4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 21
Matchweek 21 sees all the Premier League clubs gearing up for their first league match since the busy holiday season. Despite the layoff, some squads competed in domestic cups over the break --- EFL Cup or the FA Cup --- meaning DFS players, as always, should look at injury reports and confirmed starting XI's when they become available.
As with any sport, it is imperative to have your players, especially the high-priced studs, live up to their price tag. When making an investment into any player, it is important to determine which players will likely contribute in FanDuel's emphasized areas (goals, assists and shots on target). It's also just as important not to overspend on players in bad matchups. We should look to take advantage of the teams -- and players -- who play especially well either home or away while also looking at Vegas favorites and over/under totals
FanDuel made their Premier League DFS games available to U.S. players starting in Matchweek 10, and this article will be geared toward the main slate for the U.S.-based FanDuel site. The main slate for Matchweek 21 features seven Saturday matches, which includes two of the top five clubs.
Let's take a look at four players, across the entire pitch, who should be avoided in the upcoming matches.
FanDuel Price: $8,200
Pedro is the ninth-highest priced forward for Matchweek 21, and he has averaged 14.81 FanDuel points per match this season. He has been in the Bluesâ€™ starting lineup 12 times this campaign, averaging 19.33 FanDuel points in those starts. However, since Matchweek 8, Pedro has been in the Bluesâ€™ starting XI in every eligible match but one, helping the Blues rise to the top of the table.
Pedro and Chelsea travel to King Power Stadium Saturday to face Leicester. The Foxesâ€™ struggles have been well documented this season, but the Foxes have played decently well at King Power Stadium, earning 18 points in 10 matches. The Foxes have conceded 10 goals in front of their home fans while controlling 45.1% of the possession in those matches. The Blues are a large favorite against the Foxes, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.
|Pedro's Starting XI Splits||Home||Away|
|Shots on Target||4||2|
|Average FanDuel Points||29.33||9.33|
Pedro's teammates --- Eden Hazard and Diego Costa --- have contributed (goal or assist) on seven of the Blues' eight away goals since Matchweek 8. In that span, Pedro has only taken two shots on target while creating two chances. Pedro has only played two full matches --- his last two matches --- since becoming a regular piece in the starting XI, and he has averaged 74 minutes in six matches away from Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have won 13 out of their last 14 matches while maintaining 53.1% of the possession and averaging 15.1 shots per match away from Stamford Bridge. Pedro has proven this season that he is still an extremely skilled player, especially with the ball at his feet, but he seems to be more comfortable at home. You're going to want some exposure to Chelsea, but with better priced options -- both above and below his price range -- and the possibility of being subbed off, Pedro is not the guy in which you want to roster.
Etienne Capoue, Watford
FanDuel Price: $7,200
Capoue is the 10th-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 21, and he has averaged 20.07 FanDuel points. Capoue started the season in spectacular form, scoring five goals and assisting on another in his first five matches under new manager Walter Mazzarri, averaging 30.3 FanDuel points in that stretch. Since Matchweek 5, however, Capoue has scored only once while averaging 14.87 FanDuel points.
Capoue and Watford host Middlesbrough at Vicarage Road, and the Hornets possess the pall 46.6% of the match on their home pitch. The Boro possess the ball 47.6% of the match away from Riverside Stadium while allowing 15.9 shots per match. The Hornets are a slight favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.
In his last 15 matches, Capoue has only reached his average four times, and he has not scored over 15 FanDuel points since Matchweek 13. In his last four matches against squads that struggle with possession --- Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Sunderland and West Brom --- Capoue has not taken a shot on target while creating only five chances with five interceptions and one tackle.
In his previous match against Middlesbrough, Capoue scored 4.75 FanDuel points. Despite battling relegation, the Boro's defense has been stingy, tying for for fourth-fewest goals against (22). The midfielder proved earlier in the season that he is capable of a putting forth tournament-winning performances, but Capoue's recent form, especially against squads which struggle with possession, makes him tough to trust.
Laurent Koscielny, Arsenal
FanDuel Price: $6,100
Koscielny is tied for the top-priced defender for Matchweek 21, along with three other players, and he has averaged 18.74 FanDuel points this season. The Gunners enter Saturday's match as a large favorite. Koscielny has only scored over 20 FanDuel points twice since Matchweek 8 as his ceiling is limited since he's not greatly involved in Gunners' attack.
Koscielny and Arsenal travel to Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City. The Gunners maintain 55.6% of the possession away from Emirates Stadium while allowing 10.4 shots per match. The Swans possess the ball 49.4% of the match on their home pitch and average 12.8 shots per match.
Koscielny started the season in great form -- from Matchweek 2 (Koscielnyâ€™s first start) through Matchweek 7, the defender averaged 21.88 FanDuel points while scoring twice. In the last 13 matches, however, Koscielny has averaged 17.29 FanDuel points, taking zero shots on target in that span. Over that 13-match run, Koscielny's interceptions and tackles have dropped by 50% in road matches while his clearances and blocked shots have stayed consistent.
Koscielny has struggled recently against squads in the bottom half of the table, averaging 11.95 FanDuel points in his last three matches against bottom-half sides (Crystal Palace, Stoke City and West Ham). Koscielny has proven he has a decent floor, but as the top-priced defender for Matchweek 21, he should be avoided in favor of defenders who expect to see a large amount of defensive opportunities.
Lee Grant, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $7,000
Grant is the fourth-highest priced keeper for Matchweek 21, and he has averaged 14.23 FanDuel points this season. Grant and Stoke travel to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland. The Potters enter Saturday's match as a slight favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.
The Potters are the Premier League's fifth-worst squad at maintaining possession in road matches, averaging 45.1% of the possession away from home while allowing 15.9 shots per match. The Black Cats have had problems maintaining possession this season, as well, averaging 44.1% of the possession at the Stadium of Light while producing 11.2 shots per match on their home pitch.
Clean sheets and saves are extremely important for keeper scoring on FanDuel, and Grant has kept two clean sheets this season in road matches while averaging 3.14 saves per match. Grant's saves in away matches are slightly inflated due to his Matchweek 7 performance against Manchester United, when the keeper recorded eight saves. Since that match at Old Trafford, Grant has not recorded more than three saves away from bet365 Stadium and has averaged 2.33 saves per match.
The Black Cats have been shut out twice this season at the Stadium of Light, but both matches came against top-seven squads --- Everton and Chelsea --- and Sunderland has averaged 1.63 goals in their other eight home matches. Sunderland has proven its ability, even with a limited number of shots, to find the back of the net against non-elite squads.
Grant has scored below 10 FanDuel points six times this season. The keeper will likely see a low number of shots, limiting his upside. especially if Sunderland is able to find the back of the net. Given his price, Grant is a keeper DFS players should avoid in Matchweek 21.