Welcome to the 28th MatchDay of EPL action and a quick look at the news and notes leading into this Tuesday’s group of games!
We have a small four game slate that looks to be lacking in names. So, I’m expecting a lot of people to hound onto the Siggy’s and Jimienez…ez of the slate, and more importantly completely misplacing their keeper choice on anything outside the final game. Everton and Leicester desperately need a bounce-back win, while Wolves should obliterate Huddersfield, and Burnley/Newcastle will have little to no score.
Hope everyone finds this useful, despite the lack of star power!
Have fun everyone, enjoy, and see you at the top!
Most Recent Result: 1-0 loss to Watford, hasn’t played since Feb. 9th.
Targets this Midweek: Lucas Digne (cash), Gylfi Sigurðsson (cash), winger in GPP, Richarlison (GPP).
For the first trip of the slate we have Everton going to Cardiff. If there was an award for the team who should be top 5 but is playing like a bottom 5 side, it’s Everton, and it’s not even remotely close.
Let’s look at all the ways Everton has been a comparative disaster in 2019; they’ve lost three straight, without scoring in back to back games, losing four of their previous five, seven of their previous 10, and eight of their previous 13 games. In fact, they’ve won only three times in their previous 14 games, along with winning only three of their 13 EPL away games this season, losing seven of the 13, Everton has been lacking in almost every form of result. While Everton has scored in eight of their 13 away games this season, they’ve also conceded in 11 of the 13, as they’ve never been a strong defensive side, scoring more than once in only three of their previous 10 doesn’t cut it. The one olive branch Everton has in their possession is they’ve never lost an EPL game to Cardiff. Considering Cardiff is so new, I wouldn’t read too deeply into that.
A lot of people will be directing their ownership onto Everton, and for good reason. With such a small slate there’s little or no comparison to the cash-standard options like Siggy or Digne, however everything Everton does Cardiff counters, and everything Everton offers for GPP has an excellent matchup. Cardiff doesn’t allow many crosses, and that’s Everton’s (in particular the aforementioned pairing) bread and butter. What Cardiff does allow is shots, and when we look at Everton, their main shooter is Richarlison, who hasn’t took a shot in three straight. After playing three straight games of teams who allow crosses and not shots, this isn’t something I’m worried about. What I’m worried about is Everton cash, or the elite options, and not their dark-horse GPP options in whatever wingers get the start (my gut says Bernard). I’ll still use Siggy and Digne where I can, especially for cash, but looking for Everton shooters for GPP is far more on my radar than sinking with the masses. Everton should score, but from these salaries they will need either an excellent outing or a crappy slate. Both teams should score, I just like Everton’s shooters more.
Everton need to turn the ship around, pronto. They will be shaking off some serious rust, and after playing City, Wolves, and Watford in the run of a week, they may struggle to finish those shots they aren’t used to taking.
Most Recent Result: 5-1 home loss to Watford.
Targets this Midweek: Clean sheet chase w/ Bamba/Bennett, Ralls if no Camarasa, Calum Paterson (GPP), Bobby Reid (GPP).
For the first home team of the slate we have Cardiff hosting Everton.
Considering their newly-promoted status, Cardiff has done reasonably well. While they’ve lost five of their last 10, with their five victories at home they’ve won twice as money games than away, scoring in six of their previous eight home games, and they’ve kept four clean sheets at home as well. Mind you, this is no powerhourse, they’ve scored more than once in only six games this season, and they’ve yet to taste EPL victory vs. the Toffees. However, there’s another situation brewing in Wales. Victor Camarasa has been missing time due to a calf injury, however it’s unclear if he’s actually injured. Cammy is owned by Spanish side Real Betis, and is on loan to Cardiff for the season. Very often, on-loan players will have treatment from both clubs, so much like in this case, there can be conflicting information from both medical teams. Cardiff’s medical staff cleared Cammy two play two full weeks ago, however Real Betis’ medical staff are adamant his calf scans show issues. Questions are arising as to who or what interest is playing a bigger role in the decision making process, as Cammy has been siding with the Spanish medical staff.
I’m having issues not liking a Cardiff defensive stack. Yes, Watford happened. However, unlike Watford, Everton hasn’t been up to snuff, and considering their lay off and poor finishing, Etheridge should see enough work to make him viable, but not enough risk to make him -EV. When you combine Etheridge with the low floor play of Bennett and/or the ceiling chase of Sol Bamba, it’s an extremely cheap combo to a low-owned clean sheet chase. Bennett works well for either format, but limit your expectations for GPP. Bamba is excellent for GPP, but keep him out of cash. If Cammy continues to miss time, roll with Ralls for either format. If Cammy is back, just be careful, everywhere, their minutes aren’t reliable, even without Niasse. Bobby Reid is another name that makes a ton of sense for GPP.Coming back from missing last game he will be super low owned and should see solid minutes without Niasse. Reid or Paterson, I like either, but both together wouldn’t make sense. Cardiff isn’t that good, it’s Everton has been that poor.
