After a somewhat lackluster opening Saturday, things get a little more fun this weekend with Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham all on the slate. That should lead to more variety in lineups, especially for the EPL $75K Backheel Premiere [$15K to 1st].
STUDSBernardo Silva, Manchester City vs. Tottenham, $8,500 — This kind of looks like a weird play since Silva didn’t see the pitch last match, but I think he makes the squad over Riyad Mahrez ($9,100) against Tottenham. If that happens, he’s a bit underpriced after averaging more than a combined four shots and shots assisted per 90 minutes last season, often with a floor above 10 fantasy points. City are the biggest favorite on the slate, and Silva is cheaper than most of his teammates. Other Options — Sadio Mane, Liverpool, $10,300; Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton, $9,600; Raheem Sterling, Manchester City, $9,300
VALUESTeemu Pukki, Norwich City vs. Newcastle, $6,200 — Pukki was a goal poacher in the Championship (29 goals last season) and showed a decent floor against Liverpool, assisting shots and making defensive plays. Maybe that can’t be relied on against every opponent, but he still is expected to score and surprisingly has better odds to find the back of the net than a lot of players, namely Roberto Firmino ($8,300) and Richarlison ($8,800).
Other Options — Lucas Moura, Tottenham, $6,500; Joshua King, Bournemouth, $6,100; Joelinton, Newcastle, $6,000
STUDSKevin De Bruyne, Manchester City vs. Tottenham, $8,600 — I hate to pick two Man City players as two of my studs, but they’re the biggest favorite on the slate and both are undervalued. Part of that is because De Bruyne was injured most of last season, though it’s hard to overlook his numbers when on the field, producing 2.86 shots, 3.33 shots assisted and 8.41 crosses per 90 minutes. Similar to Silva, he has upside to go with a floor near 10 points. Other Options — Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth, $9,200; Matt Ritchie, Newcastle, $7,400; Jack Grealish, Aston Villa, $7,000
VALUESTodd Cantwell, Norwich City vs. Newcastle, $3,600 — Again, the price feels somewhat off considering Norwich are favored. Cantwell held an 8.1-point floor on the wing against Liverpool and should reach those numbers against Newcastle. He’s not a huge threat to score, but he assisted three shots in the opener and played a full 90, which is key at this price.
Other Options — Philip Billing, Bournemouth, $4,600; Jordan Henderson, Liverpool, $4,300; Fabinho, Liverpool, $4,000
STUDSTrent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool at Southampton, $6,100 — Alexander-Arnold has a similar floor to Lucas Digne ($6,300) so it makes sense to save a couple hundred bucks. He assisted in eight of his final 10 starts last season and began this campaign with another assist. If you throw out the assists, his floor still is above 10 points due to crosses and shots assisted. Other Options — Lucas Digne, Everton, $6,300; Oleksandr Zinchenko, Manchester City, $5,200; Diego Rico, Bournemouth, $4,900
VALUESJannik Vestergaard, Southampton vs. Liverpool, $3,300 — This has the potential to backfire, but that’s why it’s a value play. Vestergaard had a floor of 6.7 points when these teams met last April, mostly from defensive stats (two interceptions, four tackles won). That’s worth betting on again since Liverpool forced the fourth-most interceptions and fifth-most tackles won to defenders last season. Plus, there’s a chance Liverpool’s starting XI looks a bit different after numerous regulars played 120 minutes in Wednesday’s Super Cup match.
Other Options — Lewis Dunk, Brighton, $3,600; John Stones, Manchester City, $3,600; Fabian Balbuena, West Ham, $2,700
STUDSMat Ryan, Brighton vs. West Ham, $4,900 — I think it’s worth saving the money to use Ryan even with worse odds to win and secure a clean sheet. While Ederson ($5,800) and Adrian ($5,700) have the best odds, it wouldn’t be surprising if both Tottenham and Southampton found the back of the net. You’re testing your luck with Ryan, but I’m comfortable going against West Ham, who failed to score in this spot last season. Other Options — Ederson, Manchester City, $5,800; Adrian, Liverpool, $5,700; Jordan Pickford, Everton, $5,500
VALUESMartin Dubravka, Newcastle at Norwich City at, $4,400 — This is the move to make if you don’t trust Norwich attacking players. Dubravka doesn’t make a ton of saves, but he allowed 23 away goals last season, one of the better rates in the league. That’s worth backing against a Norwich team that could be battling nerves in their home opener.
Other Options — Aaron Ramsdale, Bournemouth, $4,600; Ben Foster, Watford, $4,100; Angus Gunn, Southampton, $3,900
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (username: rotozdroik) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.