Talk about a rather uneventful first 45. We saw a total of only three goals at the break in the first 45 minutes of DKFC action on Saturday, which is why the scores from top to bottom were separated by the lowest margin in memory this season. Things got a little better over the second period as the defenses loosened up a bit and the flow of play picked up. We still ended the week with some of the lowest scores we have seen here to date. The Nutmeg winner had only 129, the Corner Kick winner had 115, and the Equalizer was taken down with a score of only 118. Let’s take a look at why that happened by examining some of the top plays from each position.
The Main man across all buy in levels was West Ham United GK Adrian. He actually did not have a win, but his 4 save clean sheet gave him 13 points at 33-40% ownership across all buy in levels. He was the second highest scorer to American GK Brad Guzan of Aston Villa who was his opposition at only 5% in that scoreless tie. Guzan made 5 saves to Adrian’s 4 and finished with a better score of 15 to 13. Burnley’s GK Tom Heaton was the other player of note as he had a clean sheet win with one save for a score of 12 at only 4%. All 3 were needed to reach the top as only one other keeper managed to sneak in the money across the $2,$5,$27 buy in levels. None of them were spectacular, but 29/30 rosters in the money had one of the three with Adrian being the most seen and used GK of them all.
The top scoring midfielder on the day was Man U’s Angel Di Maria. This guy is just a pure stud and the lynchpin to United’s attack. He is arguably the best player in the EPL at any position and his class is very easy to see. The problem with him is the price tag. $13,500 is a tag usually reserved for forwards with a one goal floor and a multiple goal ceiling. To pay $13,500 for one Mid means you really have to get creative with the rest of the roster. Despite his top score of 19, he was only seen on one or two rosters in the top ten across all buy ins, because it was very tough to build teams you liked around an expense like that in midfield. The better value on the day was Man City Midfielder Yaya Toure. I for one was very happy to both roster him and watch him have a good game. Toure is one of the best players in the world and he has been off to a very slow start. Fresh off a four game stretch that saw him net a total of 15 DK points, he scored a goal this week in Champions League DF for those of us who took him at that depressed price and followed it up by equaling his score from that previous stretch with 14.75 on Saturday. His price drop makes him about 60% of Angel Di Maria and that is too good of a value to take one over the other. We saw more Toure rosters then Di Maria ones in the top 10 and they just were easier to construct with better pieces around him because of that price savings. The Southampton pair of Dusan Tadic and Victor Wanyama also had decent showings. Along with West Ham mid Stewart Downing, they all reached double digits on this low scoring day.
There was one game that kicked off later then the rest and if you were smart enough to leave yourself roster flexibility and follow the twitter feed you were in a position to capitalize on the highest scoring game of the day and really leap past the rest of the field. Before I get into the recap I wanted to offer a tip to you guys about this situation. When you play any DKFC games take advantage of the late swap feature. If you play Thursday night football you will notice a lot of people never bother to swap out injured players on Sunday from those line ups and the usage rates of the Thursday games is always high. Well the same goes here as most players roster the guys they are certain are playing when the starting eleven’s are released and do not touch it again. If you rostered some of the higher priced guys playing the late start and smartly left your flex open, then you had a plethora of options that paid off for those who had the patience to wait it out.
The reason for my little digression there was because of all the fantasy points we saw in that last game. Almost every top 10 roster was anchored by the 33 DK point performance from Man City front man Sergio Aguero. His 2 G, 8 S, 4 SOG, 1 C, 1 FD stat line was easily the top performance on the day and justified his $13,400 price tag. This is why it’s tough to pay up for a Di Maria at MF when his ceiling is probably not reached as often as a high priced forward can reach his. To fit him in you needed a cheap forward to pair with him and the man to use was his opposite in QPR’s Charlie Austin. Austin had 22.75 at $6500 for the best value on the day. Both players were near 20% across the board so they were no surprise. Austin’s teammate Eduardo Vargas was the other cheap option as he was only $5400 and managed to put up 13.75 points without a goal or an assist. He’s a guy who should be squarely on all our radar’s as when the QPR forward does add those bonuses to his stat line the scores will be tournament winning type of stuff. I say this based on his cross and shot percentages, especially if his price stays down at around $5400. Ashley Barnes of Burnley wins the punt of the day option as his lone goal in that game at $3400 made him the live longshot that hit. He had 13.75 points and afforded the price savings and bang for your buck that the guys from the MC/QPR game did. Graziano Pelle added an assist and an 11.75 DK point performance to some top 10 rosters. His price has risen, so he needs to do more in future fixtures to justify it, but he was servicable. Honorable mention goes to Burnley forward Danny Ings. His price has risen from minimum to $5200 and he is a great cash game play. He scores around 7-11 points consistently and has a chance for bigger games when he finds or assists on a ball in the back of the net. Like Vargas his usage does not rely on goals to make value, which makes both of them great players to roll out since adding a goal or assist bonus to their already solid play usually results in a huge score. It’s also a good feeling knowing you are spending on a guy who takes a good number of shots. There’s an old half joke half truth in sports about not being able to score if you do not shoot and in this case even a miss still gets you fantasy points. No need to shy away from those “VOLUME SHOOTERS” in DF soccer.
I saved the defenders for last, because they deserved prominent placing this weekend. Chief amongst them is Burnley defender Kieran Trippier. He had 10 crosses and one of them led to the only goal of the game. That means he also added a clean sheet bonus and finished with 21.75. This was his third 10 cross game and 6th double digit DK score. While Burnley does not score many goals and does not guarantee a clean sheet bonus ever, his cross rates and usage on the attack make him a must consider every week. A lot of top scoring rosters paired him with the cheap combo of Aaron Cresswell and Carl Jenkinson who cost a combined $5,200 and scored 28.5 DK points (15.75 + 12.75). Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand also had a good game with 15 and Man U defender Luke Shaw was servicable at 9.5 points. With so many clean sheets and a lack of goals you really needed to have some top scoring defenders littered around your roster. This week we saw a bunch of rosters who employed a defender in the flex make the top 10. While I normally argue against this strategy it did work this week. What you bank on is a lot of clean sheets and bad performances from high owned players when you do this, so be careful about rolling it out too often. It’s hard enough to give yourself a chance to win when you need all your own players to do well, but if you employ this strategy you are basically also betting against everyone but those on your team as inevitably someone will have most or all of the guys you faded who went off.
There’s no Champions League this week, so you are going to have to wait until Saturday to get your next daily fantasy soccer fix.