Duke’s EPL DFS Preview for Wednesday’s five-match slate…
Gather round, everyone! I have a story to tell.
#1 – If you aren’t in the EPL DFS chat room, you aren’t getting the full value of the subscription. It’s not just me; it’s our community helping one another. Tuesday, we SMASHED. Obviously, it was a wild day filled with nothing but red cards and goals, but we found a ton of good spots to attack that gave us plenty of CHOICES to make for the late games.
What do I mean? This was my final cash lineup (ownership from $25 SE double up):
This cashed every single contest it entered. Double up. 50/50. H2H. At all stakes. Great, right? For sure, but let’s talk about the process.
I really wanted Luke Shaw. I thought Bogle was good value for the money, and Matty Phillips was too cheap to pass up at his price with a role on set pieces and carrying some ownership. So, there are three positions done. Bakary Saka was very expensive, but I projected him to have the highest floor on the slate and figured he’d carry some ownership, so he was worth a look. To be fair, he was unlucky not to hit 20 points on Tuesday, let alone finish at 10.62. Alright, that’s four positions done.
GK is always a crapshoot, but I like the cheapest GK on the slate with a chance to steal a win against a team not known for scoring a ton. It was looking GREAT until Sheffield scored two unanswered to come back and win, but we still finished over 1x there at min price, so I’m fine with that.
With unexpected goals from Phillips AND Bogle, it goes from how do we pivot to cash to what do we need to do to avoid not cashing?
What we/I needed to avoid was a highly owned player going off who I didn’t roster. That person was Bruno Fernandes. Allow me to explain.
I was sitting on the following:
Eze 11.7 (final score – didn’t know at the time)
Rashford 19.26 (final score – didn’t know at the time)
Shaw 21.52 (final score – didn’t know at the time)
Bertrand 3.1 (final score – didn’t know at the time)
That’s 105.56 points. Pretty good, right? See anyone missing? Bruno Fernandes was going to likely be 70% plus owned, and while I had the combination of Eze/Rashford with a similar projection to Greenwood/Fernandes, only one of those players had the ceiling + the ownership combination to really hurt me if they went off.
I presented the question to the chat. Which combination would you play?
Micah nailed it.
Who was more likely to score two goals? Probably Rashford. BUT, Bruno had a better floor, a similar ceiling and more than twice the ownership. In hindsight, it’s a no-brainer, but the crazy thing in this situation is that I NEEDED to make the pivot to cash. A point total of 105.56 doesn’t cash in the SE $5 double up. It doesn’t cash in the SE $25 double up. I would have lost several H2H matches, as well.
Moral of the story? We can’t control the results, but we can use logic to make decisions that will give us long term profit. The logical change was to block the ownership of Bruno and take the W. In order to lose that way, I’d need another 50% owned player to go off who I didn’t roster, and that player simply didn’t exist on this slate.
And there you have it. It’s been a blah few slates for EPL soccer for me personally, and in one slate, I’m back in the positive. Hopefully, you are as well, but if not, keep adding to the arsenal with a lesson from each slate.
Good Lord, we have five games to break down over three different time slots. FAN FREAKING TASTIC. Go away COVID. We like 3-5 games all kicking off at once, but there are a few we specifically want to attack here. Let’s get to it.
To the desert…
EPL DFS GAME THOUGHTS
I’m ready to crown Man City the champions. They are all the way back. Eight wins in a row. Twelve games, unbeaten. Five straight clean sheets. It’s hard not to be impressed with the form they are in at the moment. Add to that the game in hand, and I’m not exactly going out on a limb.
If there is an area for improvement, it’s clearly the results against the top 6. I say results because some of the performances have been really good. The results have not. For teams sitting seventh or lower in the table, they’ve played 15 games. They’ve lost zero, won 13, and tied two. That’s insane and why they are sitting in first. As a reminder, they have their way with Burnley. They won 5-0 the last time out. Over the last four matches they’ve played, City have won all four with a goal differential of +16 goals….. YES, you need Man City shares.
Burnley will try to hold on for dear life.
Another decent performance, but another two points dropped. Draws are all well and good, but defensively, Fulham need to stiffen the spine and get over the line for once. In theory, two points from two away games is decent for a team that looks likely to be relegated, but the home/away advantage isn’t nearly as big this year as years before due to COVID and the lack of fans. It’s time to put up or go down.
