EPL Gameweek 4
*Disclaimer: All prices and plays will revolve around DraftKings pricing and scoring. These plays can be used on FanDuel or Yahoo but does not mean other players are not in play.
The transfer window ended just before international break. A lot of moves either happened, didn’t happen, or fell thru last minute. Unhappy players will have to either sit and pout for the next few months till the next transfer window or play for their current club and hopefully let bygones be bygones. While I don’t see many players who moved around last minute to feature this week, there should be some rotation in squads due to fatigue from international break (especially the South American players) or because of the upcoming UCL games. These changes could alter my decisions for my gimmick picks and lineup builders, nonetheless lets dive right in.
Watford (+425) @ Southampton (-167)
Watford visits St. Mary’s after a disappointing home draw against BHA in which Britos earned a red card after a horrific tackle in the opening minutes. That match suited them well but playing a man down for 70 minutes is never easy regardless of how bad your opponent is. Southampton, on the other hand, might as well have an extra man this game due to the way I expect them to dominate. Southampton should maintain majority possession but should create plenty of big chances this game and I fancy them to score a couple.
Southampton (H): Forster; Soares, Yoshida, Stephens, Bertrand; Ward-Prowse, Lemina, Tadic, Davis, Redmond, Austin
Watford (A): Gomes; Holebas, Prodl, Kabasele, Kiko; Chalobah, Cleverly, Doucoure; Deeney, Gray, Richarlison
Predicted Score: Southampton 2 – Watford 1
Games Top Plays:
James Ward-Prowse ($6,100): Seems to me that JWP has lost his starting spot which is a shame for us fantasy players as he has such a high floor. Regardless of him starting or not, I will continue to mention him as he remains one of the best cash options on any slate.
Dustin Tadic ($7,800): Tadic featured in both gams from Serbia and had slightly above average performances. He could find himself on the bench this week for the likes of JWP, due to fitness. If he does start, he remains an extreme GPP play as he could finish with 1 fantasy point.
Charlie Austin/Manolo Gabbiadini ($7700/$7100): One of these two strikers should get the start here and my money is on Austin. I think there will be opportunities here for either of them and don’t see why they shouldn’t score. Makes for a good GPP play at a decent price. Also, if Tadic doesn’t start, Austin would be on penalties and some free kicks.
Games Secondary Plays:
Cedric Soares/Ryan Bertrand ($5,700/$5,500): These two can be targeted week in week out for all formats. Pick up every type of stat there is and can be plugged in at your disposal if paying up for defender.
Richarlison ($5,300): The Brazilian scored his first goal of the season in week 2 and in week 3 proceeded to draw 6 fouls the typical Brazilian way. He has the speed to create his own counter attack in this matchup and could be a viable option if spending down at the forward spot. A GPP play and a cheap cash option in the forward spot.
Jose Holebas ($5,200): Only reason I’m mentioning him is that he’s a defender who takes sets and if you wanna pick one of the lowest owned 5k defender, he’s your guy. A good way to be contrarian this week. Play him in GPP’s only. And you only have yourself to blame if he finishes with 2.5 fantasy points and a yellow card to his name.
Nathaniel Chalobah ($3,200): This guy is an absolute work horse. The best play under 4k this week and is a value play that can be considered in all formats if he starts this week. Should be a lock to hit value this week.
West Browich Albion (+188) @ Brighton & Hove Albion (+160)
The matchup I’ve been looking forward to since BHA got promoted, the battle of the Albion’s!! Jokes aside, this matchup might not excite people on the surface but I think there is a good chance for value and accumulation in this match. This stalemate of a match should be a close one as it is the Albion Derby.
Brighton (H): Ryan; Suttner, Duffy, Bruno, Dunk; March, Murphy, Propper, Gross, Knockaert; Murray
West Brom(A): Foster; Brunt, Hegazy, Dawson, Nyom; Yacob; McClean, Livermore, Field, Phillips; Rodriguez
Predicted Score: Albion 1 – Albion 1
Games Top Plays:
Matt Phillips ($6,100): Phillips continues to cross a ton for WBA and should get that same chance here. I think he’s a fringe cash play due to the fact that I like Chris Brunt ($5,900) at a slight discount. Brunt may have the chance to play in midfield with Gibbs now on the team. If that’s the case, he would be one of my favorite mid-priced players on the slate, even though I already like him as a play in all formats.
