We’re approaching the last weekend before an international break and teams will be looking to make a statement as we’re getting to the three quarters mark of the season. Chelsea are in control at the moment, but it’s never over in the Premier League and teams are still in the title race this weekend. We have six games to comprise our slate on FanDuel, so let’s go through them to see where the value lies.
Sunderland – Southampton
This game will likely be a defensive one in nature with Southampton being very conservative on both ends of the ball. They’ve only scored one goal per match this season, including just ten in 12 away games, and they average only 13.8 shots per match away from home. Sunderland are horrible, as always, but are somehow still alive from relegation by being just two points back of three different teams that are outside of the relegation zone. They’ll be extremely conservative here and try to win a point, which is very valuable at this stage of the season.
On FanDuel, Sunderland’s prices are just through the roof right now for what they bring to the table, and it’s hard to recommend anyone there. On Southampton’s side, you could take a shot with Jay Rodriguez or Manolo Gabbiadini in tournaments, but there isn’t much value elsewhere in this game.
Manchester United – Watford
The Red Devils are the biggest favorites on this slate and by a large margin at that. Zlatan Ibrahimovic stands outs at $12,000, which is a lot but not as much as he’s been in recent weeks and there’s definitely room for value there. Ibrahimovic disappointed against Hull City at home a few weeks ago, but this is another strong matchup at Old Trafford and I don’t mind Zlatan in cash games on FanDuel where he gets five points for a shot on goal. Pogba is expensive but another strong cash consideration in the only one-sided match of the slate.
Heurelho Gomes is $6,400 but will face the most shots of any goalkeeper on the slate and will be a cash game option. The save potential is immense. One thing to monitor is Watford’s defensive line, which could present some cheap options.
Middlesbrough – Everton
Moving on here, Everton are away favorites at Middlesbrough but this one isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Middlesbrough only allow 12.6 shots per match at home and will likely park the bus on Everton. They also average the most tackles per game at 20.5 and considering Everton doesn’t have any incredible ball dribblers but will attack, that number could be higher in this game. Calum Chambers is expensive but has upsides through clearances and tackles. I expect him to contribute very well in both those categories and I think he’s cash viable.
Romelu Lukaku flashed his upside last time out with an insane 89.75 fantasy points but chasing that seems un-ideal in cash. There is certainly upside here again in tournaments, but Lukaku is certainly not a lock for consistency. A good pivot off of Lukaku, is Ross Barkley, so is getting expensive but has been fairly consistent lately and has a lot of qualities that contribute to a safe floor.
Stoke City – Crystal Palace
The Crystal Palace defense has been extremely, extremely leeky in recent weeks. They’re in the relegation zone and will likely continue to stay there. An away game at Stoke City means they’ll be on the defensive frequently and that means Wayne Hennessey will have a huge save potential. He can be used in tournaments.
On the other side of the ball, there are some great tournament options. Whoever starts at forward for Stoke City is certainly in play, especially if that’s Saido Berahino. If Glen Johnson misses out with a late fitness check, we can rely on Phil Bardsley in all formats.
West Ham – West Brom
The biggest surprise in recent weeks has been West Ham’s success without Dimitri Payet. It seems Payet’s presence was toxic towards the end of his Hammers tenure and his leave was an addition by subtraction of sorts. West Ham are playing well and there is some value here. Robert Snodgrass is extremely solid and should take over free-kick and corner-kick duties, which increases his upside. He’s viable in all formats. On the defensive end, there are some injuries in West Ham’s back-line, so keep an eye out on who starts there and look for value.
Liverpool – Tottenham
The highlight of the day is certainly Liveprool versus Spurs. Spurs are currently second in the league, a full nine points behind leaders Chelsea. With Chelsea facing a poor team this weekend, Spurs really need this win to try and keep the distance at nine points. The matchup is tough, and it’ll likely be a close game. I expect both teams to be cautious and scared to lose, as the pressure is piling on.
Philippe Coutinho has been horrible lately but has upside and can rack up points when fully healthy. He should be rested in this one, and he’s one of my favorite tournament targets. Sadio Mane has a lower upside but is still worthy of using in tournaments. On Spurs’ side, Danny Rose is out with a knee injury, so Ben Davies is expected to replace him. Davies is an option but doesn’t have the highest of floors, so he’s certainly a bit risky. Hugo Lloris can be a nice correlation play with Philippe Coutinho, especially with Coutinho’s love for long distance shots that often tend to be saved. One of those is eight points between Coutinho and Lloris, and if we get a few of them the upside can be significant when added to their other stats.
That’s all for me for today. Hope everyone does well on Saturday!