This article is part of our FPL Bargain Bin series.
If you listened to the Gameweek 23 Podcast you will notice the sound of a new guest voice. If you have not listened yet, go do so now. We'll wait patiently for you. Yes, I finally made an appearance, but that is not the important part. What is important is something we briefly discussed that I would like to expand on: home/road splits.
The home/road split is an important part of fantasy soccer and something that can be leveraged for success. There really is not much of an argument against teams playing better at home than on the road, and using this information can be an advantage. Clearly, top-tier teams are much less susceptible to this, but teams at the bottom can be exploited.
This has not been any clearer than what is going on with Queens Park Rangers this season. QPR have looked like a midtable team when playing at Loftus Road this season. In fact, their 19 points won at home rank ninth and support the argument. However, their performance on the road has them battling relegation. But it is not just them. The other two promoted teams (Leicester City and Burnley) have fared worse on the road this season, as have teams like Swansea City and Newcastle United.
And Gameweek 23 is your lucky week. All five of those teams mentioned above are on the road this weekend and provide great fantasy opportunities for their opponents. This could come in handy when trying to decide what to make of the Chelsea v. Manchester City matchup and how it will affect fantasy rosters. While it is difficult to find much bargain on the Manchester United squad (facing Leicester City), you could easily make a solid lineup from bargain options of players from Hull City (v. Newcastle United), Sunderland (v. Burnley), Stoke City (v. Queens Park Rangers), and Southampton (v. Swansea City). For the best low cost options in Gameweek 23, here are the players in this weekend's Bargain Bin:
Asmir Begovic ($4,800 DraftKings, $6.7M MondoGoal) v. Queens Park Rangers
Begovic is quietly on a good run for goalkeepers. In his last five matches, he has kept three clean sheets and allowed just four goals, and that includes allowing three goals on the road to Arsenal. His three clean sheets are tied for the most in the league over that time period. It is not as if he hasn't been tested: during his five match stretch, his 15 saves rank for the sixth-most. No one with more saves has more than one clean sheet. His impressive run will look to continue with a great matchup against a visiting Queens Park Rangers, whose home/road splits are ripe for targeting. Their five away goals are the second-fewest in the league, and they have lost all 10 road matches they've played. As long as Stoke City can avoid giving up a penalty (which account for QPR's last two away goals) they should have a great chance at keeping a clean sheet.
Notes:Fraser Forster ($4,500 DraftKings, $7.3M MondoGoal) faces a Swansea City squad that has not scored since Wilfried Bony last played for them. In addition, Southampton have blanked Swansea City in each of their last four meetings. Feel free to take advantage of the fact that he is not one of the top-2 expensive goalkeepers in the Sunday game.
Philipp Wollscheid ($3,200 DraftKings, $6.6M MondoGoal) v. Queens Park Rangers
If it is good for Begovic, it is good for his defenders. Such is the case for Wollscheid as he gets ready to face QPR this weekend. The on-loan defender made his debut Jan. 11 and has played the full 90 minutes in both of the two matches. On top of that, Wollscheid's two shot attempts last weekend were actually tied for the team lead.
Notes: From the other "if it is good for the goalkeeper" department: injuries have bought bargain defender Florin Gardos ($2,800 DraftKings, $6.1M MondoGoal) a spot in the starting XI and a great chance at a clean sheet against Swansea City.
Victor Moses ($5,500 DraftKings, $8.6M MondoGoal) v. Queens Park Rangers
We will keep the Stoke City train rolling along as the matchup against QPR is just too good to pass up. QPR allow an average of 2.4 goals per away match, which is fantasy gold for their opponents. Moses returned to the lineup last weekend and played well in 86 minutes despite not scoring or assisting. Back when these two teams met for the first time this season, Moses tallied an assist and it is not far out to think he could produce at least the same result this weekend.
Notes: Since returning from injury, James Ward-Prowse ($5,200 DraftKings, $7.9M MondoGoal) has four assists while leading Southampton in assisted shots and attempting the second most shots. There could be plenty of chances for him as Swansea City allow the second-most shot attempts in away matches this season.
Jermain Defoe ($5,100 DraftKings, $8.9M MondoGoal) vs Burnley
Is Jermain Defoe one of the best strikers in the Premier League? Probably not. But do not lose sight that he is probably the best forward option currently on Sunderland. His first match with the club came last weekend and he was unable to extend his goal streak in club debuts. This weekend will offer him a better chance to score. Last match, he faced a Tottenham side that are allowing an average of just 13 shots per home match. This weekend, he faces a Burnley squad that allows almost five more attempts per road game. In addition, only QPR has allowed more away goals this season. The chances will be there for a player who is just two seasons removed from being a double-digit goal-scorer in the Premier League.
Notes: Reports are Daniel Sturridge will see some playing time against West Ham, and he could be a bargain at just $6,700 in DraftKings. If either Nikica Jelavic or Abel Hernandez are able to play this week they could be decent options. If not, Sone Aluko could be a good bargain at just $4.2M on MondoGoal and playing a Newcastle United side that has allowed nine goals during their last three away matches.