4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 8
Matchweek 8 sees players returning from international duty as the Premier League resumes after the international break, as well as clubs that qualified for European tournaments (Champions and Europa) gearing up for Matchday 3. This means that, especially with the top clubs, players may be rested in preparation for a busy week.
DFS players, when picking their lineup, should look to take advantage of the teams -- and players -- who 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. Matchweek 8 features seven Saturday matches, with the remainder of the matches wrapping up Sunday and Monday. Let's take a look at four players who should be avoided in the upcoming matches.
Jamie Vardy, Leicester City
FanDuel Price: £9.5 million
The Foxes, along with Vardy, have been extremely inconsistent this season, struggling to compete for another spot in Europe. Vardy is the 10th-highest priced forward this week and has averaged 13.43 FanDuel points through seven matchweeks. Vardy struggled at the beginning of the season but gave DFS players hope during Matchweeks 3 through 5, averaging just over 26 points.
However, over the last two matchweeks, Vardy has only scored a combined 2.25 points, costing many fantasy players a victory.
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Vardy, although not performing great in front of the Foxes' fans at King Power Stadium, has performed better in front of the home fans. Most of Vardy's away production came in one match against Liverpool. In the match against the Reds, Vardy scored one goal while having three shots on target. In comparison, Vardy has performed well in two home matches, versus Burnley and Swansea City.
Vardy's next match is against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Foxes have only scored three goals away from King Power Stadium, while the Blues have allowed three goals in front of their home fans. Chelsea has controlled 56.9% of the possession at Stamford Bridge and should continue their domination of the ball against the Foxes, as Leicester maintains only 41.7% of the possession away from King Power Stadium. Chelsea is a large favorite in this match and should put a lot of pressure on the Foxes' back line.
Vardy, and Leicester, look to be on a roller coaster type season, frustrating many DFS players. Vardy will undoubtedly have great weeks, but DFS players should avoid Vardy against a tough opponent and look at other forwards with higher upside.
Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
FanDuel Price: £11.6 million
Mahrez is the eighth-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 8. The Foxes, as mentioned with Jamie Vardy, have a tough matchup as a large Vegas underdog. Mahrez has appeared on this list before, as crosses do not correlate to points in FanDuel's scoring system unless they turn into a chance created.
Mahrez has averaged 15.82 FanDuel points through seven matchweeks but just over eight points in the last four matchweeks.
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Mahrez has not produced for DFS players over the last four matches, but his final two matches have been atrocious, averaging just over four points. As mentioned above, the Blues should easily control the possession, limiting Mahrez's ability to for chances created.
Mahrez should be able to add other stats -- tackles and interceptions -- in a match that the Foxes should be trailing. The unlikely possibility that the Foxes will have many scoring opportunities makes Mahrez, especially at his price, a great player to avoid.
Virgil van Dijk, Southampton
FanDuel Price: £8.2 million
van Dijk is the 12th-highest priced defender this week and has averaged 17.14 FanDuel points. van Dijk has been extremely consistent this season, never scoring below 11 points and scoring above 20 points once. The defender's production this season has consisted of mostly defensive statistics -- tackles, interceptions, and clearances -- as van Dijk is not greatly involved in attack, taking only one shot on target.
The Saints face Burnley at St. Mary's Stadium in Sunday's late match. The Saints have maintained 57.4% of the possession in front of their home fans, while Burnley has possessed the ball 43.3% of the match away from Turf Moor. The Clarets have shown that they are willing to pack it in defensively, hoping for an easy counter. Burnley has not scored a goal away from Turf Moor this season and will be without forward Andre Gray, as he finishes his four-match suspension.
van Dijk has been a solid piece in the center of Southampton's back line and will continue to produce defensively against better squads. Southampton should easily control possession against an over-matched Burnley squad, and van Dijk's ineffectiveness in the Saint's attack makes him a defender that DFS players should avoid.
David de Gea, Manchester United
FanDuel Price: £7.8 million
de Gea is the fourth-highest priced keeper for Matchweek 8 and has not recorded a clean sheet in his previous four matches. The concerning issue for DFS players has to be de Gea's inability to record clean sheets against, what should be, inferior opponents, as three of his four previous matches have been against squads in the bottom half of the table. de Gea is averaging 10.29 FanDuel points and has maxed out at 16.5 points, both numbers being unacceptable for DFS players paying up for a keeper.
The Red Devils travel to Anfield for a Monday evening match to finish off Matchweek 8. The Reds have been extremely productive at Anfield, scoring 9 goals while possessing the ball 64.5% of the match. The Red Devils' defense, for a squad competing for a Champions League spot, has been poor, allowing four goals away from Old Trafford. This match is one of the marquee matches on the slate and should be compelling for viewers, with both squads near the top of the table. The over/under is set at 2.5, meaning both squads should produce goal-scoring opportunities. Liverpool enters the match as the favorites and should put pressure on United's back line and de Gea.
de Gea is one of the best keepers in the world and is always capable of carrying his squad to victory, but the keeper has not done that this year for DFS players and should be avoided in a match that will likely produce goals by both squads.