Galin Dragiev highlights the best EPL DFS Week 23 picks on FanDuel and DraftKings…
Hello everyone! We’re back for another Premier League slate that features some really fun matches. The biggest one is Liverpool vs. Chelsea, which will matter in the title race as Chelsea have the chance to secure a huge lead over all rivals with a win here. On the other hand, Liverpool have a chance to give themselves (and the field) a chance to catch Chelsea. That game might not have a ton of fantasy value, but it will be fun regardless. As for daily fantasy value, let’s go position by position.
Cash Choice – Vito Mannone ($3,700) – Mannone has one of the biggest upsides of the slate with the save potential against a strong Tottenham side. There is always risk with taking goalkeepers against the top teams, but they’ve been the play on most days and allow you to spend up elsewhere. This is the smart cash play. Another option here is to go with Watford’s Heurelho Gomes for just $100 more, but I’m afraid Arsenal might go on a scoring spree and make this selection even riskier. Arsenal have much better odds to score 3+ goals, so that’s why I’m going with Mannone in cash. Gomes is perfectly viable in tournaments.
GPP Targets: Tom Heaton, Victor Valdes
Sunderland are bound to start at least one defender who is $3,500 or less, which will present some value…[sociallocker id=110379]With all the great attacking options, we want to save money at the position and Sunderland will allow us to partially do that. An ideal scenario would be to get a Lamine Kone start, who is just $2,500 and will provide us with all the salary relief we need. If not, we will have to re-examine the starting lineup and see what’s available for cheap. Outside of Sunderland, look at:
Nyom ($4,200) – Nyom has a solid matchup against Middlesbrough and is cheap enough to be considered a salary relief option while still providing you with a solid floor. Nyom has crossing upside and contributes in defensive stats to be viable in cash games.
Simon Francis ($4,400) – This is a slightly risky play as we don’t really know where Simon Francis will line up, but I expect him to see him at right-back. If he starts at right-back, Francis will be a great cash game option against a poor Crystal Palace team. The risk comes with the fact Nathan Ake played some center-back before leaving for Chelsea, so we aren’t sure where exactly Francis will line up. He is only usable as a right-back. Stephen Ward is another option from Burnley.
GPP Options: Ryan Bertrand, Danny Rose, Kyle Naughton
Top Choice – Christian Eriksen ($9,600) – Eriksen comes at a hefty price tag of $9,600 but he is the model of consistency. You can safely ignore the four fantasy points against Manchester City, as that was one of the toughest matchups in the Premier League. Eriksen now gets Sunderland and he will be involved in multiple ways. Consider him a building block in all cash lineups.
Next Up – Gylfi Sigurdsson ($7,800) – The matchup isn’t ideal for Sigurdsson but he is just simply underpriced in a home match. $7,800 is egregiously cheap and Gylfi produces in way too many categories to be ignored in this spot. This match could end 0-0 and still result in Gylfi meeting value, so he is certainly cash viable. If you choose to fade him because of the tough matchup in Southampton’s defense, you can go with:
Junior Stanislas ($7,000) – Stanislas is not the staple of consistency that Gylfi is but he gets one of the best matchups in Crystal Palace. Palace can’t defend anyone, and Bournemouth have been fairly aggressive at home. Stanislas likes to get involved and has great goal and assist potential against Crystal Palace. He is also on select set pieces and corners and that helps his floor on a weekly basis. There are ways to fit all three of the above midfielders in cash games, but you have to get creative with defenders.
Mesut Ozil ($7,900) – Ozil hasn’t been very effective of late but that has driven the price tag down. He still takes corners and has both goal and assist upside, especially in a game where Arsenal are expected to score 3+ goals. He is a viable GPP target, so don’t be afraid to take shots here in tournaments.
GPP Targets: Johann Aberg Gudmindsson, Chris Brunt, Riyad Mahrez (love in top heavy tournaments)
Alexis Sanchez ($11,000) – Sanchez is insanely expensive but he faces Watford with his team expected to score 3+ goals and he represents as the primary scorer and creator on his team. It would be very difficult to fade him in cash games, as the ownership and upside simply make it too dangerous. He is very talented and should come into this match well-rested, so I expected Sanchez to be the top scorer on the slate if he ends up getting a goal. Fire him up in cash games.
Demarai Gray ($5,200) – Gray has really played well during Riyad Mahrez’s absence and he should draw another start here. The role might be slightly different with Mahrez back, but Gray can still contribute at this price and can be used as a cash play at a very poor forward position. With Gray, you can afford both Sanchez and a lot of top midfielders.
GPP Targets: Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Salomon Rondon[/sociallocker]