English Premier League Soccer Draftkings and Fanduel Advice – Saturday, January 19th, 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.
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. Check their minutes on the dk game log.
Saturday, January 19th, 2019 (6 Game Slate) – 8:00 AM ET
I think that for Draftkings you will need a very balanced line this week and that stars and scrubs lines will be doomed from the start. Liverpool and Manchester United are the best teams on this slate but the matchups do not justify the salaries.
My favorite spots to attack from a team perspective include Newcastle facing a pitiful Cardiff team at home, Watford at home versus Burnley, I think Willian/Eden Hazard in play and probably all I would use from Chelsea facing an Arsenal side that suffers from defensive lapses at times and subpar goalie play.
Beyond that some deeper gpps stacks include Bournemouth and Southhampton. A Wilson/Fraser/Clyne (newly acquired from Liverpool) trio or using 2 of the 3 from the Cherries is a little intriguing and the 1st 2 players have Fanduel writeups below as well.
Southhampton also in play strictly for gpps. Perhaps a Targett/Long, Targett/Redmond or a Targett/James Ward Prowse combo. I just don’t like how the price has come up on the latter and his goal last week was off a penalty kick and not the product of tons of shots. I’d be sure to double check the status of both Shane Long and Danny Ings and pay attention to that Saturday Morning although anywhere I have Long I would try to just swap in Ings if Longs indeed hurt now and Ings indeed returning.
Fanduel it’s a bit different and you will see that illustrated in the rankings. A player like Salah is much more in play there.
Draftkings Ranks Point Per Dollar
1. Salomon Rondon – $6,200 – A lot of the touts don’t like him, this is a controversial top ppd pick. People really hate Newcastle and think on the whole they suck, and I’m not here to argue that. Rondon is very goal dependent. But on a slate where nearly every other forward eligible player is goal dependent as well, I am going to roll with Rondon at this bargain basement price facing a Cardiff team who’s 4th in goals conceded, at home. I think he definitely has the upside in this spot for a brace. Over his last 10 matches he has hit at least 11.8 draftkings matchup 6 times with a 35.3 2 goal game at Burnley and 4 total busts during that span. I like pairing him with either Matt Ritchie (more later) or Christian Atsu.
2. Richarlison – $7,200 – Richarlison will be chalk and in cash games I’d pair with Rondon up top. You look at his 52 shots on the year and would expect to see more goals. There should be positive regression moving forward and while Southampton has played relatively well across their last couple matches despite a carousel at goalie, Everton should have their opportunities. A month ago he probably would’ve been at least $1,000 more so just take the discount and save the $2,000-$3,000 you’d spend on a similarly goal dependent player. On Fanduel he is $9,000 by comparison.
3. Troy Deeney – $6,800 – Some might say at the elevated price this is a reach but Deeney has brace upside at home versus a Burnley team allowing the most shots on goal in the league this season. He takes his teams penalty kicks and much like Richarlison is probably due for more positive regression based on his 38 shots this season. I like him more in a line if using Holebas in a D spot for the added correlation. Either way, he worked out bigtime for us two weeks ago and we shouldn’t be afraid to go back to the well.
4. Burnley (Dwight McNeil – $6,500, Ashley Barnes – $5,800, Chris Wood – $5,300 in order of preference) – Normally when a team wins 2-1 someone on their offense does something DFS wise but twas not the case last time out for the Clarets as they were the beneficiary of bonehead mistakes by both Joe Bryan and Dennis Odoi. The price is back down and anyone of these guys can pop one in net vs Watford and Ben Foster who has been nothing short of a turnstile this season. I would just pick one and wouldn’t go overboard and wouldn’t rule out a gamestack with the aforementioned Deeney on the opposite side. Dwight McNeil would be my preference as he’s taking crosses, getting shots on goal and hasn’t disappointed the last 3 times out with dk scores of 22.3, 15.5 and 11.5 respectively.
