SOCCER

4 FanDuel Premier League Studs to Target for Matchweek 1

Harry Kane opens the season with a home matchup versus newly promoted Aston Villa. Should you fork over the big bucks for Tottenham's star man?

As is the case when playing any sport on FanDuel, it’s imperative to hit on high-priced studs, the players in which you’ve made the biggest investment. This is especially true with forwards in soccer. Not only are the top-end forwards expensive, they are the ones most likely to put the ball in the back of the net, and goals are often the difference between winning and losing in DFS.

This article will cover FanDuel's main slate, which begins Saturday at 10:00 a.m. EST and features five matches.

Matchweek 1
Saturday, August 10th
Brighton at Watford
Everton at Crystal Palace
Southampton at Burnley
Sheffield United at Bournemouth
Aston Villa at Tottenham


The EPL DFS season opens with a whimper as just one of the big-six clubs is on the main slate. That team is Spurs, and Tottenham are the slate's biggest favorite, per FanDuel Sportsbook, listed at -360, which implied win odds of 78.3%. Watford (-110) and Bournemouth (-105) are the next biggest favorites.

With this being the first slate, there's still a lot we don't know about expected starting lineups, the fitness levels of players and set-piece roles. Be sure you're up to date with team news as the week progresses.

Let’s take a look at some high-priced players -- all across the pitch -- who, despite costing a good chunk of change, are worth the investment.

Also, it's worth noting that FanDuel has retained the format it used for this past summer's Women's World Cup, which I broke down prior to that event. In short, you now have $100 to assemble your roster, and the forward and midfield spots have been combined into one position. You need to roster four forwards/midfielders, two defenders and one goalie.

Harry Kane, FWD/MID, Tottenham

FanDuel Price: $24

The first decision you have to make on this slate is what you're going to do with Kane, Tottenham's star man. With Spurs a huge home favorite against newly-promoted Aston Villa, this is a smash spot for Kane. But given that he's nearly 25% of your budget and he'll likely be the highest-owned player on the slate, you have to think about fading him, and Spurs offer some other appealing options aside from Kane.

I see both sides of the argument, but I'm not going to fade Kane in this spot. The England international has 125 career goals and 22 assists in 181 EPL appearances, and he finished last year with 17 goals and four assists in 28 appearances. The 2018-19 campaign was a "down" year for him as he'd bagged 30, 29 and 25 league goals in the prior three seasons.

Kane -- who paced the EPL in shots per match last year (3.6) -- will take penalties for Spurs, and against what should be one of the weaker teams in the top flight this season, a Villa side that surrendered 61 goals in 46 Championship matches a year ago, he's got a massive ceiling.

Lucas Moura, FWD/MID, Tottenham

FanDuel Price: $16

Lucas, Tottenham's UCL hero, should get the start with Son Heung-Min suspended. If you're fading Kane, Lucas gets you access to another quality Tottenham attacker, and if you want to load up on Spurs, you can stack Kane and Lucas.

In 2018-19, Lucas netted 10 goals in 25 starts in EPL action, and he scored five times -- three in one half at Ajax -- in eight UCL starts. He didn't tally a single assist last year in either of those two competitions, and he doesn't factor in much on set-pieces. But in a match in which Tottenham should see a ton of the ball, it's perfectly reasonable to go heavy on Spurs best players.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story included the suspended Son as a player to target. We apologize for the error.

Callum Wilson, FWD/MID, Bournemouth

FanDuel Price: $16

Bournemouth are -105 favorites at home against Sheffield United, another promoted side. Outside of Spurs, the Cherries and Watford are the two biggest favorites.

Wilson netted 14 goals with 10 assists in a breakout effort a season ago, being slowed only by some injury issues later in the campaign. He averaged a robust 18.6 FanDuel points per game last year, the fifth-most on the slate.

Bournemouth have some other appealing midfielders/forwards -- namely Ryan Fraser ($16) and Joshua King ($14) -- and a Cherries stack is firmly in play.

Lucas Digne, DEF, Everton

FanDuel Price: $20

Digne checks some boxes as a nice GPP play this weekend. His lofty salary may scare people away, especially those who are trying to stack Spurs, and his matchup -- at Crystal Palace -- isn't all that great. But on a slate that doesn't offer much in the way of attacking full-backs, Digne's ceiling is unmatched at the position.

In 35 appearances in 2018-19, Digne totaled four goals and four assists in EPL play. He finished the campaign as the league leader in crosses (281), and he added 12 clean sheets. What really separates the former Barcelona man from the other defenders on this slate is his free-kick ability. While we don't know for sure who will handle free-kick and corner duties for all teams, we know Digne will be on direct free kicks for the Toffees, and he's really dang good at them. He'll also likely take some corners, giving him additional chances to rack up assists and chances created.

In short, while we'd ideally like to target Digne in a match in which Everton are favored, the lack of appealing high-priced defenders on the slate keeps him in play for those who want to pay up at the position on Saturday. Admittedly, the best route to lineup construction this week may be to drop big bucks at your midfield/forward spots and opt to go cheap at defender with back-line players for Villa and Sheffield United, since those guys should offer respectable floors in matches where they'll likely be tasked with a lot of defending.