Happy Friday the 13th y’all, and welcome to your new go-to resource for DFS soccer advice! I’d like to thanks FanCave for giving me a platform to share. Allow me to (re)introduce myself…my name is Hov…(I wish). Nah, but for real my name is Vince (@vdray5 on Twitter) and I am a soccer nut. I love sports in general, but here I’m going to focus on helping you people make some money by providing advice for DFS soccer. I attend Marquette University (roll golden eagles), in the same city I was born, Milwaukee, WI. But you guys don’t care about who am I. You’re just here for some plays, so let’s just get to that.
(disclaimers: this article covers the main EPL slate on Saturday, October 14th on FanDuel, just because you see a player on here doesn’t mean play him without checking to make sure he’s actually in the starting lineup, y’all gotta do a little work too).
Harry Kane (Bournemouth @ Tottenham, $13,000) – Do I really need to justify Kane, or can I just move on? Harry Kane has been the single hottest player in the PL in the last 5 weeks. Kane has 6 goals in his last 4 PL matches, with more goals coming in UCL play. Surely Kane’s goal-scoring production will drop off, but until that happens it’s hard to not keep riding him. This week Tottenham plays at home against a Bournemouth team that has given up the 6th most goals in the league so far. Kane is the main striker on the squad, and has several stellar play-makers behind him in the midfield. Although expensive, Kane is in a good spot this week to build on recent success.
Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal @ Watford, $10,500) – The Frenchman and former Lyon forward is off to a nice start in his first EPL season. Lacazette has scored 4 times in 7 appearances, and leads Arsenal in goals scored. His opponent this week, Watford, have given up the 3rd most goals in the league through 7 games. Lacazette has been playing as the top striker for Arsenal, and he is a good bet for a goal this week. Need more convincing? Attacking center midfielder, Alexis Sanchez, is a game-time decision this week for Arsenal. He’s returning after a tough international break in which his Chile team did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup (pour one out for the USMNT too). Without Sanchez, Lacazette will surely be the main attacker for Arsenal.
Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea @ Crystal Palace, $10,000) – Someone with a Chelsea stack is going to take down a GPP this week. Chelsea’s opponent, Crystal Palace, is last place in league, has given up 17 goals in 7 games (2.5 goals allowed per game), and has not scored at all in those 7 games. Batshuayi has had a little bit of a rocky start to his season, but that is mostly due to the arrival in London of Alvaro Morata. Morata, Chelsea’s main goal-scorer so far, is likely out with this week with a hamstring injury, opening the door for a Batshuayi. *Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte, has not revealed tomorrow’s starting XI and may opt to leave Batshuayi on the bench and roll with some combination of attacking-minded midfielders up top. Out of them, only one (Pedro $10,000), is classified as a FWD on FanDuel. Pedro is another player in a great spot this week. Check to make sure Chelsea’s lineup.*
Chris Wood (West Ham United @ Burnley, $8,000) – After Andre Gray left Burnley at the end of the transfer window, Chris Wood has become the main striker for Burnley. His opponent, West Ham United has given up the 2nd most goals in the league. Wood has not scored in 3 games, but most of that is due to Burnley’s style-of-play. Wood is a good cheap option with a great matchup this week.
Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield Town @ Swansea City, $7,500) – Depoitre is another punt-play this week who could find himself on the scoresheet for Huddersfield Town, one of the EPL newcomers this season. Depoitre is finally getting a chance to show what he has after being a little-used substitute for Porto FC last season. He’s overcome a few early season questions about his fitness, and is finally getting on the pitch consistently. He’s playing against a struggling Swansea City side, and is Huddersfield Town’s main man up to.
Chicharito (West Ham United @ Burnley, $9,500) – Like Alexis Sanchez, Chicharito is returning to England after spending time in Mexico playing in World Cup qualifiers. He’s had less of a rest over the break than most EPL players, and is facing a Burnley defense that has only surrendered 5 goals in 7 games. That total is third in the league behind both Manchester squads. What’s more is that Chicharito is not off to a hot start in the UK after tearing it up in the Bundesliga last season.
Gabriel Jesus (Stoke City @ Manchester City, $11,500) – Yes, he’s off to a hot start. Yes, Sergio Aguero is out. But…I don’t like him this week, and here’s why. In his last Premier League game, although he did record an assist, he did not do much. Then, the week before that he did not even get in the game. Gabriel Jesus started the season as hot as anyone, but has since cooled off. I would rather pay up for Kane or come down to Lacazette, Batshuayi, or Pedro.
Chelsea Stack – I said it once, and I’ll say it again. Someone with a Chelsea stack will take down a GPP this week. A lot depends on how Conte decides to line up his team tomorrow. Will Batshuayi get the start at striker, or will Conte deploy a combination of Pedro, Hazard, and Willian as his attackers? If Batshuayi starts, I like Willian ($8,500) and Hazard ($9,000) in the midfield. Willian can provide dangerous attack off the wing, and Hazard works so well playing off his teammates instead of being the point-man. If Batshuayi sits, I like Pedro and Cesc Fabregas ($9,000) in midfield for the Blues. I would not like Hazard as much in this situation. Coming back from injury, there are still questions of his fitness. If he takes the role of striker he will be forced to do more movement and could tire out faster. He has yet to play a full 90 minutes since his injury. Fabregas is a very good creator of chances and his role will be emphasized if he is creating for the likes of Pedro and Hazard compared to Batshuayi. When Diego Costa was out with injury last season, and Chelsea opted to go without a main striker up top, Fabregas’s ability to create was highlighted.
