Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Thursday 9/16/21
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.
Glenn Otto, P, Texas Rangers ($6,700)
Rostering a pitcher against the Houston Astros?
It's always a dangerous option to take a pitcher against a team with the power the Astros have, but it's a clear way to be different. We have a small four-game slate, and we should see some mega-chalky options, leaving an opening to go fully against the grain. This is where Glenn Otto comes into play. Otto is in his first year in the bigs with only 13.0 career MLB innings under his belt.
Take it all with a grain of salt since the sample size is so small, but he has a 28.6% strikeout rate, 3.6% walk rate, 3.00 SIERA, 52.8% ground-ball rate, and 61.1% medium-contact rate. If he can maintain even close to those numbers, he would be a pitcher we can trust.
Of course, the Astros and their 117 wRC+ (first in the league), .173 ISO (ninth), and 34.2% hard-contact rate (sixth) versus right-handed pitchers present an obvious danger to Otto. But if you want to miss all the chalk, Otto is worth a look.
Bryce Harper, OF, Philadelphia Phillies ($4,500)
Are the Philadelphia Phillies going to be overlooked tonight?
A four-game slate has the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Houston Astros all in fantastic spots for offensive production, while the Phillies are half a step behind. This is not to say the Phillies aren't in a good spot -- it's just that those teams are in better spots. Going to the Phils presents us with an opportunity to be different.
Spending up for Bryce Harper ($4,500) probably won't be a high priority for DFS players tonight since you could easily shift that salary to Jose Altuve ($4,400), Aaron Judge ($4,400), or Nelson Cruz ($4,200) -- all of whom are on the noted teams in better spots. This is why I have some interest in Harper and his 194 wRC+, .381 ISO, 48.3% hard-contact rate, and 39.0% fly-ball rate versus right-handed pitchers.
It also so happens to be a good matchup against Kyle Hendricks, who is allowing 1.73 dingers per nine to lefties this season. He's also got a 17.3% strikeout rate, 5.13 xFIP, 38.3% fly-ball rate, and 15.9% homer-to-fly-ball ratio. Hendricks has been burned by the long ball all season, and if Harper is going to be under the radar, it's a great time to have him in your lineups.