Here we are, another week, another slate of EPL games on DraftKings! With 9 Games spanning 2 days included it promises to be an exciting weekend.
This weekend is a fantastic slate. There is no clear cut obvious teams to stack. Almost every match is between sides with around equal expectations in the league this season which makes picking and choosing plays more of a challenge. The one exception to this may be Man City against Aston Villa but even then, Villa have shown themselves to be no slouches.
I hope everyone has been enjoying the soccer so far, if you are new to it, welcome, and good luck to everyone this week! Lets get into some picks, as ever i’ll go position by position and give you a few players I am liking this week.
Joe Hart ($4,700) – Manuel Pellegrini has said it was “just a rest” when he shocked us all and left Hart on the bench last week against Hull. Either way it is widely known Hart is not impressed and wants to play every game, a little extra motivation to play well and prove a point, if you’re looking for that sort of thing. Away from the narratives, I think Man City are your ‘safest’ bet for a win this week and while I won’t promise a clean sheet, it is possible and I do not see Villa scoring more than once. So in a tough week, i’ll be looking to Hart in cash games being the most likely source of a 5pt win bonus and at least the 2pt bonus for only conceding once, with the upside of the clean sheet.
Kasper Schmeichel ($4,000) – Two newly promoted sides square off here with Burnley travelling to Leicester. These clubs mark the games against their fellow promoted sides on their calendars as ‘must wins’. They are all looking to survive first season in the league and games against your biggest rivals for that are essential. Both sides will be up for this and both keepers should face some shots. Either makes a good GPP play but in my opinion, the son of the great Man Utd legend makes the better play here. I think his side is the more likely to pull off the victory and even if he concedes one he should put up a good score through volume of shots saved.
Steve Harper ($3,000) – Hull lost usual starting goalie Allan McGregor this week for the next 4-6 weeks. They will probably turn to the experienced Harper to start in his stead and he comes in to an excellent matchup at minimum price. Very similar to Schmeichel, two sides expected to be in the lower part of the table square off, I give the edge to the home side, Crystal Palace have players who like to push forward so again, he should face some shots, I really like the potential upside + salary relief of this play in a GPP.
Other goalkeepers to consider: Vito Mannone ($4,500), Lukasz Fabianski ($4,000).
With no clearcut favourites to get a clean sheet this week its going to be essential to look for defensive players with attacking upside and a reasonable chance of a clean sheet.
Leighton Baines ($4,200) – Yup, a difficult matchup on the road against Man Utd, certainly not going to predict a clean sheet. But in a week where its tough to predict any clean sheets i’ll certainly default to guys like Baines who are massively involved going forward and as ever i’ll mention his added upside of taking free kicks and penalties.
Pablo Zabaleta ($4,000) – May be one of my most commonly used defenders this weekend. As with Hart he’s on the team i give the best chance of a clean sheet but also offers an attacking threat. I’ll say this, I always prefer to take Man City full backs when either Dzeko or Jovetic is starting as they are much more likely to cross the ball with a target man in there, if Man City start only Aguero up front with David Silva playing just off him they usually won’t cross as much and will try and pass their way through the middle. Just something to look out for.
Kieran Trippier ($3,300) – A guy who loves to get forward and cross the ball. This matchup isn’t the toughest for Trippier and he should see some joy going forward. A clean sheet is not out of the question against Leicester but he’s the defensive player I think offers you the most upside from that game overall.
Patrick Van Aanholt ($3,200) – Stoke are not the best team going forward, certainly not on the road. Sunderland defence may make for a sneaky stack if you are looking to go that route. Van Aanholt is the best of the bunch defensively in my opinion and offers the most upside going forward.
Other defenders to consider: Aleksander Kolarov ($4,500) or Gael Clichy ($3,100), whichever starts, Branislav Ivanovic ($4,100), Luke Shaw ($3,200).
Angel Di Maria ($11,500) – Most expensive by a long way, safest play by a long way. Di Maria is well worth the price. Not the worst of match ups at home to a leaky Everton defence, he offers great upside. I won’t spend long on him, I like him every week and if you can afford him, don’t hesitate to take him.
