3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 1

With Chelsea and Manchester City in excellent spots on opening weekend, some other options in excellent spots, such as Andros Townsend, should fly under-the-radar

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 six matches.

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

Set those alarms and get the coffee brewing – Premier League mornings are back!

Matchweek 1 is always particularly interesting for large field tournaments because there aren’t any established norms for the season yet. We have a clean slate, and while that can make predicting starting lineups even more infuriating, it also creates opportunities to capitalize on when rosters are released and new players make their debuts.

This six game slate has five home favorites, and a lone road favorite. The one road favorite is Manchester City, who are favored by a goal and a half against recently promoted Brighton. Chelsea are the largest home favorite as goal and a half favorites over Burnley. Behind them are Everton and Southampton, both favored by a goal against Stoke City and Swansea City respectively. Crystal Palace are half a goal favorites over Huddersfield Town, and West Brom are the slightest of favorites in a pick um against Bournemouth.

Four of the matches have an over/under of two and a half, with Chelsea and Manchester City’s matches the only ones with an over / under of three.

Ownership this week should center on the two largest favorites, Manchester City and Chelsea. Manchester City have the afternoon game, but with late swap in place there isn’t as much of a risk in selecting players from the late match as their used to be. Both of these teams have striker situations that are in flux, with Alvaro Morata and Michy Batshuayi in contention for Chelsea, and Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus up top for Manchester City. Whoever gets the start for either team will be heavily owned, but if Chelsea or Manchester City decide to roll out both of their striking options in partnership with one and another, I believe there is an edge to be gained by playing the lower owned option.

In Chelsea’s case that is Batshuayi, as Morata will be sure to attract more ownership in his debut. For Manchester City, Aguero could be the lesser owned of the two, as Premier League fans have seen what Jesus can do, and he comes with a $1,000 savings from Aguero, who is the most expensive forward on the slate.

Whenever there are two large favorites on the same slate, some other favored teams in good positions tend to get overlooked. With that in mind, here are three players to consider for this weekend.

Sandro Ramirez, Everton

FanDuel Salary: $8,500

While all eyes, and ownership, will be on Morata, another Spaniard, Ramirez, will be making his debut for Everton. It's always tricky to predict how a Premier League debut will go for a foreign player. There is certainly a chance it will take Ramirez some time to adjust to his new league and new team, but if others shy away due to those factors, he represents incredible upside at potentially low ownership in a great match up against Stoke.

Other factors leading to lower ownership are his price, which at $8,500 is above numerous forwards on this slate. While $8,500 isn't extremely steep, it might be enough to cause people to avoid a lesser known player, especially when there are cheaper options, such as Manolo Gabbiadini and Joshua King (both at $8,000) who had notable success in the Premier League last season. Also, there is a certain new forward wearing an Everton kit who I'm sure a few people have heard of - Mr. Wayne Rooney.

Ownership aside, one of the main reasons to have confidence in Ramirez overcoming the struggles associated with a debut is his pedigree. He's a former Barcelona youth product turned first team reserve. He scored 15 goals in 61 appearances for Barcelona's B team, as well as 2 goals in 17 appearances for the senior squad. After singing for Malaga in 2016 he went on to net 14 times in 30 appearances, leading Everton to trigger his release clause this summer. He was signed to be the replacement for Lukaku, and that journey starts this weekend.

While Stoke City where middle of the pack in goals allowed on the road last season with 32, Everton were fantastic at home. They scored the fourth most home goals in the league with 42, and while Lukaku was certainly a key part of that, the chances he was provided should now fall to Ramirez. Everton have the fourth highest implied goal total on the slate at 1.72, only .01 behind Southampton, and Ramirez has the 3rd best odds to score of any player not on Chelsea or Manchester City. All of these factors make Ramirez a risk worth taking this weekend in large field tournaments.

Andros Townsend, Crystal Palace

FanDuel Salary: $7,000

In the midfield, Townsend represents great value and potentially low ownership due to his proximity in pricing to some other big names. Yaya Toure and N'Golo Kante are only $500 more, and Fernandinho is the same price at $7,000. For large field tournament I prefer a lesser owned Townsend to all of those options in a plus match up at home against recently promoted Huddersfield Town.

Townsend has proved his fantasy relevance before, and had a ridiculous 13 match run last season without scoring less than 10 FanDuel points. During that streak, he posted point totals of 27.75, 33.25, 39.75 and a ridiculous 48.75. His past results show the rare perfect mix of floor and upside, and this weekend he should have all the chances in the world to showcase his upside. His odds to score are only slightly blow teammate Wilfried Zaha, who should certainly draw more ownership. He also should be splitting corner kicks with Jason Puncheon, adding to his floor.

Huddersfield Town earned their promotion by winning the Championship Playoffs after finishing the season 5th on the table. Of the promoted teams, I think it is fair to say they are the weakest, and while they have brought in numerous singings in the summer window, it remains to be seen if they can hold there own in the Premier League. While they did finish 4th on the away table last season, they did so while allowing more goals than 8 other sides, allowing 32 in in 23 matches. Crystal Palace had their struggles scoring at home last season, netting only 24 times, 5th fewest in the league. Oddly enough, they scored more goals on the road, 26, which was the 8th best in the league. That's an anomaly and I expect them to find more success at home this season, starting with this weekend.

Salomon Rondon, West Bromwich Albion

FanDuel Salary: $7,000

On a slate full of exciting players making their debuts and new singings raring to make an impact, someone as old hat as Rondon might go overlooked -- but disregarding any forward on a home favored side is a mistake, especially at a price of only $7,000.

Rondon ended last season with four double digit FanDuel point performances in a row, while only scoring a goal in three of them. While not scoring isn’t great, it does show that he can reach a double digit floor without a goal. His upside certainly isn’t as high as some of the other options on the slate, but he did have a hat trick last season at home against Swansea. Historically he fares far better at home, with 5 of his 8 goals and his only two assists last season coming at the comfort of The Hawthorns.

The match up against Bournemouth is decent, as the Cherries allowed the third most away goals in the league last season with 38. They brought in Asmir Begovic in the goal to help change that, but it remains to be seen if that will have a major impact. At the very least there should be numerous scoring opportunities available as West Brom have an implied goal total of 1.35, and Rondon has better odds to score than Kevin De Bruyne and Wilfried Zaha. If he does find the back of the net, I would expect him to outscore numerous high owned forwards, providing your lineup with an edge and extra salary to spend up at other positions.

As always, make sure to check lineups as they come out on Saturday morning and adjust accordingly.