3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 25
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 7 matches.
|Saturday, February 1st|
|Southampton at Liverpool|
|Brighton at West Ham|
|Everton at Watford|
|Aston Villa at Bournemouth|
|Sheffield United at Crystal Palace|
|Norwich at Newcastle|
|Wolves at Manchester United|
The 25th main slate of the season features two big-six sides in Liverpool and Manchester United, but one of those teams is not like the other. Liverpool has an implied win probability of 79.2%, the largest on the slate, at home against Southampton. Manchester United's implied win probability of 45.5% is the third-largest on the slate, behind Liverpool and Bournemouth (47.6%). The remaining four matches are all projected to be tight contests, with no team registering an implied win total greater than 44.4%.
Given their historic form and the tightly-contested nature of the other matches on the slate, Liverpool's players will approach some of the highest levels of ownership of the season this weekend. For good reason, their implied goal total of 2.3 is 0.63 goals above the next team, and they have shown no signs of slowing down. Even coming off a mid-week game against West Ham on Wednesday, fade them at your own risk.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider this weekend -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Allan Saint-Maximin, FWD/MID, Newcastle
FanDuel Salary: $12
Newcastle's implied goal total of 1.47 goals is the third-highest on the slate, behind Liverpool and Bournemouth, and just ahead of West Ham and Manchester United. They have eight goals in their last six home matches, including two against Manchester City and one against Chelsea. Meanwhile, Norwich has struggled on the road recently, allowing 10 goals over their last five matches, including four to Manchester United and two each to Tottenham and Southampton. Neither side in this fixture is likely to be popular, but Newcastle is set up better than most sides on this even slate and should see low ownership.
Saint-Maximin played his first game since early January last Matchweek, producing an assist and one shot while playing the full 90 minutes. Before his injury, he was a staple in Newcastle's starting eleven and should remain there moving forward. Operating on the left side of Newcastle's 5-4-1 formation, Saint-Maximin will see plenty of Norwich's Max Aarons ($9), who tends to get forward, which could leave space behind. At a price of $12, Saint-Maximin offers cheap exposure to a home favorite with the third-highest implied goal total on the slate, and should come at low ownership given the season Newcastle is having.
Anwar El Ghazi, FWD/MID, Aston Villa
FanDuel Salary: $12
Aston Villa and Bournemouth head into the weekend staring down a crucial battle in the race to avoid relegation. Villa has improved recently, but sit just two points clear of 18th position, currently occupied by Bournemouth. Villa has three wins and a draw in their last six matches, good for sixth on the form table across that span. Taking advantage of a defensively weak Bournemouth this weekend would see them take a big step towards avoiding the drop.
Bournemouth mercifully ended one of the worst losing streaks of the season with their three goals to one-goal win over Brighton in their last Premier League match. Before that, they had lost four in a row by a combined score of 10 goals to 0 against an uninspiring list of opponents (Norwich, Watford, West Ham, and Brighton). Villa is certainly as capable of those sides, and are well-positioned to extend Bournemouth's defensive woes this weekend.
Those defensive woes will benefit all of Aston Villa's attacks, and their star frontman Jack Grealish ($17) is likely to be popular. El Ghazi has had opportunity recently, playing the full 90 in his last three matches, but hasn't been able to convert. His role on corners keeps him involved, and despite his struggles, he did have a goal and five shots against Manchester City earlier in the month. Opportunity against a side as prone to conceding goals as Bournemouth is always worth considering.
Troy Deeney, FWD/MID, Watford
FanDuel Salary: $18
Deeney is in an interesting spot this weekend. On one hand, he is one of the hotter strikers in the league at the moment, with 4 goals and 12 chances created across his last five matches. On the other hand, he's priced similarly to Roberto Firmino ($19) and Teemu Pukki ($19), both of whom seem likely to carry higher ownership this weekend. At his salary, Deeney offers the opportunity to pay up for lower ownership in a decent spot against Everton.
Everton is one of the worst away sides in the league this season. They have won just 9 points from 12 away fixtures, and have conceded 22 goals on the road, the third-most in the Premier League. They have only kept a single clean sheet away from home this season, a 0-0 draw against Crystal Palace back in October. Removing the goals they conceded to big-six sides, Everton has still allowed 14 goals in nine away matches. They would present a great opportunity for any striker, let alone one as in form as Deeney.
Watford is undefeated in their last five home matches, with three wins and one draw. They have scored seven goals in their last four home matches, and are well-positioned to extend their unbeaten run against Everton this weekend, with Deeney standing to benefit in the final third.