3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 36
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, April 28th|
|Brighton at Burnley|
|Leicester City at Crystal Palace
|Everton at Huddersfield|
|West Bromwich Albion at Newcastle|
|Bournemouth at Southampton|
|Chelsea at Swansea City|
Matchweek 36 features one elite side, Chelsea, who are the largest favorites on the slate with a spread of 1.0 goal on the road against Swansea City. The largest spread on the slate being only a single goal indicates that this will be a tightly-contested slate. As is always the case when a single team is likely to draw heavy ownership, the first question is how to handle them. At an implied goal total of 1.8 goals, Chelsea are only slightly above Southampton, and only 0.2 goals above both Newcastle and Crystal Palace. In this situation, it is well worth considering a full fade of the Blues.
Outside of Chelsea, in the remaining five matches, the home team is a slight favorite in every match. Burnley, Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Southampton are all 0.5-goal favorites, while Huddersfield are slight moneyline favorites in a pick'em. With the exception of Swansea and West Brom, every side on the slate has an implied goal total greater than one goal and less than two goals.
With so many sides projected to have similar goals scored, ownership should be relatively spread out.
With that in mind, here are three under-the-radar players to consider for Matchweek 36.
Ayoze Perez, Newcastle
FanDuel Salary: $10,000
When West Brom travel to Newcastle this weekend, narrative mode will be in full effect. West Brom have everything to play for and need a victory to kick the relegation can a little further down the road. Newcastle have already secured their place in the Premier League for next season and have nothing left to play for. On the surface, West Brom could be a cheap, low-owned option with some appeal, but targeting Newcastle's in form striker, Ayoze Perez, makes more sense.
West Brom certainly have more to play for, but they have only three wins in their last 33 Premier League matches, while Newcastle have won their last four home matches. In those four home matches, they defeated both Arsenal and Manchester United and outscored their opposition by a combined score of 7-1. Perez was at the heart of two of those home victories, scoring against both Arsenal and Huddersfield. He has three goals in his last four matches, averaging 33.0 FanDuel points per match over that stretch.
Setting aside West Brom's recent shock victory over Manchester United, they have been miserable on the road, allowing 10 goals in their previous five matches and scoring only 3. While the narrative makes for a good story, the soccer that these two teams are playing favors Newcastle, and they should be able to continue their excellent run of form at home this weekend.
Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
FanDuel Salary: $9,500
Due to their recent form and low salaries, multiple Crystal Palace players may be popular options this weekend as they look to secure their place in the Premier League next season. Similar to Newcastle, Leicester City have nothing left to play for, and while they have played like it recently, Mahrez is capable of exceptional FanDuel performances regardless of how the Foxes perform as a team.
He has two chances created in each of his last three matches, and he has averaged 29.25 FanDuel points per match over his last five outings. At a salary of $9,500 -- the same as Chelsea's Willian -- and going against a potentially popular Crystal Palace side, Mahrez could go overlooked this weekend.
All season, Leicester City have been below average defensively on the road, allowing 28 goals in 17 games, but they've been well above average away from home in the final third, scoring 27 goals, the sixth-most in the Premier League. They have a tendency to be involved in high-scoring matches due to their defensive struggles and the individual brilliance of Jamie Vardy and Mahrez. For that reason, stacking Mahrez with someone on Crystal Palace, such as Wilfried Zaha, could make for a high-upside, lower-owned pairing, despite their negative correlation.
Ryan Bertrand, Southampton
FanDuel Salary: $5,500
As strange as it sounds, Southampton are the second-largest favorites on the slate, and they are in a virtual tie with Chelsea in terms of implied goals. Since their match against Arsenal at the start of April, Southampton have been favoring a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Bertrand moving out of defense and into a midfield role on the left. Since that switch, he has 5 chances created, 19 crosses and 1 assist.
Both Southampton and Bournemouth come into this match in miserable form, with only a single victory for either side in their last six matches. Southampton will be eager for a result to close the four-point gap to safety between them and Swansea City, who host Chelsea. Bournemouth are securely in the middle of the table and have been playing like it for the past month. While West Brom's escape from the drop is a pipe dream at this point, Southampton have a realistic chance at surviving and need to secure three points this weekend to do so.
Despite their results, Southampton have actually been a decent side at home this season. In home fixtures, they have the seventh-most possession (54.7%) and average the ninth-most shots per game (13.5). Despite that they have produced only 18 goals, tied for the third-fewest in the Premier League, highlighting their failures in the final third.
Bournemouth allow 15.8 shots per game on the road, the seventh-most in the league, giving the Saints a good shot to do some damage. If they do, Bertrand should be involved on the left, as Southampton's back three gives him chances to get forward and contribute on both ends of the pitch.