3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 31
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 weekday slate, which starts at 2:45 p.m. EST on Tuesday and features four matches.
|Tuesday, April 4th|
|West Bromwich Albion at Watford|
|Sunderland at Leicester City|
|Stoke City at Burnley|
|Everton at Manchester United|
With a quick turnaround, the Premier League is back on Tuesday for Matchweek 31. The four-match slate features two home favorites, and two home sides in pickem matches. Manchester United are favored by a goal over Everton, and Leicester City are favored by a goal over Sunderland.
Of these two home favorites, recent form would likely lead to the public being much more confident in Leicester City in this spot than Manchester United. Until their 3-1 loss this week against Liverpool, Everton had been one of the highest-scoring teams in the league. Manchester United are reeling from numerous injuries and suspensions, and they are coming off a 0-0 draw against West Brom. Thankfully, Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns from his suspension for this match.
On this four-game slate, ownership should be heavy on Leicester City players, who have yet to disappoint -- both in real life and on FanDuel -- since Claudio Ranieri was fired. Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Wilfred Ndidi should all be strongly in consideration on a short slate, and given the matchup and recent form, it would be very risky to pivot off of all of them.
For Manchester United, Paul Pogba is still a question mark with his injury, but if he plays, he should be asked to do the lion's share of the work with numerous other United players missing, including Juan Mata.
Regardless of if Pogba plays or not, Ander Herrera, who is returning from his suspension, is in a great spot in this match. It's probably safe to expect ownership to find its way to Zlatan and Herrera, but if Pogba starts, Herrera may go slightly under-owned. In a tough matchup against Everton, Herrera should have plenty of opportunities to rack up FanDuel points via defensive actions as well as his involvement in the final third of the pitch.
With only four matches to choose from, we can include some of the higher-owned options above and look to differentiate our lineup with players from the remaining matches.
Here are three players to consider for this weekend.
Idrissa Gueye, Everton
FanDuel Salary: $7,400
Gueye will be Ander Herrera's counterpart in this match. He should benefit from his defensive opportunities, and even with Manchester United at less than 100%, there should be plenty of work for Gueye to do on the defensive side of the ball.
Gueye has had a decently high floor this season, and has shown 30-FanDuel-point upside even without getting on the score sheet. In the reverse fixture against Manchester United in December, Gueye scored 30.25 FanDuel points, with most of those coming from his defensive work -- 7 tackles, 3 interceptions and 1 clearance. On the road, those defensive opportunities should increase.
Over their past six home matches, Manchester United have allowed the fewest goals in the Premier League -- tied with Tottenham and Everton -- at three. As impressive as that is, they haven't been able to capitalize, with those six matches only resulting in two wins and four draws. Three of those draws were to West Brom, Bournemouth and Hull City.
Everton will certainly ask more questions of the United defense as they come into the match with 12 goals in their last six fixtures, tied for the best in the league during that stretch. Gueye will be involved in asking those questions, and the high-powered Everton offense adds to the outlook for his upside in this match.
M'Baye Niang, Watford
FanDuel Salary: $7,300
While he has yet to have a breakout DFS performance, Niang has been a solid contributor for Watford since his arrival in the January transfer window. He has started and played over 70 minutes in every Premier League match for Watford since the end of January, scoring one goal over that stretch.
While his goal tally has been low, he has averaged 2.4 shots per game, a number which should have him due for some positive regression in terms of goals scored. This weekend, at home against West Brom, he should be under-owned, as many will likely choose to roster Troy Deeney instead -- if he returns in time from the illness that forced him to miss this past weekend's match.
Even if Deeney doesn't start, Niang should be strongly considered as a forward option on this limited slate. The matchup at home against West Brom is a decent one. West Brom have allowed nine goals in their last six away fixtures, tied for fifth-most in the league with the likes of Swansea City and Burnley. In those six away fixtures they only have two wins, with a pair of crushing defeats to Everton (3-0) and Crystal Palace (2-0).
Watford have been far from perfect at home this season, but recently they have found offensive success with a goal or more in each of their last four home fixtures, including three goals against Southampton in a losing effort. Of Watford's 34 total goals this season, 22 have come at home. If their recent run of goal-scoring at home is to continue, we can expect Niang to be heavily involved, and on a short slate, he represents great value a likely under-owned forward on a home side.
Jermain Defoe, Sunderland
No one misses 2016 more than Jermain Defoe. Of his 14 goals this season, 9 of them came in 2016, and Defoe currently finds himself stuck in a five-match goal drought. He hasn't scored in the Premier League since his brace against Crystal Palace in early February.
Prior to that, he was on an inspired run of form, and he was a constant fixture in many large field tournament-winning lineups. His upside is unquestioned, but his form makes it very difficult to trust him. However, on a short slate, playing on the road against red-hot Leicester City, his ownership should be at an all-time low for the season. As of now, he's an injury risk with a knock to his right leg, but if he's in the starting XI Tuesday, he's not a bad play.
While Leicester have been playing better, they haven't been keeping many clean sheets, and they recently allowed two goals to West Ham. Defoe should certainly see his fair share of chances, and coming off his recent goal for England in their World Cup qualifying win over Lithuania, he may have an uptick in confidence.
The recent form shown by Leicester and Sunderland couldn't be any more different, and on a larger slate, it would probably be best to avoid Defoe. However, with the limited options available on Tuesday, his upside and projected low ownership make him worth of consideration.
In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Defoe scored a goal and produced 29 FanDuel points,but he was in the middle of a great run of form and highly owned. A similar result this weekend at lower ownership would likely allow his owners to move up the leaderboard in large field tournaments.