3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 3
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 five matches.
|Saturday, August 24th
|Crystal Palace at Manchester United|
|Southampton at Brighton|
|West Ham at Watford|
|Leicester City at Sheffield United|
|Arsenal at Liverpool|
Matchweek 3 features three big-six sides in Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool -- Arsenal and Liverpool set to square off in the afternoon fixture. Manchester United are the largest favorites on the slate, with an implied win probability of 73.7%, per FanDuel Sportsbook, at home against Crystal Palace. Despite facing Arsenal, Liverpool are the second-largest favorites on the slate with an implied win probability of 66.1%. The remaining three matches are all projected to be tight affairs, with Watford, Leicester City, and Brighton listed as slight favorites. The key to the top end of this slate is determining how much to trust Manchester United and how much to fear Arsenal.
Ownership is likely to the higher on Manchester United than Liverpool. The Red Devils have the easier matchup, and the public still has memories of their four-goal victory over Chelsea dancing in their heads. Since that game, Chelsea has drawn with Leicester at home, and Manchester United has drawn with Wolves away. An away draw to Wolves is an improvement for United, who surrendered all three points in the same fixture last season.
Given Chelsea's struggles, Manchester United's opening-weekend victory seems less impressive now than it did at the time, but their draw against Wolves was a good result in the context of their previous season. They might not be as good as their opening victory led us to believe, but they certainly seem improved and are well worth building around this weekend against Crystal Palace.
Liverpool was the worse side for much of their victory over Southampton last weekend, but some of that can be written off as fatigue from their mid-week European clash with Chelsea. Fully rested and playing at home, they should look much better against Arsenal. The Gunners have earned six points from two matches thus far, topping Newcastle and Burnley. Their narrow win over Newcastle looks far less impressive following the Magpies' two-goal defeat to Norwich last weekend, and this weekend will be Arsenal's first true test of the campaign. Liverpool's stars are worth strong consideration this weekend as they should carry less ownership than Manchester United's.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider this weekend -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Abdoulaye Doucoure, MID/FWD, Watford
FanDuel Salary: $14
If you've sworn off Watford players following two weeks of disappointment, I can't blame you.
That said, this week there is a perfect storm surrounding their appeal for tournaments, and I urge you to consider having some exposure to the Hornets. Coming off two straight losses, ownership is likely to be down on all of Watford's players even though the Hornets have the third-most implied goals on the slate at 1.65. That mark is a full 0.29 goals above the next-closest team, Leicester City, and more than a half-goal above Arsenal.
Neither of Watford's losses this season look any better given more context as Everton drew against a lackluster Crystal Palace side and Brighton did the same against West Ham. However, playing at home against a West Ham side that conceded five goals to Manchester City in their opener, Watford should finally be able to score their first goal of the season with the potential for a couple more.
Despite Watford's struggles, Doucoure has created three chances and averaged just shy of double-digit fantasy points so far this season. Last year, playing in the same system, he was one of the most consistent midfield options on FanDuel and had nine matches with more than 20 FanDuel points. In addition to Watford's struggles, Doucoure's price of $14 makes him slightly difficult to roster alongside studs from Manchester United and Liverpool, which should further depress his ownership.
Coming into the season, the opportunity to roster Watford's players in this situation at low ownership would have been highly desirable. Consider taking the plunge one more time. If Watford finally bounces back, it may be the last time you get them at super low ownership all year.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, DEF, Liverpool
FanDuel Salary: $18
By no means is Alexander-Arnold going to fly under the radar this weekend, but he will likely be slightly under-owned due to his extremely high salary and the wealth of high-end expensive options on the slate. With Marcus Rashford ($24), Mohamed Salah ($22), Sadio Mane ($20), and Paul Pogba ($20) all likely to be popular, expensive defenders should see less ownership as lineups that opt for said stars are forced to pay down at defender to afford them.
Alexander-Arnold has been excellent for Liverpool so far this season. Through two matches, he has created five chances, put one shot on goal and provided one assist. Those results are a continuation of his production from last season, when he produced 20 or more FanDuel points 12 times and fail to produce double-digit FanDuel points in just 2 of his 27 starts. His production is on the same level as that of many midfielders, but his defender tag should keep his ownership at more appealing levels.
In general, this same logic applies to several expensive defenders from Liverpool and Manchester United this weekend. Virgil van Dijk ($16), Harry Maguire ($16), and Aaron Wan-Bissaka ($16) are all excellent options to gain exposure to the two largest favorites on the slate while creating a more unique lineup.
Solly March, MID/FWD, Brighton
FanDuel Salary: $12
Brighton's up-and-down start to the season has mirrored their results over the past two campaigns -- except this time, their better performance came on the road, when historically they have been a far stronger side at home.
Coming off their opening-weekend destruction of Watford on the road, their draw at home against West Ham was a letdown, but the performance was much better than the result indicates. The Seagulls controlled 57.3% of the possession and outshot West Ham, 16-8. Early signs point to Brighton's opening weekend performance as more of a sign of things to come under new manager Graham Potter than a fluke.
With the draw to West Ham masking the positive nature of Brighton's play, it is difficult to tell how the public will view them this weekend going against a Southampton side that performed well against Liverpool. The low salaries of all of Brighton's attacking options -- Leandro Trossard ($14), Glenn Murray ($14), Pascal Gross ($12) -- put all three squarely in play. The same goes for their midfielders -- Davy Propper ($14), and Dale Stephens ($10) -- and their wing-back, Martin Montoya ($10). The low salaries of all of these guys make them perfect options in lineups that opt for studs from Manchester United and Liverpool, which could raise their ownership as a whole.
While all of the names listed above are good choices, March is my preferred pick. Through two matches this season, he has produced FanDuel point totals of 10.4 and 14.9, with two chances created and a shot on goal. He has also played at least 89 minutes in each match, whereas some of the names listed above have been subbed earlier. He has also taken two of Brighton's corners this season and seems likely to split those duties with Gross moving forward.
Don't be afraid to roster multiple options from Brighton's midfield and front line this weekend.
Zack Bussiere is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Zack Bussiere also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zbuss1. 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