DFS Plays of the Day – May 14

Dave Swan previews the DFS slate for Friday's action.

Happy Friday! Today features a 13-game slate, and unlike recent days, the weather looks to be cooperating. For today’s build, let’s start with a focus on the pitching side. There is a bevy of top-end talent to choose from and a couple of solid value arms with K-upside. On the flip side, there is also an abundance of stackable options against weaker SPs. The hardest part will be smashing all the talent we want into a lineup. As always, we will do our best to steer clear of locking in too many from Coors Field. Remember, we are building a lineup to take down a tournament, so don’t feel scared to roster an unlikely hero from time to time. Good luck and have a happy weekend!


Top SP: Max Scherzer, WAS ($10,700 DK, 12,500 FD) at ARI


Mad Max comes with a robust price tag, but he is worth it today. Look past the 28% ground ball rate and straight at the DFS paydirt; the strikeout upside. With a glowing smile, we notice Scherzer boasts a robust 11.85 K/9 to go with a 2.54 SIERA. Of course, the Ks are backed up by a 32.4% CSW and 16.2% SwStr%. That is what we are looking for! We don’t mind paying top dollar for a pitcher to pile up the Ks and keeping the runs off the board. If Max is dealing this evening, the club lets him stay on the mound as long as he wants.

If Max isn’t your SP for the slate, take a look at Kershaw. Obviously, we know the track record with elite strikeout potential and super-human ability to keep the basepaths clean. However, Kershaw gets a slight bump down because the Dodgers have kept a leash on him, as he is yet to toss 100 pitches in 2021.

The last recommendation for top SP is Greinke. In contrast to others, Greinke doesn’t put up the elite Ks, but he tends to go deeper into games. Oddly, his matchup is against the Texas Rangers, who have one of the highest K%(28%) against RHP in the MLB. As of last, Greinke has struggled, which has caused his salary to deflate. However, his salary on FanDuel is criminally low, making him a terrific GPP play.

Honorable Mentions: Clayton Kershaw, ($10,000 DK, $11,000 FD) vs MIA, Zack Greinke, ($9.500 DK, $7,500 FD) vs TEX.


Value SP: Joe Musgrove, SDP ($8,700 DK, $8,000 FD) vs STL


If I had to pick any SP on the slate that might put up the most DFS points tonight, it could be Musgrove. Now, consider he is dropped in the value SP portion of our build. It’s hard not to look past the 12.46 K/9 and 2.42 SIERA; both are right in line with our top SP, Max Scherzer. Piling onto those stats, the matchup is favorable too. The Cardinals are offensive juggernauts vs. RHP: 86 wRC+, .671 OPS, .159 ISO, and strike out 24.7% of the time. In conclusion, find a way to get Musgrove in your lineups.

Dropped in the mentions is David PetersonWhy? Only the Detroit Tigers strike out more than the Tampa Bay Rays do against LHP. He has been roughed up quite a bit on the year, but a favorable matchup might be just what he needs. Consider him a GPP play only.

Honorable Mention: David Peterson, ($7,400 DK, $6,600 FD) at TB; Drew Smyly, ($7,600 DK, $6,800 FD) at MIL. 


OF Nick Castellanos, CIN ($6,200 DK, $4,500 FD) at COL


I wanted to stay away from Coors Field, but this play is too juicy. While the Cincinnati Reds offense has been up and down, Castellanos has been a consistent producer. The 29-year-old OF puts up top-tier level numbers by sitting in the top 5% of xwOBAcon and SLG%. Furthermore, Castellanos boasts a 10.8% barrel rate! I almost don’t care who is on the mound; let’s take this dynamic bat playing in Coors Field for a big day of points.

Honorable Mentions: Jesse Winker, OF ($5,600 DK, 4,600 FD) at COL; Giancarlo Stanton, OF ($5,800 DK, $3,600 FD) at BAL.


C Willson Contreras, CHC ($5,500 DK, $3,500 FD) at DET


Rostering a catcher as an established bat is not for everyone. However, consider who is on the bump against Contreras. Tarik Skubal has been a HR delivery service. The Tigers prospect arm has given up 10 HRs on the season, with five in his last two outings. Simply put, he can’t keep the ball in the yard. So a dinger from our catcher would be a terrific leverage play. Furthermore, Contreras has a 1.074 OPS and four HRs vs. LHP already.

To all my FanDuel players, maybe you don’t want to roster a catcher since we get the option (1B or C). So below are two 1B with massive upside for point totals on the day. How can you not love Freeman and Vladito’s matchup on the day? If you don’t mind eating a little chalk, either of these two 1B should live up to the hefty price tags.

Honorable Mentions: Freddie Freeman, 1B ($5,5 DK, $3,900 FD) at MIL; Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 1B ($5,700 DK, $4,000 FD) vs PHI.


Value Batter: OF Jarred Kelenic, SEA ($2,000 DK, $2,100 FD) vs CLE


Ok, the tension has calmed down a bit. Kelenic is here, and the world can settle down, along with Jarred’s nerves. Yesterday we didn’t see the big knocks and fireworks from Kelenic but today is a new day. And, luckily for us, the salary is still very suppressed. Nevertheless, the upside is immense, so stick with him and let’s hope he breaks his HR seal!

If you don’t think it is Kelenic’s night, my suggestion is either of the Chicago Cubs outfielders listed below. Heyward and Pederson are severely underpriced on FanDuel. Consider them as your value play, again, as they face Skubal and might be able to send one over the fences.

Honorable Mentions: Joc Pederson, OF ($4,100 DK, $2,800 FD) at DET; Jason Heyward, OF ($4,200 DK, $2,300 FD) at DET.


Top Stack: Washington Nationals at ARI (RHP Riley Smith)


Like I mentioned in the opening, there are so many stacks target. For this exact build, the top pick is the Washington Nationals. Particularly, the focus is on grabbing big bats like Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber. Both are bats under $4K, robust ISOs that are making the HR-meter move. Next, because we want a healthy four-person stack, look at Josh Harrison and Starlin Castro. Both of these bats come in as great value plays. However, they are don’t swat many HRs, but both have the hit tool for multi-hits on the day. Wait, I left off Juan Soto and Trea Turner? Yes! Sometimes we have to get a little different to take down a GPP. Unfortunately, let’s fade the elite Washington hitters and hope the surrounding pieces can correlate points for a takedown.

Honorable Mentions: NYY at BAL (Kremer), CIN at COL (Marquez), CHC at DET(Skubal), COL vs CIN (Miley), SDP vs. STL (Oviedo).


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

Dave Swan

Dave Swan is an avid Chicago Cubs fan that enjoys all aspects of fantasy baseball-especially DFS. He would trade his right arm for a GIF library of Greg Maddux pitches. Swan's baseball thoughts are available at @davithius.

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