4 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 29

Riyad Mahrez is priced alongside Liverpool and Tottenham players who are in a better spot. Who else should we avoid for Matchweek 29?

The main slate for Matchweek 29 features six Saturday matches with two of the top-five clubs in action and both are facing squads that are three or fewer points shy of the drop zone.

Matchweek 29
Saturday, March 3rd
Huddersfield at Tottenham
Stoke at Southampton
Bournemouth at Leicester
West Brom at Watford
West Ham at Swansea
Newcastle at Liverpool

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. 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.


Richarlison, Watford

FanDuel Price: $9,500

With the three highest-priced forwards all in great form and in what should be a great spot on their home pitch, Richarlison -- the fourth highest-priced forward -- may go overlooked. After producing just 8.25 FanDuel points against the Toffees in Matchweek 28 the Brazilian’s price has risen $1,500, and he has reached his season-long average in only 2 of his last 10 matches.

The Hornets are a 0.5-goal favorite over the Baggies and have an implied team total of 1.5 goals. The Baggies have struggled in recent matches away from the Hawthorns, conceding 12 goals in their previous five road fixtures, but it's not a great spot for Watford's forwards.

Richarlison has taken just two shots on target in his last eight matches while averaging 8.28 FanDuel points over that span and now faces a West Brom squad that have played well against the forward position this campaign. They have allowed the sixth-fewest shots (89) and second-fewest shots on target (27) to forwards while allowing the ninth-fewest shots on target (60) to forwards/attacking-midfielders.

Richarlison has lined up as a forward in two of his previous four matches and in nine total matches this season. Even as an attacking-midfielder, Richarlison’s value does not equal his price, and DFS players will most likely want exposure to two of the top-priced players on the slate, meaning Richarlison's price tag makes him a risky option as there are cheaper plays at the forward position who should offer more value.


Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City

FanDuel Price: $10,500

Mahrez is tied with Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen as the second highest-priced midfielder on the slate, and he has averaged 20.71 FanDuel points this season. With ownership likely focused on Liverpool and Tottenham players -- as those matches have the highest over/under -- Mahrez may see a dip in ownership.

Eriksen’s ownership may be high -- although Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah will likely be higher owned -- but he still offers the highest floor and highest ceiling between he and Mahrez.

Stat Mahrez Eriksen
Shots 54 69
Shots on Target 24 28
Crosses 98 165
Chances Created 39 69

Despite the shots and shots on target being relatively even, the Dane is in the top five in the Premier League in both crosses and chances created, and Eriksen has averaged 27.65 FanDuel points over his last five starts while Mahrez has averaged 23.95 FanDuel points in that span, reaching Eriksen’s average once.

Saturday’s slate is going to force DFS players to make tough choices between some of the top players in the world and little advantages may make a huge difference in GPPs and cash games. At the $10,500 price level, Eriksen should offer more value in both formats while Liverpool’s Sadio Mane ($10,000) offers the cheapest price tag for DFS players looking to roster someone on the Reds' front line.


Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool

FanDuel Price: $8,000

While DFS players will likely want to roster Liverpool players, their defenders may not offer the greatest value at their cost. Van Dijk is the top-priced defender on the slate and has averaged 18.36 FanDuel this season while averaging 21.5 FanDuel points in four Premier League matches as a member of the Reds.

The Reds are tied with the Spurs as the largest favorite on the slate and should dominate the possession against Newcastle as the Magpies are the Premier League’s second-worst squad at maintaining possession -- controlling 43.8% of the overall possession. In the reverse fixture -- played at St. James’ Park -- the Reds controlled 68% of the possession and held the Magpies to eight shots.

Van Dijk has taken three shots on target since joining the Reds, but the majority of his fantasy production has come from defensive actions -- mainly clearances. The Magpies are not the best opponent for opposing defenders as they have allowed the ninth-fewest clearances (351), eighth-fewest tackles (83), fourth-fewest interceptions (77) and seventh-most blocked shots to central defenders.

Stat Number Allowed to Defenders in Matchweek 7 Against Liverpool
Tackles 4
Blocked Shots 1
Interceptions 7
Clearances 12

Van Dijk’s price alone may be enough reason for DFS players to fade him on this slate, but when you link that price with Newcastle -- who struggled to concede defensive statistics in the previous match against Liverpool -- and it is hard to find reasons to pay up for van Dijk.


Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City

FanDuel Price: $5,000

Schmeichel is tied with four other keepers as the second highest-priced player at his position, and he is averaging 12.46 FanDuel points per match this season. Schmeichel has been unable to reach his season-long average in three of his last four matches.

Schmeichel is fifth in the Premier League with 84 saves so far this campaign, but he has made fewer than three saves in 11 matches while keeping seven clean sheets, including one in the reverse fixture against the Cherries.

The Cherries have an implied team total of 1.0 goal and have scored in each of their four previous fixtures away from Dean Court, including a shocking three-goal performance against Chelsea. The Cherries have forced the sixth-most saves (89) from opposing keepers this season, but at less than three saves per 90 minutes (2.93), Schmeichel -- if oddsmakers are correct -- may struggle to put up a good fantasy day.

All four of the keepers in the two matches with the highest over/under are priced $5,000 and above, and -- if spending up for keeper is your thing -- all four should offer more value, either in expected saves or clean sheet probability, than Schmeichel does.