Duke’s EPL DFS Preview for Saturday’s three-match slate…
THREE GAMES ALL STARTING AT THE SAME TIME!!!!
This is the dream, baby! Remember when this was the norm for EPL DFS? Here’s the great news for everyone: I’ll do the groundwork, you can read it and make some decisions. We’ll make any necessary adjustments from 9am-10am AND THEN….we enjoy the games. No late pivots. No crunching the math to see where your opponents potentially landed… How much salary they have left…
For those who are relatively new, this is how it used to be, and if we can get more consistent slates like this, it will help grow the community and bring in some new money. New money is always welcome. For example….don’t forget to grab some H2Hs to spread out your exposure.
Sometimes it only takes 0.01 points to get it done…
Let’s get it. To the desert…
EPL DFS GAME THOUGHTS
My goodness did Wolverhampton leave a bad taste in my mouth from their match against Chelsea. It was one of the more pathetic efforts I can remember, honestly. I know Sheffield have fallen off a cliff this year in terms of results, but Wolves are so far below my expectations that they might be the team to suffer the biggest fall year over year. Obviously, the sale of Jota and subsequent injury to Jimenez play their part, but overall, this team is full of Portuguese babies. They’ve played five games against the top-5 and not picked up a single point. They’ve lost four home games. Also, they’ve lost five away games. They lost seven and seven in the whole of last year, for perspective.
What I can’t wrap my head around is the change in system. They played mostly 3-4-3 last year. This year, they’ve reverted to 3-5-2 or a 4-3-3 quite often. Crucially, they can’t quite figure out what to do with Adama Traore to use him effectively. It feels like unnecessary tinkering. It’s not like teams were figuring out the old system. Perhaps changes were made in search of more goal output, but if it’s to the detriment of your defensive stability, what is the gain?
Rant over. Let’s talk about this game.
Wolves have won one game since November, and that was on December 15th against the same Chelsea team that just dominated 85% of the possession but couldn’t break the deadlock. Crystal Palace are having similar struggles of their own with just two wins since November 7th. In any other year, I’d say this ends in a draw or with a Wolves win, but this year, I’m not so sure. Wilf Zaha is finding a bit of form. Guaita is pretty darn good. Palace have some stability within the side, but at the same time, they’ve conceded seven goals in two games. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine.
In a game with a low total and two teams with more questions than answers, it’s a fairly easy move to GPP options or a fade in general.
Guess the team that is -750 to win.
I’ll say this: Sheffield have been much better over the last few games, but the same problems still exist. They struggle to score, and they need teams to play the same way the entire game. Any time teams can break their defensive lines and MORE IMPORTANTLY get in behind their backline, they will struggle. My hope is that a lot of people watched their performance against Man United and took more positives than negatives away from the match. They were organized. They scored on a set piece. Man United caused them close to zero problems. Man United also played slow and predictable. That is now how City approach this match.
Sheffield have yet to score on City since their return to the Prem, but unlike other teams in the table, Sheffield have never lost by more than two goals. That’s wild. City have also averaged 70% possession and 16 shots in those matches.
Sheffield are not a team you completely rotate your side against. Some rotation is to be expected with Jesus most likely to return to the starting lineup, but while this one could get out of hand, I don’t expect it to. City wins but closer than the experts think.
We might well look back at this match as the game that vaulted one of these teams out of the relegation zone. Maybe…. If one of them is to stay up and close the game on Brighton, three points would go a long way. They are reaching the point where a draw isn’t good enough.
The short Sam Allardyce era has had it’s highs and lows already. The true lows have come at home, where WBA have lost four straight with a negative -17 goal differential. Shit, look at their good results. They drew 1-1 with Liverpool, who look like a mid-table side, and beat Wolves 3-2 behind two converted penalty kicks. The outlook is not bright for West Brom, and Big Sam’s perfect record of keeping teams up is very much in jeopardy.
Fulham are good, not great. Good might be good enough to get this done. Where they really struggle is finding that extra gear against teams they should be competing with or beating. They can get up for games they are supposed to lose. That’s a credit to the manager. It’s the other games that seem to underwhelm me. That’s typically a personnel issue. Where does personnel matter the most to win games? Up front.
They haven’t scored more than one goal since Nov 30th. They’ve only scored two or more goals four times in 19 games. One of those games was a 2-0 home win against West Brom before the managerial change. They’ve yet to lose to a team in the bottom quarter of the table. They are rightly favorites here.