Jamie Vardy needs to heal asap. Leicester are a shell of themselves without his pace in behind the defense. Those darting runs create so much space for Maddison and Tielemans as the defense has to drop off. It just changes the way Leicester play. On a positive note, Barnes is in the form of his life. Tielemans has been brilliant, and Pereira is nearly all the way back to full fitness.
This is a stiff test for both teams.
The win or lose train rolls on, and Leeds were on the better end the last two. Granted, it was a neutered Leicester City team, but check this out!
Common opponents! Not only that, but Leeds did the business away, while Everton struggled at home. Obviously in soccer, like fighting, styles make fights. Leeds play a much different brand of football than Everton, so it’s not truly apples to oranges, but I thought it was funny they’ve both played Leicester and Newcastle in their last two.
For Leeds, they looked bright and full of life against Leicester. Bamford, in particular, looked really sharp and not only scored goals but was involved all over the field. The amount of running the entire team does in a game is astonishing. As I watched Jack Harrison and Alioski fly up and down the left side of the field, making run after run to move the defense, knowing full well they’d never receive the ball, I couldn’t help but imagine Anthony Martial in this system. He wouldn’t last a day. It’s hard work for 90 minutes, and it’s tough to play against.
The biggest issue for Everton is the type of chances they are giving up. They aren’t getting blown out in these losses. In fact, in the Newcastle game, they had 60% of the possession and were only outshot 11/13. But what is going to change to get them back on track? It’s easy to forget that they only have one EPL win in 2021, and it’s freaking February. They are miles away from an undefeated December that saw them win four straight.
Leeds could pick up all three points. Last but not least, I wonder if this is the time for Ancelotti to make the change at GK. Pickford sucks.
Villa are scoring 2.13 goals per game at home and taking 1.63 pt/game. That’s well ahead of the averages of 1.34 G and 1.36pts. They murdered Liverpool 7-2 to skew the goal number a touch but also speaks to the ceiling and talent of this team.
West Ham won the reverse fixture, 2-1, and I can see a similar scoreline with either team coming out on top. West Ham have had mixed results away from home, which is to be expected, but they were absolutely played off the field by Liverpool last time out. Maybe it’s a one-game sample size, but my worry about their attack remains. Once again, their only goal came from a CB on a set piece. By the way, Craig Dawson with a goal in back-to-back games. Don’t let the old man get hot!
There could absolutely be DFS points in this game.
Shit. Liverpool are looking like the Liverpool of old. Six goals in two games. Six points in two games. Klopp ball is back. Most importantly, Salah is back. He looked AWESOME against West Ham. Add in goals from Firmino and Mane against Spurs, and the front 3 are ready to eat. They usually do against an overmatched Brighton squad. They haven’t lost to Brighton in a million years and don’t look likely to do so here.
Give Brighton their due….they’ve been good over the last three. I didn’t pick them to beat Leeds. They beat Leeds and kept a clean sheet. I had both teams scoring in their match against Fulham. They kept a clean sheet. Surely, they would lose to Spurs, right? They kept a clean sheet. Seven points from three games where I thought three points would be great. Guess what, baby?! F Brighton!
I have Liverpool winning this game but perhaps closer than the experts think. 1-0 or 2-1.
EPL DFS PLAYS
Mahrez – MCI – $8.5k
I’m going to play Mahrez against Burnley.
Sterling – MCI – $8.8k
On a five-game slate, there is opportunity everywhere, but it’s hard not to load up on attacking options on the biggest favorite in a game with the highest total. Sterling is my option two.
Watkins – AVL – $7.6k
Yooo, this man is finding his form. Eleven shots over his last three games (nine last two) and two goals make him viable at almost any price up to $10k. With forwards, we are looking at who is getting chances first, who is finishing them second. If they aren’t getting chances, they simply aren’t on my radar. Ollie is firmly on the radar.
Salah – LIV – $10k
Cutoffs have to be made somewhere. He might be #1 on some boards for Wednesday, but I can’t justify this spend in a game I don’t think has complete blowout potential when there are this many good options. He can certainly get to 25-30 points, but it requires a game flow I don’t see coming.
