4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 25

Romelu Lukaku is facing another top-notch foe, and he is a player to avoid again this week. Which other players should we avoid for Matchweek 25?

The main slate for Matchweek 25 features seven Wednesday matches, with four of the top-five clubs in action, and the marquee match on the slate sees Manchester United travel to Wembley Stadium to face Tottenham.

Matchweek 25
Wednesday, January 31st
Bournemouth at Chelsea
Burnley at Newcastle
Brighton at Southampton
Leicester at Everton
West Brom at Manchester City
Manchester United at Tottenham
Watford at Stoke 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 FA Cup matches over the weekend, 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: $10,000

Lukaku is the fourth-highest priced forward on the slate and has averaged 20.52 FanDuel points this season. The forward has scored fewer than 16 FanDuel points in four of his previous five matches, including a 13-fantasy-point performance in Matchweek 24 against Burnley -- avoiding a truly horrendous day by tallying an assist.

As mentioned in last week’s article, the Belgian attacker has struggled against top-clubs -- scoring just 1 of his 11 goals in those matches -- and he has tallied only four goals away from Old Trafford this season.

Spurs have allowed the fourth-fewest goals on their home pitch, and they have been stout against forwards this season, allowing the third-fewest shots (60) and fewest goals (6) to that position.

The addition of Alexis Sanchez may ultimately help Lukaku find more opportunities in front of goal, but DFS players should wait until that is proven on the pitch, especially against a top club. Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero ($13,000) and Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata ($9,500), if healthy, both seem to be in a better situation to produce a tournament-winning performance as they both face clubs in the bottom-half of the table.


Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton

FanDuel Price: $8,500

Sigurdsson is tied with seven other midfielders as the 10th-highest priced player at his position, and he is averaging 16.97 FanDuel points this season. Sigurdsson has failed to reach that season-long average in five straight matches while averaging 11.1 FanDuel points in that span.

Both squads are in the bottom six of overall possession -- tied at 46.4% -- while the Toffees easily won the possession battle in the previous match between these squads.

In that reverse fixture against the Foxes, Sigurdsson entered the match as a substitute and created one chance and made one clearance in 16 minutes of play. Sigurdsson is tied for 12th in the Premier League with 107 crosses -- an unscored stat on FanDuel unless it leads to a chance -- but has only created three or more chances in a match twice this season, totaling 31 chances created on the season.

The Foxes have proven to be a good opponent against forwards/midfielders/attacking-midfielders this season as they have allowed the ninth-most shots (232), seventh-most crosses (315) and most chances created (199) to that combination of positions this season. However, Sigurdsson’s form -- as well as the Toffees’ form -- has not been at a top level of late and DFS players should wait until that form returns to roster the Icelander. Also, he's not a lock to start with manager Sam Allardyce saying he and Wayne Rooney can't play together.


Harry Maguire, Leicester City

FanDuel Price: $6,500

Maguire is tied with 10 other defenders as the fifth-highest priced player at his position, and he has averaged 17.44 FanDuel points this season. Maguire has been unable to reach that season-long average in three straight matches and hasn't hit that number in five of his last seven matches.

The Foxes are listed as a slight favorite on the moneyline while the match is a pick 'em and the over/under is set at 2.5 goals.

In his previous match against the Toffees, Maguire recorded 16.5 FanDuel points while making 9 clearances. The Toffees are one of the worst matchups for defenders on the slate. They have allowed the sixth-fewest blocked shots (41), sixth-fewest tackles (129), sixth-fewest interceptions (116) and fourth-fewest clearances (372) to defenders this season.

Despite the decent outing against Leicester earlier this season, Maguire has recorded less than 12 FanDuel points seven times this campaign and isn't a safe bet to repeat his previous output versus Everton.


Mat Ryan, Brighton & Hove Albion

FanDuel Price: $5,500

Ryan is tied with two other keepers as the second-highest priced player at his position, and he is averaging 13.23 FanDuel points this season. Ryan has reached his season-long average in seven of his last eight matches.

The Saints have been held scoreless four times this season at St. Mary’s Stadium, but they've been better there lately, scoring at least one goal in six straight matches on their home pitch and in five of their last six outings overall.

The Saints are a 0.5-goal favorite over the Seagulls, and Southampton have an implied team total of 1.25 goals. They should be able to control the possession battle as they maintain 55% of the possession on their home pitch while the Seagulls struggle in that category on the road, maintaining 44.8% of the possession in their travels. Despite the implied total suggesting that the Saints will score, they have not produced many saves from opposing keepers this season, allowing the seventh-fewest saves (56) to that position, so Ryan doesn't have great clean-sheet odds or much of a floor.

This week may one in which DFS players want avoid the top-priced keepers and look for savings at that position. A few keepers $5,000 or below seem to have better odds to pick up a clean sheet or the likely probability of seeing a large number of shots.