4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 22
Matchweek 22 in the Premier League comes right in the middle of the African Cup of Nations, meaning DFS players, as always, should look at injury reports and confirmed starting XI's when they become available as clubs may adjust their lineups.
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 22 features six Saturday matches, which includes six clubs in the top half of the table.
Let's take a look at four players, across the entire pitch, who should be avoided in the upcoming matches.
Sergio Agüero, Manchester City
FanDuel Price: $12,300
Agüero is the second-highest priced forward for Matchweek 22, and he has averaged 25.08 FanDuel points in 15 matches this season. Since returning from suspension in Matchweek 19, Agüero has scored one goal (as a substitute) and he has averaged 12.92 FanDuel points over that three-match span, while averaging 8.63 FanDuel points as a starter in that same span.
Agüero and Manchester City host Tottenham at Etihad Stadium in Saturday’s late match. The Citizens average 16.1 shots per match while controlling 61 % of the possession on their home pitch. The Citizens have also earned 21 points in their 10 matches at Etihad Stadium and enter Saturday’s match as a slight favorite.
Agüero has surprisingly performed better in road matches this season, scoring 8 of his 11 goals away from Etihad Stadium while taking 18 shots on target compared to 12 on his home pitch. In his matches away from Etihad Stadium, Agüero has averaged 31.38 FanDuel points, compared to 17.89 FanDuel points in matches at Etihad Stadium, which is a fairly large split for someone with his talent.
|Agüero's Splits Versus Top 7 Clubs||Top 7 Clubs||Clubs in the Bottom 13|
|Shots on Target||11||19|
|Average FanDuel Points||11.7||31.78|
Looking deeper into Agüero’s statistics shows an even larger split between Agüero’s performance against clubs in the top seven of the Premier League table compared to his performance against clubs not in the top seven. Agüero’s best match against a club in the top seven came Matchweek 7 against Tottenham -- at White Hart Lane -- where the striker scored 21 FanDuel points.
The Spurs enter Saturday’s match as the league’s best defense, allowing only 14 goals this season, with 9 of those goals being allowed away from White Hart Lane. The Spurs have conceded only eight goals away from their home pitch with the ninth goal allowed being an own goal against Arsenal. Of those eight goals the Spurs have conceded away from White Hart Lane, only one has been conceded to a true forward -- Chelsea’s Pedro in Matchweek 13 -- and that match was the only away match in which the Spurs have conceded more than one goal.
There are four players on this week’s slate who will cost DFS players over $11,000 (18% of their salary), and two of those players --- United’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku -- have perceived better matchups.
There is no doubt that Agüero is one of the best players in the world and is capable of producing tournament-winning performances any week, but when DFS players are forced to invest such a high percentage of their salary into one player, they want a high floor and a high ceiling.
Agüero will undoubtedly score FanDuel points this week, but with his high FanDuel performance of 21 points against top-seven squads and his drastic home/road splits this season, DFS players should not risk their tournament performance by paying up for Agüero, especially when there are better options available priced in the same salary range.
Michail Antonio, West Ham
FanDuel Price: $8,500
Antonio is the fifth-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 22, and he has averaged 22.51 FanDuel points. Antonio has proven this season that he has a decent floor, scoring below 10 FanDuel points four times. Antonio’s ceiling, however, is limited as he has only scored over 20 FanDuel points once without contributing on the score sheet.
Antonio and West Ham travel to Riverside Stadium to face Middlesbrough, and the Irons possess the ball 45.9% of the match away from London Stadium. The Boro enter Saturday’s match as the slight favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals. The Boro possess the ball 49.6% of the match on their home pitch while allowing 12.5 shots per match. Despite battling relegation, their defense has been stingy, tying for fourth-fewest goals against (22) while conceding only 10 goals at Riverside Stadium.
Antonio entered the season in good form, scoring five goals in his first five matches. However, in his next 15 matches, Antonio has scored only three goals and contributed on three other scores. In his previous match against Middlesbrough, Antonio scored 9.75 FanDuel points.
