3 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 2
This article is geared towards FanDuel's main slate, which begins at 10:00 a.m. EST Saturday and features six matches. The slate includes three of last year's top-four clubs while including two of the this year's three promoted squads. The final, and most intriguing, match on the slate sees Manchester City host Tottenham, and the Citizens are a -280 favorite on FanDuel's Sportsbook, which puts their implied win probability at 73.7%.
|Saturday, August 17th|
|West Ham at Brighton|
|Liverpool at Southampton|
|Watford at Everton|
|Bournemouth at Aston Villa|
|Newcastle at Norwich City|
|Tottenham at Manchester City|
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. With the campaign just gearing up, DFS players, as always, should check out injury reports and confirmed starting XI's when they become available since some starting XIs may not be as expected.
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.
If you missed last week, one major change from the end of the last campaign is that FanDuel has continued with the format it used for the Women's World Cup this past summer, which our Austan Kas broke down prior to that event. The major changes come in the salary allocation as well as the combining of the forward and midfield positions.
Let's take a look at four players across the pitch who should be avoided.
Harry Kane, FWD/MID, Tottenham
FanDuel Price: $22
Tied with Raheem Sterling as the second-highest priced player on the slate, Kane scored two goals, on eight shots, while totaling 47.3 FanDuel points in the Spurs’ season opener against Aston Villa. In his two matches against City last season (including one Champions League fixture), Kane was held to three shots, with one on target, while averaging 6.6 FanDuel points over those two matches.
Easily the best match on the slate, the Spurs enter Saturday’s match as a large underdog, but it should be entertaining for DFS purposes as the match has a 66% chance of going over 2.5 goals. Kane’s anytime goal scoring odds, per FanDuel’s Sportsbook, sit at 35.1%, which is the fifth-highest goal-scoring percent in the match, behind all Manchester City Players.
As most players do against top-clubs, Kane has struggled recently against Manchester City (in Premier and Champions League data), as he has not scored a goal against the Citizens since the 2015-2016 season while notching just one assist -- in the 2016-2017 season -- against City.
Another extremely goal dependent option at this position, Barnes scored more than 12 FanDuel points in just two of his 16 starts in which he did not net a goal. Over that 16-match span, Barnes scored eight or fewer FanDuel points in 12 matches, and he totaled 30 shots on target in 37 appearances (26 starts) last season. At the same price point, Sterling may see more scoring options, while Mohamed Salah is just $2 more and faces a Saints squad that conceded three against Burnley in Matchweek 1.
Teemu Pukki, FWD/MID, Norwich City
FanDuel Price: $18
After leading the Championship with 29 goals last season, Pukki scored in his first match in the Premier League this season, totaling three shots, as he sneaked between two Liverpool defenders and scored in the 64th minute -- well after the match was out of hand.
The Canaries enter their first home match of the season with a 43.5% chance of beating Newcastle, per Fanduel’s Sportsbook, and the match has a 52.8% chance of going under 2.5 goals. Norwich have an 81.1% chance of scoring at least one goal while Pukki has a 44.4% chance of scoring in the match.
In their opening match of the season last week, Norwich only produced 12 shots with five on target against The Reds, who will likely be one of the top-four clubs in the Premier League this season. Now facing Newcastle, who could be near the bottom of the table this season (along with Norwich), the Canaries’ attack should have more opportunities than they did last week. However, the Magpies allowed the fifth-fewest number of shots (eight) in Matchweek 1, despite facing Arsenal, and their back-line could limit Pukki’s goal-scoring opportunities.
Nathan Ake, DEF, Bournemouth
FanDuel Price: $16
Tied with eight other defenders as the second-highest priced defender on the slate, Ake produced 13.8 FanDuel points in Matchweek 1 against Sheffield United. Aston Villa enters Saturday’s match as the favorite, and the match has a 53.7% chance of going over 2.5 goals.
In their first match, albeit against a much better squad in Tottenham, VIlla produced in the bottom half in all defensive statistics, producing in the bottom-two in clearances and interceptions. With an 82.1% chance of scoring at least one goal, Aston Villa will undoubtedly possess the ball more against the Cherries than they did against the Spurs, but the pressure on the back-line may not be continuous, which ultimately limits Ake’s upside in the defense.
Ake is always capable of scoring off a set-piece, but with two clubs that will likely struggle this season, Ake should be avoided in favor of cheaper defenders in better spots.
Ben Fisher is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ben Fisher also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Gvsubrickwall. 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.