Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 18
Boxing Day is one the most anticipated days for fans of the Premier League, and it will be the same for those who play on FanDuel. All but one of the Monday fixtures is featured in the slate on FanDuel. Over half of the top 10 teams in the table are involved in the seven-game slate.
Often it is favorable matchups with the teams in the lower part of the table which provide the most value, but due in part to suspensions and injuries, the teams at the top will finally have players who can provide value. It is time to capitalize on the value at the top as those in England celebrate the second day of Christmastide.
Michy Batshuayi, Chelsea
FanDuel Price: $7,200
Diego Costa is out against Bournemouth and Batshuayi is being backed by his teammates. He has not received much playing time with Costa being a dominant striker to this point. However, he will likely get a chance to shine in a favorable matchup being played at Stamford Bridge.
Despite the lack of playing time, Batshuayi is someone other teams are targeting for a loan. Chelsea appears set to block all offers as they want to secure depth at the striker position. The Belgium striker moved from Marseille to Chelsea over the summer for Â£33 million, or close to $41 million, and will make his first Premier League start on Monday.
Chelsea are on top at Christmas for the fifth time. They have won the title on the four previous times they managed that feat. Chelsea is also looking for its 12th consecutive win. If Batshuayi can find the form he had at Marseille, Chelsea will have no trouble getting to within two of the record for most wins in a row. The striker scored 23 goals in all competitions last season.
Bournemouth are the 12th-ranked defensive team in the Premier League, allowing over 14 shots per game. Chelsea is fifth in the league in shots per game, averaging over 15 per match. These teams are fairly even on possession, aerials won, and pass success rate, but Chelsea has managed 26 goals through open play. Bournemouth will also be without one of its best defenders as Nathan Ake is not allowed to face Chelsea as part of his loan deal.
Leroy Sane, Manchester City
FanDuel Price: $6,500
Sane scored his first goal for Manchester City on Sunday, and he is ready for a bigger role with the team. It was awfully close to being offside, but the spin and finish was a nice way for Sane to get on the board. Now the 20-year-old midfielder has the backing of teammate Raheem Sterling to continue making an impact.
Brilliant ball by silva and Sane scores his first goal. Game on! https://t.co/0u6GLSjde8
â€” Soccer Vines (@SoccerVinesHQ) December 18, 2016
Sane was a high-profile signing from Schalke, but he struggled with a hamstring problem in the beginning of the season. When he has had a chance to feature, he has played well, creating eight chances in nine appearances. Although minimal, Sane generally gets points from defensive actions, as well. He had two tackles last week to go along with the goal, which helped him score 33 FanDuel points.
There was likely to be an adjustment period for Sane, but it appears that he is finding his groove in the Premier League.
FanDuel Price: $5,200
Fabio is the only player coming from a bottom-half team as much of the value on defense in Matchweek 18 is in games not on the FanDuel slate. Depending on how the matches shake out, Boro could move up to 10th place with a win.
Fabio has been starting in place of George Friend, who continues to battle injury. However, Friend returned off the bench last week, and Fabio pushed him further up the field as Fabio's play of late has dictated more time on the pitch. Fabio was a constant force between the boxes as Boro took down Swansea City. His return to form comes on the heels of the tragic Chapecoense flight that carried two of his former teammates.
Fabio has played well enough to stay in the starting XI despite Friend likely being fit to play the full match. There is a chance that Fabio could push to the right side to challenge Antonio Barragan.
In his six appearances, Fabio is averaging six defensive actions per match and has created five chances from the backline. After three straight matches of four tackles, he recorded a season-high five tackles last week.
Boro travels to Burnley, a team that has only scored 16 goals this season. Neither side has generated that many shots this season, so it should be played in the middle of the park in a defensive battle.
Joel Robles, Everton
FanDuel Price: $5,000
This can be seen as a punt position to save money in favor of top-loading your lineup. However, Leicester City will be without Jamie Vardy as he lost his suspension appeal. Leicester is also in 15th place as they struggle to find the form of last year's championship-winning campaign. They are in the bottom half in shots and have failed to convert many of their big chances.
Maarten Stekelenburg and James McCarthy will be assessed over the next 24 hours after picking up injuries in the Merseyside Derby. pic.twitter.com/voTy8PbpV5
â€” Everton Blue Army (@EvertonBlueArmy) December 20, 2016
There is still an outside chance that Maarten Stekelenburg will be cleared to play on Monday. If he cannot go, Robles should be the cheapest starting keeper in the slate. Robles did score 20 points in his only Premier League start of the season.
If Stekelenburg does start, he is $6,000 and will be a good play, as well.