Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 17
The holiday season is exciting for the soccer fan as the Premier League packs in the games.
After midweek action, it is time to turn to a five-game FanDuel slate on Saturday. The slate is headlined by West Brom hosting Manchester United. West Brom can pull within one point of Manchester United with a win.
The rest of the games come from teams in the bottom half of the table, including six of the bottom seven teams. Given the lack of quality across the board in the fixtures, the prices on FanDuel are down in general. There is only one player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, priced over $10,000.
Fernando Llorente, Swansea City
FanDuel Price: $7,100
Swansea are still in the relegation zone, but they now reach a stretch of fixtures that provide opportunity to move out of the basement. They are a horrible defensive team, so many agree that their best defense is simply pressing offensively. They have only been shut out once in their last seven matches and have scored nine goals over the last four.
On this slate, Llorente is not heavily under priced, but the upside is high. Llorente has scored four goals in his last two home matches. The recent goal-scoring form has moved him into a tie for second on the team with five total goals. After his two-goal performance against Sunderland, Leon Britton said that Llorente could be the key to safety for the Swans.
Swansea will travel to Middlesbrough, a team that was outclassed by Liverpool in midweek action. On the back line, only Fabio was given a favorable rating after that match. Boro have allowed a goal in all but two of their home games this season. They need to win just as bad as Swansea, so a very open match could be on tap.
Chris Brunt, West Brom
FanDuel Price: $5,800
For good reasons, many people are going to be on Dimitri Payet. However, there is plenty of value with Brunt following his two-assist performance midweek. Brunt has two games of over 30 points in his last three efforts. His play has helped West Brom win four of their last six games. That streak has Brunt thinking about European play next year.
Rondon is absolutely unstoppable! #PLonNBC https://t.co/p6Lje1cuO2
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 14, 2016
Brunt was actually pushed back to defense last week, but the move opened up space for him to send in excellent crosses. Salomon Rondon has become an excellent target forward to help West Brom lead the league in headed goals. Brunt's two assists from the left wing last week were both to Rondon, who scored a hat trick.
Brunt brings extra value by being one of West Brom's set piece takers. The move back to defense added more value as Brunt was able to record four interceptions on Wednesday. Brunt averages three defensive actions per match, a number that could go up if continues to play in defense. Craig Dawson does return from suspension this weekend, so Brunt could be fulfilling another role. Regardless, his value is on the rise.
Aaron Cresswell, West Ham
FanDuel Price: $4,900
Despite their standing in the table, West Ham may have the most favorable match up on the weekend. Hull will travel to the London Stadium on a run of six successive defeats on the road. The Tigers have failed to score in four of the six losses. West Ham players on both sides of the ball have managed to score fantasy points despite their record, so a matchup with one of the league's worst teams provides plenty of opportunity to build on that success.
Cresswell is being deployed on the wing, giving him the chance to get forward to provide crosses. Over his seven appearances, he has passed the ball over 30 times per match but has recorded just one assist. He should find more space this weekend against the worst-rated defensive team in the league. West Ham attack down Cresswell's left side 37% of the time, which is tied for second-most in the Premier League.
Heurelho Gomes, Watford
FanDuel Price: $6,200
With all of the expected starting keepers over $6,000, there is limited value on the board. Gomes is picked as one of the cheaper options and for points from saves in what is expected to be a fairly open game against Sunderland. Gomes has also excelled against other teams in the relegation battle, having scored over 19 points against Hull and Swansea in back-to-back games in October.
📅🎄 - DAY 13!
This superb one-handed save from @hdgomes secured #watfordfc a point against @ChelseaFC in February at The Vic! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/MhKKW8GppI
— Watford FC (@WatfordFC) December 13, 2016
Gomes had a shocker during the first match of December but has continually improved since the match against West Brom. Watford finally have a favorable match after a string of three tough games, especially given Sunderland's inability to finish. The Black Cats are the only team that have yet to score from outside the penalty area. Sunderland have scored just 14 goals this season.
The keeper position is the toughest this weekend, but Gomes will likely be low owned in relation to this small slate.
Enjoy the fast and furious Premier League schedule and good luck on the slate this weekend.