3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 18
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 6 matches.
|Saturday, December 21st
|Burnley at Bournemouth|
|Crystal Palace at Newcastle|
|Wolves at Norwich|
|Sheffield United at Brighton|
|Southampton at Aston Villa|
|Leicester City at Manchester City|
The 18th main slate of the season is a very interesting one featuring a single big-six side in Manchester City plus Leicester City. Liverpool vs. West Ham was supposed to be on the slate, but the match has been postponed and players from the game will award a zero despite being in the player pool. Outside of two current top-four sides that are squaring off, there isn't a single big-six or current top of the table team on the slate. The other five matches are projected to be close affairs between middle and bottom of the table sides.
Manchester City is the largest favorite on the slate with an implied win probability of 74.4% at home against Leicester City. After that, the team with the next highest implied win probability is Wolves, at 50%. Every other side is in a pick em', creating a slate with numerous similar priced options and few stars in chalk spots.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider this weekend -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Diogo Jota, FWD/MID, Wolves
FanDuel Salary: $13
Jota's teammate, Raul Jimenez ($17), is likely to be popular this week because of his impressive consistency. Jimenez has scored more than 13 FanDuel points in each of his last 10 matches and produced more than 20 FanDuel points in seven of them. Jota will likely go overlooked due to his inconsistency, but his ceiling remains intact, which he recently showed with a 45-FanDuel-point performance against Brighton earlier in the month.
Jimenez's ownership is usually impacted by his elevated price and the elite company it sometimes puts him in with members of big-six sides, but this weekend that isn't the case, and he is one of the better options at the top of the player pool. Jota's salary of $13 would make him a value player on slates from the past, but this week, with limited options at the very top of the salary range, value won't be as necessary as it has been, reducing some of Jota's appeal from a roster-construction standpoint and likely keeping his ownership down.
Wolves have the second-highest implied goal total on the slate at 1.61, behind only Manchester City (2.28 goals). The rest of the sides are relatively close behind them, but their opponent, Norwich, has conceded 35 goals this season, the second-most in the Premier League. Norwich's defensive issues aren't any better at home, where they have conceded 20 goals this season, including 16 over their last six fixtures. Conversely, Wolves has the seventh-most away goals in the Premier League this season, behind only Leicester City and Aston Villa for non-big-six sides. Wolves should have plenty of opportunities on Saturday.
Anwar El Ghazi, FWD/MID, Aston Villa
FanDuel Salary: $14
Despite having just one win and four losses in their last six fixtures, Aston Villa has the third-highest implied goal total on the slate at 1.59 goals. That's the result of a matchup against a Southampton side that has conceded nine goals in their last six matches and hasn't kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since September.
Except for their most recent loss to Sheffield United, Aston Villa has scored in each of their previous six fixtures. Their results haven't been good, but they have consistently found the back of the net. El Ghazi has been a key part of that. He has three goals this season and has been involved in the final third in the vast majority of matches he's played in. He has two chances created in five of his last six matches and has scored at least 20 FanDuel points in five of his 13 starts this season. The goals haven't always been there, but El Ghazi's involvement in the attack means they should be coming. If they come this week, they will likely do so at low ownership.
At a price of $14, El Ghazi shares his salary range with a couple of players who should attract ownership -- mainly Joao Moutinho ($15) and Bernardo Silva ($15). On a slate with only one side projected for more than a single goal, there is less risk in selecting players with longer odds to find the back of the net. El Ghazi fits that profile and is an interesting option as a slight home favorite this weekend.
Rodri, FWD/MID, Manchester City
FanDuel Salary: $13
Similar to how Chelsea was being overestimated by the public nearly a month ago after a string of positive results against lesser opposition, the public is more down on Manchester City and high on Leicester City than their results dictate. Leicester City is in the midst of an impressive season, with just two losses in 17 matches. However, they have yet to face Manchester City, and the Foxes' two losses came against big-six sides in Liverpool and Manchester United. Leicester are a good side, but their outlook in clashes with the elite of the Premier League is likely being overestimated.
Manchester City is having a terrible season, by their standards, and still sit third in the Premier League table, which is only thought of as awful because of how amazing Liverpool has been with their 49 points from 17 fixtures. Manchester City are large favorites at home this weekend over Leicester City in a match that will likely be thought of as closer than it is supposed to be, possibly lowering ownership on Manchester City's fringe players, like Rodri.
At a price of just $13, he makes for a great inclusion in a Manchester City trio with two attackers to anchor tournaments lineups this weekend. Rodri's FanDuel production hasn't been impressive lately, but his consistent involvement on the largest favorite on the slate makes him an option for tournaments this weekend.