SOCCER

4 FanDuel Premier League Studs to Target for Matchweek 17

As is the case when playing any sport on FanDuel, it’s imperative to hit on high-priced studs, the players in which you’ve made the biggest investment. This is especially true with forwards in soccer. Not only are the top-end forwards expensive, they are the ones most likely to put the ball in the back of the net, and goals are often the difference between winning and losing in DFS.

This article will cover FanDuel's main slate, which begins Saturday at 10:00 a.m. EST and features five matches.

Matchweek 17
Saturday, December 14th
Norwich City at Leicester City
Bournemouth at Chelsea
Aston Villa at Sheffield United
Newcastle United at Burnley
West Ham United at Southampton


This slate revolves around two big home favorites in Chelsea and Leicester City. The Foxes are -450 to win, per FanDuel Sportsbook, while Chelsea are -400. The other three matches feature slight home favorites, with both Southampton and Sheffield United at -115 and Burnley at -105.

Let’s take a look at some high-priced players -- all across the pitch -- who, despite costing a good chunk of change, are worth the investment.

Jamie Vardy, FWD, Leicester City

FanDuel Price: $23

Vardy and Leicester are flying right now, and they have a dream date at home with Norwich City, sitting as a slate-best -450 favorite. The Canaries reside at 19th in the table, have allowed the second-most goals this season (34) and just surrendered two goals piece to Sheffield United and Southampton, sides struggling with scoring for most of the year.

Leicester, meanwhile, have netted 39 goals in 16 EPL matches, though that is skewed by their nine-goal outburst. They have 18 tallies in eight home fixtures and have scored multiple goals in 12 of their last 13 outings across all competitions (with an away match against league-leading Liverpool the lone exception), including nine multi-goal outputs in a row.

Vardy -- the EPL's leading scorer with 16 goals, five more than anyone else -- has been at the forefront of the Foxes' red-hot form, scoring a goal in eight straight EPL games. He's got 11 goals in the eight-match run, and he's even notched two assists in that span, half of his assist total from all of last campaign. Still, Vardy is usually pretty goal dependent in DFS, but that doesn't matter as much when the goals are flowing like they are. Plus, he's helped by his role as penalty taker.

Leicester should cruise this weekend, and Vardy has a great chance to keep his insane run going. Four of the five most likely scorelines, per FanDuel Sportsbook, involve multiple Leicester goals, and Vardy's anytime goal odds of -240 are second-best on the slate. The only concern here is ownership as he'll likely be very popular.

Tammy Abraham, FWD, Chelsea

FanDuel Price: $22

One of the other candidates to be the slate's most owned player is Abraham as Chelsea are -400 favorites, and he's the only player on the slate with better anytime goal odds (-250) than Vardy's.

Abraham has been a smashing success in his first sustained run in the Blues' team, scoring 11 goals with three assists in 14 EPL starts. He's made the net bulge in three of his past five EPL outings, and he scored a goal midweek as Chelsea clinched a spot in the UCL Round of 16.

Bournemouth have been shredded by teams currently in the top four -- giving up three goals apiece to Manchester City, Leicester and Liverpool while also conceding three to Spurs. Per FanDuel Sportsbook, Chelsea are more likely to win this game 3-0 (+800) than they are 1-0 (+900).

Like Vardy, Abraham is prone to low-scoring fantasy days if he doesn't get a goal, but his goal odds in a home matchup against the Cherries are pretty darn nice.

James Ward-Prowse, MID, Southampton

FanDuel Price: $18

While the masses will be all over Chelsea and Leicester, nailing picks from the other three games could be the key to this slate.

Southampton are -115 home favorites versus West Ham. The Hammers shouldn't be terrible given their roster, but they've been shipping goals like crazy lately. They've conceded 14 goals in their past six games, which includes an outlier performance in a clean sheet at Chelsea. Removing that game, it's 14 goals in five, including allowing three goals to both Newcastle and Burnley and a pair of goals to Wolves.

The Saints started slowly this year, but their attack has picked it up of late. They've got at least one goal in seven straight outings across all competitions, including two-goal performances in each of their last two home matches, though those came against Watford and Norwich.

Ward-Prowse and Danny Ings ($20) are the key cogs for Southampton. JWP has four goals and one assist while playing every minute in all 16 league matches so far. What really enhances his DFS stock is his role on penalties and set pieces. He's taken both of the Saints' spot kicks this EPL campaign, cashing one, and he's taken the third-most corners in the league for a side that attempts the seventh-most corners per game. He also handles some free-kick duties, scoring one this year.

It all adds up to Ward-Prowse offering a great floor/ceiling combination. He's posted at least 14.9 FanDuel points in eight straight matches, going for 39-plus twice in that span. He could have another ceiling game on Saturday.

Ricardo Pereira, DEF, Leicester City

FanDuel Price: $15

As good as Pereira was last year for the Foxes, winning the team's Player of the Season as well as being named the Players' Player of the Season, he's been every bit as immense so far this season.

He's already matched last year's goal tally, scoring twice in 16 starts, and he's made 1.0 key pass per game, a tick above last season's clip of 0.9. While the assist total (one) is lacking, Pereira has created five chances across the last three matches and 16 chances for the year, so he's doing his part.

Playing in a Leicester defense that's conceded a mere 10 goals in 16 matches, Pereira pairs his attacking upside with decent clean-sheet odds against Norwich. The two most likely scorelines involve a clean sheet for the Foxes, and he should have plenty of time to get forward against one of the league's worst defenses.

For the year, he's gone for fewer than 13.0 FanDuel points just once, and he has put up at least 18.0 FanDuel points in each of his last eight matches, giving him a pristine floor. He's a great stacking partner with both Vardy and keeper Kasper Schmeichel.