English Premier League Soccer Draftkings and Fanduel Advice – Sunday May 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.
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 using multiple 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.
Sunday May 12th, 2019 – 10:00 AM ET – EPL FINAL DAY OF THE SEASON
Tier 1: Teams we are looking to stack, Man City and a bunch of home favorites
1. Manchester City v. Brighton (home) – Manchester City huge road favorite. Citizens 81% win probability, Brighton 5% win probability, 14% draw.
2. Wolves v. Liverpool (home) – Liverpool huge home favorite. Reds 74% win probability, Wolves 9% win probability, 17% draw.
3. Huddersfield v. Southampton (home) – Southampton huge home favorite. Saints 63% win probability, Huddersfield 14% win probability, 21% draw.
4. Cardiff v. Manchester United (home) – Manchester United huge home favorite. Red Devils 75% win probability, Cardiff 10% win probability, 15% draw.
5. Bournemouth v. Crystal Palace (home) – Crystal Palace huge home favorite. Eagles 52% win probability, Bournemouth 24% win probability, 24% draw.
6. Everton v. Tottenham (home) – Tottenham huge home favorite. Hotspurs 46% win probability, Everton 27% win probability, 27% draw.
Tier 2: The Games are tighter but there is still a lot to pick out for DFS. Any of these team stacks will likely come under 5% owned.
7. Arsenal v. Burnley (home) – Arsenal road favorite. Gunners 44% win probability, Burnley 31% win probability, 25% draw.
8. Newcastle v. Fulham (home) – Fulham slight home favorite. Cottagers 38% win probability, Newcastle 35% win probability, 27% draw.
9. West Ham v. Watford (home) – Watford home favorite. Hornets 42% win probability, West Ham 31% win probability, 27% draw.
10. Chelsea v. Leicester City (home) – Leicester City home favorite. Foxes 40% win probability, Chelsea 33% win probability, 27% draw.
It’s the final EPL slate of the season and we have the title on the line. With a one point edge in the standings, Manchester City can take home the title with a win over lowly Brighton. However, should they slip up and lose or draw, Liverpool would take home it’s first EPL Title in 29 years with a win. Not surprisingly, the primary fantasy producers from these two teams will be the most popular on a 10 game slate.
Aside from the big two, we have an element of uncertainty in regards to lineups elsewhere. However, this presents some opportunity to get some players at far lower ownership than we are accustomed to on smaller slates.
As far as Draftkings goes I am building around Alexander Arnold and Digne at defenseman, using a fairly small pool of midfielders outside of stacks and hedging exposure to the different forwards.
Forward (The Chalk Five)
1. Mohammed Salah – Liverpool– $10,500 – Salah is available for the big matchup and prior to going down after a collision with Martin Dubravka 60 minutes in vs Newcastle last weekend already had a goal to add to his recent tally. With the highest goal scoring odds on the slate and as the most likely player to score multiple goals, I will have some exposure. Liverpool has been so good at Anfield and in big pressure filled moments and that is unlikely to change with so much on the line here.
2. Eden Hazard – Chelsea – $10,800 – On an ordinary slate I would rank Hazard over Salah as I think he has the higher floor, sending in a bunch of crosses and gathering more peripheral stats in addition to scoring upside. However, we don’t know if he will play and if so, if he will play a full 90 minutes with absolutely nothing to play for. It is also a tough matchup on the road in King Power Stadium. I will have a good degree of exposure but be ready to have a backup plan. Like Arsenal, Chelsea travelled midweek for a Europa League game and are probably tired.
3. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – $8,800 – With Sterling gone cold as of late, I am giving Aguero the rank over him. Aguero would also take any penalty kicks so gets that bump. Aguero honestly has not been much better than Raheem but can strike at any time and should get on the scoreboard here in a likely title clinching win for City.
4. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City – $8,400 – Sterling is capable of breaking a slate at any time and much like Aguero finds himself in a juicy spot as City will likely be on the attack vs. a Brighton side that’s simply put, not very talented as they barely escaped being relegated down to the Championship League next year. Like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sterling is a 20 year old phenom who I’d be sure to have some exposure to despite recent form.
