Premier League: 4 FanDuel Value Plays for Matchweek 5
There is an added wrinkle in some Premier League managers' decision-making process this week, as Champions League group play started ahead of Matchweek 5. Three teams on Saturday's main FanDuel slate played on Wednesday.
|Saturday, September 16th|
|Leicester City at Huddersfield|
|Burnley at Liverpool|
|Stoke at Newcastle|
|Manchester City at Watford|
|West Ham at West Brom|
|Swansea City at Tottenham|
Prices continue to rise for many of the big stars after last week, which was the most-predictable fantasy week of the season thus far. Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane, who both scored last week, lead the line at $12,000. A total of 19 players are priced at or above $9,000, including two from Newcastle United.
That does not mean there is no value on the board. Let's look at this week's picks that all come in lower than $7,000.
Kelechi Iheanacho ($6,000): After his move to Leicester, Iheanacho struggled with fitness. However, he is set for a bigger role against Huddersfield this weekend. Iheanacho played for the U23 side and scored on Monday after featuring for only 20 minutes thus far for the senior squad.
Iheanacho Scores In Leicester U-23s Win Over West Ham https://t.co/ih9bNFWIJ3 pic.twitter.com/Pgus6BOVi1
â€” Complete Sports (@CompleteSports) September 11, 2017
The Leicester starting XI is a bit unsettled in the front six heading into this weekend. Islam Slimani got a start last week, with Shinji Okazaki struggling to recover from international play. Iheanacho was brought in for the last 12 minutes of last week's match to join Jamie Vardy up top, which could be the set up for the start of the match against Huddersfield.
Leicester's schedule has been brutal to this point, but they have beat one other newly promoted side. Huddersfield have only allowed 2 goals, so Iheanacho will have to work hard to find space and be willing to take a shot from distance.
He is surely frustrated with his start to the season, so it is time to make his mark against a team that is still finding its way in the Premier League. Iheanacho should not lack motivation for his full Leicester debut.
Pedro Obiang ($6,500): This is the second West Ham midfielder featured in this post in five weeks. West Ham have a favorable match up against West Brom, a team they have lost to only twice in the last 13 Premier League games. Also, Manuel Lanzini is still out and Mark Noble may not be 100%. Obiang, who just returned fully last week, will have an increased role.
Obiang scored 42.75 FanDuel points last week, so a repeat performance may be too much to ask. However, he will be a work horse in central midfield going box to box. He tallied 11 defensive actions last week to go with his deflected goal. Expect Obiang to continue that effort on the defensive side of the ball as he added 6 tackles in his only other full match so far this season.
It is still early, but Obiang is one of only three West Ham players ranked over a 7 by WhoScored.com. His defensive stats for West Ham improved last year over his debut season, with his average tackles seeing a drastic increase. It was his defensive work rate at Sampdoria that caught the eye of West Ham. He should continue to be a force against West Brom.
Jamaal Lascelles ($5,500): Another player who scored last week, Lascelles and his Newcastle crew are set to host Stoke. In addition to his goal, the defender added 10 clearances, 3 tackles, 2 interceptions, and a block against Swansea.
A thumping, buccaneering header puts @NUFC in front! Look how high Lascelles jumps! pic.twitter.com/IxxnUq22wX
â€” NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) September 10, 2017
The 23-year-old defender helps make up the youngest average starting XI in the Premier League, but he has played beyond his years. Through four games, Lascelles is averaging 6 clearances to help his FanDuel points per match close in on 18. He has also earned 15 points for passing on FanDuel. He is Newcastle's top-rated player among those that have featured in all four games this season.
Lascelles has also taken a leadership role off the field, helping to end a conflict over the team's bonus structure. His maturation over the last 18 months and partnership with Ciaran Clark has given Newcastle a solid core. Lascelles should be up to the test in front of the home crowd this Saturday.
Nick Pope ($4,000): Burnley will take on Liverpool with a new man between the sticks after Tom Heaton suffered a serious shoulder injury. Pope's price tag is the cheapest of an anticipated starter, and he should be able to rack up points on saves.
Liverpool will be weakened though, as Sadio Mane is suspended. Liverpool also played on Wednesday following a 5-0 loss to Manchester City. They are a team that could be reeling coming into the weekend.
Pope will be a gamble, but he will have a chance to score above his price even if Burnley concede. Burnley have played well despite giving up the most shots per match. They have only allowed 4 goals on the season and sit in seventh place in the table. Liverpool may fire shots, but Pope should be comfortable given his team's effort in front of him.