English Premier League Soccer Draftkings and Fanduel Advice – Saturday February 9th, 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.
Saturday, February 9th, 2019 (6 Game Slate) – 10:00 AM ET
Liverpool will be the chalk and rightly so as they are far and away the best team on this slate, the biggest favorites, and have been outright dominant at home. Mohammed Salah will likely be somewhere around 50% owned on both sites but has the highest goal scoring odds and should be in your cash lineups on either site (particularly Fanduel) and he is more than viable in tournaments. Roberto Firmino (Draftkings), Leroy Sane (either site), and Xheridan Shaquiri (Fanduel) are the secondary options on the attack. Trent Alexander-Arnold (either site) is a great option on defense if he is back in Saturday Morning and deemed to fit enough to play a full 90 minutes.
Beyond that, I love Luka Milivojevic and on Fanduel he’s a core play for me; on Draftkings he’s close but not quite. Luka has been racking up crosses, takes the penalty kicks and it’s another winnable home game for Crystal Palace versus a team not exactly known for its road prowess in West Ham. On Draftkings, I might just use Andros Townsend for my Palace exposure due to his forward eligibility but it’s a close call either way.
Arsenal and Southampton will be other teams I look to for pieces with Arsenal away at Huddersfield and Southampton home to Cardiff in a battle of south coast teams. Huddersfield and Cardiff right now are 2 of the 3 teams in the relegation zone.
Arsenal would be the clear choice for me between the two with Southampton more a largefield tournament play or a piece or two type situation. Aubameyang will play an attacking role similar to Higuan/Hazard last week, looking for similar results vs. Huddersfield. He is the main tournament pivot from Salah.
Huddersfield has not scored in 5 straight games and are coming off a 0-5 loss to Chelsea. They are back home but they have lost 6 straight at home so I am not sure that being back there helps them too much.
Cardiff broke a 5 game goal and win drought vs Bournemouth at home with the support of a crowd impassioned over the tragic loss of forward Emiliano Sala recently purchased from Nantes in France, whose airplane was lost somewhere over the British Channel. However, one of their 2 goals came from a fluke handball penalty. As for Southampton, they have failed to put up big offensive numbers at times, but are certainly in a good spot here and have just a couple of weapons that we can focus on.
The Watford/Everton game should be a good competitive and meaningful soccer game but other than Lucas Digne and maybe Troy Deeney if looking for a paydown on the Watford side, there is not much of interest here from a DFS perspective as neither of these teams have been scoring much as of late. Watford is a slight favorite at home.
The same goes for Burnley/Brighton, where I’d pass on the Brighton side entirely and maybe use a Burnley piece of two if it fit. Remember this is the late game so we won’t have lineups until after the other games lock/conclude either.
My team ranks this week are:
3. Southampton/Crystal Palace
Draftkings Core Pieces (None)
Draftkings Ranks Point Per Dollar
Forward (Spend up Spot)
1. Mohammed Salah – Liverpool – $10,900 – The highest goal scoring odds on the slate and highest owned player. A Liverpool player trips and gets a call (including him), he scores.
2. Andros Townsend – Crystal Palace – $8,500 – Townsend is priced at low end of the elite options. I never play him on Fanduel but he gives us a decent floor on Draftkings aside from last week where it seems Milivojevic stole his thunder.
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang – Arsenal – $10,000 – PEA has 2 goal upside vs. Huddersfield but is a more volatile player than Salah and thus he is a gpp pivot.
4. Roberto Firmino/Sadio Mane – Liverpool – $8,100/$9,100 – Both of the other Liverpool forwards are excellent tournament pivots off Salah. Mane has shown better form as of late and is my preference between the two.
5. Nathan Redmond/Shane Long – Southampton – $6,000/$5,700 – Redmond and Long are both in an excellent spot to score for Southampton. I’d defer to Long as his spot is a bit more guaranteed with Danny Ings out now 2-3 weeks and Pierre Hojberg back might affect Redmond but either a solid play. Be sure to double check the lineup and positioning.
6. Troy Deeney – Watford – $5,200 – He is extremely goal dependent but gets 2-3 shots per game, takes penalty kicks, and has 2 goal upside at his best. Extremely low floor though so Deeney is best reserved for tournaments.
7. Adama Diakhaby – Huddersfield – Forward – $4,400 – This is a crazy 1% owned, not for the faint of heart, sort of play. He has done nothing stat wise to justify this but had created a few scoring chances last week that didn’t work and looked very explosive. I’d leave this one for large field tournaments but Arsenal has shown some defensive woes. If you didn’t watch the last game, you wouldn’t understand this play. Most people targeting a Huddersfield forward will go with Mounie instead.
1. Luka Milivojevic – Crystal Palace – $8,000 – I spoke about him briefly in the Cliff Notes and love him on Fanduel but still like him here. A lot of people don’t want to pay this price for him but his responsibilities justify it.
2. Mohammed Salah – Liverpool – $10,900 – I prefer using him at forward but see above for writeup.
3. Andros Townsend – Crystal Palace – $8,500 – I prefer using him at forward but see above for writeup.
4. James Ward-Prowse – Southampton – $8,400 – Ward Prowse didn’t do much last week but he’s remarkably consistent in terms of floor and should take penalty kicks for Southampton again with Danny Ings injury. This is a prime matchup for him to show off once again at home vs Cardiff. Pairing him with Long or Redmond would make sense in tournaments if you’re keen on Southampton (or just low on Cardiff).
5. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – Southampton – $6,300 – Keep an eye on lineups as if Hojbjerg is in, he can be an answer at midfield where we desperately need good value as all the top guys are priced up.
Honorable Mentions, Victor Camarasa – Cardiff – $5,800, Solly March – BHA – $6,100
1. Lucas Digne – Everton – $6,800 – The best defenseman on the draftkings slate, cash play, and a fine utility play as well. He comes with a built in floor.
2. Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool – $6,300 – As long as he is back in the lineup and ready to go he has a great matchup and can get us some Liverpool exposure and is a utility play as well as a top defensive option.
3. Sead Kolasinac – Arsenal – $4,300 – His ceiling isn’t great but he has a floor in a good matchup for Arsenal for a very cheap price.
4. Jose Holebas – Watford – $6,200 – I’m ranking him below the top 2 spend ups but think you want at least one payup defender on this slate as not a lot of great cheap options.
5. Sol Bomba – Cardiff – $3,500 (cash) – Very low ceiling on draftkings as more of a defensive player but a good bet for a very cheap 4-5 points.
1. Alisson- Liverpool – $6,000 – As a talented goalie playing for the biggest favorite on the slate, home at Anfield, with a great defense in front of him, Allison is the preferred spend up although Leno not far off.
2. Bernd Leno -Arsenal – $5,600 – Leno has a great shot at a clean sheet and the W facing a Huddersfield team that hasn’t scored in 5 straight. As mentioned above, he’s right in the mix with Alisson for my top goaltender on the slate.
3. Tom Heaton – Burnley – $4,200 – Burnley is on the road but Heaton is our Draftkings paydown option at the position in the game with the lowest projected scoring output and given BHA’s recent struggles. I’m ranking him ahead of the two guys below him based on price but on Fanduel that flips and he is at the bottom of my preferred 5.
4. Vicente Guaita – Crystal Palace – $5,200 – Guaita has been excellent and CP is a home favorite once again versus a West Ham side that has struggled to score on the road.
5. Alex McCarthy – Southampton – $5,500 – He hasn’t been the best and for the price I’d rather just go up to Leno or Allison but Cardiff has been atrocious and as a home favorite, he has a shot at the clean sheet here.
Fanduel Core Pieces
1. Luka Milivojevic – Midfielder – Crystal Palace – $8,000. See above for writeup.
1. Shane Long – Southampton – $7,500 – If he draws the start Long should lead the Southampton attack versus Cardiff and this is a bargain price at the forward spot.
2. Dwight McNeil – Burnley – $7,500 – Finally McNeil is forward eligible on Fanduel and cheap at it. He provides a decent non scoring floor although ideally we get at least an assist here as well.
3. Pierre Emerick Aubemeyang- Arsenal – $12,000 – Aubayemang is expensive and we won’t be able to get Salah or any other items so going this route is preferred for tournaments and not cash.
4. Ashley Barnes – Burnley – $9,000 – Barnes has been great recently, consistently getting shots at goal and falls in the middle of a no man’s land pricewise.
5. Troy Deeney – Watford – $7,500 – See above for writeup.
6. Christian Benteke – Crystal Palace – $7,000 – If he starts Benteke should have some opportunities to score as he did last match and just couldn’t take advantage of. Tournament only.
1. Luka Milivojevic – Crystal Palace – $8,000 – See above for writeup.
2. Mohammed Salah – Liverpool – $13,000 – See above for writeup.
3. Xheridan Shaqiri – Liverpool – $7,500 – This is a solid price on Shaquiri who makes for an intriguing pairing with Salah assuming he does draw the start. He has a very low floor but extremely high upside so more a tournament play.
4. James Ward-Prowse – Southampton – $9,000 – See above for writeup.
5. Pierre Hojbjerg – Southampton – $7,500 – If he is back in the lineup he makes for an interesting tournament play.
6. Sadio Mane – Liverpool – $11,500 – See above for writeup.
7. Lucas Torreira – Arsenal – $6,500 – Torreira only put up 10 Fanduel points last time I wrote him up but with some of the absences may play a greater role in the attack this week so you can do worse punting.
Defense (Pay Down)
1. Jan Vestergaard – Southampton – $5,000 – Vestergaard can rack up the defensive stats at a discount and has a shot at a clean sheet vs. Cardiff.
2. Aaron Wan-Bissaka – Crystal Palace – $5,000 – AWB along with Van Aanholt is one of the most talented defenders on Palace. He does not have a great ceiling but averages nearly 20 fppg at this price.
3. Trent Alexander-Arnold- Liverpool – $5,500 – See above for writeup. This price is very fair but his stats are more suited for Draftkings. His rank is due to this position being weaker than usual.
4. Sol Bomba – Cardiff – $7,000 – If I just had money left over or was trying to be contrarian and spend here I’d go up to Bamba, arguable the best defensive player in the game.
1. Allison – Liverpool – $6,500 – See above for writeup.
2. Bernd Leno – Arsenal – $6,000 – See above for writeup.
3. Vicente Guaita – Crystal Palace – $4,500 – See above for writeup.
4. Alex McCarthy – Southampton – $4,500 – See above for writeup.
5. Tom Heaton – Burnley – $5,000 – 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). ***