I once wrote that if it were not for Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan would have been Allen Iverson. I still believe that is true. I also believe Batman is the most overrated Superhero ever. As far as I am concerned, Batman is the Andy Pettitte of superheroes, but do not tell Howard Bender I said that. Over the years, I have held a number of unpopular opinions, and more than one person has called me a contrarian. I fully admit to having some contrarian tendencies, which is why it may surprise you to learn I do not really believe in contrarian plays for MLB DFS games.

You pretty much cannot read any DFS article without seeing some contrarian picks. The theory behind making contrarian picks is pretty simple: The goal of any fantasy lineup is not to score the most points possible, it is to score more points than all of the other lineups—or half of the lineups, if you are in a cash game. Playing Shelby Miller when he throws a complete game shutout is great, but if all of your opponents have him too then all you are doing is breaking even.

If you can find a lesser-owned player who goes on to have a huge day then you gain an advantage over the vast majority of the field. The problem with contrarian picks is most of the time everyone is choosing the same players for a reason. You are picking a lesser player on purpose, and I personally have a hard time getting behind that idea regardless of the circumstances.

I almost always just play the players I like best regardless of whether or not I believe they will be played by most other players. As I stated above I tend to be a contrarian by nature, so I often have some unpopular picks without even trying. I also feel DFS players in general worry about making alternative plays far too often. In my experience, even the most popular picks tend to be played in fewer than 50 percent of lineups. When you take that same probability across nine or more lineup spots, the odds of anybody playing most of the same players is pretty low.

I feel like DFS players make contrarian plays too often. Just the concept probably gets mentioned more than necessary. In most games, you are probably perfectly fine just playing the guys you like best and not worrying about their usage. Of course, there are some times when contrarian plays do make sense.

One of the reasons I do not worry about making contrarian picks is because I do not usually stack players from a given team. Again, I usually just play the best lineup possible; if that means playing multiple guys from the same team that is usually just a coincidence. If you do stack, then it could make sense to seek alternate stacks if you feel one obvious stack is going to get a ton of action. The best example of this is avoiding the Coors Field game in favor of another stack or stacks that are almost as favorable.

The key part of that last sentence is “almost as favorable.” If you are torn between two players or two stacks you like about equally, by all means choose the one you think will be the least popular. I just can’t stomach taking a big step down in expected performance just for the sake of making a contrarian play. That is also a big reason why I almost never make contrarian plays at pitcher.

Pitching is way too important for DFS for me to mess around with lesser pitching options for any reason. If there are one or two pitchers who are clearly the best options, which happens pretty often in my experience, I am going with those guys regardless. I’m not saying you have to go along with the obvious play just because everyone else does. If you want to fade Madison Bumgarner then knock yourself out, but you should have a good reason for doing so. Fading Bumgarner just to be a contrarian is almost certainly a mistake.

One last point that I probably should have made much earlier is contrarian plays are far more important for tournaments than for cash games. The reasoning should be fairly obvious, but basically you don’t have to care about who everyone else is playing in a cash game because you don’t have to beat everybody. If 40 percent of lineups have Felix Hernandez, that is just fine. You only have to beat the other 60 percent and you will still win quite comfortably. Besides, even if you have all the most popular plays you probably still won’t have the same lineup as anybody else.

Maybe my whole stance on contrarianism just proves that I am, in fact, a contrarian. I am fine with that. After all, I have had years to get used to having unpopular opinions. And Batman is still overrated.