Lookman – FUL – $6.9k
The man has a floor but hasn’t hit his ceiling in a few games. Oddly enough on this slate, I’m looking in this price range or lower for my second forward slot, which leads me to this space. I didn’t anticipate it, but here we are. 31.2 floor points over his last three and not the toughest matchup he’ll face.
Maddison – LEI – $9.2k
He and Grealish are the most consistent performers on the slate, but away to Fulham makes me shy away from the must-play tag, but he’s pretty damn close. Leicester will have some possession, and they will attack against a Fulham backline that concedes goals.
Foden – MCI – $8.9k
We’ve seen the good and bad of Foden, but this is a prime matchup. KDB bagged two assists in their previous game, and Foden has tried to fill the large boots of the Belgium. I’d caution his use in cash if Mahrez starts as well, but for GPP, he can impact the game and your status on the leaderboard.
Grealish – AVL – $9.4k
If this man adds goals and assists to his overall contribution to the team, he’ll be worth $100 million and cost $12k on DK. At this price, he needs a goal or assist but certainly has that opportunity here at home against West Ham and does have 37 floor points over his last three starts.
Barnes – LEI – $7.8k
This is brutal. If he were F eligible, he’d be in consideration for all contests, but I have to relegate him to GPP only and a bit down the list. He’s in the form of his life and is FINALLY finding the end product I’ve been beggin’ for the last three years. Good to great option who’s slightly less consistent than those above him.
Phillips – LEE – $4.8k
IF RAPHINA DOESN’T START, he’s in cash consideration. If he does, this is a touch expensive for all contests, really.
March – BHA – $5.3k
I’m more willing to eat this price than Gross at his cost. March has had nearly 14 floor points over the last two matches.
Loftus-Cheek – FUL – $4.2k
OK, only a slight increase from his $3.4k price. He’s a good punt option but not necessarily a core play, considering how many good options there are at the position.
Mac Allister – BHA – $3.7k
For the price, he’s darn near cash eligible if he starts. He is carrying a bit of a health issue, and with this being the last game of the slate, I’d suggest he’s more of a pivot option than a core option. He looked fantastic against the Spurs.
Cancelo – MCI – $5.7k
This game could and should be his dream. 2-2.5x is realistic. 3-4x is possible.
Digne – EVE – $6.5k
Double-digit floor games in back-to-back efforts make him a really good cash option right there with TAA at the top. Everton haven’t been scoring, and while Leeds play open football, it’s tough to back him without a goal or assist in GPPs.
TAA – LIV – $6.8k
After the game against West Ham, I will say this isn’t without risk, but oddly enough, his floor increases against more competitive teams. While I have Liverpool winning, it should be a close match. Cash and GPP.
Veltman – BHA – $4k
Brighton have been great recently, so that along with the tough matchup and favorable pricing has them popping up quite a bit, but this is system related for me. Veltman has made the RWB position his own and performed against some quality competition. We are hoping to avoid the 90 minutes as he experienced against City. I’ll take any of his last three games, please!
Targett – AVL – $4.5k
Another great option that has 2x firmly in play here. The only word of caution I’d add is that with two clean sheets in three games, his logs look slightly better than they are. However, he has 24 floor points in his last three and is a solid play.
Pope – MCI – $3.6k
He missed the first contest and could ABSOLUTELY get lit up here, but he’s min price and put up 10 against Chelsea, 22 against Liverpool, 10 against Man United and 22 against Arsenal. After a rough start to the year, his lowest scores have come in 1-0 losses. The man needs shots on goal, and that’s what he’ll get here.
Martinez – AVL – $5.1k
With people likely paying a few hundred more for Ederson and Alisson, we might get Martinez at half the ownership with as much upside. Avoid the set piece goal, and he might get the CS/W bonus.
Areola – FUL – $4.3k
I don’t love this, to be honest, but Sanchez is a bit too risky, and everyone else is overpriced.
It’s looking like a 3 D or 3 M kind of day. Every build I’ve made has felt like I’m leaving MULTIPLE great plays out. It is what it is. See y’all in the chat.
Good luck!! New to DFS Soccer? Here’s an intro with Duke’s Rules & Strategies!