3 FanDuel Premier League Players to Avoid in Matchweek 3
This article is geared towards FanDuel's main slate, which begins at 10:00 a.m. EST Saturday and features five matches. The slate includes five of last year's top-10 clubs while including just one of the this year's three promoted squads. The final, and most intriguing, match on the slate sees Liverpool host Arsenal, and the Reds are a -195 favorite on FanDuel's Sportsbook, which puts their implied win probability at 66.1%.
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 this is your first time playing EPL DFS this season, 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 three players across the pitch who should be avoided.
Troy Deeney, FWD/MID, West Ham
FanDuel Price: $18
Tied with six other players as the sixth-highest priced player at his position, Deeney has scored fewer than 11 FanDuel points in both matches to start the season while totaling just two shots on target.
The Hornets enter Saturday's match as the favorite, and the match has a 57.3% chance of going over 2.5 goals. Deeney, who has a 34.5% chance of scoring, per FanDuel's Sportsbook, has produced just three total shots all year, including just one on his home pitch against Brighton in the season opener.
Watford is one of two teams (Crystal Palace the other) that has failed to score a goal this season while the Hammers have conceded the most goals (six) and have allowed the third-most shots (30). However, those numbers are a bit deceiving as West Ham faced Manchester City in their first match and allowed 14 shots and five goals, and despite an easier matchup with Brighton in their second match, they were less than full strength -- and those players who missed out are expected to be available this weekend.
At the same price point as Deeney, Anthony Martial has scored in back-to-back matches and is a big home favorite while the players priced at $20 and above have the opportunity to produce a high-ceiling match.
Editor's note: since publication, Deeney has been ruled out with a knee injury.
Wilfried Zaha, FWD/MID, Crystal Palace
FanDuel Price: $18
Zaha returned to the starting XI against Sheffield United after coming off the bench in Matchweek 1, amongst all the transfer rumors. In his two appearances so far this season, Zaha has totaled two shots, failing to place a shot on target, and created one scoring chance.
Crystal Palace are the largest underdogs on the slate, as they currently have implied odds of just 11.8% to beat Manchester United, per FanDuel's Sportsbook, and the Eagles have a 55.8% chance of scoring at least one goal. Zaha leads all Palace players with a 21.3% chance of scoring, something he did only once last season against clubs that finished the campaign inside the top-eight.
The Red Devils have conceded just one goal so far this season -- thanks mostly to David de Gea's performance in Matchweek 1 against Chelsea -- while allowing the ninth-fewest shots over two matches (24). With United being such a heavy favorite, DFS players have the opportunity to roster the top attackers for the Red Devils. The aforementioned Martial is at the same price point, just $2 more is Paul Pogba, who probably offers one of the safest floors this week, and the top-priced player on the slate, Marcus Rashford, is $24 and has one of the top ceilings on the slate.
Shane Duffy, DEF, Brighton & Hove Albion
FanDuel Price: $16
Tied with six other players as the second-highest priced defender on the slate, Duffy has averaged 12.25 FanDuel points through two matches, the lowest average among players listed at or above $16. Duffy's two performances, however, have been polar opposites, as he put up 20.6 FanDuel points in Matchweek 1 against Watford while producing just 3.9 FanDuel points versus the Hammers.
Brighton enters Saturday's match as a slight favorite over Southampton, and the match has a 58.7% chance of going under 2.5 goals, per oddsmakers. The Saints have scored just one goal this season, and they have a 71.4% chance of scoring at least one goal in this one, according to FanDuel's Sportsbook. As the slight favorite, especially on their home pitch, Brighton should be on the front foot, which limits Duffy's floor, and if the Saints do score a goal, Duffy would not get access to the clean-sheet points.
Duffy does offer upside in the attack, mainly off set pieces, but at this price, DFS players may want to instead target Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who should see ample opportunity in the attack, or look at cheaper options so they can afford the top-priced forwards/midfielders.
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.