4 FanDuel Premier League Studs to Target on Boxing Day
As is the case when playing any sport on FanDuel, it’s imperative to hit on high-priced studs, the players in which you’ve made the biggest investment. This especially true with strikers in soccer as goals are often the difference between winning and losing in DFS.
Let’s take a look at some high-priced players -- all across the pitch -- who, despite costing a good chunk of change, are worth the investment.
This article is geared toward Boxing Day's main slate, which starts 10:00 a.m. EST on Monday and features seven matches. It's a slate that features several top-of-the-table sides taking on some of the bottom dwellers, which makes for an interesting DFS landscape.
|Matchweek 18 -- Boxing Day|
|Monday, December 26th|
|West Ham at Swansea|
|West Brom at Arsenal|
|Everton at Leicester City|
|Sunderland at Manchester United|
|Middlesbrough at Burnley|
|Bournemouth at Chelsea|
|Manchester City at Hull City|
Let's get to it.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United
FanDuel Salary: $13,400
With Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa suspended for Matchweek 18, it makes Zlatan and Alexis Sanchez ($13,500) the two most expensive strikers on the board by $2,300. With both in superb spots, you almost have to roster one of them -- it'll be very difficult to squeeze in both -- and Manchester United's lack of other quality goal-scoring options gives Ibrahimovic a slight edge over Sanchez.
United are the biggest favorites of the Boxing Day slate, installed as a two-goal home favorite over lowly Sunderland. Mired in a relegation battle, Sunderland have picked up their play after a putrid start, but they're still a team to pick on in DFS. The Black Cats possess the ball just 41.5% of the time -- compared to United's clip of 54.6% -- and they surrender the third-most shots per game (18.4).
As you might expect, Zlatan has by far the best individual odds of scoring in this fixture, per bet365, which makes perfect sense considering how reliant United are on the big Swede. Ibrahimovic has netted 11 of the Red Devils' 24 goals, and he's their only player with more than 3 goals. Ibra leads all players on the main slate in shots per game, firing off a whopping 4.6 attempts per match.
Of course, nothing is for certain in DFS, but it's hard to imagine a scenario where the Red Devils score multiple goals -- their implied total is 2.5 -- and Zlatan has a quiet day.
Kevin de Bruyne, Manchester City
FanDuel Salary: $10,300
In the same way we need exposure to Manchester United, we also need to get a piece of their rivals, Manchester City. The Citizens are 1.5-goal favorites for their road match at Hull City, and they should dominate the proceedings.
Newly-promoted Hull are buried at the bottom of the Premier League table, and they're allowing over two goals per match, conceding 36 times in 17 matches. They rank among the bottom five sides in possession (46.1%), and they're allowing the second-most shots per game (19.8).
Manchester City, on the other hand, lead the league in possession (60.9%) and take the third-most shots per game (16.9). The Citizens should see a lot of the ball -- maybe upwards of 70% of the possession -- which should ensure that de Bruyne sets up shop in dangerous areas and racks up plenty of touches.
Also working in the Belgian international's favor is the fact Aguero is still out with a suspension. De Bruyne has just two goals this year, but both of those came with Aguero out of the lineup. De Bruyne leads the Premier League in assists with 9, and he's totaled at least 35 FanDuel points in three of his last four matches.
Curtis Davies, Hull City
FanDuel Salary: $5,800
Everything we just mentioned about how one-sided the Hull-Manchester City game should be makes Hull defenders very attractive, and the Tigers have two elite options in center backs Davies and Michael Dawson ($5,900). With the Tigers likely to spend a lot of time in their own half, it should give Dawson and Davies plenty of opportunity to rack up defensive actions.
Davies leads the Premier League in blocks (1.6) and interceptions (3.8) per game while also ranking in the top 10 in clearances (7.7). That's led to him averaging 22.3 FanDuel points per game, which ranks second among defenders on the main slate. Davies has also played in every second of every match, so there's no need to worry about him getting subbed off.
Dawson doesn't have as high of a floor as Davies, but he does have a little higher ceiling thanks to his goal-scoring ability. While the Citizens will control possession and the game, they have allowed 10 goals in their last six matches, so there should be an opportunity or two for Hull on the counter. As a center back, Dawson would likely have to score on a set piece, but that's something he's done twice this year while Davies has yet to make the net bulge.
Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City
FanDuel Salary: $6,900
We want goalies who are going to get saves, but we also want a keeper who has a good shot at a clean sheet -- in other words: goalies who are busy but not too busy. With Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City all heavy favorites, their respective keepers are in a good spot for a clean sheet, but they may not be asked to do much. On the flip side, the man between the posts for their opponents is going to be very busy, but they're unlikely to keep a clean sheet. So we need to look elsewhere.
That leads us to Schmeichel and the Foxes, who play host to Everton in a match listed as a pick 'em. The Toffees are a fairly offensive-minded side with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, ranking 10th in shots per game (12.7) and 9th in possession (49.8%). While they should test Schmeichel, Everton's been in poor goal-scoring form of late, netting just six goals over their last six matches.
Schmeichel, who recently returned from a lengthy injury absence, is DFS dream. He's a really good keeper who plays for a Leicester side that prefers to sit back and attack on the counter, meaning Schmeichel is called into duty on a regular basis. He ranks 9th in the Premier League with 40 saves -- making at least 4 saves in seven of nine matches -- despite missing nearly two months with a hand injury. For reference, Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois has made just 32 saves this season, and he's played in all 17 matches.
Schmeichel is averaging 16 FanDuel points per game, and even if he's beaten for a goal, he still has a safe floor. That played out last week as he allowed two goals but still scored 13.75 FanDuel points thanks to a five-save day.