3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 36
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, May 6th|
|Stoke City at Bournemouth|
|Sunderland at Hull City |
|Watford at Leicester City|
|West Bromwich Albion at Burnley|
|Everton at Swansea City|
Matchweek 36 features another five-game main slate on Saturday morning. Of the teams favored to win, four of them are at home and one is on the road. Of the four home favorites, Hull City -- yes, you read that right -- are the heaviest favorite, with a 1-goal spread over recently relegated Sunderland. Leicester City are also 1-goal favorites over Watford. Bournemouth and Burnley are both 0.5-goal favorites at home against Stoke City and West Bromwich, respectively. The lone road favorite is Everton, who are slightly favored in a pick'em match against Swansea City. All of the games have an over/under of 2.5 goals with the exception of Burnley at West Brom, which has an over/under of 2.0.
Despite their loss against Chelsea this past weekend and their struggles on the road this season, I expect ownership to remain high on Everton’s players. While I believe they should still control this game, it may be a week to avoid a goal-dependent option like Lukaku -- who recently posted a miserable 1.25 points on the road against West Ham -- in favor of some lower-owned and cheaper options in good spots. Despite being slightly more favored than Leicester City, I expect ownership to be lower on Hull City’s options than Leicester’s.
Trusting Hull City, even against Sunderland, is something I can see the public being hesitant to do, especially when they can still roster their Leicester City options for very manageable prices. We can take advantage of this by still including some Leicester players in our lineups but favoring our Hull options more than the majority of the field will.
With Lukaku and Vardy likely to be popular, common roster construction will most likely involve paying up at forward, pairing them with one high-priced midfielder from the same team -- Ross Barkley, Wilfred Ndidi or Riyad Mahrez -- and then finding value on defense. With the heaviest favorite on the slate in a good spot and likely to go slightly overlooked, we can use Hull City -- chose a combination of Lazar Markovic, Kamil Grosicki, Samuel Clucas and Oumar Niasse -- as a base to differentiate our roster construction for large field tournaments.
Here are three options to consider for this weekend.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Swansea City
FanDuel Salary $9,900
For starters, I’m fully aware that Gylfi will not be super low owned. However, compared to his usual levels of ownership, I believe that this weekend he should be slightly overlooked for a couple of reasons. First, he’s playing against Everton, and if we expect Lukaku to be popular this weekend, then it’s fair to assume most people will not want to pair their striker with a midfielder on the opposing team. Secondly, his price makes him awkward to fit into a lineup if you pay up for a striker and then one of the Everton or Leicester City midfielders I previously mentioned. If Gylfi is even slightly under his usual ownership, I want to take full advantage of that.
The matchup itself is better than it seems for Swansea, who have been on fire at home recently. They have four wins in their last six matches, with 10 goals scored over that period. They also recently put in a gutsy performance to force a 1-1 draw on the road against Manchester United last weekend. Conversely, as I’ve previously noted in this article, Everton have been far from world beaters on the road this season, with eight goals allowed in their last six road matches and no wins during that span.
Gylfi himself needs no introduction. He is a one-man show. He has a monopoly on set pieces and has averaged 25.05 FanDuel points this season. He produces in great matchups and terrible ones, and he has 9 goals and 12 assists on the season. He has the second-best odds to score this weekend of any midfielder -- behind only Riyad Mahrez -- and Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente has the eighth-best odds to score, which bodes well for Sigurdsson’s assist prospects.
Phil Jagielka, Everton
FanDuel Salary: $6,400
If we believe that popular roster construction will be paying down at defender, then paying up for Phil Jagielka, the fifth-most expensive defender on the slate, makes sense. Jagielka could also be low owned as most people play center-backs on teams they believe are heavy underdogs. This matchup could be closer than most think, and Jagielka should have opportunities on both sides of the pitch.
Offensively, Jagielka’s recent streak is unsustainable, as he has three goals in his last five matches, scoring in consecutive matches against Manchester United, Leicester City, and Burnley to the tune of 44, 47.25 and 45.50 FanDuel points, respectively. Those point totals are impressive, and it’s important to point out that even without a goal, he would have scored more than 24 fantasy points in all of those matches. Even without the goals, Jagielka can produce enough points to justify his position in a large field tournament line up.
On the defensive side of the pitch, Jagielka should also be able to produce. Swansea have an implied goal total of 1.39, which is only .03 less than Everton’s implied goal total of 1.42. There will be chances for both sides in this one, with Swansea playing for their Premier League lives. Even in great matchups, Jagielka’s clearance numbers have been terrific. Most recently he produced 13 clearances at home against Burnley, which is about the best matchup a team can ask for. With his two-way production and his potential low ownership, Jagielka is a great option for large field tournament this weekend.
Andre Gray, Burnley
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
With so many other forwards in great spots, you might not need to be super contrarian at the position. However, if you want to look for an under owned option, Andre Gray is in a decent spot at home against West Brom. Gray starting isn’t a given, as his playing time has been sporadic recently, but he does have better odds to score than his teammates Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes. Any of this trio of forwards makes for a decent under-the-radar play, but if Gray is in action, I prefer him to the rest. If he is not, rolling with Barnes, who scored last weekend against Crystal Palace, is also a good play.
While the match as a whole isn’t the most appealing, having the lowest over/under on the slate at 2.0 goals, more of that is due to West Brom’s low implied goal total of 1.01 than Burnley’s implied goal total of 1.35. Burnley’s implied total is only slightly behind Swansea and Everton, and Burnley have the third-best odds to win of any team on the slate.
Goals have been hard to come by for Burnley this year, but of their 35 league goals, 23 of them have come at home, where they have been a far better team than on the road. Gray hasn’t been as polarized as his team, but five of his nine league goals and both of his two assists have come at home this season. This is amplified by the fact that West Brom have been in terrible form on the road lately, with no wins in their last six road fixtures and 12 goals conceded in that span. In their most recent away fixture, they allowed two goals to Watford, who have also struggled offensively this season. In a week where the public won’t look very far to find a forward, Gray is an intriguing low owned option.
As always, make sure to check lineups as they come out on Saturday morning and adjust accordingly.