4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 5
The Champions League has begun, and that means the top clubs will add another level of difficulty to their already deep Premier League schedule.
Matchweek 5 sees three of the top four squads play at home while three of the bottom four squads travel away from their home grounds. DFS players, when picking their lineup, should look to take advantage of the teams -- and players -- that play especially well either home or away, while also looking at Vegas favorites and over/under totals.
As with any sport, it is imperative to have your players, especially the high-priced studs, live up to their price tag. When making an investment into any player, it is important to determine which players will likely contribute in FanDuel's emphasized areas (goals, assists, and shots on target).
It's just as important not to overspend on players in bad matchups. Let's take a look at four players who should be avoided in the upcoming matches.
Odion Ighalo, Watford
FanDuel Price: £8.4 million
Ighalo finally played the match DFS players have been hoping for, scoring his first goal of the season, as well as taking two shots on target against West Ham. This week, according to the numbers, seems to be a tougher contest for the forward, as Watford faces Manchester United.
Ighalo averaged 7.83 FanDuel points through three games before scoring 39 points in Matchweek 4. Ighalo capitalized on his plus matchup against West Ham, but he'd already missed a golden opportunity earlier this year with what was a solid matchup against Southampton.
|Matchweek 4||First 3 Games|
|Shots on Target||2||2|
Watford has been far from impressive this season at Vicarage Road, losing both their matches and possessing the ball 42.7% of the time. The Hornets have only scored two goals this season at home, while conceding five, tied for the second-worst mark in the Premier League. Both matches the Hornets have played at Vicarage Road have been against top-seven squads in Chelsea and Arsenal. Sunday, Manchester United will present another tall task.
The Red Devils enter this match possessing the ball 55.5% of the time, scoring four goals and conceding one away from Old Trafford. United should easily control this match, heavily pressuring Watford’s back line, which caps Ighalo’s upside.
Ross Barkley, Everton
FanDuel Price: £10 million
Barkley is the 12th-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 5, and he is averaging 20.75 points through four matches. That average for Barkley is a bit deceiving, as manager Ronald Koeman adjusted his starting XI due to the absence of forward Romelu Lukaku, playing Barkley out of his normal position early on. Barkley's production took a big hit when Romelu returned.
|Matchweeks 1 and 2||Matchweeks 3 and 4|
|Shots on Target||2||2|
Barkley averaged 11.63 points in Lukaku’s two starts, while posting an average of 29.88 points in the two matches without Lukaku in the starting XI. Barkley’s production has dipped, producing only two shots on target in the two matches with Lukaku, even being subbed off at halftime due to a poor performance in his last match.
Everton host Middlesbrough at Goodison Park in Saturday’s late match. While Middlesbrough is thought to be a squad fighting for relegation, they have competed well at the start of the season and are entrenched in the middle of the table. The Boro have controlled 54.6% of the possession away from Riverside Stadium, allowing only one goal in their two contests. Everton has actually possessed the ball better on the road (61.9%), putting up a 49.7% possession rate in front of their home fans.
Barkley, if given the opportunity to play the entire match, will be involved and should have a decent floor. However, Everton’s performance at home has been lackluster, and Barkley’s upside is lower with Lukaku's recent form. With better options and higher upside in other midfielders both around and below Barkley's price, the Everton midfielder is smart to avoid in this weekend.
Héctor Bellerín, Arsenal
FanDuel Price: £8.1 million
Bellerín has averaged 13.56 FanDuel points through four weeks, but that point total is inflated by Bellerín’s Matchweek 2 performance, where the defender scored 23.25 points. Bellerín’s average point total, not including Matchweek 2, is 10.33 points.
Arsenal has possessed the ball 56.6% of the match away from Emirates Stadium, while Hull has only possessed the ball 46 % of the time at home. The Gunners are a large favorite against Hull and should easily maintain possession, limiting Bellerín ability to earn defensive statistics.
Bellerín may have opportunities to go forward and cross the ball in a match where the Tigers are likely to bunker in defensively. However, FanDuel does not reward a player for crosses unless it leads to a goal-scoring chance. Bellerín has sent in 12 crosses this season, but only 2 of those, per WhoScored.com, have been accurate crosses. If Bellerín is not connecting on his crosses, his upside is very limited. In a match where the defensive statistics may be scarce, Bellerín should be avoided.
Ben Foster, West Brom
FanDuel Price: £8.1 million
Foster is the fifth-highest priced keeper this week, and he has averaged 17.13 FanDuel points in his previous four matches. The Baggies have conceded two goals at the Hawthorns, maintaining possession 40.1% of the match. This weekend, they get a home clash with West Ham.
The Hammers have also been reluctant to take control of the possession, maintaining the ball 38.7 % of the time away from London Stadium. This match will likely see both squads get up the pitch, and with neither having a stout back line, it likely limits Foster’s chances at a clean sheet.
Foster is a good keeper and will have matches where he should be owned, but in a week when cheaper options like Watford’s Heurelho Gomes --- who will likely be peppered with shots --- exist, DFS players can save a bit of money by looking elsewhere.