. Whether they are close to the bigs or a ways away, these players should make an impact when their time comes.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu ($8,700) got smoked in his last start, but he draws a weak Padres team today at home in our last day of games prior to the All-Star Break. What will we do for four days?! I for one will be catching up on what my wife and children have been up to for the last three months while their father stared at a computer screen combing box scores. Father of the year! I’ve recommended Ryu before and while he’s not flashy, he’s solid for the price you’ll pay in DFS. The Dodger left-hander has a 7.6 K/9 to go along with a 1.9 BB/9. Outside of the Tiger mauling, Ryu had given up 3+ ER in only one of his last 10 starts. The Padres, meanwhile, have a putrid 70 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Given it’s a home start and the opponent today, Ryu appears to be one of the better values on the board. Good luck and enjoy the break!

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some other picks for DraftKings contests on 7/13/2014…

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 20 person matchup of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care!

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