Sergio Aguero (Newcastle @ Manchester City) – Sergio Aguero leads a heavily favored Manchester City squad at home against Newcastle on Saturday. Aguero has at least one shot on goal and one chance created in all three of is appearances so far, which bodes well for his fantasy floor early in the season. He exploded for a hattrick two weeks ago against Huddersfield at home, and while that’s a lofty expectation for this week, you can’t rule it out. Manchester City should roll in this game and I would bet Aguero adds to his goal total as well. He’s essentially a lock in cash games for me with obvious GPP upside as well.
Wilfried Zaha (Southampton @ Crystal Palace, $10,000) – I like Zaha in GPPs this week, and I don’t mind a CP team stack either. I think they will go overlooked on this slate, but they have a good matchup at home against a Southampton side that nearly got relegated last year and who is off to a slow start this season. Zaha’s only game without a goal this season was against Liverpool in a very tough matchup. Otherwise, he’s looked really dangerous for Palace with goals against Watford and Fulham. Like I said above, Southampton is a plus matchup for Zaha, so I think he continues his hot start. Pairing him with Aguero is going to be difficult, so I am most likely reserving him for GPPs.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham @ Brighton, $9,500) – Mitrovic continues to impress me both in real life and in the fantasy game early this season. He’s averaging 5 shots per game (high) and he puts about half of them on goal which is a solid rate. Even at home, Brighton won’t be able to shut him down in this game. He should have a pretty strong floor around 20 FDP in this game, with big time upside and likely low ownership given the other studs on the slate. He’d be the perfect forward to pair with Aguero in cash games if you can find the salary savings at other positions, and he is worth playing in GPPs as well.
Raul Jimenez (Wolverhampton @ West Ham United, $7,500) – My favorite punt forward on this slate is Raul Jimenez. West Ham gave up a ton of shots and goals last year, and they didn’t make any substantial changes to their defense for this season. They’ve already conceded 9 goals (tied for most with Huddersfield) this season, and if they can’t tighten up they’ll find themselves out of the PL next season. This will be Wolverhampton’s best matchup of the season so far from a fantasy perspective, so even if Jimenez does not score, he should pick up enough peripheral stats to make him worth playing at that price.
Raheem Sterling (Newcastle @ Manchester City, $11,000) – There isn’t much new to break down here. All City attackers are viable on this slate. Sterling scored City’s first goal of the year and hasn’t scored since, but he’s in a prime spot this week to end his goal drought. City has the potential to go off in any given game, so stacking them is an enticing strategy. Unless you’re going super contrarian, rostering one of Sterling and Aguero is almost a must, and playing both is doable. Riyad Mahrez ($8,500) looks like he might get to start this game with Bernardo Silva’s ($9,500) unimpressive start to his campaign. If he does, he becomes great value.
Theo Walcott (Huddersfield @ Everton, $10,000) – I’ve harped on playing attackers against Huddersfield until I see them raise their level of play. This week’s edition features Everton attackers at home against Huddersfield, something they should be able to take advantage of. Walcott and (FWD) Cenk Tosun ($11,500) are the players I would target in GPPs. Walcott is coming off two straight games with a goal and for $1,500 less, he’d be my preferred play. However, I think this is the week where Tosun scores his first goal of the season. Huddersfield have given up 22 shots on goal in 3 games so far, so there is big upside for Walcott and Tosun if they can find the net. If you want to avoid the Manchester City midfield chalk, Walcott should be the next in line.
Jean Michael Seri (Fulham @ Brighton, $7,500) – To add to what wrote earlier about Mitrovic, Seri is a super GPP play on this slate as well. He and Mitrovic have been extremely valuable for Fulham’s attack, and they should both have more opportunities in front of the goal in this game than in previous games. His first two matchups were not ideal but last week against Burnley, Seri was able to bust out for a goal on his way to a 35.9 FDP game. I think he keeps that going this week against Brighton. The best part about Seri is probably going to be his #criminalownership along with an affordable price. I’ll be targeting him in GPPs and possibly even in cash games as a filler.
Benjamin Mendy (Newcastle @ Manchester City, $8,000) – Mendy looks like a perfect piece in an MCI stack with his incredible creative ability as a “defender.” Mendy is averaging 1.0 assists and 2.0 chances created per game right now. Mendy has a plus matchup in a game where City will spend the large majority attacking so more assists, chances created, and shots are likely. Although $8,000 is an incredible price to pay for a defender, you’re essentially getting a midfielder who also gets some defensive peripheral stats. If you can find the value elsewhere and are 100% committed to a City stack, Mendy is a great play. None of the other MCI defenders are that appealing to me on this slate.
Christopher Schindler (Huddersfield @ Everton, $6,000) – Schindler is usually one of the safer, mid-priced defenders, and that’s exactly what he’ll be on this slate. One of my recommended defender strategies is playing center defenders on underdog teams, and that’s what Schindler is on this slate. Everton should control this game from a possession standpoint, which means that Schindler and other Huddersfield defenders will have plenty of opportunities at peripheral stats. Schindler hasn’t been great fantasy-wise this year yet, but he did hit 3x in both of his last 2 games against better attacking teams. The hope here is that he produces a 18 FDP game minimum (which he should) and more would be icing on the cake. For this reason, I am considering Zanka ($5,500) as well, but he is riskier with his form lately.
Nathan Ake (Bournemouth @ Chelsea, $5,500) – Continuing with the strategy of good defenders on an underdog team, Nathan Ake becomes a good play. He’s cheaper this week than he normally was last year and to begin this season. He’s also taking on his old team so there will be extra motivation. Ake should collect enough peripheral stats to get into the upper-teens and, although he hasn’t shown it much yet this year, he has offensive upside. He’s someone to look at in all formats.
Bonus: Kurt Zouma ($5,000) finally looks set to make his Everton debut. His talent and ability to get peripheral stats makes him a really good option, although his matchup is not ideal from a fantasy standpoint.
Ederson (Newcastle @ Manchester City, $5,500) – Ederson looks like one of the more likely GKs to get both bonuses on this slate making him one of the top cash options. You’ll have to eat the chalk with him though. If Newcastle somehow scores, it will hurt him bad, but I don’t see that happening.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Bournemouth @ Chelsea, $5,500) – Essentially copy and paste Ederson’s write-up here. Bournemouth playing on the road is not something I would trust. They do have two goals on the road this season, but that was against a very leaky WHU defense. Kepa looks good for the clean sheet bonus and win bonus. He might come with lower ownership than Ederson, but that’s just a guess.