There’s a few things we need to avoid, firstly Everton’s finishing, or scoring more than once, preferably not at all, with five shots on net. Secondly, avoid the fact Cardiff isn’t a very good team. If we can avoid Cammy, than Ralls everywhere, and if we can avoid the PMR bug than a 90min game from either Reid or Paterson could be a huge deal. Game stack this. Defensive stack this. I was a week early to the party last time, Cardiff will have a better showing this midweek.
Most Recent Result: 1-1 draw with Bournemouth.
Targets this Midweek: Jonny (cash), Moutinho (cash), Diogo Jota (GPP), Raul Jimenez.
For the second game of the four game slate we have Wolves making the trip north for a clash vs. Huddersfield Town.
This is very easily a case of the worst case scenario for Huddersfield. Wolves is coming into this red-hot, they haven’t lost in five straight, winning three of the five. They’ve lost only once in their previous six EPL away games, to ManCity, and they’ve lost only three times in their previous 13 EPL games. Not much more needs to be said that won’t be mentioned again shortly, Wolves is playing top-notch quality footy, and Huddersfield wouldn’t make it in Canada. Mind you, since both teams are still so new, Wolves has yet to defeat Huddersfield in an EPL match. Chances are on Tuesday come 90min that will no longer be the case.
As mentioned, Wolves are red-hot, and is coming into this as one of the best teams in the league. Rui Patricio hasn’t shown the big save upside to warrant his salary, and especially when there are multiple low scoring games (that aren’t this one), there’s a solid chance RP doesn’t see enough saves, and if he does concede (which I think he will) than your day is near ruined by his salary. He’s conceded in three straight, it’s not ideal, that’s all I’m sayin’. To further the RP issue, he has no solid defensive DFS options, as Doherty is an easy fade on DK, and Jonny, while viable, has an identical floor to guys who cost over 1k less DK salary. Cavaleiro has seen neither minutes nor production, so that’s an easy fade. Now, Moutinho is someone that deserves consideration as one of the top cash options of the slate. He’s on a double digit crossing trend, and while I’m not sure if it’s sustainable, Huddersfield is bad enough that you can get by on Moutinho’s ceiling for either format. Mind you, much like Cardiff, Huddersfield allow shots, not crosses, so I think there’s also serious warrant to a Moutinho fade. To further that, thanks to his shot totals Jimenez is viable for either format, and Jota fits the exact same mould as my Richarlison call from earlier, except better. It will be interesting to see if people choose Everton or Wolves as their salaries, it’ll be hard to get in both.
Wolves should smash as one of the most in-form teams in the league. Huddersfield is a walking free-win, and while everyone is viable, I prefer the guys who shoot the ball, rather than the crossing.
Most Recent Result: 2-0 loss to Newcastle after a Tommy Smith red card.
Targets this Midweek:
For the second home team of the slate we have Huddersfield Town, and where all the EPL pity belongs. So sad.
Huddersfield has lost 20 of their 27 games this season. They are bad. Windess in 15 straight, losing 14 of the 15. So bad. They’ve lost seven straight at home, including 11 of their 14 EPL home games this season. They' are without a win since Nov. of last year (mind you, it was @ Wolves). Town has scored only once in their previous five, and 4 goals in their previous 10 games. Without a win this weekend they will most likely be a full five wins away from catching any kind of safety, and while they’ve yet to lose an EPL game to Wolves, that’s probably changing this week.
So, there’s really two parts for this take. Firstly, Huddersfield is very bad, everyone knows it, but they shouldn’t lose every game for the rest of the season, and if DFS has taught me anything it’s buy low. This is a great buy low spot, and a lot of that has to do with how high of a sell we are getting from Wolves. And it’s not like Huddersfield can’t beat Wolves, as literally their last meeting in November was Huddersfield’s most recent victory. So, there isn’t a lot to say, Lossl will stand to allow as many as he saves, nobody has a viable shot a 2x salary on DK except Puncheon and that’s only because he’s cheap enough. The only hope is Karlan Grant gets the start, which in that case makes him one of my favorite GPP options.
Huddersfield is bad. If you want to buy into the notion that it’s DFS and they won’t lose forever, than you won’t find a higher sell than Wolves; a team that’s playing top-5 quality but isn’t. It’s a four game slate, when you need GPP options, Huddersfield will be there.
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
Most Recent Result: 2-1 FA victory over Derby County.