Jay Rodriguez ($4,800): Jay Rod is one of my favorite players in the EPL and I’m not too sure why. Nonetheless, I think this matchup sets up nicely for him and definitely thinks he bags one here. BHA isn’t good and should concede here.
Pascal Gross ($4,000): Gross is coming off a gross game in which he swung in 9 corners of his 15 crosses, knocking Knockaert off corner duty. Puns aside, Gross is shaping out to be one of my favorite value play this week as WBA like to succeed a lot of possession to their opponents. Good value play in all formats.
Games Secondary Plays:
Anthony Knockaert ($6,300): Knockaert is without a doubt the best player on this team. He loves to shoot, draw fouls, and cross. He was also inches form scoring against Watford. I think he’s a low-end cash play this slate due to salary, but I love the play in GPP’s.
Chelsea (-137) @ Leicester City (+350)
Chelsea comes into this one with good form, not to say that Leicester doesn’t, but I could imagine the reigning champs are buzzing to have Hazard back in the squad. This will be the first time Hazard and Morata will get to play alongside each other, and I think this is going to go overlooked. Leicester plays a counter attacking style of soccer and will let Chelsea create chances left and right. I think Chelsea are the best GPP team of the slate, as they will go overlooked for players on Arsenal and Man United.
Chelsea (A): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger; Alonso, Kante, Fabregas, Moses; Hazard, Morata, Pedro
Leicester (H): Schmeichel; Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs; Mahrez, Ndidi, James, Albrighton; Okazaki; Vardy
Predicted Score: Chelsea 3 – Leicester 1
Games Top Plays:
Eden Hazard ($9,700): Hazard returned from injury to feature for Belgium over the international break and it was nice to see him back. Always a lethal player as he leads the league in take on’s. He should create for Morata here and don’t see why he couldn’t find the back of the net.
Alvaro Morata ($8,500): Morata has had a great start for Chelsea combining for 2 goals and 2 assists in less than 200 minutes of PL play. He’s also coming off the international break scoring 3 goals and assisting 1for Spain. I hope his form goes overlooked on the slate, as it’s something I don’t want to pass up on.
Chelsea Wingbacks: I think all of the Chelsea wingbacks make for great plays here as the possession and chance to attack will be there for a majority of the game. Playable in gpp’s as there are higher safer plays in the 6k range this week.
Riyad Mahrez ($6,800): It’s a shame that the Leicester man didn’t get the transfer to the opponents here but a deal couldn’t be met. I still think he gets as he didn’t play for Algeria in WCQ as he was supposed to be getting his medical done for Chelsea. He makes for a nice GPP play if you think Leicester get some good looks here. If he doesn’t get the start here, it will be hard to pass up on Marc Albrighton at $5,600 due to price, floor, and monopoly of set pieces even while being underdogs.
Tottenham (+100) @ Everton (+275)
Everton comes into this match looking to pick up a point at the very least, and something I think is achievable here as they have become defensive juggernauts this season. Their stonewall defense will be a true test for the Spurs. Unfortunately for Everton, there are two things standing in their way of win: 1) this game isn’t in Wembley as it is proven the Spurs are cursed there and 2) it’s not August anymore which means Kane will start scoring goals again. It will be at the hands of the Spurs to break this down, something that isn’t easy on the road. This game could be a goal feast, which I doubt, and if that’s what beats me this weekend, then so be it
Everton (H): Pickford; Baines, Keane, Jagielka, Williams, Holgate; Sigurdsson, Davies, Gueye, Rooney; Ramirez
Spurs (A): Llloris; Trippier, Verntoghen, Dier, Davies; Alderwield, Dembele, Alli, Eriksen, Son; Kane
Predicted Score: Everton 0 – Spurs 0
Games Two Plays:
A game where I don’t see any goals in a grind’em out style of play, I don’t have many plays from this game.
Gylfi Sigurdsson ($8,100): Coming into this game on fine form and really cant go wrong with his price. Favorite play from this game by a mile. Will rarely see him priced this low, if not at all for the rest of the season. Should be on all sets and gains cash appeal since he is forward eligible.
Cristian Eriksen ($10,500): Mr. Safety comes into this game on good form from WCQ. I think this matchup sets up well for him between crossing, shooting, and drawing fouls. If a goal comes out of this game, it’ll absolutely be thru him. Don’t know if I’ll play him this week but would never complain about having Eriksen in a cash line.
