With Day #1 of the EPL season in the books, Sunday’s slate of games should provide some more entertainment and a larger list of high profile names. In today’s EPL Targets I will be analyzing some of the best plays for this slate of games and point out some of the best values based on price. Also follow me on Twitter (@jwl_15) for injury and lineup updates throughout the day.
Petr Cech – ($5,700) – Arsenal- Cech will be competing in his second competitive game with Arsenal, after his strong performance last weekend against Chelsea. Cech finished last season scoring double digits in six of his last seven starts, although they were spread across several months. He should be rejuvenated and refreshed after spending most of last season on the bench, and I expect big things from him as Arsenal look to be title contenders from the start.
Joe Hart – ($5,300) – Manchester City-Hart had a very up and down season last year, but finished strong scoring double digit points in five of his last six starts. Manchester City are still trying to figure out their defensive situation with Gael Clichy out and Pablo Zabaleta questionable with injuries. West Brom and Saido Berahino will look to catch Manchester City off guard in week one, but Hart should stand tall and have a very productive opening weekend.
Maarten Stekelenburg – ($3,000) – Southampton-Stekelenburg returns to the Premier League this year with a great chance to turn his career back around with Southampton. Fraser Forster may be missing most of the season with an injury, leaving Stekelenburg the opportunity to shine like he did in the preseason. Newcastle has plenty of new faces in attack, making this a great matchup for Stekelenburg and his value almost makes him a must play.
Hector Bellerin – ($4,800) – Arsenal – Bellerin started in the Community Shield for Arsenal and looks to have solidified the starting right back position as of now. His pace, dribbling, and willingness to get forward in attack quickly turned him into one of the top up-and-coming defenders in the world. He ended the season last year scoring at least seven points in seven of his last eight starts. The only downside would be if Giroud is omitted from the starting lineup, as Arsenal tend to avoid crosses when he is out of the lineup.
Nathaniel Clyne – ($4,400) – Liverpool-Clyne made the switch from Southampton to Liverpool over the summer and will look to build on his very strong season last year. He was very consistent last season, despite not recording as assist all season. With Christian Benteke leading the line for Liverpool, I expect that to be a different story this season as Benteke is bound to get on the end of some of Clyne’s many crosses.
Cedric – ($3,000) – Southampton –Cedric was signed as Nathaniel Clyne’s replacement and will be fighting for an opportunity to slide right into the starting lineup. He was a very well know and sought after commodity over in Portugal and could easily be a household name in England by the end of the season. At his value, he could be a great asset especially with the form of Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane.
Daryl Janmaat – ($3,400) – Newcastle United-Janmaat returns to Newcastle this season after a solid first season with the club. The Dutchman scored one goal and had six assists last season, proving to be a very affordable and valuable contributor to DraftKings lineups. His low price should make him a very attractive target on Sunday with the amount of pricey attackers available.
Mesut Ozil – ($8,300) – Arsenal – Just a year after being considered a bust, Ozil turned his Arsenal career around with four goals and five assists in 22 Premier League games last season. To say that we expect those number to grow would be an understatement, as his form suggests he should be one of the league leaders in assists by the end of the year. Arsenal have failed to sign a world class striker so far, but the talent around him is still there. When Alexis Sanchez returns to full match fitness, expect Ozil to quickly reach his peak form early in the season.
Raheem Sterling – ($9,200) – Manchester City-The Raheem Sterling saga dragged on most of the summer, but finally came to an end after his big money move to Manchester City. He will quickly be inserted into the starting lineup and they will expect big things given the amount of money they spent to acquire him. Sterling was very inconsistent last season with Liverpool, but I expect him to flourish now that he has world class talent surrounding him, something that was missing for a majority of his time at Liverpool.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – ($4,800) – Arsenal – Oxlade-Chamberlain showed what he is capable of last weekend with his beautiful goal against Chelsea. The big question for him is the fitness level of Alexis Sanchez. If Sanchez is healthy, chances are that Oxlade-Chamberlain will loss his well deserved place in the starting lineup for Arsenal. It will most likely be very difficult for him to see playing time all season, but take advantage of his low price and talent, especially if Alexis Sanchez is missing.
Ibrahim Afellay – ($4,800) – Stoke City – Afellay joined Stoke City on a free transfer after two very frustrating loan moves by Barcelona. Injuries have put a halt to his very promising career, but if he can stay healthy, Afellay will be a valuable part of Stoke City this season. His pace, skill, and dribbling ability are something that Stoke City have been lacking over the last few years. Liverpool have shown at times to be very inconsistent in defense and Stoke City will try to exploit that. Afellay may not be the main focus, but he shouldn’t be overlooked as he tries to make the Premier League his home.
Sergio Aguero – ($10,500) – Manchester City-Aguero ended the season last year scoring double digits in seven straight starts. Manchester City’s main man will once again look to secure the Golden Boot after blowing the field away with 26 goals last season. The arrival of Raheem Sterling with provide some additional creativity to the side, giving Aguero even more opportunities in front of goal. Even with his high price, you should try to get this man into your lineup as much as possible .
Christian Benteke– ($9,000) – Liverpool-Benteke signed with Liverpool a few weeks ago and quickly made his mark by scoring a sensational right footed volley in preseason. Expect the Belgian to find a new set of life as he finally was able to move to a contender. He is questionable with an injury, but is expected to play against Stoke City on Sunday. The absence of Daniel Sturridge and loss of Raheem Sterling will hurt Liverpool as a whole, but I expect some of their newcomers including Danny Ings, Roberto Firmino, and Benteke to step up.
Mame Diouf – ($5,000) – Stoke City-Diouf will once again fight with Peter Crouch, Peter Odemwingie, and Jonathan Walters as the main attacking option for Stoke City. It looks like Diouf will start the season as the main man after scoring 11 goals last season. Liverpool is a difficult matchup for most teams, but at his low price, Diouf will be hard to pass up as a flex option.
Saido Berahino – ($6,400) – West Brom-After a summer of speculation, Berahino is still with West Brom and will look to build on his 14 goals season last year. They will have a very difficult matchup against Manchester City, but Berahino has a knack of scoring goals against some of the bigger sides. I expect Berahino to start the season firing on all cylinders, as he continues to try to push for a move out of West Brom and to a bigger team.