5. Marcus Rashford – Manchester United – $7,900 – Marcus CaShford had his roll slowed down by Lukaku for awhile, but with him out of the picture there is no reason the youngster can’t have a big day here. With United a big home favorite vs. a pitiful Cardiff squad that unlike Brighton did not avoid relegation next year, Rashford has the highest goal scoring odds outside players from the big 2 teams.
(GPP – All of the below should come in at lower ownership)
6. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal – $8,300 – The ultimate boom or bust, PEA comes into this matchup with Burnley only 2 goals off the lead for most in the EPL. Arsenal is likely tired after a long stretch of schedule with little rest, most recently coming back from a mid week trip to Valencia for Europa League.
7. Divock Origi – Liverpool – $7,900 – It seems like the ultimate overpay. Origi was chalk at a low price on the 2 game Champions League slate and scored 2 goals as a catalyst in Liverpool’s miracle victory over Barcelona. Now his priced has nearly doubled. However, he has shown ability to get on the scoreboard in his limited time so far and may even benefit if playing alongside Mo Salah, while replacing Firmino.
8. Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – $8,100 – Chelsea isn’t necessarily a team with a defense you want to attack but they might not give it the full effort and who knows what their lineup will look like. Vardy is at home and has been particularly good there, although he’s been consistently scoring goals everywhere as of late. You will never see him at lower ownership than on this slate unless he’s facing Liverpool in Anfield or something.
9. Bernardo Silva – Manchester City – $8,000 – Bernardo has stepped up and become the third cog in the City offense with Draftkings scores of 12.3, 16, 11.8 and 9.3 across his last 4 games. If it’s not Aguero or Sterling, it’s likely “B” Silva getting forward on the pitch and lighting up the scoreboard. I would definitely include him if stacking City.
10. Sadio Mane – Liverpool – $9,600 – With his elevated price and poor form, Mane should be the forgotten man in the Liverpool attack. That said, he can always end up the one doing the dirty work and scoring a slate breaking brace. A month ago, it would have been hard to imagine him to be so low owned in this situation.
11. Andros Townsend – Crystal Palace – $8,200 – The fact that Townsend is so far down this list speaks more to the size of the slate then Townsend who if in the lineup is a known producer. He had sat on the bench for awhile but came off last week versus Cardiff and put up a goal and assist. Bournemouth has struggled on the road this season and Townsend and teammates should be able to take advantage.
12. Salomon Rondon – Newcastle – $7,600 – Rondon is always underlooked but seems to score more often than not. He maintains a heavy presence around the front of the net and benefits from a bevy of talented players sending the ball in for the Magpies. I think he is 2-3% owned at most here given that he is usually under owned on a normal slate.
13. Ayoze Perez – Newcastle – $7,800 – Rondon’s teammate Ayoze Perez has proved that Newcastle has a talented duo up front. Much of what was said for Rondon can be said for Perez, although Ayoze might have just a bit more finesse.
14. Junior Hoilett – Cardiff City – $4,800 – It’s a bad matchup but he can score points in a hurry if in the lineup even as so. However, he also does not have much upside as it is very unlikely he gets a goal or assist.
15. Xheridan Shaquiri – Liverpool – $5,600 – If in the lineup, Shaquiri is definitely a cash consideration as he should have a 7-10 point floor. However, he does not have tons of goal scoring upside.
16. Troy Deeney – Watford – $6,000 – Deeney is the opposite of Hoilett in that he has as much upside as anyone on the slate in terms of scoring goals but has no floor otherwise. The Hornets will be looking to go out though on a strong note at home vs. West Ham.
17. Callum Wilson – Bournemouth – $8,100 – Wilson loves to troll. He usually burns people when he’s chalk and then finds a way to score 2 goals when he’s 5% owned in a bad spot. This is a bad spot on the road versus Crystal Palace. I’d think he’d be unlikely to do much here, but crazier things have happened.
18. Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace – $7,900 – Zaha does not offer the same floor that his teammate Townsend does but he has the same upside.
19. Marco Arnautovic – West Ham United – $7,700 – I’m not one to chase, but he clearly won the slate last week. It’s not as good of a matchup as he had then as he will be on the road versus Watford, but can certainly find a way onto the scoreboard.
20. Danny Ings – Southampton – $5,700 – I hate him with a passion but the price is cheap and the Saints have a great matchup at home vs. the worst team in the league Huddersfield. If he can’t get it done here, it is never happening for Ings who hasn’t scored since December.
21. Dwight McNeil – Burnley – $7,200 – McNeil used to be chalk option but now he’s a sneaky option in the spot described more fully below.
22. Ashley Barnes – Burnley – $7,000 – I hate to go overboard but I had to mention these guys as they will be 1-2% owned and get a juicy matchup at home with a tired Arsenal team that has a leaky defense to begin with.
23. Chris Wood – Burnley – $6,900 – If Barnes is 2% owned, he will be 1%.
24. Gylfi Sigurdsson – Everton – $7,800 – There have been slates he has been the highest owned player but feels like an afterthought here.
25. Fernando Llorente – Tottenham – $7,700 – With Son out, he should be the main man in the attack. He will be an integral part of any Tottenham stack I make alongside Eriksen and Wednesday’s star Lucas Moura.
26. Aleksander Mitrovic – Fulham – $7,200 – Mitrovic had been in really great form up until the last 2 games and has an opportunity to finish things off good at home in what should be a final audition for other teams.
27. Shane Long – Southampton – $8,200 – Mock him if you want but he is always 1% owned at this high price and has found a way to score in 4 of his last 6. The matchup vs. Huddersfield is certainly very appealing.
28. Gerard Deulofeu – Watford – $7,700 – He should see absolutely no ownership here.
29. Alexander Lacazette – Arsenal – $7,700 – He is totally off the radar on this slate but this is an extremely talented player who can score at any time.
30. Leroy Sane – Manchester City – $7,900 – He probably won’t start as he usually comes off the bench but if he does he would jump up about 20 spots on these rankings.
1. Ryan Fraser – Bournemouth – $8,000 – The matchup away to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park is definitely not the best but Fraser has been a madman as of late (that is when he hasn’t been inexplicably scratched only to come in 15 minutes into the game). Last game he sent in 29 crosses and gathering an assist for a total of 29 draftkings points. His last 5 are 29, 15, 17.3, 29.5, and 10.3.
2. James Maddison – Leicester City – $8,000 – Usually if he is on the slate he is big chalk. However, facing Chelsea on this huge slate as goes for many guys we will never see him this low owned again. Maddison is a young star on the rise and likely to get us double digit Draftkings points in all but the worst matchups.
3. Luka Milivojevic – Crystal Palace – $7,300 – Luke is not far below the two men up top in terms of weekly floor (plus penalty kick goal upside) but comes in at a slightly reduced price. It is a solid matchup home to a shaky road team in Bournemouth.
4. Matt Ritchie – Newcastle – $7,500 – Ritchie seems to get no respect and definitely doesn’t get the ownership he deserves on a weekly basis but if you watch him he really flies around the pitch. He is almost always involved and rarely doesn’t obtain at least double digit fantasy points.
5. Manuel Lanzini – West Ham – $4,100 – Assuming Snodgrass does not start again (always a wait and see), Lanzini would maintain some share of set pieces and come in as major chalk on a slate with little low end value. His ceiling is not very high but you’re hoping for 7-8 points at this price.
6. Christian Eriksen – Tottenham – $7,600 – Eriksen might get lost in the shuffle, but in addition to a split share of set pieces with Trippier, he has higher shot volume than many of his counterparts. With Kane still out and Son out for this game, he should play an ever bigger role than usual.
