With early starts and Sunday fixtures, we had a smaller slate of games to choose from for Saturday’s DKFC offering. A lot of the big name clubs were not playing in the time slots to be included and it made for a great contest with player usage distributed more evenly. Once again an excellent job of keeping the time slot and games bunched close together by the staff at DK. The talk around the chatrooms, forums, and water cooler is that the players enjoy when the start times are all bunched together (ala Champions League), because the roster building is more predictable when you already have most of the starters known. They do offer the late swap, but it’s not always easy in a sport with such drastic differences between the stud players and the subs to make a good switch if a late line up has your player starting on the pine. The soccer pools seemed to be healthy with offerings expanded from the $2, $27, and $200 level to now include $5 and $12 tournaments as well. DK has found the right number to put in the pool to match the demand and the popularity of the EPL growing in the US will only help the size of these pools increase as well. After the College Football like scoreboard of Tuesday’s Champion’s League action, this Saturday’s EPL slate was more formful with the top scores back down in to the 120-130 range from the 170-180 Stratosphere buoyed by a 64 DK point Luiz Adriano performance. Let’s take a look at the players who had big games.

Goalkeepers

We saw a higher number of clean sheets on the day then usual, so you had quite a few options at keeper to get you double digit points. The man of the day in DKFC was Lukasz Fabianski from Swansea. He was around 20% owned across all buy in levels and finished with 18.75 DK points on the back of a 4 save clean sheet win as a home favorite. He was a very solid start and not the top guy everyone was on, so he was a very shrewd play by a lot of sharp players and was the guy in goal who helped you the most. The highest owned play across all levels was Fraser Foster from Southampton. He was as high as almost 40% at some of the lower buy in levels and was almost a lock for a clean sheet against a weak Stoke Side at home. He now has 5 clean sheets in nine games and has not allowed more then 2 goals in any of them. He is a big reason why Southampton are the EPL’s stingiest side when it comes to goals allowed. He finished with a very respectable 12 points and did not hurt you. It bares pointing out though that he was not the top guy as one concern I always have when I feel one side should dominate is; How many saves can I realistically expect? For cash games he was the play, but in a GPP it pays to look a little deeper then the chalk who has the highest chance of a clean sheet, because he will not see much action on his way there. Simon Mignolet of Liverpool and Eldin Jakupovis of Hull played to a scoreless tie with both being usable with 11 and 13 DK points respectively. Mignolet was about 8-12% owned across the board and Jakupovis was 1% or less @ only $3200 for a very shrewd play against a Liverpool side struggling to find goals.

Defense

Again, with so many clean sheets we saw a lot of bonuses being handed out and a lot of defenders became decent plays. I’m going to highlight some of the ones who had great days regardless of a CS bonus. The first one that stands out is Arsenal’s Calum Chambers. The young left back stepped in to a starting role due to injury and has been getting more involved in the attack in recent games. He had a few shots and crosses against Chelsea earlier in the month and added a few more along with an assist in the Champion’s League game this week. He had 1 SOG, 5 Crosses, and 3 Fouls Drawn to add to his CS making him a guy who can score in many ways and someone who should be on your radar in future match days if he holds on to the starting spot. Crystal Palace defender Brede Hangeland was this week’s sighting of old man value in DKFC. The 33 year old CB slipped a goal through on a scramble in the box at min price to finish with 13.25 points on the day. CP defense is very porous, so you needed a prayer goal from him with a CS bonus very unlikely. Some brave souls (around 1% of you) were rewarded handsomely for this Bold play. Ryan Bertrand of Southampton was the most popular play as he was seen above the 50% mark in some of the smaller stakes contests. He is a very solid cash game play in my eyes as he plays on a stout defense and always has some stats to score a few points, but for GPPs he has limited upside. Sure he crosses some balls in and may run into an assist here or there, but he rarely scores goals, he rarely has multiple assists, and he almost never has 5 or more crosses. He’s a solid option and I am not knocking him, but he does have a lower ceiling than many other players if you are talking GPP.

Midfield

DK did a great job this week adjusting mid field prices to reflect recent performance. I mentioned last time that Southampton’s Dusan Tadic was criminally underpriced as he has been one of, if not the best Middie in the Premier League so far this season. Many of you agreed as he was 50% at some of the lower buy ins and finished with 15.5 points to again led the position. The midfield was not a rich source of points Saturday as only a few other guys were able to reach double digits. We saw a lot of one digit numbers make the top tens. The list of decent plays include Chris Brunt of West Brom at only $3300. He has been a solid cash game play for awhile due to the salary relief he offers and the 7-9 point range he consistently hits. He was 10-15% across all buy ins so he is probably no longer a secret. If his price stays depressed, he is a guy you can always consider including to fit in some of the studs. Yannick Bolaise of Crystal Palace is another guy who fits this mold. His price was slightly higher at $5400, but his game log reads slightly better as well. He has double digit DK scores and a couple 2.5-3.5 point per $1000 of cost performances in his recent starts. Both guys are good examples of finding value with high usage players on bad teams and are worth keeping an eye on. Other players to note are Jefferson Montero of Swansea whose 13 DK points came out of no where and the more predictable score in that range we saw from Raheem Sterling. Sterling is one the brightest young stars in the Premier League. Due to his high price, he really did not have a great game, but once Liverpool get more talent around him they are going to be tough. He has all the athletic tools and the skills on the ball to be a truely great player and he is only scratching the surface of that talent now at his young age.

Forwards

There was not a ton of scoring this weekend and no 50/60 point games to worry about. We did have one duo though that dominated all the top ten lists for Saturday and that was Swansea ‘s Wilfred Bony and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. Both guys were 30% + owned across all buy in levels and they had 34 and 30.5 points respectively. Both men scored two goals and you really needed them both to make the big money. We saw a few rosters sneak in with a combination of 15-18 point players, but for the big money you needed these two guys. Other guys who are worth noting include the tongue twisting pair of Saido Berahino of West Brom and Sadio Mane of Southampton. Both guys have sen their price rise due to their solid string of good performances and although they are getting expensive you really can not argue with the production. Both guys had DK scores in the high teens and were 20-30% owned across all buy in levels. Berahino especially is someone who should be on your radar weekly.

Break Down

It was still a widely seen strategy to pair at least one defender with a keeper as Bertrand and Frasor was probably the most popular combo across all buy in levels. Mid to high cost strikers paid off once again here, but you still had to pick the right guys to get there. A combination of a high and low priced mid was again popular in the top 10 with Tadic and some of the guys mentioned being the most widely seen. Many of the highest owned guys paid off again, so you really should not look to fade too many players in the DKFC. It’s more important that you include those studs and find the right value pieces to add to them as recent results in both Champions League and EPL have shown. There is no mid week action for us now so the next slate should be back to the EPL games on the weekend. Hopefully this information helps you shape a team that can get to the top and contain all the players I am writing to you about next weekend. Good Luck fans of the beautiful game, let’s go win some of that money.