Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Thursday 8/12/21

When being contrarian in daily fantasy sports, there's a fine line between taking a calculated risk and being reckless. But differentiating your lineups from everyone else's is the name of the game if you plan on taking down one of those highly lucrative DFS tournaments. Whether it's because of bookmaker totals, other options at a given position, or some gem you've found who everyone is overlooking, we can always find potential under-rostered plays if we look hard enough.

Here are three such players to consider branching out for on FanDuel's main slate.

Jose Berrios, P, Toronto Blue Jays ($8,500)

If Jose Berrios isn't going to be popular tonight, he is the ideal pitcher to roster.

A small four-game slate only has so many options at each position and that is very pronounced for pitchers. It's no secret that Lance Lynn and Yu Darvish are both better pitchers compared to Berrios, but ultimately, he's not too far behind. Berrios still comes in with a solid 25.8% strikeout rate, a 43.3% ground-ball rate, a 53.1% ground-ball rate, while allowing only 1.01 HR/9.

Berrios will be up against the Los Angeles Angels, who come in with a 23.9% strikeout rate versus right-handed pitchers (16th in the league), along with a 103 wRC+ (11th), a 35.0% fly-ball rate (21st), and a 30.5% hard-contact rate (28th). The Angels are really just a league-average offense and not one you truly need to be worried about. Roster Berrios to be a bit different in tournaments tonight and get away from the chalk.

Daulton Varsho, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks ($2,600)

I know what you're thinking, "Who is Daulton Varsho?"

This shouldn't be a surprise since he is a bit of a utility player for the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks. He is also going up against Yu Darvish tonight, which puts him in a tougher matchup, but that should cause him to come in at a very low roster percentage. Although Darvish is a very good pitcher, he's not without his faults. One of those faults would be the fact he is allowing 1.07 HR/9 to left-handed hitters along with a 44.4% fly-ball rate. Every pitcher gives up home runs and Darvish is no exception.

While I'm not looking to fully stack the Diamondbacks, Varsho is a value option that could be used as a one-off for some home run upside. He comes in with a strong 49.3% fly-ball rate and a 38.4% hard-contact rate, putting him in a spot for a home run against Darvish.