Crushing Your DFS League with Stolen Bases

Stolen Bases (SB) are underrated. With the right players swiping bases you can dominate your DFS league.

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: June 4, 2024
Crushing Your DFS League with Stolen Bases
Elly De La Cruz has been absolutely dominate on the base paths.

The key to a winning lineup in MLB DFS often lies in the details. While home runs, RBIs, and batting averages typically steal the spotlight, savvy and seasoned players know the value of stolen bases (SB). It’s a stat that typically gets overlooked, but you might be leaving points on the table.

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The Importance of Stolen Bases in DFS

Stolen bases can be a game-changer in DFS for several reasons.

First and foremost, they contribute directly to a player's bottom line — fantasy points. Unlike traditional metrics that might only consider home runs and RBIs, DFS platforms typically award points for stolen bases, adding a bit more complexity and strategy to your lineup choices.

  1. Consistency in FP. Players who steal bases regularly can provide a steady stream of points, even when they're not hitting for power. Walks and HBPs can both manufacture SBs.
  2. Game Impact. A successful stolen base can change the dynamic of a game, often leading to more scoring opportunities from other players if you’re stacking. A runner on 1st is now a RISP and up for an RBI and a R.
  3. Undervalued Asset. Stolen bases are sometimes overlooked by other DFS players, giving you a potential edge if you prioritize them correctly. In GPPs, diversity is key.

There’s probably more than that, but those are the high points when it comes to racking up stolen bases in your DFS lineup.

Comparing Stolen Bases to Home Runs and Other Metrics

In DFS, it’s common to gravitate toward power hitters who can rack up points quickly with home runs. We get it. Dingers come with so many points with a single swing of the bat. However, focusing solely on home runs can be a risky strategy. Here’s a breakdown of how stolen bases stack up against other key metrics.

Home Runs (HR)

  • Pros. High point values can result in RBIs and runs scored.
  • Cons. Less consistent, more prone to slumps.

While HRs offer explosive point potential, they are less reliable on a game-to-game basis. Many DFS players hone in on HRs by themselves, but they don’t come around enough to make them reliable.

Batting Average (AVG)

  • Pros. Indicates overall hitting ability and contributes to on-base percentage.
  • Cons. Doesn’t directly translate to DFS points unless tied to other stats like runs or RBIs.

It is a good indicator of a player’s form but not a standalone metric for DFS success. It’s metrics like AVG, WHIP, and other non-direct metrics that you need to look at to get the full picture.

Runs Batted In (RBIs) and Runs Scored (R)

  • Pros. Directly linked to team performance, it often goes hand-in-hand with home runs and hits.
  • Cons. Highly dependent on team dynamics and batting order position.

Valuable but can be unpredictable if the team is not performing well. These are great metrics to look at when you’re thinking about stacking. If you get the 1, 2, and 3 positions of a team's order, you can see a steep rise in SBs, RBIs, and potentially Rs.

Stolen Bases (SB)

  • Pros. Consistent point contributions that are less reliant on team performance can be a strategic addition to your lineup.
  • Cons. Fewer opportunities per game compared to at-bats.

A steady and often underappreciated source of DFS points that can balance out your lineup. Most of the time, you’ll see SB leaders sitting in the 1 spot in a lineup, which can set the tone for follow-up batters in the lineup. Unlike HRs, which provide explosive points in a single swing but are rare, SBs can rack up points and then translate to RBIs and runs immediately after. It takes a few more swings, but this isn’t a parlay; it’s more common than HRs.

Top Base Stealers of the 2024 Season

Let’s take a closer look at some of the current leaders in stolen bases and analyze their impact on DFS. These players are the ones we consistently look at when we’re researching for our lineups.

Elly De La Cruz - 32 SB - Cincinnati

Elly De La Cruz is having a standout season with 32 stolen bases, and he’s not slowing down (pun intended). His aggressive base running makes him a constant threat to opponents. In DFS, his ability to get on base and steal means consistent points, making him a valuable asset, especially if you can pair him with power hitters to balance your lineup. Since Elly tends to sit in the #2 spot on the Reds lineup, you might want to look to pair him with Jeimer Candelario, who holds the 3rd spot and has a decent AVG.

Jose Caballero - 20 SB - Tampa Bay

Jose Caballero might not be a household name yet, but his 20 stolen bases speak volumes about his speed and situational awareness. Sitting in the #8 spot in the TB lineup, he’s not a great match to pair up with anyone else. However, for standalone stolen bases, he’s not only hot but affordable as well.

Brice Turang - 20 SB - Milwaukee

Brice Turang’s speed on the base paths has made him a key player for Milwaukee and your own DFS lineup. With 20 stolen bases on the season, Turang is not only fast but also strategic, choosing his moments wisely. He holds the top spot in the Brewers’ lineup, which means he can get on base, steal some, and get knocked in with a simple base hit. Don’t look to him for HRs like Elly, but he’s a solid pick that you can typically get fairly cheap in most DFS leagues.

Bobby Witt Jr. - 17 SB - Kansas City

Bobby Witt Jr. combines power and speed, making him a dual threat. With 17 stolen bases and 9 homers, he offers the best of both worlds in DFS. His ability to contribute across multiple categories makes him a versatile player to have in your lineup. Since he’s sitting #2 in KC, you might want to stack him with Salvador Perez or Vinnie Pasquantino, depending on the matchup.

Jaco Young - 17 SB - Washington

Jaco Young is another player who might fly under the radar but brings significant value with 17 stolen bases. Playing for Washington and locking down the bottom of the order, he has fewer opportunities for RBIs, but his speed ensures he’s frequently contributing to DFS points. 

Watch SBs Closely When Drafting Your DFS Lineup

Stolen bases might not be the flashiest statistic in baseball, but they play a crucial role in DFS. Honestly, SBs were a hot item in the days of Ricky Henderson, but they just don’t have the “oomph” they once did.

By understanding the value of stolen bases and incorporating top-base stealers into your lineup, you can create a more balanced and potentially more successful DFS strategy. Keep an eye on players like Elly De La Cruz, Jose Caballero, Brice Turang, Bobby Witt Jr., and Jaco Young, as their speed and consistency can give you the edge you need to win. Aside from De La Cruz and Witt Jr, most of these guys are fairly inexpensive when it comes to the salary cap.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.