English Premier League Soccer Draftkings and Fanduel Advice – Saturday February 23rd, 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 23rd, 2019 ( 3 Match Slate) – 8:00 AM ET
Cliff Notes: After two weeks away we once again have an EPL slate. As opposed to a 2 day Champions League slate full of scratches, it’s nice to have a normal slate with 3 matches with only 1 late match to worry about.
I much prefer playing on Fanduel this week as opposed to Draftkings. Newcastle, our primary target is much cheaper over there. Plus other than Ricardo Pereira we are solely punting defenseman on Draftkings which adds more uncertainty and reliance on your spend ups.
That being said I have provided match by match analysis and rankings for both sites below.
1. Newcastle (home) vs. Huddersfield – Newcastle home favorite
2. Bournemouth (home) v. Wolverhampton – Wolverhampton slight favorite.
3. Leicester City (home) v. Crystal Palace – LC slight home favorite, tough defensive battle
Aside from stacking up these two teams a little (particularly Newcastle) I would not try any major pairings, just use individuals.
Match by Match Analysis:
1. Newcastle (home) v. Huddersfield
Huddersfield – There are not many nice things to say about the Terriers. They sit at the very bottom of the Premier League table with a negative 35 goal differential. They have not won in EPL play since a 1-0 win on November 5th over Fulham who is just above them second to last in the table with a negative 34 goal differential.
The only thing I would touch here would be Adama Diakhaby as a cheap large field gpp flyer play. I had wrote him up on one of the last EPL slates as a 1% flyer who looked explosive per the eye test vs Chelsea and the following game he added the numbers to match. He will still be low owned but I would proceed with caution as Huddersfield will likely get shut out here, thus limiting any upside.
Cash: No one.
GPP: Adama Diakhaby (particularly Draftkings)
Primary Formation: 4-3-3 (Puncheon, Grant, Diakhaby)
Newcastle – When I opened up the slate for the first time and saw this matchup I laughed. They’re going to be chalk and if not that’s on the public. I never thought I’d be writing up Newcastle once a month but this is every good as the spot vs. Cardiff where they won 3-0 and then some. I’m just going to attack Huddersfield to no end for the rest of the season before they get relegated and on Fanduel the Newcastle prices are jokes. On Draftkings, they are priced up a lot more.
The main goal scorer is Salomon Rondon who leads the attack and is inadequately priced on Fanduel filling a forward spot for a meager $8,500. In this spot he might as well be Sergio Aguero and I’ve marked him as a core play on Fanduel.
Matt Ritchie is always a better play on Draftkings than Fanduel due to the nature of his stat accumulation, handling set pieces and delivering all sorts of crosses but I would not leave him out of a Newcastle stack as he is the assist man. The $8,500 Fanduel price is still very fair all things considered.
Furthermore, it might finally be time for Newcastle to unleash their big spend Miguel Almiron. If he draws the start he becomes a core play on both sites at $5,500. Particularly on Fanduel, just ridiculous value.
On Fanduel, Yedlin at $4,500 is great value near min price and for tournaments Fabian Schar worth a look on Fanduel although I doubt he will ever score 2 goals again given his only role in the offense is trying to head in corner kicks. On Draftkings just below Ricardo Pereira in price, I wouldn’t play Schar even with someone else’s money. Yedlin still very viable on Draftkings too given his $4,300 price tag and large attacking role at right back.
Goalie Martin Dubravka is the highest priced goalie on Draftkings at $5,500 but mysteriously the 6th priced and cheapest overall projected starting goalie on Fanduel at $4,000. I think on Draftkings you can pivot if you need the salary but on Fanduel no one else is to be considered. Dubravka has the highest clean sheet and win odds on the slate.
Primary Formation: 4-2-3-1 (Rondon)
Cash: Rondon, Ritchie, Almiron (if he starts), Yedlin, Dubravka
GPP: Rondon, Ritchie, Almiron (if he starts), Yedlin, Dubravka, Schar (FD)
Prediction: Newcastle easily wins this 2-0 (hoping it’s more)
2. Bournemouth (home) v. Wolverhampton
Bournemouth – Bournemouth has been one of the tougher teams at home this season with metrics that rival the top 6 teams in general play. The Cherries have went scoreless their last 2 matches away on the road but last home game pummeled Chelsea 4-0. They are getting close odds, but I’m not sure that they’re justified.
The Cherries have been decimated by injuries, currently missing both leader scorer forward Callum Wilson as well as talented young attacking midfielder David Brooks and Junior Stanislas (who to be fair sucks anyway).
The offense had previously been left solely in the hands of Joshua King and Ryan Fraser. However, around a month ago the Cherries paid out a princely sum for Liverpool transfer Dominic Solanke, who they have been transitioning slowly. I see projected lineups out there in the UK that think he will draw the start up top and if so he makes for an intriguing tournament play.
Other than Solanke there’s not a lot I like here. If Solanke is in it will hurt King who was previously leading the attack, maybe it gives Ryan Fraser a slight boost. I don’t mind a defenseman on Fanduel like a Steve Cook but that’s as far as I’d go.
Primary Formation: 4-4-1-1 (King, Solanke)
Cash: Steve Cook (Fanduel)
GPP: Solanke, Fraser, Cook (Fanduel)
Wolverhampton– The Wolves have been playing really great soccer as of late, beating a lot of mid-level teams handily during their ascent to 7th on the Premier League Table. They have been more than competent on the road so it is not as if they suffer from any sort of extreme home/road splits.
