English Premier League Soccer Draftkings and Fanduel Advice – Wednesday February 28th, 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 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.
Wednesday February 28th, 2019 (6 Match Slate) – 2:45 PM ET
You’re going to have to take some stances on this slate and cash games will be rough. On Draftkings, I think people will use $3,800 Mesut Ozil (if starting) along with high floor defenseman like Alexander Arnold and Ashley Young for cash.
In my opinion though this is a better tournament slate by far. I will spread the money I usually put on one play to be able to make a few tournament lines and try to game script a little. That being said don’t be afraid to be different and take some chances on this slate. All of the matches start at the same time so there should be no issues with late lineup surprises.
1. Manchester City (home) v. West Ham United – Manchester City big home favorite. 4 ½ total.
2. Liverpool (home) v. Watford – Liverpool big home favorite. 4 total.
3. Crystal Palace (home) v. Manchester United– Manchester United slight road favorite. Lowest total – 3.
4. Arsenal (home) v. Bournemouth – Arsenal home favorite. 4 total.
5. Chelsea (home) v. Tottenham – Pick em – 4 total.
6. Southampton (home) v. Fulham – Southampton home favorite. Second lowest total – 3 1/2
2. Manchester City
1. Manchester City (home) v. West Ham United
Manchester City – Manchester City is both the top team in the Premier League as well as the top team on this slate. It looks like we have Aguero, Sterling, and Sane projected to start but I’d prefer 2 of the 3 to help consolidate the offense.
I’d rank them in order Aguero 1st by a lot, then Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane then there’s a big gap down to Kevin De Bruyne, and David Silva, and Bernando Silva.
It doesn’t look like Benjamin Mendy will get the start but I always have to mention that if he does, he becomes an automatic core play for the minimum price of $4,000 on Fanduel.
Ederson is always a great option in net and I have him as my #2 overall goalie behind Allison. I don’t think the price gap is big enough at goalie to overcome their odds and skills.
Primary Formation: 4-3-3 (Sterling, Aguero, Sane)
Cash: Aguero, Sterling, Sane, Mendy (Fanduel), Ederson
GPP: Aguero, Sterling, Sane, De Bruyne, D Silva, Mendy (Fanduel), Ederson
West Ham United – Facing Manchester City on the road, West Ham would have to be strictly tournament only on a 6 match slate. That said there is one player I really like, particularly on one site.
If I were going to take a stab on anyone I’d shoot for Robert Snodgrass who has resumed his old role taking set pieces recently but is priced down between a prior limitation on minutes and the difficult matchup at only $7,500 Fanduel and a joke price of $4,400 on Draftkings. I think he is fine there.
Primary Formation: 4-1-4-1 (Chicharito)
GPP: Snodgrass, Felipe Anderson (Fanduel)
Prediction: Manchester City wins 3-1.
2. Liverpool (home) v. Watford
Liverpool – The biggest news is that Roberto Firmino is a game time decision due to an injury suffered Sunday in the road draw with Manchester United. If he is out it is a boost to both Mohammed Salah and Salah Mane. In addition, on Fanduel we can get a cheap Liverpool forward like Origi or Sturridge or maybe Xheridan Shaquiri will draw the start.
For the aforementioned purposes I feel like Liverpool is the top team to target on the slate as they are less expensive and easier to pack together than Manchester City, although I will have exposure to both.
Trent Alexander-Arnold looked great in his return so feel free to fire him up at $5,900 Draftkings and $5,500 Fanduel. Allisson is a terrific option in goal, I am ranking him #1 on the slate.
Primary Formation: 4-3-3 (Mane, Salah, Firmino)
Cash: Salah (FD), Mane, Alexander-Arnold, Allison
GPP: Salah, Mane, Alexander Arnold, Allison, Origi/Sturridge (Fanduel, if starting), Shaquiri (Fanduel, if starting)
Watford – Jose Holebas will be suspended for this match and Adam Masina will be taking his place at fullback. Normally I’d be excited for this value to open up but this is not the matchup to take advantage of it away against Liverpool.
I don’t make it a habit of targeting Liverpool at home and I won’t start here.
Primary Formation: 4-4-2 (Deeney, Deulofeu)
Cash: No one.
GPP: No one.
Prediction: Liverpool wins 3-0.
