3 Under-the-Radar MLB FanDuel Plays for Friday 10/1/21

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.

Jon Gray, SP, Rockies

FanDuel Salary: $8,300

Everyone wants to end on a high note.

Jon Gray will have the chance to do just that on Friday night in his final start of the season against Arizona. Of course, with all Rockies' pitchers graded on a curve, Gray has had a solid year.

Gray has a 4.22 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and has curbed his largest issue with just a 35.4% hard-hit rate. Those numbers are not elite, but pitching at Coors Field, they are more than serviceable. Gray has exceeded 40 FanDuel points four times this season, and he has a golden opportunity to make it a fifth.

The Diamondbacks' offense has been atrocious against right-handed pitching down the stretch. They have just a 69 wRC+ and a 25.3% strikeout rate since the start of September. They have ceded several huge games to opposing pitchers in that frame, and Gray is talented enough in his own right (24.0% strikeout rate) to take advantage.

Gray has been between 85 and 90 pitches three of his past four outings, and that is a reasonable expectation for his Friday workload, as well.

Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros

FanDuel Salary: $4,100

On a full slate, there likely will not be a line of people to stack against Sean Manaea with other far more consequential games and advantageous matchups in play.

The Astros, though, still technically have the two-seed to play for. Houston is only clear of the White Sox by two games, and Chicago has the pathetic Tigers in town. With some incentive to play, the Astros do need a win, and Jose Altuve should be in his usual leadoff spot.

Altuve is absolutely destroying left-handed pitching recently. Since the start of September, Altuve has a .550 ISO and a 246 wRC+ against lefties, which I couldn't produce in a month in MLB The Show if I wanted to. Hey, it's a hard game, okay?

In that same stretch, Manaea has a 47.1% fly-ball rate and a 37.1% hard-hit rate against lefties. Altuve is arguably the toughest out for lefties in the sport this moment, so he is definitely worth a look with other solid right-handed bats to stack, as well.

Miguel Sano, 1B, Twins

FanDuel Salary: $2,600

At an identical salary, Miguel Sano's teammate Max Kepler should see plenty of attention on Friday with the platoon advantage. However, Sano might be the better option.

In September, the right-handed Sano was not kind to his same-handed pitching opponents. He busted them for a .368 ISO and a 51.3% hard-hit rate, which means Sano had a better chance of barreling a right-handed offering than you would have to call a coin toss correctly.

The Twins as a whole may not be under the radar against the rookie Jon Heasley. Heasley's overall 5.09 SIERA is firmly on the radar to stack against, and he has spent most of the year at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Heasley has north of a 41.0% fly-ball rate both in Double-A and his small big-league sample, which means taters could firmly be on the menu.

Heasley has a higher xFIP in MLB this year against righties (6.18) than lefties (4.77) this season, which may make using right-handed bats in the Minnesota lineup optimal after all, and Sano has been destroying all righties the past month anyway.