4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 26

Gylfi Sigurdsson has struggled in recent matches, and he faces a tough foe in Arsenal. Which other players should you avoid for Matchweek 26?

The main slate for Matchweek 26 features six Saturday matches with four of the bottom-five clubs in action. The marquee match on the slate sees Everton travel to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal.

Matchweek 26
Saturday, February 3rd
West Ham at Brighton
Stoke at Bournemouth
Huddersfield at Manchester United
Swansea at Leicester
Southampton at West Brom
Everton at Arsenal

As with any DFS 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 since some players may be rested.

Let's take a look at four players across the entire pitch who should be avoided.


Anthony Martial, Manchester United

FanDuel Price: $9,500

After scoring in three straight matches and taking 12 shots in that span, Martial was able to take only two shots -- one on target -- in United’s Matchweek 25 bout against Tottenham. Martial finished with 8.5 FanDuel points.

With Alexis Sanchez now in the mix for the Red Devils and Romelu Lukaku manning the front line, Martial may be the attacker who gets overlooked in fantasy, giving DFS players a low-ownership play with high upside. However, in his previous match against the Terriers, Martial was subbed off at the start of the second half and was unable to record a shot in his 45 minutes.

Martial has been able to place more than one shot on target in only two league matches -- scoring in both -- while placing zero shots on target in six starts this season. The Red Devils have the highest implied total on the slate (2.5 goals) and should bounce back from a woeful day against the Spurs, but Martial may not be the guy to target.

As mentioned above, Martial offers high upside in a potent attack -- scoring over 25 FanDuel points in five matches -- but Lukaku has feasted against clubs in the bottom half of the table this season, and Sanchez is likely to find his form sooner rather than later, all of which could leave Martial as the odd man out. With so many bottom clubs in action on the slate, there seems to be plenty of forwards priced below Martial who could offer great upside while also having a better floor.


Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton

FanDuel Price: $8,000

After being listed as the midfielder to avoid for the midweek matches (Matchweek 25), Sigurdsson produced his highest fantasy output in his last six matches -- 15.25 FanDuel points. With the Icelander’s recent form diminishing, his priced decreased by $500 -- which is likely due to the tougher opponent -- even after tallying an assist.

Assuming he starts (which is no guarantee), Sigurdsson’s -- as well as Everton’s -- time with the ball will likely be limited as the Gunners maintain the second-highest possession percentage on their home pitch (60.2%), while the Toffees struggle in that category on the road (44.5% possession). Arsenal maintained 68% of the possession in the reverse fixture between these two squads, although the Toffees went down a man in the 68th minute in that one.

The Gunners have allowed the seventh-fewest goals on their home pitch and have performed well against forwards/attacking-midfielders this season. They have allowed the fifth-fewest shots (125), fourth-fewest chances created (60), and second-fewest crosses (89) to those positions this season.

DFS players should be able to find midfielders who offer higher upside than Sigurdsson -- both priced higher and lower -- and also midfielders who are in better form than the Everton man.


James Collins, West Ham

FanDuel Price: $6,500

Collins has filled in for an injured Winston Reid over the Hammers’ last three matches and has averaged 14.83 FanDuel points over that span. Reid was not in the 18-man squad for Tuesday’s match against Crystal Palace, and Collins should once again get the start this weekend as they take on Brighton.

The Seagulls are a 0.5-goal favorite over the Hammers and have an implied team total of 1.25 goals. Both squads struggle to maintain possession with the Hammers having the slight edge in overall possession, 46.8% to 46.1%.

The Seagulls are not a great matchup for opposing defenders. They have allowed the eighth-fewest blocked shots (48), eighth-fewest interceptions (130), third-fewest tackles (125) and fewest clearances (351) to defenders this season. The upside for Collins with defensive actions is limited in this matchup, and the Welsh defender is not highly involved in the Hammers’ attack, scoring one goal -- on two shots -- and creating one chance in his eight starts this season.

There are plenty of defenders listed at $6,500 or below who should expect to see a larger number of defensive actions and therefore offer higher upside than Collins.


Lukasz Fabianski, Swansea City

FanDuel Price: $5,500

Fabianski is tied with two other keepers as the highest-priced player at his position, and he is averaging 14.66 FanDuel points this season. Fabianski has been unable to reach his season-long average in six of his last seven matches.

He leads the Premier League in saves, making 96 so far this campaign, and has only made fewer than three saves in six matches. The Foxes have been held scoreless only twice this season at King Power Stadium, and they have scored more than one goal in three straight home matches (and seven times overall).

The Foxes are a 0.5-goal favorite over the Swans and have an implied team total of 1.5 goals. The possession battle should be relatively even as both squads struggle in that category. However, the Swans maintained 56% of the possession -- despite losing the match -- in the reverse fixture between these squads at Liberty Stadium.

Even though the implied total suggests that the Foxes will score, they have not produced many saves from opposing keepers this season, generating the fifth-fewest saves (49). So Fabianski doesn't have great clean-sheet odds nor does he offer much of a floor, making him tough to buy into this weekend.