Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 24
The theme of this post in recent weeks is that there is plenty of individual value at the bottom of the Premier League table. This week is no exception as all but one player comes from teams in the bottom half of the league.
FanDuel will have a seven-game slate on Saturday that includes an important relegation battle between Crystal Palace and Sunderland. Liverpool, after going winless in their last four, will try to right the ship against Hull City, the other team currently in the relegation zone.
The majority of the other matches on Saturday are between teams clumped in the middle of the table.
Let's look at four value options -- all across the pitch -- for Matchweek 24.
Manolo Gabbiadini, Southampton
FanDuel Price: $7,200
Gabbiadini made the switch to Southampton on deadline day and got to watch his new team lose 2-1 to Swansea. His arrival is much needed as the Saints have one of the lowest goal totals in the league this season. Since Gabbiadini is close to a £15 million signing and has shown his prowess on free kicks, there is no reason for manager Claude Puel to hesitate putting him in the lineup.
GOAL Gabbiadini!! Napoli 1-0 Bologna pic.twitter.com/NNwZwjNjgC
— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) April 19, 2016
Gabbiadini was likely brought in partially because Charlie Austin will be sidelined for at least two more months with a shoulder injury. Austin leads the team with six goals. Jay Rodriguez has contributed four tallies while Shane Long’s goal against Swansea on Wednesday was just his second on the year.
The Italian attacker can play centrally or out wide in attack. In seven appearances for Napoli in Italy's Serie A, Gabbiadini had three goals, but his ability on free kicks and age may give him the edge over Long.
Southampton will host West Ham United this weekend. West Ham has given up 12 goals in their last five games across all competitions and come off a 4-0 drubbing. Southampton won 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in September. Three goals scored, which they have done five times, is the highest output for the Saints all season long.
If Gabbiadini is in the starting XI, he's in a great spot to produce.
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace
FanDuel Price: $6,500
Zaha was featured in this series during Matchweek 23, which was his first game since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations. He picked up where he left off before his hiatus, earning a sparkling 7.78 rating, per WhoScored, and slamming a shot of the post. Palace won 2-0 on a sloppy night at the Vitality Stadium.
It would be easy to argue that Zaha has been Palace’s best player this season. The team has struggled, but the speedy winger has had several moments of brilliance.
Nice goal scored by Zaha in the last game day of the Premier League #greatgoals pic.twitter.com/NilUshMGCQ
— FMFootball (@FTB_FMFootball) January 10, 2017
Zaha is willing to take on anyone and has contributed to 10 goals while earning man of the match honors three times.
Sunderland have given up 42 goals this season. They have the third-worst goal differential in the league at minus-22. Sunderland average just 42.5% of possession this season and are rated as the worst defensive team in the Premier League, according to WhoScored.
Palace scored three goals in the reverse fixture, which was a 3-2 win that Zaha missed. A repeat of the five-goal game is not out of the question as the two teams fight to get out of the bottom three. If Palace can get ahead, the game should become even more wide open as Sunderland will likely desperately chase the contest, and a wide open game is perfect for Zaha’s skillset.
Ben Davies, Tottenham
FanDuel Price: $5,100
Davies is the exception to finding value in the lower half of the league as his Tottenham team sit in second place on goal differential. Davies replaced Danny Rose after a clash with Billy Jones reaggravated a knee injury for the pacey outside back. Rose is set to have a scan of the knee on Thursday, and it looks like he's going to miss a handful of games.
Davies has made eight appearances for Tottenham this season. The 23-year-old defender has averaged four defensive actions and created four total chances. He has also been very accurate with his passing, posting an 84% success rate. In a little more than 50 minutes of action on Tuesday, Davies was credited with 70 touches.
Although Rose was active in his 37 minutes, Tottenham finished the match on Tuesday with 40% of their attacks coming down the left side. That bodes well for Davies’ involvement against Boro as Spurs are expected to hold the majority of possession at White Hart Lane. Boro has averaged less than 50% possession and 10 shots per match. Tottenham has averaged close to 57% possession and 18 shots per game.
The Boro attack is not something to fear, so Davies may be limited in his defensive duties. The expected possession advantage should allow Davies to get forward and get crosses into the box, giving him some upside.
Eldin Jakupovic, Hull City
FanDuel Price: $6,400
Jakupovic’s inclusion is strictly based on form, with pricing for keepers being so bunched. He led his team to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday, making six saves and showing total control of the box all night against Manchester United. New manager Marco Silva decided to reinstate him in goal, and Jakupovic's play is making that look like the right call.
Since Silva took over at Hull, they are allowing 11 shot attempts per match, which is 8 less than before his term. There is no doubt that the defensive effort has improved under the new boss.
Liverpool won 5-1 in the reverse fixture, but Jakupovic didn't play and Hull received a red card early in the match to allow the Liverpool attackers plenty of space.
It will be hard to keep Liverpool, the highest-scoring team in the league, to 11 shots. However, this gives Jakupovic plenty of chances to rack up saves, which is perfect for DFS. He could also get points from clearances if he continues to command the area like he did on Wednesday.