EPL is finally back after an international break (thank God), so let’s just jump right into it this week.
Harry Kane (West Bromwich Albion @ Tottenham, $12,500) – Harry Kane is the second leading goal scorer in the league at this point, so until he gets hurt or goes very cold, he’ll be at the top of the target forward list. Kane had another good game Tuesday putting up 30.5 fantasy points in a 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund. He is also on a nice run in EPL play, putting up at least 20 fantasy points in 5 of his last 6 games (26.6 average). His opponent this week, West Brom, have had a tough start of the season defensively giving up 18 goals in 12 games. Even as the most expensive player on the slate, Kane will be worth the money this week at home against a poor defensive team.
Alvaro Morata (Chelsea @ Liverpool, $10,500) – This game between top 5 teams is my pick for shootout of the week. Vegas odds-makers seem to agree with me because they have the o/u for this game at 3 (fairly high for soccer). Only one other game on the slate has an o/u this high, Brighton & Hove Albion @ Manchester United. Both teams have not been on their A game defensively, Liverpool especially (giving up 1.4 goals per game), and both teams have high powered offenses. All this is to say that Morata has a great matchup this week. After some recent injuries and inconsistency, Morata is averaging 32.75 fantasy points per game in his last 3 league games. As Chelsea’s most important forward, he continues to be the focus of their attack week in and week out. Look for Morata to have a good game this weekend.
Roberto Firmino (Chelsea @ Liverpool, $9,500) – I think this is a great price for Firmino this week against a struggling Chelsea defense. However, I Firmino’s role in Liverpool’s attack will definitely take a hit with attacking teammates Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane back healthy. Regardless, Firmino lines up for Liverpool as the highest player on the pitch, so he will always be in a position to score. He is coming off a game Tuesday in which he scored twice, and he’s playing it what should be a back-and-forth shootout.
Also like: Anthony Martial ($8,500)
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke City @ Crystal Palace, $8,500) – EMCM has a great matchup this week. Crystal Palace have given up the second most goals in the league up to this point (2.0 per game). As an opposing striker, this is your dream game. He’s averaged a respectable 16.6 fantasy points per game this year, but is definitely in a position to eclipse that this weekend.
My extreme punt at the forward position this week is Newcastle forward Joselu ($7,500). Joselu has been the most productive attacker for Newcastle, and he is also the easiest to trust. He takes on Watford this weekend who have given up 21 goals in 12 games, almost as bad as the 25 goals West Ham have conceded.
Mohamed Salah (Chelsea @ Liverpool, $11,000) – If you opt to punt one of your forwards, seriously considered rostering Salah. I think I’ve written about this man in every article, UCL and EPL, this season. He’s started in all 12 league games so far, and he is averaging almost 30 fantasy point per game. He draws a Chelsea team that has been prone to giving up a lot of goals this season. I already wrote about how this game is shaping up as a shootout. For that reason, Philippe Coutinho ($10,000) and Sadio Mane ($8,500) are in play as well. If you can afford Salah, get him.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea @ Liverpool, $10,000) – The more I looked at the midfield options this week, the more I think it would be wise to pay down for forwards and pay up for midfielders. Hazard is quickly overtaking Morata as Chelsea’s most valuable attacker for fantasy purposes. His ability to create off the dribble for himself and for teammates is remarkable. Hazard has the skills to embarrass Liverpool’s defense this week, and he is in line for a big game along with teammate Cesc Fabregas ($8,500).
Also like: Christian Eriksen ($10,000), Dele Alli ($9,000), Wilfried Zaha ($9,000), Abdoulaye Doucoure ($8,500)
Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City @ Crystal Palace, $7,500) – After a stretch of 4 straight 20+ games, Diouf has cooled off. Still, he draws a nice matchup against CP. Look for him to put up a solid game.
Grzegorz Krychowiak (West Bromwich Albion @ Tottenham, $7,000) – As a defensive midfielder Krychowiak has done a really nice job for WBA this year. He is solid fantasy-wise due to his ability to accumulate defensive stats. He does not provide much offensive upside. However, with a matchup against Tottenham, Krychowiak will have lots of opportunities to get those defensive stats. He’s a solid option for a cheap midfielder.
Also like: Yohan Cabaye ($7,500), Mikel Merino ($6,500), Ruben Loftus-Cheek ($6,500)
Essentially I choose my defenders based off their matchup. I roster good defenders on bad teams who play against good attacking teams, so that way they should be in line to pile up a lot of defensive stats. Or I roster attacking-minded defenders against bad teams. Since I’m a little low on time due to the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m just going to list some defenders I like since the writeup would all be “favorable matchup.” DISCLAIMER: Just because I list a very cheap player below does not necessarily mean I recommend playing them to a point. The guys listed under 6k are more for you who paid up at other positions and really need someone dirt cheap.
Classic defenders (should get a lot of defensive statistics)
Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion @ Manchester United, $6,500)
Ahmed Hegazi (West Bromwich Albion @ Tottenham, $6,500)
Kurt Zouma (Stoke City @ Crystal Palace, $6,500)
Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion @ Manchester United, $6,000)
Kyle Naughton (Bournemouth @ Swansea City, $5,500)
Alberto Moreno (Chelsea @ Liverpool, $5,500)
Ciaran Clark (Watford @ Newcastle, $5,500)
Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion @ Tottenham, $5,500)
Joseph Gomez (Chelsea @ Liverpool, $5,000)
Alfie Mawson (Bournemouth @ Swansea City, $5,000)
Gary Cahill (Chelsea @ Liverpool, $5,000)
Ashley Cole (Brighton & Hove Albion @ Manchester United, $6,500)
Kieran Trippier (West Bromwich Albion @ Tottenham, $6,500)
DeAndre Yedlin (Watford @ Newcastle, $5,000)
David de Gea (Brighton & Hove Albion @ Manchester United, $5,000) – Manchester United’s defense has been really good this season only allowing 6 goals in 12 games, which is best in the league. As a result, there hasn’t been a whole lot for de Gea to do. That might change a little this week. BAH has scored a respectable 13 goals this season, so they’ve proven that they can put the ball on target offensively. I think David de Gea could see a decent number of saves this week if BAH isn’t too tired defending. He also looks pretty solid for the clean sheet bonus.
Hugo Lloris (West Bromwich Albion @ Tottenham, $4,500) – Lloris is in the best position for a clean sheet bonus this weekend. WBA have only scored 9 goals this season, and Tottenham plays really solid defense. Tottenham should also dominate this game, not giving many opportunities to WBA on offense.
Outside of these two, I am not a huge fan of any other GKs.