EPL DFS Breakdown – 12/17/2017
Saturday’s EPL breakdown was full of great plays including Mesut Ozil (55.75 FPs), Abdoulaye Doucoure (41.75 FPs), Kevin De Bruyne (59.75 FPs), and Raheem Sterling (57.5 FPs). However, my defenders and cheap midfield plays did not pan out, resulting in a tough L for me. The best thing in DFS is having a short memory, and that’s why I’m already posting for tomorrow’s slate. Sunday’s slate is interesting given that there are only two games. We have two top-5 giants taking on two teams currently in the bottom 5. I’m expecting some high ownerships for certain players tomorrow, so hitting those and getting the punt plays right will be key.
Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United @ West Bromwich Albion, $11,500) – Lukaku has a good matchup on Sunday. WBA give up an average of 1.5 goals per game at home, and as MU’s most dangerous attacker, Lukaku will find himself right in the middle of things on Sunday. Lukaku is coming off a nice 29 fantasy point performance on Wednesday against Bournemouth where he scored goal. Lukaku has 9 goals and 4 assists in 17 EPL appearances, and he is in a good spot for success on Sunday.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool @ Bournemouth, $10,500) – Firmino faces a solid defending team in Bournemouth on Sunday, but Liverpool has 20 goals in their last 8 EPL games (including some massive goal outputs in UCL play). Liverpool is capable of scoring multiple goals in any game, and Firmino as their main striker is always a threat. Bournemouth have only given up 9 goals in 8 home games this season, but only 2/8 of those games were shutouts. If Liverpool rolls out their normal starters, this game could become a route in favor over Liverpool, putting Firmino in a good spot.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United @ West Bromwich Albion, $8,500) – If you don’t want to pay big at forward and pair Lukaku and Firmino together, Martial would be the most logical second forward. He’s been better than Marcus Rashford ($8,000) this season, especially recently. He’ll have the same plus matchup that I mentioned above for Lukaku, and will be a popular play this weekend.
Joshua King ($7,000) and Jermain Defoe ($7,000) (Liverpool @ Bournemouth) – If you opt to go very cheap at forward, these two Bournemouth strikers would be favored over anyone from WBA. Liverpool’s defense has given up almost twice as many goals as Manchester United’s, so if anyone is going to sneak a goal in it will be Bournemouth. Neither King or Defoe are big goal-scoring threats, as King has 2 goals this season and Defoe has 3. Neither are great plays on Sunday, but if you want to punt at forward to get top-tier midfielders, go with Defoe or King.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool @ Bournemouth, $11,500) – Salah, once priced under 10k, is now tied for the most expensive player on the slate. He leads the EPL in goals scored with 13, and he’s also added 3 assists to his name. He’s in incredible form right now on one of the best attacking teams in the league. He put up a dud game on Wednesday, but he had eclipsed 30 fantasy points in 5 of his previous 6 games before that. Teammate Philippe Coutinho ($10,500) has also been on a tear recently, and is a recommended play as well. If you pay down at forward, it would be to get one or both of these midfielders. Since Coutinho’s return from injury, Sadio Mane ($8,500) has taken a back seat, but he remains a solid play given how good Liverpool has been recently. A cheaper option in Liverpool’s midfield is James Henderson ($7,500), but keep in mind that he’s cheaper for a reason.
Juan Mata (Manchester United @ West Bromwich Albion, $8,000) – Mata had fallen out of Jose Mourinho’s rotation as of late, but with Paul Pogba suspended and Jesse Lingard not expected to start, Mata will be heavily relied on Sunday. Without Pogba, Mata got the start on Wednesday and had a solid 21.5 fantasy point game. Against a defense like WBA, I expect Mata to be involved, and he will be a solid option as a fair priced midfielder.
Andrew Surman (Liverpool @ Bournemouth, $7,000) – Surman is the first non-MU/Liverpool player that I’m actually saying is a preferred play on Sunday. Surman is easily Bournemouth’s most important attacking player with 2 goals, 4 assists, and 11 chances created on the season. If you look at his game logs, Surman has turned in some pretty solid fantasy performances given his price. In a game where Liverpool will send a lot of men forward, they could leave themselves slightly susceptible on defense. Surman is the most likely Bournemouth to take advantage of those openings. Surman also does a solid job at getting defensive stats for a non-defending midfielder. Surman’s ownership should be around average, but give him a look for 7k.
Also like: Nemanja Matic ($6,500),
Deep punts: Grzegorz Krychowiak ($6,000), Ryan Fraser ($5,500)
Ahmed Hegazi (Manchester United @ West Bromwich Albion, $7,000) – Hegazi ranks in the top 10 among defenders in 3 key defensive stats. He is 9th in interceptions, 6th in blocked shots, and 3rd in clearances. Manchester United will likely dominate this game, meaning Hegazi will see a lot of action on defense. He should rack up the points with his defense on Sunday, making him a good play. While he’s a worse defender, Jonny Evans ($5,500), would be a decent play on Sunday because he’s in the same situation as Hegazi.
Nathan Ake (Liverpool @ Bournemouth, $6,500) – Ake is one of my favorite players to pay up for at defender. He’s been Bournemouth’s best defender, and if you look at his game logs you can see his consistency. Liverpool is expected to control this game, allowing Ake the opportunity at a lot of defensive stats on Sunday. Simon Francis ($6,500) is also a good play.
Chris Smalling (Manchester United @ West Bromwich Albion, $5,500) – For a price of only 5.5k, Smalling is a good play to save some money at defender while still getting a quality player. He should shutdown WBA’s poor attack without much struggle while accumulating tons of defensive stats.
Also like: Allan Nyom ($5,500), Kieran Gibbs ($5,000)
David de Gea (Manchester United @ West Bromwich Albion, $5,500) – De Gea faces a WBA offense that only scores an average of 1 goal per game at home. Manchester United does not give up many goals (only 11 in 17 games). De Gea is the clear favorite for the clean sheet bonus on this slate, but it is doubtful that he will make many saves.
Both Asmir Begovic ($5,000) and Ben Foster ($5,000) will most likely get pummeled with shots, leading to a lot of saves, but also points lost from goals against and no clean sheet bonus. With Liverpool’s fierce attack, Begovic is not a recommended play. Foster isn’t a terrible option though. Manchester United has looked lost on offense in some games, but they’ve also shown the ability to score a lot of goals. If WBA catch MU on an off day, there is a chance Foster could make a lot of save while still keeping the clean sheet…..but don’t bet on it.