3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 27
If you have played daily fantasy sports for a while, you know the importance of being contrarian in large-field tournaments. Recognizing which players are going to be owned by the masses and finding others who you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership can really separate yourself from your opponents.
The same goes for DFS Premier League. Even though the large-field tournaments aren't quite as large as they are for other sports, there is still value in identifying quality under-the-radar plays.
This article will discuss FanDuel's main Saturday slate, which starts at 10:00 a.m. EST and features six matches.
|Saturday, March 4th|
|Middlesbrough at Stoke City|
|Burnley at Swansea City
|Hull City at Leicester City|
|Southampton at Watford|
|Crystal Palace at West Bromwich Albion|
|Arsenal at Liverpool|
Following a week where there were only home favorites, this week offers almost the same outlook. Every home team is favored with the exception of Watford, who play Southampton. That said, the spreads for the home favorites are much tighter than last week, with no team being favored by more than half of a goal. The largest favorites on the slate are the “reborn” Leicester City at home to Hull City.
The home favored sides don’t offer much in terms of reliability, but we can expect ownership to find its way to a few key players. The first is Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, who -- at only $7,500 -- is a great value as well as being the striker on the heaviest favorite on the slate. While I usually advocate for fading goal-dependent forwards, they also tend to be priced much higher than Vardy is. He’s the 16th-most expensive striker on the slate, and you would be hard pressed to find similar expected production at his deflated price point.
Another player we can expect to be highly owned this weekend is Swansea City cornerstone Gylfi Sigurdsson. All he does is produce points, in every situation possible. It’s been five matches since he scored fewer than 20 FanDuel points, and he has only scored below 10 FanDuel points twice this entire season. He also has upside, with nine matches with more than 30 FanDuel points scored. He’s the complete package, and at home against a Burnley side that is the worst team in the Premier League on the road, he is in as great a spot as ever.
It is shaping up to be a week in which we should consider playing the chalk and differentiating our lineups at other positions, rather than trying to finds pivot plays. Personally, I will not be rolling out a lineup this weekend that doesn’t have Sigurdsson in it.
Consider these three players if looking for under-the-radar options.
Salomon Rondon, West Bromwich Albion
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
As mentioned above, there are numerous home favorites this week, but all of them are only slight favorites, and because of this, the goal-scoring odds on this slate are very tight. Rondon is tied for the third-best goal-scoring odds with the previously mentioned Gylfi Sigurdsson and his teammate Fernando Llorente. Despite this, he will likely go under owned because of the more enticing options that surround him at his price point.
Rondon is listed right below Llorente on the FanDuel salary screen, two spots under man-on-fire Manolo Gabbiadini, and one spot above Theo Walcott. He is $200 more expensive than Troy Deeney, who has four goals in his last five matches, and $500 more than Jamie Vardy. Of all of those options, Rondon will likely be the least owned, despite having better goal-scoring odds than everyone but Vardy and Llorente.
While his form has been awful, with no Premier League goals since his hat trick against Swansea in December, he can bounce back this week because West Brom’s home form has been terrific. They have five wins in their last six matches at The Hawthorns, with their one loss coming against Manchester United. Over those two matches, they have scored 11 goals, tied for fourth-best in the league over that stretch with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City. On the other side of the pitch, Crystal Palace have one win in their last six away matches and have conceded 10 goals over that span.
While West Brom’s recent home success hasn’t led to FanDuel points for Rondon, five of his seven league goals this season have come at home. This match should certainly supply him with opportunities, and if we expect him to be lower owned than all of the strikers around him, he makes for an excellent contrarian play.
Alfred N’Diaye, Hull City
FanDuel Salary: $5,400
With the sudden revival of Leicester City against Liverpool last weekend, people will view this as a “back to the old me” Leicester against lowly Hull City. While it is possible that Leicester have suddenly snapped back to their league-winning ways, it is just as likely that they, coming off the emotional high of a primetime victory over Liverpool, fail to show up for this match. The field should be overweight on Leicester City options, in a game that they are only half a goal favorites in.
While Hull City underwhelmed last weekend in their match against Burnley, they had been playing inspired football against some of the tougher sides in the league. They are certainly good enough to produce against Leicester, even if Leicester does maintain their form from the Liverpool fixture. If the “pre-Liverpool” Leicester show up, Hull should see plenty of opportunities as Leicester have been prone to some large defeats this season. Either way Alfred N’Diaye should be involved.
With Tom Huddlestone suspended, N’Diaye should slide into the solo defense midfield role. Since his loan move was finalized from Villarreal, he has started and played 90 minutes in every match for Hull City. His defensive abilities allow him to accumulate FanDuel points on both ends of the pitch in what should be a back-and-forth match. While goals aren’t a common part of his game, he has already scored one for Hull City, on his club debut against Liverpool.
Interceptions and tackles are a part of his game, and he should have plenty of chances to do both this weekend. As a leverage play against the expected heavy ownership on Leicester City this weekend, N’Diaye is in a great spot.
FanDuel Salary: $7,800
Another forward who should go overlooked this weekend, Arnautovic is in a prime position with Stoke City being the second-largest favorite on the slate. He's priced above both Peter Crouch ($7,300) and Saido Berahino ($6,800) and could see lower ownership because of this.
For many of the reasons Rondon will go overlooked, Arnautovic could also fly under-the-radar. He's surrounded by other attractive options, and most importantly, he is more expensive than Vardy. Assuming people will stick with Alexis Sanchez in one of their forward spots, it is difficult to imagine the majority of people not opting for the lower priced Vardy over any of the more expensive options.
Arnautovic has the same goal-scoring odds as Riyad Mahrez and will most certainly see less ownership with everyone back on Leicester City train. While Stoke are far from an offensive machine, Arnautovic himself has shown the ability to produce the spectacular throughout his career, and he is certainly not afraid to shoot. If he starts on the left, as he has in every match but two this season, he will either get to lineup against Calum Chambers, who is returning from an ankle injury and has not practiced this week, or his back up Daniel Ayala in a three-center-back defensive line. Both should provide Arnautovic with some opportunities to run at his opponents and create chances.
Arnautovic has been a different player at home than on the road lately, with his last two home matches yielding FanDuel point totals of 21 and 27 and his last two away matches yielding scores of 2.75 and 8.75. While this has been a down year for him goal-wise, he has shown the ability to score in the Premier League in the past, with 11 goals last season. At projected low ownership, he is worth taking a chance on in a plus matchup at home.
As always, make sure to check lineups as they come out on Saturday morning and adjust accordingly.