This article is part of our FPL Bargain Bin series.
There is a short turnaround for the teams as they come off their midweek matches in Gameweek 14 and prepare for the upcoming Gameweek 15 this weekend. That also means a short turnaround here at the Bargain Bin to clear the shelves of last week's best buys (Steven Gerrard and Christian Benteke goals) as well as the stink (Newcastle United defense, and the Angel Rangel no show).
Before we jump into this week's players, here's a reminder to pay attention to what is important in the daily fantasy leagues:
Goalkeepers and Defenders: The most important stat here is the clean sheet. Sure, you get points for things like tackles, passes intercepted, and crosses attempted, but the numbers required in those stats do not offset a clean sheet. Also, keep in mind that players keeping clean sheets will likely have some sort of output in the peripheral stats.
Midfielders and Forwards: Goals are very difficult to predict, unless you are talking about 2013-14 Luis Suarez or Sergio Aguero in general. Of the 82 players to have more than one goal this season, only five have scored in at least 50 percent of their matches: Aguero, Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez, Diafra Sakho, and Wayne Rooney. Let's take a player like Eden Hazard: he's a very fine player that is great to have in a season-long format. But weekly, you have to be very careful when you play him because of his low shot totals (currently tied for 25th in the league). For daily leagues, you want players that are going to attempt a lot of shots and matchups that will allow it. Blindly picking players because they typically score a lot will not serve you well on a week-to-week basis.
Brad Guzan ($4,300 DraftKings, $7.1M MondoGoal) vs Leicester City
Only one club (QPR) has scored fewer away goals this season than Leicester City. And since QPR are at home this weekend, that makes Leicester City the go-to for the goalkeeper with the best matchup. Guzan and Aston Villa were on a great run to begin the season and have since fallen off. However, it is important to remember that Villa's drop in the table could be strongly associated with the murderer's row of opponents they played from Gameweeks 4-10 (QPR at home actually rank in the top-half in goals scored). With more manageable opponents, Guzan and Villa have gotten back on track and kept clean sheets in two of the last four matches. A home match against Leicester City should be one of the easier tests Guzan will have this season and he should be utilized properly this weekend.
Notes: Stoke City have scored just four goals in their last six matches against Arsenal, who will have Emiliano Martinez ($4,900 DK, $7.1M MG) in goal. Burnley have just one more away goal this season than Leicester City and will be on the road against QPR and Robert Green ($4,700 DK, $5.0M MG). Fraser Forster ($4,100 DK, $6.8M MG) looked very impressive against Arsenal in making seven saves and could be a sneaky high-save clean sheet risk against an Manchester United team that have scored just eight away goals this season.
Federico Fazio ($4,200 DraftKings, $6.4M MondoGoal) vs Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace failed to score on Tottenham in both matches last season and look just as anemic offensively this season. Six of the Eagles' last eight matches have seen them held to one goal or less, with three of those being clean sheets for their opponent. Fazio and the Tottenham defenders should all be rated highly this weekend, but Fazio will produce on the same level at a lower cost than his Spurs defensive teammates.
Notes:Per Mertesacker ($3,500 DK, $8.2 MG) and Arsenal have allowed just four goals in their last six meetings with Stoke City, and Mertesacker is conveniently cheaper than most of his teammates.
Leroy Fer ($5,600 DraftKings, $7.9M MG) vs Burnley
Queens Park Rangers at home are a much more dangerous team than they are on the road. Through 14 games this season (seven each home and away) they have scored 10 more goals in home matches than when traveling. As discussed earlier, their home form would rank them in the top half in goals scored this season. This week they get a Burnley side that has allowed the second-most shot attempts per away match. That bodes well for all QPR offensive players this weekend. Fer is an interesting option because in addition to being a threat to score (second most shot attempts on target this season for QPR, 80 percent of which have come in home matches), he leads the team in assisted shots. Fer is the second-most involved QPR player offensively this season and at his cost, in a match against lowly Burnley, he is an excellent bargain option.
Notes:Ryan Mason ($5,300 DK, $7.3M MG) has yet to score this season, but has averaged two shot attempts per match over the last seven games and has a great opportunity to get on the board at home against Crystal Palace. While Gylfi Sigurdsson has been getting all the attention, Wayne Routledge ($5,300 DK, $8.7M) has put up respectable stats for Swansea City at a lesser cost.
Nikica Jelavic ($5,800 DK, $8.0 MG) vs West Bromwich Albion
Jelavic is the poster child for everything you are looking for in a daily fantasy league player. High shot total? Check. He is averaging almost 2.5 shots per match. Ability to convert? Check. He has four goals in just 10 appearances. He was on a roll earlier in the season before injuring his knee and missing time, and he appears to be back after picking up an assist last weekend. Look for his shot totals to remain high this weekend, even with the expected return of Abel Hernandez, as he takes on a West Brom squad that has allowed multiple goals in six of their last eight league matches.
Notes: There is no reason for Christian Benteke to not be one of the five highest-priced players in daily leagues. He may not meet the full definition of a bargain, but until his price fits his ability, be sure to take advantage. Especially at home against Leicester City (most away shots allowed).