Welcome to the 12th weekend of EPL action and another edition of my EPL Player Pool, brought to you by the rolls that won’t stop banking @Rotopros.com.
It’s another tough late hammer weekend where the final game starters are still up in the air and will completely define our builds. Spurs are expected to be missing some key pieces, and while this may open more doors for guys not named Kane. However, without Eriksen, Kane will always struggle. West Ham and Leicester both sit in smash spots, should they decide to capitalize, and once again Ben Foster with his Watford wing backs present themselves as incredible GPP options.
I don’t want to take any longer than I need to, so let’s get at it. Here’s my EPL Player Pool for the DraftKings and FanDuel main slate on November 10th, 2018.
Good luck, have fun! And see you at the top!
Keeper, West Ham United
In terms of the first keeper I will be turning to this weekend it is without question West Ham's Lukas Fabianski. Fabz leads the league in saves and while West Ham do carry some risk in terms of a safe win, Huddersfield are the great contrast to that risk. Huddersfield have scored less than .5 goals per game, and their goal last weekend vs. Fulham is the first home goal they've scored in over half a year. In 11 straight games at Huddersfield someone has walked away with a clean sheet, and considering Huddersfield have only scored five goals this season it's hard not to go with the other keeper, who happens to lead the league in saves. West Ham are bad enough where they usually let at least three shots on net, while at the same time Fabz is more than good enough to get his hands on ‘em. Fabz isn't the most expensive salary on either site, so while ownership may not matter in cash he has a pretty safe floor because of a lacking Huddersfield attack. Fabz shouldn't blow us away, but at the same time he should slide right into your cash exposures for this weekend.
Keeper, Leicester City
It’s hard not to like the biggest home favorite of the weekend going up against a team who in three straight has conceded at least four goals a game. While a clean sheet isn't overly likely (nor is it ever for Leicester), for this weekend the Schmeichel win is one of the safest. Burnley isn’t inept at production, just inept at winning. When you are looking for the safest win with a little bit of narrative upside look no further than Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel, he’s got it all taken care of.
Keeper, Newcastle United
Something about this game seems off to me. Newcastle isn't that, or should I say THIS bad of a club. They have a world class manager and adequate skill. However, following a nightmare schedule to begin the season Newcastle hasn't really recovered until last weekend, and their win against Watford was their first of the season. It was well deserved and paid off handsomely for anyone who took up the ownership (with me). Once again this slate we get him at home, however, against a side who has already struggled this season with the "big trip up north". Bournemouth is hurting, and has consistently been torn apart by teams who cross the ball. While this slate is loaded with such sides, Newcastle stands among the top in the league for cross counts. However, much like all their stats they are league leaders in volume but bottom dwellers in conversion. Against a team like Bournemouth all we need are a few crosses and things could get interesting. Dubravka will be low owned, especially with his high price on FD. I think the Fanduelski has got the pricing correct, and this should be a game with lots of production and no ceiling. This isn't a cash play, it's very likely both teams score, but the production volume is undeniable. While some may look to the travelling supporters I will take the home side for their second straight (deserved) win against a team that is literally coming from the other side of the country.
This is getting kind of old, the whole pick Foster every week, but against a Southampton side who are borderline walking clean sheets it’s sitting right there for the taking. Southampton isn't something to fear at home; all season they've only scored three home goals. Watford/Foster also has the bonus of having one of the best wing backs in Holebas, another excellent clean sheet chaser in Femeina, and one of the more attacking friendly players in Pereyra. Foster has the whole toolbox setup for 20+ fantasy points once more; Southampton will shoot and Foster should get the clean sheet. Not many keepers can boast this kind of upside, not to mention he's not even the most expensive keeper of the slate, especially on DK. I want to play him, especially in cash, but this whole game reeks of the Dortmund midweek loss, and I'm less bullish than I probably should be. In any case Foster checks all the boxes and then some. This slate he should be one of the better raw points and points per dollar keepers to be had.
Kieran TRIPPIER/Jose HOLEBAS
I'm not going to tell you which one to play, probably both. But, in the case Spurs rest their A team make sure to have a pivot out. In the case of Holebas he's probably my favorite of the two, but if you can achieve the feat of getting both and Harry Kane into your lineup, congrats, just run with it.
Defender, Leicester City
From slate to slate Chilwell continues to be one of the better defender options on the board despite a less than appealing salary. In the case you can't afford both Trippier and Holebas and you are looking to spend down, Chilwell should be one of the first places you go. He has relevance on both sites thanks to his consistent minutes and massive clearances counts. That's what makes him so valuable on FD and provides more understanding of his DK salary. He isn't likely to get a clean sheet, well, rarely ever, so it's not something we should shoot for in GPP unless you are chasing an assist upside. He has played every minute of every game, and neither Trippier nor Holebas can say that. While he is consistent, he does take fouls at a rate that further caps his overall ceiling and doesn’t have the double digit crosses like Holebas to make up for it. To avoid most of the -EV situations with a little +EV upside, Leicester's Ben Chilwell is your guy.
