EPL DFS Breakdown via @vdray5 – 5/13/2018

Although anticlimactic, the last EPL matchday is here.  Since Manchester City clinched their title a few weeks ago, races only remain for the last UCL spot and for the last spot outside of the relegation zone.  Chelsea need a win at Newcastle combined with a Liverpool loss at home against Brighton in order to top Liverpool for the fourth UCL spot.  On the other end of the table, Southampton can ensure their safety with a point against Manchester City.  Swansea City is the only team that can catch Southampton, but they need a win, a Southampton loss, and to make up a difference of nine goals.  All 10 games will be played at the same time tomorrow (10am ET), so you don’t have to worry about an early game or a late game.  Additionally, there are a maximum number of players on this slate so there will be unpredictable goals, but this breakdown should shed light on some of the better plays on paper.  Please also be aware that this is the last EPL game of the season for every team, so be ready for some surprises in the starting lineups.

Target Forwards

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal @ Huddersfield Town, $12,000) – There is a host of reasons why Aubameyang is my top forward on the slate.  First, this will be Arsene Wenger’s last game as manager of Arsenal.  The players will surely want to give him a good send off.  Second, Arsenal have scored 2.25 goals on average in their last 8 EPL games (since the start of April).  Third, Huddersfield Town officially secured their spot in top flight football for next season on Wednesday.  They canceled their flight back home in order to take a bus “and get more beers in.”  Need I say more?  Fourth, Aubameyang has contributed to four goals in his last two games (3 goals, 1 assist).  He is my top player on the slate.  Alexandre Lacazette ($11,000) is in a decent spot as well, especially given his form and his style as a goal poacher.  He is more of a GPP play than Aubameyang.

Harry Kane (Leicester City @ Tottenham, $12,000) – Close behind Aubameyang on my list is Harry Kane. Kane has an outside shot at tying Mo Salah with 31 goals in the EPL this season, but he’ll need a hattrick and hope Salah doesn’t find the net.  Kane has a good matchup for goals since Leicester give up an average of 1.83 goals per game on the road (worst among the top 14 teams).

Marko Arnautovic (Everton @ West Ham United, $9,500) – Arnautovic is a cheaper forward option that you should be able to play in combination with a top striker.  West Ham is no longer in danger of getting relegated this season, but I still expect Arnautovic to play hard as usual.  Everton give up an average of 1.8 goals per game on the road, and WHU’s offense rolls through Arnautovic.  He’s a safe cash option.

Also like: Wilfried Zaha ($11,000) in GPPs

Cheap Forwards

Jordan Ayew (Stoke City @ Swansea City, $7,500) – Ayew is far and away my favorite cheap forward.  Ayew leads Swansea in goals scored this year, and boy do they need goals in this game.  Like I said previously, they need a win and a Southampton loss while making up nine goals in differential to advance.  They can’t really ask for a better matchup, however.  Stoke City has already been relegated to Championship football next season, and they’re giving up an average of 2.1 goals per game on the road.  Ayew could be a popular play at this price, but with all 20 teams on the slate, I don’t foresee any astronomical ownerships.

Target Midfielders

Christian Eriksen (Leicester City @ Tottenham, $11,500) – Eriksen is my high priced favorite cash midfielder on the slate.  He’s been over 20 FDP in 8 of his last 10 EPL games with four of those 8 being 35+ FDP games.  The oddsmakers set the over/under for goals in this game at 3.5.  The Liverpool versus Brighton match is also 3.5, but no game is higher than that.  There should be action in this match on both ends, and I expect Eriksen to be heavily involved.

Eden Hazard (Chelsea @ Newcastle, $10,500) – Hazard did not start the game for Chelsea on Wednesday but came on as a substitute with about 20 minutes left.  Although he could not help Chelsea win the game, he was extremely involved and looked dangerous.  Hazard will need to play well in this game if Chelsea want to win this game and keep hopes alive for a UCL spot (would also need a Liverpool loss).  On the road at Newcastle is a middle-of-the-ground matchup, but Hazard has the talent to break any defense.

Cheap Midfielders

Leroy Sane (Manchester City @ Southampton, $8,500) – Sane was explosive in City’s last game on Tuesday against Brighton with 3 assists and 5 chances created.  His speed with the ball was showcased several times.  Sane has been inconsistent this year, but I think he continues his recent success and plays well in the last game of the season.  He’s a really good GPP play with his low-ish price and big upside.

