We have a six game slate available here at DraftKings for the English Premier League, in which there’s a very nice mix of targets in all price ranges in which to build a team in. The top contest on Saturday’s slate is the Equalizer, where DraftKings is offering a $7,000 prize pool with $1,000 for first place.
Newcastle United vs. Arsenal:
Newcastle United: Tim Krul ($3,500), Daryl Janmaat ($3,400), Ryan Taylor ($2,000), Remy Cabella ($5,000), Moussa Sissoko ($4,900), Emmanuel Riviere ($4,800), Yoan Gouffran ($4,900), Sammy Ameobi ($5,400), Ayoze Perez ($6,600)
Arsenal: David Ospina ($5,500), Hector Bellerin ($4,700), Nacho Monreal ($4,500), Calum Chamber ($4,400), Kieran Gibbs ($4,300), Santi Cazorla ($8,500), Mesut Ozil ($8,400), Aaron Ramsey ($6,100), Alexis Sanchez ($10,400), Olivier Giroud ($9,700), Danny Welbeck ($8,400), Theo Walcott ($6,900)
Post European disappointment in the cards for Arsenal? Coming off perhaps the emptiest 2-0, dominating victory in Arsenal’s history, the Gunners will trudge north to face Newcastle. Arsenal has dominated the recent history both over Newcastle (six wins out of six) and the Premiership as a whole (winning 7 of their last 9), and they need three points from this only to keep pace in the race for the top four.
Newcastle is filled with suspensions and injury absences, and Arsenal is a heavy favorite in this one–it seems that a letdown isn’t expected. For the most part, you have the green light to start anyone in Arsenal’s starting 11 depending on their place in the formation. Welbeck remains a play only if he starts up top in the place of Giroud, while with Ramsey back into the starting lineup it looks like someone will get a rest between Coquelin, Cazorla, Ozil–and it’s not out of the question that Giroud and/or Sanchez get a rest. Walcott is a nice play due to his lessened salary, while Ramsey is on fire despite his use as a defensive midfielder in Arsene Wenger’s starting eleven. Ospina, like Hugo Lloris and Adrian, is worth paying up for. The outside defenders, whomever gets the start, have a limited ceiling–you’re much better off drawing from the front four.
For the hosts, Krul is very much the low-priced contrarian play on Saturday–he’s the only likely starting keeper with a sub $4k salary that will start at home. He’ll see a lot of action against a strong attack, and there’s as much chance of Krul ending up in the negative than him standing on his head. If you go with Krul, you’re hoping for multiple saves and praying it does not end up in a blowout. Janmaat is solid but the clean sheet isn’t in play, and there is a chance the Dutch defender ends up centrally because of absences–keep an eye out on the starting lineup. Taylor remains at the minimum price tag and will be strongly owned despite the matchup. There is value in the midfield and attack, but any option has an awfully low floor to it. Even with Cisse out, it looks like Riviere would get the start over Perez as the sole lead striker despite the latter’s better results earlier in the season. Any of Newcastle’s front six will be low owned, and it might turn out positively if you choose the right one and they find the back of the net–even in a lop-sided loss.
Southampton vs. Burnley:
Southampton: Fraser Forster ($5,400), Ryan Bertrand ($4,600), Nathaniel Clyne ($4,500), Dusan Tadic ($7,800), James Ward-Prowse ($5,500), Filip Djuricic ($4,000), Graziano Pelle ($8,000), Sadio Mane ($6,700), Shane Long ($5,000)
Burnley: Tom Heaton ($3,700), Kieran Trippier ($4,900), Ben Mee ($3,300), Danny Ings ($6,100), Ashley Barnes ($5,800), George Boyd ($5,700), Sam Vokes ($3,000)
It’s a pair of desperate teams meeting at St. Mary’s–Southampton must keep pace in order to have any chance at a top four spot at the end of the season, and three points at home against a relegation-threatened Burnley is almost a must. Burnley, coming off their home with against Manchester City, would love to take a result against a club that’s only won two of their last six.
I can’t suggest taking Forster in this one, mostly because of the salary. If you’re spending up, there are better options than a Burnley side that fights for 90 minutes and has weapons in it. Forster does well at home, however, and his use will be a strong contrarian option as a home favorite with lower ownership numbers than Ospina, Lloris, etc. I’d avoid Bertrand and Clyne; their salaries have not gone down to match the lack of point production that has occurred over the last ten matches versus the first half of the season. Anyone in the front four for the Saints, on the other hand, has a clean light to use, save Pelle. Long offers value if he starts as the lead striker, but Mane, Tadic, and if he starts, Djuricic are the better plays.