5. Chelsea (Eden Hazard – $10,500, Willan – $8,300) – Willan had a nice game last time out, scoring a goal. However, Eden Hazard has disappointed his last 3 times out. Between that and the uncertainty that comes with being involved in a late game I think ownership will be down and this could be a spot they come back and troll everyone. They are both forward eligible so if using one or both it will definitely be in those spots. Because Hazard has been attacking less and playing more centrally, I’d lean towards Willan price considered.
6. Mohammed Salah – $11,000. The biggest chalk on the board with 72 shots, 14 goals and 7 assists, Salah with his flopping tendencies is the James Harden of EPL right now. However, if you strip away some of the penalty shots him and his teammates have drawn recently, those numbers come down substantially. At $11,000 you need 2 goals from to him as it will likely force you to take some very low floor players elsewhere. He has only done this once all season (vs Bournemouth). Complicating things further is a difficult matchup with Crystal Palace, a solid defensive team. If going Liverpool I would probably pivot down to Robert Firmino at $7,900 who has equal upside at a lower price. It’s just not my favorite spot on the board and a MME style entry.
7. Marcus Rashford – $10,000. Hard pass. He will be chalk as well but if going MU I’d rather pay the $8,800 at midfield for Pogba, hell I’d even pay for Salah. Rashford has been solid but priced for the upside.
8. Alex Iwobi – $5,200 – (see writeup below)
1. Matt Ritchie – $6,600 – Ritchie has been able to put up some numbers without too many points given all of the peripheral stats he can rack up. Him and Rondon will be a pairing that I will have a lot of exposure to as I think he can get his usual plus an assist or two when he sets up Rondon. Price and matchup wise this is as good as it gets for Newcastle after back to back difficult matchups versus Manchester United and Chelsea.
2. Andres Townsend – $6,400 – Is this really an advice column, a Crystal Palace player facing Liverpool!? – With Robert Snodgrass in the outs for West Ham, Townsend is emerging as one of my new favorite peripheral stat driven players. I never play anyone against Liverpool but can make an exception here with price considered. Townsend will take a lot of crosses and find ways to get points as he has done 3 of his last 4 games despite not scoring any points during that span. We could be looking at a similar situation Saturday Morning.
3. Alex Iwobi – $5,200 – Maybe this is more of a cash play than a tournament play due to lack of upside (unless the salary save is needed for gpps which is perfectly fine) but Iwobi is in good form as of late and helps us save some salary while still providing a decent floor. At $5,000 Christian Atsu is similar, an Iwobi lite.
4. Felipe Anderson – $7,900 – The biggest beneficiary from Snodgrass’s limited playing time the last few contests for West Ham, Anderson is a baller and has the upside to break the slate.
5. Paul Pogba – $8,800 – Pogba is my second favorite high end spend at the position as he’s sure to always be involved and find his way into some high danger chances. I think a lot of other people would grade Pogba over Anderson and Felipe likely lower owned.
1. Lucas Digne – $6,600 – He will be like 50% owned but for good reason. Digne (pronounced “Dean” like James Dean not Dig-Nay or Dig-Ney like some industry experts like to say) has been filling the stat sheet. He is the #1 defense man and a great utility spot play as well.
2. Jose Holebas – $6,100 – Much like all the other chalk monkeys, I was off the wagon after an atrocious game where he was 50% owned on the basis of a perceived diminishing responsibility and of course he promptly bounced back last week at low ownership to put up 16 dk points consisting of an assist and a whopping 12 crosses. He is a strong play at either defense (preferred this week) or in the utility spot. The matchup at home vs Burnley is the nuts. Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose. If he doesn’t start for any reason, Adam Masina becomes a strong value play at $4,800.
3. Andrew Robertson – $5,500 – Robertson has shown a solid floor and with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury which began in pre game warmups last week, he should have an even bigger role moving forward. I do like the 2 guys above though a lot more.
4. Nathaniel Clyne – $4,200 – This is a risk/reward pick as he has only played one game with his new team but provides us some savings and saw 90 minutes last time out. When he sees minutes, he can make stuff happen.