Idrissa Gueye (Everton @ West Ham United, $8,000) – Gueye has been consistently producing fantasy outputs from the mid-20s and up, which is the minimum of what you want from a midfielder at 8k.  West Ham’s defense has been poor this year, making this a good matchup for Gueye’s upside.  Despite his consistency, he’s still only a GPP play for those trying to avoid the chalk in my mind.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal @ Huddersfield, $8,000) – Copy and paste what I said for Aubameyang’s matchup with Huddersfield right here.  Mkhitaryan is far too cheap for this game in my opinion, and I will most likely have a large share of him.  He’s been over 20 FDP in 5 of his last 6 EPL games, and there is no reason he shouldn’t make it 6 out of 7.  He is a great play in all formats.

Also like: James McArthur ($7,000), Mohamed Diame ($7,000)

Given the size of the slate there are a crazy amount of ultra-cheap midfielders.  I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going there, but if you really want to some deep punts I like are Cheikhou Kouyate ($6,000), Jonjo Shelvey ($6,000), and Victor Wanyama ($5,500).

Target Defenders

James Tompkins (West Bromwich Albion @ Crystal Palace, $6,500) – Expensive defenders with upside are limited on this slate, but Tompkins has a good case.  His Crystal Palace squad will take on last place West Brom at home.  Before his last 2 games, Tompkins had 5 straight games with 23+ FDP which is great for a defender.  He should be able to focus on attacking in this one since WBA likely won’t provide much of a challenge.  Patrick van Aanholt ($6,000) is another good defender with upside for CP.

Kevin Long (Bournemouth @ Burnley, $6,000) – I’ll be short and sweet here.  Long is in good form.  He is also in a plus matchup at home against Bournemouth.  He’s strictly a GPP play, if you have $6,000 left for a defender.  Don’t downgrade somewhere to make room for him in your roster.

Marcos Alonso (Chelsea @ Newcastle, $6,000) – Somehow, Alonso scored on Wednesday but still remains $6,000.  I said it in my article earlier this week and I’ll say it again now.  Alonso is too cheap for this game and for the role he plays in Chelsea’s attack.  Unlike Long, Alonso is someone to make room for in your lineup.

Cheap Defenders

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal @ Huddersfield, $5,500) – If you’re looking for a full Arsenal stack, Mustafi is some cheap exposure in the defense.  He’s shown flashes of offensive upside this season, making him a good GPP play.  Hector Bellerin ($6,000) and Sead Kolasinac ($6,000) are both viable as well, but they’ll cost you an extra $500.

Jan Vertonghen (Leicester City @ Tottenham, $5,000) – Vertonghen has been strong for Tottenham in the defensive line all season.  He’s also been consistently in the upper teens and low-20s from a fantasy perspective this season.  Anytime you can get a consistent 3-5x on defense, you can’t complain.  Vertonghen has a nice matchup against Leicester at home.  This game should have a good amount of action both ways.

Luke Shaw (Watford @ Manchester United, $5,000) – Shaw was easily one of Manchester United’s best field players on Wednesday.  He was dangerous attacking up the flank on his way to 19.75 FDP.  His price is up since then, but he could definitely repeat that performance at home.

Goalkeepers

Martin Dubravka (Chelsea @ Newcastle, $5,000) – Just with the nature of this game for Chelsea, Newcastle goalkeeper Dubravka should see a lot of shots.  I think a clean sheet is unlikely, but Chelsea desperately need a win, so there is big time upside here for GPPs.

There are 20 GKs to pick from on this slate, but here are some that I like.  There are three goalkeepers that I believe to be in great spots for a clean sheet: Loris Karius ($5,000), Lukasz Fabianski ($5,000), and Wayne Hennessey ($4,500).  All of their opponents have failed to average over 1.0 goals per game on the road this season, and all three GKs are playing at home.  Karis is the safest, Fabianski is my favorite as far as save upside goes, but Hennessey is the cheapest.  If Thibaut Courtois ($5,500) remains out of the squad, and Willy Caballero ($4,000) gets the start, being able to roster a cheap GK to save money is always a go.  However, the matchup for Chelsea GK is not good enough for me to want Courtois at that price.  With David de Gea ($5,500) resting, Sergio Romero ($4,500) is going to start for Manchester United.  United have only given up 9 goals at home this year in 18 games, so a clean sheet while making some saves seems likely.

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