Hello everyone! A few people have asked me for good ways to research for soccer and what to look out for, so I wanted to give everyone some tips this week before getting into the picks. To start, you can find a lot of soccer stats at the following sites:
- http://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/ (about a $20 yearly fee) for premium, which gives access to stats.
- https://www.skybet.com/ (for odds)
The way I approach my research on a weekly basis is to first take a look at SkyBet and calculate percentages for: wins, clean sheets, chance to score. You can do that as I’ve previously described here. Another good stat to look for here is: odds to score 3+ goals. If a team is at 40 or 50 percent chance to score 3+ goals, you pretty much need exposure to them in some way in cash games. I’ll sometime adjust the sportsbook odds manually if I believe they’re off, but I wouldn’t recommend you do that unless you’re experienced in the Premier League. I think one inefficiency I’ve identified is weak teams playing at home versus a top four team are generally undervalued in terms of their projected win percentage by the sportsbooks, but that’s not always the case and as a rule of thumb, I’d just stick to what the odds say.
Now that I’ve identified teams I want exposure to, I’ll look for other indicators as well. Shots per game (home or away), crosses per game, shots allowed, crosses allowed all play some factor into my decisions (both on a per team basis and a per player basis). If a team is allowing 12 shots per game from inside the box, they probably aren’t good defensively even if they haven’t conceded much in a short time-span.
For cash games, you obviously want to focus on repeatable stats, such as crosses, shots, etc. Players who take corners and free-kicks are ideal, and provide both a great floor and upside. Charts on who takes those are provided at FantasyFootballScout, but don’t take those for granted every week, as things tend to change. If there are injuries that effect this in a meaningful way, I try to address it in my weekly column for you guys. From here, you can look at countless other stats that will tell you bits and pieces for a player’s floor or ceiling, but the above is a good start for beginners. Feel free to experiment further as you wish!
I hope that was a good intro on how to approach a soccer slate. Now let’s get to this week’s picks.
The Chalk – Hugo Lloris ($4,000) – DraftKings dropped the ball on this one. They have been doing a great job of pricing goalkeepers to where the second stringer is just $100 cheaper than the starter, but with Lloris making an unexpected return from injury, he is left at a ridiculous price. He will be extremely highly owned, and with good reason. Tottenham are very solid defensively and face a weak Stoke City. At this price, there is no question, use Lloris in cash and in GPP.
GPP Plays – Petr Cech, Adrian, Artur Boruc (love this one), Tom Heaton.
The Chalk – Ben Davies ($3,600) – Danny Rose has been ruled out of this weekend’s match and we expect Ben Davies to be his replacement. Davies likes to get involved in the attack, and Tottenham like to start the attack from their full-backs. Last season, Davies had a number of great games when starting, and this matchup is prime for him to excel.
Another One – Brendan Galloway ($3,400) – Galloway is also underpriced at the moment. He recently moved over to West Brom, and he is getting up the pitch and sending in crosses. It’s weird to see West Brom attack from the back, and I do worry about Galloway attacking from the back when on the road, but at $3,400, I think Galloway is a safe play. There is also upside for him if he gets an assist on a cross. You can pair Davies and Galloway for a safe defense that will allow you spend up top.
GPP Plays – Charlie Daniels, Arthur Masuaku, Alvaro Arbeloa (if he starts), Nathaniel Clyne, George Friend
The Top Play – Dimitri Payet ($9,400) – By far the best cash game option for DFS is on this slate and is the fourth most expensive midfielder. He is also playing at home against a bottom three team this season in Watford. To put it in perspective, Payet put in 12 crosses in 33 minutes in his last appearance with France, and got a cool seven points in 23 minutes in his only appearance in the Premier League this season. He is fantastic, is on all set pieces, and gets a great matchup. He is finally supposed to start as he’s fully healthy now, so fire him up everywhere.
The Next Best Thing – Andros Townsend ($7,600) – Townsend has been a workhorse so far this season. In three matches, he has 25 crosses, 12 shots, 11 tackles won, and 7 interceptions for a nice 17.3 points per game. He faces Middlesbrough this week and his price hasn’t risen as much as it should. A goal or assist is coming for Townsend soon, and if that comes this week, you won’t be able to cash without him. He is too good a fantasy option to fade in cash. Use defensive savings to get him and Payet in your lineup.
GPP Options – Phillippe Coutinho, Christian Eriksen, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil, Jordon Ibe, Sofiane Feghouli
The Top Choice – Alexis Sanchez ($9,400) – There is a risk Sanchez doesn’t start after playing in international duty this past week. With that in mind, make sure you check starting lineups before locking him in. If he does start, I think he’s a great choice in this game as Arsenal are the biggest favorites on the slate. Sanchez is a great way to gain exposure there with both a good floor and upside. If Sanchez doesn’t start, feel free to utilize Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, or Santi Cazorla for your Arsenal exposure.
The Next Best – Sadio Mane ($7,200) – When looking at the chance of a team scoring 3+ goals, Arsenal is first at 35% and Liverpool second with 33%. With that in mind, I think it’s essential we get some Liverpool exposure in our lineups as well. Sadio Mane is a great fit for that, as he combined a good floor and ceiling similarly to Alexis Sanchez. He has also played really well this season, including scoring a goal in his Liverpool debut. At this price and with forward eligibility, Mane is a great play this weekend. Other options from Liverpool are Phillippe Coutinho (if he starts) and Roberto Firmino.
GPP Options – Harry Kane, Alvaro Negredo, Andre Gray, Simone Zaza, Theo Walcott, Daniel Sturridge