Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 22
Matchweek 22 in the Premier League features many games which seem lopsided. The six-game FanDuel slate on Saturday will feature some of the more interesting matches in a week that appears more predictable than those in recent memory. The slate also includes the match of the weekend as Tottenham travels to Manchester City.
Gabriel Jesus could make his debut for City this week, but it is too early to put him in the value picks as his attacking role is still unclear. Even with his exclusion, there is good value across the field, with the exception of keeper. The price of the keepers continues to group closely together.
Our value plays had good returns last week, so let's try to keep it going in Matchweek 22.
Salomon Rondon, West Bromwich Albion
FanDuel Price: $8,500
Rondon is in the midst of a solid run of form. He scored a hat trick against Swansea City in the middle of December and has been a solid contributor to the West Brom attack this season. He has also earned defensive action points for clearances in six straight games. The forward earned points for chances created, tackles and fouls drawn in each of the past two games.
West Brom face Sunderland in the friendly confines of The Hawthorns on Saturday. To say it is a favorable match up may be an understatement. Sunderland have allowed more headed attempts than any other team in the Premier League this season. All three of Rondon's goals against Swansea were off his head. Sunderland have not scored a Premier League win at The Hawthorns since January 2006.
Also, keep an eye on the Andy Carroll injury situation at West Ham. If Carroll sits, it may open up some value at an attacking spot in the West Ham lineup in a favorable spot against Middlesbrough.
Kevin Mirallas, Everton
FanDuel Price: $4,800
Mirallas has had trouble holding onto his starting position with Everton, but he thrived last week. The 30.25 FanDuel points he scored were his highest mark of the season and may have come as a result of positioning. Mirallas was placed up top alongside Romelu Lukaku, a position he seems to enjoy.
Kevin Mirallas: "Everyone knows I like to play second striker. It's my best position. I'm very happy because I got an assist and a goal." pic.twitter.com/txfaasrxRH
— Everton Blue Army (@EvertonBlueArmy) January 19, 2017
The Belgian international is still listed as a midfielder on FanDuel, and this may be the best time to capitalize on his form. He recorded a goal and an assist against Manchester City last week and was one of the main forces in the emphatic 4-0 win.
The outing may solidify Mirallas' place in the lineup for now. Tom Davies took many of the headlines, which may lower ownership of Mirallas since Lukaku is always a top target. When Mirallas is on the field, he often has duties on set pieces, further adding to his value.
Everton gets to travel to Crystal Palace this weekend, and the Toffees will face a team that has given up 40 goals on the season. They also have a recent tendency of giving up spectacular goals. Palace have lost three straight games while Everton are unbeaten over their last three. Everton have scored nine goals over that three-game span.
If you are looking for another option, Davies is still priced below Mirallas. West Brom's Chris Brunt is reasonably priced at $5,800 and could be the provider for Rondon against Sunderland. Finally, Junior Stanislas is still under $6,000 after scoring a penalty last weekend.
George Friend, Middlesbrough
FanDuel Price: $5,500
Boro have switched to a three-man back line, which pushed Friend forward on the left side. The result was a clean sheet at Vicarage Road and momentum going forward. While Bernardo is the cheapest of the back five, Friend provides more upside offensively.
Friend has returned from injury to regain his starting role partially due to the injury of Antonio Barragan. Friend has been relied on to provide width since his return in Matchweek 19. Friend has 64 touches in the final third in that time, so he is one of the key cogs when Boro go forward.
Still, the majority of Friend's points will likely come from defensive actions. Friend averages seven defensive actions per match, but he eclipsed that figure last week with the tactical switch. He only has one defensive error in 15 appearances this year.
Again, there is a lot of value at this position. Fabio is only $200 more. Everton's Ashley Williams is $5,800 while his teammate, Ramiro Funes Mori, is only $5,300.
Costel Pantilimon, Watford
FanDuel Price: $5,400
Watford starting keeper Heurelho Gomes is expected to face a fitness test on Thursday after being knocked out of last week's match. Taking Pantilimon here is dependent on that test, but it is also a cost-saving technique above all. He has not had much game time in the Premier League this year, but he did score 14.5 FanDuel points in his only other appearance (against Liverpool).
Pantilimon does have cup competition and international experience in the past year, but it is justified to question his form. However, Watford are facing Bournemouth, a team that has only created one chance per match. The Cherries are also fresh off a devastating loss to Hull City while Watford is coming off a clean sheet.
Joel Robles of Everton would be an option if Maarten Stekelenburg needs one more week to recover. All other starting keepers will be $6,000 and over unless Crystal Palace surprisingly decides to stick with Julian Speroni.