4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 23

Roberto Firmino is in great form, but he has struggled against top clubs. Which other players should we stay away from in Matchweek 23?

Matchweek 23 is the Premier League’s fourth set of midweek matches as most squads competed in domestic cups over the weekend. Matchweek 23 takes place Tuesday and Wednesday, with FanDuel’s main slate coming on Tuesday.

The January transfer window is coming to a close and many squads will have new players who could impact lineups, 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 23 features seven Tuesday matches, which includes all four of the top clubs and is headlined by a match between Chelsea and Liverpool.

Let's take a look at four players, across the pitch, who should be avoided in the upcoming matches.


Roberto Firmino, Liverpool

FanDuel Price: $11,700

Firmino is the fourth-highest priced forward for Matchweek 23, and he has averaged 28.29 FanDuel points per match. Firmino has been in great form over his last three matches, averaging the third-highest point total for forwards, putting up an average of 34.33 FanDuel points per contest, trailing only Alexis Sanchez and Harry Kane.

Firmino and Liverpool host Chelsea at Anfield in Tuesday’s marquee match. The Reds average 19.3 shots per match while maintaining 60.8% of the possession on their home pitch. The Reds enter Tuesday’s match as the slight favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.

Firmino has feasted on clubs in the bottom half of the table this season, scoring seven of his eight goals and tallying two of his three assists against those struggling clubs. His only two contributions to the scoresheet against clubs in the top half of the table have come against Stoke City and West Brom, meaning Firmino has been unable to contribute against the Premier League’s top clubs.

Firmino's Splits Versus Top-7 Clubs Top 7 Clubs Clubs in the Bottom 13
Goals 0 8
Assists 0 3
Chances Created 11 35
Shots on Target 5 26
Average FanDuel Points 20.13 31.55

The Blues enter Tuesday’s match as the league’s best defense, allowing only 15 goals this season, with 9 of those goals being allowed away from Stamford Bridge. The Blues’ defense is also the league’s best against opposing forwards, allowing two goals with only 14 shots on target through 22 matchweeks.

There are five players on this week’s slate who will cost DFS players at least $11,000 (18% of their salary), and they all have perceived better matchups. There is no doubt that Firmino is capable of producing tournament-winning performances in any week, as he has proven by scoring over 40 FanDuel points four times this season, but he hasn't done it against title-contending sides.

Recency bias may increase Firmino's ownership this week against Chelsea, as the forward is coming off a brilliant two-goal match against Swansea in Matchweek 22 while averaging the third-highest point total for forwards over the last three matchweeks. However, a 26-FanDuel-point outing is Firmino’s best FanDuel performance against top-seven squads, and there are better options available in the same salary range.


Marcos Alonso, Chelsea

FanDuel Price: $7,700

Alonso is the 10th-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 23, and he has averaged 20.28 FanDuel points through 17 matches this season. Alonso has started the last 16 matches for Chelsea since transferring from the Italian club Fiorentina in August.

Alonso and Chelsea travel to Anfield to face Liverpool in a showdown of two of the Premier League’s top four clubs. The Blues average 14.5 shots per match while controlling 54% of the possession in matches away from Stamford Bridge. The Blues are the league’s top club and have earned 25 points in away matches.

In his 16 appearances in the Blues’ starting XI (all on the left side of the midfield), Alonso has produced three goals and two assists while taking seven shots on target. Alonso has sent in 62 crosses this season (a stat that is not scored on FanDuel) while only being accurate on nine of those crosses and creating 17 chances.

The Reds have conceded just 10 goals at Anfield while allowing 7.3 shots per match. Liverpool have been particularly tough on midfielder lined up on the left side of the formation. They are one of 13 clubs that have not conceded a goal to a midfielder on the left side, and they lead the league in fewest shots on target allowed (zero), chances created (three) and crosses allowed (12) against that same position.

Alonso has proven he has a high floor, scoring over 30 FanDuel points three times this season, but against one of the league’s toughest defenses against his position, he is a risky investment.


Michael Keane, Burnley

FanDuel Price: $6,300

Keane is tied for the fifth-highest priced defender for Matchweek 23, along with Spurs’ Kyle Walker, and he has averaged 17.53 FanDuel points this season. The Clarets enter Tuesday’s match as a slight underdog, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals. Keane has played a full 90 minutes in all 22 matches this season, and he has scored over 20 FanDuel points six times. However, only one of those six instances have come since Matchweek 12.

Keane and Burnley host Leicester at Turf Moor. At home, the Clarets allow 16.6 shots per match while maintaining a league worst 40.8 % of the possession. The Foxes posses the ball 42.9% of the match away from King Power Stadium while averaging 11.5 shots per match.

Keane has only contributed on the Clarets’ scoresheet once this season -- Matchweek 6 against Watford -- and is not greatly involved in the attack, producing four shots on target and six chances created all year. Keane’s interceptions and clearances have stayed consistent in both home and away matches while his tackles and blocked shots have nearly doubled in road matches.

The Foxes have earned three points in their 11 matches away from King Power Stadium and have not scored a goal in their last three league matches, losing their last two. Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani both returned to the Foxes’ squad after Algeria was knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations, but both are listed as game-time decisions. The return of Mahrez and Slimani would be a boost for the Foxes’ attack, but Leicester’s struggles -- especially in attack -- were ongoing well before the two players left to play for their country.

The Foxes have proven their inability to put pressure on their opponents back line, and the Clarets are extreme opposites in home/away matches, earning 25 points at Turf Moor while only pickup up just one point in away matches. Burnley sit 13th in the table and are a decent squad, especially on their home pitch, and despite packing in their back line and absorbing the opposition's attack, the Clarets have not allowed Keane to reach a high ceiling consistently. In a match against a subpar Foxes’ attack, Keane is a great defender to avoid.


Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City

FanDuel Price: $6,500

Schmeichel is tied for the fourth-highest priced keeper, along with Bournemouth's Artur Boruc, and he has averaged 14.04 FanDuel points in 14 matches this season. Since returning from injury in Matchweek 17 against Stoke City, Schmeichel has kept two clean sheets and has averaged 11.08 FanDuel points, reaching his season average just once.

Clean sheets and saves are extremely important for keeper scoring on FanDuel, and the Foxes have kept one clean sheet away from King Power Stadium this season. Leicester allow 15.5 shots per match and struggle to maintain possession while being unable to pick up a victory this season away from their home pitch. The Clarets average 10.8 shots per match, the fifth-worst average in home matches, but have only been held scoreless twice this season at Turf Moor. They have scored two or more goals in four of their last seven home matches.

Schmeichel has conceded three goals in each of his last two matches, including Matchweek 21 against Chelsea when he was unable to record a save.

Despite entering Tuesday's match as the slight favorite, Schmeichel -- if recent form is any indication -- is unlikely to record his fifth clean sheet against a good Burnley squad that generally finds a way to put the ball in the net at Turf Moor. With a high number of saves also being unlikely for Schmeichel, due to the Clarets' league-worst possession average and inability to take a high number of shots, he's not an enticing play this week.