English Premier League 11/21/20
The English Premier League returns once more from International Break. It’s the last one until March, thank goodness! Unfortunately, these staggered starts are here to stay for EPL and it is really disappointing for DFS purposes. We have 3 games on the main slate for both FanDuel and DraftKings starting at 10am EST. Let’s jump right into the game-by-game break down.
Aston Villa (+115) vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
Tottenham vs. Manchester City (-125)
Manchester United (-333) vs. West Bromwich Albion
One big home favorite is Man United, a slight home favorite in Villa and a decent sized road favorite in Man City. Biggest thing to remember about first games out of international breaks is that the big clubs tend to have most if not all players play for their countries, while the smaller ones tend to have more rest and practice during these times. That being said, let’s dive into our Game by Game Breakdown for more info.
Aston Villa vs. Brighton-
A slight home favorite is probably not indicative of how I view this game. Aston Villa has had an excellent start to their campaign and sit 6th in the league while Brighton sits just 3 points clear of relegation zone in 16th place. Villa hit a bump in the road losing back to back games to Leeds and Southampton but bounced back to beat Arsenal, giving them wins over Liverpool, Leicester City and Arsenal already. Brighton has 1 win… vs. 10 men Newcastle back in September… They’ve played games tight, and are not a bad squad but they lack the real talent to put anyone away or hold on for the points needed for EPL survival.
Believe it or not, Jack Grealish ($17/$8800) was the first guy into my lineup… and that’s with Man City/Man United and Tottenham on this slate… the guy is solid. His floor is double digits as he’s had 2 SOG in each of the last 3 games (5 pts a SOG in FD scoring). Oh and he has 4 goals and 5 assists on the season too. He should be riding high after finally achieving a dream playing for the Three Lions in the Nations League and should be ready to destroy a shaky Brighton. Ollie Watkins ($18/$7800) has 6 goals on the season but is more of a GPP play due to his low floor. I prefer pairing Grealish with Ross Barkley ($15/$7400) who has looked really good since coming over from Chelsea on loan. He has 14 chances created in the last 3 games! (3 FD points per chance created if you weren’t sure why that matters.) Trezeguet ($14/$4600) is a nice cheap option for a little exposure, especially on DK. He has the ability to pop off and has 12-15 DK fantasy pt. upside. Defensively, I love this whole back line… Matty Cash ($14/$4500) has been great on one side while Matt Targett ($9/$4000) seems too cheap for the upside he can bring on FD on the other side of the pitch. Both center backs are in play on FD Tyrone Mings ($15) and Ezri Konsa ($12) both have goal upside and solid defensive peripherals, clean sheet is possible as Brighton only have 11 goals scored in 8 matches. Emiliano Martinez ($12/$5000) seems like a good cash goalie pivot from De Gea… might even get more ownership due to price and similar matchup.
Really not a big fan of this squad for DFS purposes… they tend to spread just about everything out and don’t get forward enough to rack up a lot of offensive peripherals. (SOG/Chances Created). Neal Maupay ($17/$8000) is their best chance at a goal break through and while he struggled last game, he does have quality in front of goal. Solly March ($14/$5900) looks safe to return to the lineup and will give this squad a big boost on both ends of the pitch. He compliments Tariq Lamptey ($13 DEF/$6100 MID) really well as the two wing backs look to do most of the damage for this squad. Dan Burn ($7) is one of the cheapest CB on the slate but his consistency leaves a lot to be desired. Mat Ryan ($8/$4500) has been a disaster in net but is coming off a clean sheet vs. Burnley and has only conceded 2 goals in his last 3 starts.
Prediction: Aston Villa 3 – Brighton 0
Tottenham vs. Manchester City-
This is where I think I make my stand for this slate… and yes, it’s a little out there so bare with me here… I’m looking to fade Man City…. Pep roulette is real and especially out of international breaks, it could be a mess. Also Pep just got a contract extension, so does he care nearly as much as maybe pre-contract extension? I think people will flock to the big names from the Citizens but I’m going to make a stand and it will either crush me, or bring me some big wins.