Defender, Huddersfield Town
Huddersfield's Florent Hadergjonaj is the go-to-guy when you need to spend down and not finish at 0. It usually has no relevance as to his opponent; in some shape or form Hadergjonaj will score you 6-8fpts and always allow you to build the script you need to win h2h's. With Chris Lowe expected to miss out, Hadergjonaj fills the role of the value defender punt option. If he scores 3fpts, it doesn't really matter because he cost nothing. If he scores 8fpts great, he cost next to nothing. This is definitely more of a DK play as on FD he has no real scoring relevance. However, on DK when you need to spend down and not finish at 0, always turn to Florent Hadergjonaj, he will rarely let you down.
Leicester v Burnley CENTER BACKS
Defenders, Leicester City/Burnley
I'm CB goal hunting this weekend. A lot of this has to do with the massively viable options on both sites, but in particular on FD where clearances and interceptions are priced more handsomely. In any case, we can expect either defenders to carry at least three to four extra fantasy points (on DK) from defensive peripherals while on FD having an above avg. game thanks to the massive cross counts from each team. Surprisingly DK has the Leicester CBs vastly overpriced, where FD they are underpriced, opposite to their worth. Even in the situation of Burnley's Kevin Long, the likely replacement for Tarkowski, DK has him vastly outpriced where FD completely missed the boat on him. Anyways, the point here is there are massive mainsprings with these team's CBs, and with the inevitable gazzilion crosses coming their way, they should all be looking at a +EV situations. Should a goal transpire in their line they will be takedown worthy and all deserve consideration in GPP. If Jonny Evans starts for Leicester on FanDuel he may be multi-format lockable. His price is clearly a mistake and we need to take advantage of it.
Frederico FERNANDEZ/Fabian SCHAR
To further my previous point, I am CB goal hunting, and the Newcastle CB options look like firtile ground. With numerous injuries they will be most certainly starting Fernández who happens to be a giant in the air, and Schär who is grossly underpriced on both sites. Obviously I prefer Schär on FD for the clearances, but at the same time Fernández has as much set pieces goal upside as any defender in the slate. Against the likes of Bounemourh, with only a decent service from the wingers and Fernández should be able to find a couple chances to get free. Bounremouth has repeatedly been torn apart by crossing teams, we only have to look at the last time Bournemouth came north to face the cross-happy Burnley. On FD Schar may even be cash viable, as he is another salary that is 1.5-2k too cheap.
One of my favorite GPP midfield options from this slate is Watford’s Pereyra. Despite back to back goals in his previous two games, last weekend Pereyra was less than stellar against Newcastle (as I predicted) and if anything that should cool off what was his massive ownership. This isn't something you can take in cash as without his goal upside Pereyra will rarely finish more than 5fpts, which is an absolute disaster on FD. However, Southampton has been one of the weaker sides in the league and have consistently taken far more losses than any result at all. While Watford present themselves as excellent options, the further up the field we look the more inconsistent their minutes become. Pereyra is one of the only viable Watford options in GPP because he is one of the only viable players not coming off the field. If you are expecting Watford to do well (as am I), then you are expecting Roberto Pereyra to be one of the few viable options from this game. Take it or leave it, it is what it is.
Midfielder, Leicester City
This is someone I'm looking to get in early with because Wilfred Nidli is checking all the boxes to be the next "cheap guy with the super floor". He will be super low owned on both sites, and in terms of his production levels they are consistent and spread out. Obviously on DK we can't expect much of a ceiling without goals, but on FD Nidli makes for a super safe play due to his skill set and what Burnley offer as opposition. Most importantly, Nidli is taking shots against the team who has allowed the most shots and hasn't done a proper job saving them. In this contest there could be massive ceilings to be found, so I suggest taking shots on more random, lesser owned options like the CBs mentioned above or Leicester City’s defensive midfielder Wilfred Nidli.
Johan Berg GUDMUNDSSON/Robbie BRADY
The main key here is getting the guy that regularly finishes at 15fpts on DK into your cash forward spot. If he gets a goal, great, smash city, it's not like Bournemouth have been keeping clean sheets. However, even without a goal you are getting a massive value on a forward spot with a guy who was going to finish near the amount of a goal in sheer production in the first place. As always, if Robbie Brady gets the start you know how I feel about him, but if he doesn't by all means get JBG into your cards instead. Where Bournemouth are becoming slightly less viable and anti-correlative in their production, you can rock both Brady and JBG in DK cash and feel resoundingly confident you'll get 10 crosses from the pair. Considering they are going up against a team that has issues with crosses, it's hard not to imagine a script for either format where JBG and Brady don't find theirs’.
