4 FanDuel Premier League Studs to Target for Matchweek 19
As is the case when playing any sport on FanDuel, it’s imperative to hit on high-priced studs, the players in which you’ve made the biggest investment. This is especially true with strikers in soccer as goals are often the difference between winning and losing in DFS.
Let’s take a look at some high-priced players -- all across the pitch -- who, despite costing a good chunk of change, are worth the investment.
This article is geared toward FanDuel's main slate, which begins at 10:00 a.m. EST Saturday and features seven matches.
|Saturday, December 23th|
|Tottenham at Burnley|
|West Brom at Stoke|
|Newcastle at West Ham|
|Watford at Brighton|
|Huddersfield at Southampton|
|Crystal Palace at Swansea City|
|Bournemouth at Manchester City|
Well, right away, you need to decide how you're going to approach Manchester City. They are massive 2.5-goal favorites with a 3.25-goal implied total. It's always tempting to load up on City, and that's especially true this week. But they're going to be abundantly popular, which makes for some interesting tactics in tournaments.
You could loap up on City, or do a partial fade and to hope to pick the right guys. For the DGAF out there, you could try a complete fade and hope Bournemouth can keep them in check. Sure, a complete fade is terrifying, but you could gain an enormous advantage in large-field tourneys if you do it and Pep Guardiola's bunch is somehow stymied by the Cherries. Even if you limit your exposure to them, you better pick the right Citizens or your lineup is likely toast.
Elsewhere, Southampton and Tottenham are 1.0-goal favorites, and those are the only other teams aside from City favored by at least a goal.
Boxing Day is Tuesday, December 26th, so all these teams have a quick turnaround. Don't be surprised to see some squad rotation.
Let's get to it.
Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
FanDuel Price: $12,500
With City a commanding 2.5-goal favorite, they could likely get away with heavy squad rotation, and the lineup Guardiola rolls out could dictate how this slate is played by the masses. Whether it's Aguero or Gabriel Jesus ($11,000) up top, City's striker will be in a delightful spot.
Fairly goal-reliant, Aguero has been all over the place recently in terms of fantasy production. He's averaging a sparkling 28.8 FanDuel points per match for the year, but he's been held under 12 fantasy points in three of his last four outings. He scored 35 FanDuel points with a goal in his lone blowup spot in that span, and prior to this cold spell, he'd posted at least 28 FanDuel points in six straight matches, including a three-goal outburst of 85 FanDuel points.
You don't need me to break it down too much, but City should dominate Bournemouth. It's not that the Cherries are a bad side; it's that City is in absolutely pristine form this season, pacing the Premier League in goals (52 in 18 matches), shots per match (18.2), shots on target per match (7.8) and possession (65.5%). They've netted 32 goals in nine home matches, and they've scored 10 goals in their last three matches. They're kinda good.
Something always worth mentioning for Aguero is that he's the team's penalty taker when he's on the pitch. He has 10 goals and 3 assists this season, scoring a goal every 101.4 minutes while averaging a team-best 3.9 shots per game.
If both Aguero and Jesus start, it's really a coin flip between the two of them. Or, if they are both in the lineup, you could forget the coin flip and pivot to Kevin De Bruyne ($12,500), Leroy Sane ($9,000) or Raheem Sterling ($10,500) in midfield.
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace
FanDuel Price: $9,500
All of the sudden, Palace are in 14th place, albeit just two points clear of relegation. Still, it's been an incredible run for Palace, and the return of Zaha has helped the Eagles find their footing.
Zaha has played in only 12 games, but he's scored 4 of the team's 15 goals this season (no other player has more than 2), firing off 2.5 shots per match. The thing with Zaha is that he's pretty much solely reliant on goals for fantasy production. He doesn't have an assist and is averaging a laughably-low 17.5 passes per match. He's only had four outings of at least 16 FanDuel points, and they were the four matches in which he made the net bulge.
Zaha has been in the mood lately, though. He's created seven total chances across his last two games, and he scored a goal with three fouls drawn on his way to a 38.5-FanDuel-point day his last time out at Leicester.
This weekend's matchup with Swansea is mighty appealing. The Swans have given up 14 goals in nine home matches, and they're allowing the fifth-most (14.4) shots per match. They've conceded seven times across their last two matches.
As a plus, Palace striker Christian Benteke is suspended for this match, so that could put even more of the Eagles' goal-scoring burden on Zaha's shoulders.
With Manchester City boasting the three aforementioned stud midfielders and Tottenham's Christian Eriksen ($10,500) and Dele Alli ($9,500) playing as a 1.0-goal favorite, Zaha could fly under the radar a bit this week. But this Palace-Swansea match is one to target, and if Zaha can get a goal, he'll probably be a key piece in a lot of GPP-winning lineups.
Christopher Schindler, Huddersfield
FanDuel Price: $7,000
There are a few high-priced defenders who offer a safe floor this week as Nathan Ake ($7,000) and Ben Mee ($7,000) are playing for sides that should be under siege this weekend -- Bournemouth at City and Burnley at home versus Spurs.
With those guys in such appealing spots, Schindler may go a bit under-owned, but he's low-key in a really nice spot as Huddersfield are 1.0-goal underdogs at Southampton. The Saints have quietly been one of the better attacking teams in the EPL. I say quietly because Southampton haven't been able to deliver much end product, scoring less than a goal per match (17 goals in 18 matches) despite ranking sixth in possession (53.0%) and ninth in shots per game (12.4).
Looking at just home splits, the Saints are eighth in shots per match (14.5) and fifth in possession (56.2%), seeing more of the ball at home than both Manchester United and Chelsea are in their home fixtures.
Huddersfield are a solid defensive side, and they should be busy on the back end in this one. Schindler has averaged 25.0 FanDuel points in his last two away matches (against Arsenal and Everton), and he's scored at least 22 fantasy points in four of six matches overall. He has a high floor, he's in a good spot and he could go under-owned -- all of which make him a nice play this week.
Hugo Lloris, Tottenham
FanDuel Price: $5,000
Tottenham are on the road at Burnley, a side that sits sixth in the table (one spot ahead of Spurs) despite producing just 16 goals in 18 matches, the 15th-most goals in the league.
The Clarets clearly have trouble scoring, but they do average a decent 10.1 shots per match. That gives Lloris some save upside to go with great odds of a clean sheet as Burnley boast a lowly 0.75-goal implied total, tied for the lowest on the slate.
If it's save volume you're after, Burnley's Nick Pope ($6,000) and Bournemouth's Asmir Begovic ($5,500) should be called into action fairly often, although neither has a great shot at a clean sheet.
Austan Kas is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austan Kas also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username akas247. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.