Burnley is a strange animal when it comes to DFS; both of its wingers are classified as forwards, but neither Barnes nor Boyd garner any crosses to be used with confidence–goal dependence on display. Ings and Trippier are tried and true ways to go, but the former hasn’t scored in more than a month. Vokes is a minimum play at forward, but he’s unlikely to play 90 and would need a goal or assist to return value because he doesn’t generate any peripheral scoring. Heaton is a very interesting play, even on the road. Southampton has scored zero or one goals in each of their last seven matches, and Burnley was pretty solid in the win over City defensively.
Stoke City vs. Crystal Palace:
Stoke: Asmir Begovic ($5,000), Phil Bardsley ($3,800), Erik Pieters ($3,200), Geoff Cameron ($3,100), Victor Moses ($6,900), Charlie Adam ($5,000), Jonathan Walters ($6,300), Peter Crouch ($6,200), Mame Diouf ($5,800)
Palace: Julian Speroni ($4,600), Joel Ward ($2,800), Pape Souare ($2,800), Yannick Bolasie ($6,700), Wilfried Zaha ($4,000), Dwight Gayle ($6,200), Yaya Sanogo ($5,600), Glen Murray ($3,000)
It’s a matchup of two teams that have played pretty well in the second half of the season; Stoke safe from relegation and Palace relatively thriving under Alan Pardew since his takeover as manager in January.
The visitors dominated at home against QPR in the early game last Saturday–just as they should have. Zaha had the game we expected him to have at some point–he’s a question to start but both he and Bolasie are excellent plays as starters. With Jason Puncheon and Frazier Campbell both out, Pardew has some changes to make–part of which might have left back Ward move into a midfield role with Souare starting at left back. Both have value in that scenario. Murray started in the win over QPR, did not score, but if he starts again as a minimum cost play there’s a lot of upside that can come into play. Gayle and Sanogo are alternatives if Murray does not start.
Stoke got tripped up after three straight wins in a 1-0 loss at West Brom last weekend, and may be without Moses due to a leg injury. Those that love narratives would mourn Moses’ absence against his former club. Mark Hughes will have to make several injury-based choices in choosing his starting 11, with Moses, Walters and Pieters all heavy doubts. Cameron would step in if Pieters does not play, while Walters may play despite a broken cheekbone suffered last weekend. If he does not go, look for Crouch, Adam, Diouf and perhaps Marko Amautovic in the front four for Stoke. Begovic burned many of us last weekend, and a number of factors (Palace’s rejuvenated attack, a weaked defense, his price tag) might scare off a lot of potental owners. By that logic, look for Begovic to have a huge day in a home start.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City:
Spurs: Hugo Lloris ($5,800), Danny Rose ($4,500), Kyle Walker ($4,000), Christian Eriksen ($8,000), Nacer Chadli ($5,900), Andros Townsend ($5,800), Erik Lamela ($4,600), Harry Kane ($10,100)
Leicester City: Riyad Mahrez ($5,400), Jeff Schlupp ($5,200), Andrej Kramaric ($4,800)
Yeah, it should be THAT one-sided.
Spurs, coming off their 3-0 loss to Manchester United this past weekend, are in desperate need of three points against last place Leicester. I wish I could give you more in-depth, wordy analysis–but it’s not a bad thing to get a few Tottenham names into your lineup. Lloris is the most expensive keeper on the slate, and it’s unlikely he’ll see a lot of action between the sticks for Tottenham. For me, Rose is right up there with Trippier on the top of the defender heap while Walker might hit double digits for once because of a clean sheet bonus.
Kane is only second to Alexis for the most expensive play on Saturday, and you’re hoping he runs riot in this one. For me, he’s a better play than either Alexis or Giroud, with a home game thrown into the mix. Lamela looks like he’ll get the start over Townsend, but he doesn’t have the DFS-friendly game the latter has. Eriksen’s output is tied into Kane save free kick opportunities, and Chadli has some real value with that salary. Leicester is likely to defend in numbers, and I don’t think their bus has enough to hold off Spurs in this one.
For Leicester, you have Mahrez, who hasn’t hit double digits in his last three games but has enough value at a relatively depressed salary. The Algerian is useable in most any lineup, and if you’re going to spend up at forward, he and the Palace wingers are likely ways to fit everyone under the cap. Schlupp scored in Leicester’s FA Cup upset over Spurs, but both he and Kramaric are long shots to score–while Lloris might not get a clean sheet from this one, it’s hard to gauge who might break the shutout for City, There’s just better value around each of the pair in other games, with Kramaric having the better odds of hitting value due to being the lead strker.
