4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 9
The main slate for Matchweek 9 features six Saturday matches, including the top two clubs -- Manchester City and Manchester United -- as well as the three clubs currently in the drop zone.
As with any sport, it is imperative to have your players, especially the high-priced studs, live up to their price tag. When investing in any player, it is important to determine which will likely contribute in FanDuel's emphasized areas (goals, assists, and shots on target). It's also just as crucial not to overspend on players in bad matchups.
We should try to take advantage of the teams -- and players -- who play especially well either home or away, while also looking at Vegas favorites and over/under totals. DFS players, as always, should check out injury reports and confirmed starting XI's when they become available.
Let's take a look at four players across the entire pitch who should be avoided.
Chris Wood, Burnley
FanDuel Price: $7,500
Wood is tied with Bournemouth’s Josh King as the 12th-highest priced forward for Matchweek 9, and he has averaged 18.5 FanDuel points this season.
The Clarets travel to Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City and are a 2.5-goal underdog in Saturday’s match. The Citizens should easily dominate the possession in the match as they have the Premier League’s best possession percentage on their home pitch (65.1%). Meanwhile, the Clarets are the league’s worst squad in that category in away matches, maintaining only 38.5% of the possession.
The Citizens are also one of the best squads at limiting the production of opposing forwards. They have allowed the ninth-fewest chances created (10), fifth-fewest shots on target (6) and fewest shots (12) to forwards while only allowing one goal and two assists.
Burnley will likely try to pack in their back line and hope to catch City on a counter-attack, but the Citizens have proven to have one of the best back lines in the Premier League this season and the Clarets should struggle to find scoring opportunities.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Manchester United
FanDuel Price: $9,000
Mkhitaryan is tied with Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri as the fifth-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 9. He has averaged 21.66 FanDuel points this season but has struggled in four of his previous five matches, averaging 15.3 FanDuel points during that span.
The Red Devils travel to Kirklees Stadium to face Huddersfield and are a 1.5-goal favorite over the Terriers with the over/under of 2.5 goals. The Red Devils maintain 50.4% of the possession away from Old Trafford while the Terriers maintain 49.1% of the possession on their home pitch.
Mkhitaryan has struggled over his last three away matches -- he's averaged 9.8 FanDuel points in those matches -- and will now face a Terriers’ squad that is decent against attacking-midfielders. Huddersfield have allowed the ninth-fewest shots (18), seventh-fewest shots on target (5), fifth-fewest chances created (10), and fourth-fewest crosses (19) to attacking-midfielders this season.
Mkhitaryan is priced just below all the Manchester City midfielders and DFS players will likely want to find the money to spend up in that matchup, making Mkhitaryan a hard player to roster -- especially away from Old Trafford.
Antonio Valencia, Manchester United
FanDuel Price: $6,500
Valencia is tied with three other defenders as the fifth-highest priced defender for Matchweek 9. He has averaged 14.19 FanDuel points this season, which is the second-lowest FanDuel average among the top-20 priced defenders on the slate.
Valencia has only reached 20 FanDuel points once (Matchweek 5 against Everton) and has averaged 12.375 FanDuel points in away matches.
As mentioned above, the Red Devils travel to Kirklees Stadium to face Huddersfield. The Terriers have the lowest implied team total (0.5 goals) and are not a great matchup for opposing defenders. They have allowed 10th-most blocked shots (18), 9th-most tackles (48), 6th-fewest interceptions (38), and 4th-fewest clearances (126) to defenders this season. They have also been extremely stingy against defenders in the attack, allowing the fewest crosses (16), shots (6), and shots on target (1) to defenders.
Valencia has struggled to find consistent involvement in the Red Devils’ attack this season. He now faces a Terriers squad that does not relinquish a high number of defensive actions to defenders, making Valencia the defender to avoid.
Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City
FanDuel Price: $5,500
Schmeichel has averaged 13.41 FanDuel points this season while keeping two clean sheets and racking up 3.25 saves/match -- fourth-most in the Premier League -- in his first eight matches.
The Foxes travel to Liberty Stadium to face Swansea and are a slight favorite over the Swans with the over/under set at 2.5 goals. The Swans average 48.4% of the possession on their home pitch while the Foxes are the Premier League’s second-worst squad in that category in away matches.
The Swans have allowed opposing keepers to make eight saves -- fewest in the Premier League -- while conceding five clean sheets. However, the Swans have scored in their previous two home matches -- three total goals -- against better teams than they’ll face Saturday.
Despite the uneven possession percentages between the two squads, the Swans do not produce a lot of save opportunities to opposing keepers, making Schmeichel’s fantasy value solely dependent on a clean sheet as a slight underdog.