EPL DFS Breakdown – 12/2/17

As EPL teams continue their run of 3 games in a 1-week time period, I continue my run of articles breaking down each slate.  Both of my midweek EPL articles were successful (Tuesday more so than Wednesday), and I’m looking to build on that success this weekend.

Target Forwards

Harry Kane (Tottenham @ Watford, $12,000) – This is just getting redundant.  In my last article on a slate that included Kane, I said I’ll let you know when Harry Kane is not a top play.  Today – again – is not that day.  Kane takes on a Watford defense that gives up a ton of goals (25 in 14 games, 1.79 per game).  They gave up 4 goals to Manchester United on Tuesday, and I expect Tottenham to put up a similar number on them Saturday.

Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United @ Arsenal, $12,000) – There is not a whole lot to like about the majority of the top forward options on this slate.  Besides Kane, they have some tough matchups.  However, I think Sanchez makes a good play this weekend.  Sanchez is averaging 38.17 fantasy points per game in his last 3 games, a sign he has finally come into regular form after battling an injury earlier in the season.  He draws a matchup with a Manchester United squad that only allows 0.57 goals per game, although that number jumps to 1.0 when they play on the road like they do this weekend.  If anyone on Arsenal is going to be able to break down Manchester United’s defense, it will be Sanchez.  Despite his tougher matchup this weekend, Sanchez is a decent play.

Cheap Forwards

Wayne Rooney (Huddersfield Town @ Everton, $8,000) – If this was Barstool Sports podcast Pardon My Take, I would call Wayne Rooney my “Who’s Back of the Week.”  After getting benched 2 games in a row, Rooney flashed us back to his glory days at Manchester United with a hat-trick (69.75 fantasy points!) against West Ham’s lowly defense.  Rooney faces Huddersfield this weekend who have a slightly better defense than West Ham.  Huddersfield has given up 24 goals so far this season but 16 of them have come on the road.  Since they’ll be on the road this weekend at Goodison Park, I like the idea of riding out a hot Wayne Rooney for 8k.  For the same price, however, I prefer Rooney’s teammate Oumar Niasse ($8,000).  Niasse is coming off a 2-game suspension, and should be ready to go.  He put up 30.5 and 27.5 fantasy points in his last 2 starts, and he is in a good spot to continue his success.  After a couple of dud games, I can’t trust Dominic Calvert-Lewin at this point even for $7,500.

Richarlson (Tottenham @ Watford, $7,500) – Most of the forward options for this slate do not look good on paper, but chances are they’ll all go off this weekend (just as expected…….sarcasm).  Richarlson has been a matchup-dependent cheap forward all season.  He’s started all 14 games at forward for Watford (21.9 fantasy points per game), and has 5 goals and 3 assists on the season.  Watford have scored a ton of goals this season (24 in 14 games).  Their opponent Tottenham give up an average of 1.0 goals per game on the road this season.  Chances are Watford does not get shut out on Saturday, and Richarlson will make a decent value play because of his goal/assist potential.

Also like: Tammy Abraham ($7,500), Laurent Depoitre ($6,500), Chris Wood ($6,500), Jordan Ayew ($6,500)

Target Midfielders

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool @ Brighton & Hove Albion, $12,000) – I was all over Salah Wednesday until we got late news saying he would get rested.  Obviously I made some lineup changes, but I should have just stuck with Salah because he came on the field as a substitute with 23 minutes left and somehow still managed to score 2 goals….insane.  I don’t think I need to do much justifying for you guys to roster him.  He’s my top play on this slate regardless of position.  He takes on a Brighton team with a solid defense (1.0 goals allowed per game both at home and on the road).  However, Liverpool have been dominating opponents offensively this season, scoring the third most goals in the league (2.0 per game).  I also like Philippe Coutinho ($10,500), James Henderson ($7,500), and James Milner ($7,000) for Liverpool with Sadio Mane not expected to play.

Dele Alli (Tottenham @ Watford, $9,000) – The best news for Alli’s fantasy value this weekend is the fact that Tottenham is expected to rest Christian Eriksen.  Alli, like Harry Kane, has a juicy matchup this weekend at Watford.  Watford concede 1.79 goals per game, but that number is even higher (2.14 goals per game) when playing at home.  Without Eriksen, Alli will surely be the main-man in the attacking midfield.  Alli has had two nice EPL games in a row, and should continue to build on his early-season success this weekend.  Son Heung-Min ($7,500) and Mousa Dembele ($6,500) both get significant bumps in Tottenham’s midfield if Eriksen rests.  Another name to watch here is Erik Lamela ($5,500).  Lamela made his season debut (injury) Tuesday against Leicester City.  He came on in the 77th minute, and scored 19.5 fantasy points in under 20 minutes of play (impressive).  If Lamela gets the start this weekend, he could be a great play for under 6k.

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace @ West Bromwich Albion, $8,000) – Zaha has let me down lately after a hot run in the EPL in October and early November.  He’s still averaging a solid 19 fantasy points in the 8 games he’s played since getting injured.  Zaha has emerged as CP’s best attacker this season, and he faces a West Brom defense that allows 1.5 goals per game this season.  In what should be a back-and-forth game, Zaha will have the opportunities to get out in open space where he does his best work.  Zaha would be a good MID option for his price.

