EPL DFS Breakdown via @vdray5 – 8/18/18

Last Saturday’s main slate breakdown was successful on FanDuel with plays like Ryan Fraser and Jorginho, however I missed big time on Morata (woof).  Here’s to hoping for another successful DFS soccer breakdown.

Forwards

Harry Kane (Fulham @ Tottenham, $12,000) – Tottenham handled Newcastle in their EPL season opener in a 2-1 win, but Kane struggled to make an impact.  I suspect he’s still working his way back into form after spending the summer in Russia.  However, I fully expect last year’s Kane to return in this matchup at home against a newly-promoted Fulham who lost 2-0 to Crystal Palace this last week.  Kane finished 2nd in the EPL last year with 30 goals scored (2 behind Salah), and he was a goal-scoring force for England in the World Cup this summer.  A home matchup against an inferior Fulham team is a prime matchup for Kane to get his goal total started in 2018.  He’s a top target in all formats.

Marko Arnautovic (Bournemouth @ West Ham United, $9,500) – Arnautovic was on the wrong side of a 4-0 in West Ham’s opener against Liverpool.  West Ham got almost nothing going offensively, which could be a theme for lesser teams as they face Liverpool this year.  However, Arnautovic looks set to be a good bounce-back candidate as Bournemouth travels to London Stadium.  Arnautovic should have much more room to work and his midfielders should be able to connect with him more against Bournemouth.  Arnautovic can be used in cash games, but I really like him in GPPs this week with his upside.

Callum Wilson (Bournemouth @ West Ham United, $7,500) – Don’t think that I’m solely looking at game logs with this play.  Wilson put up a great 40 FDP game, including a goal and an assist, in a victory against Cardiff last weekend.  Even with West Ham’s defensive struggles last year, they’re still a step up from Cardiff, so expecting another 30+ FDP game from Wilson would be wrong.  But, Callum Wilson is a solid goal-scorer who has a solid matchup and some momentum going for him.  He’s one of the best forward punts on this slate.  Attacking teammate Josh King ($7,000) is also in play on this slate if you need the $500 savings.

Midfielders

Christian Eriksen (Fulham @ Tottenham, $11,500) – Christian Eriksen created a whopping 5 chances and added a shot on target in Tottenham’s season opener last weekend, and he’ll look to continue that as Tottenham begins their 2018 EPL home schedule.  Fulham likely won’t be able to put up much of a resistance against Eriksen and company, making him an enticing play.  His price is a little higher than I would like to see, but nonetheless, you’re getting a top player on the slate in a plus matchup.  Christian Eriksen has extra appeal as the team’s main free kick taker.  He’s my top cash midfielder.

Eden Hazard (Arsenal @ Chelsea, $10,500) – For $1,000 less, you can get Eden Hazard, my top GPP midfielder.  Hazard came off the bench (rest) for 14 minutes in Chelsea’s 3-0 drubbing of Huddersfield last Saturday.  With another week back in England, Hazard should start this weekend against Arsenal.  In his brief outing on matchday one, he did provide the assist on Chelsea’s third goal, and will look to get himself on the scoresheet against an Arsenal defense that showed lapses last weekend against Manchester City.  Willian ($9,000) is a cheaper cash option on this slate, especially if Cesc Fabregas ($8,000) remains on the sideline.

James Maddison (Wolverhampton @ Leicester City, $8,500) – James Maddison played a solid game given the circumstances (playing his first EPL game away at Manchester United with no Jamie Vardy to play with).  However, this will be a good week to play the young Englishman and new Leicester City man since he takes on Wolverhampton at home.  Maddison was the main free kick taker for Leicester in their first matchup and should have at least a share of the duty for now.  He does well at collecting peripheral stats (2 shots, 1 on goal, 1 interception, 1 chance created, and 6 crosses in his first game).  Playing as the most attacking midfielder in Leicester’s formation, Maddison should be in for a more productive fantasy game this week.  Demarai Gray ($7,500) looked somewhat dangerous for Leicester against Manchester United, and with a plus matchup this week, he’s worth a look in GPPs.

Matteo Guendouzi (Arsenal @ Chelsea, $6,000) – The French teenager (no, not Kylian Mbappe) made his EPL debut last weekend against defending champion Manchester City, and produced a positive fantasy outing.  Guendouzi led Arsenal in touches (72) and it showed with his peripheral stats on FanDuel (4 interceptions, 4 tackles, and 1 clearance).  This game against Chelsea should put him in a similar situation as last weekend, so if you’re looking to save some salary in the midfield, Guendouzi is the man.

Defenders

If you’re new to reading my DFS articles this season, you’ll quickly learn that I am a proponent of paying down at defender.  However, I do still make a case of higher-priced defenders for if you have the money to spend.

Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal @ Chelsea, $6,500) – Mustafi was very busy defending Manchester City in his first game of the season (you can check out his game log to see how well he tallied different peripheral stats).  As I mentioned before, this week’s game against Chelsea, will be a similar matchup for Arsenal players.  I expect Mustafi to have a similar fantasy output again which gives him a nice floor.  There is also goal/assist/shot upside with Mustafi which only adds to his fantasy appeal.  Fellow defender Hector Bellerin ($5,500) is a high-risk, high-reward play in this game.  It’s not often you see an attacking-first defender priced so cheap, but Bellerin tends to be inconsistent and lacks real defensive capabilities.  However, the upside is there so if you’re playing in GPPs, he is worth consideration.

Serge Aurier (Fulham @ Tottenham, $6,500) – Generally speaking, there are three types of defenders to pay up for on FanDuel.  Aurier fits the “attacking wing-back against a lesser defensive team” mold.  Aurier assisted Dele Alli in Tottenham’s first game and was up the field in the attack often.  At home against Fulham, Aurier should once again be a part of Tottenham’s attack.  The offensive upside with Aurier is real, making him a prime GPP candidate if you have the money to spend.

Willy Boly (Wolverhampton @ Leicester City, $5,500) – Leading my mid-priced defenders is Willy Boly from Wolverhampton.  I’ll be short and sweet with this one.  Boly had 5 clearances and 5 tackles in their opening game, and in another good matchup for him, that’s what I am expecting to see when I play him.  He’s an option in all formats with his price.

Kurt Zouma (Southampton @ Everton, $5,000) – VALUE ALERT.  Kurt Zouma just joined Everton on loan last Friday and was unable to be ready for last weekend’s game, however, he is expected to start this one.  Zouma spent the large majority of last season priced at $7,000 and $6,500, so there is tremendous value here this week.  Zouma was one of the best defenders at stuffing the box full of defensive peripherals last year, and there is no reason he shouldn’t return to that this season on a new team.

Goalkeepers

Hugo Lloris (Fulham @ Tottenham, $5,000) – FanDuel is giving us more good value here in Lloris.  I’m focused on getting both GK bonuses (clean sheet and win) when I pick goalkeepers this season.  With Fulham coming to Tottenham having lost 2-0 in their first game, I expect Lloris to be able to get both bonuses.  Any saves he adds in are just frosting on the top.  He’ll likely be the chalk GK.  I would highly recommend him in cash games, and I have no problem with him in GPPs.

Kepa Arrizabalaga (Arsenal @ Chelsea, $5,000) – More of a lower owned GPP GK here is Arrizabalaga.  The young Spanish goalkeeper was able to keep a clean sheet and get the win in Chelsea’s first game against Huddersfield.  This will obviously be a tougher matchup for them defensively, but it should also result in more saves for Kepa.  Arsenal struggled to break down Manchester City’s defense, and if they struggle again, Arrizabalaga could be in for a big game.

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