This is the kind of game day we dream about. With four relatively inexpensive sides in action there is almost no possible way to run out of money when selecting a side.
Quick Tip: Don’t be afraid to make a few lineups to reduce risk in this one, your odds will go up significantly considering there is so few guys to choose from and so few possible permutations that are even a possibility. Selecting a few lineups with different guys will guarantee results in at least one lineup and ensure safety from a bad weekend.
To maximize your chances further, I’d rank Everton first, Palace second, Watford third and West Brom fourth in terms of the amount of guys you should trust from each side.
With that in mind, enjoy the abbreviated article.
Lock of the Day
Romelu Lukaku (Everton) Forward – Salary: $9,500:
He’s the only guy playing worth anything substantial and so you’ll have plenty of money to assemble an exceptional squad behind him. He’s the most likely option to put a performance in that steamrolls you to a big week and the pieces surrounding him are in such fine form that the chances for the big Belgian are going to continue to come right up until he breaks out of this mini drought. Against West Brom, there is no reason to believe this can’t be the week he puts in a big performance coming up against his former squad.
Second Choice: Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace) Midfield – Salary: $5,700:
In the EPL he’s a “Grade A” athlete and that’s saying something. When Sako gets the wheels moving, his vertical speed is nearly impossible to catch. On top of this is his physical presence mainly supported by one of the largest frames of any guy in the Prem. What I think has surprised most people is how much skill and intelligence he also possesses. Even though his passing occasionally lets him down, his dribbling ability, movement and eye for goal make him a dangerous option each week. His sublime attempt last was undone by one of the saves of the season from Lloris, but it was an exemplorary reminder of the kind of finishing threat Sako can pose.
Worth Your Buck
Ross Barkley (Everton) Midfield – Salary: $8,000:
He and his front man are the only two guys over 8K in this Sunday’s Monday’s action. I can confidently say he’s been one of the best players in the league this season and that says a lot. With so many question marks prior to this campaign about how he would take that next step, Barkley has delivered on his promise to give us more this season. He’s involved in every build up that looks dangerous and his numbers have translated this threat perfectly .There was never a question about whether or not Barkley could play, but now we know that his play can actually be supported with results. Well done! Keep up the good work!
Pape Souare (Crystal Palace) Defender – Salary: $3,500:
I like Allan Nyom as well, but this guy brings a similar game to the table and costs $400 less. I think the key to choosing defenders is to go with the wingbacks you think have the best odds at a shutout and an assist. The rationale behind this is that these tend to be the most likely ways a defender can acquire big points. Not to mention any defender in line for an assist is hitting service and getting forward. Souare isn’t the greatest attacking threat out there, but he has enough potential that it’s worth a peak. Couple this with his side being the favorites in the matchup and you got a decent shot to make this work.
Callum Mcmanaman (West Brom) Forward – Salary: $3,700:
The tricky winger is an absolute handful for any defender, but two youngsters are really going to be in for a day. While the youngsters are no push overs, Callum is as quick as they come and will come out aggressive knowing his competition. He causes problems in a variety of ways, mainly through his ability to appear on either wing, this constantly is presenting defenders with unexpected challenges. Regardless of result, he’s going to get service in and on a day where you might not see too many goals, the difference between a good lineup and a great lineup might be the points you get on crosses and fouls drawn.
Brendan Galloway (Chelsea) Defender – Salary: $3,500:
I couldn’t believe his shift against Chelsea, but then I really couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing last week. At 19, he might not be displaying the flashy sort of numbers that a 50 Million dollar teenager has been putting up in Manchester, but his performances have been equally as important none the less. Having participated in most minutes this season due to Leighton Baines’ injury, Galloway even in some solid outings didn’t look truly comfortable until last week. In what I would call his coming out party, Galloway was steady at the back and a frequent contributor on the opposite end. Although he fell just short of helping his side net a winner, he did do enough to help them earn a point in a tough matchup vs. the EPL’s POTM in August.
The In Betweeners
Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) Midfield – Salary: $5,900:
It is unfortunate that his numbers sometimes disappoint because it’s honestly the only thing preventing him from playing on a top tier side because honestly his game is exquisite. His stride is a sight to see in and of itself, as he can often be found galloping and gliding through the opposition’s defense on way to goal. Astonishingly, these strides don’t prevent him from having quick enough feet to navigate tight spaces and he’s known to provide a highlight reel almost every other week. Unfortunately for us neutrals, Bolasie’s brilliance is too often followed by an errant pass or mishit attempt at goal. However, this week given the options we have infront of us he seems like as good a pick as any to have a big day.
Troy Deeney (Watford) Forward – Salary: $6,400:
The Watford strike force would be a contender for surprise of the season. The pairing of Ighalo and Deeney had a combined 0 games of EPL experience coming into this season and shockingly they have been one of the most effective pairings, if not the most effective thus far. While I like both as options this week, Deeney is cheaper and might be the better option given the extra attention Ighalo might get considering his most recent outburst.
Traps to Avoid
Saido Berahino (West Brom) Forward – Salary: $6,500:
Beware of Saido Berahino. He’s always a hot topic in the English press, but he’s still got both mental and technical concerns about his game and that is worrisome for me some weeks. This happens to be one of those weeks; playing a tough Everton center back pairing and coming off a week where he got a ton of press for a relatively simple goal. I know he is not up to speed yet, because I can see that physically he looks much bigger than last season. He’s finally settled in to another season at The Hawthornes and if he can come to grips with that then maybe we will look at him down the road.
Craig Dawson (West Brom) – Salary: $4,400:
I’m worried about West Brom vs. Everton who are hungry off a slightly sour tasting draw. Craig Dawson has been a decent performer thus far and his FPPG of 6.9 will likely draw some people in with the extra money they’ll have on hand, but honestly just come to grips with the fact that you might leave a couple thousand dollars unused in order to put the best lineup out there this week. Don’t panic into spending it on Craig Dawson in a game he’ll likely lose, possibly by multiple goals just to spend the full 50K.
Remember to hit me up on twitter with any questions you have @onthelaces.