Gents! You should have a little extra change in your pocket after two weeks. If not, no worries, there are 36 more weeks to get it straightened out. At the moment, we lack a proper sample size. I’m using the eye test for almost 100% of my analysis because models are still developing. That’s good for us!!!
For those of you who are new, part of what you are paying for is my brain, which other sites can’t offer. I played the game at the highest level for 20+ years. I’m getting older now, but I actually played with several players who are still playing professionally.
Part of the reason I was all over Pukki last week wasn’t because of his STATISTICS from week one but more so the positions he took up on the field. Seeing his instincts in and around the box, seeing his technique and hunger when he did get a half chance. Those items don’t show up on the stat sheet, they can’t really be factored in to a model.
Look, I’ll stop pumping my own tires, but just know that right now is when we eat. Manage your bankroll appropriately, of course, but remember: This is a really good time to make money, which is what I’m looking to do.
Next, let’s talk about payout structure:
1st place is $10k. Yay!! I guess that draws in the casual player but I’m more concerned about the rest of the structure of the tournament. Min cash = 2x. GOOD! 9th being 10x less than first. NOT GREAT!
I get what DK is doing and I’m not saying to avoid this contest, I’m simply saying that like picking stocks, we need to choose wisely where we invest our money. Set appropriate goals, play appropriate contests.
If your goal is to chase the big score, then this is the tournament for you. If your goal is to turn a profit at year end, sure, this can be a part of your portfolio. But if your goal is to be profitable every single week, then maybe these GPPs aren’t right for you.
Where do we go?
Aston Villa +225 2.5 (-125o/+105u)
Norwich City +320 3 (-110o/-110u)
Brighton +150 2.5 (+110o/-135u)
Manchester Utd -275 2.5 (-135o/+115u)
Crystal Palace +700
Sheffield Utd +225 2 (-145o/+115u)
Leicester City +125
Watford +110 2.5 (-145o/+115u)
West Ham +255
Liverpool -200 3.5 (+120o/-145u)
You are Aston Villa. You haven’t picked up a point after two games but you were riding high after week one. Your new boy Douglas Costa bagged a goal but you lost to Bournemouth at home after holding Tottenham scoreless for 75 minutes away.
What can we make of this? Nothing earth shattering, actually. Aston Villa spent a shitload of money. They brought in a bunch of new players. It’ll take some time for them to gel with a new team, new system and new league.
There are easier starts to the season than Tottenham and Bournemouth but where do they go from here? Well, if you are tailing me, you know that we have a prop bet on them to be bottom at Christmas. Zero wins, zero draws and two losses is a good start!
This Friday night game will have the boys jacked up to grab their first point. Everton themselves have had a bit of a rocky start as well. A win and a draw isn’t terrible and they’ve kept two clean sheets. However, Watford looks atrocious and Crystal Palace are Crystal Palace. That is the kind of start to the season Villa would have enjoyed.
Everton themselves are working in some new pieces slowly but surely and will be a top half team come the end of the season. Defensively they do look very solid so you’d have to think Villa will struggle to be the first team to break through.
Depending on team news, I think this match ends in a draw. Something like 1-1, 0-0 or maybe even a 1-0 win either way would make sense. Everton haven’t shown me the expansiveness necessary to really blow a game open. Villa are just too new. I like the under.
Woah, buddy, do I like the form of Norwich!
However, let’s temper expectations. Yes, it’s been a very good start to the season, but just as they are figuring out the league, teams will begin to figure them out as well.
In game one vs. Liverpool, Norwich sat back and countered. They created a number of chances that way and even bagged a goal late. They didn’t play scared despite taking a more defensive posture but instead took advantage of opportunities to bring it back aggressively the other way.
However, against Newcastle, it was a much different story: Attacking soccer was the order of the day.
This is a tough matchup because Chelsea will be desperate for their first win of the season. Norwich will score. Chelsea will score. Who will win???
Chelsea have played three games in seven days prior to a minor break this week. They’ve had a chance to refresh their legs and have had additional time in Fat Frank’s system, which should help.
Chelsea doesn’t lack talent, they just don’t have high end talent, which is why I’m down on them. Their best players are in their late teens and early 20s, new to first team football (Mount) or new to the league.
(Pulisic) Abraham started brightly against United but didn’t bag the goal and found himself on the bench for game two.