Targets this Midweek: Wait for their lineups, but chase 90min from someone in GPP.
In the third game of the slate we have Brighton making the trip to Leicester. Another case of bad vs. playing bad.
Brighton has won only twice in their previous 11 games. They’re without a win for a run of six straight EPL games, losing four of those six. Brighton has always been a better home team than away, and while they’ve dipped slightly in home results, away from home they’ve also tried to find a new low. In their 13 away games, Brighton has won only twice, losing nine. As you can see, their five wins from 13 home games is neither impressive, however comparably satisfactory, but considering they are going up against one of the league’s most out-of-form teams, we can give them some consideration for a result. They’ve scored in seven of their 13 away games, and while they’ve also conceded in 12 of those 13 games, including 15 goals in their previous six games, Brighton has yet to find an EPL victory vs. Leicester, and this isn’t their first try neither.
There’s two conflicting sides to this; historically, Brighton away has been a joke. The second part to this is Leicester is playing without a real manager, and despite the new manager theory (again, old news, sell high), Leicester issues look to be further than just coaching. That being said, in terms of DFS the Brighton production has been a massive concern. Mat Ryan missed some time due to national team, but really, he’s a -EV goal by default, you need him to be more than just good in order to finish even. On such a small slate I don’t see much purpose in taking on so much -EV keeper risk. To further the lack of Ryan exposure, his defensive options have enough floor, but on this small slate neither floor nor ceiling justify their salaries. Pascal Gross is another double digit crosser going into a horrid situation. His team isn’t very good, and his DK salary is obscene for such inconsistent minutes. It’s too bad March and Knockaert play the same role and position, they’d be both viable on different wings, but one generally takes off the other, or something to that effect. Jahanbakhsh could find his way back into a starting role making him viable for GPP, however I prefer the idea of using Locadia when Murray doesn’t start, in any case there should be minutes for an unhealthy and suspended attack. Leicester let Palace score 4 goals, what more needs to be said? Even from away Brighton should score, but finding a result may be too big of an ask.
Brighton should go out and do things, but they’ve been so bad away from home it’s hard to know what things Brighton will do. Brighton should score but fail to win, fade the defensive, use the attack.
Most Recent Result: Embarrassing 4-1 smashing at the hands of Palace.
Targets this Midweek: Ricardo Pereira, James Maddison, Youri Tielemans (GPP).
For the third home side we have Leicester City hosting Brighton.
Leicester was left with little to no choice after the Palace loss. They fired Claude Puel, but instead of bringing in a new manager they will have two first-team coaches fill the void. The Foxes are winless in six straight, losing five of the six, and are without a win since January 1st. They’ve lost four straight at home and have yet to keep a clean sheet in 2019. Schlemiel has conceded 12 goals over the previous six games, and Leicester has conceded in 10 of their 13 home games. Mind you, they haven’t lost to Brighton in three straight, winning twice, and it should be old news by now that most teams play better with a new manager.
In truth, Leicester hasn’t recovered since Halloween and the helicopter crash that killed their owner. They are a shell of their former title-winning side, and while they very could find a result this slate, I’ll be looking past them. Firstly, while a result is in order, a DFS result is a completely different story, and with everything from a keeper that should concede to a forward who struggles to score, they aren’t a team to consistently find relevance in DFS. While Maddison seems logical, he’s only seen a full 90mins in four of his previous 10 EPL games. Chasing Ndidi’s floor seems far more reasonable, especially when we consider Brighton doesn’t allow a lot of crosses. I also still like Tielemans, despite his minutes blip last slate, and until that smooths out he’s best left for GPP. Pereira’s salary is scary, but if he’s still seeing 90min than his floor/salary stacks up to the rest of the slate. Other than that it’s hard to see a Leicester clean sheet without Brighton completely crapping out. Here’s the thing, the final game has two viable keepers, Etheridge and RP are both decent plays, so unless we see Brighton missing numerous attackers we should stay away from the keepers, and bet for goals, because it’s not like Brighton will take enough shots anyway.
Things I’m not buying into: new manager boost, Maddison/Pereira salaries, Schmeichel despite a depleted Brighton. Things I’m bought into: Brighton scoring for cheap, Ndidi’s floor, and that Vardy will be pushed to get double digits, even with a goal. Leicester has been one of the worst teams in the league for a reason, and with their massive DK salaries I’m not looking to get them into either format, though you can.
Most Recent Result: 2-1 final minutes winner by Ashley Barnes.
Targets this Midweek: Tom Heaton, CB on FD, Ashley Barnes.
For the final (late) game of the slate we have Burnley making a quick trip over to Newcastle. I’ll say it now and will again, this game will have less than three total goals. I’ll also say it now and say it again, Burnley is Tom Heaton.
Burnley hasn’t lost in eight straight (or, since Heaton came back) and twice in their previous 10, winning five of the 10 games. They are undefeated in four straight both at home and away, so this isn’t a split driven streak, other than the fact that Tom Heaton is back, and Burnley is a new side with him in nets. Since his return Burnley has conceded more than once only once, and he’s yet to concede more than twice over this span. What this all equates to is given their salaries and ownership, Burnley has been one of the more DFS friendly teams in the 2019 EPL. That’s not exactly a new thing, this is just getting back to the Heatnorm.
So, we can take two facts going into our selection process. Firstly, Heaton is worth more than his DK salary, no matter the opposition. It just happens to be Newcastle, who, secondly, rarely if definitively never score a lot of goals. The question isn’t whether or not Burnley will find a result, the question is how does Heaton’s +EV situations stack up to others? The answer is really good. He’ll make more saves than RP could, if not twice as many. His team is better than Leicester, and playing far a superior quality. Then there’s Dubz (we’ll get there). Pickford, who has as much chance at a consistent clean sheet than I do falling asleep on a Reece’s peanut butter cup. Etheridge, who plays on one of the weakest teams in the league, and then two lesser options. The answer is clear, if he’s more assured a low scoring game than anyone on the slate, he’s already top notch, and now he’s playing Newcastle? Heaton is the best keeper of the slate. The issue continues to be on DK where he has no viable GPP stacking options, so over there on DK it’s maybe best keep him to cash, but, newsflash, Newcastle will cross the ball 30 times without concern, on FD the Burnley CBs are in play. However, the more attacking we get the bigger the concerns. With everyone coming back healthy, JBG and McNeil will be stealing each others’ minutes. The same can be said of Robbie Brady and Hendricks, the latter of which is far less productive and seeing the healthy minutes. Finally, we have one of the better GPP plays of the slate in Ashley Barnes. He’s got goals in four straight and squares will feel uncomfortable paying that much for him. Where the midfield floor is lacking consistent PMR, look to the forward options and try to latch onto a 90min player like Ashley Barnes.
I won’t pretend Newcastle isn’t playing above themselves, but the same can’t be said for Burnley. The Clarets are returning to the form that has seen them through numerous EPL campaigns, including a Euro finish last season. That’s not that far off again this season neither.
Most Recent Result: 2-0 victory over a 10-man Huddersfield.
Targets this Midweek: Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar, Sean Longstaff (cash), Miguel Almiron,
For the final home game of the slate we have Newcastle hosting Burnley. Here’s another side that’s finding respectable results from low scoring games.
This season only two Newcastle games had a team score +3 goals. Ther’ve avoided defeat in four of their previous five, winning three of the five. Five of their seven wins this season have come at home, but they’ve lost eight of the 13 as well. However, they’ve rattled off three straight home victories, and before those three, it wasn’t as rosy, so things look to be turning in the right direction for the Magpies.
The similarities between these two sides are staggering. Both posses the better keeper option of the slate and two of the better, consistent DFS options in the entire league. Both posses wing backs who are great at not finishing 0, but otherwise possess some serious faults. Both teams have crossing machines in JBG and Ritchie, Barnes and Perez compliment the big men in Wood and Rondon, respectively. As mentioned already, Newcastle is an extremely low scoring side, so while this game shouldn’t have a clean sheet, neither keeper should end up -EV. Newcastle has stacking options where Burnley does not, GPP uptick Newcastle defensive over Burnley. Almiron is amazing not only because of his skill and matchup, but because he’s still a buy-low and too many squares will have never heard of him. I wouldn’t mind Rondon if he didn’t break the small slate last weekend, so I’d probably try to go under the field and keep him exclusively to GPP. Newcastle simply isn’t scoring enough, and while this slate may be lacking it’s not without ceiling. Can Rondon pull a back to back slate breaker? Absolutely, but it’ll be too highly owned this slate. Sell high.
Newcastle shouldn’t score enough to warrant their salaries and ownership, but if there was any team I’d consider it for, it’s this current Newcastle. They have the top home keeper of the slate and last slate’s top forward, though I’ll be chasing Almiron heavy until his minutes tell me otherwise.
these sides have tied in three of their five EPL Meetings
It’s a four game slate, you can either find reason to go crazy, or reason to do nothing extraordinary to hit with chalk. Everton has been so bad and playing a team that matches up against them, and Cardiff is around the only place they can find results. Wolves is one of the league’s current best, Huddersfield is the undisputed worst. Brighton has been horrid away from home, but if there’s one side to be even worse it’s Leicester, in general. Finally, pick your keeper from the late game as it will be low scoring, and while both a viable, one has a ceiling, and the other has the cheaper salary. Your call.