4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 19
The main slate for Matchweek 19 features seven Saturday matches -- with all of the bottom-five clubs in action -- and the it is capped off with Tottenham facing Burnley, a battle between two top-seven clubs.
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. With Boxing Day right around the corner, DFS players, as always, should check out injury reports and confirmed starting XI's 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.
Laurent Depoitre, Huddersfield Town
FanDuel Price: $8,500
Depoitre is tied with five other players as the seventh-highest priced forward on the slate, and he has averaged 11.42 FanDuel points per match this season. Depoitre has started 11 matches for the Terriers and has scored in each of the previous two matches -- one as a substitute.
Huddersfield travels to St. Mary’s stadium to face Southampton, and the Saints are a 1.0-goal favorite with the over/under stet at 2.5 goals. The Saints should be able to control the possession battle as they are the Premier League’s fifth-best squad at maintaining possession (56.2%) while the Terriers only see 47.8% of the possession in road matches.
Depoitre’s has performed better at home this season than he has on the road. The forward has scored three goals in seven matches while averaging 16.4 FanDuel points as a starter on his home pitch -- compared to his average of 11.45 FanDuel points on the road while scoring once and tallying one assist in those matches.
He is not a forward who is going to produce a large number of shots as he has not taken more than two shots in a match this season and has only recorded two shots on target once. Depoitre has scored more than 12 FanDuel points only once in his eight road matches, and he now faces a difficult task against a good Saints defense, one that has allowed the eighth-fewest goals (8) and third-fewest shots (49) to forwards this season.
Dele Alli, Tottenham
FanDuel Price: $9,500
Alli is tied with two other players as the sixth-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 19, and he has averaged 17.37 FanDuel points this season. Alli has not been in good form recently, reaching his season-long average in just one of his last four appearances in the starting XI while averaging 13.14 FanDuel points across his last seven starts.
The Spurs travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley and are a 1.0-goal favorite over the Clarets. Spurs have an implied team total of 1.75 goals despite the Clarets allowing the fewest goals on their home pitch (3) this season. Tottenham maintain 54.8% of the possession on the road while the Clarets perform much better in that category on their home pitch, averaging 49.1% of the possession at Turf Moor.
The Clarets have not defended the midfield well this season as they have allowed the eight-most shots (116) and fifth-most chances created (107) to midfielders/attacking-midfielders. Alli’s most shots in a match this season (6) came in the Spurs’ first match against Burnley, but that was away from Turf Moor, where the Clarets struggle in possession.
Roster construction may make rostering these players difficult, but if DFS players want to spend in this range at midfield, they should look at the two other players -- Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Stoke City’s Xherdan Shaqiri. Both are in better matchups, with Zaha most likely playing as a forward (with Christian Benteke out) and Shaqiri offering a safe floor.
Nicolas Otamendi, Manchester City
FanDuel Price: $7,000
Otamendi is tied with five other defenders as the top-priced player at his position, and he has averaged 19.76 FanDuel points this season. After averaging 31.58 FanDuel points in Matchweeks 14 through 16 -- scoring two goals in that span -- Otamendi has averaged 10.75 FanDuel points in his last two matches.
Manchester City hosts Bournemouth at Etihad Stadium, and the Citizens are the largest favorite on the slate -- 2.5-goal favorites -- while the Cherries have an implied team total of 0.75 goals.
Otamendi has shown this season that he has huge upside as he is involved in the Citizens’ attack, scoring four goals, but his upside is capped if he doesn't score a goal. He has only scored more 20 FanDuel points three times without the benefit of a goal, and he's done it only once since Matchweek 3. One of those performances came in the reverse fixture against the Cherries, when Otamendi put up 25.25 FanDuel points -- making 6 interceptions -- his highest point total this season when not scoring a goal. But that outing looks like an outlier.
Otamendi has recorded more than two interceptions in only two matches this season, and the Cherries -- despite the reverse fixture -- are just a mediocre opponent for defenders. They have allowed the fifth-most tackles (66), fourth-most interceptions (82), sixth-fewest blocked shots (24) and second-fewest clearances (186) to center-backs this season.
Playing for such a high-powered team, Otamendi offers more goal-scoring upside than most defenders, but the other top-priced defenders are in better matchups -- and most have better floors -- in Matchweek 19 if you're interested in spending up at the position.
Mat Ryan, Brighton and Hove Albion
FanDuel Price: $5,000
Ryan is tied with four other keepers as the fourth-highest priced player at his position, and he is averaging 12.86 FanDuel points this season. Ryan has reached his average in two-straight matches, making 11 saves and picking up one clean sheet in that span.
The Seagulls host Watford at Falmer Stadium, and the match is listed as a pick 'em while both squads have an implied team total of 1.0 goal. Ryan picked up a clean sheet in his previous match against the Hornets in Matchweek 3, but he did not record a save, totaling 11.25 FanDuel points.
The Hornets have forced the second-fewest saves (29) to opposing keepers this season while allowing the sixth-fewest clean sheets (4), which includes being held scoreless just once in road matches.
Ryan will likely face a low number of shots, which keeps his ceiling low, and if he is unable to maintain a clean sheet, he may score under 10 FanDuel points for the seventh time this season. The keeper pricing is always tight, and you should be able to find keepers with both more upside and a safer floor.