Dusan Tadic ($8,000) – Rapidly becoming one of my favourite players. Averaging 15pts a game (which is kinda good) I love the tactic of pairing him with either forward, Pelle ($8,300) or Mane ($6,400), in a GPP. He offers a great floor week in week out and though the matchup against Spurs may not look ideal on paper, I predict an open attacking game from both sides which may suit his play style perfectly.
Nacer Chadli ($7,300) – Similar reasoning behind the Tadic pick, he is having a breakout season and if this game is as open as expected his pace could be suited perfectly to having a big game. With 4 goals in 5 games from Midfield so far this season he’s shown a real affinity for not only getting involved in Spurs attacking moves but finishing them off too.
Nathan Dyer ($5,500) and Wayne Routledge ($4,500) – I love either of these guys this week. Newcastle is a club on the ropes, their manager is under serious pressure and the players are mirroring that on the pitch. Swansea are the type of team Newcastle is really going to struggle with if they are not on their game and I think if that is the case it is going to come through these two. Moderately priced either would make a great GPP play with some fantastic upside.
Aiden McGeady ($4,200) – Assuming he starts this is one of my favourite plays this week. With Kevin Mirallas getting hurt last weekend, McGeady is the most likely to draw the start. For those who don’t know i’m a huge Celtic and Liverpool fan, I actually watched a lot of McGeady in person before he left Celtic for Russia and I left Scotland for the US. He is a guy who will run at the defenders with 3 possible outcomes: 1) he tries to go past them and is fouled = 0.75FP. 2) He gets past them and goes outside to cross the ball = 1FP. 3) He comes inside for a shot = 1FP. I like all of those possibilities, particularly the latter two which can turn into assists or shots on goal/goals. Very cheap price, great upside play against a Man Utd defence in crisis.
Other Midfielders to consider: Raheem Sterling ($8,800), Erik Lamela ($7,200), Sebastian Larsson ($5,900), Ahmed Elmohamady ($5,400), Jason Puncheon ($5,200).
I already mentioned I like Pelle and Mane from Southampton in my Tadic write up, I won’t write them up again but I think either makes a solid GPP play when paired with Tadic. Tadic I will use in any lineup any format, this week i’ll stick to GPPs with these two.
Sergio Aguero ($10,200) – Probably the most friendly matchup of the week. His price is a nice discount from Costa and with goals in his last two games, Aguero is in good form. I like both him and Dzeko ($8,900) this week.
Robin Van Persie ($9,600) – With Rooney suspended many people are going to be asking “who gets the bump?” My money would be on RVP for a couple of reasons. Firstly, he is more likely than Falcao to play the full 90mins. Secondly, RVP should take over the duty of taking penalties and possibly some free kicks with Rooney sidelined. I like both but considering the tiny price difference i’d lean RVP over Falcao if choosing one.
Alexis Sanchez ($8,500) – Can someone send Wenger a memo and tell him its probably a good idea to start his best player?? Each of the last two weeks he has been inexplicably left on the bench. He has a tough matchup with Chelsea this week as does Danny Welbeck ($8,700). Of the two i’d lean Alexis purely because his floor is higher from crosses and fouls drawn. These two can produce against anyone right now and it is a scary prospect to fade them even in this matchup, it will be very interesting to see ownership %.
Nikica Jelavic ($5,500) and Abel Hernandez ($4,900) – I like both of these guys this week against Crystal Palace. As I said earlier it is a very important game for both sides. These two have both shown they know how to find the back of the net and are in a prime matchup to show it again this week. At their cheap price tags they make a great flex play to allow you to get in everyone else you want.
Other forwards to consider: Romelu Lukaku ($9,100), Leonardo Ulloa ($7,500), Saido Berahino ($7,300), Wilfried Bony ($5,900).
That about does it for this weeks picks. As ever, be prepared for managers to throw us curveballs on the day with their lineups and make sure to double check everyone is starting.
Feel free to leave any feedback here or hit me up on Twitter @cjhopkins07 with any comments/questions.
Good luck with your games this weekend!