FanDuel Daily Fantasy Baseball Helper: Thursday 8/25/22

The beauty of daily fantasy baseball is that the top targets are different each and every day. Whether it's the right-handed catcher who destroys left-handed pitching or the mid-range hurler facing a depleted lineup, you're not going to find yourself using the same assets time after time.

While this breaks up the monotony, it can make it hard to decide which players are primed to succeed on a given day. We can help bridge that gap.

In addition to our custom optimal lineups, you can check out our projections and batting and pitching heat maps, which show the pieces in the best spot to succeed on that slate. Put on the finishing touches with our games and lineups page to see who's hitting where and what the weather looks like, and you'll have yourself a snazzy-looking team to put up some big point totals.

If you need help getting started on that trek, here are some of the top options on the board today. We'll be focusing exclusively on the main slate.

Pitching Breakdown

We have two standout hurlers on tonight's slate -- Jacob deGrom ($12,500 on FanDuel) and Aaron Nola ($10,800). The appeal for both is obvious. They're in delightful matchups and offer gobs of strikeout upside. Our model has them in their own tier. Deciding between the two is tough.

DeGrom is at home against the Colorado Rockies. The best pitcher on the planet in a dream matchup -- yes, please. DeGrom has been incredible in his 23 1/3 innings this season, boasting a 45.7% strikeout rate and 1.18 SIERA. Since the start of 2021, he's got a 1.63 SIERA and 45.2% strikeout rate across 115 1/3 innings. It's an astonishing level of dominance. The Rockies' 2.40 implied total is the slate's lowest, and we project deGrom for a slate-best 42.5 FanDuel points.

The only negative thing you can say about deGrom -- who got up to 95 pitches last time out -- is that his salary is so much higher than Nola's. But because of that and because of how similar their projections are -- we have Nola scoring 41.2 FanDuel points -- Nola will likely be a good bit more popular. Early draft percentage projections around the industry have Nola being twice as popular. If that holds true, I'm absolutely loading up on deGrom.

As for Nola, his case is very straightforward. Taking on a poor Cincinnati Reds offense, Nola projects similarly to deGrom, and his salary is $1,700 lower than deGrom's. It makes a ton of sense to just take the huge salary savings, and as I just laid out, the masses probably will do just that.

But Nola -- while very, very good -- just isn't as elite of an option as deGrom is. In 24 starts this season, Nola has gone for 50-plus FanDuel points six times. DeGrom has surpassed 50 points in two of his four outings. I won't blame anyone for siding with Nola, and I will be more interested in him if the draft percentage projections even out. But as things stand -- read: if Nola is going to be way more popular than deGrom -- I am going to have more of deGrom.

While Kevin Gausman ($10,500) can deal if he's on and Jameson Taillon ($9,400) gets a tasty road matchup with the Oakland Athletics, I don't see much of a reason to use anyone else at pitcher outside of a few dart throws in GPPs. Nola and deGrom are well clear of the field on this small slate.

Stacks to Target

Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies are going to be deserved chalk tonight. Not only do they carry the slate's highest implied total (5.37), they have no expected starters above $3,200, making them a fantastic fit alongside deGrom.

Kyle Schwarber ($3,200) and Rhys Hoskins ($3,200) lead the way. They're both top-four point-per-dollar bats, according to our projections, and they offer massive upside against Justin Dunn.

A righty, Dunn has struggled mightily in the bigs, posting a 5.81 SIERA and 49.5% fly-ball rate for his career while permitting 1.63 dingers per nine. He's been tagged for five jacks in only 13 1/3 frames in 2022.

Anyone who starts for Philly is stackable. Bradley Zimmer ($2,100) needs to be on our radar as a salary-saver, and Bryson Stott ($2,700) can be a handy piece due to his eligibility at second and shortstop.

New York Mets

The New York Mets have a 4.60 implied total, the fourth-highest, and should have plenty of success against Ryan Feltner, a righty who is striking out just 19.5% of hitters this season while surrendering 1.59 dongs per nine.

Although the Mets have some high-salary sticks, they also have a few value targets who pair well with an ace. The high-salary trio is Pete Alonso ($3,900), Starling Marte ($3,700) and Francisco Lindor ($3,700). They're sweet plays if you can fit them in.

Dropping down in salary, Brandon Nimmo ($2,800) and Dan Vogelbach ($2,800) will be core pieces to my Mets stacks. Nimmo is slated to hit leadoff while Vogelbach is always a power threat against righties.

Brett Baty ($2,700) and Jeff McNeil ($2,700) will have the platoon advantage, and Tyler Naquin ($2,200) would be a stellar low-salary play if he gets in the lineup.

The Rest

After the Phillies, the Toronto Blue Jays (4.95) have the next-best implied total, but I'm not in love with them in a date with Kutter Crawford, who has been pretty solid this year (3.99 SIERA and 23.2% strikeout rate).

Next by implied totals is the Houston Astros (4.75). I really like Houston against Chris Archer, but with four bats salaried above $3,700, they don't mesh with Nola or deGrom. Yordan Alvarez ($4,100) and Kyle Tucker ($4,000) are top-tier plays if you have the coin.

The New York Yankees (4.39) and Chicago White Sox (4.35) are probably the next-best full-on stacking options that can, for the most part, be used alongside one of the slate's aces.

The Yanks suffer a big park-factor drop going to Oakland but get a quality matchup against James Kaprielian, who is showing a 5.11 SIERA and 16.4% strikeout rate. DJ LeMahieu ($3,000), Andrew Benintendi ($2,900), Gleyber Torres ($2,900) and Josh Donaldson ($2,800) stand out as modest-salaried ways to get a piece of the Yankees. If you have the salary for the Yanks' studs, go for it.

Chicago will see Jordan Lyles. Lyles has given up a .368 wOBA and 1.73 homers to lefties. Unfortunately, the White Sox don't have many guys who will hit from the left side, with Gavin Sheets ($2,300) and Yoan Moncada ($2,800) the exceptions. Luis Robert ($3,100) is an immense talent at an easy-to-like salary, and the same can be said for Eloy Jimenez ($2,900).