The purpose of this column is to highlight some players with upside and well-suited for tournaments. While the majority of the hitter picks will likely have power upside, that's not necessarily the case for all the listed options. Other contextual factors such as batting order, ballpark, opposing pitcher, price, speed, etc also come into play, and you'll see these items sprinkled into the write-ups below. Along with that, we'll be gauging the ownership levels, giving you some plausible pivots from the popular choices in a given game slate.
Jack Flaherty - SP - St. Louis Cardinals
FD: $8,500 / DK: $8,600
Clayton Kershaw and Gerrit Cole highlight the slate in terms of pitching options, and then there is a lot of poor names on the opposite end. Jack Flaherty is in the middle. He is on the cheaper side, and gets a Cubs offense that will scare people away. Yes they are good against right-handed pitching, but also have a 22.2% strikeout rate against right-handers in their projected lineup. Flaherty has a 28% strikeout rate on the season, and 3.86 xFIP. Given the price tags, and rather low implied totals on both sides of this game, he is worth a look in GPPs.
Top GPP Hitters
Brian McCann - C - Atlanta Braves
FD: $2,600 / DK: $3,700
Brian McCann is one of the few catching options to consider tonight. He has a .208 ISO and .358 wOBA off right-handers on the year, and is in a good spot at home. Anthony DeSclafani has allowed a .398 wOBA and .265 ISO to left-handed hitters. McCann is more of a DK play, but I don't hate the contrarian catcher play on FD. People opt to overlook catchers given you don't need to play one.
Justin Smoak - 1B - Toronto Blue Jays
FD: $3,200 / DK: $4,200
Asher Wojciechowski is on the hill tonight in Baltimore, and has allowed a .395 wOBA and .360 ISO to lefties this season. It is a good ballpark for left-handed power bats like Justin Smoak. He has a .273 ISO and .379 wOBA off right-handers, and matches up well against Wojciechowski. Smoak is a mid-range first base option with upside and the Baltimore lefties are in play.
A.J. Pollock - OF - Los Angeles Dodgers
FD: $3,300 / DK: $3,600
I love the price tags on A.J. Pollock tonight, and he is cash playable as well. Pollock has been injured most of the year, but dating back to last season he has a .346 wOBA and .234 ISO off southpaws. He also mashes sinkers with over a .400 wOBA and .250 ISO. Joey Lucchesi has allowed a .177 ISO to right-handers and throws mostly sinkers to right-handed hitters.
Jonathan Villar - SS - Baltimore Orioles
FD: $3,000 / DK: $4,600
Jonathan Villar is on a mini heater, and is worth a look against Trent Thornton. He has allowed a .240 ISO and .358 wOBA to left-handed hitters. Villar has 13 hits in his last six games, and is a nice bargain on FD. He is a bit more expensive on DK, but he is a strong tournament bat leading off in what projects to be a high scoring game on both sides. I prefer him slightly on FD, but if you have the cash, he is DK playable.