2018 Premier League DFS Primer
Welcome one, welcome all!
The beautiful game is BACK, and the excitement is truly palpable. At the time of writing, we are five days out from Friday’s kickoff, and I can already hear the nostalgic voices of Martin Tyler and Steve Banyard ringing through my ear. Although many of you may be new to soccer DFS, trust me when I say that you’ll fall in love with the sport. It doesn’t get much better than following your DFS lineups during some Saturday morning Premier League action.
This preview here includes a brief rundown of each club; use it to help you in daily fantasy or to just ensure a sturdy base of knowledge heading into the new season.
All in all, we are looking forward to what should be a phenomenal tournament with juicy prize pools over on DK. Make sure to buckle in for a fun ride!
If you are in search of massive profits and DFS sweats at dawn each weekend, the Premier League Playmaker Package is for you. The Premier League Playmaker Package will give you the best opportunity for success on the pitch week in and week out. Along with our in-depth articles that break down each game, this package includes a premium core, a projections page (optimizer), subscriber-only podcasts, and an always active chat. You’ll have everything you need for a Premier League season packed with profit. The perfect time to start playing soccer DFS is now, and the perfect way to start is with us (‘RubioDimes’ & ‘tristan.hoh’).
Projected Finish (betting odds): 6th
Set Piece Takers: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Granit Xhaka, Mesut Ozil
Preview: After a long stretch of mediocrity by Arsenal fans’ standards, the club comes into the 18-19 season with sizable expectations. Bringing in potential key players such as Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis, and Lucas Torreira, the side should be rather stout. The only big name departing this offseason was long overdue manager, Arsene Wenger. The organization in the back coupled with flare in the attack could lead to promising results for disgruntled Gunner fans. They’re projected to finish 6th in the eyes of the books, but I believe this Arsenal side can compete for the top 4.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 16th
Set Piece Takers: Ryan Fraser, Jordon Ibe
Preview: A bona fide mediocre side, Bournemouth sticks out as a team to pick on week in and week out. Although they have a keen manager in Eddie Howe, they seem to ship goals each season despite having decent individual talent in defense. They only kept 6 clean sheets last season, tied for fewest in the PL. Although they fancy to play at a frenetic pace, the talent they tout in their attack is nothing too special. They should survive relegation once again, but won’t make inroads in this league until they discover a special talent. UPDATE: Colombian holding midfielder Jefferson Lerma has just signed with the club. Great pick-up for Bournemouth as their midfield has been rated as one of the worst in the Prem.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Projected Finish (betting odds): 17th
Set Piece Takers: Pascal Gross
Preview: The big news in Brighton is the signing of Alireza Jahanbakhsh (whom you may remember from Iran in the World Cup). They really opened their bank account up for the young Iranian who virtually lit the Dutch league on fire last season. He’s insanely gifted in technical ability, but I’m not sure he’s got the flare to cap a big season in the PL. Anywho, I digress – we’ll save the Jahanbakhsh talk for another day. All in all, Brighton is nothing more than a decent side on their best day who will look to scratch and claw their way to avoid relegation. (If you join RubioDimes on the Palace fan train, your first tip is to hate Brighton)
Projected Finish (betting odds): 11th
Set Piece Takers: Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Robbie Brady
Preview: The epitome of boring in style of play. They play some of the most organized footy in the PL, and it proved to be fruitful last season, finishing 7th – a huge feat for a small club such as Burnley. They play best while conceding possession and working hard defensively, but when they have the ball, expect bountiful crosses from wingers Gudmundsson and Brady (Brady was injured for a large portion of the 2017-18 season). UPDATE: Burnley has acquired GK Joe Hart and an attacking midfielder, Matej Vydra, from Derby County. He should add some much-needed creativity to their attack.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 20th
Set Piece Takers: Joe Ralls, Junior Hoilett
Preview: This Cardiff side is really going to struggle to score goals. They didn’t even have a top 15 goal scorer in the 2nd division last season. Their defense was strong, and they thrived on taking what their opponent gave them. Their surprise rise to the top of the 2nd division is something that probably will not carry on to the Premier League, which is why they’re the favorites to be relegated.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 4th
Set Piece Takers: Willian, Cesc Fabregas
Preview: Antonio Conte out, Maurizio Sarri in. The new Chelsea boss had great success with Napoli from 2015-18, and hopefully brings similar results here. He anchors his squad with a 4-3-3 formation, and we can probably expect the same with Chelsea, contrary to the 3-4-3 that Conte typically ran. New signee Jorginho will likely play a role in his high possessive, high octane system. Pinging passes and dominating in possession is what we can expect from Chelsea, hopefully leading to some pretty exciting football. UPDATE: GK Courtois is off to Real Madrid, but Spanish young talent Kepa Arrizabalaga looks to be replacing him. Mateo Kovacic was also acquired, which could be a great signing for Chelsea.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 14th
Set Piece Takers: Andros Townsend, Luka Milivojevic
Preview: After a summer of worry and fear, it looks like Wilfried Zaha is staying, and that is major news for Crystal Palace. Arguably a top 10 player in the league. He was out for 10 games last season and in those 10, Crystal Palace failed to achieve a single point. His importance at the club can not be overstated. Some key departures this season are Yohan Cabaye, Ruben Loftus Cheek, and Bakary Sako. They did have some great additions though with new goalkeeper Vicente Guaita who is hoped to be a substantial upgrade over Wayne Hennessey, as well as Cheikhou Kouyate and German international Max Meyer to help fill the void Cabaye and RLC’s departures created. Things are looking up for Crystal Palace and they always looked like an upper half of the table side when Zaha was healthy and if Benteke can find his old form, a 7th place finish is not at all out of reach.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 7th
Set Piece Takers: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Preview: Dropping Rooney and bringing in [winger] Richarlison and [left-back] Digne, Everton have legitimate expectations this season. They also acquired a very solid manager in Marco Silva, who faces a challenge of uniting a club in a bit of a stalemate. In my opinion, Everton starts the season dully, but slowly start to turn on the jets as the season progresses. Icelandic playmaker, Gylfi Sigurdsson, will need to have a great campaign to ensure Everton’s success, and I think he does just that.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 15th
Set Piece Takers: Jean Michael Seri, Stefan Johansen
Preview: It’s easy to get excited about this Fulham side when solely glancing at the names they acquired within the transfer window. New signees Jean Michel Seri, Andre Schurrle, and Alfie Mawson are all intriguing players in their own rights, and should act as key cogs in the success of the club this season. Add those guys to the already special young talent in Ryan Sessegnon, and special striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, and you have massive potential on your hands. They aren’t getting as much love in the betting markets as Wolves, but Fulham are a side full of quality and able to challenge any team.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 19th
Set Piece Takers: Aaron Mooy, Alex Pritchard
Preview: Targeting attackers against Huddersfield will be a recurring theme this season, as it was last season. Not necessarily due to them being weak in defense, but more-so due to the style of their play, especially on the road. Conceding possession to their opposition is their style, and doing so leads to what we crave in soccer DFS: shots and crosses. All this said, Huddersfield has been very impressive in the pre-season, and while we can’t weight the pre-season too much, they showed promise in both the attack and in the defense. They easily trumped established clubs in Lyon and RB Leipzig. They still lack quality in some positions, but this Huddersfield side may be awfully pesky.
