Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 14
This week's slate on FanDuel includes six fixtures from the Premier League's Saturday schedule. Some of the league's high profile attackers, such as Harry Kane, will be counted on to carry many daily fantasy teams. Luckily, there is plenty of value in the six-game slate.
The slate features teams from across the current table. It includes three of the bottom four squads, teams battling for the last European qualification spot and a smattering of sides in the middle of the pack. It is the mid-table teams that provide the most value this week.
Marko Arnautovic, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $7,300
Forward may not be a place to pay down this week and has the least amount of value plays of all positions across the board. However, Arnautovic makes for an interesting play as the 13th-most expensive forward this week on FanDuel. He even ranks slightly below teammate Wilfried Bony.
Arnautovic is a fiery player who was suspended earlier this season for yellow card accumulation. However, many Stoke fans have come to love the winger given his consistency. The consistent play has led to transfer rumors, but Arnautovic has been able to ignore the rumors and keep producing.
Aquel GOLAZO de Marko Arnautovic en 2013 en Old Trafford. pic.twitter.com/qSVvDZPGwu
— Stoke City FC (@StokeCityMI) September 30, 2016
Arnautovic says the secret to his consistency is not thinking so much about scoring. The consistency also keeps Arnautovic on the pitch despite Stoke's recent run of good form that is causing lineup issues elsewhere on the pitch. He has started 22 games across all competitions this season and has only been subbed off in seven of them.
Arnautovic and Stoke are clear favorites after earning 15 points in their last eight matches. That is fourth-best in the Premier League in that timeframe. This week's opponent, Burnley, has maintained a high work rate to earn 14 points in 13 games. They lead the league in saves, blocks and clearances. The stats are impressive, but it means the opponent has the ball often and has tested their goalkeepers regularly. Starting keeper Tom Heaton is likely out, which gives a boost to Stoke's attackers.
According to FanDuel, Arnautovic has created at least one chance in seven straight Premier League games. He has drawn at least one foul in all but one match. He has also registered three tackles on three separate occasions this season.
Sofiane Boufal, Southampton
FanDuel Price: $4,900
It is easy to find value within the Southampton lineup this week. Dusan Tadic and Matt Targett are still out with injury. The opponent, Crystal Palace, has lost six straight matches and are only above the drop zone based on goal differential. Josh Sims is unavailable on FanDuel, so Boufal's impressive play in his return to EFL Cup action this week puts him at the top of the list.
In just four appearances, Boufal has created four chances while improving his defensive contribution. However, he was not brought in on a record-breaking transfer from Lille for his defensive actions. Boufal scored 11 league goals last season while contributing four assists.
Sofiane #Boufal - #Southampton VS #Sunderland 26/10/2016 ...What a goal!😲 pic.twitter.com/XDIQHog0YI
— Greatest Goals Ever (@greatestgoalsev) November 1, 2016
There are only nine midfielders on the slate cheaper than Boufal. He will give great salary relief for paying up at striker. His creativity can create a chance out of nothing, and it gives him the ability to greatly outpace his price.
Gareth McAuley, West Brom
FanDuel Price: $5,300
McAuley is averaging close to 20 FanDuel points and has scored over 35 points three times over the first 13 matches. He has scored three goals in the Premier League to add to his defensive value.
McAuley has averaged more than six clearances and two interceptions this season. He is also winning more than three aerial duels per match. That puts him 13th among all defenders in the Premier League. Despite closing in on his 37th birthday, McAuley's performances haven't waned.
West Brom takes on Watford this weekend. Watford have been held without a goal twice in their last six games and have scored more than one goal only once in that stretch.
Lee Grant, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $6,100
Although veteran Paul Robinson could make another start in net for Burnley and provides a lot of salary relief, their opponents are more likely to find success on Saturday. Grant's price has slowly increased, but he is coming off his second-best FanDuel game of the year. It was his third clean sheet of the season and extended a streak of games to eight in which Stoke gave up one or fewer goals.
It was once a foregone conclusion that when Jack Butland returned from injury he would take over the number one job, but Grant has played so well that there may now be a battle. There is no reason for Grant's form to dip this week, and it may be the last time he can be considered a value play.