3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 4
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.
|Saturday, September 9th|
|West Bromwich Albion at Brighton & Hove Albion|
|Watford at Southampton
|Tottenham at Everton|
|Chelsea at Leicester City|
|Bournemouth at Arsenal|
|Manchester United at Stoke City|
The Premier League returns with an absolute bang after the first international break of the new season. Unlike the previous main slates, this one is full of elite sides in a variety of different matchups. Arsenal are the largest favorites, and the only elite side – sorry, Everton fans – at home. They are favored by 1.5 goals over Bournemouth, despite their horrific start to the season.
The other home favorites are Brighton, who are slight favorites against West Brom, and Southampton, who are 1.0-goal favorites over Watford. Bournemouth at Arsenal has the highest over/under at 3.5 goals, while West Brom at Brighton has the lowest at 2.0 goals. Watford at Southampton is in between those with an over/under of 2.5 goals.
The remaining favorites are all elite sides on the road, with Tottenham as 0.5-goal favorites at Everton, Chelsea as 0.5-goal favorites at Leicester City, and Manchester United as 1.0-goal favorites at Stoke. All three of these games have an over/under of 2.5 goals according to the oddsmakers.
The key to this slate will be navigating the myriad of high-priced options available. Unlike in previous matchweeks where there were limited high-cost players available, this slate has a Vegas-level buffet of high-priced options.
Due to being at home, Arsenal are the clear choice of the elite sides. Their early-season issues and awful transfer window are troubling, but they have the highest implied goal total (2.28), which is almost a full 0.5-goal greater than the next closest side. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but this should be a match they control, and therefore – assuming Wenger starts them – Alexandre Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez are the best bets at the forward position.
Outside of Arsenal, Manchester United appear to be in the best position, with Chelsea and Tottenham facing more difficult opponents than Stoke City. That said, playing on the road at Stoke is always a difficult task, and all three of these sides may have less upside than they usually do. Southampton, on the other hand, have the third-highest implied goal total (tied with Chelsea at 1.69) and come at a massive salary discount to the elite sides.
For large-field-tournaments this weekend, I recommend leaning on Southampton players instead of the elite sides on the road. They come at a discount, are in just as good of a position, and should be slightly overlooked with the star studded options available.
Here are three players to consider for this weekend.
Manolo Gabbiadini, Southampton
FanDuel Salary: $8,500
After his struggles at the end of last season, the public seemed to swear off Gabbiadini. That was a fair reaction, and he hasn’t gotten off to a blazing start this season, scoring one goal in three starts. That said, despite only scoring once, he has taken eight shots and is in a great position this weekend.
While Watford have had a solid start to their season, the one side they played with any kind of attacking acumen – Liverpool – scored three times. Since then, they have held Brighton and Bournemouth scoreless, two teams that have combined for one goal so far this season. Southampton aren’t world beaters, but they have managed three goals in two home matches and should find the net at least once this weekend. Since Gabbiadini tends to rely on service, it would be wise to pair him with Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond, or both. This trio has accounted for two of Southampton’s three goals this season.
From an ownership perspective, Gabbiadini should go overlooked due to the other options around his price. He is $500 more than Jamie Vardy, and has the exact same spot with the current golden boy of Premier League soccer, Marcus Rashford. Gabbiadini should be the lowest owned of the three, despite having better odds to score than Vardy, and only slight worse odds than Rashford.
As a side note, if Charlie Austin gets the start in place of Gabbiadini, feel free to use him as well. He’s $1,500 less than Gabbiadini, which will cause his ownership to be higher, but the spot is still great for him.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton
FanDuel Salary: $6,500
If the assumption of rational management holds true, then Calvert-Lewin will get the start over Sandro at Tottenham. Calvert-Lewin has been electric in his two appearances this season, with 5 shots, 2 assists and 38.25 FanDuel points. Sandro has done essentially nothing, and should be benched in favor of Calvert-Lewin. Assuming that happens, Calvert-Lewin is in the best spot of any underdog this weekend, as Everton have the highest implied goal total of any unfavored side (1.13).
After being the defensive standard for the league last season, Tottenham have gotten off to a slow start, allowing three goals through three matches. Two of those where to Chelsea, but the one against Burnley was inexcusable, especially at home. They appear to be allowing more opportunities to opponents than they did last year, which Everton can take advantage of.
Everton only have two goals this season (both assisted by Calvert-Lewin), but they have had to play Manchester City and Chelsea. Tottenham are certainly in the same class, but in Calvert-Lewin’s one appearance against an elite side, he excelled against Manchester City, creating three chances, drawing two fouls and providing an assist. He doesn’t appear to be phased by difficult competition, and until we see him struggle, there is no reason to think he can’t be a constant source of value.
From an ownership perspective, he could be more popular than Gabbiadini. However, with numerous other well-known forwards in action, I don’t expect his ownership to rise above 15% -- especially with the defensive superiority that the public still associates with Tottenham after last season.
Ryan Bertrand, Southampton
FanDuel Salary: $6,000
Despite the match ending in a draw, the match Southampton most dominated from their first three was against Swansea City. Bertrand got involved in the final third, where he created four chances, had one shot, and drew one foul. The outlook for the match against Watford appears to be similar, and Bertrand should get forward and get involved. He's no Marcos Alonso, but he does have three goals and seven assists over the past two seasons with Southampton.
Starting at left back, Bertrand avoids Jose Holebas and will see more of either Kiko Femenia or Darly Janmaat if he is fit to return. This is good news for Bertrand, as Femenia – despite performing well recently – is far less experienced than Holebas. If Janmaat does return, he will have a tough task in dealing with Bertrand and Nathan Redmond in his return from injury. Either way, this seems like a situation the left side of the Southampton attack can take advantage of.
From an ownership perspective, the flip side to the numerous expensive attacking options available is the salary that people will be looking to save at defender. Bertrand is in a spot at $6,000 where he should be priced out of lineups for people who opted to go with multiple high-priced attacking options. This lowers his ownership, making him accessible to rosters that opted for some lower priced options, such as Gabbiadini and Calvert-Lewin.
As always, make sure to check lineups as they come out on Saturday morning and adjust accordingly.