3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 4
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 seven matches.
|Saturday, August 31st
|Brighton at Manchester City|
|Watford at Newcastle|
|Bournemouth at Leicester City|
|Norwich at West Ham|
|Sheffield United at Chelsea|
|Aston Villa at Crystal Palace|
|Liverpool at Burnley|
Matchweek 4 features three big-six sides in excellent spots. Of them, Manchester City is the largest favorite, with an astounding 93.1% implied win probability at home against Brighton. Far below them is Liverpool, who have an implied win probability of 76.7% on the road against Burnley, and Chelsea, who have an implied win probability of 75.6% at home against recently promoted Sheffield United. These three sides will have a large impact on ownership this weekend, and the first task of roster construction is figuring out how to handle them.
Starting at the top, a dominate Manchester City victory appears to be a sure thing this weekend. Brighton's strong start to the campaign came to a screeching halt with a two-goal defeat to Southampton last weekend (though Brighton played down a man a lot of that match) and now they will face their first elite side of the season in Manchester City. Brighton's possession has improved under Graham Potter, with their mark of 52.4% for the season is the second-highest of the non-big-six sides. On the road, they may opt to slow down the match and emphasize possession to try to keep City off the ball. But at the end of the day, it's Manchester City, and the result is likely inevitable.
Liverpool goes on the road to face a Burnley side that currently sits sixth in the Premier League table. So far this season, the Clarets soundly defeated Southampton, lost by a goal to Arsenal, and a tied Wolves. Overall, they are a decent side and could limit Liverpool's upside on this slate compared to Manchester City's sky-high ceiling. Chelsea got back on track with their first win of the season against Norwich. Their opposition, Sheffield United, has proven competitive against three Premier League regulars so far this season in Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, and Leicester City, but this will be their toughest test to date.
Overall, all three big-six sides are set up to succeed this weekend. Ownership will likely gravitate toward Manchester City and Liverpool, possibly leaving Chelsea under-owned in a good spot at home. With Manchester City's and Liverpool's stars sporting similar salaries, consider fading Liverpool completely and siding with Manchester City at home.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider this weekend -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Sebastien Haller, MID/FWD, West Ham
FanDuel Salary: $18
The presence of numerous high-priced stars in excellent spots should lower ownership on the tier of players directly below them. Haller had a breakthrough performance against Watford last weekend, scoring two goals and producing 47.6 FanDuel points. That performance will keep him from flying completely under the radar, but the other options in his salary range are far more established and should keep his ownership very low. Chelsea youngster Mason Mount ($18), Roberto Firmino ($18), and David Silva ($18) all share the same salary, making it easy to see how Haller could be the odd man out this weekend.
Haller's two-goal performance helped West Ham secure their first win of the campaign, one which started with a five-goal loss to Manchester City and a draw against Brighton. Given Brighton's strong start to the season, that draw doesn't look as terrible now, and West Ham are trending in the right direction for their first home fixture of the season against a non-elite side.
West Ham's opposition, Norwich, has captured the attention of the media due to Teemu Pukki's ($20) insanely hot start to the season. Offensively, Norwich has been strong. Defensively, they have conceded eight goals through three matches, the most in the Premier League. Seven of those came against Liverpool and Chelsea, which has to be taken in to account, but Norwich's defense was a weak spot for them in the Championship last season, as well.
Pukki is not to go overlooked and is well worth consideration again this weekend, even at inflated ownership. If you opt to include him, consider pairing him with Haller to create a unique roster and take advantage of the potential high-scoring nature of this Norwich-West Ham fixture.
Jose Holebas, DEF, Watford
FanDuel Salary: $18
Here we go again. Sitting at the bottom of the table after three weeks, there is little to be excited about for Watford. They are winless on the season despite facing Brighton, Everton, and West Ham and have netted just one goal compared to seven goals conceded.
The good news is, their opposition this weekend, Newcastle, is dealing with injuries to over half their roster and could be missing as many as 11 players this weekend. Newcastle is coming off a shock victory over Tottenham last weekend and should be viewed by the public as favorites in this fixture given Watford's horrific form. In reality, this is projected to be a tight affair, and Newcastle's implied win probability is just 39.2%.
Despite the result, Watford did look slightly improved last weekend, and they got on the scoresheet for the first time. Holebas has scored 14.7 and 15.5 FanDuel points in his last two matches, and his role as the primary corner taker gives his DFS value a boost. Last weekend against West Ham, he created three chances and should be able to match those numbers this weekend against a Newcastle side that is decimated by injuries.
It remains to be seen how Newcastle will approach this match given their situation, but Watford absolutely needs to come away from this fixture with three points to turn their season around and potentially save their manager's job. The season is still young, but this is already the tipping point for Watford. Sitting in 20th on the table and facing the side in 19th while they are dealing with injuries to half their squad, this is pretty much a must-win match for the Hornets.
Watford's impressive performances last season seem like a distant memory now, but the talent is still there. This may be their last chance to show it before significant changes are made.
Wesley, MID/FWD, Aston Villa
FanDuel Salary: $16
The $16 salary range for midfielders and forwards is packed on this slate. Names that stand out include Jamie Vardy ($16), Riyad Mahrez ($16), Wilfried Zaha ($16), James Maddison ($16), Tammy Abraham ($16), Callum Wilson ($16), and two Norwich players off to a hot start in Todd Cantwell ($16) and Emiliano Buendia ($16).
Given those names, it is easy to see why Wesley will go overlooked despite a strong start to his career in the Premier League, one has seen him put a shot on goal in each of his three matches, create three total chances and open his goal-scoring account.
Wesley was a key signing for Aston Villa this summer, coming over from Club Brugge in Belgium after scoring 17 goals and providing 10 assists for them last season. His quality start in the Premier League shows that he is adapting well, and he has played the full 90 minutes in Villa's last two matches. At a salary of $16, he isn't cheap enough to generate ownership due to value, which should keep his ownership at very low levels this weekend.
Crystal Palace's victory over Manchester United last week may be more of an indication of United's weaknesses than Palace's strengths. Before that victory, Palace drew with Everton and lost to Sheffield United. Following their victory over United, Palace could be vulnerable to a let-down against a side they will expect to beat at home. That mindset didn't work for Everton last weekend, and they lost to Villa by two goals.
For rosters that include high-priced studs with expected high ownership from Manchester City, Wesley is a great way to create a unique lineup without forfeiting much in terms of upside.
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