The Season Finale is here! I am part sad and part ecstatic about the season coming to an end. On one side of the spectrum, I’ll miss waking up every Saturday to play DFS EPL, and on the other end, I get a summer break from the hard work that is DFS preparation. It only takes a couple of weeks to miss the preparation aspect of it, but after a long stretch it will be good to get a break. As for this slate, the preparation is as tough as it gets. We have ten games on Sunday’s Season Finale and from the 20 teams playing, only three have something to play for. That makes daily fantasy a huge issue, as we have a tough time predicting who will start for all the teams that have nothing to play for at this stage. It’s generally youngsters, but there will be surprises.
In cash games, you will want to focus on the three teams that have something to play for – Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal. The three power houses are fighting for a top four spot. Arsenal host Everton, Liverpool are at home to Middlesbrough, and Manchester City travel to Watford. One of these stands out – Liverpool against one of the league’s worst teams in Middlesbrough. Liverpool love to attack when at home and have scored 42 goals in their 18 home matches. Against Middlesbrough, scoring shouldn’t be an issue. They are actually favored to score 3+ goals at odds of 8/13!! That’s one of the highest odds I’ve seen for scoring 3+ goals, and it’s not a misprice. Arsenal and Manchester City are also favored to score multiple, at odds of 11/10 and 4/5 respectively, while “nothing-to-play-for-Chelsea” are also very strongly positioned at 1/2. As you can see, there are plenty of heavily favored teams, so the ways to build are there. Let’s get a bit deeper and see where the value is.
Joel Robles ($4,000) – Robles will face plenty of shots when Arsenal come knocking on the door, but Everton are one of the teams that shouldn’t automatically concede three or four goals like Middlesbrough or Sunderland. They have a respectable defense, and although they don’t travel well, they should keep Arsenal at bay to where they are giving Robles enough save opportunities. For the record, I don’t think Robles keeps a clean sheet or gets a win, but I think there’s enough saves here to make him a cash game option.
Tournaments: In tournaments, you can pursue almost any goalkeeper on the slate. The goalkeepers from Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool all have great clean sheet and win chances, and are worthy of shots in tournaments despite the high price. Teams who are giving second choice goalkeepers a chance in the season’s last match also present value, as the goalkeeper position is very volatile and almost any $3,000 keeper has enough upside to be considered in tournaments. To put it shortly, I’m playing the cheapest and most expensive goalkeepers on this slate and avoid the mid-priced ones.[sociallocker id=110379]
James Milner ($7,000) – I hate paying up for defender but this is an extreme case. Liverpool’s attacking odds increase their chances at corner kicks and penalties, and Milner is generally involved with both. His floor is extremely safe, and the value on this slate allows you to afford him with ease. If you ignore the high price, Milner really is a fantastic fantasy player, who’s safety allows you to play him in cash games and his penalty/assist upside makes him a strong tournament consideration. This is a week where affording him is easy, and he’s a top choice.
Cheap Starters – Depending on how teams line up, there will be plenty of cheap starters who haven’t played much this season. We want to target players who will get up the pitch and cross, so generally we are looking for full-backs at $3,000 or less. One team I’d keep an eye on is Tottenham, as they have a number of injuries, a really soft matchup, and no reason to play that could open up cheap full-back starters. Outside of them, I will try to tweet out some targets as soon as lineups become available, so follow me @GalinDragiev on Twitter.
Philippe Coutinho ($10,300) – Opening up this slate, I did not expect to see Philippe Coutinho as the highest priced midfielder. However, Liverpool badly want the last Champions League spot and will go all out here to try and win it. Coutinho will be involved in every aspect of the game, and he’s on certain set pieces. This is just the perfect combo of skill, opportunity, matchup, and every other aspect you want to consider. Play Coutinho in all formats.
Alexis Sanchez ($10,000) – Sanchez is not on set pieces like Coutinho, but he is the best player on a team that is also trying to win. Similarly, Sanchez is playing at home, although the matchup isn’t as easy as Coutinho’s. Despite that, Sanchez has what it takes to succeed here. We’ve seen flashes of his upside in the past two weeks, where he’s averaged 31 DraftKings points. The floor here isn’t as safe as Sanchez is fairly goal/assist dependent for production, so in cash games you can favor Coutinho, but don’t be afraid to use both with all the value available.
Chelsea Starters – Chelsea have secured the title and it’s unknown if they’ll decide to rest players in the final match. Teams generally like to give younger players a chance here, but the Blues may decide to play their first team in front of their home crown. If they do give younger players a chance though, the matchup is immense against league worst Sunderland. Kenedy, Victor Moses, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Nathan Ake are all options worth considering depending on who starts.
Sergio Aguero ($10,100) – Aguero is mostly a tournament option as he is very goal dependent and Manchester City are traveling, although they are also in a must-win game where they should attack constantly. Aguero’s upside is as big as anyone else on the slate, and he has a history of scoring in big moments. Teammate Kevin De Bruyne has been much more consistent and is viable in cash games, and it’s not impossible to fit all three of Kevin De Bruyne, Alexis Sanchez, and Philippe Coutinho if you get creative and use the value available. Use both De Bruyne and Aguero in the right formats. Teammate Gabriel Jesus is a great tournament as well.
Final Notes: At the forward position, there will be plenty of cheap starters as well. It’s not the best use of time for me to guess which players will start tomorrow, as coaches can be extremely random in these last games where they have nothing to play for, but monitor starting lineups in the morning and utilize value. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be around on Twitter to help with selecting cheap value plays as lineups become available, so join me there tomorrow morning![/sociallocker]