4 FanDuel Premier League Studs to Target for Matchweek 1

With Manchester City a big favorite against Brighton, Kevin De Bruyne is in a sweet spot this weekend. Which other players should you check out for the main slate?

As is the case when playing any sport on FanDuel, it’s imperative to hit on high-priced studs, the players in which you’ve made the biggest investment. This is especially true with strikers in soccer as goals are often the difference between winning and losing in DFS.

Let’s take a look at some high-priced players -- all across the pitch -- who, despite costing a good chunk of change, are worth the investment.

This article is geared toward FanDuel's main slate, which begins at 10 a.m. EST Saturday and features six matches.

Matchweek 1
Saturday, August 12th
Huddersfield at Crystal Palace
Stoke at Everton
Burnley at Chelsea
Bournemouth at West Brom
Swansea City at Southampton
Manchester City at Brighton & Hove Albion

Let's get to it.


Alvaro Morata, Chelsea

FanDuel Price: $10,500

Chelsea are tied with Manchester City as the main slate's biggest favorite (-1.5), and both teams have implied totals of 2.25 goals. City have some forwards who could cannibalize each other's value, but that's not the case with Chelsea.

There are some questions regarding Morata's fitness -- he didn't start in the Community Shield -- but if he is in the starting XI, he'll be in a great spot in this one. Playing at Real Madrid last season, Morata netted a goal every 88.93 minutes, finishing the campaign with 15 goals and 4 assists.

In his first Premier League match, the clash with Burnley should be a nice welcoming party for the Spaniard. The Clarets were tough to score on at Turf Moor last year, but they weren't quite as stingy on the road.

Burnley Defense Home Away
Goals Allowed Per Match 1.05 1.84
Shots Allowed Per Match 15.6 19.8
Possession 42.9% 42.5%

Chelsea should control this one, and as long as he's fit to start, Morata is a superb forward play. If Morata doesn't start, you can pivot to his replacement -- likely Michy Batshuayi ($8,500) -- or tap into Manchester City's strikeforce (Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling or Sergio Aguero).


Kevin De Bruyne

FanDuel Price: $10,500

Speaking of Manchester City, the Sky Blues are 1.5-goal favorites, and that makes De Bruyne mighty appealing. With Chelsea's Eden Hazard expected to be sidelined, De Bruyne is the clear top play in midfield.

A year ago, KDB totaled 23.8 FanDuel points per match, registering 6 goals and 18 assists in 33 appearances. He averaged 2.4 shots and 50.1 passes per match.

City -- one of the preseason title favorites -- are on the road at Brighton & Hove Albion, a Premier League newcomer. With Brighton likely to be one of the worst teams in the top flight, it should be smooth sailing for a City side which led the EPL in possession (60.9%) last season while ranking third in both shots (16.7) and goals (1.97) per match.

City should dominate possession, giving De Bruyne a safe floor because of his passing volume, and the upside here is obviously massive thanks to the Citizens' 2.25 implied total.


Lewis Dunk, Brighton

FanDuel Price: $6,500

While City's attackers are in a sweet spot, Brighton's defenders should be just as busy.

If you're craving a high-ceiling option, you could try City's Kyle Walker ($6,000), who has a much better chance of getting on the scoresheet, but with Brighton likely to spend most of the game pinned back in their own end, Dunk offers a really nice floor.

A year ago, playing in England's second tier, Dunk averaged 7.2 clearances, 3.0 interceptions and 1.7 tackles per match -- and he did that while playing against second-division foes. Against City, Dunk should have ample opportunity to rack up defensive actions as Brighton will likely be under siege for 90 minutes.


Jordan Pickford, Everton

FanDuel Price: $5,000

Deciding who to roster at keeper is always a tricky proposition. We want a guy who will be active (saves are 3 points apiece) while also possessing good odds for the all-important clean sheet (10 points).

Some weeks, it's hard to find a goalie who fits both criteria, forcing us to either go with a safer low-upside play (a bad team's goalie going against a top side, meaning we can expect save volume even if he allows a goal or two) or aim for the home run with the chance of striking out (picking a top team's goalie who shouldn't have to make many saves, thus giving him a good chance for a clean sheet, but he could be a landmine if he concedes a goal since his lack of saves gives him a low floor).

Got all that? Good.

Well, this week, we luck out, because Pickford may allow us to have our cake and eat it, too. A summer signing from Sunderland, Pickford played well for the Black Cats last season. He was awfully busy on what was the worst team in the EPL in 2016-17, and he rode the save volume to 16.3 FanDuel points per match, the best mark among keepers on this slate.

Everton won't ask Pickford to make as many saves, but the tradeoff is that he's surrounded by a much better defense, giving him significantly better odds of capturing clean sheets.

Everton are at home this week against Stoke City, a side which scored a mere 17 times in 19 away matches last season. The Potters own the worst implied total of the slate at 0.75 goals. We can fire up Pickford with confidence.