This EPL slate features 1 game Sunday (Manchester City @ Liverpool) and 1 game Monday (Stoke City @ Manchester United). The format of this breakdown will be by game, not by player like usual.
Manchester City @ Liverpool
Believe it or not Manchester City has not won a regular league game at Anfield (Liverpool’s home field) since 2003. Obviously Manchester City is having an incredible season, but there are some reasons to fade them this weekend. Liverpool’s home defense has been stout this season, only giving up 4 goals in 11 games. This is not the week for a MCI stack, but some exposure (1-2 players) to them would be smart.
Sergio Aguero ($11,000) is one of the best goal-scorers in the league, and will surely be high owned on this two gamer. I am staying off him personally. I am also not high on Roberto Firmino ($9,000), the other striker in this game. Manchester City’s defense has given up the least amount of goals in the league so far, and for a player whose fantasy value relies heavily on goals, this is not a good matchup.
Kevin De Bruyne ($11,000) has been the best midfielder in the EPL this season, and he is a completely viable play on this slate. KDB doesn’t need to score goals to have fantasy value, and will no doubt bring his A game in a massive game. My favorite midfielder is Raheem Sterling ($9,500). Sterling has 5 goals in his last 4 EPL starts, and is averaging 42.4 fantasy points in that span. He’s also returning to Anfield to play against his former team where he spent some time during his youth career and where he played 95 games at the beginning of his senior career. David Silva ($9,000) is solid for his price, but I prefer Sadio Mane ($9,000) for the same price. Liverpool just sold Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah is injured, so a TON of weight just fell on Mane. The matchup isn’t great, but the situation still puts Mane in a nice spot. Emre Can ($8,000) will also be relied on more, and has averaged 26.8 fantasy points over his last 6 EPL games. With no Coutinho and Salah, Can is in line for more usage. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin ($7,500) has a sweet price tag this weekend, and should benefit from no Coutinho/Salah.
Defenders in this game are a little tough to figure out. Nicolas Otamendi ($7,000) is a nice looking play in a game that should be pretty even. He’ll have a lot of defending to go against Liverpool, and is always very involved. New Liverpool man Virgil van Dijk ($6,500) is in essentially the same situation as Otamendi on the other side of the pitch. Against City’s attack, he will be busy and has the talent necessary to find success. Andrew Robertson ($5,500) and Joel Matip ($5,500) are fairly priced, and have both been playing pretty well fantasy-wise. They’ll definitely have to be involved early and often in this game, and are both worthy.
All 4 GKs are priced at 5k on this slate, which doesn’t help in differentiating them. Ederson ($5,000) is a solid play given how well Manchester City have been defending this season, but on the road at a field where City have won in 15 years is risky. Simon Mignolet ($5,000) is also a solid play given Liverpool defense at home. He should see a lot of action, but there’s always risk playing a GK against MCI this season.
Stoke City @ Manchester United
As far as forwards and midfielders go, I really like a Manchester United stack on this slate. Stoke’s defense, especially on the road, has been awful this season. They’ve given up 27 goals in 11 road games. That’s an average of 2.45 goals. This means that Manchester United forwards Romelu Lukaku ($11,500) and Marcus Rashford ($8,500) have plus matchups. Lukaku has been inconsistent all season, but he’s been much better at home. Rashford hasn’t been all that great either recently and is goal-dependent. However, with a matchup like this, they’re hard to fade. No forwards from Stoke are recommended.
One of my top midfielders on this slate is Paul Pogba ($10,500). He’s been United’s best and most consistent player this season, and has a wonderful matchup. The emergence of Jesse Lingard ($9,500) has been massive for Manchester United recently. He has 4 goals in his last 5 EPL games, and is another top option on the slate especially given the matchup. Xherdan Shaqiri ($8,000) is a big fade for me this weekend. He will likely struggle in this matchup. Juan Mata ($8,000) has been better lately and has a good matchup, but he still isn’t worth the price at this point in my mind. Charlie Adam ($4,500) is really only in consideration as a deep deep punt if you need salary relief to get studs.
I am only a fan of Stoke defenders on FanDuel. Kurt Zouma ($7,000) is my favorite defender in this game. He’s expensive, but he’s generally worth the price. He’ll be one of the busiest players on the field in a good matchup for him. Kevin Wimmer ($5,500) and Erik Pieters ($5,500) has been solid for Stoke as well, and is a nice play on this slate. If you’re playing on DraftKings, you need Manchester United defenders. Luke Shaw ($6,000) and Phil Jones ($5,500) are good options but also a little pricey considering that you can get similar production from Chris Smalling ($5,000) for less money.
David de Gea ($5,000) is nearly a lock for a clean sheet bonus. Manchester United only allow an average of 0.45 goals per game at home, and Stoke only score an average of 0.91 goals on the road. On the other end, Jack Butland ($5,000) should make a lot of saves, but he’s also in a spot where he could give up a ton of goals. I would not recommend him.