“Spurs have some outstanding players. I’m a big fan of Kane, Chadli and Eriksen. They will definitely finish in the top ten.” – Alan Pardew (September 18th, 2015)

I think it’s pretty obvious Alan Pardew is very pleased with his side through the first five games. While Pardew has never been shy with the press, you got to hand it to the man who’s done an excellent job assembling and coaching one of the EPL’s brightest squads. The London side sits 5th in the table, is tied for second in wins and has already seen the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City meaning their schedule over the rest of the first half will be slightly easier than some of their peers. If the London Derby on Saturday between Arsenal and Chelsea doesn’t live up to the hype, look for Crystal Palace to continue their excellent play in a wonderful bout vs. Tottenham on Sunday.

If this isn’t enough to entertain you; United, Southampton and Liverpool all suit up in the late affair all in need of a win in order to keep pace with their ambitions.

This week presents some interesting fantasy options as many of the top players on these sides aren’t going to cost you more than 7K, leaving you with endless possibilities for a strong lineup.

Lock of the Day

Juan Mata (Manchester United) Midfield – Salary: $8,700:

Mata has been simply wonderful this season recording less than 8 points just once this season in the EPL. If you watch Man U play you know that no one touches the ball in attack more than Mata. The on ball quarterback for United draws fouls, whips in crosses and is a constant threat as a playmaker and goal scorer. Tactically speaking, I think Van Gaal could have brought in a more explosive option, but the Spaniard has proven a useful piece and frequent contributor since becoming a regular in his lineup. Southampton have showed frailties at the back and I expect Mata’s unusual movement to find dangerous spaces against this relatively young squad.

Second Choice: Christian Benteke (Liverpool) Forward – Salary: $9,500:

Fresh off a one of the goals of the season we know what kind of ability the Belgian has. With Rooney out and Kane still struggling, Benteke in a favorable match up with Norwich might be the best option you have if you want to spend your money.

Worth Your Buck

Sadio Mane (Southampton) Forward – Salary: $9,000:

He’s the kind of player that has “United Killer” written all over him. After the summer transfer window slammed shut without a move to United being finalized, wouldn’t it only make sense that he lights them up and leaves the traveling Man U supporters in a rage. Add to this the fact that their at home and I just think the pieces may line up for the blazing fast winger going up against a Luke Shaw-less left back (player to be named later) on Sunday. Again the African puts up points with or without goals, so he’s not going to hurt you if you decide to shell out the cash.

Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace) Midfield – Salary: $6,300:

Although his price tag would usually place him in another category, as the 5th most expensive midfielder suiting up he’s got to be worth your buck this week. One of the top 10 players in terms of PPG at 9.7 playing on Sunday; you have to like the shifty midfielder against an inconsistent defensive side like Tottenham. As I state above, Palace are delighted with their start and one of the players they have most to thank is Puncheon. The experienced midfielder is a fluid player capable of popping up centrally or either wing and has been the perfect in a free roaming role around Zaha, Bolasie and Sako’s more structured positions.

Cedric (Southampton) Defender – Salary: $4,900:

It is hard to not pick a wingback like Cedric who is allowed all the freedom in the world to get forward and whip in crosses. He’s been excellent all season long and has been a mainstay for winning fantasy owners this season. Again with uncertainty in the left back spot and Memphis lending little defensive support, I expect Cedric to take space when in possession and do everything he can to find Pelle in the area early and often.

Value Picks

Heung-Min Son (Tottenham) Forward – Salary: $6,000:

The league has been in desperate need of a Korean star since Ji Sung Park left and trust me this guy can fill the hole and much, much more. Son is an absolute stud; who is as calculated as he is creative. With Eriksen still injured, Son will have the most responsibility on his shoulders to be the main creative outlet. He scored twice on Thursday and I expect him to continue that on Sunday vs. Palace. I know he isn’t a big name signing, but watch him closely because he’s simply fantastic. Intelligent, smooth, technical and courageous; he honestly provides a very unique game that can disrupt any back line.

Wes Hoolahan (Norwich) Midfield – Salary: $4,400:

I love Wes Hoolahan, plain and simple. I think he’s a tremendous player who can break down any defense. Against, Liverpool on Sunday look for him to provide the spark that silences the Anfield crowd. This Norwich team has dangerous options and if Liverpool take them lightly they will hurt you. Although short in stature, Hoolahan is fearless in attack and will scrap with anyone. Look for him to be aggressive from the jump and contribute to most threats Norwich put together on a fragile Liverpool back line.

Marcos Rojo (Manchester United) Defender – Salary: $3,700:

I doubt he will end with a shutout, but as the likely starting left back for a United side that likes to get their wingbacks forward I think he deserves a look. If you can spend a bit more on your backs I’d do so this week, but if you got no other choice Rojo is a playable guy. Southampton always possess the ability to lay an egg and United have enough quality to put in a remarkable performance so just close your eyes and hope for that. If it doesn’t happen atleast you’ll get some crosses from Rojo and maybe even some contribution off a set piece.

The In Betweeners

Anthony Martial (Manchester United) Forward – Salary: $7,000:

If he gets the start I think he’s a must play. He’s looked excellent thus far and even though he’s 19 his goal last week was as clinical as any season veteran. He’s explosive and composed, a combination of attributes you don’t hear often, but then again some isn’t it a unique combination of attributes that make special players special? If he gets the start I think he’s an excellent option at just 7K. If Fellaini starts don’t be afraid to explore him as well.

Ashley Young (Manchester United) Midfield – Salary: $6,200:

I think he’s going to start and I think you should play him. I don’t know why, but for weeks all I’ve been thinking is this side could use some experienced Ashley Young. We haven’t seen it in the league yet, but I think Young gets the go and if so will look to lay claim to a regular spot with an impactful performance. We know he’s got the ability and athleticism to handle the start and the composure to step right in like it was his place all along. Although he’s a player I haven’t always loved, I’m taking a chance on his this week based off a gut feeling and really nothing else. If you feel it too, hopefully my support will be what you need to follow that urge and select him.

David De Gea (Manchester United) Goalie – Salary: $5,300:

He’s the third most expensive goalie because he hasn’t been playing, but make no mistake he hasn’t lost a step just because of a few transfer rumors. Although I’d be surprised if they shut out Southampton, not many of these matchups leave me feeling certain of a shutout in any direction so why not go with the Spanish shot stopper who we know will have some opportunities to make some saves behind a side who is favored to win.

Traps to Avoid

Harry Kane (Tottenham) Forward – Salary: $10,500:

This one is pretty self-explainable, if you don’t understand why then you probably shouldn’t be playing DraftKings…Although being the #9 always lends itself to the possibility for striking the net, Kane’s track record this season doesn’t leave us with much confidence. Take what you will from my aggressive claims to avoid some of the top talents, but seriously he’s been that bad and until he proves otherwise I think you’d be foolish to waste another $10,500 on him this week. Not to mention he’s going up against a Crystal Palace side that is no push over and might have the better of the chances.

Memphis (Manchester United) Midfield – Salary: $9,800:

I was once as excited as anyone about Memphis’ promise, now playing for United and having a lackluster start all I want to do is root against him. The young Dutch winger’s performances can only be described as inconsistent and uninspiring. When you bring a guy in who was tearing up the Eredivisie you expect immediate results and thus far he simply hasn’t delivered. It’s almost like he’s failed to show the determination to be the difference maker. I don’t know maybe that is too harsh, but whatever the case he’s looked sloppy and not helped his side much in getting results so I’m going to stay away.

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) Goalie – Salary: $5,400:

I don’t like the way Tottenham have looked thus far and I love what Crystal Palace has been doing. The combination of the two has me leaning towards Palace in this one, or at least towards Pardew’s man grabbing a couple of goals in a fun contest. Either way none of that bodes well for Hugo Lloris the man between the pipes for Spurs so look another direction for help in goal.

Remember to hit me up on twitter with any questions you have @onthelaces.