4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 21
The main slate for Matchweek 21 features seven Saturday matches, with three of the top-five clubs in action and all three playing on their home pitch.
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 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.
Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United
FanDuel Price: $11,500
Lukaku is the third-highest priced forward on the slate, and he has averaged 21.44 FanDuel points per match this season. Lukaku has scored under 16 FanDuel points in five of his last seven matches, scoring twice and averaging 17.96 FanDuel points in that span.
Manchester United hosts Southampton at Old Trafford, and the Red Devils are a 1.5-goal favorite with the over/under set at 2.5 goals. Both clubs maintain 52.5% of the overall possession with the Saints’ percentage dropping to 48.5% in road matches.
All three of the top-priced forwards -- Roberto Firmino, Alvaro Morata and Romelu Lukaku -- are capable of tournament-winning performances any match but Lukaku seems to be facing the stiffest competition of the three while Firmino, who is averaging 46.5 FanDuel points over his last three matches, and Morata seem to be in smash spots. The Saints have allowed the fifth-fewest shots to forwards (58) this season while Morata and Firmino’s opponents -- Stoke City and Leicester City -- are both in the top-six in that category.
Lukaku was unable to produce a shot on target in his last two matches while only taking nine total shots in his last five matches. Firmino is in great form and is only $1,000 more expensive than Lukaku, and he has scored more points in each of his last three matches than Lukaku has scored in any match since Matchweek 6. If DFS players are looking to spend up at forward they should look at the top-two priced forwards and avoid Lukaku.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea
FanDuel Price: $10,500
Hazard is the third-highest priced midfielder for Matchweek 21, and he has averaged 20.79 FanDuel points in 17 matches this season. After averaging 32.53 FanDuel points in his first eight starts of the season, Hazard’s average has dropped to 15 FanDuel points in his last five starts.
The Blues host Stoke City at Stamford Bridge and are the largest favorite on the slate -- 2-goal favorite -- with an implied team total of 2.5 goals. The Blues should be able to control the possession battle, as they average 55.1% of the possession at Stamford Bridge while the Potters are the Premier League’s seventh-worst squad in that category, maintaining 44.4% of the possession on the road.
Hazard has lined up as a forward in three of his last five matches, while lining up as an attacking-midfielder in the two other matches, taking 12 shots and creating 12 chances. The Potters are a decent matchup for forwards/attacking midfielders -- allowing the 10th-fewest chances created (67) and seventh-most shots (127) -- but like Lukaku, the two highest-priced midfielders -- Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah -- seem to be in a better matchup as the Foxes offer a better matchup for forwards/attacking-midfielders.
Despite being the largest favorite on the slate, the Liverpool attackers seem to be in a better matchup than Hazard -- who has played a full 90 in just two of his last six league matches-- and the Chelsea attacker should be avoided in favor of Coutinho and Salah, or a value midfielder in order to spend up for the top-two priced forwards.
Daryl Janmaat, Watford
FanDuel Price: $7,000
Janmaat is tied with six other defenders as the second-highest priced player at his position, and he has averaged 18.09 FanFuel points through eight matches this season. Janmaat has not reached his average in three straight matches, while averaging 11.5 FanDuel points in that span.
Watford hosts Swansea at Vicarage Road, and the Hornets are a 0.5-goal favorite and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals. Both squads are in the top-11 in overall possession (8th and 11th respectively) with neither squad’s possession changing drastically in home or away matches.
Janmaat has sent in 12 crosses in his last five matches but has created only one chance and has not taken a shot in his previous two matches. The Swans do not offer huge upside for defenders, as they have allowed the most tackles (145), ninth-most interceptions (112), seventh-fewest blocked shots (36) and third-fewest clearances (302) to defenders this season.
Janmaat does not offer huge upside as a defender in a match against a Swans’ squad that does not relinquish a high number of defensive actions to defenders, and if he does not produce on the Hornets’ score sheet he may have a hard time reaching his average.
Lukasz Fabainski, Swansea City
FanDuel Price: $5,500
Fabianski is tied with two other keepers as the second-highest priced player at his position, and he is averaging 15.10 FanDuel points this season. Fabianski has not reached his average in two-straight matches, conceding six goals in that span.
As mentioned above, the Swans face the Hornets at Vicarage Road and the Hornets have an implied team total of 1.5 goals. Fabianski leads all keepers with 80 saves this season while picking up the ninth-most clean sheets (6).
The Hornets have forced the fewest saves (30) to opposing keepers this season while allowing the eighth-fewest clean sheets (5), which includes being held scoreless three times at Vicarage road but Watford have not allowed a clean sheet in their last five home matches.
Fabianski 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 eighth time this season. Fabianski is priced the same as Manchester United’s Daved de Gea who seemingly has higher upside.