5. David Luiz – $3,800 – I normally don’t go out of my way for a central defender but Luiz has been more involved in the attack last couple games. If looking for a clean sheet perhaps Fabian Schar at $3,700 can help you fill out a line, particularly if paired with Newcastle Goalie Martin Dubravka to maximize on the clean sheet correlation. Every sub 4k defenseman has a low floor/low ceiling so there is not much separating a lot of these guys.
1. Allisson – $6,000 – Allisson is pretty much always in play if you have the money. He plays behind the league’s stingiest defense and Liverpool should win this game versus Palace who has been challenged all season offensively.
2. Martin Dubravka – $5,200 – Sticking with the Newcastle theme throughout I am going to roll out Martin Dubravka “Flaka Flame”. The 4th highest priced goaltender on the slate has as good a shot as ever at both a win and a clean sheet given Cardiff’s weaknesses at………….well basically everything.
3. Lukasz Fabianski – $4,700 – Fabianski is one of the most talented goalies in the league and underpriced here in a spot where West Ham will contend for the W and while the Cherries are not particularly imposing should have their shots. The two above him strike me as more cash or gpp plays while Lukasz likely more gpp.
4. Jordan Pickford – $4,600 – Pickford another value option with better win odds than Fabianski albeit lesser talent.
5. Tom Heaton – $3,900 – If you need the $ and think Burnley escapes, he should see shots and you never know, maybe Watford’s defenders score in their own net and help him get the W. All kidding aside, I don’t mind this play at all.
Bernard, Declan Rice, Ashley Maitland-Niles (only use in utility spot in case scratched), Sean Morrison, Sol Bomba, any sub 4k attacking player who starts or defenseman in a good spot to get a couple side stats and a clean sheet.
Fanduel Ranks Point Per Dollar
1. Salomon Rondon – $8,500 – Excellent value on Fanduel as well. See above for writeup.
2. Troy Deeney – $9,000 – See above for writeup.
3. Callum Wilson – $9,500 – Make sure he’s in the starting lineup first after sitting out last game but Wilson always very capable of scoring when healthy.
4. Shane Long – $7,500 – This guy has been playing well in Danny Ings absence and if Ings remains out another game worth a look but left last game hobbling. If he sits and Ings play insert Ings here.
5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – $11,500 – It’s not a great matchup versus Chelsea but he will be low owned, has a ton of upside and is so much better than all of the other expensive options at Forward on FD. Shots on goal are heavily rewarded in this format and he gets his.
1. Mohammed Salah – $12,500 – If you have the money, Salah a much better play on Fanduel than Draftkings.
2. Eden Hazard – $9,500 – I just think the price is a bit low here considering Roberto Firmino is a whopping $13,000 and some of the other ridiculous prices on this site. Hazard in a good spot as mentioned before so for the price you can take the talent here. He is only $500 more than Richarlison on Fanduel as compared to $3,300 more on Draftkings. He has been playing in a less attacking position though so perhaps more gpp.
3. Matt Ritchie – $8,000 – I still like Ritchie a lot on Fanduel. See full writeup above.
4. Willan – $8,500 – See above for writeup.
5. Gylfi Sigurdsson – $8,500 – Gylfi alright on dk too but I like him more on FD with a lot of his value from shots.
6. Ryan Fraser – $8,500 – See above for writeup.
1. Lucas Digne – $6,500 – See above for writeup.
2. Jannik Vestergaard- $5,000 – This guy just racks up defensive stats at a discount. Terrific play in Fanduel’s format and never owned enough.
3. Phil Jones – $4,500 – Another high floor, defensive minded player for cheap.
4. DeAndre Yedlin – $4,500 – Much like Vestergaard and Jones not a good Draftkings play but solid Fanduel play.
5. Sol Bamba – $6,500 – This guy much like Vestergaard gets his fair share of defensive points playing for Cardiff and this weekend should be no different.
1. Allison – $6,500 – See above for writeup. The goalies are all priced closer together on Fanduel.
2. David De Gea – $6,000 – Solid favorite and not comparatively expensive.
3. Martin Dubravka – $5,500 – See above for writeup.
4. Lucas Fabianski – $5,000 – See above for writeup.
5. Jordan Pickford – $5,500 – See above for writeup.
*** 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). ***