There are more questions than answers at the moment and this game will do a lot to show us how this season will look for Chelsea. A loss here and top four will be gone. Insane to say in August, but they have a lot of work to do.
Brighton are top four! Never thought I’d say that, even if it is just two games into the season. Let’s not lose our minds here. The 3-0 hammering of Watford is a good result, regardless of how bad Watford looked but…Watford looked bad.
The West Ham draw was exactly what they needed to avoid the drop this year. Hold court at home and pray for a few points on the road. What I really liked was the way Brighton played against West Ham, on the front foot, having the majority of possession and firing 16 shots.
Trossard, in particular, was a player I had targeted coming into the season. He had a goal called back and then found the net again later in the game. Things are looking up.
Southampton are off to a rough start. Two losses out of two games, one away and one home. They weren’t expected to beat Liverpool, but they would have done well to at least grab a point. Why Danny Ings didn’t start is a question for the manager. Sure enough, he comes off the bench and grabs a goal against his former team.
The game against Burnley was more of an aberration. Insane efficiency in front of goal for Burnley buried Southampton’s hopes. Heading into the season they would have been targeting this game as an opportunity for three points. Now they’ll happily take one.
The trouble with the start of the season is results tend to spiral. Great results give confidence and spur a team on. Poor results and everyone is looking around the locker room wondering when if it will turn around.
United will have slightly less rest, but other than that, how do they not get the win here? Believe it or not, these teams played to a 0-0 tie at Old Trafford last year. United did win the away leg 3-1 and United are certainly the more talented team.
Palace have gotten off to a slow start when it comes to scoring goals. Who’s the player to break teams down? Zaha. The big problem is he usually comes off the left side. Wan-Bissaka, his former teammate, plays on the right and is the best defensive RB in the league. Not great for Palace.
Anything other than a United win would be shocking.
We knew coming into the season that Sheffield would be solid defensively. Conceding one goal through two games in the EPL is a dream start for the Blades. They are very organized and very solid. They have a bit of a Wolves vibe to me without the high end attacking talent.
McGoldrick and Robinson have not been as dangerous as I thought they might be. In fact, they’ve been a bit wasteful in front of goal. Sheffield are home underdogs, but this game will be close.
Leicester have two draws after two games but will feel they’ve had the luck against them. Against Chelsea they had several brilliant chances that went begging. (COUGH** JAMES MADDISON ** COUGH) They only had three shots on goal, but created three big chances to Chelsea’s one. In their 0-0 draw with Wolves they had 70% of the ball and fired 16 shots.
This will be the biggest test for Sheffield by a wide margin. You’d think both teams would be happy with a point here but I expect Leicester to have a lot of the ball, the majority of the chances and, most likely, the points.
Yo Watford STINK! Zero goals in two games while conceding four. Not an ideal start for those boys. They really lack the top end talent to bury chances. Frankly, they look more like the team I expected to see than their 11th place finish last year. When Troy Deeney, Andy Gray, and Deolufeu are your big attacking three you’re going to have some down turns.
Do they blow up the system and move to a single target forward with wingers?? I would think that would be their best best. New boys Sarr and Welbeck are both familiar coming in off the wing. It would give the side more balance and limit their weaknesses. BUT, I’m guessing we’ll see them trot out the same 4-2-2-2 on Saturday.
West Ham are West Ham. Obvious, right? But seriously, that’s what they are. Like Bournemouth, these middle of the road teams have the ability to impress or disappoint on any given day. They were blown out by City and tied a Brighton team that may or may not be good.
I honestly don’t think Pellegrini knows his best 11 yet. Wilshere has been starting but taken off early in both games. That space should be occupied by Pablo Fornals for the rest of the season. There is also a log jam at the wing positions as Snodgrass/Antonio try to work their way into the team. Chicha bagged a goal last week and having a consistent face up front would do them a world of good.
Having only 43% of the ball against Brighton isn’t a great sign. On the road and playing inconsistently is not a spot I really want to attack. Likely a no bet here.
I kind of like the afternoon hammer being a clash of the titans. We saw City v Tottenham last week and now we get the future champs (Liverpool) taking on an Arsenal team with an identity crisis.
Alisson being out hurts Liverpool in so many ways. He was an integral part of their buildup play. He was a sure set of hands at the back. Adrian is neither, but will it matter?
