4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 24
Matchweek 24 in the Premier League sees most squads coming off two-to-three days of full rest as clubs competed in midweek matches for Matchweek 23.
Along with normal rest that clubs may give to players due to the short week, the January transfer window just closed 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 24 features seven Saturday matches, which includes two of the top four clubs but unfortunately does not include Saturday’s headline match between Chelsea and Arsenal, although FanDuel did introduce an early Saturday slate that does include the marquee match.
Let's take a look at four players, across the pitch, who should be avoided in the upcoming matches.
Andy Carroll, West Ham
FanDuel Price: $8,300
Carroll is tied for the sixth-highest priced forward for Matchweek 24, along with the Eagles’ Christian Benteke, and he has averaged 16.82 FanDuel points through 11 matches this season. There is quite a large salary drop off from the four “stud” forwards to the “value” forwards, but Carroll is the second highest “value” forward on the slate.
Carroll and West Ham travel to St. Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton. The Irons average 12.6 shots per match while maintaining 45.6% of the possession in road matches this season. The Irons enter Saturday’s match as a huge underdog, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.
Carroll has started eight matches this season for the Irons and has scored four goals in those starts. The striker has feasted on clubs near the bottom of the table, scoring his four goals while being in the starting XI against Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, and Swansea City.
In those three matches that Carroll has scored he has averaged 35.25 FanDuel points while averaging 11.3 FanDuel points in his other five starts, reaching his season average once.
The Saints enter Saturday’s match as one of the league’s best defenses on their home pitch, allowing only 11 goals this season at St. Mary’s Stadium, tied for fifth-best in the Premier League. The Saints’ defense has been even stingier this season against forwards, allowing the league’s fourth-lowest goal total (12) to forwards.
Carroll has scored three goals in his last three matches but struggled in his last match. Southampton maintains 53.5% of the possession and allow 9.7 shots per match at St. Mary’s Stadium. The Saints are a large favorite and should control the match which will limit Carroll’s opportunities against an already stingy defense, making Carroll a great target to avoid.
Adam Lallana, Liverpool
FanDuel Price: $8,700
Lallana is tied for the fifth-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 24, along with teammate Jordan Henderson, and has averaged 20.99 FanDuel points. Lallana’s FanDuel points have went in the wrong direction for five straight matchweeks while scoring fewer than 10 FanDuel points in the last two matchweeks.
Lallana and Liverpool travel to KCOM Stadium to face Hull City. The Reds maintain 56.7% of the possession and average a league-leading 15.7 shots per match in road matches. They enter Saturday’s match as a large favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.
Lallana is listed as a midfielder but has played as a forward in the Reds’ last three matches, including the last two on the right side, and has only taken one shot on target in those three matches. Lallana has sent in eight crosses (a stat not scored on FanDuel) over his last two matches, his highest number of crosses over a two-match span this season, but was inaccurate on all eight of his crosses.
The Tigers are battling relegation and are currently in the drop zone and allow a league-leading 17.6 shots per match on their home pitch while maintaining 45.1% of the possession. Despite their struggles, the Tigers have been stingy against forwards in the last 10 matchweeks. The Tigers have allowed three goals in that span, which is tied for fourth-best against forwards, while allowing just one of those three goals to forwards on the right side.
The Reds will likely easily control Saturday’s match, meaning Lallana is always a threat to score a large number of FanDuel points, but there are better options -- both above and below Lallana's salary -- for DFS players.
Kyle Walker, Tottenham
FanDuel Price: $6,300
Walker is tied for the eighth-highest priced defender for Matchweek 24, along with Hull’s Curtis Davies and Everton’s Leighton Baines, and has averaged 19.10 FanDuel points this season. The Spurs enter Saturday’s match as a large favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals. Walker has played a full 90 minutes in all but three of his 22 starts, but he has only reached his average once in his last four matches.
Walker and Tottenham host Middlesbrough at White Hart Lane. At home, the Spurs’ allow 8 shots per match while maintaining 57% of the possession. The Boro possess the ball 48.1% of the match away from Riverside Stadium while averaging a league-worst 7.4 shots per match.
Walker has been fairly consistent this season with sending in crosses down the right side but has yet to connect on more than two crosses in a match this season. Most of Walker’s statistics have stayed consistent in both home and away matches this season while his chances created have went up slightly at White Hart Lane.
The Boro have earned nine points in their 11 matches away from Riverside Stadium and have only scored one goal in their last four road matches, losing three of those. They struggle away from their home pitch and are only two points shy of the drop zone. Boro’s attack does not put heavy pressure on their opponents’ defense and has allowed those defenses to produce a bottom 10 rank in clearances (373) and tackles (101) this season.
It is possible that Walker plays a midfield role for the Spurs as he has done five times this season, and that would obviously raise Walker’s point expectations, but it is more likely that Walker plays in the Spurs’ back line against one of the league’s worst attacks.
Against the Boro, Walker could struggle to pick up enough defensive actions to justify his price. Although he is likely to send in a high number of crosses, he has proven his inability to connect on those crosses and should be avoided on FanDuel.
Lee Grant, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $6,500
Grant is tied for the second-highest priced keeper for Matchweek 24, along with Boro’s Victor Valdes and the Baggies’ Ben Foster, and he has averaged 14.44 FanDuel points in 18 matches this season. Grant and Stoke City travel to the Hawthorns Saturday to face West Brom.
Clean sheets and saves are extremely important for keeper scoring on FanDuel, and Grant has kept two clean sheets away from bet365 Stadium this season as opposed to four clean sheets on his home pitch. The Potters allow 15.6 shots per match and struggle to maintain possession while being unable to pick up a victory against a squad in the top 12 this season away from their home pitch.
The Baggies average 11 shots per match, the sixth-worst average in home matches, and are the league’s worst club at maintaining possession on their home pitch.
The Baggies, despite struggling with possession and shots have only been held scoreless three times this season at the Hawthorns, and two of those three clean sheets came against the Manchester squads. In the last 10 matchweeks, the Baggies have scored the 11th-most league goals (14) while forcing their opponents into the fewest number of saves in that span (14).
Despite entering Saturday's match as the slight underdog, Grant -- if the Baggies’ recent form is any indication -- is unlikely to record a high number of saves. Saturday’s slate sees a few clubs near the bottom of the table that are facing top clubs, and their keepers are within the same price range of Grant, making Grant a risky play.