SOCCER

4 FanDuel Premier League Studs to Target for Matchweek 23

Kevin De Bruyne is playing at a world-class level this season, and he should have another big fantasy day at home against Crystal Palace. Who else is worth paying up for?

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 seven matches.

Matchweek 23
Saturday, January 18th
Aston Villa at Brighton
Crystal Palace at Manchester City
Everton at West Ham
Bournemouth at Norwich City
Sheffield United at Arsenal
Wolves at Southampton
Chelsea at Newcastle United


This slate revolves around Manchester City. They are monster -1000 favorites, per FanDuel Sportsbook, to win at home against Crystal Palace. Outside of City, the slate's other favorites are Chelsea (-195), Brighton (-165) and Arsenal (-125).

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.

Kevin De Bruyne, MID, Manchester City

FanDuel Price: $22

The first thing you need to do for this slate is decide how you're going to handle Manchester City. The biggest favorites on the slate by a massive margin, City are -1000 to win their home date with Crystal Palace. The most likely scoreline, per FanDuel Sportsbook, is a 3-0 City win (+550), and a 5-0 City triumph is only +1400.

With City in a spot this good, a full fade is terrifying, especially on a slate with no other team at even -200 to win. This is a spot where, unless you're super high on one of the other teams on this slate, you're going to have to swallow some chalk and stack Pep Guardiola's side.

De Bruyne is having a special campaign. In 21 EPL appearances (20 starts), he's tallied seven goals and 14 assists. To put his 14 assists into context, Palace have just 19 goals all season, and no other EPL player has more than eight assists. Three teams have fewer than 14 assists.

In short, De Bruyne is a top-class midfielder who is in what might be the best form of his career.

KDB's ability to create chances -- aided by his corner and set-piece duties -- gives him a great floor in DFS, and his knack for scoring goals makes him a high-upside option. His recent game log illustrates both his sturdy floor and big-time ceiling. In his last 10 matches, the Belgian has gone for at least 20 FanDuel points eight times, surpassing the 45.0-point mark on three occasions.

City are going to dominate the ball versus Palace. De Bruyne should create a few chances, and his anytime goal odds of +120 aren't too shabby, even if they are just the fifth-best on Manchester City.

Sergio Agüero, FWD, Manchester City

FanDuel Price: $23

The City player with the best anytime goal odds is Agüero, who FanDuel Sportsbook has at -290 to score, which is a number you just don't see often.

Agüero had been struggling with injury and form until his last match, a game in which he netted a hat trick along with an assist in City's 6-1 thrashing of Aston Villa. That was just his second league goal since November 3rd. For the season, Agüero has scored 13 goals with three assists in only 12 league starts, and he takes penalties, raising his floor and ceiling.

Assuming he starts over Gabriel Jesus ($21), Agüero is likely to see a ton of ownership. That means you need to at least consider fading him, but as his 84.3-FanDuel-point outing at Villa reminded us, the Argentine has slate-breaking upside every time he takes the pitch. A De Bruyne-Agüero stack is pricey, but the upside is through the roof.

If Jesus starts, he'd also be one of the slate's top options. We won't touch on any other Manchester City players, but Riyad Mahrez ($19), Raheem Sterling ($18) and David Silva ($17) are great high-end plays, as well.

Nicolas Pépé, FWD, Arsenal

FanDuel Price: $17

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suspended, Pépé and Alexandre Lacazette ($18) become more appealing for Arsenal. Between the two, I'll side with Pépé due to his free-kick prowess as well as the fact he's the lone Gunner other than Auba to take a penalty kick this season.

After a big-money move from Lille, Pépé has just three goals and three assists in 12 starts (19 appearances). But like everyone else on Arsenal, he's experiencing the new-manager bump under Mikel Arteta, and he put forth a super display at home versus Manchester United two matches ago, scoring a goal and creating four chances on his way to 34.6 FanDuel points, his second-best DFS output of the season.

The matchup could be better as Sheffield United have conceded only 21 goals in 22 matches, the second-fewest in the league. But Arsenal are -125 to win, and the absence of Auba should put more attacking responsibility on Pépé.

Willian, MID, Chelsea

FanDuel Price: $17

After a quiet start to the campaign, Willian has picked it up. He's up to four goals and four assists in 17 starts, with the four assists pacing the Blues. He has spike FanDuel outputs of 57.6 and 30.6 points across his last five, and his DFS outlook has gotten a boost from his role on corners and free kicks.

Chelsea are -195 favorites at Newcastle, and if you're looking for a non-City team to stack, they might be the best bet. Newcastle have shipped 34 goals in 21 matches, the sixth-most in the EPL, and the Magpies have kept only two clean sheets in their last 14 league outings.

Two of the three most likely scorelines, per FanDuel Sportsbook, have Chelsea netting two goals, and Willian is at a solid +175 to score.

On a day when the masses are likely to be heavy on an expensive City side, high-priced players from other teams may slip through the cracks. That makes Willian a great GPP option.