Galin Dragiev highlights the best EPL Soccer week 13 DFS picks on DraftKings and FanDuel:
Hello everyone! We’re back for our post-Thanksgiving soccer slate and ready to get some good games in. I’m actually celebrating Thanksgiving on Saturday this year cause of some scheduling issues, so this Saturday will be quite the day for me between waking up early for soccer and having some great food later in the day. Before we tackle the slate, I wanted to point out some notes on soccer stats, mainly touches in the final third.
I’ve heard that term tossed around a bit in DFS circles, so I wanted to get around to it and provide some context. Touches in the final third is exactly what it sounds like, a players touches while they are in the opposition’s third of the field. In theory, players with high touches in the final third are very involved in the attack, and find ways to produce fantasy points through a variety of stats. Take a look at the charts below.
As you can see, there is a significant correlation between touches in the final third and goals, assists, and shots, which are some of the biggest fantasy point contributors. Looking at this season’s numbers, the two players with highest touches in the final third are Eden Hazard and Philippe Coutinho, both featured in this slate. It comes as no surprise that both have been incredible in fantasy this year, and by looking at the slate as a whole, they are both certainly viable fantasy options this weekend.
Looking at this slate alone, you have Liverpool that stand out the most. They are at home, a huge plus for them, and they face Sunderland, the second worst team in the league. Sunderland played well last week, but don’t be fooled, that was against Hull City. This week will be different, and I expect Liverpool to dominate. The Reds have the most goals in the league this season, and have 17 goals in just five home matches. Coutinho is the most involved in their attack from both a touches in the final third perspective and an eye test perspective, and he is a must on this slate, especially in cash games. Liverpool have an incredible 8/13 odds to score 3+ goals, which is fairly ridiculous considering the second best odds on the slate are Chelsea at 5/2.
Speaking of Chelsea, they aren’t a bad target either. Hazard is the lone leader in touches in the final third and has been absolutely ridiculous this season. Chelsea aren’t playing in Europe, and both him and Victor Moses are at fair prices in the upcoming slate. Chelsea are pretty big favorites in the derby, and they’ll very likely score, giving Hazard a good chance to be involved. Let’s get to some actual picks now.
Victor Valdes – Valdes is cheap. He’s a good way to afford the majority of the expensive guys you want to fit in from Liverpool and Chelsea. Some may want to go with Jordan Pickford, who is even cheaper, but Liverpool are too good of an attack and could easily score three or four goals. Valdes is a better bet at saves without letting in three goals. David Marshall is another way to approach the slate, as he’s playing at home and has a better chance at a clean sheet than Valdes.
James Milner – Milner is the best defender on the slate but he’s very expensive. If you can find a way to fit him in, he’s a great way to add to the Liverpool exposure, but at the price I don’t think he’s a must. He is one of the few defenders viable in the UTIL spot. Marcos Alonso is the second best option, but he’s also difficult to fit in. It comes down to how many $8k+ guys you want to fit in your lineup, but Alonso and Milner are definitely options in cash and GPP.
Ahmed Elmohamady – Elmohamady joins the attack for Hull City and can contribute in multiple ways. He is in a good spot and will have the opportunity to meet value this weekend at a mid-range price.
Jan Vertonghen – Vertonghen may start at left-back this weekend, which would give him some extra freedom to join the attack. He’s played the spot before, but he’s risky given Tottenham’s opposition in Chelsea. He is more of a GPP play but he is cash viable fi he starts at left-back.
Liverpool Bunch, ranked in order of preference: Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, G. Wijnaldum – Coutinho does too much to be ignored in cash games in a matchup like this, despite the high price. I prefer Firmino over Mane, but both are cash game options and Mane is acceptable if the price fits. Wijnaldum has a more defensive role but Liverpool won’t be defending much in this one. He is acceptable as salary relief in cash games.
James Morrison – If Morrison starts again, he’s an acceptable cash game option at a really low price. He allows you to fit in a lot of Liverpool exposure and faces the worst team in the Premier League.
Eden Hazard – The best player on the slate playing at home in great form. Just slot him in and move on. Victor Moses is an alternative in GPPs or as a secondary cash target. Diego Costa is a GPP only play.
The Liverpool Guys – The Liverpool bunch are just as viable on FanDuel for the reasons listed above.
Eden Hazard – See Above.
N’Golo Kante – Kante racks up defensive stats and in a game that should be competitive, he will have opportunities on both ends. His passing gives him a very safe floor, and he is cash viable on FanDuel.
Yohan Cabaye – Similarly to Kante, Cabaye contributes in a lot of different categories. The matchup is fair here, and the game will go both ways, where he can contribute in attack and defense.
Jordan Pickford – With saves being three points here as opposed to a goal being negative one, Pickford is way more viable on FanDuel than on DK. One saves makes up for three goals allowed and chances are he’ll have multiple saves in this one. Ron-Robert Zieler is a great way to save money in a good matchup.
Kevin Wimmer – if he starts, he’s simply too cheap to ignore and allows you to stack offensive talent. Nyom is a similarly priced defender who allows you to spend in midfield and attack.
Pedro – There aren’t many attacking options on FanDuel without multi-position eligibility, so Pedro may be a good way to increase Chelsea exposure at a fair price.