FanDuel Premier League Value Plays for Matchweek 2
Value plays are often the difference on the FanDuel leaderboard. Many EPL managers are still figuring out their lineups early in the season, so be sure to check the starting lineups about an hour before kickoff.
This article will cover FanDuel's main slate that begins Sunday at 10:00 a.m. EST.
|Saturday, August 17th|
|Bournemouth at Aston Villa|
|Watford at Everton|
|Newcastle at Norwich|
|Liverpool at Southampton|
|West Ham at Brighton|
|Tottenham at Manchester City|
Mohamed Salah ($24) is the most expensive player on the slate, edging out Raheem Sterling ($22), who scored a hat trick last week. Another Liverpool player, Virgil Van Dijk ($18), is the most expensive defender on the slate. Ederson and Jordan Pickford ($16) are both priced at the top of the keeper list.
Let's look at where the value lies in Matchweek 2.
Neal Maupay, Brighton ($12)
Maupay was picked up right before the transfer deadline and was part of a double attacker switch in the first match. Just four minutes into his debut, he capped off an impressive opening week display by Brighton. Brighton have plenty of choices in their attack, and Maupay may need time to get up to full fitness. However, it was Maupay and Florin Andone ($10), the two substitutes, who looked the biggest threat up front last weekend. The 23-year-old French forward scored 25 goals for Brentford last year after netting 12 the season before. He doubled his assist total last year, as well. Maupay's play last week has him as the most likely goal scorer in the match against West Ham, per the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Todd Cantwell, Norwich ($12)
Norwich did not stand much of a chance against Liverpool in their season opener, but Cantwell played well on the big stage. He created three scoring chances and was also fouled three times. Cantwell has developed quickly as he was not a guaranteed starter when Norwich began their preseason preparation. The 21-year-old is an academy graduate and heralded as a starlet. He earned the man of the match award twice last season in the English Championship, contributing just a goal and one assist. Cantwell's pass success rate has been above 80% in his short career, and he contributed four defensive actions last week, as well, showing his work rate on both sides of the ball.
Conor Hourihane, Aston Villa ($10)
Hourihane was the last line of defense before the back line in the opening week and played well in the position despite Villa being on the back foot the entire match. It was his Premier League debut after spending years in the Championship with Villa and Barnsley. He registered four clearances, two interceptions, and three tackles against Tottenham. At 28 years old, he is a bit of a Cinderella story. Over his career, he averages slightly more than five defensive actions per match. Hourihane was also fouled once and created one scoring chance in the opening match. It was a great showing from the Irish midfielder.
Diego Rico, Bournemouth ($10)
Rico was not a guaranteed starter heading into the season, but he performed well, finishing with a touch more than 17 FanDuel points last week. Rico's 2018-19 season ended about a month before Bournemouth's final match due to an ankle injury. The rehabilitation obviously went well as he was immediately inserted into the starting lineup at a left-wing back. The more advanced role means Rico can get involved offensively. Playing in front of Nathan Ake ($16), widely considered Bournemouth's best defender, helps, as well. Villa allowed 38 crosses last week, so Rico should be involved from the wing.
Jack Stephens, Southampton ($10)
Stephens had five clearances in Matchweek 1 against Burnley, but he is about to be under a lot more heat. Norwich completed 35 clearances last week against Liverpool. Clearly, Liverpool are a bigger threat than Burnley, so Stephens should be very active. Stephens averages over four clearances and eight total defensive actions over his career. Even though Southampton are expected to lose, Stephens has value due to the volume of action he should face. Note that Southampton could make changes after their first week showing and bring in Kevin Danso ($8), who would offer even bigger salary savings.
Max Aarons, Norwich ($8)
Aarons was busy on the back line last week, which will be a common refrain for the Norwich back four. Team captain Grant Hanley ($8) took the headlines for all the wrong reasons as his own goal started the team's downfall at Anfield. Aarons was solid from his right-back spot, although it was a cross from that side that led to the own goal. He finished with five clearances and three tackles as the foundation for his 10 total defensive actions. The 19-year-old is playing his second season with the Norwich senior squad, totaling two goals and six assists last year. He proved that he can be involved offensively, but it is now time to prove his worth defensively. Other than interceptions, his major defensive categories in Matchweek 1 were all higher than his average from last season.
Martin Dubravka, Newcastle ($12)
Dubravka finished last year with 95 saves, good for 10th-best in the league. He made only one save last week as the defense played well versus Arsenal. One slip up cost Newcastle the draw against the Gunners. Newcastle had more shots than Arsenal did and allowed only two shots on target during the match despite Arsenal dominating possession. Barring another mental lapse, Newcastle and Dubravka should be up to the challenge posed by Norwich. Under 2.5-goals is a safe bet on FanDuel Sportsbook. Dubravka was the target of some transfer rumors, and his value is at an all-time high after last year's quality campaign. The opening week showed that Newcastle's defense is still a solid unit with Dubravka their clear number-one.
Doug Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Doug Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username aquemini03. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.