Another midfield pairing you can feel good about in the same card is the Newcastle winger duo of Ritchie and Kenedy. Now, this isn't as cash viable as the above, but in the case of Ritchie he may be near cash lock viable, and Kenedy is up with Pereyra in guys I'm probably too excited to use on DK in GPP. With the advanced nature of the Watford wing backs and defensive capabilities of Ritchie, it wouldn't surprise me to see an uptick in both cross counts/chance creation and defensive peripherals. I'm less bullish for Kenedy in cash, but his low ownership and accessible DK salary Kenedy makes him someone you need to remember for GPP. In any case, if you aren't confident in Watford's mysteriously low salaries, stick to the Newcastle wingers of Matt Ritchie and Kenedy, cash and GPP respectively.
Midfielder, Huddersfield Town
Billing is one of the weirdest DFS players in the league. His salary is consistently low along with his ownership outside of cash, and he helps lead the league in peripheral stats without goals or assists considered. On FD it shows; his price isn't a discount and you have to pay up for him. On DK however we get him at a minuscule 5.1k which is borderline cash lock viable. For this slate it feels like we should be spending down on midfield, especially in terms of cash. Billing has attempted a shot and or a cross in every game this season, and considering he's at home against a bizarre team like West Ham we can predict somewhat of a +EV scenario. It's not like West Ham present much of the otherwise. I'm actually calling a late Billing winner, but hey, I'm not saying you have to believe it too. I'll probably just keep him to DK cash because I still don't see much ceiling this weekend coming from his Huddersfield team.
Midfielder, Leicester City
Leicester’s Marc Albrighton has whipped in 35 crosses over the past two games. Yes, 35, you read that right. While he is a massive amount of quantity he almost completely lacks in quality. Despite making the 35 crosses only six of them have turned into scoring chances, which would explain why he nearly goosegg’d for me on FD cash last weekend. Stick to Albrighton on DK; his salary is super accessible and he doesn’t need to be efficient to score a floor. These cross counts probably aren’t sustainable, but without Maddison for the next bit and the recent wing focus from Leicester, we can expect Albrighton to continue his cross count for the foreseeable future.
This one has a little more risk involved and could be sneaky. The first and resounding issue is Ely’s minutes. He consistently fails to last more than 70min, and while that isn’t the end of the world in cash as he will still draw you double digits from crosses, it’s death to GPP takedowns. He has had at least three crosses in his home games this season as that’s without question the time and area to use him. He should be coming back into the starting XI this weekend, and considering last slate had more to do with competition than his form we are going to get him at literally no ownership. He isn’t my favorite cash play, but Southampton’s Elyounoussi is worth a look this weekend.
Since coming back from injury Stanislas is starting to take over set pieces duty. Basically with his health comes literally the entire team’s form. The only person who will suffer from this is Ryan Fraser. Fraser losses out on set pieces, as was shown last slate from Stanislas’ six corners to Fraser’s three. Bournemouth should have tons of chances for crosses, though Newcastle hasn’t allowed a lot of shots from the midfield. I’m not taking Stanislas for a ceiling, his salary works great in cash and in the case he comes off early he won’t ruin your takedown. Stanislas is looking at solid double digits against a league worst Newcastle side. While I think Newcastle presents some interesting options there should be little to no stopping Bournemouth’s Stanislas from getting his.
Someone who I have no issue with in either format on either site is the Newcastle defensive midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng. You may not be fully familiar with Ki, but to give you a quick rundown he’s captain of the South Korean national team (over some pretty impressive names) and despite being a towering figure at nearly 6’4, Ki has also handled set pieces. Even if he isn’t handling them (not corners but longer crosses) Ki is still vastly underpriced for his low-end floor, and with the injury to Jonjo Shelvey we could be seeing a massive uptick this slate. In fact, out of the entire slate Ki is probably my biggest buy-low opportunity, and taht’s not by default because of his salary. No Shelvey means no way for the ball to pass through the midfield, and while Ki is no Shelvey, in the past he adequately played that role for Swansea and already in relief appearances this season. Again, we only have to look at last slate to see the uptick I’m expecting. Ki already had a decent floor that from no salary and 90min is borderline cash viable, especially on FD where his peripherals will still score high, and on DK for his foolishly low salary.
No words needed. Actually, one quick word. Massive downtick in GPP without Eriksen. If there’s no Eriksen consider Hennessy in cash, and even taking Kane vs. Hennessey in cash isn’t the craziest idea. Without Eriksen, Spurs aren’t scoring more than twice. Either way, Kane actually does more damage away from home than at Wembley, so look to him often, especially in cash.
