FanDuel Premier League Matches to Target in Matchweek 19
The new year can get off to a great start with a successful slate of games on FanDuel this Saturday. Seven Premier League matches set up a healthy competition on the second day of matchweek 19 as the games continue to come fast and furious. The slate features the top three teams in the table, including a showdown between Liverpool and Manchester City closing out the day.
With the top teams playing, there are 10 players at $10,000 or above. The two matches involving the top-three teams are also the only two on the slate with an over/under higher than 2.5 goals. There are definite reasons to target both of these matches, but only one will make the list.
The closing game of the Saturday slate is at Anfield, where Liverpool won 3-0 last season. Liverpool have also scored in their last 19 home league matches against City, but Sergio Aguero has not scored at Anfield. It'll probably be a very popular game across the DFS landscape, and fading it could reap big rewards if it doesn't end up being the high-scoring affair most are anticipating.
Chelsea vs. Stoke City
Chelsea are six points clear at the top of the table. After scoring one goal in each of the previous three games, Chelsea exploded for three goals last week with Diego Costa on the bench. They also recorded their fourth straight clean sheet. Chelsea have allowed a season-low 11 goals against through 18 weeks. Stoke has not won at Chelsea since 1974.
Pedro was the star of the Boxing Day win with Costa suspended. Pedro did not play the role of true striker, and his start at the head of the line came as a bit of a surprise. It was the fifth time in his last six appearances that he registered points. Pedro will be suspended for this game, which allows Costa to come right back in. Costa's 30 points per game make him the most-expensive player on the slate at $13,600. With Stoke giving up nine goals over their last four matches, many of the Chelsea front seven are in play.
Costa is expected to be the offensive force, but the Chelsea defense is the story lately. Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz both average over 15 points a game. With Marcos Alonso finally moved to midfielder on FanDuel, Azpilicueta is the top scorer defensively for Chelsea. The value of the Blues' back line does drop with FanDuel not rewarding clean sheets. In fact, Stoke's Erik Pieters and Ryan Shawcross are about the same value.
Chelsea did not take all three points from Stoke in either league game last season. Stoke have also won the last game of the calendar year the previous two seasons. Joe Allen is averaging 24.7 points per game and continues to take corners. He will have value in this game, as will Pieters if he continues to play as a wing back. Mame Diouf played as the other wing back/outside midfielder last week and will cost only $6,500. He will occupy a forward spot on the roster, however.
Leicester City vs. West Ham United
While most will have their eyes on the match at Anfield, there is value here as the defending champions take on the Hammers. Leicester are only three points clear of the relegation zone and must play with desperation to avoid becoming just the second team to drop the season after winning the title. The Foxes have won just one match in their last seven across all competitions and failed to score last week.
Meanwhile, West Ham have won three straight. The games were all against lesser opponents but of similar quality to Leicester thus far. Two of those wins were shutouts, although the Hammers mustered just one goal.
This match has a 2.5-goal over/under with the most likely score being 1-1, according to the betting odds. Dimitri Payet, Michael Antonio, and Winston Reid all average over 22 points per game and have trended up over the last three games. They all figure to play big parts if the betting odds are right. However, it is Andy Carroll that has revitalized West Ham. He has some of the best odds to score and is still reasonable at $8,400.
Islam Slimani is also a big favorite to score and is the same price as Carroll. Jamie Vardy is still suspended, adding to Slimani's value. In addition to Slimani, there is value across the pitch for Leicester. Marc Albrighton, Ben Chilwell, and Demarai Gray are coming off decent performances last week despite being shut out. The match against Everton was Chilwell's full Premier League debut, so make sure he is back in the lineup before trying to make the most of his $3,600 fee.
The last three meetings between these two teams have resulted in at least three total goals. The last time that West Ham failed to score in a league game against Leicester was August of 2004. Both teams have allowed over 30 goals this season. They both allow over 13 shots per game. That sounds like a recipe for goals.