4 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 35
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 five matches.
|Saturday, April 29th|
|Bournemouth at Sunderland|
|Hull City at Southampton
|Leicester City at West Bromwich Albion|
|West Ham United at Stoke City|
|Burnley at Crystal Palace|
This week, we are presented with a slate one game smaller than usual, with four home favorites and one road favorite. The largest favorites on the slate are Southampton and Crystal Palace, who are both at home and favored by a goal and half a goal, respectively. Stoke City are also favored by half a goal hosting West Ham. The reamaining two matches are considered pick 'ems, with West Brom (at home to Leicester City) and Bournemouth (on the road against Sunderland) both the slightest of favorites.
This slate is unique as there are absolutely no elite sides to be found. Not one of the current top seven teams on the Premier League table are in action, which creates a slate with almost no salary restrictions. Anyone you want to afford, you can. The highest-priced player is Josh King at only $9,200.
That said, I expect ownership to find its way to even cheaper options on Southampton and Crystal Palace. Now that he’s returned from his injury, Manolo Gabbiadini should be a popular play as the lead striker on the slate's heaviest favorite, and his $7,700 salary is incredibly low for the position he’s in. The Southampton midfield is more difficult to predict, but after his goal against Chelsea and his current streak of 14 straight matches with 10-plus FanDuel points, Oriol Romeu should see high ownership.
Ownership should be high for the usual suspects on the Palace side in Christian Benteke and Wilfried Zaha. Bentkene is in form, with three goals across his last three matches, and while he hasn’t shown it recently, Zaha is always a threat to produce, especially in a match Palace are favored in. Also, Wilfred Ndidi should be highly owned -- his $8,100 salary can fit into any lineup and he should see plenty of offensive and defensive opportunities on the road against West Ham.
Here are three players to consider for large-field tournaments this weekend that could get overlooked.
Eldin Jakupovic, Hull City
FanDuel Salary: $6,900
Keeper Alert! I will preface this by saying that predicting keeper performance tends to be a fool’s errand, but if you can identify one expected to be highly owned, pivoting to a lower-owned one with a similar point projection is a great move for large-field tournaments. This week, I expect ownership to find its way to Tom Heaton. His matchup away at Crystal Palace should provide him with numerous save opportunities.
Burnley are the worst team in the Premier League on the road and Heaton should be called upon to keep them in this game. Most importantly, the abundance of salary could lead to Heaton’s ownership numbers being inflated above a level that's already pretty high. When the public has made their lineups and are staring at $1,000 plus left over, Heaton is the natural choice for using that extra salary.
Jakupovic’s situation is arguably better than Heaton’s, and he should be overlooked because most people will pay up for the perceived safety, who has been a stud. Hull City are the largest underdog on the slate, which should see Jakupovic called into action throughout the match. The chance of a clean sheet is obviously low, but the same could be said of Heaton’s situation.
If you prefer a lower upside play with a higher chance of a clean sheet, Artur Boruc is also an option. Either way, just being on an option other than Heaton should help differentiate your lineup. Don’t be afraid to leave some salary on the table when others won’t.
Nacer Chadli, West Bromwich Albion
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
With excess salary and three other teams more heavily favored than West Brom, their situation may go overlooked. At home against Leicester City may not seem great, but Leicester City have recently reverted back to their old ways. They have three losses and two draws in their last five matches, and with the Champions League dream finally over, the air has come out of the Leicester City season.
West Brom have been far from an offensive powerhouse, but they have been decent at home recently -- they have three wins in their last six, with one of those losses being a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool. Chadli himself has been a much better play at home, with three of his five goals and all five of his assists coming at The Hawthorns this season. At the same exact price as Zaha, Chadli should see significantly lower ownership despite having slightly better recent performances on FanDuel.
Over his last four matches, Chadli has been terrible against Liverpool and Manchester United, but against lesser sides Southampton and Watford, he put up 18.25 and 17.25 points, respectively. He also had a 32.25-point performance against Arsenal in the middle of March. Against Leicester City on Saturday, Chadli should be able to find space in his attacking role against Leicester City.
Matchup-wise, Leicester City -- even during their good run of form -- have given up goals. Across their last six Premier League matches, they have conceded nine goals, including 12 in their last six away matches. Even if this matchup is as even as it's projected to be, offensive opportunities are going to be there for Chadli and West Brom.
James Tarkowski, Burnley and Andrea Ranocchia, Hull City
FanDuel Salaries: $5,000 and $6,700
Both of these center backs are appealing for similar reasons. They have similar point projections to their counterparts - Harry Maguire and Michael Keane - but should come at lower ownership.
Burnley and Hull City are two of the largest underdogs and should be a popular defensive target for this weekend. As previously mentioned, defensive production is difficult to predict between center backs on the same team, and often going with the lower-owned one who is in the same matchup as their counterpart is a good decision for large-field tournaments.
For Ranocchia, his upside and consistency is unquestioned. He and Maguire have both been exceptional options on FanDuel and should both do well this weekend. The ownership discrepancy between the two is likely to stem from Maguire's recent offensive input and their identical price tag. Maguire has two goals in his last three matches, and unsustainable rate for many players but certainly for a defender.
When the public is looking at Maguire and Ranocchia for the exact same price tag, it wouldn't be surprising to see the vast majority to go with Maguire. However, the offensive upside isn't likely to repeat itself, and Ranocchia has actually averaged more FanDuel points per match - 22.02 - than Maguire - 20.56. The opportunity to roster him at lower ownership than Maguire in a plus matchup on the road against Southampton is one to take advantage of.
Tarkowski is less proven, but also offers a lower owned pivot off Keane. On a normal slate with tighter salary restrictions, Tarkowski would be a very popular value play, but this week, most people will simply pay up for Keane because they have the salary available. Tarkowski has yet to start a game for Burnley this season, but did have a 23-FanDuel-point performance in 47 minutes of action against Manchester City in one of his appearances.
Since the size of the large-field tournaments aren't as large in soccer as other spots on FanDuel, you might be best off choosing only one of these center backs to differentiate your lineup.
As always, make sure to check lineups as they come out on Saturday morning and adjust accordingly.