Bournemouth (+700) @ Arsenal (-303)
At the time of writing this article, I’m not sure where I stand for this game. Both teams have conceded goals in every match, being top 5 goals allowed in the league so far. I know for a fact this game won’t have a clean sheet on either side. Arsenal, and more importantly Wenger, need to win this game…especially at home. Bournemouth is in the same boat as they haven’t collected a point so far this campaign. In all honestly, I could see this game being 4-1 Arsenal or it being 2-1 Bournemouth. Either way, this game should have some goals.
Arsenal (H): Cech; Kolasinac, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Bellirin; Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette
Bournemouth (A): Begovic; Ake, Smith, Cook, Daniels; Arter, Gosling, Surman, Fraser; King, Defoe
Predicted Score: Bournemouth 1 – Arsenal 2
Games Top Plays:
Alexis Sanchez ($9,200): Sanchez didn’t get to leave Arsenal, Sanchez had a below average performance in WCQ, Sanchez’s morale has got to be low. Now he travels halfway across the world after playing a full 90 at crazy elevations in Bolivia. There’s a realistic chance he doesn’t start. There’s even a higher chance that he doesn’t go the full 90, let alone what his effort levels will be. He’s playable in all formats, but I don’t think I’ll be going there this week.
Alexander Lacazette ($8,200): I feel that this price is a little too soft considering the matchup. This player costs too much money to start on the bench and I think Wenger has realized that Great odds to score and think he has a great chance at getting one. Great GPP play.
Mesut Ozil ($8,200): Ozil is a player who can create but hasn’t been near world class for a few seasons now. I kind of like him here, which is surprising to say as I never play him. Fringe cash play with his role on set pieces and advanced field position.
Games Secondary Plays:
Granit Xhaka ($4,100): Seems to be off corners now that Sanchez is back. If Alexis doesn’t start, I don’t mind him as a value play on the slate in all formats.
Joshua King ($6,500): King hasn’t come out this season the way I expected him too. Still, a great talent and I hope he can get back to his last season form with a goal here. Nice GPP play.
Arsenal Wingbacks: With the Ox gone, a wingback position is up for grabs. I think either of the two wing backs here should do well pushing up the field. Playable in both formats but I prefer them in GPP’s.
Manchester United (-200) @ Stoke City (+600)
United with another late game this weekend and I find that especially important as there could be some shakeup in their lineup come an hour before kickoff due to UCL a few days later. Think we could see some rotation out of guys who played lots of minutes in WCQ this past week. I think United absolutely dominate this game. I’m more inclined to play United attackers over Arsenal attackers this slate and I’m hoping some people are doing the opposite. The ideal strategy if paying two United players would be to have one in utility due to potential changes in squad.
United (A): De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Baily, Blind; Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Matic; Mata, Lukaku, Rashford
Stoke(H): Buttland; Pieters, Shawcross, Zouma, Martins Indi, Cameron; Shaqiri, Allen, Fletcher, Sobhi; Jese
Predicted Score: United 3 – Stoke 0
Games Top Plays:
Romelu Lukaku ($10,800): Another slate, another Lukaku top option. This guy is on ridiculous form, even scoring a hat trick for Belgium during the break. Always locked in to score and wouldn’t surprise me for a brace this week. Playable in all formats.
Paul Pogba ($8,200): Having Pogba the ability to play more freely with Matic has paid off greatly for him. He is shooting at will, averaging around 5 shots per game. He threatens to score every game and picks up loads of peripheral stats. Playable in all formats.
Daley Blind ($5,900): Another United player that had a great impact for their national team over the break. As long as he continues to be on sets for the strongest team in the league, he will be playable in all formats.
Marcus Rashford ($7,900): Hopefully gets another start here after having an immense game for England against Slovakia. Notice a trend here? United players are so hot that it’s translating to club performances…and guess what? he’s playable in all formats.
Games Secondary plays:
United attacking players not listed above
Goal Keeper Rankings:
- De Gea
Guaranteed Goal: Romelu Lukaku
Favorite Stack: Hazard, Morata, Wingback/Fabregas
Fade of the Slate: Alexis Sanchez
Hopeful Hat Trick: Alvaro Morata
25% Owned Goal: Gabbiadinni or Austin, whoever starts
15% Owned Goal: Jay Rodriguez
10% Owned Goal: Joshua King
Lineup Builders: Romelu Lukaku, Daley Blind, Pascal Gross
If you have any questions, you can find me on twitter @theerichardo
Thank you for reading and best of luck to you in your competitions!