7. Joao Moutinho – Wolverhampton – $6,100 – This is an absolutely awful matchup at Anfield facing Liverpool in what is a must win matchup for the Reds. However, I like him more than other options at this price at assorted positions outside of Alexander Arnold and Digne (more below). He is a very active player so I think this is a scenario where I am siding with the player over price/matchup. One huge benefit is most of his scoring is not derived from actually scoring a goal or assist.
8. James Ward Prowse – Southampton – $7,800 – JWP has a great matchup with Huddersfield and could score 2 goals for all we know but it’s hard to say he’s anything but just another tournament option/core piece for Southampton stacks on this slate.
9. Paul Pogba – Manchester United – $7,200 – Pogba would’ve been a chalk play a couple months ago but now comes in as a strong gpp play that will certainly be off the board.
10. Lucas Moura – Tottenham – $7,100 – This seems like another example of chasing but with no Son out and him and Llorente spearheading the Hot Spurs attack, the price is fair.
Defense (I will operate with a much smaller pool here as Digne and TAA will be in around 75-80% of my lineups)
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool – $6,300 (Cash Lock) – The 20 year old phenom showed us Tuesday what a big mistake Jurgen Klopp made benching him for the first leg against Barcelona. He made Jordi Alba, Pique and company look like a bunch of school kids. In a game where Liverpool will be at home and attacking I am giving him the top spot over Digne although I plan on playing both.
2. Lucas Digne– Everton- $6,000 (Cash Lock) – It’s not a great matchup away at Tottenham’s new stadium but Digne is as consistent as it gets. We just simply put don’t have equivalent point per dollar floors at the other positions.
3. Aymeric Laporte – Manchester City – $4,100 – I wouldn’t play him ahead of TAA or Digne but he makes for a good util play where salary savings are needed.
4. Jose Holebas – Watford – $5,500
5. Joe Bryan – Fulham – $5,400
6. Andrew Robertson – Liverpool – $5,600 (double check to make sure he’s in as he was banged up Tuesday and left early)
Whatever fits the rest of your build as goalie on this slate seems like a crapshoot outside of Alisson if you had the money.
This should be the last piece in. Just make sure it correlates with what you have elsewhere. Also be sure to make sure your goalie is starting as a lot of the starters might rest. Unfortunately, this does not open up additional value as most of the goalies from the same teams are priced around the same.
1. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – $13,000
2. Divock Origi – Liverpool – $11,500
3. Shane Long – Southampton – $9,000
4. Troy Deeney – Watford – $8,000
5. Marcus Rashford – Manchester United – $12,000
6. Jamie Vardy – Leicester City – $11,000
7. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang – Arsenal – $12,500
8. Fernando LLorente – Tottenham – $9,000
9. Lucas Moura – Tottenham – $10,500
10. Callum Wilson – Bournemouth – $10,000
11. Salomon Rondon – Newcastle – $10,000
12. Ashley Barnes – Burnley – $9,500
13. Alexander Lacazette – Arsenal – $11,500
14. Danny Ings – Southampton – $8,500
15. Dwight McNeil – Burnley – $8,000
1. Mo Salah– Liverpool – $11,500
2. Eden Hazard – Chelsea – $12,000
3. Ryan Fraser – Bournemouth – $9,000
4. James Maddison – Leicester City – $8,500
5. Matt Ritchie – Newcastle – $8,500
6. Manuel Lanzini – West Ham – $5,500
7. Phil Foden – Manchester City – $7,000 (if in)
8. Lucas Torreira – Arsenal – $5,000
9. Luka Milivojevic – Crystal Palace – $9,500
10. Bernardo Silva – Manchester City – $8,500
If any value opens up feel free to punt this position as much as possible
1. Cyrus Christie – Fulham – $4,000
2. Aaron Cresswell – Burnley – $4,000
3. Steve Cook – Bournemouth – $5,000
4. J. Simpson – Bournemouth – $4,000
Spending up here for a stud would definitely be a gpp move.
EDIT – Punt with Forster
*** 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). ***