It was the Man City show today. Watford were down 5-0 within 20 minutes. As -950 favorites we knew they’d win but woahhhh buddy. So who’s the big favorite on Sunday’s slate? Arsenal?! Playing new boys Aston Villa we have to like their chances.
To the desert…
-Crystal Palace +160 2.5 (+135o/+-165u)
-West Ham +215 2.5 (-145o/+120u)
Manchester United +125
-Arsenal -235 3.5 (+115o/-140u)
Aston Villa +600
-Chelsea +260 3 (E-115o/-105u)
Anyone have Palace comfortably ahead of Wolves five games into the season? Lord knows I didn’t. A big win over United on the road followed up with a win over Villa at home have Palace in the top half. Wolves on the other hand haven’t won a game and are coming off back to back losses. So where are we with both teams?
For Palace, I still worry about where the goals will come from. Zaha is their best player by a mile but isn’t a goal scorer. Jordan Ayew is their leading scorer and would have a tough time making an impact in the MLS. They struggled at home last year but so far have drawn Everton and beaten Villa. They’ll see this as an opportunity for points.
Wolves will be desperate for their first win. With Palace posing little attacking threat, I would expect Wolves to be on the front foot for the majority of the game. It’s time to get Jimenez off the schnide and get him a goal.
West Ham are unbeaten in four and looking for points against a top six team at home for the first time this season. They were absolutely destroyed in the first game of the season by Man City 5-0 at home. Since then, they’ve only played one additional home game against Norwich which they won 2-0. Sebastian Haller is a big time Premier League forward but will have his hands full with Harry Maguire. Haller does most of his damage in the air. Yarmolenko looks nearly back to full health. Lanzini and Anderson are combining. What I’m interested in are the two straight clean sheets they’ve had!
United on the other hand had conceded in three straight before keeping the clean sheet v Leicester at home last time out. No Martial likely means Rashford through the middle once again. There are rumors that Greenwood hasn’t been seen with the team, which would be a surprise after his game winning goal on Thursday in the Europa League.
This feels like a game where both teams score, they tie, and no one leaves happy.
If Arsenal don’t shoot themselves in the foot they will win this game. Big IF. They were murdering Watford before gifting Tom Cleverly a goal and letting Watford back in the game. Villa are about where they belong in the table. Big results v Everton (W) and West Ham (D) have them on four points but sitting in 17th place on goal differential. That will be the goal on Sunday: limit the damage, trying to keep the game close until late and snatch a point.
The game of the weekend! The big miss is Mason Mount through injury. How Chelsea replaces his production will be interesting. Ross Barkley filled in during Champions League play but missed a penalty and overall didn’t impress. Pulisic will be begging for the chance. Willian will likely take over the set piece duty. Chelsea games have been anything but boring with five, four and seven total goals scored in their last three. Fireworks, engage!
Liverpool are flawless this season. Five wins from five games but their only NOTABLE result was the 3-1 home win v Arsenal. This will be their biggest test on the road in this early season. If we look at last season, Liverpool’s average goal tally went down from 2.89 at home to 1.79 on the road. Here’s the kicker…their goals conceded are the even more impressive piece. 0.63 goals conceded away from home. WOW. They drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge last year and, while I do anticipate a Liverpool win, I’d be surprised if only two goals were scored.
- Mane – LIV – $9.5k
For the savings, I like Mane’s goal upside in this spot. I love Salah as well but we’ve seen Chelsea concede goals left and right this year. I’m not opposed to rostering both in GPP builds.
- Willian – CHE – $7.7k
If Barkley does start, ding Willian a bit as they’ll share set piece duty. This is a reasonable price and the M/F designation provides flexibility in the roster.
- Aubameyang – ARS – $11k
If this was $10k he’d be my #1 play of the slate. This feels a touch expensive but his goal odds are ridiculous and Arsenal are the biggest favorite on the slate. With no Lacazette he’s playing through the middle and will score a goal.
- Salah – LIV – $10.7k
For $300 more I’m going Auba at home in a better matchup but I do think Salah will have some ownership.
- Cutrone – WOL – $6.1k
Will you please start him Nuno?!!? Came on last game and got his goal in just 44’ of action. Palace are susceptible at home. The price is attractive. I also like his floor better than Jimenez.
