EPL DFS Picks Week 12: Robbie Brady – Unlikely Cash Game King
This is the first Premier League slate that actually allows everyone to research and prepare adequately for the new scoring changes and I am a firm believer that there will be an edge to be had this weekend in cash games. The new DraftKings scoring is more detailed and gives cash games a new approach. I wrote about it in detail earlier this week, so please check out that piece before playing this weekend.
The slate I’ll be covering this week is the biggest one, which is the Saturday 9 am EST slate featuring the matches below, with win percentages as calculated from SkyBet.
The Cash Game Play – David de Gea – The new scoring has strongly devalued clean sheets in defenders but they are still really important for goalkeepers. De Gea is the most expensive goalkeeper by a margin but also by far the safest. Manchester United are huge favorites, while West Brom have played some extremely low scoring games on the road (3 goals for and 2 against in 5 matches this season). Manchester United have had one of the best defenders in the Premier League, allowing just eight goals so far, giving de Gea a safety net. My concern here is that de Gea won’t get a lot of saves as Manchester United concede just over nine shots per match at home, but the clean sheet and win percentages are too good to pass up in cash games.
The GPP Play – Marteen Stekelenburg – Stekelenburg is also quite expensive but I think his upside is huge this week. He’s playing in what should be an extremely open match and has a chance at a clean sheet due to Sunderland’s horrific finishing. He can realistically end with 5-7 saves, a clean sheet, and a win. Even if he concedes, there’s still a good floor there with the potential saves and likely win. Kasper Schmeichel, Tim Howard, and Adrian are also good GPP options, but neither should be trusted in cash.
The Top Choice – Cedric Soares – Cedric is the top choice and it isn’t even close. The Southampton defender comes at just $3,200, which is $800 less than the top priced defender, and carries the highest floor and upside. He has 40 crosses, 29 interceptions, and 26 tackles won in 10 Premier League matches this season and that’s a great floor to have as a defender. He has a good chance at a clean sheet, which despite devalued is still a nice bonus. He is also playing on a team expected to score a ton tomorrow and could easily grab an assist from one of his crosses. Must use in cash.
The Next Option – Nyom – The Watford defender is playing against an ultra-attacking team in Leicester City and that should give him all the opportunities to get interceptions and tackles. He also gets a fair amount of crosses and cancels out his fouls conceded with fouls won. He’s a solid option in cash games at that price.
Third Wheel – Erik Pieters – If Pieters wasn’t this expensive, he’d be my top choice this weekend. His combination of crosses, matchup, tackles, and interceptions is a fantastic fit for the new scoring format and I believe he has the best floor of any defender in the slate. If you have the extra cash, use him with confidence.
The Best Value – Christian Fuchs – Fuchs gets the majority of his value from crosses but he sends in enough to be worth using in cash games. He is my favorite value at the position and can be used in cash games as long as he starts against Watford. He has had double digit returns in his past three matches.
The Top Choice – Robbie Brady – Wait, what? Robbie Brady? Yes, I’m serious! At this price, I think it’s hard not to use Robbie Brady in cash games. He is a stud in the current scoring format and is actually the fourth player in this slate in the new scoring, while coming in 21st in price at just $4,200. He plays against the struggling Swansea and will send in enough crosses to also provide managers with a huge upside. I believe he’s the top midfielder choice considering the price and I will own him in both cash and GPP games. Bonus: Brady leads all midfielders in crosses this season.
Riyad Mahrez/Marc Albrighton – Both players have excelled this season, but I think I like Albrighton more due to him likely having much lower ownership this weekend. They get Watford, and despite Watford being a good defensive squad, the home advantage should help Leicester quite a bit. Albrighton is the one that gets the bigger boost from the new scoring, but Mahrez remains the top choice in that attack. Don’t be afraid to stack them in GPPs.
The GPP Play – Dusan Tadic – Tadic is one of my favorite GPP plays this weekend. I’ve been quite a big Tadic fan, but his crossing gives him such a good floor that it’s hard to ignore him. Any kind of goal or assist automatically gives him a big upside as well, and he’s the kind of player that’s perfect in both GPP and cash games. Pro-tip: Tadic is generally on corner kick duty, which gives him a huge boost in the new scoring. It doesn’t hurt that Southampton could blow out Sunderland.
The Cash Play – Jamie Vardy – Jamie Vardy is on an incredible streak right now and he gets Watford at home this weekend. I am not sure this is the best match for Vardy to succeed, but he’ll be 70% owned in cash games and I has the potential to destroy your lineups If you don’t play him. In cash games, I think it’s an easy play in this slate. In GPPs, I’d be targeting Vardy in 30-40% of your lineups., which should be underweight on the market.
The Top Play – Graziano Pelle – I don’t love playing strikers away from home, but Graziano Pelle gets Sunderland and his team is on roll. This should be the most open match of the weekend and we could see multiple goals both ways. Pelle is another player to target in cash games and a fine GPP play. He has 45 shots this season, 12 on target, and does enough all around to have a decently high floor to not kill you even if he doesn’t score.
The GPP Play – Manchester United strikers – Whoever starts for Manchester United has a great matchup this weekend. The issue is that this might be an extremely low scoring match, which would prevent any of the strikers reaching value at this high price. I firmly believe there are better cash game plays out there, but in GPPs, Manchester United strikers are good options due to the matchup alone.
The FLEX Stud – Dieumerci Mbokani is cheap enough to be considered at the Utility spot. He missed last week with a illness but should be good to go on Saturday and gets a solid matchup at home versus Swansea.
Romelu Lukaku, Baferimbi Gomis, and Diego Costa are GPP options, but all should be under-market.