Manchester City Stack – Another popular stack this week will be Manchester City against Stoke City. They are one of the most attacking-focused teams in the league and have proven deadly in the final third so far this season. David Silva ($10,500) and Kevin de Bruyne ($11,500) combine for one of the most lethal attacking midfield duos in the league, both in ability to create for others and to put it in the back of the net themselves. Raheem Sterling ($9,500) is also a viable option this week.
Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City @ Manchester City, $8,500) – Shaqiri has scored an average of 30.5 fantasy points per game in his last 5 games. He will also be asked to do a lot of heavy lifting this week against goal-scoring-machine Manchester City. If Stoke City hope to keep pace with The Citizens, it will be on the shoulders of Shaqiri.
Jack Cork (West Ham United @ Burnley, $7,500) – I like Cork this week for a lot of the same reasons I like his teammate Chris Wood. They’re playing the second worst defensive team in the league, and they’re still cheap. Cork is good for about 20 fantasy point a game, and if he can get a goal or assist versus West Ham’s weak defense he could see himself over 30 points.
Alex Iwobi ($7,500), Wilfried Zaha ($7,000), Leroy Fer ($6,500)
Son Heung-Min (Bournemouth @ Tottenham, $7,500) – The arrival of Fernando Llorente killed most value that Heung-Min would have had. Son is not even a lock to start, and will mostly likely see most of his playing time come later in the season as Tottenham tries to balance several different competitions.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea @ Crystal Palace, $7,500) – One more time for the people in the back. Someone with a Chelsea stack will take down a GPP this week. Against a Crystal Palace team who has yet to score and who gives up 2.5 goals per game, Alonso will basically be a midfielder this week. Marcos Alonso is very involved in Chelsea’s attack getting far up the outside of the field regularly, and he should have many opportunities this week. He’s shown good chemistry with his teammates and contributes a lot to Chelsea’s attacking moves. Alonso has also become one of the main free kick takers for Chelsea. Not saying he’ll put one in this week, but set pieces are always an added opportunity.
Kurt Zouma (Stoke City @ Manchester City, $6,500) – Zouma is a workhorse on defense, and that is exactly what Stoke is going to need this week against Manchester City’s attack. There will be plenty of action for Zouma this week resulting in many opportunities for clearances, interceptions, and tackles. Zouma is averaging just over 20 fantasy points per game in his last 3 games. I would say that is his floor this week. With a lot of volume, comes a lot of opportunities for points.
Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield Town @ Swansea City, $7,000) – Huddersfield Town’s defense has been stingy so far (only conceding 1 goal per game) and a lot of that is due to Schindler. He is averaging 25.3 fantasy points per game as defender which is very good. What’s better is that he’s gotten those points without any goals or assists. That’s amazing as a defender. Swansea City does have their issues on attack, but with a pretty even game expected, Schindler should be in line for another big game.
Stephen Ward and James Tarkowski (West Ham United @ Burnley, $6,000) – Ward and Tarkowski are the two main cogs in Burnleys shut-down defense. They’ve allowed only 5 goals in their first 7 games. Both Ward (20.8) and Tarkowski (20.6) average nearly the same amount of fantasy points per game, and they have both played all 7 games. In another game expected to be pretty 50/50, Ward and Tarkowski will be relied on to shut down West Ham’s attack.
Kieran Trippier ($6,500), Nathan Ake ($6,000), David Luiz ($6,000)
Hugo Lloris (Bournemouth @ Tottenham, $4,500) – Lloris, on paper, is the most likely goalkeeper to get a clean sheet. He will not be needed to make many saves in a game that Tottenham should dominate. Bournemouth has only scored 4 goals in 7 games, and that could easily be 4 in 8 after Saturday.
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea @ Crystal Palace, $5,000) – Courtois is in the same boat as Lloris this week. Chelsea should dominate this game, not giving Courtois the opportunity to get points by making saves, but he is surely looking good for a clean sheet. Crystal Palace has not scored so far this season in 7 total games. Courtois is going to be tough to fit in a lineup with a Chelsea stack although he could look nice with a Manchester City stack.
Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town @ Swansea City, $4,500) – Lossl is my favorite to get both a lot of saves and a clean sheet. Swansea City does not have the horses up top to score. They only have 3 goals in 7 games. However, I think they will create opportunities, giving Lossl the opportunity for save points.
Nick Pope (West Ham United @ Burnley $5,500) – Nick Pope is in the net for Burnley now with Tom Heaton’s injury. Burnley gives up a lot of shots, and West Ham United takes an average number of shots. Pope should have an opportunity to make a lot of saves, with the possibility of a clean sheet very much in play as well.
If you made it this far, you’re a trooper. Shoot me a follow on Twitter (@vdray5). I’m always down to gab more about my plays, your plays, questions, comments, and advice.