As always, we’re covering the main FanDuel roster, which begins Thursday at 2:45 p.m. EST.
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At this time of year, it can be helpful to focus on teams that have a lot to play for. On this board, Everton and Burnley are those teams as they are firmly in a relegation battle. Of course, neither side offers as much attacking firepower. Of the two, Everton have more high upside options so let’s pin them down.
The Toffees play Palace at home and a win will secure their place in the top flight for next year. Considering they are at Arsenal on the final day, Everton can do themselves a huge favor by taking care of business on Thursday. However, I will limit any Everton attack to just one player as Palace have been tough on the road, only allowing 17 goals in 18 games away.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($16) and Richarlison ($18) are the best attacking plays for Everton. Both started last weekend. With DCL missing a lot of time, Richarlison is progressing Everton with goals (nine) and assists (five) in league play. DCL was good in their limited action, scoring a team-leading 0.53 expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes, according to FBRef.
The closest to a standout side on this three-game list is Chelsea, but they are far from being a hit as the Blues play at home a Leicester side who have played well. Nonetheless, Chelsea defeated the Foxes 3-0 at King Power Stadium earlier this season, putting them in position to break the slab when they’re at it. However, neither team has anything to play for the rest of the way, so we could see some freaky starting XIs.
Although it hasn’t always worked out this season, Chelsea have as many good attacking options as any other team in the league. Kai Havertz ($19) and Mason Mountain ($21) will be top notch games when in the lineup. Mount has quietly had a highly productive season totaling 11 goals and 10 assists – both leading the Blues. His standard work strengthens both his bottom and ceiling in the DFS. If Havertz, who is struggling with a hamstring, is out, Romelu Lukaku ($20) will probably start at striker.
Aston Villa is home to Burnley and on most slates this would be a nice spot to charge Villa who are undoubtedly the most talented of the two sides. The Villans could end up winning but with Villa having nothing to play for and Burnley desperately needing a win or a draw as they struggle to stay top it’s hard to know what we’ll get from Villa. The longer the game goes on with Burnley leading or tied, the uglier it gets for the DFS as Burley will try to screw it up. On the other hand, if the Clarets fall behind, they’ll have to open up and try to get back into the game, which could lead to an open second half.
Villas Emi Bundia ($11) is one of the best points-per-dollar games on the slate when he starts. Ollie Watkins ($18), Danny Ing’s ($16) and Phillipe Coutinho ($19) are options with high upside potential. Ings is Villa’s co-leader in assists (six) despite having made just 22 starts. Watkins ends the campaign on a high note, scoring five goals in his last eight games.
We shouldn’t overlook Leicester. The matchup at Stamford Bridge is tough, but Chelsea have been pretty vulnerable defensively in the back half of the season. The Foxes are also in great form, having scored eight goals in their last two games, although against Watford and Norwich. Jamie Vardy ($17) and James Maddison ($16) are great leverage plays, assuming Leicester isn’t popular. Harvey Barnes ($14) has two goals and three assists in his last two games and is easy to like at this salary.
Chelsea’s Reece James ($15) and Marcos Alonso ($15) are elite options on defender. Both should have chances to get up front and have been good DFS games for most of the year. James has seven assists, the second-highest on the team, and he’s added five goals. Alonso has three goals and four assists.
Lucas Digne ($12) is another high-profile full-back, and he’s getting a nice salary rebate from Chelsea options. The Villa left-back has been immense since returning from injury, registering three assists in just 14 league starts this season – two of them in the last three games. He has completed an impressive 20 shooting actions in the last five games.
leicester Daniel Amartey ($7) is listed as the lowest-paying starter for the Foxes, and he offers decent ground in a game at Chelsea where he should be busy.
Same direction, Burnley’s Kevin Long ($7) and Connor Roberts ($9) can be solid ground games against Villa.
You can talk your way into and out of each goalie on this board, which should keep the draft percentages fairly spread out.
by name, Edouard Mendy ($13) is perhaps the most popular game and as he plays at home for the best team on the side he is a solid pick. The negatives about him are his high salary, Chelsea’s lack of motivation – which could result in a weaker-than-usual starting defense in front of him – and the Blues, who have kept just one goal in their last four EPL games.
Emiliano Martinez ($10) has a delightful home game against Burnley but sounds like he will miss Thursday’s game. If he does, it probably will Robin Olsen ($10) in Martinez’s place. The Clarets have produced the third lowest xG overall and away, with just 16.2 xG in 18 away games. So while Olsen doesn’t offer a super-low salary like some backups do, he’d still be a good figure if he were around.
Motivation will not be an issue for you at all Jordan Pickford ($11), and his salary has increased after some excellent performances lately. Saving volume should also be there. Outside of a game with the low Watford, Pickford has made at least four saves in three straight games. At home against Palace, a win can give Everton a stress-free final day.
Danny Ward ($5) started instead of Kasper Schmeichel ($7) in Leicester’s last league game. The matchup at Chelsea is really tough, but Ward is at least worth considering if he starts again. If it’s Schmeichel in the net, he’s also a viable value player.