4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 16
The main slate for Matchweek 16 features six Saturday matches with none of the top-five clubs in action. There are two matches -- Crystal Palace against Bournemouth and Swansea City against West Brom -- that could have a large impact on the relegation battle.
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. Due to the midweek matches, DFS players, as always, should check out injury reports and confirmed starting XIs when they become available as some players may be rested.
Let's take a look at four players across the entire pitch who should be avoided.
Jamie Vardy, Leicester City
FanDuel Price: $9,500
After being listed as the forward to avoid in Matchweek 15 and producing 5.75 FanDuel points, Vardy’s salary stayed consistent and he is now the second-highest priced forward on the slate, due in large part to the top clubs not being in action.
Leicester City travels to St James’ Park to face Newcastle, and the Magpies enter Saturday’s late match as a slight favorite. Both clubs are in the bottom-five of overall possession this season, and neither shows an advantage in home or away matches.
Vardy has not scored over 20 FanDuel points this season without scoring a goal, averaging 6.47 points in those nine matches compared to an average of 28.45 points in matches where he nets a goal. He has only scored over 10 FanDuel points twice without scoring.
The Magpies have produced middle-of-the-table numbers against forwards this season. They have allowed the 10th-most shots (53) and 9th-most shots on target (21) to forwards this season.
Vardy has not scored a goal in his previous four away matches while recording only 2 shots on target in that span. The Magpies’ defense has performed well at St James’ Park this season, conceding the eighth-fewest goals (8) to opposing clubs this season. Vardy has proven to be a boom-or-bust fantasy option this season and that, combined with his recent road struggles, makes him the forward to avoid for the second-straight week.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke City
FanDuel Price: $8,000
Shaqiri is tied with five other midfielders as the ninth-highest priced player at his position for Matchweek 16, and he is averaging 22.79 FanDuel points this season.
Stoke City travels to Wembley Stadium to face Tottenham, and the Spurs are the largest favorite on the slate. The Spurs are the Premier League’s third-best squad at maintaining possession on their home pitch and should dominate possession against the Potters, as Stoke struggles in that category on the road.
Shaqiri has struggled against top clubs this season, scoring over 15 FanDuel points just once while averaging 12.41 FanDuel points in his six matches against clubs in the top-eight of the table. On the other hand, Shaqiri has feasted against clubs not in the top-eight, averaging 304.43 FanDuel points in eight matches, scoring over 20 points in all but two.
The Spurs have played well this season against forwards/attacking midfielders, allowing the fourth-fewest chances created (33), second-fewest shots (58), and second-fewest shots on target (19) to those positions this season. The Spurs are battling for a spot in Europe and need to earn the full 3 points against an inferior club. They should be able to maintain possession throughout most of the match which should severely limit Shaqiri’s upside.
Ahmed Hegazi, West Bromwich Albion
FanDuel Price: $7,000
Hegazi is tied with two other defenders as the fourth-highest-priced defender for Matchweek 16 and is averaging 18.02 FanDuel points this season. Hegazi has not topped 20 FanDuel points in any away match this season while averaging 15.35 FanDuel points in those seven matches.
West Brom travel to Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City, where the Swans are a slight favorite over the Baggies. The match has the lowest over/under total on the slate -- tied with two other matches -- and both squads have an implied team total of 1 goal.
Both clubs struggle to maintain possession, but the Swans should be able to win that category. The Baggies are the Premier League’s second-worst squad at maintaining possession on the road, while the Swans’ possession increases slightly at Liberty Stadium.
This is a pivotal match for both squads as they are both in the relegation discussion. The Swans, however, are not a great matchup for opposing central defenders. They have allowed the 6th-most tackles (51), 10th-fewest interceptions (50), 8th-fewest clearances (197) and 6th-fewest blocked shots (22) to opposing center-defenders this season. Couple the tough matchup with Hegazi’s low upside on the road, and the defender is a top target to avoid.
Heurelho Gomes, Watford
FanDuel Price: $5,000
Gomes is tied with the keeper on the other side of the pitch -- Burnley’s Nick Pope -- as the top-priced goalie on the slate, and he has averaged 16.48 FanDuel points this season.
The Hornets are a slight favorite over the Clarets, and they should be able to win the possession battle. The Clarets have only been held scoreless once in their last four matches at Turf Moor despite scoring the second-fewest goals on their home pitch this season and have forced the ninth-fewest saves from opposing keepers. The Hornets, on the other hand, have kept three clean sheets on the road this season but only one in their last five matches away from Vicarage Road.
According to the odds, Burnley is likely to score at least one goal in Saturday’s match and Gomes will likely see a low number of shots. If the Clarets find the back of the net at least once, Gomes will have a hard time reaching value and as the top-priced keeper on the slate, Gomes is the keeper to avoid.