- Yarmolenko – WH – $5.1k
Left back is a trouble position for Man United and Yarmolenko will line up right on top of whoever ends up there. He’s certainly going to be subbed off early but at home he can get it done in just 60-65 minutes for this price. F only which hurts the lineup construction a touch. The Auba/Yarmolenko pairing isn’t horrible.
- Rashford – MU – $9.1k
He’s on penalty duty, direct set pieces and maybe even some indirect free kicks. But jesus christ his form is atrocious. I like others more but he’s in the pool.
- Abraham – CHE – $7.5k
Liverpool just don’t concede goals or I’d be all over this price. He’s had a lot of game time on his legs so I’m going to be on others on Sunday but I get it if you ride the hot hand.
- Milivojevic – CP – $6.1k
I love this spot for Mili. He’s my top ranked M for the slate. Wolves have been conceding goals. Palace struggle to score goals. I feel it’s going to come from a set piece or penalty kick. Mili is the main man for both. Price is right in that sweet spot as well.
- Anderson – WH – $6.5k
I want no more than two pieces of the WH attack but he’s in great form and taking set pieces. The price is beyond reasonable. I had him pegged for $7.5k for this game. Yet to finish a full 90, but, much like Yarmalenko, can get it done in a limited time.
- Moutinho – WOL – $6.7k
More cash than GPP. He’s been in and out of the team for some reason, again, part of Wolves’ problem. Back to basics for Nuno this week and he’s good for his 7-13 pts.
- Grealish – AVL – $5.7k
Finding his feet in the prem and, while this is a tough matchup, we’ve seen Arsenal concede possession in their own third and get countered instantly. That fits Grealish’s game to a ‘T’. If they score he’ll be the man pulling the strings.
- Barkley – CHE – $5.5k
This is extremely reasonable for his upside. I’m nervous about his confidence. He missed a penalty mid-week and has been reading about it in the papers for days. It would be a big vote of confidence if Lampard gives him the start. The price is low enough to take a chance.
- Saiss – WOL – $3.5k
I hate him. I really do. Not as a person, but as a DFS asset. He never plays 90. He literally doesn’t do anything but score random goals. Hence the price. If you are doing an Auba/Salah/Mane type of build then you need punts. For GPPs, Saiss is exactly the type of risk/reward that can give you a W. Big risk he won’t play but it’s the early game so you’ll know.
- Alexander-Arnold – LIV – $6.5k
He seems to shine in the biggest games and they don’t get much bigger than this. I like him more than Moutinho/Grealish/Barkley etc so just because he’s a defender doesn’t mean we should ignore him for this price. Do it.
- Azpilicueta – CHE – $4.5k
Right in the sweet spot where I like playing Azpi in cash. $4.5k is the Azpi price. Not great value but a solid 5-8 pts every time.
- Van Aanholt – CP – $4.3k
His logs are helped by his goal but he does have that potential. I don’t expect Palace to be pinned back by any means so there will be opportunities for him to get forward.
- VVD – LIV – $3.8k
You know who I like better than Saiss? Virgil van Dijk.
- Fredricks – WH – $3.6k
The cheapest fullback on the slate.
- Maguire – MU – $3.5k
Second in the league in headers off set pieces. He’s yet to even knock one down for an assist. He can handle the CB pairing of West Ham. Ashley Young to Harry Maguire with David deGea in goal for the win? I’ll have that on a team.
- De Gea – MU – $5.3k
My preferred option at GK. A little bit cheaper than Leno and a much better player. West Ham have been solid and can certainly score so I’m not going to be all in. The clean sheet v Leicester showed me the potential is there for this team.
- Leno – ARS – $5.8k
Best chance for a clean sheet on the slate? I’d say so. Wesley doesn’t impress me for Villa and all their goals have come from their midfield where Guendouzi will be patrolling. BIG pay up but he’s a good option.
- Arrizabalaga – CHE – $4.2k
I get that Liverpool are really really really good but why this price? They don’t keep a clean sheet but are capable of winning the game and he’ll certainly have save opportunities.
- Heaton – AVL – $3.8k
Yet to have a ceiling game and this isn’t it but if he concedes two and has six saves that’s still eight points.