It’s a more extensive slate today but lacks the ace presence on the mounds. Shaky arms will make you want a balanced approach to your lineup. Play it safely across the board and increase that bankroll for the last month of baseball.

This is Plan of Attack. We’re here to provide advice and recommendations to help you build successful daily fantasy lineups. We’ll be loosely guided by the tenants of our DFS Manifesto – namely, a single lineup build designed to improve your enjoyment of the game while giving you a chance to beat the rake.

Don’t be surprised if the column evolves. This is a living creature, and it’s sure to adapt in Darwinian fashion. If there are features you especially like or believe need tweaking to be actionable, please reach out to us. Since this is written early in the day, specific essential details will be left for you to find on your own. In particular, weather, lineups, and umpires are all things you should verify within three hours of contest-lock.

For clarity, when I reference “value,” I’m referring to projected points divided by cost.

 

1. The RotoFanatical Challenge

We are hosting a daily 20-entry, $3 contest on DraftKings. It’s an excellent low-cost testing ground against fellow RotoFanatic fans. A level playing field is always lovely. Today’s seven-game slate begins at 6:05pm ET. Reserve your spot for the contest.

 

2. Weather and Park Factors

The weather will play no role in the games today. The only area of concern is in Milwaukee, but they will have the roof closed for the festivities. This will be a nice break from the weather watch that took place in the previous few days.

The parks of note to attack include Coors Field today for the Rockies and Giants game. There usually isn’t any value plays there because of this, but always keep an eye out. Minute Maid is in play for the Rangers and Astros throwdown; that park has the capabilities of allowing cheap home runs. Lastly, there is suspect home pitching going on for the Red Sox. The Braves could have a field day against Kyle Hart in Fenway.

Check out our park factors HERE.

 

3. Building Block Bats

 

Elite values:

Ronald Acuna ($4800 DK, $4100 FD)
Freddie Freeman ($5300 DK, $4000 FD)

The Braves square off against Ryan Weber this afternoon. Weber has a statcast slider from hell, all blue, and lots of wrong numbers staring at you. In 24 innings pitched, he has allowed 26 hits, 16 earned runs, SIX home runs, and walked 11 batters. YIKES! Even if it’s a short day for Weber, the Red Sox bullpen isn’t very reliable, and they’ve already traded away their closer.

Acuna and Freeman are among the premier talents in the MLB these days. Freeman is riding a 14 game hitting streak and producing 12-22 points on a nightly basis. Acuna is back from an IL stint, and his salary is significantly suppressed. Earlier in the year, he was going for $5500-$5700, so he could be quite a bargain today.

Juan Soto ($5700 DK, $4500 FD)

Juan “Goat-o” Soto is doing things that very few have done in MLB history. His pace is off the charts, and he has basically been a DFS cheat code. In 24 games, Soto boasts a .367 batting average with 11 home runs, 25 RBI, and 21 runs with one stolen base. If last night was any indication, he went yard twice and put up a staggering point total. He is facing off against Aaron Nola today, which is why his salary is below a few others. I will keep saying it, don’t be cute and put him in your lineup.

Also consider: Charlie Blackmon, Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich

 

Unlikely heroes:

Austin Riley ($3400 DK, $2500 FD)

Riley has started to come around as of late. He has a five-game hitting streak and multiple hit outings in over half of them. The power stroke is showing up as well with two knocks in that time frame. I love his matchup against Ryan Weber, listed up in the Elite Values section. His .471 xwOBAcon and 43.5 hard-hit% make him an excellent candidate for the unlikely hero of the day.

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Also consider: Brandon Belt, Phil Gosselin, Adam Duvall

 

4. Pitchers

“Safe” Picks: 

Aaron Nola (DK $10400, FD $10200)
Patrick Corbin (DK $10200, FD $9600)

Nola and Corbin stand alone as the aces of the day. I am going with Nola as the safer pick between the two. Both face off against better than average offenses over the last seven days. The strikeout potential is there for either pitcher to have a big night. Oddly, both of their previous appearances were against each other, and Philly defeated the Nationals(3-2).

Which would I take if choosing just one of these? Nola got the best of Corbin last time out, but I would steer towards Corbin in a redemption game. The Phillies walk less than 5% of the time while striking out over 25% vs. LHP. It’s definitely a toss-up, though. If neither makes you entirely comfortable, keep an eye on the value targets.

 

Value Targets: 

Dallas Keuchel (DK $8400, FD $8700)

Keuchel is a perfect target if you’re deciding to pay down on the starting pitcher position. I almost slotted him in the safe category as well. Dallas is an elite groundball pitcher that is having a terrific season. The strikeouts may not be there, but he puts away batters quickly and keeps the bases clean. His 1.04 ERA is among the tops in the MLB, and his 2.70 ERA indicates he is dealing as well. It could be a tremendous FanDuel play as well since the Twins are marching Michael Pineda out there after a long hiatus.

Framber Valdez (DK $8100, FD $9900)

Valdez has been a beast in 2020. He sports a 2.35 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 1.10 WHIP, very unexpected coming into the year. The price seems like a little discount today; he was going for $8700-$8800 at the beginning of August. Either way, take this discounted price against the awful Rangers offense. Texas has a 51 wRC+ and .099 ISO against right-handed pitching in the last seven days.

Also Consider: Sean Manaea, Julio Urias

 

5. Connectors

Connectors are cheap guys who offer a tangible upside and enable you to explore top-heavy builds. FanDuel offers an embarrassing quantity of these players (their pricing model is drunk), so I’ll focus on DraftKings first and foremost.

Nick Madrigal ($2400 DK, $2400 FD)

Madrigal is white-hot since returning to the ballclub from injury. While he doesn’t showcase the ability to put the ball out of the park, he makes up for it with already reaching base. Madrigal has seven hits in his last three games and even swiped a bag. The White Sox are one of the better offense in the MLB, and Madrigal puts up double-digit points frequently from being active in it.

Ke’Bryan Hayes ($2000 DK, $2000 FD)

Hayes was just promoted to the big league club and will make his MLB debut this evening against LHP Jon Lester. Hayes is a first-round draft pick with a power+speed combo talent. He grades out as a 45/55 hit tool, 50/50 raw power, and 60/55 speed. In 2019, he put up ten home runs and stole 12 bases throughout triple-A.

Also Consider: Victor Reyes, Bobby Dalbec