EPL DFS Feb 6 Picks: Christian Eriksen
Welcome back to our weekly DFS Soccer content! We have some good news for everyone, mainly that DraftKings will now operate in England! The news seem to be almost certain and DraftKings has announced partnership with Arsenal and Liverpool. Arsenal and Liverpool tweeter about DraftKings to their combined 12 million followers can provide us with a boost in tournament sizes and it will be interesting to track tourney sizes on DraftKings for the rest of the season.
The Top Play – Fraser Forster ($4,100) – Forster is one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League and his recent return from injury has seen him return straight to top form. He has produced at least 10 fantasy points in each of his four games this season, including three wins and four clean sheets. Another clean sheet is definitely possible against the injury ridden West Ham, and without any dangerous forwards, West Ham could easily find themselves shooting from distance and lacking any real opportunities. Dimitri Payet is extremely dangerous, which is a concern, but he can’t do everything alone. Even if West Ham score, I can see Southampton winning easily, which should give Forster owners a sense of comfort.
The GPP Play – Simon Mignolet ($3,900) – The matchup is certainly there Mignolet, but his form has been horrible. I’m hoping those who solely base their lineups on gamelog watching and form find themselves fading Mignolet this week, since he is an incredible GPP play. He can easily end up as the top goalkeeper of the slate as Liverpool can’t keep anyone out while Sunderland don’t really have the goal scoring threats that would make this a bad situation for Mignolet. He will have a high number of save opportunities, and if he can get himself a win and clean sheet, the upside is immense.
Goalkeeper Notes: Mark Bunn is worth a look in GPPs, but I wouldn’t play him in cash. If strapped for an extra $200 and you can’t afford Forster, I would rather play Mignolet at the price. Heurelho Gomes will be under 5% owned and has a huge upside. Hugo Lloris is a cash and GPP option, but I’d rather have Forster for cheaper in cash games due to the price and the fact Forster doesn’t face Ighalo.
The Top Play– Leighton Baines ($4,800) – Leighton Baines has a history of being a very good fantasy defender due to his tendency to get involved in the attack and take corners/free kicks. He didn’t get the start in midweek but my guess is he was rested, and I would expect him to play this weekend. He gets a favorable matchup in Stoke City and between crosses, tackles, and interceptions, he is safe to return value. I would make sure he starts, and if he doesn’t, you can pivot to the capable Cedric Soares, who is also a good option this week.
The Cheap Cash Play – Aly Cissokho ($3,400) – Cissokho had a disappointing match against West Ham in midweek but still came out with five fantasy points, which doesn’t automatically kill you at his price. He gets a much nicer matchup this time around, and gets to play at home. His combination of interceptions and corners gives up a nice floor and he’s once again a lock for cash games at this price.
The Punt Play – Jan Kirchhoff ($2000) – I started off this slate thinking as Kirchhoff as a punt but I am more and more convinced he can be a cash value if he starts in midfield again. Kirchhoff touched the ball more than anyone else for Sunderland on Tuesday and registered three tackles alongside five interceptions against Manchester City. In an extremely tough matchup, Kirchhoff came out with nine fantasy points, and at a price of $2,000, it’s hard to argue against that. It also helps that he’s listed as a defender, not so much for the low chance he gets a clean sheet, but that you can play someone who touches the ball as often as Kirchhoff does in a defender slot. His upside isn’t huge, as he has a total of zero goals and one assist in 88 professional matches, but at $2,000, he can be used in cash and GPP games as a source of salary relief.
Defender Notes: Watford have a number of low-cost options in defense. There isn’t much to love there against Tottenham, but Juan Carlos Paredes is certainly worth a look if he starts again. He is capable of producing a few crosses and gets enough tackles and interceptions to meet value at $2,500, so don’t be afraid to use him over Kirchhoff if you can spare the extra $500. From the elite plays, Alberto Moreno is playable in all formats, but comes after Baines and Soares for me. It’s worth keeping an eye on Norwich’s starting lineup as the flu bug has swept through their squad and that could open up value.
The Top Play – Christian Eriksen ($7,400) – Eriksen is rolling right now and gets a fair matchup at home. He has been absolutely incredible in the past three weeks, and his combination of corner and free-kick duty gives him a fantastic floor at this price. I wasn’t this high on him in midweek, but this time around, there just aren’t a lot of places to spend your money, and Eriksen makes more sense. If Dele Alli is out, teammate Erik Lamela becomes cash viable with a combination of corner kicks and crosses.
The Next Best – Dimitri Payet ($7,700) – Payet is a bit more expensive than Eriksen but is just as involved in the team’s attack, if not more. The only concern with Payet this week is matchup, as he faces a Southampton team coming off of four straight clean sheets. Despite that, Payet’s floor is still safe due to the large amount of crosses he takes every match. In cash games, I would not be afraid to take the guaranteed points from Eriksen and Payet and fill in the roster elsewhere.
The Punt Play – Andros Townsend ($3,800) – Townsend played all 90 minutes for Newcastle on Wednesday and put in five crosses in the performance. He didn’t do much else, but Newcastle were also dominated by Everton. I would expect a more balanced match against West Brom this week, and Townsend is a fantastic way to get some exposure to Newcastle at a really cheap price. His crossing tendencies should give him a good enough floor to consider in cash games.
Midfielder Notes: Gylfi Sigurdsson is usable in cash games but I would much prefer him in GPP formats. He has played extremely well as of late, but his three goals in four matches is not sustainable and I expect a regression. Chris Brunt can be considered in cash games if Townsend doesn’t start. Jonjo Shelvey is cheap enough to be a tournament option as he attempts to regain his early-season form. If Lee Chung-Yong starts again, he can be a cash game option at just $2,900. The same goes for Wahbi Khazri from Sunderland, although the matchup there is much more difficult.
The Top Play – Harry Kane ($8,200) – Kane has scored four goals in the past three matches, including 11 shots on target during that timeframe, but the streak is unsustainable and at $8,200 he is a risk in cash games. It’s really difficult to play strikers at $8,200 in cash, so I would recommend building cash games without him, despite him being the best striker playing on Saturday. He still remains a great GPP option, as he has three goal potential anytime he steps on the pitch, especially against an inferior opponent at home.
The Cash Play – Seydou Doumbia ($3,200) – Doumbia is a very good striker. The CSKA Moscow striker has five goals and five assists in 13 appearances in the Russian Premier League and also netted three goals in four starts in the Champions League. He doesn’t cross often, but he shoots enough to be cash viable against a poor opponent at $3,200. The price is quite deflated due to this being his first match in the Premier League and the fact that he has a poor game log from Champions League matches against much better opponents. ** Press Conference today noted that Doumbia may not start, so roster him with caution.
Forward Notes: There are too many forward options this week, and the slate may come down to finding the best value out of them. Alberto Paloschi could start at Swansea and would be a great choice in GPPs. Emmanuel Adebayor starting for Crystal Palace would also be a fantastic GPP play, although both Paloschi and Adebayor are tough to trust in cash games. If Romelu Lukaku is out, one of Arouna Kone or Oumar Niasse will likely take his spot up top, and both would be options in GPPs. The Lukaku injury would also increase Gerard Deulofeu’s value. Whoever starts at striker for Liverpool will be a fantastic GPP option as well, and if that man is Roberto Firmino, he can be easily used in cash games due to his shooting, crossing, and matchup.