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FANTASYACES 2015 DAILY FANTASY BASEBALL PREVIEW: CATCHER
By Paul Errington
Catcher is arguably the most volatile position in fantasy baseball, primarily because of the stigma that catchers are often unable to contribute offensively relative to other positions. Over the years, the position has evolved to a point where several offensive-minded catchers now hit at the top or in the middle of the order, making it a worthwhile endeavor to pay up for catchers in Daily Fantasy Sports.
There are a number of different strategies involved when choosing catchers in DFS baseball. Many users simply “punt” the position, meaning they find the cheapest catcher possible in order to save salary for other positions that tend to consistently contribute in more categories on a daily basis. Others prefer a balanced approach, picking their spots wisely with catchers who may have seen their salaries drop significantly due to a recent slump, or capitalizing on a catcher who is riding a hot streak before his salary rises.
As with any position, it’s always important to make sure you follow your research and remain consistent with your DFS strategies each day. For instance, a catcher hitting in Coors Field typically has more potential than a similarly priced catcher hitting in Petco Park (unless of course your catcher is facing Clayton Kershaw in Coors Field).
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Understanding how a particular position influences your roster with constant pricing changes and different opponents is, in essence, what makes Daily Fantasy Baseball a game of skill. Surrounding yourself with the most information possible and comparing your initial thoughts and research to others throughout the industry is the best way to consistently have success during the long 162 game Major League Baseball Season. Here are five catchers to keep an eye out for on FantasyAces during the upcoming MLB season:
Daily Fantasy Baseball catcher Devin Mesoraco Devin Mesoraco – Cincinnati Reds – FA Salary: $5200
During a breakout campaign in which he hit .273 with 25 HRs and 80 RBI, Devin Mesoraco was one of the bright spots in an otherwise lost season for the Reds. He plays in an extreme hitters park, which is a major reason for his steep price tag on FantasyAces, but his balanced home/road splits make Mesoraco a perfect plug-and-play catcher anytime he’s facing a weak starting pitcher.
There are many question marks surrounding the Reds lineup for 2015, mainly surrounding the health of their star first baseman Joey Votto. However, if their leadoff man, speedster Billy Hamilton, can learn how get on base and slugging third baseman Todd Frazier can replicate his production last season, there will be plenty of RBI opportunities for Mesoraco, who is currently projected to bat cleanup for the Reds.
Daily Fantasy Baseball Catchers Miguel MonteroMiguel Montero – Chicago Cubs – FA Salary: $4700
Catchers are not often peciled into the middle of the batting order in Major League Baseball, though there are some exceptions. One such guy is Miguel Montero, who will embark on his first season with the Cubs after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Diamondbacks. By almost every standard, Montero severely underperformed last season as he compiled a .249 AVG, .699 OPS, 13 HRs and 72 RBI despite hitting cleanup for the D-Backs.
Fortunately for Montero, his much-needed experience and plate discipline will lead to him once again hitting in the heart of the order for the Cubs this year. In a lineup with more protection and several more bandboxes that yield LHB home runs, Montero is a guy to keep an eye out for early in 2015–particularly with his modest price tag on FantasyAces.
Russell Martin – Toronto Blue Jays – FA Salary: $4850Daily Fantasy Baseball Fantasy Aces Russell Martin
Oh, Canada! After signing a 5-year, $82 million contract, Russell Martin is returning to his native country where he hopes to lead the Blue Jays back to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. A talented all around catcher both offensively and defensively, Martin’s fantasy outlook for 2015 is something to get excited about, especially if he starts the season sandwiched between Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista hitting second in the Jays’ batting order.
We’ll need to find out exactly where Martin starts the season in the lineup, which is why he is moderately priced to open the year despite his ability to contribute in multiple stat categories. Last season, Martin was a top 5 fantasy catcher, hitting .290 with a .832 OPS, 11 HRs and 67 RBI. A move back to the AL East and 82 home games in a hitter’s park should immediately pay dividends to begin the 2015 season and assuming he stays healthy at 32 years of age, Martin should once again find himself atop of the catcher rankings by the end of the year.
Daily Fantasy Baseball Fantasy Aces Brian McCannBrian McCann – New York Yankees – FA Salary: $4700
To say Brian McCann’s first season in pinstripes was forgettable would be a major understatement. Fresh off signing a 5-year, $85 million contract, McCann’s failure to adjust to extreme defensive shifts destroyed his batting average and on base percentage. And while he did club 23 HRs, all but four of his long-balls came at Yankee Stadium, rendering him essentially useless on the road.
There is talk that McCann has been working on hitting the ball the other way in an effort to neutralize the extreme defensive shifts that opposing teams deployed on him, but it will likely take more than an offseason to correct his desire to pull the ball at the plate. Regardless, with more protection in the lineup and a modest price tag (for a catcher hitting cleanup) McCann is someone worth targeting in DFS baseball when he’s at home, though it may be wise to take the “wait and see approach” when the Yankees are on the road.
daily fantasy baseball catcher fantasy aces john jaso
John Jaso – Tampa Bay Rays – FA Salary: $4450
For all intents and purposes, John Jaso is not a Major League caliber catcher, but as most people are aware by now, the Oakland A’s aren’t a team that puts much stock into defense. Now a member of the Rays, Jaso slots to a position more suited for his defensive ineptitude–designated hitter. A daily fantasy darling because of his extreme L/R splits and frequency atop the batting order during his days in Oakland, Jaso projects to once again find himself hitting near the top of the lineup for his new team in Tampa Bay this season.
Jaso carries more value for season-long fantasy leagues because he will maintain eligibility at catcher, but for the DFS player, a move to the AL East should provide an uptick in his production, especially during the summer months. It remains to be seen whether or not Jaso will be platooned with the Rays, but targeting him against RHP in the hitter-friendly AL East will be a wise strategy on nights where you don’t have the salary to spend at the catching position.
Value Catchers (Priced below $4000):
Christian Vazquez – Boston Red Sox – FA Salary: $4000
Caleb Joseph – Baltimore Orioles – FA Salary: $3700
Want to play more than one catcher in your lineup? FantasyAces is one of the few Daily Fantasy Sports sites that allows you to use more than one player per position. Check out the Scoring tab located on the “Gameplay Basics” page for more information about our DFS MLB rosters & scoring.