Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 21
Matchweek 21 in the Premier League brings a seven-game slate to FanDuel. Despite the transfer window being open and a few deals done, new arrivals are not likely to have an impact in the slate. Injuries and the African Cup of Nations will have more of an impact than any new signees.
The names on this week's list will likely be familiar as they look to take advantage of great match ups.
Peter Crouch, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $6,900
Crouch is fresh off a new deal with Stoke, saying he still has a few things to achieve. He has become a fixture in the lineup in the last four matches and scored in his past two Premier League games. The 35-year-old striker, who stands 6'7", is always a threat in the air with his, and he is just two tallies away from 100 league goals for his career.
Goal MARTINS INDI ⚽️
— EPL FANTASY (@ZeyadAlowaish) December 31, 2016
Crouch will have three to four inches of height on the expected center back pairing of Papy Djilobodji and John O'Shea for Sunderland. Djilobodji wins approximately three aerial duels per match with O'Shea at about half that rate. Crouch sits at over five aerial duels won per match in his eight appearances. This advantage means that Crouch could also knock down a header in the box for a teammate in addition to possibly scoring a goal.
According to WhoScored, Sunderland are rated as the next-to-last defensive team in the league. They allow close to 19 shots per game and have given up 37 goals, which is tied for third-worst in the league. They are tied for second-most headed goals allowed this year, making them particularly susceptible to Crouch. All but five goals scored against Sunderland have come in the box, which means teams are easily getting into dangerous areas.
Crouch's counterpart Jermain Defoe has been rumored in transfer news, and the Black Cats are up for sale. There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding Sunderland and no help in sight for the struggling defense. Taking a shot on Crouch could pay off richly.
Jack Wilshere, Bournemouth
FanDuel Price: $5,300
The match at KCOM Stadium between Hull City and Bournemouth is one to target this week. Wilshere will likely be low owned despite going 90 minutes in each of his last four Premier League games and tallying his first assist of the season against Southampton. Most eyes will be on Junior Stanislas in the Bournemouth midfield.
Wilshere has had a career rival at Bournemouth as his quick passing style fits right in. Wilshere has moved behind the lone striker in the Bournemouth lineup in the last few matches, opening up more shooting opportunities in addition to allowing him to spring attacks with his ability to see the field. He has played in multiple roles in the center of the pitch, but the Arsenal loanee has become integral to Bournemouth on both sides of the ball. Some say if he makes his move to the Cherries permanent, he will become the centerpiece around which the team is built.
Playing Hull is usually good for the opponent's offense. Hull has given up 44 goals, which is one behind Swansea for the league's worst mark. Bournemouth is 10th in the league in chances created and should be able to exploit the Hull defense. Wilshere has created four chances in the last three matches and has also drawn 10 fouls.
Wilshere's ability to create should be on display against Hull, and there is a chance of a few defensive action points, as well. He should see plenty of the time on the ball to maximize his value.
Maya Yoshida, Southampton
FanDuel Price: $4,700
Paying up for Virgil van Dijk may be the best play for a contrarian move if you are looking for exposure to the Southampton back line. However, Yoshida started Southampton's EFL Cup game on Wednesday and could have a bigger role moving forward with Jose Fonte looking to move away from the team.
Puel: "The situation with Jose Fonte is the same for the moment. I prefer for the moment staying with Jose out of the team".
— fantasyfootballscout (@FFScout) January 12, 2017
Van Dijk is $1,200 more than Yoshida, so the 28-year-old defender's value may be at a high point for the season.
Yoshida helped his team keep a clean sheet against Liverpool in the EFL Cup match by winning four aerials and completing almost 82% of his passes. He scored a goal four days earlier in the FA Cup match against Norwich. This is all part of a superb three-game stretch for Yoshida, who was credited with 10 clearances and 4 interceptions in the game against Everton on January 2nd. The 21.5-point effort against the Toffees was his highest output of the year.
Artur Boruc, Bournemouth
FanDuel Price: $6,700
Back to KCOM Stadium for the keeper pick this week. The top-priced keeper, Tom Heaton, is only $800 more than Boruc, but the pricing for keepers is very tight.
This will be Boruc's 100th Premier League appearance. In this year's previous meeting with Hull, he saved three of four shots on target and was credited with two clearances. Boruc is averaging 12 FanDuel points per match, which is fourth among keepers on the slate who have played at least 15 matches.
Heaton may be the chalk pick, and many others could swing toward Vito Mannone after his 13-save performance against Liverpool last time out. Boruc is a better value than Heaton and comes in at the same price as Mannone. On this milestone day for the Polish keeper, Boruc is a safe, worthy pick.