4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 25

Roberto Firmino has struggled over the last two matchweeks and against top clubs this season. Which other players should we stay away from this weekend?

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 25 features six Saturday matches, which includes two of the top five clubs and is headlined by Tottenham at Liverpool.

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. DFS players, as always, should look at injury reports and confirmed starting XI's, when they become available.

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


Roberto Firmino, Liverpool

FanDuel Price: $10,800

Firmino is the fourth-highest priced forward for Matchweek 25, and he has averaged 26.77 FanDuel points per match. Firmino has struggled in his last two matches, putting up an average of 10.88 FanDuel points in matches against Chelsea and Hull City.

Firmino and Liverpool host Tottenham at Anfield in Saturday’s marquee match. The Reds average 18.2 shots per match while maintaining 60.6% 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 all eight of his goals and tallying two of his three assists against those struggling clubs. His only contribution to the scoresheet against a club in the top half of the table came against West Brom, meaning Firmino has been unable to contribute against the Premier League’s top clubs.

Firmino's Splits Versus Top-Seven Clubs Top 7 Clubs Clubs in the Bottom 13
Goals 0 8
Assists 0 3
Chances Created 11 37
Shots on Target 6 26
Average FanDuel Points 18.97 30.19

The Spurs enter Tuesday’s match as the league’s best defense, allowing only 16 goals this season, with 11 of those goals being allowed away from White Hart Lane. The Spurs’ defense is also the league’s second-best against opposing forwards, allowing 4 goals and 2 assists with only 26 shots on target through 24 matchweeks.

There are five players on this week’s slate who will cost DFS players at least $10,000 (16.5% of their salary), and a few of them -- Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic -- 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.

In Matchweek 22, Firmino scored twice and tallied 52 FanDuel against the Swans. However, a 26-FanDuel-point outing is Firmino’s best FanDuel performance against a top-seven squad, and there are better options available in the same salary range, making Firmino a good target to avoid.


Juan Mata, Manchester United

FanDuel Price: $9,200

Mata is the fourth-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 25, and he has averaged 18.91 FanDuel points through 19 matches this season. Mata has started 13 matches this season and has averaged 22.19 FanDuel points in those 13 matches.

Mata and Manchester United host Watford at Old Trafford. The Red Devils produce the league’s second-highest shot total -- 19.2 -- on their home pitch while controlling 56 % of the possession. The Red Devils have earned 21 points in their 12 home matches, the lowest point total of clubs in the top eight.

In his 13 appearances in the Red Devil’s starting XI (nine on the right side of the formation), Mata has produced 4 goals and 1 assist while taking 17 shots on target. Mata has sent in 53 crosses this season (a stat that is not scored on FanDuel) while only being accurate on 14 of those crosses and creating 23 chances.

The Hornets have conceded 22 goals away from Vicarage Road while allowing 15.9 shots per match. The Hornets have allowed one goal and three shots on target in their last five matches while allowing three accurate crosses and zero assists.

Mata has proven he has a high ceiling, scoring more than 30 FanDuel points five times this season, but he has only scored more than 20 FanDuel points once in his last five starts. Recency bias may increase Mata’s ownership, as the midfielder is coming off a goal-scoring performance in Matchweek 24 against Leicester, but he has yet to play a full match this season, making him a top player to avoid.


Erik Pieters, Stoke City

FanDuel Price: $6,100

Pieters is tied for the fourth-highest priced defender for Matchweek 25, along with five other defenders, and he has averaged 17.41 FanDuel Points. The Potters enter Saturday’s match as the favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals. Pieters has played a full 90 minutes in all 23 starts, and he has reached his average in four of his last five matches.

Pieters and Stoke City host Crystal Palace at bet365 Stadium. At home, the Potters allow 13.8 shots per match while maintaining 48.7% of the possession. The Eagles possess the ball 47.7% of the match away from Selhurst Park while averaging 13.1 shots per match.

Over the past two matchweeks, Pieters has been the ninth-highest scoring defender on FanDuel, and he has averaged 25.75 FanDuel Points while making 5 clearances and 6 interceptions.

The Eagles have actually performed better on the road this season, earning just 5 points and scoring 13 goals at Selhurst Park while earning 12 points and scoring 19 goals on the road. The Eagles have conceded the fourth-fewest interceptions (31) and ninth-fewest clearances (62) to defenders on the left side this season.

It is possible that Pieters plays a midfield role for the Potters as he has done four times this season, and that would obviously raise Pieters’ point expectation, but it is more likely that Pieters plays in the Potters’ back line against one of the league’s worst clubs.

Against the Eagles, Pieters could struggle to pick up enough defensive actions to justify his price, especially given the other defenders in his same price range.


Darren Randolph, West Ham

FanDuel Price: $6,300

Randolph is tied for the seventh-highest priced keeper for Matchweek 25, along with the Red Devils' David de Gea, and he has averaged 12.54 FanDuel points in 13 matches this season. Randolph and West Ham host West Brom Saturday at London Stadium.

Clean sheets and saves are extremely important for keeper scoring on FanDuel, and Randolph has kept three clean sheets this season, all coming on his home pitch. The Irons allow 12.3 shots per match while maintaining 49.8% of the possession at home.

The Baggies average 9.5 shots per match, the sixth-worst average in away matches, and are the league’s worst club at maintaining possession on their opponent’s home pitch.

The Baggies, despite struggling with possession and shots have only been held scoreless four times this season away from the Hawthorns, and three of those four clean sheets came against top four clubs. The Baggies have scored the ninth-most league goals (32) this season while forcing their opponents into the second-fewest number of saves (46).

Despite entering Saturday's match as the slight favorite, Randolph is unlikely to record a high number of saves. The keepers on Saturday’s slate are all priced relatively the same, making Grant a risky play as DFS players will be investing in hopes of earning a clean sheet.