Duke’s EPL DFS Preview for Sunday’s three-match slate…
Pop the champagne, add OJ, and get ready for an EPL DFS Sunday Funday. This is our first Sunday without football since August. What the hell are we supposed to do? Soccer. That’s what!
Bit of a whiff for me on Saturday. That is a couple of slates in a row, and it’s easy to feel like the world is caving down on you, especially when you don’t even win a single H2H. I get blanked on very few slates, but let’s examine WHY I got blanked.
For those in the chat, I let everyone know that I was going six MCI. I wrote in the article and said in the chat that Sheffield always gives City a tough game, and there were certain scenarios where City players didn’t get home. My tactic was to play the chalk City in cash and then fade in GPP.
Our Core 4 was Torres, B Silva, Foden and Ederson. Total, they brought in 39.02 points on $30,500 salary. Quick maths….1.28 pt/$. That’s not getting it done. To make matters worse, Torres picks up the assist to Gabby Jesus inside 10 minutes, and we think we are off and running. Little did we know that each was more than 75% home for their entire point total after that.
This is where I ended up:
Robinson was a dud. It was an expansive game with Fulham on top for most of the match in terms of possession and danger. At his price and in his role, I’d probably play him again if the same slate happened tomorrow. He had just over 25% owned. It just didn’t work out.
Foden was a fade I couldn’t make due to his potential ownership. At 91.2%, he was more dangerous to fade than to not. Does that make sense? He was very expensive. He had a share of set pieces and was playing in an attacking role for a team that was looking for someone to grab the attacking responsibility by the neck. I didn’t even write him up!
For GPP, it was quite easy to get off of him. At 91.2% ownership in cash – I projected over 80% – he would do more damage to me if he has an above-average game than I could reasonably make up with the cash. If we are looking at the results, he barely crept over the 1x mark, but that should be considered a below average performance, and he wasn’t the reason I didn’t win money.
Moutinho, I plugged in as someone with a share of set pieces in a price range I could afford to fit the rest of my lineup. I would have loved to play RLC, but I was committed to Robinson and the rest of my City exposure. That was a mistake.
Saramek is one of the better players in the lobby, and this is where he landed:
I don’t love this build but get it. He grabbed set pieces takers and upside guys like Lookman, Pereira and Foden. He grabbed RLC with Robinson. Gabby Jesus gave him the upside for the price at insane ownership, but the Hoever and Johnstone plays were head-scratchers. As you can see, his LU outscored mine but was still out of the pay.
Guaita obviously really helped some people. Pereira picked up the goal, and Mitrovic made the top 5 without a goal. Five of these players in the top 10 scores were under 10% owned. Stop worrying about these players if you don’t win in cash. Those players help one or two people specifically improve their lineup but typically means the rest of their construction is in left field, as well. Bartley and Ayew shouldn’t be in your cash lineup. Reid, I could understand at his price. Guaita, I guess makes some sense but Ederson was the play, in my opinion.
Live and learn! I do think it’s important to go back and look at every slate, win or lose, to see what others saw that maybe you didn’t. It can only help you, moving forward.
Speaking of which…let’s do just that.
To the desert…
EPL DFS GAME THOUGHTS
We knew it’d be an adjustment for Leicester without Vardy, but they looked particularly poor in front of goal against Everton. Less than 33% of their 19 shots were on target, and while they dominated possession, it didn’t look particularly great. Perhaps the missing piece is a true center forward, and Iheanacho will enter the first 11 because Barnes/Maddison/Tielemans were pretty darn good.
Leeds found their shooting boots against Newcastle to carve out three points but were split wide open by a slick sequence that finished with Almiron slotting home a goal hard and low. I know the Championship is a grind, but Leeds were comfortably the best side in the vast majority of their games last year. I wonder if the Premier League grind is starting to wear on some of these players. Bielsa’s system requires a ton of work. He rarely rotates the side. Not surprisingly, the performances have dipped at times as the seasons wear on. Newcastle launching 22 shots against your defense is clue #1 that some things need sorting.
Leicester at home against a team who’s struggled mightily with the top 6 of the table seems like a good spot to attack. Reminder: Leeds have lost 3-0, 4-3 and 6-2 AWAY to teams in the top 6 of the table.
Is it a Soucek slate? I can’t believe I didn’t have a single share of my boy in this two-goal performance! The better question is, are West Ham for real? How do you say no? We are more than halfway through the season, and they sit comfortably in the top half, albeit with a game up on both Spurs and Everton. For those not keeping track, West Ham are ahead of Spurs, Everton, Arsenal and Chelsea. Damnnn Daniel. BUT, and this is a big BUT, I don’t trust teams who manufacture goals without contributions from the center forward. From the last nine goals they’ve scored, here is the breakdown of scorers:
Soucek – 4
Antonio – 2
Johnson – 1
Dawson – 1
Bowen – 1
It’s great in that they are creating dangerous opportunities from set piece situations, but they are struggling to create clear chances from open play. They’ll likely face a similar scenario here against an improving Liverpool team.
