The highly anticipated Boxing Day slate complete with a $25K prize pool in the DKFC was a success. It drew 1048 entries at $27 apiece. It was taken down by jhamilton99 with a score of 155.5. Slightly higher scoring than we usually see, but that had a lot to do with some big games out of some big name players. Let’s see who helped the winners get there.

Position Breakdown

Goal Keeper

We had a few goal keepers all around the 11-15 point mark on Friday that were useable. The big key was avoiding the landmine. The landmine on Friday was Sunderland Goalie Costel Pantilimon. He was 25% owned more or less across all buy in levels to be the top owned keeper on the day and he finished with a DK score of -1.25 to sink quite a few rosters right off the bat. He had a great match up and had been playing well so it made sense to use him, but it did not work out for those who did. The top scorer on the day was Man City stopper Joe Hart who finished with 15 DK points. He was $5300 and owned about 10% across the board. Lukasz Fabianski was second on the day with a score of 14 DK Points for $5100 and owned about 5-7% across all buy in levels. They were the top two keepers on the day. Fraser Forster and David De Gea were the two other guys who were solid with 11.75 and 11 points respectively at around 5 and 10% ownership. It was not a matter of having the keeper who went off since many of the scores were bunched together forthe top guys, but more a question of avoiding the guy who really hurt you this weekend in Pantilimon.

Defenders

Looking through the top 10 rosters I noticed a few names that kept popping up. All of them were guys highlighted in our Boxing Day plays article this week and were the usual suspects for defense in the DKFC. Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand was the top defender on the slate. He was 12-15% owned across the board and put up a 18.25 DK score on the back of a goal and a stuffed stat sheet. He cost $4500 so he was not cheap, but he was an excellent start against a weak Crystal Palace attack and rewarded his backers with a nice game and a top score for the position. Two other guys we highlighted who reached double digits were Kieran Trippier of Burnley and Kieran Gibbs of Arsenal. Trippier was the second highest scorer on the day for defenders. We said he was a long shot to keep a clean sheet, but it does not matter to a guy like him as he winds up near double digit crosses every game and that can really boost a defenders score. He finished with 12.75 points for $4600 at about 15-20% ownership from top to bottom. Gibbs was also useful as he put up 10 DK points. He was $4400 and owned about 6-8% across all buy in levels. Again here Gibbs is a guy who fills up a stat sheet and is not solely reliant on a CS bonus to get his score, although it did help him last weekend. Leighton Baines of Everton was another useful player. He was owned over 20% in some spots and at $5500 was not cheap. He does have a high floor though and demonstrated his consistency in reaching it again with a 9.25 DK score which was not great, but kept pace with some of the top guys. The other player worth noting is Bertrand’s teammate Nathaniel Cline. He was owned around 10% and scored 9 DK points for $4400. He made a great handcuff with his teammate Bertrand and the pair gave you a defender score of 27.25 if you used them together. These five guys were the top scorers we saw on most of the top 10 rosters at all buy in levels.

Midfielders

We had quite a few big time scores come from the mid field this week and not exactly from the top used guys we normally see. Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez put up his second straight 20+ DK point game on Friday. He was under 5% owned across the board but managed 9 crosses and an assist on his way to putting up four points per $1000 of salary and being a top play on the day for value. The only Value play that returned better was Hull City’s Gaston Ramirez at $3000 who scored 21.75. His ownership was closer to 3% across the board and at that price he returned 7 points per $1000 of cost and was key in allowing you to fit in some of the high priced forwards that had big days we will discuss next. Some of the higher used guys who were good this weekend include Juan Mata and David Silva. Mata was $7600 and about 10% owned. He returned 15.25 DK points and was a quality option on the day for those who were on him. Silva was the chalk play in my opinion as he was playing a very attack minded role with all the Man City forwards banged up. He did not have the huge day I envisioned, but 15.5 DK points was very solid. He was closer to the 20-25% owned mark we figured him to be and was not a bad play to have made. Sunderland’s Adam Johnson bulit on his 20 DK point performance from a week earlier by coming back with an 18.75 today. at $5300 and only around 5% owned he was a very good value guy as well. James Ward-Prowse, Christian Erikson, and Phillipe Coutinho all hit double digits with 19,15, and 10 DK points respectively. All were much lower owned than the guys already mentioned, but were serviceable to save a few bucks and keep pace with the top scorers if you used them. We saw quite a few different combinations of these guys all make the top 10, but every roster had one or two of those guys mentioned or they would not have had a chance to be there. Raheem Sterling of Liverpool is another guy worth mentioning. He didn’t have the huge upside game we mentioned he was capable of, but a 16.25 score for a price around $8000 is definitely serviceable.

Forwards

We had some really big scores from a few of the Forwards on Friday and you really needed to have more than one of these guys to really give yourself a shot at the top prizes here. The top scorer on the day was very expensive at $10700 and owned only slightly north of 5%. I’m talking about none other than Man U poster boy Wayne Rooney. He had 33 DK points on the back of a two goal and one assist game. He had a great match up and was by far one of the best options to use here. Those who were not on Rooney still had a shot to keep pace if the swerved onto the much higher used Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal who also had himself a day. He was 20-25% owned at $10300 to be the guy most people paid up for. He did not disappoint his backers as he put up 30 DK points on the back of a goal, an assist, and a very full stat sheet. Using both of these guys all but guaranteed you a chance to cash as some people were able to do so with this combination despite having Costel Pantilimon and his negative score in goal. #0+ point days from strikers are rare and having two of them on a roster really buoys a lineups floor. The other really big game and best value play was Southampton forward Sadio Mane. While he is not the main goal scorer for them, he was a key part of their victory Friday as he put up over 25 DK points. he was 3-5% owned for $6600 and scored 25.5 points to make him a 4 point per $1000 guy and actually a better value play than either Rooney or Sanchez. Having at least two of those three was the way to get yourself to the top of the standings. Other useful guys to roster included Harry Kane of Tottenham who scored 15.25 points for $9300 at 15% ownership. Kevin Mirallas of Everton had a nice all around game netting him almost 12 DK points. He was $7000 and about 3% owned more or less across the board. Nikica Jelavic of Hull City had 12 DK points at under 2% owned and only $5200 making him a solid price saving play and QPR’s Charlie Austin remained one of the hottest players in the EPL with another 15.5 point score for $8800 at 5-9% ownership. He had been putting up double digit points on the regular for almost a month and is still useful even at the elevated price point he now commands. All of these guys were helpful in moving you up the standings, but the top three were needed if you really wanted to cash the big money.

UPCOMING

This week the EPL slate is playing on New Year’s Day. There are 10 matches scheduled and so far DK has not posted a game slate yet. If they do not have one for Thursday than the next match day is January 10th and I hope to see all of you making and posting some line ups for that game slate. Check back with the Playbook before the next match day for a preview of the next set of games. The writers here do a great job of pointing out situations you should be looking at and it’s really a disadvantage to make line ups without reading those insights first. Good luck Fans of the DKFC and keep looking for more great offerings for DK Soccer in the near future.