EPL DFS Breakdown – 1/2/2018

The barrage of EPL games around the holidays continues with a solid 4-game slate on Tuesday.  Manchester City look to get back on a winning streak against Watford after a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.  Sixth place Tottenham will try to stick with the teams ahead of them with a game in Wales against last place Swansea City.  The last two games on the slate are matchups between 2 teams near the bottom of the table (West Bromwich Albion @ West Ham United, Crystal Palace @ Southampton) looking to avoid relegation.

Target Forwards

Harry Kane (Tottenham @ Swansea City, $13,000) – Currently, Kane is a game-time decision with an illness.  If he is well enough to play, he will not be easy to ignore.  Coming off 2 straight hat-tricks, Kane is essentially as hot as any goal-scorer can ever be.  He plays against a Swansea City team that allows an average of 1.5 goals per game at home.  Kane is pricey, but he’s so hot right now that he is still an elite option if he starts.  If he cannot play, Fernando Llorente ($8,000) should start, but he is more of a dicey punt at forward.

Sergio Aguero (Watford @ Manchester City, $12,000) – Aguero was supposed to get rested on Sunday, but had to enter the game after 23 minutes for the injured Gabriel Jesus.  Manchester City failed to score in a game for the first time this season against Crystal Palace.  They’ve only scored 1 goal in their last 2 games, but they in a prime bounce-back position on Tuesday.  They’re playing at home against a poor Watford defense averaging 1.76 goals allowed per game.  Aguero is always a threat to score when he’s on the field, and will be a popular option on the slate just like Harry Kane.

Cheap Forwards

Marko Arnautovic (West Bromwich Albion @ West Ham United, $8,500) – Arnautovic is a great cheap option to pair with Kane/Aguero.  West Ham’s best player has 4 goals in his last 3 EPL games, including a brace last game against Bournemouth.  West Brom’s defense doesn’t give up a ton of goals (28 in 21 games), but Arnautovic is still a top cheap forward.

Jay Rodriguez (West Bromwich Albion @ West Ham United, $6,500) – The best thing about Rodriguez this week is his matchup.  West Ham have given up the second most goals in the league up to this point.  Rodriguez is not known as a great goal-scorer, but he scored on Sunday against Arsenal and added 3 shots on goal.  Rodriguez is a nice deep punt at forward on Tuesday.

Target Midfielders

Raheem Sterling (Watford @ Manchester City, $10,500) – Kevin De Bruyne ($11,500) got hurt in MCI’s last game, and it is unclear whether he will play on Tuesday.  If he sits, Sterling and David Silva ($9,500) will get bumps in City’s midfield.  Like I wrote about for Sergio Aguero, Manchester City have a good matchup at home against Watford.  They’ve struggled just a bit lately, but I’m expecting a big performance from them on Tuesday.  Sterling is my favorite Manchester City midfielder, but David Silva is nice for $1,000 less.  Bernardo Silva ($7,500) could be in line for another start, and would be a good mid-tier midfielder.

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham @ Swansea City, $9,000) – If Harry Kane sits for Tottenham, Eriksen will definitely be relied on more heavily in Tottenham’s attack.  Eriksen is still a solid play if Kane does play though.  He’s scored an average of 31.6 fantasy points in his last 5 EPL games, and is in a good spot against Swansea City.  Tottenham controlled 75% of the possession in their first meeting with Swansea.  They also pounded 26 total shots, but couldn’t find the net.  I expect a similar game on Tuesday, but Tottenham should be able to score.  If Kane doesn’t start, I love Son Heung-Min ($8,000).  He’ll play more of an attacking role alongside Llorente without Kane.

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace @ Southampton, $8,000) – Zaha has been one of my favorite mid-priced midfielders lately.  He looked dangerous last week against Arsenal, scoring 22.25 fantasy points and providing an assist.  Zaha had a tough last game against Manchester City on Sunday only scoring 9 fantasy points, but no one looked especially good in that 0-0 draw.  Crystal Palace are playing a lot better than they were to begin the season, and they draw a decent matchup against Southampton.

Cheap Midfielders

Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace @ Southampton, $7,000) – Milivojevic has been stellar for CP in his last 5 games averaging 28.4 fantasy points.  He stuffs the stat sheet in almost every category, making him a very valuable fantasy player especially given his fair price tag.  This game should be fairly even, meaning Milivojevic will be involved early and often.  He isn’t much of a goal-scorer, but he does take all penalty kicks for CP giving him extra value.

Also like: Abdoulaye Doucoure ($7,500), Yohan Cabaye ($7,500), Gareth Barry ($6,500), Chris Brunt ($6,500)

Target Defenders

Nicolas Otamendi (Watford @ Manchester City, $7,500) – Otamendi has been the best defender in the league fantasy-wise, which is why he’s so expensive.  He has a good matchup at home against a loose Watford team.  He should continue to collect all kinds of stats, so if you can find the money to get him, do it.  My favorite City defender is Danilo at $5,500 if he starts.

Christian Kabasele (Watford @ Manchester City, $6,500) – Kabasele has a good matchup against Manchester City on Tuesday.  Kabasele is really good at blocking shots and getting clearances, both things he will have to do often in this game.

Serge Aurier (Tottenham @ Swansea City, $6,500) – A matchup with Swansea City is great for a guy like Aurier.  As an attacking defender against a poor team like Swansea, Aurier will have a ton of freedom to join the attack.  He’s been bright for Tottenham this season, and in his last 4 EPL starts he’s averaging 21.31 fantasy points.  I expect another good game from him on Tuesday.  Danny Rose ($6,000) is also a nice play in this game.

Also like: James Tompkins ($6,000), Ahmed Hegazi ($6,000), Maya Yoshida ($6,000), Aaron Cresswell ($5,500), Jeffrey Schlupp ($5,500)

Goalkeepers

Hugo Lloris (Tottenham @ Swansea City, $5,000) – Lloris is my favorite GK for the clean sheet bonus on this slate.  Swansea’s ability to score this season has been despicable.  They only have 13 goals in 21 games.  Tottenham should control the ball possession in this game, leaving Swansea with very few chances at goal.  Lloris likely won’t make many saves, but the clean sheet bonus is probable.

Adrian (West Bromwich Albion @ West Ham United, $5,000) – Adrian is also in a good spot for the clean sheet bonus.  WBA only average 0.5 goals per game on the road.  Also, WHU’s defense has not been very good, so Adrian could be needed to make some saves as well.

Also like: Fraser Forster ($5,000)

 

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