Forward, West Ham
Here’s what I’m supposed to say: Arny is usually one of the more consistent cash plays because of his exclusive/vocal point nature and that even outside his decent ceiling upside he consistently does enough to keep you afloat in cash.
Here’s what I’m going to say: West Ham are one -EV situation from #theworst. They are hanging on by the thinnest of threads and are by far the most unpredictable team in the league.
Take it for what you will, basically, if West Ham scores there’s literally an 80% chance Arny is involved. Not because of some random number, but because consistently and within a proper sample size Arny is piratically all West Ham posses as a consistent attacking threat. Arny has had at least four shots in half his games this season. Yes, they do have other options, and Felipe Anderson/Arny was one of the winning stacks from last weekend. Honestly, don’t sleep on any of these guys. Snodgrass is showing shades of his former 12 cross-per-game floor player. Felipe Anderson should be finding more 90min games sooner rather than later, and much like West Ham he is one +EV scenario from being this seasons new breakout star. Even someone like Diangana has serious GPP ownership relevance. Not to mention, they are playing a Huddersfield side who looks destined for relegation, and with all these injuries there’s not a lot of sub opportunities. Like I said, West Ham are super, super risky, but guys like Arny, FA, or Snodgrass, they are borderline cash viable. In terms of Arny on FD he is generally one of the only viable options period, let alone for cash. Get these guys in your exposure this weekend, and if you happen to fall on more of Arny than most other players this weekend, well, I wouldn’t feel too bad about that. Anyways, enough about West Ham, get them into your cards this weekend, after all they were the bee’s knees last weekend.
Jamie VARDY/Kelechi IHEANACHO
Forwards, Leicester City
Another situation where we have some injuries and minutes to take advantage of is with Leicester City. With Maddison out, Iheanacho could find himself with a 90min game. Ghezzal and Gray aren’t in form, so in the case either of them start chances are one or both are coming off. With Amartey out long term and Simpson borderline irrelevant for DFS, Pereira will be the one seeing more RB minutes, which isn’t the best nor worst thing to happen. However, this also means Gray and Albrighton will be on the wings with Vardy and Iheancho in the middle, there’s only really Okazaki as a threat to Iheanacho’s 90min game. On top of this Burnley have the unquestionable worst defense this slate. So, while Jamie Vardy isn’t particularly cheap he still holds massive ceiling upside. In recent weeks Burnley has done nothing but concede goals, against a side like Leicester at home I don’t see that changing. While I think a game stack is in order, I’ll also be going back to the well on using Vardy and Arny together in GPP. Especially on FD Vardy makes for an interesting salary discount, but on DK you will be very hard pushed to include him in cash. Vardy hasn’t scored in four straight so by no means are this pair cash plays. However, especially in the case of no Eriksen in Spurs, looking to stack these two in GPPs could yield massive multi-goal upside when Harry Kane gets only the one.
Forward, Crystal Palace
There’s two parts to this; Palace should score, and Spurs should win. It’s actually not that complicated. While Palace has been dreadful they are also not incapable. The incapability falls onto the Spurs ability to keep a clean sheet. While Zaha hasn’t scored in six straight he’s more than capable, more than deserving, and from this salary/ownership more than viable in GPP. I really can’t see Spurs keeping the ball out of the net (basically never), and I can’t see Palace scoring without Zaha playing a major role in the process. Is he going to break the slate? Unlikely, but he has been scoring decently without goals, so even one goal from this salary/ownership and you are borderline takedown. Make no mistake, Spurs should really win this game, but one of my favorite ways to attack the late game is to make serious pivots around no Eriksen and onto some Zaha in GPP.
To finish up this weekend’s article we have my favorite forward who won’t stop burning me, Callum Wilson. Now, I’m going to level with you. In back to back seasons during the first couple weeks of November Callum Wilson has taken a serious injury that probably should have ended his career…twice. He has battled back from his leg being separated at the shin and a broken back to be the player he is today, I just don’t know what kind of player he will be tomorrow. By literally every definition he should continue to smash; King could miss again, not only giving Wilson 90min but exclusive rights to both penalties and the attacking end point role. He’s one of the league leaders and points only behind Aguero. Like I said, he is basically the end game for Bournemouth; when they attack the final touch is coming from him. With no King this is only amplified. While he may not work for cash and be slightly too highly owned, especially on a site like FD where there’s only two options he becomes far more viable despite his high salary. Like I said, if there’s no Eriksen come Saturday morning feel free to pivot onto other names not Harry Kane. Especially for GPP one of the first names you should look to is Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson.