Wednesday has a full seven game slate in the English Premier League, and a collection of games of all sizes here at DraftKings to play in. We have a little different structure today, part targets, part breakdown, still very, very long. Let’s start…
The top contest on Wednesday’s slate is the Main Event, part of the Micro Millions promotion, where DraftKings are offering a $20,000 prize pool with $2,000 for first place
QPR vs. Arsenal
Arsenal: David Ospina ($5,200), #10 (Mesut Ozil, $8,000, Santi Cazorla, $8,500 or Tomas Rosicky $4,200), any of remaining front four including Alexis Sanchez ($9,600), Olivier Giroud ($9,300), Danny Welbeck ($7,600), Theo Walcott ($6,500) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ($4,700).
QPR: Robert Green ($3,800), Armand Traore ($2,800), Matthew Phillips ($4,000) and Charlie Austin ($8,000).
This could get interesting because of possible squad rotation for Arsenal after several games in a row between league and Champions League campaigns, paired with a FA Cup meeting this upcoming Monday against Manchester United. The rotation likely would be concentrated upon amongst the midfield and attack for the Gunners, so keep an eye out for who starts—there could be value if Rosicky, Walcott or the Ox start, or some combination thereof. Only use Welbeck if he’s starting up top in place of Giroux. Cazorla could get the start in his preferred #10 slot if Aaron Ramsey is fit enough to start at defensive midfield alongside Francis Coquelin. I’ll be avoiding Arsenal’s outside backs because of a low ceiling, but if you want to play it safe a stack including Ospina isn’t out of bounds.
For QPR, options are limited. Green’s a contrarian play if you think he’ll have multiple saves and only give up one goal in a loss, but even though QPR is a better team at home there are other options for your keeper spot. Traore could be an interesting value play at defense if he’s used in the midfield, while Phillips has hit double digits in each of his last two games with an assist. If QPR gets chances, they’re likely to fall to Austin, who scored on his return from injury. QPR is well rested after their last game, which was the 21st. This could be a tighter affair than you’d think.
West Ham United vs. Chelsea
West Ham: Adrian ($4,000), Carl Jenkinson ($4,400), Aaron Cresswell ($4,300), Stewart Downing ($6,000), Diafra Sakho ($7,400) and Enner Valencia ($7,000).
Chelsea: Thibaut Courtois ($5,400), Branislav Ivanovic ($5,300), Kur t Zouma ($4,100), John Terry ($3,900), Eden Hazard ($9,000), Cesc Fabregas ($7,400), Oscar ($7,200), Juan Cuadrado ($6,700), Willian ($5,500), Diego Costa ($9,800).
This is an interesting encounter; Chelsea have the Champions League next week but no FA Cup match this weekend, so resting players is likely off the table for the most part. They’ve bossed around West Ham as of late, only having lost once in their last 18 meetings. West Ham meet Chelsea in a real dip during what has been an overall positive campaign, down to ninth place after failing to win in their last five.
The Chelsea monolith isn’t exactly at full strength with the absence of Nemanja Matic in midfield, but it’s hard to suggest strongly any West Ham options. Adrian is a solid performer and rarely dips below around six points, regardless of the result—and the West Ham keeper should be relatively busy in this one. The outside backs are pretty consistent but there’s likely no clean sheet bonus coming; Downing should see a lot of attention as Chelsea try to strangle any positive outlook for West Ham going forward in attack. Valencia scored this past weekend, but if I’m taking either West Ham striker, it would be Sakho, who is much more consistent in point production.
For the visitors, all the usual suspects are in play. Costa in his third game back from injury did not score in the League Cup final victory over Spurs but was unlucky to have a shot deflected in for a Kyle Walker own goal. The Chelsea striker remains in that top cost tier with names like Aguero, Kane, Rooney and Alexis, and can be used liberally on Wednesday. Someone from Oscar/Hazard/Willian/Cuadrado will not start; Hazard remains pretty consistent being in double digits despite just one goal his last six league games and has likely the highest ceiling of any midfielder on the slate. Cesc is hard to justify at that price tag and has been quiet as of late, but he’s in a strong matchup to justify his place. Willian remains boom-or-bust, and its all down to whether he finds the back of the net. Oscar’s a similar play to Cesc, while Cuadrado is still getting settled into the team. Ivanovic is the champagne of defenders when it comes to DFS, and whomever Chelsea starts in goal has a strong chance for a win, a handful of saves, and perhaps a clean sheet.
Stoke City vs. Everton
Stoke: Asmir Begovic ($4,400), Erik Pieters ($3,200), Phil Bardsley ($3,300), Victor Moses ($6,200), Charlie Adam ($4,700), Jonathan Walters ($5,700), Peter Crouch ($5,400), Mame Diouf ($5,300).
Everton: Seamus Coleman ($4,700), Luke Garbutt ($2,900), Romelu Lukaku ($8,600), Steven Naismith ($6,100), Kevin Mirallas ($6,100).
It’s the third game in seven days and four in 11 for Everton as they travel to face Stoke; domestically, there’s not a lot going right for the Toffees, and they haven’t won in their last five at Stoke. There’s value on both sides of this match, but it’s tough to try and decide who steps up in this one.
All signs are begging you to play Begovic if you’re not going top shelf at keeper. Stoke are good defensively but will give up chances (saves), it’s a start at home against a struggling opponent and that price is very nice. The ceiling isn’t high for either Pieters or Bardsley, especially if there’s no clean sheet, but the prices are right. Moses is as solid as any midfielder in the slate is, and that price tag helps fit others into your team—and he takes penalties as well. Only use Adam if he’s in the spot Stephan Ireland was in (behind the lead striker), while it’s a toss-up who Mark Hughes uses in the lead striker role between Walters, Crouch and Diouf. Walters and Diouf could start regardless, but if they’re being used as an attacking midfielder on the outside their chances of scoring are greatly lessened.
For Everton, I’m staying away from them as a whole. Garbutt’s a decent choice if you need to save at defender, but it’s hard seeing him hit double digits again in this one. And whatever choices Roberto Martinez uses up top to start this match, their chances should be limited. At Lukaku’s price tag, it’s hard to use him when several others are a few hundred more or less than have better chances.
Manchester City vs. Leicester City
Manchester City: Joe Hart ($5,300), Alex Kolarov ($4,600), Pablo Zabaleta ($4,500), Gael Clichy ($4,000), David Silva ($8,600), Yaya Toure ($7,400), Samir Nasri ($6,500), James Milner ($6,100), Jesus Navas ($5,900), Sergio Aguero ($10,100), Edin Dzeko ($8,200), Wilfried Bony ($7,900).
Leicester City: Mark Schwarzer ($3,000), Riyad Mahrez ($5,400), Andrej Kramaric ($5,000).
In by far the most lopsided match on paper of the day, Man City will likely look to bounce back from its loss at Liverpool on Sunday at home against last place Leicester. The hosts don’t have a match for ten days after this one, so any rotation will be Manuel Pellegrini shaking the tree with coach’s decisions.
But everyone is available for Man City, and each outside of central defenders and Fernandinho and/or Fernando at defensive midfield all starters are viable choices. Hart isn’t likely to see a lot of action and that defense has been shaky as of late, but there’s no more outright clean sheet/win combo candidate on the slate than him. Zabaleta and Kolarov are still a bit overpriced still, especially if you want to spend elsewhere, but double digits are in play for both. Even better are the options in midfield and attack; Toure especially if Silva is used on the outside in a 4-4-2, but the Spanish midfielder will cut in a lot and have his chances as well. Navas or Nasri on the right are good plays, but Navas has the added crosses dimension to ensure a better point floor. Aguero is by far the top striker play of the day, despite the price tag. The matchup is too good, and an early hook might not be in play because of the rest time forward. He’ll likely see at least 60 minutes, if not 70-90. Whomever starts besides him should go the entire way unless injury or a bad game strikes, so Bony or Dzeko are good ways to go.
Leicester? Schwarzer is the ultimate contrarian play, but City should have a storm brewing and three-plus goals against isn’t out of play. He’ll see a lot of rubber, so multiple saves are likely. Mahrez could surprise just through cross and shots, and Kramaric is the lone striker. Only one I could see using is Mahrez in order to fit high-cost attackers into your lineup.
Newcastle United vs. Manchester United
Newcastle United: Tim Krul ($3,600), Massadio Haidara ($3,300), Daryl Janmaat ($3,500), Sammy Ameobi ($5,300), Ayoze Perez ($6,800), Papiss Cisse ($7,300).
Manchester United: David de Gea ($5,500), Ander Herrera ($6,000), Ashley Young ($4,000), Maroune Fellaini ($4,800), Angel Di Maria ($9,300), Adnan Januzaj ($4,500), Wayne Rooney ($9,700), Radamel Falcao ($8,500), James Wilson ($4,500).
The visitors in this one have dominated the series as of late, winning or drawing 24 out of 26 against Newcastle, scoring two or more in 11 of their 13 most recent trips to St. James Park. As much as Manchester United is struggling overall in its attack, it’s hard to fade Newcastle in the back—Krul has a pretty strong record at home and should see a decent amount of efforts on goal. Haidara, if fit, and especially Janmaat are decent ways to go at defense because of their price tags, their likely chances to go forward against United’s wingers and outside backs (not their strength) and past point production. In attack, Perez clearly struggles when put in the role of attacking midfielder, so it’s down to Cisse (as lead striker) and Ameobi, who quietly has been hovering around ten points a game over the last month.
This is a tricky trip north for Manchester United; they need three points to keep up with their Champions League competitors, especially with Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs being strong favorites on Wednesday. De Gea is always a strong play and away likely it to see a decent amount of action on his goal—question is whether he and United can bring home a clean sheet. No defenders are outright options for Man U, leaving a plethora of midfield options depending on who Louis van Gaal starts. Di Maria was pulled at halftime, and Falcao right after winning a penalty—they both should start in this one, but with van Gaal, who knows? Wouldn’t surprise me if some combo of Fellaini, Januzaj or Wilson get the start. Di Maria had six points against Sunderland in that 45 minutes, but at that price tag he is the most costly of all midfield options. Ownership rates should be rather low. Herrera is pretty goal dependent to return value, as is Fellaini, although both could hit double digits through an assist (Herrera on the ground, Fellaini aerially). For me, the two best plays are Rooney and Young. Young being used as an outright left wing only boosts his DFS standing, while Rooney—as part of a front two or in the #10 role, will get chances on goal. Rooney is goal dependent, yes, but he has penalty duties and his share of free kicks. Falcao will get his chances as well, but even with a lesser salary in his form it’s hard to suggest using the Colombian.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Swansea City
Tottenham: Hugo Lloris ($4,900), Danny Rose ($4,100), Christian Eriksen ($7,800), Nacer Chadli ($5,700), Andros Townsend ($5,500), Erik Lamela ($4,600), Moussa Dembele ($3,700), Harry Kane ($9,900).
Swansea: Lukasz Fabianski ($3,900), Kyle Naughton ($3,400), Gylfi Sigurdsson ($7,100), Jonjo Shelvey ($5,500), Wayne Routledge ($5,500), Bafetimbi Gomis ($6,600).
It’s been a tough few days for Spurs; out of the Europa Cup, loss to Chelsea in the League Cup and albeit with games in hand points to make up for a top four spot this season in the Premiership. Spurs have won their last six meetings against Swansea and are strong favorites, with their strong attack facing off against a Swansea defense that has given up just four goals in their last five in the league. If you’re going Spurs today, pay up for Kane and Eriksen, while Rose and Lloris are pretty strong options in their own right. Eriksen is due for a goal, and has free kick duties while Kane is likely to continue his red hot form as of late.
Swansea should have Sigurdsson back for this one from the start, and he and Shelvey are pretty consistent plays while Gomis remains cold as ice—the goal against Manchester United was a fluke, and even at his price tag and opportunity as a lone lead striker, he won’t be on my teams most likely. Gomis does shoot a lot, and should be relatively low owned. Fabianski is on the road and should see a decent amount of chances on his goal, but I’d rather go Begovic or Krul if going mid-range.
Liverpool vs. Burnley
Liverpool: Simon Mignolet ($5,300), Alberto Moreno ($4,000), Raheem Sterling ($8,300), Philippe Coutinho ($5,900), Adam Lallana ($5,500), Jordan Henderson ($4,900), Daniel Sturridge ($7,500), Lazar Markovic ($4,800).
Burnley: Tom Heaton ($3,800). Kieran Trippier ($5,300), Danny Ings ($6,900), Ashley Barnes ($5,900), Sam Vokes ($3,000).
Coming off the home win against Man City on Sunday, Liverpool have another Anfield encounter, this one with next-to-last place Burnley. Heavy Liverpool use on Wednesday should be in full swing, but don’t be surprised if Brendan Rogers makes a couple of chances in lineups after Europa League action prior to the City game. Gotta keep things fresh and all…
Mignolet is a strong favorite for a win/clean sheet bonus, but I’d rather go with Hart if you go top shelf because Burnley’s offense does have a better chances of breaking a clean sheet than Leicester does. Moreno could see increased chances going forward in this one, but he may have his hands full with Trippier. Sterling could be rested, as could the red-hot Coutinho—or both could start. As could Sturridge, or he could be on the bench with Lallana alongside Sterling as the lead striker with Coutinho on the other side. Markovic would only be in use if he’s part of the front three and not as a wingback, but if he does get a place up front he could be a real value to your roster. Henderson is goal dependent, but with Steven Gerrard out he gets a lot more opportunities to go forward and he did score in the win over City.
Heaton is another contrarian option who could see a lot of rubber going his way at a mid-range price tag; it’s a lottery between him, Adrian, Fabianski, Green and Krul on who has the best day. Ings hasn’t scored in his last two games and with three central defenders against his lone striker, it’s hard seeing him breaking that. Barnes (or Vokes) is perhaps the better play as the attacking midfielder being Ings, but unless you’re using multiple lineups it’s hard to get behind any of them strongly. That leaves Trippier—if Ivanovic was champagne, Trippier is really good whiskey. Or vice versa, maybe, if you’re going by styles of play. If you can afford one or both of them in your lineup, do so—it’s tough seeing either drop out of double digits.