Arsenal have two wins from two but used a new back-four in their game against Burnley. I still believe Tierney is a part of their best back-four, but, at the moment, they prefer using Monreal’s experience. David Luiz made his Arsenal debut and did add a new element to the back four.
More importantly, Dani Ceballos had his coming out party playing an advanced role in the middle of the field. Lacazette started up front with Aubameyang starting out wide. The attacking trident is potent. Essentially, they attacked with 3-4 and defended with six.
Can they afford to do that against the big boys? We’ll find out on Saturday afternoon.
Sadio Mane’s early season form is a joke. What an absolute stud! Look, I still believe in statistics, and statistically there is no way he repeats last season’s performance if he gets a similar set of chances, but when you combine supreme talent with an attacking side that creates strong opportunities, they are going to have success.
Bobby Firmino is the straw that stirs the drink. His workrate and sacrifice for the team creates everything. His movement will cause Sokratis and Luiz issues. Liverpool spanked Arsenal 5-1 last year at home. The result won’t be that lopsided but I do expect three points for Liverpool.
- Trossard – BHA – $7k
This man is the real deal. He’s right where he needs to be to shine. He’s what everyone thought Pascal Gross would be.
- Rashford – MU – $10.3k
Averaging three shots per game and has at least a goal or assist in each. Big favorite on the board, back at home, back on penalty duty. This is a great option, cash and GPP.
- Aubameyang – ARS – $8.7k
Strictly a GPP play. I’m unsure of the possession stats from this game. Obviously, they are on the road and underdogs, but for that reason Auba should be less than 10% owned. His upside is there. Take a stab. Not all in.
- Martial – MU – $8.8k M/F
A true stud finding his form. He hasn’t been lights out by any means but he’s been producing. If you want a little savings from Rashford but still grab a piece of United, this is it. Stacking both is not a move I’ll be making this week but is certainly an option. They are the front two.
- Salah – LIV – $11k M/F
Mane got the headlines last week, but Salah will do the damage this week. The set piece and penalty equity is really what puts him over the edge for me. He’s expensive – I’ll have more of Rashford than Salah – but if you want to give yourself options late, roster Salah knowing you can pivot to Mane/Auba/Firmino if need be. Salah is in play for cash.
- Ings – SOU – $5.6k
He has to start, right? Came off the bench to bag a goal last week and Southampton are desperate for goals. He’s getting in good areas, and I’m not quite convinced that Brighton are all of a sudden a great team. The price makes him ripe for GPP consideration.
- Gross – BHA – $7.5k M/F
I prefer Trossard, but Gross has the set piece equity. Five crosses in back-to-back games shows he has a floor. The issue is Gross was subbed off after 67 minutes last match. He and March are very similar players and as Trossard establishes himself, I’ll be watching their minutes to see how to attack this.
- Deulofeu – WAT – $7.2k
I was looking to Deu even before it was announced Troy Deeney would be out a few months after going under the knife. Now he’ll lead the line with Gray, and we could see the introduction of Sarr. West Ham aren’t exactly a steel trap at the back, and with Watford at home and desperate for points, I expect a full on onslaught from them.
- Maddison – LEI – $9.6k
Lock him in.
- Ceballos – ARS – $5.5k
Simply too cheap for his ability. Set pieces. Open play value. Tough matchup but my goodness he’s a near must play.
- Lanzini – WH – $5.7k
More involved in the second game than the first, but he did pick up an assist against Brighton. West Ham will eventually have a multiple goal game, and it could be this spot against a crappy Watford, even on the road. The fact remains, Lanzini is heavily involved in most of what West Ham puts together. At under $6k, he’s worth it for GPPs FOR SURE. Maybe even in cash…
- James – MU – $6.9k
Dan James is more DFS friendly than I thought! When he starts, he will cause problems. Van Aanholt isn’t good. He’s just not good at soccer. He will give him fits should he start again. Regardless of how poor his end product might be, he’ll get chances.
- Norwood – SHU – $6.5k
Shockingly good numbers from a crossing perspective. Seven crosses and five crosses in two games with five ASSISTED SHOTS are bonkers numbers for these perennial bottom dwellers. They are a defend-and-set-piece type of team. We’ll see a lot of Norwood in cash.
