3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 21
If you have played daily fantasy sports for a while, you know the importance of being contrarian in large-field tournaments. Recognizing which players are going to be owned by the masses and finding others who you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership can really separate yourself from your opponents.
The same goes for DFS Premier League. Even though the large-field tournaments aren't quite as large as they are for other sports, there is still value in identifying quality under-the-radar plays.
This article will discuss FanDuel's main Saturday slate, which starts at 10:00 a.m. EST and features seven matches.
|Saturday, December 30th|
|Everton at Bournemouth|
|Stoke City at Chelsea
|Burnley at Huddersfield Town|
|Leicester City at Liverpool|
|Brighton & Hove Albion at Newcastle|
|Swansea City at Watford|
|Southampton at Manchester United|
Matchweek 21 features three elite sides -- Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. All three are large home favorites, with Chelsea boasting the largest spread at 2.0 goals over Stoke City. Stoke City at Chelsea also has to largest over/under on the slate (tied with Leicester City at Liverpool) at 3.5 goals. Of the elite sides, Manchester United have the lowest implied goal total at 2.06 goals, and the lowest over/under at 2.5 goals.
The pricing on FanDuel this weekend mirrors the expected outcomes of the matches for Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. Chelsea and Liverpool are the highest-priced options at forward and midfield, while Manchester United offer a discount at both positions. While United are in a slightly worse matchup than the other elite sides, they are still heavy home favorites and may carry reduced ownership given their recent struggles.
In the remaining matches, all of the home teams are favored. Watford, Newcastle, and Huddersfield Town are 0.5-goals favorite, while Bournemouth are slight favorites in a pick 'em against Everton. With seven games on the slate and four matches without an elite side, there are plenty of options to consider for large-field tournaments this weekend.
With that in mind, here are three under-the-radar players to consider for Matchweek 21.
Paul Pogba, Manchester United
FanDuel Salary: $9,500
Paul Pogba will never fly under the radar, at least not in the true sub-10%-owned sense. However, this weekend, he may carry lower ownership than he usually would in this spot, and at reduced ownership and reduced price, Pogba could be a key cog in a tournament-winning lineup. Manchester United's primetime struggles, combined with Liverpool's and Chelsea's current form, could lead the public to overlook the Red Devils in this spot.
Pogba is the single most important outfield player to Manchester United's success. His presence in the midfield is vital to everything United want to accomplish, and his involvement in every facet of United's play benefits him greatly on FanDuel, where he has averaged 27.23 points per match. With his two assists against Arsenal removed, he has averaged 19.35 FanDuel points over his last five matches without a goal or an assist. His floor is impressive, and his involvement in the final third and willingness to take long shots creates an equally impressive ceiling. That ceiling could be on display this weekend against a Southampton side that just surrendered five goals to Tottenham.
With Ryan Bertrand and Credic Soares out injured and Virgil van Dijk off to Liverpool, Southampton are thin at the back. They have just one win in their last 11 matches and have allowed 13 goals across their last six. While Manchester United have drawn two matches in a row, they scored twice in each match and have averaged 2.4 goals per match at home this season. With Southampton on the back foot and United eager to get back to winning ways, this weekend should provide Pogba with every opportunity he needs to finally get back on the scoresheet.
Glenn Murray, Brighton & Hove Albion
FanDuel Salary: $6,500
It is difficult to predict who will start up front for Brighton against Newcastle this weekend, but after Tomer Hemed's two starts and 167 minutes played in the past six days, there is a good chance he is rotated for Murray. Make no mistake about it, Murray is a goal-dependent forward, and he has a scary-low floor. However, he has shown upside this season, with a match of more than 50 FanDuel points and 5 total goals this season. At a price of only $6,500, he allows for the inclusion of other high-priced options from the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United.
On paper, Brighton have been on a terrible run of form. However, the strength of their opponents has created a picture that paints them in a worse light than they deserve. They have two wins in their last six away matches, but three of their losses were to Tottenham (2-0), Chelsea (2-0), and Manchester United (1-0). Six of their last eight matches have been against current top-10 sides, and Newcastle are certainly not in the same class as those teams.
Despite their gutsy 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Wednesday, Newcastle have been a wonderland for opposing strikers, allowing multiple goals to West Ham, Leicester City, West Brom, and Watford in the past 30 days. While they are still an underdog, Brighton have a better chance at success in front of goal than many think, and at a low price and potentially extremely low ownership, Murray could pay off this weekend.
Wayne Rooney, Everton
FanDuel Salary: $9,500
After missing out on the last two matches due to illness, Rooney is considered a game-time decision against Bournemouth this weekend. In addition to having the injury tag on FanDuel, he should also carry lower ownership due to his price. He is the fourth-most expensive forward on the slate, tied with Richarlison, and Rooney will be difficult to fit in alongside other elite options.
At his age, two games off should actually be an advantage for Rooney, as he has been resting while the majority of the other players who will see the field this weekend are on the tail end of the busiest run of fixtures in the entire season. Prior to his illness, Rooney had been on fire with a goal scored in each of his previous three matches. If he continues that form, he could easily outscore a number of more expensive options on the elite sides.
Bournemouth have had a miserable month at the back, allowing 15 goals over their last six matches. While nine of those were to Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United, they still allowed an average of two goals per match to Crystal Palace, West Ham, and Southampton. Everton are currently on a seven-match undefeated streak and are certainly capable of adding to Bournemouth's defensive woes.