3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 30
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 weekend slate, which starts at 10:00 a.m. EST on Saturday and features nine matches.
|Saturday, April 1st|
|Crystal Palace at Chelsea|
|Stoke City at Leicester City|
|Sunderland at Watford|
|Tottenham Hotspur at Burnley|
|West Bromwich Albion at Manchester United|
|West Ham United at Hull City|
|Bournemouth at Southampton|
|Middlesbrough at Swansea City|
|Manchester City at Arsenal|
The Premier League is back for match week 30, and with it a couple changes from FanDuel that will impact how we approach large field tournaments. First, the late swap feature has been added, allowing us to swap players out of our roster right up until the game they’re playing in begins. This makes it less risky to select players from the afternoon game on Saturday. Along with the addition of late swap, FanDuel has increased the size of their main slate to include both of the Sunday matches.
Both of these changes provide us with a larger player pool to select from each week and should spread ownership out more across all of the matches. Most of the time, the Sunday matches involve elite teams, which means that going forward we will almost always have access to more than one top side a slate.
In the past, if there was a heavy favorite on Saturday, ownership tended to be high on multiple options from their team. With this change, I believe we may see player stacking decrease, as people choose to include options from multiple top tier teams instead of two or three from the same side.
Also, the addition of late swap requires you to be attentive and ready for starting lineups to come out at multiple times on multiple days. For the main slate, roster release should be at 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. Set those alarms.
Now, onto this week’s expanded slate. Across the nine matches we now have available to us, there are several large favorites, with Manchester United being the heaviest favorite of them all at a goal and a half over West Brom. Following United are Chelsea, favored by a goal and a half at home over Crystal Palace, and Tottenham, favored by a goal on the road against Burnley. The fourth-largest favorite on the slate is Southampton, who are favored by a goal at home against Bournemouth.
Of these large favorites, we can expect ownership to be drawn to the big names on the elite sides. However, two of those sides, Tottenham and Manchester United, both have taller tasks ahead of them this weekend than it seems.
Tottenham are playing at Burnley, who are somehow still one of the best home sides in the league, and Manchester United are without multiple players, including Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ander Herrera, and possibly Paul Pogba.
For large-field tournaments this weekend I am going to be centering my lineups on Chelsea’s stars instead and looking to differentiate my lineups with other options.
Here are three players to consider for this weekend.
Shane Long, Southampton
FanDuel Salary: $7,600
With the news that Manolo Gabbiadini will most likely miss out due to injury, and Charlie Austin still sidelined from his dislocated shoulder he suffered in December, Shane Long should get the start this weekend. With Southampton as a one-goal favorite, he is in a decent position to capitalize and get on the score sheet.
Long has only started three matches since December 31st, but in those three matches he produced two goals. He is certainly no stranger to scoring, as he produced 10 goals in his 2015 campaign with Southampton.
From a team prospective, Bournemouth are one of the best matchups for Long to take advantage of. They have conceded 31 goals on the road this season, which is third-worst in the Premier League. They have one win in their last six road matches and have conceded 15 goals over that stretch. Those numbers are slightly inflated by a 6-3 thrashing by Everton, but they also conceded multiple goals to Hull City, West Brom, and Chelsea during that stretch.
Southampton have been far from world beaters are home, with just eight goals scored in their last six home fixtures. However, in their last six matches including road fixtures, they have scored 14 goals, second only to Everton in the Premier League for that six-match span.
Manolo Gabbiadini was a big part of that offensive success, but ever since the League Cup Final against Manchester United, Southampton as a whole seem more apt to placing the ball in the net. At a low price and potentially low ownership, Shane Long is in the best position to take advantage of that.
Fernando Llorente, Swansea City
FanDuel Salary: $7,900
Similar to Southampton, Swansea city are at home, favored, and may be overlooked. Fernando Llorente leads their attack and benefits from the form Swansea has found under Paul Clement. Swansea have won their last three home fixtures by a combined score of 7-3 and play host to Middlesbrough, who have lost five of their last six road fixtures.
In past slates, Fernando has been highly owned when Swansea is favored at home. However, with the expanded slate there are numerous options on more high profile teams that should attract more interest and keep his ownership numbers down.
Fernando has been hit-or-miss this season and is certainly goal-dependent, but when he hits, he has a tendency to hit hard. He has four performances with 40-plus FanDuel points this season, one of which was above 50. Of his 11 league goals this season, 8 of them have come at home, and three of those 40-plus FanDuel point performances also came at home. This bodes well for his prospects this weekend.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to playing Fernando is that you can pair him with Gylfi Sigurdsson, which means that Gylfi Sigurdsson is in your lineup, which is always a good thing. Sigurdsson and Fernando have combined for multiple goals already this season, and with Sigurdsson taking on all free kick responsibilities for Swansea City, and Fernando's role as a target striker, the ceiling for the two is high.
While we can never expect Sigurdsson to be low owned, the combination might be.
Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
FanDuel Salary: $7,800
My non-belief in the Leicester City revival has been well documented in my article over the past month. However, after multiple weeks of being proven dead wrong, I am half ready to give up on that position. Leicester City's road win over West Ham in Matchweek 29 showed me that they're willing to fight even when the occasion might not be a glorious one. They appear to be a team in form, with players who we know can produce but find themselves at depressed prices due to their early-season struggles.
Ownership on Mahrez wont be as low as Llorente and Long, but expect it to be lower than it should be in a home match up against Stoke. Mahrez's talent needs no introduction. He is capable of playing at world class level every time he steps on the pitch, and with a goal in each of his last two matches he appears to be rounding into form along with the rest of Leicester City.
Expect Vardy to garner a large share of ownership as the 16th-most expensive forward, and in the Leicester midfield, Wilfred Ndidi should be the highest owned.
Ndidi is $700 cheaper than Mahrez is and has produced at a very consistent level since his transfer from Belgian side KRC Genk in early January. He has not produced fewer than 14 points in any of his matches and has a rock solid point floor. However, with his eye for goal, I believe that Mahrez's upside is higher and for large field tournaments that is more valuable for our lineups.
The matchup against Stoke is a great one, as they have allowed the second most away goals in the Premier League over the last six matches at 14. Now it must be said that three of those matches were against Tottenham, Chelsea, and Liverpool, but with the form Leicester are in at the moment, they are more like those elite sides than a mid-table team.
As always, make sure to check lineups as they come out on Saturday/Sunday morning and adjust accordingly.