EPL DFS Breakdown – 4/7/2018

Target Forwards

Harry Kane (Tottenham @ Stoke City, $12,500) – Harry Kane returned from injury last weekend with a substitute appearance that lasted 16 minutes.  The reports say he felt good, and he could find himself back in the starting squad Saturday against Stoke City.  This is a prime matchup for Kane, the EPL’s 2nd leading goal scorer, to return.  Stoke City lead the league in total goals allowed, averaging 1.91 per game.  Additionally, Tottenham still has something to play for as they battle to finish in one of the top four spots.  Kane is my top cash play at forward, with GPP upside.

Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United @ Manchester City, $11,000) – All eyes will be on this game on Saturday since City can clinch their first EPL title since the 2013-14 season against their crosstown rival.  United, and Lukaku, will surely be competing hard trying to spoil this opportunity for the Citizens.  Lukaku has scored in 5 of his last 6 starts in all competitions, which is something of a rare run for Lukaku this year.  Lukaku will likely go low-owned with many people playing Kane or Jesus, and for that reason, he is my top GPP-only forward.

Chris Wood ($10,000) and Ashley Barnes ($9,500) (Burnley @ Watford) – The attacking duo of Wood and Barnes have been on fire lately.  Wood has 4 goals in his last 3 games, and Barnes has scored 1 goal in his last 4 games.  Both of these forwards were once priced around $7,000 for several weeks this season, but their recent success has dictated a surge in price.  $10,000/$9,500 is a lot to pay for Wood/Barnes, but their form is undeniable.  They also draw a solid matchup against a Watford team that has had a very suspect defense this season.  Wood and Barnes are strictly GPP plays.

Cheap Forwards

Glenn Murray (Brighton @ Huddersfield, $9,000) – Generally speaking, I will be staying away from this game for fantasy purposes this weekend.  However, Brighton forward Glenn Murray will make a good play on this slate.  Huddersfield have given up the 4th most goals in road games so far, and the majority of their conceded goals are scored by opposing forwards.  Murray has cooled off since his hot streak last month with two modest games.  However, in a good matchup, Murray is a good GPP option.

Target Midfielders

Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester United @ Manchester City, $10,500) – After taking a 3-0 drubbing at Anfield in the first leg of their UCL matchup with Liverpool, City has a chance to claim this year’s EPL title with a win in the Manchester Derby.  This is going to be a firecracker of a match with action end-to-end for the duration of the game.  KDB has been the best midfielder in the league this year, and yet his price dropped for this game.  I am going to take full advantage of that on this slate.  He is my top midfielder on Saturday.  Raheem Sterling ($9,500) is averaging 26.4 FDP in his last 5 EPL games and will be another top play on this slate.  David Silva ($11,000) is too pricey for me to have much interest, while Fernandinho ($8,000) should provide some nice value especially in cash games.

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham @ Stoke City, $10,500) – Another top midfielder for me on this slate is Christian Eriksen.  A matchup with Stoke is ideal, and Eriksen has been playing very well as of late.  Pairing him with Kane or Dele Alli ($9,500) makes a lot of sense on this slate if you’re going opposite of the people stacking the Manchester game.  Son Heung-Min ($9,000) has been one of my favorite mid-priced midfielders all season and will get a huge bump up if Kane is not fit to start.

Cheap Midfielders

Ki Sung-yueng (Swansea City @ West Bromwich Albion, $7,500) – Swansea City is dead in the middle of a battle to avoid relegation and remain in the PL next year.  Currently they are three points ahead of 18th place Southampton as they take on WBA, the league’s clear worst team.  A full three points here would provide a big boost for Swansea’s campaign.  However, Swansea will be without their best player Jordan Ayew who leads the team in goals and assists this season because of a suspension.  Sung-yueng has stepped up for Swansea recently, averaging almost 25 FDP in his last 5 starts.  In a game where Swansea need a win, I expect them to press WBA continually, making Ki Sung-yueng a viable GPP salary relief play.

Vicente Iborra (Newcastle @ Leicester, $7,500) – Another formidable midfielder to help with salary relief is Iborra.  Iborra has not started many games for Leicester this season, but due to injuries and suspensions, he has made two consecutive starts for them.  Iborra scored in both games, so it is likely that he earned himself another start this weekend.  Newcastle allow an average of 1.7 goals per game on the road, so Iborra has a good matchup to continue his success.

Nemanja Matic (Manchester United @ Manchester City, $7,500) – Normally, Matic’s style of play does not convert well to fantasy.  He’s defensive stalwart, who carries minimal offensive upside.  However, in what should be an aggressive back-and-forth game, Matic will be involved often trying to deny City’s star attackers.  Additionally, he is averaging 22 FDP in his last 4 EPL games, which is that 3x value you’re looking for from a cheap player.

Mohamed Diame (Newcastle @ Leicester, $6,500) – I’ve been riding Diame on nearly every slate for a while now, and I will likely do it again this weekend.  His ability to collect peripheral stats this year has been great, and he’s averaging 21.7 FDP in his last 6 games.  The consistency of 20+ FDP games at this price makes him a great play in all formats.

Target Defenders

Ben Davies ($7,000) and Serge Aurier ($6,000) (Tottenham @ Stoke City) – A Tottenham stack will be complete with one of these two outside defenders.  They should have all the freedom they want to get up the field and join the attack against Stoke.  Davies has the bigger upside in my opinion, but the $1,000 savings with Aurier seems like the better play.  Aurier also has averaged more FDP straight up this season by a full 3 points.

Nathan Ake (Crystal Palace @ Bournemouth, $6,500) – Ake has been on a really good run in the EPL lately, averaging 20.9 FDP in his last 9 games.  He’s been Bournemouth’s best and most consistent player fantasy-wise this season, and he draws a nice matchup against Crystal Palace.  There will be plenty of defending for him to do, and he has also shown goal/assist upside.

Cheap Defenders

Terence Kongolo (Huddersfield @ Brighton, $5,500) – Kongolo has only played in 7 games of Huddersfield this year, but he has drawn 3 straight starts and is averaging 21.5 FDP in those games.  With a decent matchup this weekend, he is one of my favorite cheap defenders.

Aymeric Laporte (Manchester United @ Manchester City, $5,500) – Laporte had a really nice UCL game even though his team took a big loss.  If Laporte can get another start this weekend, it will most definitely boost his confidence.  In a big game that should be full of fantasy points, he is a good way to get cheap exposure to this game as a defender.

Chris Smalling (Manchester United @ Manchester City, $5,500) – Smalling has a similar feel to Laporte this weekend.  He’s been a great low-price defender all season, especially in cash games.  He is a veteran defender who is a good way to get exposure to this game from a defender.

Also like: Ben Chilwell ($5,000)

Goalkeepers

David de Gea (Manchester United @ Manchester City, $6,000) – After putting 0 (!!) shots on target this weekend against Liverpool, I expect City to come out firing.  De Gea’s save upside is massive, and I think he still has a high enough floor to be playable in all formats.

Mat Ryan (Huddersfield @ Brighton, $5,000) – The main reasoning behind playing Ryan this weekend is his matchup.  Huddersfield have only scored 10 goals on the road all season (16 games).  The save upside is limited, but he is a nice bet for clean sheet.

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