MIDWEEK EPL IS BACK!! For the first time in this 2017-2018 season, the English Premier League has a full slate of games for Tuesday and Wednesday. FanDuel will have lobbies on their site on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and I will have articles both days breaking down each slate.
DISCLAIMER: Midweek EPL is often when a lot of little-used players get starts, and some teams roll out some awkward lineups so PLEASE check to make sure your guys are starting. Also, there are no expected starts on FanDuel as I write this (nor do I trust their expected starters that much), and there will be some interesting value plays once lineups are released.
Harry Kane (Tottenham @ Leicester City, $11,500) – I’m not sure how much I can write about Harry Kane that is something different than what I’ve previously said. The man is on fire. He scored another goal against West Brom this past weekend, and he has another tasty matchup against Leicester Tuesday. Leicester give up an average of 1.46 goals per game, and that average jumps to 2.17 in games against top 10 teams (Tottenham currently sits in 5th). The day Harry Kane is not a top-notch play, I’ll let you know. Tuesday is not that day.
Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United @ Watford, $11,500) – Today is the day Lukaku and Manchester United get off the snide. Despite his 24.5 fantasy points per game average, Lukaku is only getting 14.6 in his last 5 games. Good thing it’s a long season, hey? Tuesday, Manchester United will take on a Watford team that has given up 21 goals in 13 games (most goals allowed among the top 14 teams!). Since Manchester United is right in the thick of the title race (yes, I know it’s early), I don’t expect Lukaku to get rested Tuesday. However, if he does, Anthony Martial ($9,000) and Marcus Rashford ($9,000) will both make solid forward plays for decent prices.
Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace @ Brighton & Hove Albion, $7,500) – Murray had 3 spectacular weeks in October where he averaged 35.67 fantasy points per game. It’s extremely unrealistic to expect Murray to get back to that kind of form, however, with a nice matchup against Crystal Palace he could put himself on the scoresheet again.
Joselu (Newcastle United @ West Bromwich Albion, $7,500) – When Newcastle plays a poor defensive team (like West Brom), Joselu is generally a solid punt option at forward. He’s started all but one game so far for Newcastle, and he averages a respectable 16 fantasy points per game for his price.
Once more information about possible lineups surfaces, there will be more targets and value plays.
Christian Eriksen ($9,500) and Dele Alli ($9,000) (Tottenham @ Leicester City) – Whenever Harry Kane has a plus matchup, it is a very safe assumption that Eriksen and Alli do as well. Leicester’s defense is a mess compared to what it once was when they won the EPL. Neither Eriksen or Alli have had an impressive run of games in the EPL lately, but they both have the talent to burst out at any time. This could be the week as Leicester City allows the third most shots to midfielders. Fellow midfielder Son Heung-Min ($7,500) was the most dynamic of the attacking midfielders on Tottenham last Friday against West Brom. He did not have a great game fantasy-wise (no one really did) for Tottenham, but he is always involved in the offense, and could make a decent pivot.
Pascal Groß (Crystal Palace @ Brighton & Hove Albion, $8,500) – Groß has been impressive as of late, and it’s showing in his price increase. He is sitting just below 20 fantasy points per game, and with a good matchup against Crystal Palace Tuesday, he is in a good spot to increase his average. Groß is one of BHA’s best outfielders, and their most useful player fantasy-wise. Groß does a little bit of everything; scoring, assisting, creating chances, and he even picks up some defensive stats. Groß (and BHA in general) are in a good spot to continue their season success against Crystal Palace.
Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace @ Brighton & Hove Albion, $7,000) – Yohan Cabaye is HOT. The 31-year-old seems to have rediscovered some of his elite play-making abilities from the first part of his career with PSG and Newcastle. Over his last 4 EPL games, Cabaye has an average of 27.94 fantasy points per game (GREAT for a guy who costs 7k). Cabaye is Crystal Palace’s number one creator in the midfield no doubt. His fantasy success relies heavily on getting points by creating chances. If Crystal Palace had any halfway decent forwards who could score, those chances created would become assists. Cabaye has a fair matchup against BHA, but he is very active sending in crosses and is a solid play at 7k.
Wilfred Ndidi (Tottenham @ Leicester City, $7,000) – Ndidi plays more of a defensive midfielder role at Leicester, and this week against Tottenham he should expect to do a lot of defending. Ndidi has a motor that runs continuously, and he racks up defensive stats quickly. That is what I expect him to do Tuesday.
