MLB DFS Punt Plays For DraftKings and FanDuel (April 5)

A safe and balanced lineup does not bring the same energy as a gutsy, stars-and-scrubs-type build. In order for us to roster aspirational names like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Corey Seager, we will need to take some shots at the underbellies of the batting order, colloquially referred to as the “punt plays.” This is why we are introducing our MLB DFS Punt Plays series to do just that.

A quality MLB DFS punt play is not only cheap to roster but crucially carries an upside worth pursuing. In baseball, that often translates into an inconsistent batter with power-hitting or stolen base potential. Or it could be a volatile pitcher offering strikeout upside and the ability to pitch deep into ballgames. Whatever the reason, there is enough rationale to believe that punt plays exceed the value of their price tag, and recognizing a great punt play is critical to success in MLB DFS.

This article will highlight the top punt plays available on Friday’s seven-game MLB main slate, locking at 6:40 p.m. ET on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

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MLB DFS Punt Plays Today – April 5

Griffin Canning – P, LAA vs. BOS

MLB DFS DraftKings: $7,000

MLB DFS FanDuel: $7,200

Griffin Canning is on the fringe of punt-pricing designation, but he’s worth grouping in as the top-graded overall value play on the DraftKings main slate. Canning managed a decent 4.01 xERA and 3.82 xFIP across 24 appearances and 127 innings pitched last season. While he did surrender a problematic 1.8 home runs per nine innings, Canning also showcased an impressive 29.1% whiff rate and 25.9% strikeout rate, illustrating his fantasy upside. He is currently projected at 31% ownership, making him somewhat over-owned, but Canning leads the way with a worthwhile 25.6% top-2 value rate.

I don’t believe we’re at the point yet where the Red Sox are a team to target with opposing pitchers, but the early returns on the Boston offense have been underwhelming. They are scoring just 4.1 runs per game over their first seven contests and have an uninspiring 26% strikeout rate and 89 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, down from a 99 wRC+ in 2023. There are some dangerous bats in this lineup, though we may soon have to accept the Red Sox as just an average or even below-average offense. It’s an advantageous spot for Canning.

Justin Foscue – 2B, TEX vs. HOU

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,400

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,300

Justin Foscue has yet to make his MLB debut, but after being called up earlier this week to replace an injured Josh Jung, there is an expectation that the 25-year-old will be in the lineup tonight. Foscue is the fifth-ranked second base prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline, and it’s not because of his subpar defensive ability. He generated an outstanding .864 OPS over 122 games in Triple-A last season. That included 18 home runs, 31 doubles and a gratuitous 15.1% walk rate. Foscue offers elite plate discipline that should allow his offensive approach to translate quickly to the next level and above-average power to create a worthwhile fantasy ceiling. For nearly the minimum price, Foscue is a very interesting and under-the-radar player to roster.

Hunter Brown is not among the most vulnerable arms on this slate, though he does have a propensity for getting hit hard. Last season, Brown surrendered a 90.8 mph average exit velocity, 10.9% barrel rate, and an atrocious 44.4% hard-hit rate. Home runs were a problem for him, but it would’ve been a much bigger problem if not for Brown’s 52.4% ground ball rate.

Dominic Fletcher – OF, CWS vs. KC

MLB DFS DraftKings: $2,200

MLB DFS FanDuel: $2,400

Dominic Fletcher was a featured punt play yesterday, and he delivered an 0-for-4 performance. Still, I’m ready to run it back with him again today. Fletcher is the top-graded value play among position players on DraftKings and the top points-per-dollar play, including pitchers. He slashed a respectable .301/.350/.441 with a 113 wRC+ across 28 games in the majors last season, and Fletcher has demonstrated an above-average offensive ability at every level of baseball.

Brady Singer is fresh off a phenomenal first outing of the season, tossing seven shutout innings against the Minnesota Twins. Some may be quick to declare that Singer is “back,” but I’m not there yet. The bad taste of 2023 still clouds Singer’s outlook. Across 29 appearances, he generated a 4.96 xERA, consisting of some truly horrible batted-ball metrics, like a 48.6% hard-hit rate, .452 xSLG and a 91 mph average exit velocity. Singer’s weak 22.7% whiff rate and 18.9% strikeout rate certainly didn’t help matters.

Editor Note: If you’re looking for the best MLB DFS picks daily, we got you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with more of a gambling tilt, our friends over at OddsShopper can get you going by teaching you how to bet on home runs.


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