Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 27
Year-long fantasy players are salivating over double gameweeks for Manchester City and Stoke City players. Meanwhile, daily fantasy players will be pleased with the amount of value available in the six-game FanDuel slate on Saturday.
Saturday's matches will again feature mainly teams in the bottom half of the table. Liverpool and Arsenal players dominate the top 10 pricing spots on FanDuel with only Glyfi Sigurdsson of Swansea coming from outside the final game of the day at Anfield.
Although there is value available in many of the games, this week's picks will take advantage of a good matchup and look at very recent form.
Marko Arnautovic, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $7,800
Arnautovic is the highest-priced player in this match, as Stoke host Middlesbrough. Stoke are unbeaten in seven successive Premier League matches, giving the Potters the edge this weekend, especially given that Boro have not scored in any of their last three Premier League games.
📸 Marko Arnautovic battles with Allan Nyom in this first half, City are behind after 25 minutes #WBA 1-0 #SCFC pic.twitter.com/HGGzqWVjwx
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) February 4, 2017
Arnautovic has been hot and cold in his recent matches, but the trend says he is due for a good match after scoring just 2.75 points last week. The entire Stoke team was woeful against Tottenham, so this week's opponents will be welcome relief.
The health of the Boro back line is very uncertain. Calum Chambers will be unavailable. George Friend and Antonio Barragan returned to training, but their match fitness may still be in question. Boro boss Aitor Karanka stated that Stoke are in a much more comfortable situation, so his team has to fight. Karanka must hope his words do not put a negative pressure on his team.
Stoke are the favorite, and Arnautovic has some of the best odds to score. He is a good pivot away from the top forward picks this week.
Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City
FanDuel Price: $6,500
In the last four weeks, Ndidi has recorded 8 shots and 13 tackles while putting in a great all-around defensive effort. Ndidi has played in six matches since the turn of the year and is averaging more than 20 points. Last week's 31.5-point performance was the best of them all.
The Nigerian international's showing thus far has some predicting that he will have a bigger impact on Leicester than N'Golo Kante. Accolades like that are understandable after Ndidi's effort against Liverpool. His 58 touches in the match were fourth-best on the team. He also won seven aerials, made nine tackles, and had six clearances. He also made 32 passes with a 50% success rate on his long balls. It helps when Jamie Vardy is on his game.
Most of the points from Ndidi will come from defensive actions, but there is a chance for offensive points. He has averaged just below two shots a game this year with Genk and Leicester.
Mamadou Sakho, Crystal Palace
FanDuel Price: $5,100
Sakho has played only one game, but he put in a good performance last week that resulted in a clean sheet for Crystal Palace. He won 2 tackles, completed more than 90% of his passes, and made 6 clearances. The competition was Middlesbrough, a team that has scored only 19 goals this season.
Mamadou Sakho's Crystal Palace debut by numbers:
100% tackles won
92% pass accuracy
3 aerial duels won
1 clean sheet
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 25, 2017
Sakho and the Crystal Palace defense should be a bit busier as they travel to West Brom. The pick of Sakho comes from the expectation of many opportunities to rack up defensive action points.
West Brom have scored 24 goals at home, which is 12 more than on the road. West Brom have also scored a league-high 12 goals from corners this season and continue to be one of the biggest aerial threats in the league. This is where Sakho can add to his clearances total.
Last week's clean sheet was only the third all season in the Premier League for Palace. That should allow Sakho to keep his place. If he is replaced by anyone, it will likely be Damien Delaney, who is the same price on FanDuel.
Lee Grant, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $6,500
As usual, the keepers are all bunched fairly tightly together. Grant gets the nod based on the match up described above. Boro average a league-low 9.1 shots per match. They have also failed to score in 12 games. Boro's offensive statistics suggest that the 10-point clean sheet bonus is a definite possibility for Grant.
Even in last week's 4-0 loss to Tottenham, Grant managed to score 14 points. He averages 2.57 saves per goal allowed and close to 3 saves per game. Grant has also earned seven clean sheets in 21 appearances.
Backing Grant in this match is betting on a clean sheet as he is unlikely to rack up save points. However, Boro's offensive ineptitude and Stoke's need to bounce back from last week's horrible defeat put the odds on Grant's side.