Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 34
A four-game FanDuel main slate awaits Premier League players on Saturday as the league schedule draws near its end. According to the league's official site, this matchweek is spread out over six days with the Manchester derby rounding out the matches on Thursday, April 27. The semifinals of the F.A. Cup also take place this weekend, with four Premier League squads in action there.
Many of the teams at the bottom of the table are a part of the main slate, so there is value available this weekend. Seven players are listed over $8,000, with Romelu Lukaku as the most expensive player by a significant margin, and five of those seven players are forwards. The most expensive defender on the slate is Andrea Ranocchia at $6,800 while Bournemouth's Artur Boruc is the most expensive keeper at $7,400.
With those numbers in mind, let's see where the value lies this week.
Alvaro Negredo, Middlesbrough
FanDuel Price: $6,800
Negredo is a big asset to season-long fantasy players as Boro look at a double gameweek, but his match against Bournemouth sets up in the striker's favor. No player has fired more shots from inside the box since Matchweek 28, and Negredo showed last week that all he needs is one chance to score.
Alvaro Negredo lo empata
Middlesbrough 1 Arsenal 1 pic.twitter.com/TmzBvSmOBy
— Carlos A. Avellaneda (@Capetok10) April 17, 2017
Negredo has scored in his last two starts. In those matches, he is averaging just over 31 points per match. He finished with four attempts in last week's loss after not seeing much of the ball in the first half.
Bournemouth have given up the third-most goals in the league over the last six matches. Negredo's improved statistics in the area and his ability to hit the target with more consistency since Matchweek 28 suggest the striker has a great chance to tally on the road. He's also boosted by the fact that Boro have to win as they find themselves running out of time to get out of the drop zone.
Abdoulaye Doucoure, Watford
FanDuel Price: $5,500
Doucoure is expected to start in central midfield behind Troy Deeney as Watford look to match their highest ever win total in the Premier League. The Frenchman is coming off his best match of the season and one of his best performances linking play through his central midfield role. He looks to continue his form against a Hull squad just two points above the relegation zone.
In his 14 appearances, Doucoure has created six chances and scored just one goal. Five of those six chances have come in his last five matches. Still, his value comes from defensive actions. Although he only averages two per match, his recent form suggests that number could be on the rise. He recorded four defensive actions in the win against Swansea last week and was able to draw a foul.
There is a chance that Doucoure could be more involved in offensive play against lowly Hull. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Hull's last seven Premier League matches with the Tigers conceding at least two goals in their last three matches. Hull also allows over 17 shots per game, resulting in 67 goals against on the year.
Be sure to check the starting XI for this match as Valon Behrami returned to the first team last week. He could start in Doucoure's place, but Watford's win last week may give the Frenchman the edge.
Note that Havard Nordtveit is listed at $4,500 and is a likely starter at right back for West Ham. Unfortunately, his value is downgraded as he is listed as a midfielder on FanDuel. He should rack up defensive action points, so if salary relief is needed, he warrants attention.
Glen Johnson, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $5,200
The formation that manager Mark Hughes decides to employ on Saturday could greatly improve Johnson's value. Stoke started last week with Johnson playing in an outside wingback role before substitutions changed the defense to a flatter back line. If Hughes employs a back three against Swansea, then Johnson has a better chance to get forward and provide value on both sides of the ball.
#SCFC are delighted to announce @glen_johnson has signed a one-year contract extension. https://t.co/PKXEQNFBnk pic.twitter.com/rNUYqGWHr3
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) April 18, 2017
Fresh off a contract extension, the veteran defender will hope to help Stoke jump into the top half of the table against the team that has conceded the most goals in the league. Although Johnson would love to help his team on the offensive end, he cannot ignore his defensive duties as Swansea are in the top five in crosses on the season. They are also just outside the top 10 in corners taken, so Johnson will likely have a chance to rack up points for clearances.
Johnson had six clearances last week against Hull. That is his average for all defensive actions on the season, so he's in good form as the campaign winds down.
Brad Guzan, Middlesbrough
FanDuel Price: $5,500
Manager Steve Agnew is monitoring the rib injury that kept Victor Valdes out on Monday and allowed Guzan to start for the first time in five weeks. If Guzan does start, he will be the lowest-priced keeper to make a start on Saturday.
The American keeper performed admirably on Monday versus Arsenal despite allowing two goals. He was helpless on both, including being put in an uncomfortable position by his defenders on a free kick.
Alexis Sanchez's free-kick broken down by @TimesSport pic.twitter.com/6e1fEkfkaD
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) April 18, 2017
The level of competition is not as high on Saturday as Bournemouth simply do not have the individual stars that Arsenal put on the pitch this past Monday. The Cherries have been shut out twice in their last four matches.
If Guzan is not starting on Saturday, then Lee Grant or Darren Randolph may be the pivot. Randolph should be in line for save points, but the floodgates could open against Everton. Grant has a chance at a clean sheet against Swansea.