James Jones has appeared in this column before, but his three steals against the Padres last week opened the eyes of fantasy players in all formats. It shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise given who those steals came against though. The Padres are one of the worst teams in the majors at holding baserunners and on that particular night it was Tyson Ross on the mound. Ross is currently leading the major leagues in stolen bases allowed (21). He’s got a big red target on his back for those of us in daily leagues looking to deploy SAGNOF types. If you look at it as a rate, the Padres hurler is giving up about a steal for every five innings pitched. Ross is scheduled to face the Diamondbacks this week, so even fringy players like Tony Campana might be worth a shot for a stolen base. Week to week we give you the best and worst teams to run against, but looking even closer at the individual pitchers can be helpful for daily lineup changes. Hey Mike, I wish we had a tool for that! I hear you, friend. Check out the SB Rates vs. SP tool. It will give you the stolen base against data for each pitcher in 2013. Here’s a quick rundown of the best arms to run against in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the mound in San Diego today. While he doesn’t sport eye-popping statistics, he’s been solid all year and this match-up is too good to pass up at a $9,000 price tag. Ryu ranks fifth overall on the Stream-o-Nator at a $16 value. This season he has a 7.55 K/9 and a 2.00 BB/9. This match-up against the Padres is what makes him today’s lede. The Padres are striking out against left-handed pitching at a 22.5% clip. That’s the 8th highest strikeout percentage against southpaws in the majors. San Diego also ranks dead last against lefties with a 70 wRC+ and .268 wOBA. Ryu is a a great value today and pairs well with one of the high-dollar arms on the schedule.

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 6/22/2014…

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With injuries to both Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer, Corey Dickerson has seen his playing time increase and fantasy owners have taken notice. If it wasn’t for Charlie Blackmon’s red-hot start, we all might have been talking about Dickerson from day one (Rudy was BTW). The 25-year-old outfielder was the most added player (+49%) after Daniel Santana. We’ll get to Santana in a minute. In just 143 plate appearances, Dickerson is hitting .325/.392./619 with eight home runs and four stolen bases. We all know what Coors field does for hitters, and Dickerson is no different. He sports a phenomenal 195 wRC+ against right-handed pitching at Coors. A worthy add indeed for fantasy teams in most formats. Dickerson should provide decent counting stats along with double digit homers when it’s all said and done. Here are two more hot adds and drops from this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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Eric Young is set to return from the disabled list prior to today’s game. While hamstring injuries are never fun to mess around with, Young did have 17 stolen bases before the injury. He had been relegated to a fourth outfielder role with the Mets, but now that Juan Lagares is hurt, Young should see a decent amount of playing time in the near future. He’ll draw the Cardinals and the Marlins this week. The match-up with St. Louis is obviously tough (only 18 steals allowed) but then there’s a four game set with Miami. That series should be a good opportunity for Young to show off his wheels as the Marlins are currently ranked fourth in baseball with 52 steals allowed. Here are some other steals picks for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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If you’re familiar with Razzball, then you know about all of the handy tools. My favorite is the Stream-o-Nator (SON for short). It gives dollar values for pitchers specific to that day’s match-up and it’s the primary reason I’m recommending A.J. Burnett today against the Cubs. Burnett’s season has been inconsistent at best and he’s battling an injury that will likely last the whole year. He did however put together a really nice start his last time out and he’s a value play today at $7,700. SON likes his start $18, which ranks third overall for the day and is about $10 higher than an “average” start. The Cubs rank dead last in MLB against right handers with a 74 wRC+. Their 22.7% strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching is the fourth highest in baseball. Considering the price and the opponent, I like the risk/reward you’re getting today with Burnett. Happy Father’s Day!

