With the introduction of single-game EPL slates on FanDuel, I’ve often thought about providing content for those wishing to play. Today, I finally decided to sit down and write something. I decided to break players down into three different tiers: captain options (top), supporting cast (middle), and role players (bottom). But before I get to the meat of this article, here’s a little brief on how the single-game slates work if you’re unfamiliar. You’re allowed to roster 5 players starting at as low as $3, one of which you designate as your captain. This player receives 1.5x their fantasy points, so you want to put the player on the top of your list here. You must select 4 additional players with whatever remains of your $50 salary, none of which can be a goalkeeper. Other than that, it’s straightforward and similar to any other soccer slate on FanDuel.
MANCHESTER UNITED @ WEST HAM UNITED
Alexis Sanchez ($15) is my favorite player to put in the captain spot in this game. With Romelu Lukaku out with a foot injury, even more of the attacking burden will fall onto Alexis. I like Alexis from a fantasy perspective especially because his value does not ride on whether he scores. He’s one of the better forwards at picking up peripheral stats. West Ham’s defense has been allowing an average of 1.86 goals per game through 36 games, which is officially the worst rate in the league. I expect Alexis to exploit them and get on the scoresheet. The only pitfall with Alexis as your captain, is that it’s going to be chalky. If you’re playing multipliers or 50/50s you can get away with it, but if you’re only playing GPPs, he’s still a good player to put there but you may want to look elsewhere. The good thing is, you don’t have to look far. One of Marcus Rashford ($13) or Anthony Martial ($11) will get the start for Lukaku. In a plus matchup, either option would work as your captain. The sneaky play at captain is Marko Arnautovic ($13). It’s no longer a secret that Arnautovic is West Ham’s best and most important player. Manchester United’s defense and goalkeeping have been stellar this year, making this is a difficult matchup for West Ham attackers. However, if you’re looking to use a West Ham player as your captain, it should be Arnautovic.
Let me clarify that any of the players I mentioned above for consideration as a captain would also be good players to roster even if they’re not your captain. These are just the mid-priced players who would be good to pair or stack with your captain that have not already been named. It’s really easy to stack teams on a single-game slate, so if you’re interested in a Manchester United stack, Ander Herrera ($7) is a way to get cheaper midfield exposure. Other exposure I want here is West Ham defenders. Angelo Ogbonna ($8) is my favorite play on WHU’s defense. Of the four “defensive” stats FD credits players for, Ogbonna leads the team’s projected starters in three of the categories (blocks, clearances, and interceptions). For $1 cheaper, Aaron Creswell ($7) is my second favorite West Ham defender.
Another strategy I’ve found useful for single-game slates is finding at least one $3-$5 punt is important since it lets you get an extra stud. On this slate specifically, the only players expected to start in that price range are three Manchester United defenders: Matteo Darmian ($4), Luke Shaw ($3), and Victor Lindelof ($3). However, I would not trust FanDuel’s expected starters, especially at this point in the season. When lineups were released for Wednesday’s slate, there were several names we’re not used to seeing start, and I am expecting the same thing on this slate. Specifically, I expect Marcos Rojo ($3) to start instead of one of the three defenders (probably Lindelof) listed above. He started last week for Manchester United and scored 12.75 FDP. Note that Rojo has a better matchup this week, and 12.75 FDP is still over 4x value as a minimum priced player. If I had to pick another punt it would be Matteo Darmian ($4). I’m hoping either Mourinho or Moyes decide to jumble their lineup providing us with someone else to play as a punt. Check back on my Twitter page (@vdray5) about an hour before lock to see my last-minute notes after lineups have been released.