Also like: Abdoulaye Doucoure ($8,500), Gylfi Sigurdsson ($8,000), Mesut Ozil ($8,000)

Cheap Midfielders

Pascal Groß (Liverpool @ Brighton & Hove Albion, $7,500) – Last weekend I loved Groß in a matchup with Manchester United (and he delivered scoring 28.75 fantasy points).  He has a similar matchup this weekend against Liverpool, putting him in another good spot for success.  I like to think that Groß has an even better matchup given that his opponent this week, Liverpool, is a worse defending team than Manchester United is.  Liverpool give up an average of 2.29 goals per game in away games, but they also score 2.14 goals in away games.  This matchup is ideal for BHA midfielders because there will be a lot of action for them on both ends of the field, resulting in opportunities to get offensive and defensive stats.  Therefore, Anthony Knockaert ($7,000) is a solid option as a cheap midfielder as well.

Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town @ Everton, $7,000) – Mooy has a great matchup this weekend against Everton.  After averaging 26.67 fantasy points per game in his first 6 games this season, Mooy has cool down bringing his average to 20.4 points per game.  This is still very high for a player at 7k, especially one with a plus matchup.  Mooy has faced two tough teams in his last two games in Manchester City and Arsenal.  He did struggle in those games, but he is in a prime spot for a bounce-back game against Everton this weekend.

Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace @ West Bromwich Albion, $7,000) – Right now, Cabaye is listed as a game-time decision on FD for an undisclosed injury.  He got taken off the field after 66 minutes Tuesday due to the injury, but if Cabaye is in the starting lineup Saturday, fire him up.  Cabaye is another mid-priced midfielder in a prime spot for a bounce-back.  Like a wrote about for Zaha, WBA give up 1.5 goals per game, and Cabaye should have nice day fantasy-wise in the midfield.  If you roam CP’s website, the official team Twitter account, or even player/fanbase Twitter accounts you’ll see a lot more positivity coming from the Eagles.  After a VERY rough start to the season, CP looks much improved, and their better players are still cheap on FD so they can provide some good value week in and week out.  Ruben Loftus-Cheek ($6,500) and Andros Townsend ($6,500) make nice value plays in CP’s midfield as well.

Also like: Jake Livermore ($6,500), Gareth Barry ($6,000), Dale Stephens ($6,000), Luka Milivojevic ($6,000), Jonathan Hogg ($5,500), Erik Lamela ($5,500)

Target Defenders

Ben Mee (Burnley @ Leicester City, $7,000) – Unlike Tuesday, I am not a fan of paying up for high-priced defenders, but I think there is definitely enough value at FWD and MID on this slate do to so if you choose.  Most of the top-priced defenders don’t have great matchups, but Mee’s matchup against Leicester is good.  Although not what it once was, Leicester’s attack is still very respectable.  On the season they average 1.43 goals per game, however than number jumps to 1.57 in home games.  Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are still a dangerous attacking duo, and they can make something out of nothing, so Mee will certainly still have defending to do.  Burnley plays shutdown defense, and Mee has been their best defender for fantasy purposes.  If you can afford him, get him.

Lewis Dunk (Liverpool @ Brighton & Hove Albion, $7,000) – Another 7k defender with a good matchup is Dunk.  Liverpool will most likely control much of this game, giving Dunk the opportunity to rack up defensive stats.  He’s been very steady fantasy-wise as a defender this season, and I expect more of the same from him this weekend.

Ben Davies (Tottenham @ Watford, $7,000) – Like I’ve written about previously, Davies is hardly a defender for Tottenham (although technically he qualifies as one).  Davies is one of the most attacking-focused defenders in the EPL right now.  He has a great matchup against Watford who struggle defending.  Along with attacking defender teammate Kieran Trippier ($7,000), Davies makes a great play at defender this weekend.  Yes, both of these players are expensive for a “defender”, but keep in mind that you’re basically paying for a low-priced midfielder with these two.

Also like: Alberto Moreno ($6,500), Kurt Zouma ($6,500), Shane Duffy ($6,500), Shkodran Mustafi ($6,500), Chris Smalling ($6,000), Kiko Femenia ($6,000)

Cheap Defenders

There is a trio of Watford defenders priced at $5,500.  All three of them have a good matchup this weekend against attacking giant Tottenham.  There will be much work for them in defending.  Out of the three Kabasele is my favorite, and Prodl is my least favorite.

Also like: Ryan Shawcross ($5,500), Markus Suttner ($5,500), Eric Dier ($5,500), Dejan Lovren ($5,000), Davinson Sanchez ($5,000), Kieran Gibbs ($5,000), Jonjoe Kenny ($5,000)

Phil Bardsley ($4,000) could be worth a flier if you really need to save money.

Goalkeepers

Petr Cech (Manchester United @ Arsenal, $5,500) – In a matchup of top-4 teams, there should be a lot of action in this one.  Both teams play really good attacking football, so both goalkeepers could get a lot of saves.  I prefer Cech over David de Gea (also $5,500) in this matchup.  Here’s why.  Arsenal is playing at home where they only give up an average of 0.57 goals per game.  Cech has kept 3 clean sheets in a row.  Manchester United’s goal scorers have not proven they can perform against other top defenses.

Kasper Schmeichel (Burnley @ Leicester City, $5,000) – Burnely is not a very good attacking team at all, but Leicester’s defense has been suspect this season.  This kind of matchup could prove good for Schmeichel.  I expect him to make a decent number of saves while keeping the clean sheet.

Ben Foster (Crystal Palace @ West Bromwich Albion, $4,500) – Foster is in an interesting spot this weekend.  He faces a CP team that literally have not scored any goals on the road all season (14 games).  However, WBA’s defense is not very good, and neither is Foster himself.  If the streak of CP not scoring on the road continues, Foster could have a big game.

Also like: Lee Grant ($4,500)

As always, thanks for reading.  If you’re interested in access to more content, including other sports, head to @FanCaveDFS on Twitter for details on how to become a premium member.  Don’t hesitate to ask me questions on Twitter as well at @vdray5.

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