3. Crystal Palace (home) v. Manchester United
Crystal Palace– Michy Batshuayi scored in his first start, in addition to a Milivojevic penalty kick goal, and two Wilfred Zaha goals in Palace’s 4-1 rout of Leicester City on Saturday. However, Wednesday’s visitors are a much tougher challenge despite some of their injury issues.
Crystal Palace players are all sort of GPP options this week but definitely intriguing to that end as Manchester United will have lots of backups in so might not be up to their usual form. I think Luka Milivojevic at least crosses into cash territory with his usual floor.
I am not as high on Townsend as Milivojevic has taken away a lot of his set piece work and floor without any price adjustment in return. Luka and Zaha would be where I go.
Vicente Guaita is cheap on Draftkings at $4,300 so he is my punt goalie option over there.
Primary Formation: 4-3-3 (Zaha, Batshuayi, Townsend)
GPP: Luka Milivojevic, Wilfred Zaha, Batshuayi, Guaita
Manchester United – Marcus Rashford is a GTD and Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Matic, and Anders Herrera will all be out for this game. This means we might have a strange lineup and all sorts of value open up from this game. However, Crystal Palace is tough at home and plays solid defense so I wouldn’t go overboard.
Paul Pogba is always in play for tournaments, at minimum. Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will likely start up front with Pogba behind them in a diamond but they are not as talented as Marcus Rashford and Martial/Lingard.
Ashley Young is a fine defensive play if he does draw the start. Currently he is not projected to start anywhere.
Primary Formation – 4-3-1-2 (Lukaku, Sanchez) * assuming Marcus Rashford out*
Cash: Young (Draftkings)
GPP: Pogba, Lukaku, Sanchez, Young, Shaw (Fanduel)
Prediction: I think this ends a 1-1 draw as Manchester United is lacking is usual firepower.
4. Arsenal (home) v. Bournemouth
Arsenal – Arsenal has been playing well and may be a little bit sneaky on this slate. I think a lot comes down to the formation as outside of Aubameyang and Lacazette up front, it tends to shift a lot.
If Mesut Ozil starts at $3,800 on Draftkings he will be a bigtime chalk play, definitely someone you would use in cash games.
On Fanduel I’d prefer Mkhitaryan for $8,000 and Granit Xhaka for $7,000 of the Arsenal midfielders over Ozil on that site.
As far as the forwards Aubameyang and Lacazette, I hate when they are both in because it spreads production. If you put a gun to my head, I’d choose Aubemeyang between the two.
Primary Formation: 4-2-3-2
Cash: Ozil (Draftkings), Mkhitaryan (Fanduel), Xhaka (Fanduel)
GPP: Ozil (Draftkings), Mkhitaryan, Xhaka, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Bournemouth – Arsenal does have it’s defensive lapses but this situation is pretty clouded between Dominic Solanke and Joshua King. Solanke is really cheap on Fanduel at $6,500 filling a forward spot so there’s that. King, conversely is super cheap on Draftkings.
Bournemouth has generally been terrible on the road so this is not necessarily a situation I’m thrilled to get behind. That said a stack with Solanke and/or King along with Ryan Fraser makes sense in tournaments as there is an avenue for some hidden upside here.
Primary Formation: 4-4-1-1 (King, Solanke)
Cash: Solanke (Fanduel), King (Draftkings)
GPP: Solanke (Fanduel), King, Fraser
Prediction: Arsenal wins 2-1
5. Chelsea (home) v. Tottenham
Chelsea – My feelings on this team are well known. Until Mauricio Sarri is fired, the drama will just persist. The latest incident was goalkeeper Kepa refusing to sub out against the coaches orders over the weekend. Normally, being at Stamford Bridge would present a significant home advantage for the Blues. However, there were likely be a lot of pissed off fans calling for the coaches firing and so not exactly the most welcoming atmosphere for the beleaguered home side.
We will see if Kepa starts or he is forced to sit out this game as discipline. For tournaments, I’d target Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuan but not a lot of else here to like. I’d never begrudge the fact that Hazard has the talent to make things happen regardless of what is going on around him.
Primary Formation: 4-3-3 (Hazard, Higuan, Pedro)
Cash: No one.
GPP: Eden Hazard, Gonzalo Higuan
Tottenham – Harry Kane is back and while that helps Tottenham get better as a team, it hurts us from a DFS perspective as the production gets split between Kane and Son. Ericksen goes back to his traditional role as the 3rd wheel in this offense.
