Interleague Soccer Breakdown – 12/29/17 (DK ONLY)
Draft Kings have recently started doing more soccer slates that they call Interleague. The slate is usually 2-4 European club games from various leagues. For these slates, instead of breaking it down by player, I am going to give a little bit of information on each game.
Serie A: Napoli @ Crotone
This is going to be the main game on the slate Friday. Napoli is in first place in the Serie A (top Italian league), and are loaded with several star attackers led by Dries Mertens ($10,900). Napoli should roll in this game. Their 41 goals in 18 games (2.28 per game) is second only to Juve’s 45, and they maintain that average in road games. Crotone, on the other hand, is having a really poor season. This is only their second season in the Serie A after being promoted from Serie B in 2016. In other words, Napoli will have a big upper hand in this one. Crotone especially struggle on defense, allowing 2.0 goals per game. They’ve also given up 3+ goals in 1/3 of their games this season. This is a dream matchup for Napoli attackers Lorenzo Insigne ($10,600) and Jose Callejon ($9,900) along with Mertens. Given the other teams on the slate, a Napoli stack looks very enticing. Marek Hamsik ($6,600) and Piotr Zielinski ($6,300) are nice cheaper midfielders for Napoli who should fit the stack nicely. A Napoli defender could complete a nice stack, and Kalidou Koulibaly ($4,000) is my favorite along with Elseid Hysaj ($4,600). If it isn’t already apparent, I’m high on Napoli on this slate when you look at who else is on the slate and take into account Napoli’s plus matchup. If you’re looking to roster someone from Crotone, Rolando Mandragora ($4,300) is having himself a solid season fantasy-wise. This is a decent matchup for him, but I view him mostly as a cheap option that allows you to get more Napoli exposure. My final note on this game is that Napoli GK Jose Reina ($6,000) will probably be the most popular keeper on the slate because he’s the familiar name. Although he does have a great matchup, I am not a huge fan of his price, and I think there are some decent cheaper options. But if I end up with the money to get him, I will not hesitate.
English Championship: Queens Park Rangers @ Millwall
The next two games on the slate are from the English Football League Championship division. For those who don’t know the Championship is the level just under the EPL. Most of these teams have been in the EPL at some point in their history, but have dropped down to the second division. Both Millwall and QPR are in the bottom third of the standings, and neither have many great fantasy options. At this point, I’m just looking for decent players to help me fulfill my Napoli stack. Millwall have been on a big slide lately, only winning 2 of their last 11 league games. Millwall also only have 1 win against QPR in their last 13 meetings. QPR is getting veteran forward Jamie Mackie ($5,000) back after a 3-game suspension, and this should help them a ton with the recent goal-scoring struggles. Millwall’s defense is decent at home, only giving up just over 1 goal per game. Mackie could fit in nicely as a FWD2. Another decent option in this game is Millwall striker Lee Gregory ($5,400). Millwall score the large majority of their goals at home this season, 21 in 12 games (1.75 per game). Gregory also has a nice matchup against QPR’s defense that allows 1.58 goals per game on the road. However, my favorite Millwall attacker is Jed Wallace ($9,000). He’s a monster at getting crosses, which count for points on DK, and he’s also added 4 goals and 2 assists this season. Wallace is my top pivot off Napoli midfielders. Another name to look at here for Millwall is George Saville ($6,200). Saville leads Millwall with 7 goals scored this season, and he also takes a lot of shots. Jake Bidwell ($5,000) is a top defender in this game. He sends in a ton of crosses for QPR and even has a few assists. The rest of the defenders in this game are very rough. The next best option in this game is Alex Baptiste ($3,500). He’s cheap because he doesn’t do much for fantasy purposes. However, he plays the full game essentially every time, so he’ll have opportunities to score points. He’s a high risk, high reward player at that price. If I don’t have the money for Reina, the GKs I’m looking at next are Millwall’s. It’s uncertain right now who will start between Archer and Martin, however. I like them because QPR really struggle to score goals on the road (only 9 goals scored in 12 road games). Additionally, Millwall’s home defense is a slightly above average.
English Championship: Preston North End @ Cardiff City
Before I mentioned Millwall’s Jed Wallace as my favorite pivot off Napoli attackers, and now I’m saying Cardiff’s David Junior Hoilett ($9,100) as my second favorite pivot. Hoilett is the main man behind Cardiff’s attack this season, and part of the reason they’re in line to be promoted to the EPL next season. His 6 goals and 6 assists this season are tops for Cardiff in both categories. PNE’s defense is solid on the road, but Cardiff has been a goal-scoring machine at home. They average 1.83 goals scored per game at home, that’s second in the league only behind Wolverhampton. For that reason, Joe Ralls ($5,900) and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing ($6,500) are viable midfielders on Friday. My favorite cheap-ish defenders (and pivots off Napoli) are in this game as well. Cardiff have the two most expensive defenders on this slate that are actually going to play, but Sol Bamba ($4,400) and Bruno Ecuele Manga ($4,000) are good options too. Bamba and Manga are numbers 1 and 2 on Cardiff in terms of interceptions and tackles. Cardiff doesn’t allow many goals at home, meaning their defenders should get the clean sheet bonus. Neil Etheridge ($5,200), Cardiff’s GK, is also a really solid option.