3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 22
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, January 11th
|Brighton at Everton|
|Southampton at Leicester City|
|Newcastle at Wolves|
|Burnley at Chelsea|
|Norwich at Manchester United|
|Liverpool at Tottenham|
The 22nd main slate of the season features four big-six sides plus Leicester City and is heavy on home favorites. Chelsea is the largest favorite on the slate, with an implied win probability of 78.3% at home against Burnley. Manchester United is close behind, with an implied win probability of 75% at home against Norwich, followed by Wolves, with an implied win probability of 69.7% at home against Newcastle. Leicester City (63%) and Everton (53.5%) round out the home favorites, with Liverpool (60%) the lone road-favorite on Saturday.
This slate is the first one in a while to have no pick ems'. There is a clear favorite in each match, and five of the six favorites have an implied win probability greater than 60%. This is seen in the large discrepancy in implied goals scored between the favorites and the underdogs. The least heavy favorite, Everton, has an implied goal total of 1.70, which is a full .51 goals above Tottenham's implied goal total. It is shaping up to be a slate of the haves and have-nots.
That outlook, combined with the plethora of high-priced options available, should lead to ownership being relatively spread out among the slate's top plays.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider this weekend -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Tammy Abraham, FWD/MID, Chelsea
FanDuel Salary: $20
Abraham should carry the lowest ownership of those at the top end of the salary range. Abraham burst onto the scene early this season, with a stretched of seven goals in three games, but has cooled off recently. He has just one goal in his last six matches and has only scored above 11.9 FanDuel points once during that stretch. Those performances, combined with his high salary, should be enough to keep his ownership down despite an excellent matchup against Burnley.
Chelsea is the largest favorite on the slate, but given the form of Liverpool's strikers, Jamie Vardy ($21), and Marcus Rashford ($22), Abraham's ownership may not reflect that. Burnley has been terrible defensively this season, conceding 34 goals, the fourth-most in the Premier League, with half of those coming in away fixtures. They have lost three in a row, and have conceded multiple goals in back-to-back games to Manchester United and Aston Villa. Chelsea has been inconsistent as of late, but they should get right this weekend.
Abraham offers the opportunity to take advantage of an excellent match up while differentiating a lineup at the highest ends of the salary range, making it less costly to include any popular value plays in large-field tournaments this weekend.
Matt Doherty, DEF, Wolves
FanDuel Salary: $14
A large number of high-priced players in great spots should force most lineups to spend down at defender. At $14, Doherty isn't the most expensive defender on the slate, but he is at a price point that makes him difficult to include in lineups opting for a stars and scrubs approach with multiple high-priced attackers. This should keep his ownership low for an excellent matchup against Newcastle.
Wolves are about to emerge from one of the more difficult stretches of a schedule any team will face this season. Their last five matches have seen them play away against Watford, Liverpool, and Norwich, and home against Manchester City and Tottenham. They've managed to collect eight points from that stretch and now return home to face a struggling Newcastle side. The last time they played a home match they beat Manchester City, three goals to two goals.
Newcastle has allowed nine goals over their last six matches, including five goals over their last two. Wolves should be able to stay on the front foot against them, allowing Doherty to operate in advanced areas on the wing. He's done this to great effect throughout the season, and his two best games of the season came at home against lesser opposition in Watford and Sheffield United. Wolves should find success this weekend, and pairing Doherty with one of their attacking options, who are likely to be decently popular value plays, is a good option for tournaments this weekend.
Youri Tielemans, FWD/MID, Leicester City
FanDuel Salary: $10
Another side that is emerging from a tough stretch is Leicester City. They suffered back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool, but have rebounded with two wins in a row against West Ham and Newcastle. Their struggles against the Premier League's elite, combined with the presence of four big-six sides on the slate, may reduce ownership on their stars and keep their fringe options, like Tielemans, under-the-radar this weekend.
Tielemans started the season on the front foot, with three goals and three 30+ FanDuel point performances from the end of August to October. He hasn't scored since then, but has remained a mainstay in the starting lineup and has played the full 90 in all but three matches. In Leicester's most recent game against Newcastle, he produced 14.9 FanDuel points with two chances created and one shot on goal. Against Southampton, at a price of just $10, Tielemans has an excellent combination of a useable floor and 30+ point upside.
Southampton is enjoying a good run of form, with three wins in their last four matches, including victories over Chelsea and Tottenham. They will be eager to erase the memory of their nine-goal defeat to Leicester earlier this season, but that may be easier said than done. In four away matches against big-six opposition this year, they have allowed six goals, and it's fair to say Leicester will be the best side Southampton has faced since early November. Leicester City's implied goal total of 1.94 goals is the third-highest on the slate behind Manchester United and Chelsea, but above Liverpool.