Klopp looked like he got his mojo back. He was animated on the sideline against Spurs. He was competitive. Those big teeth were everywhere. It was that fire that pushed Liverpool forward in their 3-1 bounce-back win. Now, before we crown their asses, remember this: Spurs put out a Championship level back 3. Rodon was literally playing the Championship last year and hasn’t played much this season. Ben Davies is an LB playing a makeshift left CB. Eric Dier is a traffic cone. So yeah, Liverpool looked direct and good, but my goodness, let’s pump the brakes a bit.
Traditionally, we do get some goals in this fixture. Moyes has a defensive mindset as a coach, but he doesn’t really park the bus. Both teams will create chances, and with Antonio looking healthy and Liverpool suffering yet ANOTHER CB injury (Matip), you have to think West Ham will get some chances.
Both teams score.
The afternoon hammer, and it’s a beauty.
I mentioned the back 3 that Jose rolled out against Liverpool this week, and surely he’ll revert back to the back 4 in this contest. The big change will come up front. Kane needed to be subbed off early through injury and surely won’t be healthy come lunchtime on Sunday. The selection from Jose will be key. Does he plug in Vinicius, who’s had mixed performances, or does he take a more ambitious tactic and go with someone like Gareth Bale? Either way, it’s a big miss up front for Spurs, who have relied upon Kane and Son this season for essentially all of their production in the final third.
Brighton are stuck in a perpetual cycle of low-scoring contests where they can’t quite break through. The 1-0 win over Leeds looked like progress, but it was right back to 0-0 against Fulham. Part of Potter’s issue is his lack of a clear best 11. He has so many players with similar skill sets that, while they are freely interchangeable, he can’t play certain players together. With rotation of these similar players, there is a lack of cohesion in the attack. The lack of cohesion has led to a lack of consistent performance and the string of draws that are on their form list. The 11 they put out against Fulham is the closest thing to a best 11 I can make of their roster, and while they didn’t score, I’d like to see him put out the same 11 in this match.
Both teams need a point, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a conservative outlook from Spurs and Jose.
EPL DFS PLAYS
Heung-Min – TOT – $9k
He’s gone absolutely ham without Kane in years past. They’ve worked so well together that you wonder if that will hold true. Set pieces. Open play. Likely penalty kicks. There is a lot to like.
Rapinha – LEE – $8.1k
Really nice floor with some upside in a game that they’ll attack in.
Gross – BHA – $7.2k
I might end up with a few pieces of Brighton when it’s all said and done, but there aren’t too many players on this slate who can log 17 points without a goal or assist. Really nice floor and cash option.
Salah – LIV – $8.5k
The logs are bad. The player is good. That’s a good combination as long as his form isn’t dog shit, which it’s not. This is a tough matchup, and Liverpool might not run away here, so he’s a touch lower on my list for cash but a good option for GPP.
Bergwijn – TOT – $4.5k
He’s my favorite player under $5k on the slate. Brighton are tough defensively, but Steven will need to push on in the final third if Spurs are to win.
Iheanacho – LEI – $5k
Assuming he starts, Maddison and Barnes will put a couple of chances on a plate. He has two-goal upside at this price, making him a really nice GPP option.
Bowen – WH – $8k
He’s been remarkably consistent of late, but at this price, he needs more of a ceiling type of game, which doesn’t look likely considering the matchup.
Vinicius – TOT – $5.9k
He’s not the player Gabby Jesus is, but he’s in a bit of a similar situation. If he can combine with Son for a goal, this price will look very cheap. GPP ONLY!
Maddison – LEI – $9.9k
I told myself if he’s below $10k just play him before the salaries were released. Welp!
Barnes – LEI – $7.4k
Borderline cash consideration with his consistency of late. Certain GPP option against a Leeds team that is conceding goals to the big teams.
March – BHA – $5.9k
This should be a back and forth battle that will see chances created from the wide areas where March thrives.
Ndombele – TOT – $5k
He was largely on the outside looking in against Liverpool, but without Kane will be required to push forward and get involved in the attack. The price is fair.
Mac Allister – BHA – $3.7k
Could go back to the bench but impressed against Fulham with his directness. I’d love to see him shoot more, but we are under $4k here…
Phillips – LEE – $3.4k
Fairly cheap for his floor.
Jones – LIV – $3.8k
He’s been coming off the bench but is cheap enough to have a look if he starts. Outside of his goal in the FA Cup, he hasn’t shown much going forward.
Alexander-Arnold – LIV – $7.2k
He’s all the way back and should be the first or second name you click on your cash lineup.
Davies – TOT – $3.7k
Assuming they go back to a back 4 and assuming he starts at LB, this is value for the money. In a back 3 at LCB, I’m likely out.
Aurier – TOT – $4.5k
Came off at halftime against Liverpool, which isn’t a good sign, but it’s rare that he doesn’t finish the 90. He should be good for 1.5x-2x.
Robertson – LIV – $6.7k
Are you paying up for both D? I can’t make the argument for Robo over TAA, so that’s the question you have to ask. If you are spending up, find the extra cash or play both.
Veltman – BHA – $4.6k
He had a ceiling type of game last time out but has two of four games with five or more crosses. You are paying for it, but he’s in the range of viability.
Good luck!! New to DFS Soccer? Here’s an intro with Duke’s Rules & Strategies!