Also like: Ruben Loftus-Cheek ($6,500), Gareth Barry ($6,000), Dale Stephens ($6,000), Andros Townsend ($6,000), Davy Propper ($6,000), Solly March ($5,500)
Again, just like forwards, there will be some players starting Tuesday who do not regularly start. There will be some pretty solid value in those cheap players during these midweek games.
Shane Duffy (Crystal Palace @ Brighton & Hove Albion, $7,000) – The only thing not to like about Duffy is his price. Paying that much for a defender who is not a threat to score or get assists is usually not my move. However, if I can somehow make a lineup where I have 7k to pay for Duffy, I’ll take him. Duffy is almost as steady as it gets for a defender fantasy-wise. He’s started every game for BHA, and he averages 18 fantasy points per game. Although Crystal Palace is not known for their attacking prowess, Duffy will still be all around shutting their offense down. I expect Duffy to at least hit his average Tuesday.
Harry Maguire (Tottenham @ Leicester City, $6,500) – Maguire is a young center defender for Leicester City who’s averaging 18 fantasy point per game. He has a plus matchup in this game against Tottenham. Tottenham should control most of the ball possession, giving Maguire and other Leicester defenders Christian Fuchs ($5,500), Wes Morgan ($5,000), and Danny Simpson ($5,000) plenty of opportunities to get defensive stats.
Ben Davies (Tottenham @ Leicester City, $6,500) – Davies is on a good run for Tottenham fantasy-wise averaging 26.69 fantasy points per game over his last 4 starts. However, Davies is hardly a defender on the field. He and Kieran Trippier ($6,500) are basically extra outside midfielders, though they are technically classified as defenders. Against a team like Leicester, I expect Davies and Trippier to both get very involved in creating the attack for Tottenham.
Also like: Jan Vertonghen ($6,000), Christian Kabasele ($5,500), Kiko Femenia ($5,500)
I realize that isn’t much to go on as far as defenders, but with some quirky lineups expected, it was too hard to predict who will actually be starting. I expect there to be some DEEP value at this position both Tuesday and Wednesday. Check in with me on Twitter (@vdray5) Tuesday before lock.
I am not at all intrigued by any GK options Tuesday. I don’t think there are any locks for the clean sheet bonus, but I think David de Gea ($5,000) has the best chance at it. Watford do score a decent number of goals, but Manchester United might have the best defense in the league only allowing 6 goals in 13 games (lowest in the league). Mat Ryan (Crystal Palace @ Brighton & Hove Albion, $5,000) is another decent bet for the clean sheet bonus. Crystal Palace does not have a good offense, but BHA’s defense is middle of the pack.
Kasper Schmeichel (Tottenham @ Leicester City, $5,500) and Heurelho Gomes (Manchester United @ Watford, $5,000) should both see a decent number of save opportunities as they face quality attacking teams. The danger here is losing points if the GK gives up a lot of goals.
Both of the goalkeepers (Robert Elliot and Ben Foster) in the Newcastle versus West Bromwich Albion game are $4,500. Neither GK has a ton of talent. Neither defense is very good (both teams give up about 1.4 goals per game). Neither offense is very good (both teams score less than one goal per game). This game could be the classic 0-0 draw that American soccer fans despise (giving both GKs the clean sheet bonus) or it could be a 3-3 shootout that American soccer fans love (leading to low scores by both GKs).
The last GK that should start on this slate is Hugo Lloris (Tottenham @ Leicester City, $4,500). Lloris has not been as impressive as he has been in the past, and Tottenham’s defense can be suspect at times. They’ve given up 10 goals in 13 games (eh…decent), but this is more due to their offense keeping the ball than their defense keeping the ball out. Lloris doesn’t have a great matchup either. Leicester’s defense might be dysfunctional, but their offense is still respectable scoring 19 goals in 13 games (1.46 goals per game).
If you haven’t caught on by now, it’s a toss-up at GK Tuesday. You could explain you’re reasoning to me for any one of them, and I can’t argue against it. Flip a coin.
Hope you got something out of this slate breakdown. As always, don’t hesitate to ask me questions on Twitter (@vdray5). I’ll be back with another article breaking down Wednesday’s more juicy slate.