FanDuel Economics: MLB Position Analysis – Catcher

Jun 17, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) looks on prior to a game against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 17, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) looks on prior to a game against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
FanDuel Economics
Jun 20, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (28) looks on during a replay challenge against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Welcome to FanDuel Economics!  FanDuel Economics is a daily fantasy sports column focused on FanDuel player salaries and FanDuel point-per-game (PPG) trends. 

The Position Analysis articles are intended to take a snapshot of the FanDuel MLB year-to-date results, after a period of time, focused on each FanDuel MLB position.  While reviewing the year-to-date results, we’ll highlight the players who are compiling the most points, had the biggest salary adjustments, and have the best value at east position.  Like the daily FanDuel Economics articles, the intention of this column is to arm Daily Fantasy Baseball players with more information to use while choosing your FanDuel MLB Lineups.

This article will focus on the Catcher (C) position.  At this point in the season, we’ll focus on Catchers who have started at least 25 games.  So any catcher who have not started at least 25 games in the season are not included in this analysis.

Here’s a a quick look at the three categories we’ll review:

  • Top 10 Points Per Game (PPG)
  • Top 10 Salary Adjustments
  • Top 10 Value Options

Before we get started, all of the statistics and FanDuel information is through Monday, June 20th. Now, let’s get started:

Next: Catcher - Top 10 PPG

FanDuel Economics
June 16, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (20) hits a two run RBI single in the third inning against Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Catcher – Top 10 PPG


Jonathan Lucroy is having yet another spectacular season at the plate, in 2016.  Lucroy is averaging .311 with 10 home runs, 35 runs and RBI’s, 2 stolen bases, 14 doubles, and 3 triples, in just 65 games.  Lucroy is consistently getting hits, has speed, and plenty of power.  Jonathan is one of only a few, at the catcher position, with so many offensive weapons.  While Chris Herrmann is atop the PPG list, he’s only played in 26 games, splitting time with Welington Castillo.  Lucroy, on the other hand, has even hit in the DH spot, when the Brewers play in American League stadiums.  Jonathan is also typically hitting in the top of the order, or in the 4-spot, for the Brewers.  So, if you’re looking for a consistently dominate, and regularly starting, catcher each night, Jonathan Lucroy, and his 11.2 PPG average, is your best option.

Not far behind Lucroy, is Wilson Ramos, who’s averaged 11.1 PPG.  Ramos doesn’t have the speed of Jonathan Lucroy, and he’s hitting further down in the Washington Nationals strong lineup.  But Wilson has been hitting the ball consistently well at the play and has tons of power. Ramos has a .333 batter average after 58 games started.  Ramos also has 10 home runs, 29 runs, and 38 RBI’s.  ‘The Buffalo,’ as the Nats’ fans affectionately call him, had laser eye surgery during the off-season.  Given his struggles over the past couple of years, it appears his vision was affecting his performance at the plate, no longer an issue in the 2016 season.  And if you’re a Nats fan, or a Phish fan for that matter, you love his call to the plate each game at Nationals park…’Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllson.’

Probably one of the most well known catchers in MLB is Buster Posey.  Posey was the 5th overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft, chosen by the San Francisco Giants, who have held onto Posey ever since.  Buster’s first major league appearance was toward the end of the season in 2009.  The next year, Posey lead the San Francisco Giants to a World Series win, his first of 3 in his career so far.  Like Lucroy, Buster can do almost anything at the plate.  So far this year, Posey is only hitting a .274 batting average, still outstanding for a catcher.  But even better, Buster has 8 home runs, 37 runs, 32 RBI’s, 4 stolen bases, 14 doubles, and a triple already this season.  Posey is averaging 10.7 PPG, not far behind Ramos and Lucroy, and well ahead of the rest of the top 10.  Buster can be expensive (~$4,000 most nights), but you know you’re likely getting points each time you play him.

Here’s a look at the Top 10 Catcher by FanDuel PPG:

Position     Name                               FanDuel PPG

  1.           Chris Herrmann                   13.7
  2.           Jonathan Lucroy                  11.2
  3.           Wilson Ramos                     11.1
  4.           Buster Posey                        10.7
  5.           Jarrod Saltalamacchia       10.2
  6.           Salvador Perez                    10.2
  7.           Victor Martinez                   10.1
  8.           David Ross                            10.1
  9.           Brian McCann                      10.0
  10.           Evan Gattis                           10.0

Now let’s take a look at Salary adjustments:

Next: Catcher - Top 10 Salary Adjustments

FanDuel Economics
May 17, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Chris Herrmann (10) scores a run after beating the tag of New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann (34) during the third inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Catcher – Top 10 Salary Adjustments

As discussed in the third basemen and shortstop articles, FanDuel salary can be a tricky thing to analyze.  Salaries fluctuate often for hitters, many times due to their opposition pitching.  For example, when Clayton Kershaw pitches, many of the batters he faces plummet toward the low $2,000’s, then quickly jump back into the $3,000’s the following day.  Also, FanDuel does make mistakes sometimes.  FanDuel made one with Kike Hernandez during a Dodgers/Giants game, ironically when Kershaw was pitching, valuing Kike at a jaw-dropping low of $220.  By the way, I used him that night and won all 9 of my lineups, it was a good night.  All of that said, there is still typically a good story in the year-to-date salary change trends.  Some players are over-valued at the start of the season, and many are often under-valued.  Some players get a hot start, and their salary becomes too inflated, while others start slow and climb significantly over the course of the year as they heat up.  So far this year, many catcher options started the season cheap, but have quickly and consistently over performed their original expectations.  However, some players had a good start, with high expectations, and have plummeted throughout the rest of the year, so far.


