3 FanDuel Premier League Under-the-Radar Plays for Matchweek 27
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 five matches.
|Saturday, February 10th|
|Watford at West Ham United|
|Burnley at Swansea City
|Crystal Palace at Everton|
|Brighton & Hove Albion at Stoke City|
|Leicester City at Manchester City|
Matchweek 27 is another Manchester City slate. As 2.0-goal favorites at home and the only elite side on the slate, everything starts with City. Unfortunately, they are the late game, which slightly complicates things, especially with David Silva and Leroy Sane expected to miss out due to their injuries. With some uncertainty at the other positions and an excellent matchup against Leicester City, ownership on Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero will be through the roof.
For large-field tournaments, the first decision that needs to be made is how to handle Manchester City exposure. A full fade is ill advised, so the options are pivoting off De Bruyne and Aguero to lesser-owned Manchester City players, or including both of them and looking for lesser-owned players from other matches. It's a difficult decision, but with a lack of elite options elsewhere and three of the four other matches having an over/under of just 2.0 goals, it may be correct to simply roster the highest upside partnership on the slate, despite expected heavy ownership.
Either way, the heavy concentration on Manchester City this weekend makes finding lower-owned players from the remaining matches crucial. In the other four matches, Stoke City are the only favorite, with a 0.5-goal spread against Brighton. The remaining matches are all pick em's with Swansea City hosting Burnley, West Ham United hosting Watford, and Everton hosting Crystal Palace.
With that in mind, here are three under-the-radar players to consider for Matchweek 27.
Joe Allen, Stoke City
FanDuel Salary: $8,000
As the only other favorite, Stoke City will certainly be on people's radar this weekend. Usually, interest in Stoke City centers on Xherdan Shaqiri, and after scoring a goal and producing 35.5 FanDuel points last weekend, that should remain the case. While Shaqiri has the higher floor, Joe Allen is capable of matching his ceiling at much lower ownership.
Since Stoke switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation in late December, Allen's fantasy upside has increased. Prior to the switch in formation against West Brom on December 23rd, he hadn't produced over 30 FanDuel points once all season, despite playing the full 90 minutes in 17 matches. In the four matches he has started as the attacking central mid in Stoke's 4-2-3-1 formation, he has produced FanDuel point totals of 39, 42.25, 39.5, and 11.5. He has 2 goals, 2 assists, 5 chances created, and 18 tackles during this time. If Stoke City opt for a 4-2-3-1 at home against Brighton this weekend, Allen will have an excellent chance to continue his good run of form.
Brighton's 3-1 victory at home over a depleted West Ham side will do little to fix their woes on the road. They are winless in their last six away fixtures, with nine goals conceded, including multiple goals allowed to Huddersfield Town and West Brom. On the road, they maintain 44.4% possession, the fifth lowest in the Premier League, and allow an average of 16.8 shots per match, the third most in the league. Stoke City's home form is far from perfect, with three wins and seven goals scored in their last six matches, however, both of Joe Allen's goals, and two of his four assists have come at the bet365 Stadium. If Brighton sit back and defend, as they tend to do on the road, Allen should have a large number of touches in the final third.
Aaron Cresswell, West Ham United
FanDuel Salary: $5,500
Another player benefiting from a formation change recently is Cresswell. Due to West Ham's numerous injuries and suspensions, Cresswell has been playing as a wingback in a 3-4-2-1 formaton. This has allowed him to send in 15 crosses over his past two matches, creating three chances in the process. With Watford coming off their impressive 4-1 victory over Chelsea on Monday, West Ham player's should see reduced ownership, despite finally getting much-needed rest and playing at home.
Cresswell should be busy on both ends of the pitch, as he will be tasked with defending the side of the field that both Gerard Deulofeu and Daryl Janmaat occupy. Playing in a similar roll as Cresswell, Janmaat has a tendency to bomb forward, which could leave space for Watford to be exposed on the counter attack. Outside of the Manchester City match, Watford at West Ham has the highest over/under of the week at 2.5 goals. West Ham have the second-highest implied goal odds on the slate, and Watford have the highest implied goal odds of any underdog/away side.
After a fast start that saw them win their first three away matches, Watford have struggled heavily on the road. They have five losses and one draw in their last six away matches, and only one of those matches was against an elite side. West Ham's home record hasn't been stellar this season, but they have found consistent success in the final third, only failing to score in two of their 12 home matches so far. With action on both ends of the pitch, Cresswell could be in for a big day at low ownership.
Yohan Cabaye, Crystal Palace
FanDuel Salary: $7,500
The $7,500 salary spot is critical for midfielders this weekend. Along with Cabaye, both Manchester City value midfielders, Bernardo Silva and IIkay Gundogan, are at that price point. While this is an excellent price to pay for a piece of Manchester City's midfield, it is possible that ownership levels will be high, and Cabaye offers similar upside at less ownership. Cabaye has yet to score a goal this season and has only recorded a single assist, but has produced more than 24 FanDuel points eight different times.
His lack of goals isn't due to lack of opportunity, as he has taken 29 shots this season, with nine of those being on goal. His conversion rate is poor, but he is heavily involved in all facets of Crystal Palace's attack and has consistently produced tackles and interceptions. In Palace's last game against Newcastle, Cabaye produced 30.75 FanDuel points, with four chances created and two shots on goal. A key takeaway from that match was Cabaye's roll on corners, a roll that earlier in the season he split with Andros Townsend. However, in the last two matches, he has taken all seven corners for the Eagles, even with Townsend in the starting lineup.
After their miserable defeat to Arsenal at The Emirates last weekend, Everton will be thankful to return home, where they have been much better this season. While they have gotten results at home, they have done so while conceding 17 goals in 13 matches. They also allow an average of 12.8 shots per match to their opponents at home, the fourth most in the Premier League. Crystal Palace aren't expected to dominate this match, but they have scored a goal in each of their last five away matches, and they should keep that streak going this weekend.
Even without a goal or an assist, Cabaye has the ability to outscore both of the Manchester City options who share his salary at much lower ownership.