Galin Dragiev highlights the best EPL DFS Soccer week 19 DFS picks on FanDuel and DraftKings:
Hello everyone! I hope everybody enjoyed the Boxing Day piece and was able to bring in a nice profit. We are back this week with another big slate, this time a cool seven games on the horizon. The slate itself is an interesting once. There is one prime match-up – Liverpool versus Manchester City, which will undoubtedly contain some value in what should be a fun, fast-paced match.
There are also two teams as heavy favorites – Chelsea and Manchester United, who both provide us with some interesting choices for our lineups. There is also Swansea, who face Bournemouth. Swansea have a new coach so there is uncertainty as to how they line up, but one thing is for sure there, Gylfi Sigurdsson will be involved!
There is also the opposite of Liverpool vs Manchester City, a match between Burnley and Sunderland. Both of these teams are horrible, but their lack of defense may actually provide for an entertaining and fun match. These teams concede a lot of shots, so I actually like the goalkeepers on both sides of this one, especially for GPP purposes. Let’s get to some picks now (prices listed for DraftKings)…[sociallocker id=110379]
Victor Valdes ($3,600) – Manchester United aren’t the elite attack that Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea are, but they stick manage to attack often and put up shots on target. Valdes will have a lot of save opportunities to where he can rack up a number of points and be a positive value even if he concedes. He is an even better choice on FanDuel, where saves are worth more and he comes at a discount.
Tom Heaton/Vito Mannone – Burnley and Sunderland concede the first and third most shots in the league, but neither team scores a lot. If either of them keeps a clean sheet, they will have a monster score this weekend. Both are GPP viable and I’ll be rostering both this weekend in various tournaments.
From the expected lineups, there isn’t a ton of value in the defender position at this time. I’m hoping value pops up when lineups are announced, as we once again want to save at the defender spots. I’m not interested in paying a $7,400 price for James Milner, who is in a very difficult matchup against Manchester City.
If paying up for defenders, I’d likely go with:
Marcos Alonso ($6,200) – Alonso disappointed last weekend and still returned eight points. His floor as a midfielder who also gets a clean sheet bonus is very high, especially with the way Chelsea’s defense has been playing. Chelsea get another matchup that should see them attack, and with the return of Diego Costa, Alonso will have more assist opportunities. I don’t mind using Alonso in cash games if he fits, and would consider him in the utility spot.
Aaron Cresswell ($4,300) – Cresswell’s price continues to decrease and I will be targeting him again this weekend. He still gets involved in the attack and has enough of a floor to be considered in cash games, and allows you to spend up top.
Winston Reid ($3,700) – Reid is mostly a play on FanDuel, where he contributes through defensive stats. Reid has been a staple in West Ham’s defense and he will have a lot of opportunities to show off his defensive skills versus Leicester’s attack. Use him on FanDuel despite the higher price.
Gylfi Sigurdsson ($9,200) – Gylfi didn’t get on the score-sheet last week and still returned a healthy 17 points. In his last three games, he averages three shots and almost 13 crosses, giving him a great floor in almost any matchup. The matchup this week is Bournemouth, who aren’t scary defensively. The only worry is how Gylfi lines up under a new coach, but even if he lines up further back, he does enough that he is safe for cash games given his variety of production.
Kevin De Bruyne ($9,300) – De Bruyne disappointed last weekend with just eight points but that was clearly an outlier. The midfielder returns this week with his attacking partner, Sergio Aguero, in the squad and will be heavily involved in the attack against Liverpool. Before last week, De Bruyne was averaging over 10 crosses per start over his last eight games and he’s a safe cash bet this week.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan ($7,500) – I wrote up Mkhitaryan last week and he ended up not starting as he’s recovering from an ankle injury, but given the rest since then, he should be healthy enough to start. With Wayne Rooney already ruled out, Mkhitaryan should finally get a start and show off his skills against a very weak Middlesbrough defense. He contributes through frequent crosses and shots, giving himself a great floor, while his ceiling is equally impressive through his scoring ability.
James Ward-Prowse ($5,1000) – Ward-Prowse is in a weird situation this week. If Dusan Tadic starts, he will take away a lot of Prowse’ free-kick and corner-kick duties, downgrading Prowse’s value. If Tadic doesn’t start, then Prowse is extremely cash viable as a source of salary-cap relief. He has a positive matchup and the corner kick duty does provide a safe floor. Use Ward-Prowse in cash IF Dusan Tadic doesn’t start. If Tadic does start, Prowse is still cash viable but comes with a lot more risk.
I want to drop a quick note here before I give the picks. The three headed monster of this week is Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Diego Costa, and Sergio Aguero. Arguably the three best strikers in the league, two of which face very easy opposition, while the third (Aguero) is rested. All three could get a hat-trick, but it’s difficult to justify any of them in cash games with the rest of the available talent out there. From these three, I prefer Costa, then Zlatan, then Aguero, and all are GPP options. But my preference (even in GPP formats), goes to guys like Kevin De Bruyne and Dimitri Payet, who get 15 points without scoring and absolutely crush when they get on the score sheet.
Dimitri Payet ($9,300) – Payet is someone I will try to get exposure to in cash games. He is just incredibly safe, providing double-digit points in nine of his last ten starts. Payet’s price is comparable to someone like Zlatan’s and Payet doesn’t need to score to meet value. This isn’t a difficult decision. Go with Payet in cash.
Victor Anichebe ($6,500) – Victor Anichebe has been very active in his last few games with Sunderland. Even though some have been against tough opposition, Anichebe finds ways to get shots off. His high energy results in fantasy points and he has gotten close to scoring a few times over the past few weeks. A match against Burnley, who allow the most shots in the league, gives Anichebe a high upside. He is viable in cash, but we prefer him in tournaments.