Recency bias, along with Dimitri Payet's absence, may increase Antonio’s ownership this week against Middlesbrough, as the midfielder is coming off a brilliant three-assist match against Crystal Palace in Matchweek 21.
Antonio has proven he is capable of tournament-winning performances, but he is priced in the top-five midfielders and has proven he needs to contribute on the score sheet in order to score enough points to justify his price. DFS players who are not paying attention may look at Antonio’s opponents rank in the table and figure the Boro have a poor defense, but that is not the case. They have one of the top defensive squads in the Premier League, and as a road underdog at his price, Antonio should be avoided.
Seamus Coleman, Everton
FanDuel Price: $6,100
Coleman is tied for the eighth-highest priced defender for Matchweek 22, along with three other players, and he has averaged 17.71 FanDuel points this season. The Toffees enter Saturday's match as the favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals. Coleman has played in 18 matches this season, and he has scored over 20 FanDuel points five times but only once since Matchweek 16.
Coleman and Everton travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal palace. The Toffees maintain 51.8% of the possession away from Goodison Park while allowing 11.6 shots per match. The Eagles possess the ball 49.6% of the match on their home pitch and average 12 shots per match.
Coleman has scored three goals this season while picking up his first assist last week against Manchester City. All of Coleman's contributions to the score sheet have come on his home pitch this season, and the defender has yet to take a shot on target away from Goodison Park.
Coleman's lone assist came in the last minute of stoppage time and was extremely fluky as City's John Stones made a poor clearance that ricocheted off Coleman, directly to a wide open Ademola Lookman.
The Toffees switched to a 3-5-2 formation against the Citizens, the second time in the last six matches the Toffees have had just three defenders in their back line, and both times Coleman was moved into a midfield role. Coleman has sent in fewer than five crosses twice over that six match span, and both occurrences have come as a midfielder.
Coleman is not a huge factor in the Toffees' attack, especially in road matches, and his chance at recording defensive statistics drop as a midfielder. Even if Coleman drops back to his normal role on the right side of the Toffees' defense (which is likely) the Eagles do not set up as an attack DFS players want to target.
The Eagles have lost their last three matches at Selhurst Park while taking a total of 19 shots -- with 8 of those shots placed on target -- while maintaining 46.6% of the possession. Coleman is already tied for seventh on his squad in defensive actions, and the Eagles are unlikely to put heavy pressure on the Toffees' back line. With plenty of defenders -- priced in the same salary range or below Coleman -- in matchups that project to see higher defensive actions, Coleman is a great target to avoid.
Vito Mannone, Sunderland
FanDuel Price: $6,500
Mannone is tied with his opponents' keeper, Ben Foster, as the third-highest priced keeper for Matchweek 22, and he has averaged 12 FanDuel points in five starts this season. Mannone and Sunderland travel to the Hawthorns to face West Brom. The Black Cats enter Saturday's match as a large underdog, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.
The Black Cats are the Premier League's worst squad at maintaining possession in road matches, averaging 39.4% of the possession away from home while allowing 20.5 shots per match. The Baggies have had problems maintaining possession this season, as well, averaging a league-worst 40.4% of the possession at the Hawthorns while producing 10.7 shots per match on their home pitch.
Clean sheets and saves are extremely important for keeper scoring on FanDuel, and the Black Cats have been unable to keep a clean sheet away from the Stadium of Light this season. Mannone has appeared in the Black Cats' starting XI for three straight matches, after he was replaced by Jordan Pickford due to an elbow injury sustained after Matchweek 2.
Mannone has conceded two or more goals in all five of his starts while making over three saves just once, which came Matchweek 20 against Liverpool when Mannone made 13 saves.
The Baggies have scored 28 goals this season, which is third-worst among clubs in the top half of the table while tallying the second-fewest shots this season (206) of any club on Saturday's slate. West Brom have been shut out seven times this season -- but only twice against clubs in the bottom half of the table -- and are likely to find the back of the net against one of the worst clubs in the Premier League.
With a clean sheet being highly unlikely, DFS players need to hope for a high number of saves in order to justify Mannone's salary, but the Baggies only force their opponents into 1.56 saves per match, making Mannone unlikely to achieve a score worthy of his salary.