3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 26
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 six matches.
|Saturday, February 3rd|
|Swansea City at Leicester City|
|Southampton at West Bromwich Albion
|Stoke City at Bournemouth|
|West Ham United at Brighton & Hove Albion|
|Huddersfield Town at Manchester United|
|Everton at Arsenal|
Matchweek 26 is highlighted by Manchester United and Arsenal -- two elite sides coming off miserable defeats during midweek action. Manchester United are the largest favorites on the slate with a spread of 2.0 goals at home against Huddersfield Town. Arsenal are the next largest favorite at a spread of 1.5 goals at home against Everton. Both of these matches have an over/under of 3.0 goals.
If Manchester United's midweek loss to Tottenham is going to lower their ownership even slightly this weekend, it only adds to their value on this slate. While their display on Wednesday was miserable, hosting Huddersfield Town is a completely different task, and Manchester United should find success at home, where they have the second-best goal differential in the Premier League this season. Arsenal's loss to Swansea is much more troubling, but Everton have allowed 23 goals in 12 away matches this season, the fourth-most in the Premier League. In their five road matches against elite sides this season, the Toffees have been outscored 12-2. Despite their recent losses, don't be scared off either elite side this weekend.
Due to the midweek fixtures and new arrivals, the starting lineups for numerous clubs may look very different this weekend. The more value that presents itself, the higher ownership will be on the only two elite sides on the slate. With Arsenal having the late game and their lineup being difficult to predict due to their recent transfers, Manchester United should carry the bulk of the ownership this weekend.
With that in mind, here are three under-the-radar players to consider for Matchweek 26.
Pascal Gross, Brighton & Hove Albion
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
With double-digit FanDuel points in four of his last five matches, Gross has been heavily involved in the Brighton attack. Usually, involvement in the Brighton attack doesn't mean much. However, this weekend, they are hosting a severely depleted West Ham side, who should struggle to cope with the quick turnaround due to their numerous injuries. While Brighton's 18 goals is tied for the fewest in the Premier League this season, they have been much better at home, scoring 12 goals in 12 home matches.
Gross has found the majority of his success in home fixtures this season, with all four of his goals and three of his five assists coming inside the confines of the Amex. His two highest FanDuel performances came at home against Watford (41 FanDuel points) and West Brom (63.5). Pairing Gross with Glenn Murray, who scored a brace during the reverse fixture in October, makes for a high-upside, low-cost pairing that can slot in next to options from Arsenal and Manchester United.
Despite taking eight points from their last six away fixtures, West Ham have conceded 11 goals over that same stretch. The Hammers have struggled to defend on the road all campaign, allowing 26 goals in 13 away matches, the second-most in the Premier League. They also afford their opponents 14.7 shots per match, tied for third-most in the Premier League. With an injured squad playing their second match in five days, West Ham's road issues should create opportunity for a Brighton squad that have been far better at home than on the road this season.
Marc Albrighton, Leicester City
FanDuel Salary: $7,000
With Riyad Mahrez still AWOL after handing in his transfer request in an effort to force through a move to Manchester City, Marc Albrighton should see an increase in set-piece opportunities. With Mahrez out of the lineup on Wednesday, Albrighton took all five of Leicester City's corners, leading to two chances created and 11.75 FanDuel points on the road against Everton. This weekend, the Foxes are hosting Swansea City, and they may go overlooked due to the Swans' recent victories over Liverpool and Arsenal.
While Swansea City have been impressive since manager Carlos Carvalhal took over in late December, their recent giant killings came at home. On the road, Carvalhal's Swans have a 2-1 win against Watford and a 1-1 draw against Newcastle -- positive results but not dominating performances. Despite Swansea's recent form, Leicester City are still 0.5-goal favorites, and the Foxes have the fourth-highest implied total on the slate at 1.63 goals.
Leicester City's recent home form is terrific as they've grabbed four wins in their last six EPL matches at the King Power Stadium, including a victory over Tottenham and a 2-2 draw with Manchester United. During that span, they scored 10 goals, including a 3 -0 victory over Huddersfield Town and a 2-0 win over Watford. Public perception may push ownership away from the Foxes and make Swansea City the higher-owned of the two teams. With increased involvement in the final third, Albrighton should be able to take advantage of the matchup.
Sofiane Boufal, Southampton
FanDuel Salary: $6,500
This match could be a popular choice for value forwards with both West Brom's Daniel Sturridge ($8,500) and Southampton's Guido Carrillo ($8,000) expected to make their starting debuts this weekend. Boufal should carry lower ownership than both of them, and he offers nice value at only $6,500. Boufal's playing time has been sporadic this season, and he hasn't been handed a start since early January, but with the slight fixture congestion, he could be given a chance this weekend.
Although his starts have been inconsistent, Boufal has made the most of his chances. Over his last five starts, he has averaged 21.95 FanDuel points per start, including a 39-FanDuel-point performance on the road against Tottenham. In addition to his attacking stats, Boufal also registers a decent amount of tackles with an average of 3.2 per match. Southampton-West Brom is projected to be the closest match of the weekend, which should give Boufal the opportunity to generate fantasy points on both ends of the pitch.
Despite only allowing 15 home goals this season, West Brom are tied for last in the home table, level with Watford and Newcastle. Their goal tally may be the result of good fortune as they have the lowest home possession rate in the league at only 42.1%. Southampton average 48.1% possession on the road, and the Saints should be able to control this match.
While Southampton's away form seems atrocious with 6 goals scored and 11 goals conceded in their last six matches, four of those matches were against Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, and Tottenham. In their six away matches against non-elite sides this season, Southampton have scored in all but one of them, and they have outscored those non-top-six foes 6-5. As likely the lowest-owned piece of the Southampton attack, Boufal is an intriguing option for large-field tournaments this weekend.