We’re back! Another week of EPL is upon us and we’ve got a tasty 6 game slate on Saturday. Once again it is all 3pm UK time kickoffs and because of daylights savings having passed over there and not being here yet, we all get an extra hour in bed before getting up to watch it/edit lineups! Okay, so hopefully that has put you in a good mood, lets jump right into some picks.
Thibaut Courtois ($5,200) – This is your ‘lock’ if you are looking for a safe win and probable clean sheet. He gets QPR at home this week, who, though they have improved their performance in recent weeks, are no match for Chelsea, especially not on the road. If Diego Costa returns as expected Chelsea could steamroll QPR making Courtois very safe, though his upside from saves is capped.
Fraser Forster ($4,400) – People tend to be put off by goalies on the road, personally its not enough to put me off Mr Forster. Southampton have the best defence in the league and travel to face Hull who are without their best striker in Jelavic. With confidence high in the team I see another win for Southampton and if Forster can get a clean sheet his upside from saves may surpass Courtois at a nice saving.
Ben Foster ($3,500) – If you are looking for value/upside I like Foster again this week. On the road against Leicester who have had a real issue scoring goals recently, if he were at home i’d like it a little more but I still like him for the win and a few saves, the potential for a shutout is there too. He has the potential to match the more expensive guys production at a great saving.
Leighton Baines ($5,600) – Won’t spend too long on this, our loyalty to Baines is being tested with that price tag, but as ever, he offers more upside than any fullback out there. I would say there are defenders from other teams with higher potential for clean sheets, so is this the week to play the fade? I still like him if you can afford him.
Ryan Bertrand ($4,600) – I’ve thought for a few weeks that Bertrand is the better play of the two Southampton full backs, so its been nice while he was also the cheaper. That ends this week with Clyne dropping to $4,100, I still prefer Bertrand but both are in play. I think Southampton will really try to attack Hull with these two this week and as I mentioned earlier, they are also the tightest defence in the league with a good chance of another clean sheet on Saturday.
Branislav Ivanovic ($4,500) – Served his 1 game suspension midweek in the cup, so is eligible to play again on Saturday. Which is great, because the matchup is absolutely prime. Ivanovic has shown his affinity for getting forward and even has a habit of popping up with a goal now and then. I think he makes a great play this week in a game Chelsea should win comfortably, he shouldn’t need to worry too much about defending and be able to push forward even more.
Calum Chambers ($4,100) – Chambers has really stepped up his game in the last couple of weeks in an attacking sense. We haven’t really seen him get forward much in the past but he has provided an assist and 7 crosses across his last two games which, if it is to continue, will make him a great play going forward. Arsenal get Burnley at home this week, so another great chance of a clean sheet, i’ll be plugging him into a few lineups and hoping he can continue to contribute on both ends of the pitch.
Andre Wisdom ($2,400) – He was popular last week, and with good reason, however it did not really work out for his owners. I think this is a great spot to go back to the well where many will be put off after being burned last week. He is still very cheap and offers solid upside. I’d pair him with Foster in a GPP if you are going to play him, if those two can get a clean sheet at their prices you are set up very nicely with extra salary for the attacking positions.
Dusan Tadic ($9,900) – How expensive would he have to be for us not to play him? Honestly, i’m at full on man-crush levels with this guy. No assists or goals last week, still managed to put up 16 fantasy points, that is the definition of having a great floor. He’s plug and play for me in cash and I struggle not to play him in GPPs too because he has just as much upside as anyone!
Chelsea Midfield I expect we will see a lot of Chelsea stacks this weekend, for me it is impossible to single out guys from Chelsea’s midfield, a, because they are all great plays, and b, because I cant say for certain which ones Mourinho will start. Thus, I decided to group them. Fabregas ($9,800) and Hazard ($9,500), are the top end guys. Either is a great play but being so close to Tadic in price, it’s crazy to say, I prefer Tadic. Chelsea have a lot of mouths to feed, you could take Hazard, Chelsea win 3-0 but he isn’t in on any of it because Fabregas, Oscar, Willian, Costa etc do the work. Or you could take Tadic and know it all flows through him and if Southampton do well, he will have a significant role in it. As a result, i’m probably more prone to look at guys like Oscar ($7,300) and Willian ($6,200) they offer good value and exposure to a potent Chelsea offence without necessarily paying all the way up. I’ll add Andre Schurrle ($5,900) is a great value play too, if he starts.
Santi Cazorla ($6,300) – Seems to have stepped into the Ozil/Wilshere role since injuries hit those two. He gets a lot of time on the ball and has actually provided a very nice floor, not scoring less than 8 fantasy points across his last 4 games. A home game against Burnley should offer him plenty of chances to get forward and fire the shots he loves from just outside the box, or play balls through to Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck up front. I like him a lot as a mid-range value play this week.
Chris Brunt ($4,500) – For those who read last weeks article, I singled this guy out as a superb value play at $3,300 and he rewarded me and anyone else who played him with 12 fantasy points. Price jumps a bit this week but still good value. I think he’ll end up with a price around the $5.5-6.5k range before long so feel free to make the most of his current discount. Still taking all set pieces for West Brom which gives him access to assists, as he proved last week.
Diego Costa ($13,000) – I’m writing him up, but this is a fade for me this week. He’s coming off injury, which is still lingering because Chelsea have already said they are biding their time to perform a minor surgery following which he may miss up to a month. I think even if he starts he won’t get the full 90mins. Yes he could score a hat-trick in that time and burn me massively, and if so, fine. But at his price tag I really don’t think it is worth the risk this week. If I were his coach he wouldn’t even be playing.
Alexis Sanchez ($10,800) and Danny Welbeck ($10,400) – Big fan of both of these two again this week. Great matchup at home against Burnley. Alexis has been the hot hand with 3 goals and 2 assists in the last three games, Welbeck has only 1 goal in the same time. Alexis offers a much greater floor for cash games as he scores a lot from crosses and fouls drawn as well as shots, assists and goals. Welbeck is more of a poacher in front of goal, which in some games could see him grab a hat trick, but in other games completely disappear. Both are great GPP plays but Alexis only in cash for me.
Saido Berahino ($8,900) – Another guy I wrote up last week, Berahino now has 5 goals in his last 4 games. The young Englishman is a clinical finisher and obvious focal point of the West Brom attack. All of his scoring is derived from shots so he is never super safe, but I think he has great potential to keep the scoring streak going this weekend against Leicester. I see no reason to go away from him.
Wilfried Bony ($8,000) – Ok last time, but wrote him up last week and as with Brunt and Berahino, he rewarded us with a great game. 2 goals and 34 fantasy points, thats 4 goals in his last 3 games, he’s almost as hot as Berahino right now. I would say this week he has a much tougher matchup on the road at Everton. Having been a striker myself, we are streaky creatures, even in this matchup I think he makes a great play in GPPs as he’s brimming with confidence right now and many people will be put off by the matchup. That said, he’s not a cash game play for me.
Samuel Eto’o ($6,000) – He got 90mins last time out and grabbed two goals. Lukaku is questionable for this game, the Everton lineup is one to watch closely. If Lukaku plays I like Eto’o if he starts next to him, because Lukaku draws so much attention from defenders, if Eto’o starts without Lukaku I still like him because the offence will flow directly too him a lot more, either way, at his price, coming off a good game and in a decent home matchup, I think Eto’o makes a solid option if you are looking to go a little cheaper at forward.
That wraps it up for me, hope you guys have a great weekend. Feel free to get me on twitter if you have any questions: @cjhopkins07
Thanks for reading & good luck!