- 2017 Fantasy Baseball: American League Breakout Hitters
- 2017 Fantasy Baseball: National League Breakout Hitters
- 2017 Fantasy Baseball Round-Up: Closer Rankings Report, March 20
- 2017 Fantasy Baseball Bounceback Hitters: Don’t Call It A Comeback
- 2017 Fantasy Baseball: Drafting A Pitching Staff After Round 15
Thumbs Up or Down? Daily Fantasy Cafe’s DFS Tools For Baseball
Now that we’re deep into the baseball season, we thought we’d share a review of some of the DFS tools over at DailyFantasyCafe.com.
The “Fantasy Cafe” websites have been around for over a decade, and their newest sites deal with all of the Daily Fantasy Sports, including: Daily Fantasy Baseball, Daily Fantasy Football, Daily Fantasy Basketball, Daily Fantasy Hockey, and Daily Fantasy Golf.
Among the DFS Tools, though, they primarily serve just baseball, basketball, football and golf. (The only tool they offer for Daily Fantasy Golf, however, is their Lineup Optimizer.) While Daily Fantasy Football is the most popular of all DFS games, mostly because the NFL is the most popular sport in America, they actually offer the most DFS tools for Daily Fantasy Baseball!
Something great about their tools is that they save and transfer information from one tool to the other.
With EIGHT tools for Daily Fantasy Baseball, there are plenty of opportunities to improve your DFS lineups every day. (Considering baseball has DFS games going every day on assorted Daily Fantasy sites, the more tools, the better!) We’re going to give a quick review of each available tool for your DFS pleasure!
8 DFS Tools For Daily Fantasy Baseball
Figure out which tools work the best for you and the DFS sites you like to play on, whether it’s FanDuel, DraftKings or Yahoo! You can use many of their DFS tools for free with registration on their site.
This is a great tool because not only do you get their daily projections for each position, but you can sort it by the website you’re playing on – and you can apply some filters using advanced stats, like Park Factors, Opp wOBA (which is my fave for cash game pitchers) and ISO (which is my fave for GPP hitters!).
Each player gets a color-coded “Café Value” number at the end of the table, letting you know the best and worst options at that position, according to their projections and compared to the others at the position.
Anyone can pick the best players at each position, but can you fit them smartly into a DFS lineup?
The Daily Fantasy Café’s Lineup Optimizer takes salary into account, and figures out their Café Value, which helps them squeeze in the best players at the best prices. It’s touted as the “Most sophisticated DFS optimizer in the industry.”
You can set which players you want to lock in, which players you want to exclude and everything. Easy to use, informative and sortable.
You can upload your own custom projections, too.
Beat Feature: Also, it shows your “Exposure %.” Without locking players, exposure percentage sets a maximum percent of lineups the player can possibly be in lineups. The optimizer then decides if it the player is valuable enough to include in the lineups. This feature is not available on any other DFS site!
No other website has this tool! You can generate stacks of one or two teams, save them, name them, and use them in other lineups you’re building.
A “stack” in Daily Fantasy play is a set of multiple players from the same MLB team, used so that their production in the lineup compounds against other players you also own, to give you more points on single events. In other words, if you have a leadoff hitter, the No. 2 hitter and the No. 3 hitter from the same team, then if the first guy gets on base, and the second guy follows, then when the third guy hits a homer, you’ll get multiple points for each RBI and run scored, even though it was just one swing of the bat. Stack the tops of MLB lineups in DFS play, so you get the most at-bats out of them. The trick is – knowing which teams to stack (this is mostly a strategy employed in GPP play). That’s where this tool comes in.
The Daily Fantasy Café Stack Generator helps you stack by team, game time, batting order, etc.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but these cheat sheets are for premium users only. Luckily, they give you a free seven-day trial to see if they work out for you! These cheat sheets come from proven Daily Fantasy experts.
Three-to-five players at every position are discussed from a DFS standpoint, including some important statistics and why these players are suggested plays or not suggested plays. They also show some easy-to-understand icons that offer more help, like the lefty-righty matchup is perfect, or the Park Factors are good or bad, or that he’s just a “Hot Player.” Here’s a sample writeup:
”[Brad] Miller is always on my radar against right-handed pitching as he is a cheap source of power. Miller is slugging .427 with an ISO of .202 against them this season. When you add in the match-up against R.A. Dickey and his .342 wOBA allowed to left-handed hitters this season, Miller jumps to the top of my list for value bats on this slate.”
Again, you’re probably already familiar with something like this, but they do a great job laying it all out. And they do something I haven’t seen any other “MLB Lineups” site do! More on that in a second.
Come here every day to see what the announced starting lineups are for every team. Find out which backup outfielder is suddenly thrust into the starting lineup, giving you some cheap at-bats, with an opportunity to spend more at another position.
Best Feature: You can use their sliding scale at the top to only show players within a certain price range. Looking for one player to fill a $2,400 salary slot on FanDuel? Move the scale and find all the $2,400 players that are already in the starting lineup.
For those that play on multiple Daily Fantasy sites, you can compare prices and Café Value to see which sites have the best prices for the players with the best projected points.
In other words, if you play on FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo!, FantasyAces, DraftDay, FantasyFeud or DraftPot, you can come to this page to see things like Anthony Rizzo is at a great price on DraftKings, but he’s too expensive on FanDuel. Or that Jackie Bradley Jr. is a bargain on DraftDay, but he costs too much on all of the other sites for today’s game.
This tool makes you a winner on all sites, rather than just one.
I like to get an overview of the games on today’s docket by looking at the over/under lines, as well as the moneylines on the pitchers. This helps me get a great idea of whether there’s one or two pitchers that are jut heads and shoulders above everyone else, or if tonight’s going to be a night of fireworks, with high scoring games everywhere.
This tool not only shares Vegas lines on over/unders on the Game Run Total, but it also gives you the expected Home Run Total and Away Run Total, so you know which teams are really expected to score 4.5 runs or more, and which ones are looking at 3 runs or fewer.
Finally, we come to their eighth Daily Fantasy Baseball tool, which is a much closer look at each major league ballpark, including today’s weather and wind forecasts. And rather than just give you park factors discussing how many more home runs are expected per game here than an average stadium, they break it down by lefty and righty hitters.
That means rather than just seeing that Oriole Park at Camden Yards is HR-friendly, you’ll understand that it’s about average for right-handed hitters (1.06), but for left-handed hitters, it’s a whopping 1.15 park factor. Hello, Seth Smith!
Without question, each of these DFS tools from Daily Fantasy Café are helpful, and some are downright necessary. They’re easy to manage, easy to understand and unlike many of the other Daily Fantasy tools out there, they’re aesthetically pleasing, so you’re not squinting or holding up a ruler to see which numbers go with which player.
Let us know what you think after you’ve tried out some of their free DFS tools, or if you do sign up for one of their premium packages. If you play Daily Fantasy regularly, like a few times per week, then this is a worthy investment.