The Premier League season starts with a smaller Saturday slate that features a huge favorite in Tottenham and four other matches that are expected to be close. Harry Kane could score a hat-trick, but finding the top plays in the other matches will likely decide who wins the EPL $50K Season Kickoff [$10K to 1st].
STUDSGylfi Sigurdsson, Everton at Crystal Palace, $8,800 — Harry Kane ($11,000) needs to score multiple goals to make value, so I saved a couple thousand to help the rest of the lineup. Sigurdsson averaged more fantasy points per match than Kane last season because he had a better floor. While 2017-18 was somewhat of a struggle, Sigurdsson averaged 2.48 shots and 2.13 chances created per 90 minutes last season. Playing at Crystal Palace isn’t easy, but his floor should be around 10 fantasy points, and that’s good for the price. Other Options — Harry Kane, Tottenham, $11,000; Callum Wilson, Bournemouth, $8,000; Troy Deeney, Watford, $7,300
VALUESChristian Benteke, Crystal Palace vs. Everton, $5,500 — This is more of a GPP play, but Benteke’s price is low for a forward at home. Everton had a negative away goal differential last season and won five of 19 matches. Benteke battled injuries most of the way and his numbers couldn’t have been worse, which is why he’s fairly cheap. Even then, he still averaged close to three shots per 90 minutes in limited action.
Other Options — Jordan Ayew, Crystal Palace, $6,000; Billy Sharp, Sheffield, $5,600; Glenn Murray, Brighton $5,200
STUDSChristian Eriksen, Tottenham vs. Aston Villa, $9,200 — Ryan Fraser ($9,000) might have a better floor due to massive crossing numbers, but it’d be a surprise if Eriksen didn’t make the scoresheet. According to the odds, Tottenham are expected to score a half goal more than Bournemouth, and that leads me to Eriksen. In addition to a solid floor from 2.70 shots and 2.37 chances created per 90 minutes, he has better odds to score or assist. Other Options — Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth, $9,000; James Ward-Prowse, Southampton, $7,600; Luka Milivojevic, Crystal Palace, $7,300
VALUESJefferson Lerma, Bournemouth vs. Sheffield, $4,200 — As long as Lerma starts, this is an easy spot for five or six fantasy points. He doesn’t have a ton of upside in a central role, but he does a little bit of everything else, averaging 1.11 tackles won, 1.90 interceptions and 1.83 fouls drawn per 90 minutes to go with almost 50 completed passes. If you spend on Kane, Lerma is a reasonable midfielder to grab for cheap.
Other Options — Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Southampton, $5,600; Oliver Norwood, Sheffield, $5,000; Roberto Pereyra, Watford vs. Brighton, $4,800
STUDSLucas Digne, Everton at Crystal Palace, $6,600 — Assuming Digne’s role doesn’t change, he’s one of the safer players on the slate. He averaged 8.50 crosses and 2.15 chances created per 90 minutes last season while Palace allowed the most crosses to defenders (297) by more than 30. In this same matchup at the end of April, Digne had a floor of 19.4 points. Other Options — Jose Holebas, Watford, $5,800; Kyle Walker-Peters, Tottenham, $5,700; Kiko Femenia, Watford, $4,300
VALUESPhil Jagielka, Sheffield at Bournemouth, $2,900 — It’s unknown what kind of numbers Jagielka will put up with Sheffield, but if he starts, there should be plenty of tackles and interceptions available. Bournemouth forced the ninth-most tackles and interceptions to defenders last season, and that number likely jumps when at home.
Other Options — Ahmed El Mohamady, Aston Villa, $3,800; Nathan Ake, Bournemouth, $3,500; Maya Yoshida, Southampton, $3,300
STUDSHugo Lloris, Tottenham vs. Aston Villa, $5,900 — If Lloris doesn’t win and secure a clean sheet, he won’t make value. But if you’re into spending on goalkeepers, he’s as easy as it gets for the opener. He also closed last season with at least 9.3 fantasy points in his final six starts. Other Options — Artur Boruc, Bournemouth, $5,400; Ben Foster, Watford, $5,300; Nick Pope, Burnley, $4,700
VALUESVicente Guaita, Crystal Palace vs. Everton, $4,600 — I’m not buying into Everton being favored in this match given last season’s away record and a ho-hum preseason. Guaita provided a solid 3.28 saves per match last campaign, and that gives him a decent floor in a winnable match. It also helps Palace played a little more defensive at home, allowing 23 goals in 19 contests.
Other Options — Angus Gunn, Southampton, $4,700; Mat Ryan, Brighton, $4,200; Tom Heaton, Aston Villa, $3,700
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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.