Raul Jimenez and Joao Moutinho are the top two plays from this side. Jimenez leads the attack while Moutinho controls set pieces. Jonny is fine on Draftkings and particularly appealing on Fanduel where he is dirt cheap with a floor of 10-15 points. Both Diego Jota and Ruben Neves are in play for tournaments as is Wily Boly on Fanduel.
Possible Formation: 3-3-3-1 (Jimenez)
Cash: Raul Jimenez, Mountinho, Jonny
GPP: Raul Jimenez, Moutinho, Jonny, Wily Boly (FD), Jota, Neves
Prediction: Despite a spirited effort by Bournemouth, the Wolves secure a 2-1 victory.
3. Leicester City (home) v. Crystal Palace
Leicester City– I don’t normally target either of these teams so I’d focus on a few individual pieces. On a total side note, this match has harder last names to spell than perhaps of any I’ve ever seen!
Of great importance for the Leicester side is whether or not James Maddison plays. If he plays, he is a terrific play as he pretty much always is. If not it opens up even more room for recent acquisition Youri Tielemans and Demarai Gray will likely take over some sort of share of set pieces. I prefer Telemans between the two by a lot in that situation. If considering Maddison be sure to leave $100 extra in case he is ruled out and you need to pivot to a certain Crystal Palace player mentioned below.
Ricardo Pereira is hands down the best defenseman playable on Draftkings and automatic for cash games on that site. On Fanduel he is a strong play as well if you can afford him as he has a lot of upside.
Jamie Vardy can always score a goal but I’m not going crazy attacking Palace here as there are better options on the slate. Kasper Schmeichel is certainly in play on Draftkings as an alternative to Dubravka if you need savings.
Primary Formation – 4-3-2-1 (Vardy)
Cash: James Maddison (if in), Ricardo Pereira, Youri Tielemans (if Maddison out), Demarai Gray (if Maddison out)
GPP: James Maddison (if in), Ricardo Pereira, Youri Tielemans (if Maddison out), Demarai Gray (if Maddison out)
Crystal Palace –
Crystal Palace has grown sick of Christian Benteke so in what has become a recurring theme for this 3 match slate we might see the full length debut of Michy Batshuayi. In such a difficult matchup in a spot that hasn’t mustered much for the CP lineup I would save him for large field tournaments and largely take the wait and see approach.
My favorite play from Palace is Luka Milivojevic who is never priced where he should be on Fanduel and has the upside that Andros Townsend has not shown for quite awhile, for $200 more on Draftkings. After scoring back to back matches following a goal drought lasting since September Wilfred Zaha’s price has risen from $8,500 to a laughable $12,500 on Fanduel, where he is the highest priced forward, $1,500 more than Raul Jimenez. The price break between him and Luka on Draftkings is insufficient to justify playing him over Luka.
If you needed a defenseman sure, but not necessary.
Primary Formation – 4-3-3 (Zaha, Batshuayi, Townsend)
Cash: Luka Milivojevic
GPP: Luka Milivojevic
Prediction: I think this might end a 0-0 draw.
1. Salomon Rondon – Newcastle- $8,100
2. Miguel Almiron (if he starts) – Newcastle – $5,500
3. Raul Jimenez– Wolverhampton – $8,800
4. Andros Townsend– Crystal Palace – $8,700
5. Dominic Solanke – Bournemouth – $6,100
1. Matt Ritchie – Newcastle – $8,300
2. Miguel Almiron (if he starts) – Newcastle – $5,500
3. Luka Milivojevic – Crystal Palace – $8,500
4. James Maddison (if healthy and starting) – Leicester City – $8,400
5. Joao Moutinho – Wolverhampton- $7,200
6. Youri Tielemans (only if no Maddison, otherwise avoid) – Leicester City – $7,100
1. Ricardo Periera–Leicester City- $6,400
2. DeAndre Yedlin – Newcastle – $4,300
3. Jonny – Wolverhampton – $4,600
4. Any cheap starter from Newcastle or the LC/Crystal Palace match
1. Martin Duvbraka – Newcastle – $5,500
2. Kasper Schmeichel – Leicester City – $5,100
1. Salomon Rondon – Newcastle – $8,500 (CORE PLAY)
2. Raul Jimenez – Wolverhampton – $11,000
3. Dominic Solanke – Bournemouth – $6,500
4. Michy Batshuayi – Crystal Palace – $9,000
5. Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – $10,500
1. Miguel Almiron – Newcastle – $5,500 (CORE PLAY IF HE STARTS)
2. Luka Milivojevic – Crystal Palace – $9,500
3. James Maddison – Leicester City – $9,500 (if not starting then Tielemans $7,500)
4. Matt Ritchie– Newcastle- $8,500
5. Joao Moutinho– Wolverhampton- $8,500
1. Ricardo Pereira – Leicester City- $6,000
2. Jonny – Wolverhampton – $4,500
3. DeAndre Yedlin – Newcastle – $4,500
4. Wily Boly – Wolverhampton – $6,500
5. Fabian Schar – Newcastle – $7,000
1. Martin Dubravka – Newcastle – $4,000 (CORE PLAY)
*** 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). ***