English Premier League Soccer Draftkings and Fanduel Advice – Saturday, January 12th, 2019
***This article focuses on daily fantasy contests run on Draftkings and Fanduel EPL slates. Both sites have fairly different scoring formats. We consider tournament tactics, statistics, pricing, and attempt to tackle this highly variable daily fantasy format so we can gain an edge on the field at-large.
Things to keep in mind:
1) The most important part of DFS soccer occurs the hour or so before the games when the lineups come out. What’s nice is that the more pro-active DFS player has an edge in this regard. Similar to baseball, we will want to make necessary switches. Furthermore, baseball lineups are far more predictable. On Draftkings be sure to save people from the later games for the utility spot if possible so you have the most flexibility possible to make changes in case that player is unexpectedly resting. Make a back-up plan if possible and leave any $ necessary. Give bumps to forwards and players in attacking positions as well as defensive wingbacks (marked as M/D on Rotowire).
2) We want to target players who are not necessarily goal dependent as much as possible, particularly at forward. Scoring on the whole has a lot of variance but by selecting players who normally accrue a goal’s worth of points from other stats, we can help establish a higher floor for our lineups. On Fanduel we can absorb it a bit more as they are far more generous in regards to points generated from shots, but on Draftkings we want peripheral stats.
3) Only Fanduel’s point system truly rewards defensive oriented players. We do not want central defenders on Draftkings if possible but rather want the defenders on the wings more involved on their offensive end.
4) We want players with both a high ceiling and high floor. That sounds like John Madden-esque advice but we don’t want our lineup to have to absorb any 0’s. A lot of the time this leads to a more balanced approach but most tournaments are won with forwards in the $6-9k range rather than 10k etc as those players often need to score multiple goals or points to help compensate for the paydowns. I’d only suggest more super high payups on a slate with a ton of value opened up due to injuries.
5) Make multiple lines. Scoring can be highly variant and thus rather than spend up on one big entry, create a number of small $ lines to help provide yourself some balance.
6) Check player minutes to make sure you have guys who are playing entire games and not getting subbed off mid game on a regular basis.
Saturday, January 12th, 2019 (6 Game Slate) – 10:00 AM ET
(High End) — Liverpool/Eden Hazard One Off
Liverpool will be looking to bounce back and I like them better than Chelsea who I see many touts salivating over. The big guns are Salah and the red hot Roberto Firmino who’s stats have been shining almost as much as his teeth (use these 2 in the forward slots not mid field). I think Shaqiri as a major facilitator is super interesting if he draws the start. Milner and Alexander-Arnold are the back up option to fill out a 3 person stack (I don’t think a 4 is feasible). You can mix and match as you wish. If Shaqiri is out and you think Liverpool explodes you can also use Mane and build an ultimate 3 man but I’d leave him out and take the savings w a cheaper James Milner or Alexander Arnold as a 3rd wheel instead. Alexander Arnold also fine as a one off defenseman.
The 2 biggest favorites are Liverpool (see above) and then Chelsea in the late game. Brighton has played relatively tough defense at home but Liverpool is just far away the better team which is why they’re my pick of the two.
Chelsea is home against Newcastle but as we saw last time out they are always capable of a giant dud and their offense is really just Hazard and Willan anyway.
I think it’s fine if you want a Hazard one off or a Hazard/Willan combo but it’s an option and not a necessity of any sort. I’d be sure to use them in the forward spots if possible. Keep in mind that is the late game so we will not have the lineup when all the others lock so put aside a full 2 spots at your own risk. However, Hazard probably a lock to start if you do play.
(Low End) – Burnley, Fulham (riskier), Crystal Palace (riskier)
Besides Liverpool, I like Burnley. They’ve been playing well and have a great matchup vs. Fulham. We will have to see what happens when the lineup comes out but Barnes, Wood, McNeil, Westwood have all been great recently and I like all of 4 of them.
Conversely, you can bring it back with Fulham. I love Joe Bryan as a punt defenseman with a high floor on both sites and Mitrovic makes for a strong pairing particularly on draftkings where he is priced down. Sessognon gets a bad rap from many touts due to his dependency on scoring but always seems to create some opportunities and is an exciting young player who happened to lead this team in scoring last year. For the price though on draftkings I’d prioritize Mitrovic among Fulham attackers and I’d avoid both on Fanduel.
I don’t target teams against Crystal Palace with their stellar defensive play but after watching Ben Foster get lit up again last time out vs. Bournemouth in the highest scoring game of our prior EPL slate, I can’t help but think Palace can grab 2 goals here at home. Townsend, Milicevic, Van Aanholt/Zaha are my preferred Palace plays in that order.
It’s important to note though that if last week’s chalk bomb Watford’s Jose Holebas “who I think is a horrible play this week between matchup and diminishing responsibility” is out, Masina at 4500 a decent draftkings punt although I wouldn’t go as crazy as the field due to the matchup in Selhurst Park.
After that I don’t mind pulling pieces from the Cardiff/Huddersfield game to get some value, particularly on draftkings. I believe Isaac Mbenza was $3300 last time and got an assist and took a ton of crosses so you could do worse even at an elevated price of $4,100. If Juniho Bacuna is in he is great value at a similar price, and Steve Mounie scored last time out and he’s not that expensive either. If leaning towards Cardiff at home I’d start with Camarasa.
I don’t really target Leicester City. In fact I generally avoid both sides of any game they are in, but midfielder James Maddison always a fine one off and probably has a slightly higher floor than Townsend who would be the main parallel (but Townsend has dk forward eligibility so gets a bump there and his stats play better on draftkings as well). Definitely Maddison on Fanduel.
Speaking of Leicester City, defenseman Roberto Periera is a fine play at both sites and could be combined w Maddison for a preferred 2 man stack over a more traditional pairing with a more goal dependent Jamie Vardy.
If you believe in Cardiff at home then I’d start with Camarasa but rank him below the two names listed just above.
If just hunting for cheap pieces to fill out a lineup as mentioned above I’d recommend pulling midfielders and forwards from the Burnley/Fulham and Cardiff/Huddersfield games particularly from the Burnley and Huddersfield sides.
*** Rich Masana is a real money daily fantasy player who plays on Draftkings under the moniker “JetsFan303” and on Fanduel under the moniker “JetsFan3032”. Rich is ranked in the top 5% of all players according to Rotogrinders.com. Rich does not guarantee the accuracy of all advice and reserves the rights to use different players on occasion as necessary to fit roster builds (although does not very often absent late breaking news). ***