DFS Plays of the Day – May 7

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

Today features a 14-game slate, with the weather being a concern in a few areas. The matchups to watch out for due to rain are MIN@DET, CIN@CLE, and BOS@BAL. For today’s build, I am steering clear of those matchups but monitor them closely. 7:05 pm EST starts today’s DFS fun. We are blessed with a never-ending supply of terrific arms, so choosing the correct ones will be key. The counterpoint to that, however, is finding the hidden values will be difficult. Good luck and have a happy weekend!


Top SP: Jack Flaherty, STL ($9,400 DK, 10,200 FD) vs COL


With all those arms on the slate, Jack Flaherty gets the top SP honors from me. He may not have the elite strikeout upside, but he does carry a 9.44 K/9—not too shabby. To go along with the strikeouts, Flaherty has a 3.72 SIERA and 42.9% ground ball rate. These are all great indicators of a pitcher that can mow down any offense. Today, however, he squares off against the Colorado Rockies. Anytime we can get the Rockies out of Coors Field, it is worth our attention. On the road, the Rockies only manage a 75 wRC+ and strike out slightly over 26% of the time. So this is a really great spot for Flaherty, and the salary will allow you to load up on bats.

Honorable Mentions: Blake Snell, ($10,200 DK, $9,000 FD) at SF, Julio Urias, ($9.700 DK, $10,000 FD) at LAA.


Value SP: Charlie Morton, ATL ($7,700 DK, $7,900 FD) vs PHI


We need to find an SP with a high upside and lower salary to help target higher-priced bats. Look no further than Charlie Morton. The stats all line up for a big day. He touts the 10.43 K/9 that we are looking for. That means the longer he stays in the game, the more Ks he might rack up-and the more points too! The other great numbers that jump off-page are his 58.2% ground ball rate, 33.3% CSW and 3.55 SIERA. I love SIERA for evaluating a DFS pitcher because it focuses purely on his skills and tries to wipe away any outside factors. Keep in mind that tip for today and further down the road. All we need is Morton to limit the walks (8.5% BB-rate), not get stung by the HR ball (16% HR/FB), and every little thing is going to be alright.

Honorable Mention: Jameson Taillon, ($8,300 DK, $7,100 FD) vs WAS; Mike Foltynewicz, ($6,800 DK, $7,700 FD) vs MIL. 


OF Giancarlo Stanton, NYY ($5,100 DK, $3,800 FD) vs WAS


Until further notice, we are plugging Stanton into our builds. The man is riding a heater like no other lately. Let’s talk real quick about raw power because Stanton has exactly that. First, it seems like every year, he breaks his own max exit velocity numbers (120.1-mph in 2021). On top of that, he boasts a 17.9% barrel rate, and .518 xwOBAcon-both are tops in the MLB. One last stat: 66.7% of his batted ball events have been of over 95-mph. So essentially, a third of the time he puts a ball in play, it’s going to do terrific things. He could be a slate-breaker today and needs to be on your roster.

Honorable Mentions: Marcell Ozuna, OF ($5,000 DK, 3,400 FD) vs PHI; Ronald Acuna, OF ($5,700 DK, $4,200 FD) vs PHI.


OF Aaron Judge, NYY ($4,700 DK, $3,700 FD) vs WAS


Doubling back on Yankees? We sure are! Much like his bashing mate, Giancarlo Stanton, he is a must-play for the power upside. He also touts the power Statcast metrics we crave: 19.4% barrel rate, .601 xwOBAcon, and 61% hard-hit rate. Putting all those numbers together means we need Judge to make contact, and the rest will take care of itself.

One main reason for the Yankees is the matchup. Patrick Corbin is back on the mound, and Judge swats southpaws exceptionally hard. In 338 career AB vs. LHP, Judge has smashed 30 bombs. His ISO is just shy of .300, and in terms of wRC+, he is 63% better than the league average.

Honorable Mentions: Nelson Cruz. OF ($5,400 DK, $3,900 FD) at DET; Yordan Alvarez, OF ($4,400 DK, $3,500 FD) vs TOR.


Value Batter: 1B Josh Bell, WAS ($3,600 DK, $2,700 FD) at NYY 


The slash line(.141/.222/.281) suggests Josh Bell is broken. So spending any sum for a player like this requires us to dig much deeper than those treacherous numbers. From 2016-2019, Bell had his way with right-handed pitchers. He showcased a wRC+well above 100 in each of those seasons, and then bam, 217 ABs, the total opposite happened.

Here’s the thing, Bell still showcases a barrel rate over 10% and max exit velocity in the 82nd percentile. On top of that, his hard-hit rate over 50%. When he does make contact with the ball, good things are happening, as shown by the .401 xwOBAcon. The biggest problem standing in front of Bell is the strikeout rate (26.4%).

His matchup is against Jameson Taillon, who has been able to allow quite a bit of loud contact (10% barrel rate) by striking out nearly 31% of batters. At Bell’s salary cost, this is a great spot to pay down at a premium power position to roster his production upside.

Honorable Mentions: Miguel Sano, 1B ($3,300 DK, $2,500 FD) at DET; Daniel Vogelbach, 1B ($2,600 DK, $2,400 FD) at MIA.


Top Stack: Tampa Bay Rays at OAK (LHP Sean Manaea)


The larger the slate, the heavier your stack should be. Today, if the Rays go off and score 12 runs, you will want to have as much exposure to those bats as possible. Sprinkling a player here and there is a cash game/double-up play. My suggestion is to drop four or five Rays in your lineup today.

Anytime a left-handed pitcher is on the mound, my favorite target is Mike Brosseau. He has a herculean .236 ISO when facing a southpaw and fits nicely into your 2B or 3B slot. Here is another one—does anyone realize that Yandy Diaz has a .851 OPS vs. LHP? The power may be a little light, but he is an on-base machine(.457). Next, let’s take a quick look into Willy Adames. Interesting, Willy has a .447 SLG% vs. LHP this season. His biggest issue is the strikeouts are hindering his production. More good news for Willy, Sean Manaea is only slightly better than the league average in K%. The last Ray in our stack is some guy named Randy. Yes, Mr. Randy Arozarena is also having success at the dish vs. LHP. The .308/.372/.487 slash line with a .859 OPS makes me think his salary($4,500 DK, 3,000 FD) is too appetizing to pass up!

Honorable Mentions: HOU vs TOR (Stripling), STL vs COL (Gomber).


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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