4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid for Matchweek 34
The main slate for Matchweek 34 features four Saturday matches, which includes only two squads in the top half of the table due to the postponement of two matches. FanDuel’s late swap is available for the slate as it continues to be available for all soccer slates.
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.
Fernando Llorente, Swansea City
FanDuel Price: $7,800
Matchweek 34 is a weird week as Llorente is almost $5,000 cheaper -- $4,700 to be exact -- than the top-priced forward, Romelu Lukaku, but he still comes in as the seventh-highest-priced forward on the slate. Being the only player above $10,000, Lukaku received some thought as the forward to avoid because of his struggles away from Goodison Park, but Lukaku is in great form and facing a West Ham squad that has struggled this season against forwards.
Llorente and Swansea host Stoke City at Liberty Stadium. Llorente has averaged 15.64 FanDuel points this season but has not recorded a shot on target in his previous four matches, and he has averaged 5.69 FanDuel points over that span. The Swans enter Saturday’s match as a 0.5-goal favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.
The Swans maintain 49.1% of the possession, per WhoScored, while averaging 12.8 shots per match at Liberty Stadium and have not won a match in their last six contents. The Potters have not performed much better, maintaining 46.2% of the possession while allowing 15.6 shots in road matches and have earned four points in their last six matches.
As previously mentioned, this is not a great slate for forwards, and Llorente has the worst matchup of any forward on the slate. The Potters have allowed the sixth-fewest shots (111), fifth-fewest goals (15), fifth-fewest assists (4) and fourth-fewest shots on target (36) to forwards this season. Since Matchweek 29, the Potters have conceded only three shots on target to forwards, the third-fewest shots on target in that span.
There is only one high-priced stud forward on the slate, and DFS players will absolutely want some exposure to Lukaku. The rest of the top forwards on the slate, however, are all relatively at the same price point, meaning DFS players need to look at matchups, and Llorente’s matchup is one of the worst on the slate for forwards.
Idrissa Gueye, Everton
FanDuel Price: $7,900
Gueye is the third-highest-priced midfielder for Matchweek 34, and he has averaged 20.25 FanDuel points this season. Gueye’s upside is limited as a defensive midfielder, and he has scored over 25 FanDuel points just five times this season.
Gueye and Everton travel to London Stadium to face West Ham. The Toffees are a 0.5-goal favorite, and the over/under is set at three goals, the highest total on the slate.
The Toffees are the Premier League’s eighth-best club at maintaining possession in road matches and average 11.9 shots per match while the Irons maintain 50.9% of the possession and allow the ninth-fewest shots on their home pitch.
Gueye has recorded only 1 goal and 1 assist this season while tallying 17 chances created. Most of Gueye’s top performances have come when the midfielder records a large number of defensive actions -- usually tackles or interceptions -- and have not come because of his attacking prowess.
Despite conceding the fifth-most goals (6) and fourth-most assists (7) to center-midfielders/defensive-midfielders this season, the Irons have been fairly stingy with allowing defensive actions to those positions. They have allowed the 10th-fewest tackles (117), 6th-fewest interceptions (97) and 3rd-fewest clearances (81) to center-midfielders/defensive-midfielders this season. West Ham have allowed the seventh-most blocked shots to those midfield positions, but Gueye has not recorded more than one blocked shot in a match all season and has recorded zero blocked shots 18 times this season.
Gueye has performed well this season and has a high floor -- scoring below 10 FanDuel points only three times this campaign -- but as the third-highest-priced midfielder on the slate with limited upside, Gueye’s price is hard to justify.
Steve Cook, Bournemouth
FanDuel Price: $6,700
Cook is the second-highest priced defender for Matchweek 34, and he has averaged 20.52 FanDuel points this season. Cook has been unable to reach that season-average in his previous two matches, and he has averaged 14.89 FanDuel points in that span.
Cook and Bournemouth host Middlesbrough at Dean Court. On their home pitch, the Cherries maintain 51.5% of the possession and make the ninth-fewest tackles (16.6).The Boro maintain 47.9% of the possession and average a league-worst 8.0 shots per match on the road. The Cherries enter Saturday’s match as a 0.5-goal favorite, and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.
The Boro are not a great matchup for defenders, especially center-backs. They are in the bottom four of the league in clearances (382), interceptions (101), tackles (57) and blocked shots (35) allowed to center-defenders this season.
The other top-two defenders -- Hull City’s Andrea Ranocchia and Harry Maguire -- both have a tough opponent (Watford) for defenders, as well, as the Hornets are in the bottom half of the table in blocked shots, tackles and interceptions allowed. However, both Maguire and Ranocchia have contributed on the scoresheet in back-to-back matches while Cook hasn’t produced on the scoresheet since Matchweek 14 against Liverpool, making him a risky play in a poor matchup.
Joel Robles, Everton
FanDuel Price: $6,800
Robles is the second-highest priced keeper for Matchweek 34, and he has averaged 14.08 FanDuel points through 18 matches this season. Robles has not maintained a clean sheet in his last four matches while averaging 6.69 FanDuel points in that span, and he has only reached his season-average in 2 of his last 10 matches.
Clean sheets and saves are extremely important for keeper scoring on FanDuel, and Robles has kept nine clean sheets this season, only three of which have come on the road. The Toffees allow the Premier League’s eighth-fewest shots in road matches (13.2) while the Irons take the fourth-fewest shots on target (3.4) per match despite taking the ninth-most shots on their home pitch.
The Irons have allowed six clean sheets to opposing keepers this season -- including three clean sheets at London Stadium -- but they have scored in 9 of their last 10 matches, including four straight home matches. West Ham are not a great matchup for opposing keepers as they have scored the 10th-most goals in the league (44) while forcing the 4th-fewest saves (72) to opposing keepers this season.
The Irons have struggled all season to place shots on target but have done a good job finding the back of the net. With the highest/over under on the slate, Robles is unlikely to keep a clean sheet and with him being unlikely to see a high colume of shots, Robles is a top target to avoid.