The EPL came back in all of it’s unpredictable glory last week with Chelsea struggling to draw Swansea and Arsenal being Arsenal at home to West Ham. There is always value in going against the grain with your picks – like a light-hitting catcher homering in baseball, a defender scoring a goal can be a huge component of a GPP-winning lineup – but even moreso looking at the sheer size of these contests Saturday. Let’s look at players that may be off of most managers’ radars this week but could provide that difference needed to bring home a winner.
John Ruddy – ($4,000) – Norwich City – At this stage we don’t truly know how Norwich will fare in the top flight, though they gave up a healthy amount of shots on target against Palace. What we do know is Sunderland lacks a coherent attack and just lost their best playmaker in Adam Johnson. Ruddy will be nearly unowned but could come through with a solid performance.
Boaz Myhill – ($4,000) – West Brom – Tony Pulis wasn’t thrilled with his vaunted defense against City and should buckle down to ensure they don’t duplicate that performance against a promoted club. Myhill has an incredibly volatile game log due to the volume of shots he tends to face, but when things break right he can be a saves monster, and WBA could easily win.
Patrick Van Aanholt – ($3,900) – Sunderland – PVA had a quiet day against Leicester but when you give up 4 goals defenders probably aren’t going to grab the headlines. He’s the best attacking fullback Sunderland has and has a strong record of facilitating goals. Sunderland isn’t good at, you know, actually scoring, but if they do PVA could easily be involved.
Daryl Janmaat – ($3,400) – Newcastle – Janmaat was overshadowed a bit by his counterpart Haidara (also a decent option) but is typically the attacking force for Newcastle from the back. Swansea play organized defense so it’s likely the best plan Newcastle will be able to muster is tirelessly sending crosses towards Cisse’s head. Janmaat should be tasked with that responsibility.
Jose Holebas – ($3,000) – Watford- With 5 crosses in his first EPL match it’s fairly clear that Holebas deserves our attention. Since WBA is allergic to possession, Watford should have more of the ball at home and he could soar past the 2X value we’re looking for.
Nacer Chadli – ($6,200) – Tottenham – Chadli is the type of play that will irritate most of the field when he scores after they’ve paid up for the likes of Kane and Eriksen. And realistically nobody wants more than 2 Spurs in the first place, as they are prone to letdowns at the most inopportune times. But Chadli is a GPP player because he can absolutely score…or disappear.
Chris Brunt – ($4,700) – West Brom – Brunt lined up at left back against City and let’s be honest, we never really want a defender listed as a midfielder, we want the reverse. But Brunt is a pure stats play and Watford conceded 2.5X more crosses from the left flank in their opener against Everton. It’s obviously a tiny sample that could be a blip – or a pattern that Brunt continues.
Wes Hoolahan – ($4,200) – Norwich City – Does Hoolahan have enough flair to win? Or at least get promoted to TGI Friday’s? (Sorry.) Hoolahan is Norwich’s engine finishing with an assist and the most touches in the final third last week, while also taking penalties and free kicks. At $4200 against the nonexistent Sunderland defense? Why not?
Andre Ayew – ($5,600) – Swansea – Ayew cleaned up a goal with a deft touch to open the scoring for the Swans but most managers will remember Gomis and his tremendous goal celebration and opt for him. Ayew is a tremendous goal threat who will occasionally pick out a pass as well which gives him some solid upside.
Robbie Brady – ($4,000) – Norwich City – Look, this article isn’t called Chalk City, alright? A player listed at forward that played left back is certainly contrarian. While everyone turns to the likes of Kane and Sakho and Gomis at striker, we are going to do the whole Tortoise vs. the Hare thing and chip away with cross after cross after cross after cross…
Jose Rondon – ($3,000) – West Brom – If you aren’t planning on waking up to check lineups, you could very well be lighting your money on fire with Salomon Rondon. A big ticket transfer in from Champions League side Zenit, Rondon is a legit player and should absolutely not be this cheap. Rondon’s fitness is a question but they didn’t buy him not to play him. Call me crazy but I don’t think Rickie Lambert has tremendous job security.
Nathan Redmond – ($5,400) – Norwich City – Redmond came off the bench to score in the opening match though we aren’t tipping him to do the same. However, if he starts, he’s worth a long look with the sort of diverse skillset that pays in fantasy soccer. And if that isn’t convincing, it is still Sunderland, after all.
Harry Kane – ($9,800) – Tottenham – Just kidding, he’s a great play but he doesn’t belong here. Really proud of you for making it to the end of the article though!