- Henderson – LIV – $4.4k
The Liverpool captain should get the start and see at least 70 minutes. He’s good for 4-10 pts so he has a floor, even if his upside is limited.
- Maintland-Niles – ARS – $4.2k
Cheap option, but maybe not quite the spot to use him. He will get forward, but remember, no clean sheet bonus in the unlikely scenario that Arsenal blanks Liverpool.
- Guendouzi – ARS – $3.4k
Just so stinking cheap and the midfield battle will be immesnse. He’s a destroyer. He breaks up plays and will be influential if Arsenal has success. At worst, 1x.
- TAA – LIV – $6.6k
To play or not to play, that is the question. I gave a little breakdown on this week’s podcast, but in short, the answer for me is no. We can find other cheaper options and I’d rather use the extra cap to pay up at midfield and forward. He’s a good play, not a great play.
- Robertson – LIV – $5.4k
Robertson has been so disappointing this year overall, but then you look up and see he’s gone nearly 2x both weeks. Save the $1.2k off of TAA and go here instead.
- VVD – LIV – $4k
Gets on the end of set pieces. Very cheap. CS upside.
- Pereira – LEI – $5.7k
Expensive but solid.
- Holebas – WAT – $5k
Nine crosses and six crosses in two games so far. Taking a boat load of corners/set pieces, but zero shots and picked up a yellow card last week. The upside is limited, which puts me on others, BUT, he’s in the player pool.
- Shaw – MU – $4.8k
Now taking corners without Pereira on the field. High Clean Sheet odds. He’s viable for those reasons.
- Baldock – SHU – $4.1k
Put in six crosses last week which is a step in the right direction. The wing backs push forward A LOT but aren’t really doing much with it to this point. They are getting in good areas.
- Lundstram – SHU – $4.9k
OK, this is expensive…we’ve made our Lundstram money, let’s sit this week out.
- Burn – BHA – $3.3k/Dunk – BHA – $3.5k
These two giants get on the end of set pieces and either go direct to goal or direct back towards other players. For so cheap, either is worth a flier in GPP.
- Leno – ARS – $3.9k
They got hammered 5-1 last time they played at Anfield. Arsenal are much improved and, while big underdogs, it’s unlikely Leno ends up in the negative.
- Henderson – SHU – $4.4k
Leicester are good. That is the worrying piece for this price but they are at home and solid defensively.
- Ryan – BHA – $4.9k
Southampton have looked shaky and Brighton have looked great. Brighton are at home and favorites. WHAT COULD GO WRONG????
- DeGea – MU – $5.8k
Little nervous about this United backline. However, they are big favorites at home.
- UNDER 2.5 AVL/EVE (+105) – 0.95 to win 1
- United/Palace OVER 2.5 (-135) – 1.35 to win 1
- Manchester United 1st Half Line to win (-110) – 1.1 to win 1
Quick Friday Showdown Preview:
Do we see Moise Keane?! That is the big question for me.
McGinn – AVL – $9k
19.6 and 18 points from his 2 games. This game will be similar to the Bournemouth contest where he put in 6 shots and drew 5 fouls. I’m very impressed with his game.
Grealish – AVL – $9.6k
Slightly more expensive but clearly the top 2 from Villa. I liked what I saw much more in game 2 from Jack. He was playing a little slow in game 1. When he gets up to the speed with the league he’ll be a problem. Set piece equity.
Digne – EVE – $7.4k
Picked up a knock late and had to be subbed off so a bit of a risk for the first 11. I think he’ll play and be a monster. Big time option for Captain.
Richarlison – EVE – $9.4k
The most likely to score even before I saw he was LITERALLY the most likely to score based on any time goalscoring odds. Bernard scored last game but he’ll have less than 5 goals all year. Calvert-Lewin hasn’t done jack, which is why I think Kean gets his first start, but Richarlison is the danger man.
Sigurdsson – EVE – $10.6k
Big time spend up and I’m not convinced he’ll have the impact this year he had last year. OK to fade.
Keane – EVE – $8.2k
I love this kid’s instincts in front of goal. Everton’s attack has been flat and in need of a boost.
Wesley – AVL – $6.2k
The big man up front. He looked much better in game 2 than 1 BUT he really struggles to produce DK points. In a game that isn’t likely to have a ton of goals, if he buries one at a cheap price you are spring-boarding up the leaderboard.