Duke’s EPL DFS Preview for Saturday’s three-match slate!!
There are no hangovers quite like a New Year’s Day hangover. As always, the key is to wake up and eat the greasiest thing in site. Chips. Burgers. Brats. Bacon. Whatever is available without a ton of effort. Step 2 is a nice hot shower. It’s incredibly important to do them in that order because showering first and then eating is like wiping your butt and then pooping. Makes no sense and leaves a mess.
We are two steps into curing a hangover and at this point it’s time to evaluate your current status. If the vision is still blurry and your head is still pounding there is only one thing you can really do to get back to functionality: drink. Not a ton. Just one beer or a mimosa to level things out. Now if you have your vision back OR you don’t have a headache, don’t drink. Just be an adult and get on with your day. It’s at this point you can judge yourself and claim you will never do that again.
There you go. My patent-pending three step plan to cure a NYE hangover. Also, we have three soccer games on Saturday. Let’s talk about those.
To the desert…
The return of James Tomkins added some solidity to the back line. He should keep his place. They were also able to rest a few key members along all 3 lines of the team. Eze should be back. Van Aanholt should be back. Benteke and Zaha have formed a nice partnership up front. Power and guile. Guaita is still one of the best GKs in the league for my money. This is a team that will be looking for all 3 points for sure.
It sounds like Sheffield are going to stick with Chris Wilder as the manager. Good for them. He brought them up. He led them to the unexpected finish. He’ll do well next year in the Championship. Why they can’t turn things around is a head scratcher to me but seemingly every bounce is going against them this season.
The two games from last season were both 1-0 wins for Sheffield. I can’t really see either side busting the other up but this is the lowest total for a reason…
Speaking of low totals. Two of 3 games have a total of 2 goals with varying juice on the over/under. In the last year, these teams have played 2 games that finished 0-0. In the middle there was a 2-2 thriller that saw 4 goals scored in the first half before both teams remembered how they usually play. Reminder, there are two major holes for Wolves where Jota and Jimenez used to be. Wolves are missing Jota. I probably haven’t talked about that enough. He had moments of brilliance but was consistently good. Can you say that about Traore? Podence? Neto has been brilliant but they are missing that next piece and with Jimenez still out you have to wonder where the goals will come from. Silva looks like a player for the future that’s being forced into action.
Lamtey looks to remain out which really hurts their attack. Veltman is solid but he’s not Lamptey. Oddly enough, the strength and weakness of Brighton is their depth. They have a ton of players that are very similar and too few difference makers. They are left with a balanced squad that will never reach the upper echelon of the league and frankly could lead to their relegation. This is a massive game in their season and they’ll be looking for the 3 points.
West Brom. Woof. They were smashed to bits by Leeds but face a much easier test this time! I kid. I kid. I really liked the RESULT by Arsenal last time out. The performance was a bit meh but they managed to grit out a win and keep a clean sheet. Especiall during this time of year, it’s survival of the fittest. Points are points no matter how you accrue them. When we are in May looking back at this holiday time we could very well see Arsenal win 3 in a row and get themselves out of the bottom half of the table. Arteta trusts Lacazette and snuck in some minutes of rest last match so he should be back to lead the line. What do you do with Aubameyang? That’s the big question.
West Brom players really need to buy into Big Sam’s tactics or it’s going to be an absolute shit show and honestly I’m rooting for one. His style of football is boring but typically effective. It’s absolutel zero fun to play in and it’s exhausting to boot. Disaster is always a potentil outcome but I expect this game to be hard fought from start to finish.
So you have 3 games that could potentially finish with 2 goals or less. Grab your floor points in cash. Do not chase goals. Thankfully DK adjusted their pricing from earlier in the week as every player was 20-30% too expensive. It’s slightly better now. Let’s jump in.
- Trossard – BHA – $8.4k
Assuming no Pascal Gross… Trossard will be back on set pieces and has been shooting on site when he starts. Wolves are a tough team to play but do concede some free kicks and have allowed the second most crosses this season.