So I said I was going to fade Man City… I didn’t say I was going to stack Tottenham! Ha, you didn’t see that one coming did you!? I think Tottenham are an underrated squad right now… Heung-Min Son ($19/$8300) and Harry Kane ($20/$9300) are a dynamic duo… and a terrifying mix-up face wise (Google it, it’s something you can’t un-see). They have 15 goals between them on the season and while I love both, I probably could only fit 1 in a line… if I had to choose, Kane on FD and Son on DK mostly due to pricing. Otherwise the Spurs don’t get much from their midfield, and defensively Matt Doherty is out with Covid, but Sergio Reguillon ($12/$5100) is the guy right now anyways you’d want from a full back. He’s really blended in well with his new squad and is averaging near 20 FD fantasy pts. a game. Eric Dier ($8) is a nice value on FD, he should start again and Man City will definitely threaten goal enough to provide plenty of peripherals. Hugo Lloris ($9/$4200) is my GPP goalie for sure… I struggle getting the Frenchman right at times but I think they show up in a big way at home in this one.
I’ve mentioned Pep Roulette… Aguero or Jesus? Mahrez or Silva? Or Foden? Or Torres? They have so many great players it’s tough to depend on one or two to get the job done. Luke mentions goal share funnel… this team has none… anyone can strike at anytime… even Rodri. Alright, but let’s say you want to stack City in a good, not great matchup, where do you start? Kevin De Bruyne ($22/$10600) is still a top player in the world but aside from his massive hat-trick vs. Wolves, he’s been pretty pedestrian. Raheem Sterling ($19/$6400) has struggled as well and may be in doubt due to some ailment not explained to the media, but if he starts, $6400 is pretty enticing, even for 60-65 minutes. Gabriel Jesus ($21/$7700) seems pretty pricey on FD for someone who has such a low floor… but his ceiling is nice with his goal scoring abilities. I’ve stated before how I don’t usually play Man City defenders, this is still true… Joao Cancelo ($14/$5200) is the only guy I love since he is involved in both ends of the pitch so much. Ruben Dias ($9) is a decent play on FD since he is a pretty cheap CB in a tough matchup vs. Kane/Son that should translate into peripheral stats (tackles/clearances/interceptions). Ederson ($11/$5400) is tough to swallow on DK since there are two other favorites in better spots, but FD that price is intriguing.
Prediction: Tottenham 1 – Manchester City 1
Manchester United vs. West Bromwich Albion
West Brom is terrible…. They sit 18th, with 3 points and only 6 goals scored while conceding 17 in 8 games. United have underachieved in the PL but have been red hot in Europe, tough to say which squad shows up but defensively they’ve been hit with injury after injury.
Bruno Fernandes ($22/$11000) is the priciest player on the slate and here’s why: he has 3 multi goal/assist games already this season and is Averaging 35 FD fantasy pts. It sounds like Marcus Rashford ($20/$8500) should be good to go and is a solid option vs. a very leaky Albion back line. Anthony Martial ($17/$7300) seems shaky at best to start, and let’s be honest his form has been poor. If Juan Mata ($9/$5600) starts, I love this spot for him, but it’s tough to save a spot for the last game. Defensively, Luke Shaw is out, Alex Telles is still testing Covid positive apparently and now Harry Maguire ($11) bruised his foot playing for England… yikes. But it’s Albion, so anyone they throw in there should be okay. David De Gea ($14/$5900) is the safest for a clean sheet and win on the slate but his upside is limited as West Brom won’t pepper him.
West Bromwich Albion:
Mattheus Pereira ($16/$6800) does just about everything for this squad and is a good young player but his supporting cast is limited. Karlan Grant ($13/$4900) is a cheap punt especially for DK, but has a decent chance to pay off that price. Defensively, I’m only interested in Semi Ajayi ($7) mostly due to price but he is coming off of a 16.9 FD fantasy pts. a game vs. Tottenham. Sam Johnstone ($7/$3700) is the deep GPP punt guy, and those tend to pay off more often than not, especially on DK.
Prediction: Manchester United 3- West Bromwich Albion 0
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