4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 14
Midweek matches are upon us, and this article will focus on Wednesday’s main slate on FanDuel. Wednesday’s slate features six matches, with five of the top-seven clubs in action.
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 who 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 oddsmakers favorites and over/under totals. DFS players, as always, should check out injury reports and confirmed starting XIs when they become available.
Let's take a look at four players across the entire pitch who should be avoided.
Roberto Firmino, Liverpool
FanDuel Price: $9,000
Firmino is tied, along with two other forwards, as the fifth-highest priced forward for Matchweek 14, and he has averaged 19.58 FanDuel points this season. Firmino was in good form before being rested in Saturday’s match against Chelsea, averaging 25.91 FanDuel points in his previous three Premier League matches.
Liverpool travels to bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City, and the Reds enter Wednesday’s match as a 1.0-goal favorite over the Potters. Of the four top-six clubs playing on Wednesday’s slate, the Reds are the only squad not playing on their home pitch, and Firmino is the only forward priced $9,000 or above who is playing on the road.
Despite being in the relegation conversation -- three points shy of the drop zone -- the Potters have played decently well against opposing forwards, and they are the second-toughest opponent for the top-priced forwards on the slate. They have allowed the 10th-fewest shots on target (17), 9th-fewest shots (42) and 9th-fewest chances created (18) to opposing forwards this season. Only the Saints have allowed fewer shots (35) to opposing forwards this season.
DFS players will want some exposure to the top-priced forwards on the slate, as they all have perceived good matchups. However, Firmino is the only forward in that category who is not playing on his home pitch, and he is facing one of the tougher opponents that any of the top-priced forwards will face on Wednesday’s slate.
Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea
FanDuel Price: $9,500
Fabregas is tied with two other midfielders as the sixth-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 14, and he has averaged 21.75 FanDuel points this season. Fabregas has been in great form over his previous five matches that he has started, averaging 30.45 FanDuel points in that span while recording all three of his assists this season.
Chelsea hosts Swansea City at Stamford Bridge, and the Blues are a 2.0-goal favorite over the Swans with an implied team total of 2.5 goals. The Blues should be able to dominate possession in the match as they maintain 52.2% of the possession at Stamford Bridge while the Swans average 44.5% of the possession on the road.
Swansea, despite currently being in the drop zone, have only allowed five goals away from Liberty Stadium -- second-fewest in the Premier League -- and have played well against center-midfielders this season. They have allowed the fourth-fewest shots (18) and third-fewest chances created (18) while allowing two goals and zero assists to center-midfielders this season.
Despite his recent good form, Fabregas faces a Swans’ squad that has played surprisingly well -- given their season-long results -- away from Liberty Stadium and has limited the production of center-midfielders this season, making Fabregas a top midfielder to avoid.
Cesar Azpilicueta, Chelsea
FanDuel Price: $6,500
Azpilicueta is tied with 10 other defenders as the fourth-highest priced defender for Matchweek 13, and he has averaged 21.65 FanDuel points this season. Azpilicueta has scored more than 20 FanDuel points seven times this season, although only two of those occurrences have come against squads currently in the bottom-half of the table.
Azpilicueta’s splits against top-half clubs compared to bottom-half clubs are fairly even as the defender has averaged 22.6 FanDuel points against clubs in the top half of the table versus 20.5 FanDuel points against clubs in the bottom half. The difference in Azpilicueta’s splits are when the defender faces clubs in the bottom-five of the table, against whom he is averaging 15.75 FanDuel points in three matches.
As mentioned above, the Blues are a large favorite over Swansea, and the Swans have an implied team total of 0.5 goals. The Swans should struggle to put heavy pressure on the Blues’ attack -- limiting the chances for defensive actions for Chelsea's defenders -- as they have scored only three goals this season away from Liberty Stadium.
There are a lot of defenders listed in the $6,500 price range, including defenders who should face heavy pressure from their opponent, which should give them a higher ceiling than Azpilicueta has.
Simon Mignolet, Liverpool
FanDuel Price: $5,000
Mignolet is tied with five other keepers as the fifth-highest priced keeper on the slate, and he has averaged 9.81 FanDuel points this season. Mignolet is 18th in the Premier League with 23 saves this year, and he has kept four clean sheets this season (all coming at Anfield).
As mentioned with Firmino, the Reds travel to bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City, and the Potters have an implied team total of 1.0 goal.
According to the odds, Stoke City is likely to score at least one goal in Wednesday’s match, an outcome they reached in five of their six home matches. The Potters, however, are not a great opponent for opposing keepers as they do not pepper the net with shots, forcing only 32 saves this season (10th-most in the Premier League).
The Reds have yet to keep a clean sheet away from Anfield, and Mignolet has conceded 16 goals on the road, compared to just 2 on his home pitch. Mignolet’s upside may be limited due to the low number of shots he is likely to face coupled with his squad’s inability to keep a clean sheet in road matches. The other keeper in the match, Lee Grant, should expect a large number of save opportunities as the Reds lead the league in shots per outings, although a clean sheet is unlikely, according to the odds.