4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 24
The main slate for Matchweek 24 features seven Saturday matches, with four of the top-seven clubs in action, and the marquee match on the slate sees Manchester United travel to Turf Moor to face Burnley.
|Saturday, January 20th|
|West Brom at Everton|
|Watford at Leicester|
|Bournemouth at West Ham|
|Crystal Palace at Arsenal|
|Manchester United at Burnley|
|Huddersfield at Stoke City|
|Newcastle at Manchester City|
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 some midweek FA Cup matches, DFS players, as always, should check out injury reports and confirmed starting XI's when they become available since 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 second-highest priced forward on the slate and has averaged 20.86 FanDuel points this season. After going through a mini drought, Lukaku has bounced back by scoring a goal in back-to-back matches -- one of those matches being an FA Cup game against Derby.
Lukaku was listed as the forward to avoid for his previous match against Burnley, and the avoidance paid dividends as he produced only one shot (which was off target) while scoring 4.5 FanDuel points.
The Belgian has scored 11 goals in the Premier League this season but only one of those has come against a squad currently in the top-half of the table -- and that lone goal came in a “revenge” match against Everton in mid-September when the Toffees were struggling to find their form.
The Clarets’ have conceded the second-fewest goals (seven) on their home pitch, and despite allowing the third-most shots to forwards this season, they have only allowed seven goals -- fourth-fewest -- to that position.
Lukaku is always capable of producing a tournament-winning performance, but Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero ($12,000) is only $500 more and is in a much better situation at home against a Newcastle squad that is just three points shy of the drop zone.
Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City
FanDuel Price: $8,500
Ndidi is tied with five other midfielders as the 13th-highest priced player at his position, and he is averaging 18.38 FanDuel points this season. Ndidi has reached his average in only two of his last six matches, including a 19.5-fantasy-point performance in his previous match against Watford.
Both squads struggle to maintain possession as the Foxes see 46.4% of the possession at King Power Stadium while the Hornets average 48.5% of the possession on the road.
In the previous match against the Hornets, Ndidi made five clearances and four tackles while playing in a defensive-midfield role. The Foxes have run a 4-2-3-1 formation just four times this season, and Ndidi will likely play in his normal center-midfield position on Saturday, although he is still not highly involved in the Foxes’ attack.
Despite allowing the fourth-most clearances (143) to midfielders, the Hornets have not allowed a large number of the other defensive actions to opposing midfielders this season. They have allowed the ninth-fewest blocked shots (20), fifth-fewest tackles (178) and fourth-fewest interceptions (92) to that position.
Ndidi -- especially at his price -- generally offers a decent floor as he has scored fewer than 10 FanDuel points in just three matches this season, but his ceiling for tournaments will likely be low against the Hornets.
Pablo Zabaleta, West Ham
FanDuel Price: $6,500
Zabaleta is tied with eight other defenders as the fourth-highest priced player at his position and has averaged 16.91 FanDuel points this season. Zabaleta has lined up as a midfielder in 12 matches this season -- including his last six matches -- while lining up as a defender in 10 matches.
The Hammers are a 0.5-goal favorite over the Cherries with the over/under set at 2.5 goals. Based upon their season averages, the possession battle should be relatively even. With that said, the Cherries maintained 57% of the possession in the previous match between these two squads.
In that previous match, Zabaleta lined up as a midfielder and produced his second-worst FanDuel performance -- 5.75 FanDuel points -- of the season. That's been a trend for Zabaleta as he's been much more fantasy friendly as a defender.
Tackles are the only area in which Zabaleta has produced better as a midfielder than he has as part of the back line, and he is not greatly involved in the Hammers’ attack, taking zero shots this season.
Ben Foster, West Brom
FanDuel Price: $5,500
Foster is tied with six other keepers as the fifth-highest priced player at his position, and he is averaging 10.58 FanDuel points this season, the lowest average among the keepers listed at $5,000 or above.
The Toffees have been held scoreless four times this season at Goodison Park -- including their last two home matches -- but all four matches have come against squads currently in top-seven of the table. Everton have averaged 2.4 goals per match at Goodison Park against squads currently in the bottom-half of the table.
Both squads are in the bottom five of overall possession while the Baggies won the possession battle in the previous match between these squads. The over/under is set at 2.0 goals, and the Toffees have an implied team total of 1.25 goals. Despite the implied total suggesting that the Toffees will score, they have not produced many saves from opposing keepers this season, allowing the third-fewest saves (40) to that position, so Foster doesn't have great clean-sheet odds or much of a floor.
The four top-priced keepers this week -- all just $500 more -- seem to be in good matchups, and if you need to pay down at keeper, there are other good options outside of Foster.