3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 5

With heavyweights Tottenham, Manchester City, and Liverpool all in action, Stoke City's Xherdan Shaqiri could 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 5
Saturday, September 16th
Burnley at Liverpool
Manchester City at Watford
West Ham United at West Bromwich Albion
Leicester City at Huddersfield
Stoke City at Newcastle
Swansea City at Tottenham

Matchweek 5 is a tale of two types of matches. Half have an over/under of 3.0 goals and feature heavily favored elite sides, while the other half have an over/under of 2.5 goals and feature evenly matched, middle of the table sides.

Of the elite sides, Tottenham are the largest favorite, at a massive spread of 2.0 goals at home against Swansea. Right behind them are Liverpool, favored by 1.5 goals at home against Burnley, and Manchester City favored by 1.5 goals on the road against Watford.

In the evenly contested matches, Newcastle, West Brom, and Leicester City are all 0.5 goal favorites against, respectively, Stoke City, West Ham United and Huddersfield Town. Newcastle and West Brom are home favorites, while Leicester City travels to Huddersfield.

Similar to last week, there are multiple elite sides in action, providing a number of a high priced options in favorable spots. Of them, no spot is more favorable than Tottenham’s. Coming off a mid-week bashing of an impressive Dortmund squad, Tottenham are massive favorites at home against Swansea City. It seems like the dream spot to load up on Spurs options, but for large field tournaments, I would recommend going with one of the other elite sides for your high cost players.

Yes, Tottenham are in great form -- and Harry Kane found his shooting boots -- but ownership on Spurs will be through the roof. Masked by Tottenham’s great spot is the fact that Liverpool and Manchester City are in equally good spots and should command less ownership. Liverpool, who had the worst Champions League showing of the trio with their 2-2 tie against Sevilla and should be the lesser-owned of the trio.

Tottenham’s implied goal total of 2.33 is only slightly higher than Liverpool and Manchester City’s implied goal total of 2.24, and all three should have a plethora of offensive opportunities this weekend. Building a core of Liverpool players and then finding value from the remaining, more evenly contested matches should yield a roster that has the same upside as one that includes Tottenham stars, but at less ownership.

With that in mind, here are three players to consider for this weekend.

Mohamed Salah, Liverpool

FanDuel Salary: $10,500

Salah’s individual skills and upside are apparent. He has 2 goals and an assist in four Premier League matches this season, resulting in FanDuel point totals of 21, 15.25, 53.75 and 9. He also scored Liverpool’s second goal in the Champions League on Wednesday. Despite battling an illness, he should heavily feature this weekend for Liverpool.

The match up against Burnley is a good one. Last season, they were horrific on the road, managing only 7 points in 19 matches. This season on the road, they have gotten off to an excellent start with a win over Chelsea on opening weekend and a gutsy 1-1 draw against Tottenham.

However, they lost star goalie Tom Heaton to a shoulder injury he suffered in Burnley’s victory over Crystal Palace last weekend. Nick Pope will take over the keeper duties, and while he did have impressive performances in last season’s FA Cup, playing Liverpool at Anfield is an entirely different task. All of these factors further raise Salah's already sky high upside.

Jay Rodriguez, West Bromwich Albion

FanDuel Salary, $7,500

Ownership could evenly spread around forwards on the six sides facing an elite side, among them Jay Rodriguez, Javier Hernandez, Steve Mounie, Jamie Vardy, Joselu and, Jese. Of these options, Rodriguez’s combination of price and upside are the most appealing.

Since his transfer from Southampton, Rodriguez has been enjoying consistent starts and full matches at West Brom. While he has only scored once in those four games, he has taken 8 shots, and is averaging 16 FanDuel points per match over that span. Of those four matches, two have been at home, and he produced FanDuel point totals of 20.5 (without a goal) and 27.5 (with a goal).

West Ham have had a nightmare start to their season, losing their first three matches by a combined score of 10-2, before stopping the bleeding with a win against Huddersfield last weekend. West Brom have scored exactly 1 goal in each of their four matches this season -- to that end, Rodriguez has better odds to score than the previously listed Joselu and Jese.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke City

FanDuel Salary: $7,000

Of the underdogs on this slate, Stoke City have the second highest implied goal total at 1.16 goals, and they are playing a recently promoted side in Newcastle. Newcastle have turned things around after their first two losses, but their 3-0 drubbing of West Ham looks less impressive given how terrible West Ham have been. And a 1-0 victory over Swansea doesn’t inspire confidence the way Watford’s results have.

While Stoke City’s five points in four matches doesn’t seem impressive on the surface, they earned four of those points with a victory over Arsenal and the previously mentioned draw against Manchester United. Outside of that they have an opening weekend loss to Everton and a draw on the road to West Brom. And after a slow start, Shaqiri is a huge part of the reason why. He has impressive FanDuel point totals of 29.5 and 30.5 in this last two matches without a goal, and registered an assist against Manchester United last week.

With Arnautovic gone to West Ham, Shaqiri has assumed full dead ball responsibilities for Stoke, and has taken 16 of their 18 corners this season. The opportunity is there for Shaqiri to do what Sigurdsson did for Swansea last season in terms of FanDuel points. It’s still early in the season, but if his last two matches are any indication, he is well on his way.