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 of today’s other picks for DraftKings contests on 6/15/2014…

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I will admit I’m a bit of an ageist when it comes to my fantasy baseball teams. I’ll gravitate towards the Christian Yelichs and steer clear of the Michael Cuddyers. So when Josh Willingham (+67%) came off of the disabled list, balloons didn’t fall from my living room ceiling. Fact is, though, he’s a solid player and should be a good option moving forward for fantasy owners in need of an outfielder. He was the most added player this week, over the likes of Oscar Taveras and even Gregory Polanco. In 20 games played, the 35-year-old corner outfielder has already racked up four home runs and 15 runs batted in. Steamer projects another 15 home runs and 48 runs batted in. He won’t continue to hit .300 obviously, and his career slash of .256/.361/.472 is about what I’d expect when it’s all said and done this year. Add him if you need a little pop and RBI help in your outfield for sure, but be ready in case his 35-year-old body needs another DL stint. Here are two more add/drop notes for this week in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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I already went over my Danny Santana fantasy three weeks ago. But forget SAGNOF, Daniel Santana was an offensive machine this weekend! Leading off for the Twins on Saturday, the 23-year-old went 4-for-5 with a double, five runs batted in, and his fourth steal of the season. Need more? He’s eligible as a shortstop and an outfielder. His defense hasn’t been all that great in the outfield, but he could continue to see reps at both center and shortstop even when Morales is ready to DH. Santana is now 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts in just 72 plate appearances. He’s also hitting .373 with a .408 on base percentage. While it won’t last, he’s worth a look while he’s hot if you need a short-term spark. He’ll face the Blue Jays and the Tigers this week. Both teams are in the top ten in baseball for stolen bases allowed… we call that a green light special.

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Felix Hernandez ($12,300) takes the mound against the Rays at the Trop today. He’s an expensive but worthwhile starter against a team that hasn’t exactly been an offensive powerhouse this season. While the Rays have only struck out at a 17% clip against right-handers, King Felix has been as good as they come. A 9.00 K/9 coupled with a BB/9 under 2.00 and a 53% ground ball percentage are real pretty peripherals. Throw in the 0.30 HR/9 (3rd lowest in the majors) and I can’t see the Rays solving him. They didn’t exactly pound rookie Roenis Elias yesterday, either. Clayton Kershaw is the other big money play at pitcher, but I’ll lean away from Coors Field for over $12K.

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 of today’s other picks for DraftKings contests on 6/8/2014…

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That BTXJ is one smart fella. Last week, he predicted Khris Davis (+60%) would be this week’s biggest add and he would have had it locked down if not for Oscar Taveras (+80%) getting called up. Davis has been a hot topic in the comments section lately and for good reason. After a slow start in April, Davis hit .281/.330/.584 with six home runs and nine doubles in May. His splits are interesting. He’s posted a pedestrian 70 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, but he’s annihilating lefties with a 229 wRC+. Not that we all have the luxury of platooning hitters, but that’s a big split. The 26-year-old outfielder raised his walk rate from 1% to 7% in May, and nearly cut his 30% strikeout rate in half. He’s hit fifth in a strong Brewers lineup most nights and Steamer projects him for another 13 home runs and 40 runs batted in by the season’s end. That RBI total might actually be on the conservative side if he has indeed made adjustments at the plate. Here are two more buy/sell picks from this week’s most added and dropped players…

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The 2014 season is two months old, so it’s data day here at the Razzball Steals Emporium. This is kind of like the chapter review our teachers gave us in school, except there is no test, so everybody wins. We have to mention Dee Gordon to start. His ADP was 222. This is ironic because that’s about how many steals he’ll likely end up with this year. With 34 stolen bases on June 1, the 26-year-old middle infielder is on a crazy pace for about 90 swipes this season. Billy Hamil-who?

Gordon has always had speed, but he’s doing more to utilize it this year in the majors. He’s been successful on the basepaths 92% of the time. He’s swinging at less pitches outside of the strike zone, making better contact, and striking out less in general. Gordon has also been hitting more ground balls, less fly balls, and significantly less infield fly balls. This has all resulted in a better batting average, better on-base percentage, and in turn crazy stolen base numbers. It’s almost as if someone reminded Dee that he was fast and should just try to put the ball on the ground. Amazing!

Gordon owners can enjoy the ride and shouldn’t stay up at night worrying about him falling off a cliff. If anything, I wouldn’t be shy to acquire Gordon off of an owner who was nervous about that very scenario. He won’t provide much outside of stolen bases, but he’ll help you come close to winning that category from a middle infield position, allowing you to roster more balanced players in your outfield slots.

Here’s where we’re at with steals through the first two months in 2014 fantasy baseball…

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