From underpriced aces to strategic stacks, get ready for 2022 Opening Day with the best daily fantasy prep from FanDuel and numberFire.
With production being highly variable on a night-to-night basis, daily fantasy baseball plays a bit differently than other sports.
As a result of this, the primary method for selecting hitters is to “stack” certain teams in good spots to produce. While one batter may not have a stellar evening, the collective production of that stack can be enormous.
However, most of the top stacks on a given day come with hefty salaries. Therefore, low-salaried “one-off” plays can be crucial to making a lineup work.
Nationals SP Patrick Corbin ($6,900)
If you’re digging in the value bin for a pitcher and forgoing the half-dozen aces on this slate, the most reasonable assumption to make could be a bounce-back year for Patrick Corbin.
At just 32 years old, Corbin shouldn’t be past his prime physically. He’s five years younger than Max Scherzer, for context. Still, a 5.82 ERA was pretty unsightly in 2021, and many might be tossing Corbin in the washer.
Corbin’s ERA last season may have been a bit unlucky, though. He had just a 4.61 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), and while that’s not phenomenal, it’s much better than his bottom-line results were. His velocity last season was also right in line with some of the dominant years of his career — including his first season with the Nationals.
With an offseason to tweak his mechanics, it’s possible Corbin returns to a strikeout rate above 25.0%, and he becomes a guy to consider in daily fantasy once again.
Even though the Mets added Eduardo Escobar and Starling Marte, this was the 10th-worst offense against lefties last year with a 94 wRC+ overall. It’s a fair first test. New York also is sending Tylor Megill to the hill with their more dominant options injured, boosting Corbin’s win equity a good deal.
Brewers SS Willy Adames ($2,900)
The Brewers should be one of the more popular stacks of the day.
Hendricks had a 5.39 FIP at Wrigley Field in 2021. His skillset is widely known at this point; he’ll suppress hard contact (29.7% hard-hit rate at home last season), but a 16.2% strikeout rate within the friendly confines leaves plenty of room for baserunners — especially when the wind is kicked up.
Milwaukee will have plenty of lefties in the value bin, but don’t forget about Willy Adames for one-offs, either. Adames led all Brewers hitters in 2021 with a 141 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
He’s projected to bat second in a lineup that could produce plenty of activity.
Padres OF Wil Myers ($2,600)
While he shares the same age as Corbin, Madison Bumgarner doesn’t appear to be in the same position to rebound entering 2022.
Bumgarner has totally lost the ability to throw the ball past hitters. It was never great, but MadBum has ceded a contact rate of at least 80% in three of the past four seasons. His propensity to let balls in play can really bite him against better offenses, and the San Diego Padres certainly have a solid one.
Myers crushed lefties last year to the tune of a 126 wRC+ and .178 ISO. Importantly, his strikeout rate drops nearly eight percentage points against lefties.
He and Luke Voit both should hit in the middle of the order under $3,000 as powerful right-handed bats to attack Bumgarner.
Guardians 1B Bobby Bradley ($2,200)
A dismal 2021 from Zack Greinke sent him back to the place it all started.
He’s now a Kansas City Royal once again after his worst SIERA (4.54) since his 2005 campaign with K.C. At 38 years old, though, it’s hard to bank on a bounce-back performance in 2022.
His strikeout rate dropped to 17.2% last season, and that was his first season under 20.0% since 2010. He’s a declining player, and likely, he’ll be a popular target Thursday against the Cleveland Guardians.
When stacking them, or just looking for a one-off at first base, Bobby Bradley is an awesome play at a near-minimum salary.
Bradley put up big-time power numbers against righties last season in limited action, bopping 11 homers and posting a .226 ISO against orthodox pitchers. Expected to hit fifth, he’s one of numberFire’s top-projected values.