In Saturday’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 weekend.
Joe Hart – ($4,300) – Manchester City – Hart’s strange season continues as he has failed to score double digit fantasy points since October. But the facts are that Hart is the starting goalkeeper for one of England’s top teams, and he has a great matchup on Saturday. Swansea City are coming off a terrible 3-0 defeat to Leicester City and they have been held to a clean sheet in two straight games. The loss of Vincent Kompany clearly is hurting the Manchester City defense, but hopefully the potential return of Eliaquim Mangala will provide the much needed spark that the team and Hart need moving forward.
David De Gea – ($4,400) – Manchester United – Similar to Hart, De Gea has also struggled as of late when it comes to DFS, scoring under 10 points in three straight games. He will be on the road this Saturday, hoping to slow down a Bournemouth team who have earned five points in their last three games. Some of the recent struggles can be attributed to the turmoil in defense for Manchester United, who will now be without Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian. De Gea may not be the most popular choice, but he is once again another one of those goalkeepers on a top tier team who should be expected to win on Saturday.
Jack Butland – ($3,000) – Stoke City – He may not be England’s first choice goalkeeper, but he continues to be one of the best value DFS goalkeepers no matter the matchup. Last weekend he added four saves to his impressive 58 saves on the season, while also earning a clean sheet against Manchester City. His 18 fantasy points last weekend was the seventh time in nine games that he has scored 12+ points. Butland is virtually matchup proof given his ability to make saves, even if he conceded a goal on the road against West Ham United on Saturday.
Aleksandar Kolarov – ($5,600) – Manchester City – As mentioned before, Manchester City do have a great matchup on Saturday against a team that hasn’t scored in two straight games. The potential for defensive bonuses only enhances the value of the very attacking minded Kolarov, who is far and away the most expensive defender in this slate. With the lack of high priced attackers available, you may be able to fit him into your squad on Saturday. That could be a good thing given Kolarov has scored 12+ in five straight games and is averaging nearly nine crosses per game over that same span.
Cedric Soares – ($3,800) – Southampton – Cedric has been a mainstay in this target piece this season and his attacking reputation makes him well worth it. His successful first season in the Premier League continued last weekend with his fourth straight double digit fantasy output. He will now face a Crystal Palace team on Saturday who are known to play a very open style. It is worth noting that his value only increases when Graziano Pelle is in the starting lineup, so monitor that over the weekend.
Joel Ward – ($3,100) – Crystal Palace – Since the return of Ward and Pape Souare, the Crystal Palace defense has been much better than in previous weeks. He has yet to scored double digit fantasy points since his return from injury, but expect that to change as the weeks go on. Ward has the potential to get forward in attack against Southampton on Saturday, and as most should know he is a constant threat on set pieces. Ward or the aforementioned Souare are both good options on Saturday.
DeAndre Yedlin – ($2,500) – Sunderland – Yedlin received another start last weekend in the wide midfield position for Sunderland. Against Arsenal, Yedlin surprisingly had one of his best games of the season fantasy wise (although his positioning on the first Arsenal goal was horrendous), scoring nine points on five crosses and a shot. Sunderland will be playing Watford on Saturday, a team who have conceded seven goals over their last five games, so if Yedlin can get involved in the attack then he should be primed for another breakout performance.
Kevin De Bruyne – ($7,800) – Manchester City – The Swansea City struggles in attack have already been mentioned, but their defense has also been poor as of late. They have conceded ten goals in their last five games, which should bode well for De Bruyne. The return of David Silva (who will be discussed shortly) may push De Bruyne all over the pitch, but he should continue to be influential in the dangerous Manchester City attack.
Dusan Tadic – ($7,700) – Southampton – For me it was a toss up between Tadic and Sadio Mane for Southampton, but I settled with Tadic. The main reason for this choice was the consistency in the number of crosses that Tadic has played. He is averaging ten crosses per game over their last four weeks, and has scored 10+ points in all but two games dating back to late September. Crystal Palace have given up at least one goal in each of their last four games, so expect Southampton to have at least some chances in front of goal on Saturday.
David Silva – ($5,800) – Manchester City – It took Silva a couple of games to get back into form, but he returned in a big way midweek. He scored his first goal since August and looked very good at the fulcrum of the dangerous Manchester City attack. It is worth monitoring how Silva and De Bruyne work together in midfield since they both are very similar players. Given Silva’s price in a great matchup, he is a must start on Saturday.
Xherdan Shaqiri – ($4,600) – Stoke City – Shaqiri’s first season in the Premier League hasn’t been spectacular by any means, but last weekend was a different story. In a very surprising outcome, Stoke City dominated Manchester City largely due to the play of Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic (who also made this list). Shaqiri earned just his second and third assist on the season, but they came at a very good time as Stoke City try to climb to the top half of the Premier League. As for this Saturday, Stoke will have a decent matchup against a banged-up West Ham United team who have conceded five goals over their last three games.
Raheem Sterling – ($6,600) – Manchester City – Sterling is the fifth and final Manchester City player who will be targeted on Saturday. As mentioned before, they have a great matchup and should be able to exploit it. With Aguero out again, Sterling will continue to take more of the goal scoring responsibilities. In the Champions League midweek, Sterling scored two goals and recorded an assist en route to a 45 point performance. He likely won’t replicate that performance, but he should have plenty of chances to add to his seven goals in all competitions.
Odion Ighalo – ($6,200) – Watford – Ighalo scored his ninth goal of the season last week and continues to be one of the biggest surprises of the season. The combination of him and Troy Deeney have bolted Watford up to tenth place in the Premier League. He will now take his talents to Sunderland, who conceded three goals against Arsenal last weekend. Sunderland have given up 29 goals on the season and will be dreading having to face both Deeney and Ighalo on Saturday.
Troy Deeney – ($5,300) – Watford – As previously mentioned, Deeney has a great matchup and given his significantly lower price, he is a great value play on Saturday. Although Jamie Vardy would disagree, Deeney’s four game goal scoring streak has been very impressive. Expect Deeney to have plenty of chances to continue that streak against the poor Sunderland defense.
Marko Arnautovic – ($4,300) – Stoke City – As mentioned before, Arnautovic was a key player for Stoke City as they pulled off a shocking win against Manchester City last weekend. Arnautovic scored two stunning goals and finished with 30 fantasy points. He is starting to adjust to playing more centrally at the top of that Stoke City attack and it looks to be working with five goals already this season. West Ham United are decimated by injuries in their midfield right now, so expect Stoke City to take advantage of their weakness and create plenty of opportunities for Arnautovic and others.