The Arizona Diamondbacks seemed to have stumbled over a good situation at catcher.  Entering the season, expectations were low for Welington Castillo and Chris Herrmann, and there wasn’t much clarity as to who would be starting catcher in 2016.  As we approach the mid-point of the season, the answer appears to still be split.  Castillo has 52 starts behind the plate, versus Herrmann’s 40, a near 50/50 split.  Each catcher is also having solid seasons in the batter’s box. Castillo is averaging .269 with 8 home runs, 21 runs, 28 RBI’s, and even slipped in 2 steals.  Hermmann is averaging .283 with 6 home runs, 18 runs, 23 RBI’s, 3 stolen bases, and 3 triples.  Combined, that’s very good offensive production from the catcher position for the D-backs.  As a result, Castillo and Herrmann’s salary’s have each sky-rocketed since the start of the season, but they also hold great value, Herrmann 2nd among all catchers.

Tony Wolters‘ season is going in the opposite direction, seriously under-performing.  Wolters is battling injuries and has been on and off the DL this year, but Tony is also struggling at the plate. Wolters is averaging just .204, yet to hit a home run this year, has only 14 runs, and 11 RBI’s over 33 games.  Tony’s expectations were higher at another point in the season, seeing his salary climb all the way to $3,000 at one point.  Given Wolters is in Coors Field, a hitter-friendly ball park, the results so far this season are especially surprising.  If Tony can ever turn his season around, though, he’ll be a very cheap option at catcher for a short period of time.

Here’s a look at the Top 10 Catcher by Salary Adjustments:

Position     Name                               Salary ($)     Salary Adj. ($)    Salary Adj. (%)

  1.          Welington Castillo         $3,400         +$1,100              +47.8%
  2.          Tony Wolters                   $2,000         -$1,000               -33.3%
  3.          Chris Herrmann              $2,900         +$900                  +45.0%
  4.          Cameron Rupp                $2,900         +$900                  +45.0%
  5.          J.T. Realmuto                   $3,100         +$900                  +40.1%
  6.          Wilson Ramos                 $3,100         +$800                  +34.8%
  7.          Dioner Navarro               $2,900         +$700                  +31.8%
  8.          Trevor Brown                   $2,100         -$700                  -25.0%
  9.          Derek Norris                    $2,900          +$500                 +20.8%
  10.          Evan Gattis                       $3,100         +$500                 +19.2%

Now let’s take a look at Top Value:

Next: Catcher - Top 10 Value

FanDuel Economics
Jun 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross (3) poses for a picture with a fan before the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Catcher – Top 10 Value


Finding the best value options is my favorite statistic.  If you can find a couple of value options, paired with great, but reasonable, high point yield options, you’ll likely win those lineups every time.

After a scorching start to the season were Jarrod Saltalamacchia seemed to dominate at the plate each game, Salty has really struggled.  Jarrod batting averaged has plummeted to .184, on the season.  Saltalamacchia has 7 home runs this season, but 5 of his 7 were hit within the first 8 games of the season.  Since mid-April, he’s only hit 2 home runs.    However, mostly because of his hot start, Jarrod is averaging 10.2 PPG this year.  And as a result of his poor performance since mid-April, Salt’s salary has tanked to around $2,000 lately, leading to the highest value at catcher, a 5.1X value.  That being said, until Jarrod turns his struggling season around, I would stay away from Saltalamacchia as your catcher pick, for now.

David Ross is having a fine season for the Chicago Cubs.  The 39-year-old veteran plans to retire at the end of the season, and seems to be enjoying himself now that he knows there’s an ending, soon, to his career.  Ross is mostly getting more playing time due to injuries, but the Cubs appear to like his production, so far, filling in for Miguel Montero.  David is averaging a modest .245 batting average, with 5 home runs, 22 RBI’s, and 15 runs, but that’s only over 37 games.  Ross’ salary continues to hover in the low-to mid 20’s, currently at $2,200, providing a bargain 4.6X value.  When Montero is out of the lineup, David Ross is a top value option at catcher.

Tyler Flowers isn’t having a great year, this season, but he’s come on strong at the plate lately, and remains a cheap option daily.  I’ve played Flowers a few times in my lineups and he’s surprised me with a couple of home runs.  Tyler is averaging only 7.9 PPG, but he’s another low $2,000’s salary range catcher, who is over-performing compared to salary.  Flowers 3.9X value is 4th among all catchers and he’s another bargain option, likely off the radar for many other FanDuel MLB players.  If you have a stacked, but expensive lineup, Flowers is a good option to help you afford it.

Here’s a look at the Top 10 Catcher by Salary Adjustments:

Position     Name                                    Value (Points/$1,000)

  1.           Jarrod Saltalamacchia       5.1
  2.           Chris Herrmann                   4.7
  3.           David Ross                            4.6
  4.           Tyler Flowers                       3.9
  5.           Miguel Montero                  3.8
  6.           Tony Wolters                        3.8
  7.           Wilson Ramos                      3.6
  8.           Victor Martinez                    3.5
  9.           Bobby Wilson                       3.5
  10.           Carlos Ruiz                            3.4

More from FanSided

To re-visit other recent value options for FanDuel MLB, view some of my other columns.

For additional FanDuel MLB analysis, take a look at my good friend and follow staff writer Brian Tulloch’s MLB Picks & Pivots column.  Also, Mike Marteny provides Draft Kings MLB Picks analysis.  Draft Kings uses a different point system and Mike does a great job of breaking down your options.  Both also provide great ‘stacking’ options which I like to discuss and use as well.

Best of luck daily fantasy baseball gamers! Make sure to check lineups each day as they are announced before locking in your FanDuel MLB lineups!