3 MLB FanDuel Studs to Target on Opening Day

Just like in other sports, the focal point of your daily fantasy baseball lineups will be your high-salary studs. These guys take up by far the biggest chunk of your cap space, but they also offer the highest ceiling. And in the case of pitchers, the high-salary options typically come with the highest floors, too.

For hitters, we're looking for guys with big numbers, strong matchups, and with players around them that are likely to produce, as well, increasing our chances for runs and RBI. For pitchers, we want big strikeout numbers, while the ability to go deep in a game and pick up a win is also valuable.

With your high-salary picks playing such a big role in your lineup, you need to be right on these guys, so let's take a look at a few top-end options you can count on to anchor your lineup today.

Corbin Burnes, SP, Milwaukee Brewers ($11,200)

Opening Day usually leads to an overabundance of excellent options at the all-important pitching position, but with weather washing out Gerrit Cole, there's a really robust option who is an easy button of sorts. That's reigning NL Cy Young award winner Corbin Burnes.

Burnes was otherworldly a season ago in winning the prestigious pitching honor -- in 167 innings pitched, he was nearly impossible to square up, allowing only 0.38 home runs per nine. He struck out 35.6% of hitters one year after recording a 36.7% strikeout rate. He limits free passes (5.2% walk rate), and his 33.9% called-plus-swinging-strike rate (CSW) is at the top of the league.

Per our model, Burnes is the slate's number-one arm. The Chicago Cubs, Burnes' opponent, did add Seiya Suzuki in the offseason, but the Cubs should be a below-average offense this season.

Pete Alonso, 1B, New York Mets ($3,600)

Does anyone hit the ball as far as Pete Alonso of the New York Mets? If luck is on our side, he may be bopping his way into DFS relevance on Opening Day.

While Alonso's prodigious power doesn't need much introduction, it never hurts to look at last season's numbers -- a .257 isolated power (ISO and 37 long balls. He's already got 106 jacks in his MLB career, which didn't get started until 2019

He will see lefty Patrick Corbin. Alonso slammed southpaws for a .562 slugging percentage a season ago. Corbin allowed 1.94 home runs per nine last season.

We project Alonso as the second-best hitter on the slate, and the Mets are a solid stacking option.

Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers ($3,300)

In full transparency, I am not a big season-long advocate of Christian Yelich, but that doesn't matter a lick for DFS.

Yelich is looking to bounce back after a few rough seasons, and there's no one w hocan get him healthy faster than Kyle Hendricks. The right-hander was downright awful a season ago, recording a 4.89 FIP and surrendering a career-worst 1.54 homers per nine across 181 innings.

On Thursday's main slate, the Milwaukee Brewers boast the best implied team total (5.82 runs), so this is clearly going to be an offense that we want exposure to. We may not be able to count on Yelich all year, but he sure seems like a great play on Opening Day -- especially with the wind howling out to right at Wrigley.

Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.