- Willian – ARS – $8.1k
My read on the Saka situation is that he won’t be fit enough to manage a full game so he’ll either start on the bench or be rested completely. In that case, either Pepe or Willian will enter the lineup and Willian returned to full training this week. That extra rest will come in handy with the quick turnaround. I’m never excited to play Willian but this is as good of a matchup as he’ll get.
- Eze – CP – $9.3k
Christ this price. Set piece share if not majority and some open play value but Palace have been in the bottom half of the league in crosses.
- Neto – WOL – $9.5k
He’s probably the best actual player in this game but Moutinho is eating into his set piece share and this price is bordering on unplayable with a goal or assist. GPP option to play naked or part of a stack but likely missing out on my cash lineup.
- Silva – WOL – $5.3k
He’ll be the target man on a team that plays their target. He looked fantastic against Spurs in his last start. If he can continue that form he’ll have chances to score.
- Jahanbakhsh – BHA – $3.8k
The options below $6k are so limited that we are considering Fabio Silva and Jahanbakhsh. Gross. I’ll likely just spend up and Connolly might start so this is just here to give you options if he starts.
- Pereira – WBA – $8.3k
Surely he’ll get a start here. 3 straight games of coming off the bench to attempt to impact the game has likely left him feeling frustrated. He only managed 1 pass in 29 minutes last game. Contrast that from his master class against Sheffield and you have to wonder where his confidence is at the moment. His talent won’t have left his feet. The price is high but the opportunity is massive against an Arsenal team that are far from brilliant.
- Norwood – SHU – $4.1k
Finally some value floor points. Not a lock for my cash lineup but pretty darn close considering we’ll need salary savings.
- Diangana – WBA – $3.6k
Perhaps the only bright spot from this team. He’s tricky and involved in what little attack they have. Especially if Pereira is in, I love Diangana for the price. He plays better with better players.
- Xhaka – ARS – $3.4k
That left foot. The right one just for standing on and kicking people but that left one is magic. He’s a bad player in general but under Arteta he is getting in good spots and taking shots. He also has a minor role on set pieces. Most importantly, he’s cheap and on the biggest favorite.
- Neves – WOL – $5.4k
There was a time when I was regularly playing Ruben Neves but for whatever reason he hasn’t been popping up in my lineups. That’s a mistake. He’s consistently performed and I feel like I missed the boat a bit. This is near the top of my price range for his output but you are getting a midfielder who shoots and can actually bury a shot. On THIS slate, he’s actually cheap considering all the pricing.
- March – BHA – $8.8k
I love Solly March at $6.8k. This price is egregious. However, he has one of the higher floors on the slate so at some point he does need to be considered.
- Phillips – WBA – $3.8k
If team news breaks his way he could be on set pieces at under $4k. Pereira is the key.
- Ampadu – SHU – $3k
Seems to have a role in the middle of the midfield for Sheffield. He doesn’t accumulate many offensive statistics but this game should get muddy in the middle which will help Ampadu.
- Bellerin – ARS – $4k
His end product needs help but I don’t get the hate. He’s fine in all formats with perhaps a limited upside.
- Saiss – WOL – $3.4k
A defender under $4k that shoots 8 times in his last 3 games on a slate where everyone is $1k overpriced? Sure!
- Bernardo – BHA – $4.3k
Let’s see if he starts but he looked damn good against Arsenal. The 4 shots is an outlier but he was heavily involved in the attack from the wing back role.
- Ait-Nouri – WOL – $4.7k
The kid has talent but this is a little steep for his production. He also might sit with Marcal potentially back. Regardless if he does start he’s in contention for GPPs based on his positioning and the way Wolves play.
- Clyne – CP – $3.8k
Another value option at fullback. With van Aanholt back they might attack down the left more which hurts Clyne or he’d be higher on my list.
- Guaita – CP – $5.2k
Sheffield can’t score. Guaita is good.
- Patricio – WOL – $4.6k
He and Sanchez’s prices should be flipped so in a sense we get a free $200.
- Johnstone – WBA – $4k
I expect a response from Big Sam’s team.