4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 17
The main slate for Matchweek 17 features seven Wednesday matches -- with four of the top-five clubs in action and all playing a squad currently in the bottom five of the Premier League table.
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.
Harry Kane, Tottenham
FanDuel Price: $13,500
Kane is the top-priced forward on the slate. He is $2,000 more expensive than the next highest-priced player at any position -- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah -- and Tottenham's star man has averaged 30.59 FanDuel points this season. Kane is in spectacular form and fading him may cause gut-wrenching pain, but his price could make fitting other top-priced players -- like Salah, who has scored eight goals in his last six Premier League matches -- nearly impossible.
Spurs host Brighton and Hove Albion at Wembley Stadium and are a 1.5-goal favorite with an implied team total of 2.25 goals. The Spurs will likely dominate the possession battle against a Seagulls squad that has maintained only 45.3% of the possession in road matches.
Despite their possession woes, the Seagulls have performed well away from Falmer Stadium. They have conceded the sixth-fewest goals (nine) in road matches and have performed well on the road against opposing forwards, holding Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette without a goal. In addition to holding three of the best attackers in the Premier League without a goal, Brighton have allowed the sixth-fewest shots (50) and third-fewest shots on target (16) to forwards this season.
Kane may be extremely popular this slate -- rightfully so -- and avoiding him could go awry quickly, but the forward has not produced more than three shots on target in any match this season, and the $13,500 price tag may make roster construction difficult.
Mesut Ozil, Arsenal
FanDuel Price: $9,500
Ozil is tied with three other players as the fifth-highest priced player at his position for Matchweek 17, and he has averaged 23.13 FanDuel points this season.
Arsenal travels to London Stadium to face West Ham, and the Gunners are a 1.0-goal favorite over the Hammers. The Gunners are the Premier League’s second-best squad at maintaining possession in road matches while the Hammers struggle in that category, holding 48.1% of the possession at London Stadium.
The Hammers have not performed well against attacking-midfielders this season, allowing the fourth-most chances created (42), fourth-most goals (5), third-most shots (53) and most assists (11) to the position. However, Ozil has been a different player away from Emirates Stadium, averaging 26.57 FanDuel points in his seven home matches as opposed to 19.12 FanDuel points on the road.
Ozil has sent in 14 more crosses, created 11 more chances and recorded 3 more assists this season on his home pitch compared to his travels, and these struggles are nothing new for Ozil -- he sent in 57 more crosses and created 40 more chances last season at Emirates Stadium than he did on the road.
Ozil has produced more than 18 FanDuel points just once this season on the road, and despite his talent, he should be avoided when he plays away from Emirates Stadium until he corrects this split, especially given the other options in his price range.
Harry Maguire, Leicester City
FanDuel Price: $7,000
Maguire is tied with five other defenders as the top-priced defender for Matchweek 17, and he is averaging 17.56 FanDuel points this season. Maguire has scored 20 or more FanDuel points in just four matches this season and has not reached that mark since Matchweek 9 against Swansea.
Leicester travels to St. Mary’s Stadium to face Southampton, and the Saints are a 0.5-goal favorite over the Foxes. The Saints should be able to win the possession battle as they are the Premier League’s fifth-best squad in that category on their home pitch while the Foxes struggle in that category on the road, posting a 45.5% possession rate that sits 12th in the EPL.
Despite Leicester's inability to maintain possession on the road, Maguire has averaged almost exactly -- 17.78 compared to 17.34 -- the same amount of FanDuel points at King Power Stadium and on the road.
The Saints have been all over the map in relinquishing defensive actions to central defenders this season. They sit in the top five in clearances (230) and blocked shots (33) allowed while hovering in the bottom two in interceptions (36) and tackles (20) given up to central defenders this season. Maguire has averaged a mere 13.78 FanDuel points in his last seven matches and should be avoided until he proves he can offer either a higher ceiling or safer floor.
Jordan Pickford, Everton
FanDuel Price: $5,500
Pickford is the second-highest priced keeper for Matchweek 17, and he has averaged 12.5 FanDuel points this season, the fifth-lowest average among the 10 most expensive keepers on the slate.
Wednesday’s match with Newcastle is listed as a pick 'em, with the Magpies -- who are playing on their home pitch -- installed as a slight favorite. Both squads have an implied team total of 1.25 goals.
Pickford has been unable to keep a clean sheet away from Goodison Park this season and has conceded five more goals at home than on the road. The Magpies, however, have forced the sixth-most saves from opposing keepers this year, but they have scored the sixth-fewest goals on their home pitch, getting blanked in three matches at St. James’ Park this campaign.
If Pickford is able to keep his first road clean sheet of the season, he will likely finish Matchweek 17 as one of the top keepers. However, he has not proven capable of tournament-winning performances on the road -- averaging almost six more fantasy points at Goodison Park -- and Newcastle is expected to score at least one goal (1.25 implied total). As such, Pickford should be avoided in DFS lineups.
Ben Fisher is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.