3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 7
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 30th|
|Crystal Palace at Manchester United|
|Leicester City at Bournemouth
|Southampton at Stoke City|
|Swansea City at West Ham United|
|Watford at West Brom|
|Manchester City at Chelsea|
Matchweek 7 is a return to the usual number of main slate matches (six), as well as a return to having fewer elite sides in action. Unlike the past two Matchweeks -- which featured numerous elite sides in great spots -- this week only features three elite sides, and two of them are playing each other.
Manchester United are the lone elite side in a great spot. They are the largest favorite on the slate as a 2.0-goal favorite at home against Crystal Palace. This match also boasts the largest over/under on the slate of 3.0 goals. For the other two elite sides, Chelsea hosts Manchester City as home underdogs, with Manchester City slightly favored in a pick 'em match at Stamford Bridge. This match has an over/under of 2.5 goals, which is tied with three other matches for the 2nd-highest on the slate.
Outside of the elite sides, West Brom and West Ham are the largest favorites, both 0.5-goal favorites at home against Watford and Swansea City, respectively. Rounding out the slate are a pair of slight road favorites, with Southampton traveling to Stoke City and Leicester City traveling to Bournemouth. All of these matches have an over/under of 2.5 goals, with the exception of Watford at West Brom, which has the lowest over/under on the slate of 2.0 goals.
As the only elite side in a great spot, ownership should center on Manchester United. After seeing what Manchester City did to Crystal Palace last weekend in a similar spot, there is no reason to assume United will do any different. Coming off a 4-1 victory over CSKA Moscow on Wednesday in the Champions League, they are in fine form and have a massive implied goal total of 2.36 goals. While their implied total is slightly less than Manchester City’s was last week, it is still miles ahead of the next closest side, which is West Ham at 1.62 goals.
Similar to last week, it will be ideal to center lineups on Manchester United options and look to differentiate them elsewhere. Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, and Anthony Martial have the best odds to score on the entire slate, and there is little reason to believe they won’t do so. A combination of one or two of those three and Henrikh Mkhitaryan should provide a solid base for any lineup this weekend.
The high salaries on all of Manchester United’s players will make it difficult to include other players from elite sides. However, with Chelsea and Manchester City squaring off and making their players less desirable, that will be less of an issue. There are eight other sides in close match ups which can be used to find some salary relief and differentiate lineups.
With that in mind, here are three under-the-radar players to consider for Matchweek 7.
Marko Arnautovic, West Ham United
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
It has been a bumpy road for Arnautovic since his arrival at West Ham. He has no goals in four appearances for the Hammers and picked up a red card against Southampton in Matchweek 2. He has started three premier league matches this season, two of which were against Manchester United and Tottenham, and the third was the previously mentioned match on the road against Southampton where he was sent off after only 33 minutes of action. He has yet to start a match in which West Ham are favored, but that could change this weekend if he starts against Swansea City.
Despite his rough start, Arnautovic’s skills and FanDuel point upside remain intact. When he has been on the pitch, he has been heavily involved in the West Ham attack, with 4 shots, 3 chances created and 13 crosses in his three starts this season. With ownership likely to center on one of West Ham’s other summer singings, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Arnautovic should go under owned despite being an attacker on the side with the 2nd-highest implied goal total on the slate.
While West Ham’s struggles to begin the season have been well documented, they have turned things around slightly, with a win, a draw, and a loss in their last three matches, and 4 goals scored over that span. Swansea City, on the other hand, have one draw and two losses in their last three matches, allowing 3 goals over that stretch. This should be a get-right spot for West Ham, and in a match they should control, Arnautovic is likely to get multiple scoring opportunities at depressed levels of ownership.
Shinji Okazaki, Leicester City
FanDuel Salary, $7,500
At the same price and in a similar ownership situation to Arnautovic is Shinji Okazaki. With all eyes sure to be on Leicester City star Jamie Vardy, Okazaki could go under-owned despite his great start to the season. Okazaki has 3 goals in four starts, averaging 22.87 FanDuel points per match over that span. While he is a goal-dependent play, he has better odds to score than his star teammate Riyad Mahrez, and is a terrific leverage play off of Vardy.
Despite being on the road, Leicester City have the 4th-highest implied goal total on the slate, tied with Chelsea at 1.45 goals. Leicester City have been a fun team to watch so far this year from a neutral point of view as they have scored 9 goals, while allowing 12. Bournemouth have the 2nd-highest implied goal total of any underdogs at 1.39 goals, which should lead to an open match and numerous scoring opportunities for both sides.
Bournemouth have been horrendous so far this season, with one win and five losses through six matches. Over that span they have allowed 11 goals, 5 of which came at home. While three of their losses are to Manchester City, Arsenal and Everton, they also lost to West Brom and Watford. Leicester City have yet to win on the road this season, but while they might not get the result they want, they certainly should have plenty of goal scoring opportunities this weekend.
Joshua King, Bournemouth
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
It wasn’t that long ago when Joshua King was at the top of everyone's list when it came to forwards on FanDuel. The arrival of Jermain Defoe combined with King’s slow start to the season has certainly changed that. He should go under-owned playing at home against a Leicester City side that has allowed the 2nd-most goals in the Premier League this season.
After his slow start, King finally got on the score sheet last weekend with a goal against Everton. The first goal of the season can sometime be the most difficult to find, especially after an offseason that placed lofty expectations on King after his breakout season last year. If the 1st goal is a sign of things to come, he could have a field day against Leicester City, who are conceding 18 shots per match. This match should be an open one, with plenty of scoring opportunities on both sides.
As mentioned in Okazaki’s section, Bournemouth have had a terrible start to the season. However, they have scored 3 of their 4 totals goals this season in their last two matches, which provides some hope for a revival in the final third of the pitch. Leicester City are unlikely to do anything to stop the progress Bournemouth have started to make, and King’s upside in this match is as high as numerous other options who will have much higher ownership.