DFS Plays of the Day – April 1

Troy Klauder previews the DFS slate for Opening Day.

Whether you’re a DFS veteran or a first-timer, Opening Day is a great time to enter some lineups. You waited all winter for this day, so why not add some more action? DraftKings and FanDuel offer some huge prize pools and lots of contest selections early in the season, so it’s the perfect time to get your feet wet. Well-informed (and good-looking) readers like yourself will have an even bigger edge than usual at the start of the season, with unsettled player prices opening up good value plays.


Top SP: Yu Darvish, SD ($10,300 DK, $10,700 FD) vs ARI


Opening Day always makes for an interesting pitching slate with nearly every team rolling out their best pitcher. This gives us a plethora of high-upside options that no slate can really compare to. It’s hard to go wrong with any of the top options of Shane Bieber, Gerrit Cole, or Jacob deGrom, but in GPP tournaments I’m leaning toward Yu Darvish. He is a bit cheaper than the others and will likely come in at a lower ownership, giving us some leverage on the field. Darvish has been unstoppable since the second half of 2019 and will be in a pitcher-friendly park against the Diamondbacks, who posted an uninspiring .312 wOBA against righties last season.

Honorable Mentions: Shane Bieber, CLE ($9,000 DK, $11,500 FD) at DET; Gerrit Cole, NYY ($10,700 DK, $11,000 FD) at DET


Value SP: Luis Castillo, CIN ($9,200 DK, $8,900 FD) vs STL


It’s odd to see a stud starting pitcher like Luis Castillo mentioned in a value play section, but that’s the nature of the beast when dealing with Opening Day. He is obviously anyone’s idea of an ace, with a career-high 30.6% K-rate and a 2.65 FIP in 2020. While the Cardinals made a splash to land Nolan Arenado this offseason, they struggled against righties last year, holding a .305 wOBA that ranked 24th in the league. They’ve resorted to starting Justin Williams and have plenty of exploitable hitters in the lineup, particularly without the universal DH.

Honorable Mention: Kevin Gausman, SF ($6,900 DK, $7,400 FD) at SEA. 


1B Anthony Rizzo, CHC ($4,800 DK, $4,100 FD) vs PIT

Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs will face arguably the worst Opening Day starter in Chad Kuhl, who had a 5.29 SIERA last season. Rizzo will have opportunities for both runs and RBIs batting third and has home run upside as well.

Honorable Mentions: Alex Bregman, 3B ($5,700 DK, $3,700 FD) at OAK; Rafael Devers, 3B ($5,400 DK, $3,400 FD) vs BAL.


OF J.D. Martinez, BOS ($4,300 DK, $3,500 FD) vs BAL


J.D. Martinez is coming off an awful 2020, but in fairness, aren’t we all? After posting an otherworldly .404/.484/.887 line against lefties in 2019, I’m not ready to give up on Martinez yet. He’s in a hitter’s park against southpaw John Means, who is coming off of a 2.47 HR/9 and a 5.60 FIP last year. His Red Sox teammates can be stacked alongside him.

Honorable Mentions: Giancarlo Stanton, OF ($4,400 DK, $3,800 FD) vs TOR; Randy Arozarena, OF ($5,300 DK, $3,700 FD) at MIA.


Value Batter: OF Joey Gallo, TEX ($3,600 DK, $3,500 FD) vs KC


Power upside cannot be understated in daily fantasy, as home runs are the main outcome we are chasing to score big. In tournaments, boom-or-bust players like Joey Gallo are an ideal play, especially when they are as cheap as Gallo. With reworked swing mechanics, it will be fun to see what Gallo can do at the plate in the opener.

Honorable Mentions: Michael Conforto, OF ($4,300 DK, $3,200 FD) at WAS; Bobby Dalbec, 1B/3B ($4,000 DK, $2,700 FD) vs BAL.


Lineup Stack: Dodgers at COL (RHP German Marquez)

The reigning champions start off the season in the best hitting environment in the league, making them the clear stack to target. Lefties Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager lead the way as top plays, but if you’re in cash games, feel free to jam as many Dodgers into your lineup as possible. In tournaments, you’re going to have to get unique, but that doesn’t necessarily mean fading Coors altogether. You may want to look for lesser-rostered Dodger bats, find a particularly unique secondary team to stack, or go off the board with some low-rostered pitching.

Honorable Mentions: COL vs LAD (Kershaw); SD vs ARI (Bumgarner). 


Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Troy Klauder

Troy Klauder is a contributor at Pitcher List, Razzball, and Rotoballer. Follow him @TroyKlauder on Twitter for more fantasy analysis.

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