One worry is the lack of squad rotation for Fulham, otherwise, I’d have some serious interest in their players. Cavaleiro, Loftus-Cheek, Tete and others have played every single game of late. Considering their run of Leicester, West Ham and Everton coming up next, I expect a full squad and 100% effort for three points from Fulham.
EPL DFS PLAYS
Lookman – FUL – $8.1k
I expect WBA to be a bit more expansive than in previous matches, which should create space for Lookman to exploit. This does feel a touch expensive for his output, but he has 3-4 shot upside in this match.
Sterling – MCI – $9.8k
Much stiffer test against Sheffield this week and the price has jumped up. He’s still a good option and showed great production in a similar role last time out, but I’m not all in like I was.
Mahrez – MCI – $9.5k
This has more to do with the lack of quality options than me being excited to pay this price for this player in this matchup. Couple that with few spend up options at M and this is more viable. He played the full 90 just a few days ago, so there is a chance the side is rotated. He’s lost most, if not all set piece responsibilities, so this price will need to be justified from open play.
Eze – CP – $7.5k
Slight uptick in his home/road splits to bump his value a touch here. He’s taken most of the set pieces and is finishing the full 90. Cash option but not a ton of interest in GPP.
Jose – WOL – $6.5k
The new man could get the start up front instead of Silva. He brings experience at the highest level and a maturity the front line is desperately missing without Jimenez. In many ways, they are similar players. He’s not limited to a target forward but does play between the posts and is good in the air. A nice little price break for a forward for a slight favorite.
Grosicki – WBA – $5.1k
Could return to the first 11 as they’ll have more of the ball. At his age, he’s never likely to finish the full 90, but this gives you a value option at a position with little value.
Hey Pedro Neto – F*#& you, man. I’m not paying $10.4k for his ass.
Pereira – WBA – $7.6k
Unleash Matheus. West Brom have to score goal(s) here, and Pereira is nearly hitting double digits against Man City when they only had the ball for like four minutes total. I love his floor and upside here. #1 midfielder in my book.
Loftus-Cheek – FUL – $3.4k
OMG. This high? Look, if I had to put my life on the line to say one player was going to hit 2x on the slate it’s probably not RLC, but he’d be near the list and due to his price has legit 5x potential in this matchup.
Fleck – SHU – $5.4k
Sheffield look back to their old selves, and it’s no shock that this man is front and center. Two assists in as many games. Without the assists, he’d still be sitting on three straight games of 8+ points.
Gundogan – MCI – $8.6k
I nailed Gundo last time and then didn’t even play him in cash. Can we in this game? This is a steep price to pay for someone who doesn’t take set pieces and gets subbed off early every other game. He was rested for most of the second half against West Brom, so he should be good for 90 here if Pep requires it, but the price is reaching Grealish levels. He’s in tremendous form in front of the net but is a few missed chances away from 1x. I can’t do it in cash. GPP is fine.
Robinson – FUL – $4.7k
He’s back from his three-match suspension and should slot right back into the LWB position he made his own. It’s close between him and Zinchenko, with Zinny having sets but Robinson having more upside.
Zinchenko – MCI – $5.3k
Foden was taken off early as the route was on, but it was Zinchenko taking the majority of set pieces. It could be a small sample size thing, or it could be the way forward. He was pretty good against West Brom but still failed to hit double digits. I expect a similar game flow, so expect similar production.
Tete – FUL – $5.8k
Dang, this is expensive, and the return of Robinson should force more play down the left, which hurts Tete. He’s fine but not my priority.
Semedo – WOL – $5.1k
He’s finally starting to get forward and use his ability in the final third. Three crosses in each of his last three and has a target in Jose to aim for.
Bogle – SHU – $4.3k
Bryan was brilliant off the left side but left after picking up an injury, so Bogle should slot back into the first 11 at a price discount. GPP only option that gets most of his production from the offensive end at the D position.
Ward – CP – $3.5k
The extra $500 is turning me off to Mitchell, who crosses less than Ward. Both are punts.
Saiss – WOL – $3.7k
It might be time to bring this beast back into the fold. Palace are surprisingly soft on set pieces.
Ederson – MCI – $5.9k
Maybe the only “safe” GK on the slate.
After Ederson, just play who fits, but my next favorite is:
Areola – FUL – $5k
Crazy to pay this price, but he’s one of the better options.
Good luck!! New to DFS Soccer? Here’s an intro with Duke’s Rules & Strategies!