Aston Villa vs. Swansea City:
Villa: Brad Guzan ($4,800), Alan Hutton ($3,700), Matthew Lowton ($2,900), Scott Sinclair ($5,400), Charles N’Zogbia ($4,200), Christian Benteke ($7,900), Gabby Agbonlahor ($6,800)
Swansea: Lukasz Fabianski ($4,700), Gylfi Sigurdsson ($7,400), Jonjo Shelvey ($5,300), Wayne Routledge ($5,000), Sung-Yueng Ki ($5,000), Jefferson Montero ($4,200), Bafetimbi Gomis ($7,000)
Happy days are here again in Birmingham, as Villa find themselves out of the relegation zone on the wings of the Tim Sherwood bump. Villa host Swansea in this one, with the latter safe from relegation and having little tangible to play for while those in blue and claret are not nearly safe from a potential place in the Championship next season.
Guzan is a pretty solid mid level play at goalkeeper on Saturday, perhaps the best of that $4k range that includes his opponent Fabianski, Speroni and Costel Pantilimon. As much as Villa’s attack has awakened from a slumber, the overall defense has gotten a lot tighter and Guzan finally hit double digits for the first time in 2015 last weekend. Hutton is back from suspension, but Leandro Bacuna (a midfielder for DraftKings) may continue in his right back spot. Lowton remains a sub-$3k play at defense, while both Sinclair and N’Zogbia both should start as wingers in Sherwood’s 4-4-2. No one forsaw Villa getting four at the Stadium of Light, and Benteke and Agbonlahor each hit double digits for a second straight week. Swansea’s a much better defensive unit than Sunderland, but each have a decent chance of finding the back of the net for a third week running.
The Swans have Fabianski, who vaciliates between feast and famine mostly depending on how Swansea does as a team. Neither Neil Taylor or Kyle Naughton is a strong play in this one at defender, but there is value in midfield. Sigurdsson is a very nice play at this price tag, while both Shelvey and Ki get into the attack despite playing a relatively defensive place in Swansea’s current formation. Either Routledge or Montero will get the start as an attacking midfielder/winger with Sigurdsson behind lead striker Gomis, who I wouldn’t use if he was $5,000, much less the $7k he’s at.
West Ham United vs. Sunderland:
West Ham: Adrian ($5,400), Aaron Cresswell ($5,100), Carl Jenkinson ($5,000), Stewart Downing ($6,700), Matt Jarvis ($3,000), Diafra Sakho ($7,700)
Sunderland: Costel Pantilimon ($4,700), Patrick van Aanholt ($3,600), Sebastian Larsson ($5,400), Ricardo Alvarez ($3,300), Adam Johnson ($4,000), Jermain Defoe ($6,100), Connor Wickham ($6,300)
Gus Poyet’s gone, and Dick Advocaat takes over Sunderland’s drive towards safety after his new club took the aforementioned beating at the hands of Villa. West Ham is safe, but it’s hard to see the Hammers take the day off at home against the Black Cats regardless of what little they have to play for.
The Hammers and Sam Allardyce will likely remain without either normal starting central defender in their lineup against Sunderland, so spending up for Adrian in goal or one or both of Jenkinson & Cresswell has little margin of error. Add into the mix the poor production of points for all three as of late, and I’m going to avoid the trio and look elsewhere. Downing, Jarvis and Sahko are on the opposite end of things–their salaries are relatively low enough to give you value, and while it’s hard to see Sunderland giving up another three or four in this one, one or two are not out of the question, and if it’s from the run of play it could be one of the midfield wings feeding Sakho for his goal.
For Sunderland, it’s hard putting weight behind any option because of a) the new at the helm and b) the team’s overall poor performance over the past few weeks. They’re on the road, and while the new managerial bump could bring a level of respectability to Sunderland, I can’t see Advocaat improving things in just a couple of days at the helm. Pantilimon’s price tag is not low enough to use him as a contrarian option in goal, and van Aanholt’s ceiling is not high enough without a real chance at a clean sheet. There’s a small chance Johnson could start after his time away from the club, but it’s doubtful. Larsson is coming off a pretty nasty cut in the loss to Villa and may not start, while Alvarez does have some interest and potential value if he plays behind the two strikers. Speaking of which, both Defoe and Wickham and ice cold–but they have the talent and all that’s needed is just a goal to ruin West Ham/s (and your) day.