This is a tough defensive matchup on the road, so I think that all things considered Tottenham is tournament only aside from Kane who I think is usable with his high level of consistency.
Primary Formation: 3-5-2 (Son, Kane)
Cash: Harry Kane
GPP: Harry Kane, Son Heung Min, Christian Eriksen
Prediction: I am not sure exactly what to expect here given Chelsea’s recent ups and downs.
6. Southampton (home) v. Fulham
Southampton – This is a must win game for Southampton as they face off at home vs one of only two teams below them in the Premier League Standings. Currently, Southampton is the third team in the relegation zone. Fulham’s goal differentials are much worse as they are nearly on par with Huddersfield for the league’s worst.
I like Southampton to win here, although they are not exactly an offensive powerhouse. I think we can target some of the core pieces such as James Ward-Prowse and Pierre Emile Hojberg. I like JWP more on Draftkings and Hojberg more in Fanduel where the scoring format suits him better.
Matt Targett is a solid play and makes for part of a nice Southampton pairing.
Primary Formation: 3-5-2 (Long, Austin)
Cash: James Ward-Prowse (Draftkings), Pierre Emile-Hojberg (Fanduel), Matt Targett
GPP: James Ward-Prowse, Pierre Emile-Hojberg (Fanduel), Targett
Fulham – Both Ryan Babel (Draftkings/Fanduel) and Alex Mitrovic (Draftkings) are in play. Babel comes in at $6,100 Draftkings where he is forward eligible and is a Fanduel Salary saver at midfield at $6,500.
Mitrovic is unplayable on Fanduel at $9,000 on this slate but at $5,700 on Draftkings he represents a risk/reward scenario as he certainly has the talent and upside to deliver here.
Other than those two I am not interested in anyone else from Fulham.
Primary Formation: 4-4-2 (Babel, Mitrovic)
GPP: Babel, Mitrovic (Draftkings)
Prediction: Southampton pulls out a 1-0 victory.
1. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – $10,200
2. Mohammed Salah – Liverpool – $10,600
3. Harry Kane – Tottenham – $9,200
4. Eden Hazard – Chelsea – $9,400
5. Ryan Babel – Fulham – $6,100
1. Mesut Ozil – Arsenal – $3,800 (chalk cash play if starting and tournament viable based on earlier season upside)
2. Robert Snodgrass – West Ham – $4,400
3. Luka Milivojevic – Crystal Palace – $7,300
4. James Ward-Prowse – Southampton – $7,200
5. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City – $8,800
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold –Liverpool – $5,900
2. Callum Chambers – Fulham – $3,600
3. Ashley Young – Manchester United – $5,700 (if in)
4. Matt Targett – Southampton – $5,600
5. Andrew Robertson – Liverpool – $5,500
1. Allison – Liverpool- $5,900
2. Ederson – Manchester City – $6,000
3. Vicente Guaita – Crystal Palace – $4,300
1. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – $13,500
2. Harry Kane – Tottenham – $12,500
3. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang – $11,000
4. Dominic Solanke – Bournemouth – $6,500
5. Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace – $11,000
Look out for cheap Liverpool value like Origi or Sturridge when lineups come out. If one of them is in there they would be ranked #4 above.
1. Ryan Babel – Fulham – $6,500
2. Mohammed Salah – Liverpool – $12,500
3. Pierre Emile Hojberg – Southampton – $7,500
4. James Ward Prowse – Southampton – $8,500
5. Luka Milivojevic – Crystal Palace – $8,500
6. Sadio Mane – Liverpool – $11,000
Unlike forward, there are lots of terrific options here at midfield beyond the list. The position is stacked, just refer to the match summaries above for ideas.
1. Trent Alexander Arnold – Liverpool- $5,500
2. Ashley Young – Manchester United – $5,500 (If starting)
3. Matt Targett – Southampton – $5,500
4. Danny Rose – Tottenham – $5,000
5. Luke Shaw – Manchester United – $6,000
If Benjamin Mendy is starting for $4,000 he jumps to the top of the list as a core play.
1. Allison – Liverpool – $6,500
2. Ederson – Manchester City – $6,000
3. Alex McCarthy – Southampton – $4,500
4. Vicente Guaita – Crystal Palace – $4,500
5. Wily Caballero – Chelsea – $4,000 (If Kepa benched for discipline reasons relating to this past weekend)
*** 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). ***