English Premier League 10/31/20
What a Champions League midweek for us at Karma! Crushed some of the best soccer slates we’ve had before the crazy Covid-19 world we live in took over. Saturday is a weird slate, and it is Halloween so it kind of fits right in. 3 Game slate on FanDuel kicking off at 8:30am (Sorry West Coasters). While DraftKings is just running a 2 game slate starting at 11am. (FanDuel does have a 2 game slate as well for late risers.) So without further ado, let’s breakdown this slate for both FanDuel and DraftKings alike.
Sheffield United vs. Manchester City (-357)
Burnley vs. Chelsea (-200)
Liverpool (-278) vs. West Ham United
-Three big favorites, two of which are on the road. All 3 big squads are coming off European games Tuesday/Wednesday so rotation may definitely be at play. I’m also surprised the Liverpool-West Ham line didn’t jump up more one Michail Antonio was ruled out, could see that one ending up close to -350 like Man City. But let’s jump into our Game by Game Breakdown for more info.
Sheffield United vs. Manchester City-
Sheffield United sit 19th in the Premier League after nearly making European qualification in their first year back in the top flight… this is surprising to say the least! Sure they lost their goalie, but almost all the other pieces remained from a season ago. Yet, they find themselves with 1 lowly point from 6 matches and it doesn’t get any easier with high flying City rolling into town.
I don’t feel comfortable starting really anyone offensively for the Blades, maybe just Sander Berge ($10) since he is on penalty duty for them. Defensively, if Max Lowe ($5) starts I like him a lot, he’s a young wing-back who I think will get some run here as Sheffield will do anything to light a fire under their squad and try to dig out of the relegation zone. Ethan Ampadu ($7) is also a solid cheap defensive play, and has been playing more defensive center midfielder than defense so he should be right in the action to rack up interceptions and tackles. Aaron Ramsdale ($7) is a GPP only play; he does 21 saves on the season.
It was an impressive showing from the Citizens, throttling Marseille midweek and now they come back to England with 6 points already in the bag for group stage and can turn their focus back on the league which they sit in 13th currently. Kevin De Bruyne ($23) was back and up to his usual tricks with two assists. Riyad Mahrez ($21) should start after only a brief substitute appearance on Tuesday, and has excellent upside especially with Aguero and Jesus both out still. Raheem Sterling ($19) probably sees the bench on this one but if he’s in he’s always in play as he has slate breaking ability. I assume Phil Foden ($17) starts on the left if Sterling is in and has really struggled of late, GPP play only. I never love City defenders but they should control this game enough that Joao Cancelo ($10) is a great play and in his two starts he’s averaging almost 22 fantasy pts. a game! I hate Ederson ($13) and he shouldn’t see many shots but this defense is starting to figure it out and he’s probably the safest bet for a clean sheet/win on the slate.
Prediction: Sheffield United 0 – Manchester City 4
Burnley vs. Chelsea-
Chelsea had to travel to Russia for their Champions League game and that left a few guys with tired legs. Burnley meanwhile sits in 18th place in the league with only 1 point from 5 matches and has not looked in sync at all this season.
Burnley has not found their identity yet this year… mostly due to injuries. They are starting to get healthier and this may help them right the ship but I don’t think Saturday is that day. Offensively they run through their mediocre strikers in Chris Wood ($15/$5200) and Ashley Barnes ($14/$4800) mostly but the best play is probably Ashley Westwood ($12/$5900) he takes most set pieces and has looked pretty good this season, and even better he’s been healthy. Defensively James Tarkowski ($15) is a FanDuel scoring machine, but he is the priciest defender on the slate because of that. Matthew Lowton ($3000) is a decent punt on a slate that you need to find some value on. Nick Pope ($7/$4000) should be popular as people look to get more attacking from City or Liverpool.
My Blues are starting to look good, and there is no coincidence that has happened once Edouard Mendy ($11/$5600) has taken over in net from the unbelievably poor Kepa. They thrashed Krasnador 4-0 in Russia but Hakim Ziyech came out of the game with tired legs and more than likely will not start tomorrow. I would not be surprised to see Timo Werner ($21/$8600) sit either as rotation will be key for this Chelsea squad who have so many games this fixture period. Kai Havertz ($18/$7000) has really stepped up his game of late and if you are looking for a middle of the road priced guy, he’s probably the guy. I really like Tammy Abraham ($14/$7300) or even Oliver Giroud ($13 on FD, he’s an insane $9200 on DK) if they get the start up top and Christian Pulisic ($17/$8200) should return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench midweek. Defensively is where I would spend my money on Chelsea guys, especially on DK. Ben Chilwell ($15/$6700) has been unbelievable for the Blues and with Ziyech most likely out he should see the majority if not all the set pieces. Reece James ($11/$6100) is a nice pivot on FD, but on DK just find the $600 for Chilwell. Thiago Silva ($10) should start and is a cheap play for a pretty safe side. I love Mendy in goal for this match.
Prediction: Burnley 1 – Chelsea 2
Liverpool vs. West Ham United-
Liverpool comes into this one off a puzzling match at home vs. Midtjylland where they started their B squad and did not impress. While West Ham has ruled out their best player in Michail Antonio and are a mediocre 2-2-2 on the season so far.
All the big guns asides from the two full backs got a rest midweek in the Champions league as they all only came on as substitutes. This means we should see a pretty normal lineup from the Reds but Thiago is still a little bit away from rejoining the starting XI. Mo Salah ($22/$10500) is pricey, but he’s due for a big game… now he was seen limping at the end of the last game so keep an eye on that, but he did train yesterday. Sadio Mane ($21/$10300) is a great GPP pivot and is always capable of having a breakout game. Diogo Jota ($17/$6300) or Roberto Firmino ($16/$6400) are nice cheaper plays to get some Liverpool exposure but are not super high ceiling plays and have a low, low floor. Their midfield is not really interesting for DFS purposes but their defense is! On FD I love either Rhys Williams ($5) or Neco Williams ($6) aka, whoever plays the other centerback next to Joe Gomez. On both sites, both fullbacks are in play, Andrew Robertson ($14/$6800) or Trent Alexander- Arnold ($15/$6500), take your pick and hope you guess right because they both have massive upside but rarely do they both boom. Alisson ($14/$5800) is not my favorite keeper, mostly because his defense is a little suspect and West Ham can still score.
West Ham United:
I’m not sure who starts up top for West Ham whether it’s Sebastian Haller ($14/$5200) or Andriy Yarmolenko ($12/$6000) won’t matter too much, they are both pretty cheap plays with no floor but goal chances. Jarrod Bowen ($15/$7100) has not looked sharp this season, and is too pricey on DK for me. Tomas Soucek ($10/$3700) is my favorite punt as he has the height to get on the end of one and put it by Liverpool’s defense. Defensively they’ve been running a back 5 which hurts their center backs value, usually. But Vladimir Coufal ($13) has been really solid for them, while Fabian Valbuena ($11/$2800) is so consistent and always around the ball on both ends of the pitch. Lukasz Fabianski ($9/$3800) is interesting to me… I could see Liverpool finding its next gear and throttling the Hammers or I could see them still struggling to get healthy and find any cohesion and Fabianski gets 8 saves with a win.
Prediction: Liverpool 2 – West Ham United 1
I hope you enjoyed this breakdown and will join us on the DFSKarma discord channel and check out our core plays at https://www.dfskarma.com/shop/all/soccer/