Projected Finish (betting odds: 10th
Set Piece Takers: Marc Albrighton, Demarai Gray, James Maddison
Preview: The talk of Leicester this offseason was obviously the loss of brilliant winger Riyad Mahrez. They did the best they could to replace him, but likely failed in doing so for now, despite James Maddison being a decent pick-up. They have a remarkably solid core of players with Schmeichel in net, Maguire in defense, Ndidi in midfield, and Vardy at striker. The filler guys they have are at their disposal are solid options as well, but that doesn’t change the fact that their superstar is gone. They had a relatively stale 2017-18 campaign, and I feel another mid-table finish this season.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 2nd
Set Piece Takers: Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold
Preview: SALAH! The phenomenal Egyptian and all of his mates are absolutely glistening after last season. The Reds have spent an absolute fortune this window on a handful of great players (Alisson, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho). If anyone is beating out Manchester City this year, it’s Liverpool. Masterclass manager Jurgen Klopp spearheading this unreal attack speaks for itself, and now they have plenty of squad depth to plausibly compete for both the Premier League and the Champions League. Players from this special squad will be in play each and every time they appear on a slate.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 1st
Set Piece Takers: Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez
Preview: Arguably the best side in Premier League history will be looking to achieve a feat that few other clubs have accomplished, back to back titles. The ruthlessness of Guardiola has formed them into a World superpower; they do not let off the gas. Their players don’t accumulate much in peripherals, but boy, they make up for it with the amount of goals they stick into the back of the net. I could write a 20-page essay on each player in this squad, but I’ll instead just leave it at the fact that Manchester City are indeed an unbelievable team.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 3rd
Set Piece Takers: Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford
Preview: An infuriating side at times, Manchester United will yet again look for a Champions League spot as their main goal. Mourinho continually bickers with the board and has talented players that don’t seem to fulfill their full potential under him. Like any Mourinho side, you can expect United to be good defensively as usual, however, they only won 10 of their 19 matches away from home. Still, they had a decent 2017-18 campaign with 81 points, and although another solid season is ahead of them, Manchester City is just impossible to catch. United will control the majority of games, but they just aren’t as classy as Pep and City to contend for the league.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 12th
Set Piece Takers: Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey, Ki Sung-Yueng, Kenedy
Preview: Yes, they have a great manager in Rafa Benitez, but the team itself is not great. The owner of the club promised Rafa an extensive budget for transfer $$$, but he did not follow through. Rafa can only do so much, and I would not at all be surprised if he left the club at some point this season. Their signings have been ok, but this Newcastle side has a legit chance to be relegated. I think they’ll be able to skid by in the end and barely stay up.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 13th
Set Piece Takers: James Ward-Prowse, Ryan Bertrand
Preview: After a year of struggle, the Saints will look to move forward this year. They’ll look to be middling around the table, but with no real superstar on their squad, they may have a tough season ahead of them. They’ll do well against teams they should do well against, but struggle against clubs that are simply better than them – typical mid-table stuff. Selling Dusan Tadic was the only major loss offensively, but they did bring in talented players like [winger] Elyounoussi and [goalkeeper] Gunn. They’ve been great at times in the past, but don’t expect them to make too much noise.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 5th
Set Piece Takers: Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Kieran Trippier
Preview: Just about the same exact team from last year, making 0 transfers thus far with the window closing Friday. Tottenham managed to get third in the league and will open their brand new stadium in September. A rough start will be ahead of them as they play 3 matches away and one ‘home’ game at Wembley, but they should manage per usual. Everyone should know of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen; both great players with immense quality and will be chalk in at least 25 of the EPL slates. Since it’s Tottenham, it’s fair to expect 0 trophies and possibly the last year Harry Kane wears the Spurs uniform.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 18th
Set Piece Takers: Jose Holebas, Roberto Pereyra, Will Hughes
Preview: An amazing start last year saw them with hope and desire at maybe a spot in Europe in the following season. Those hopes quickly were dashed and the season fell apart in ruins. I suspect their poor form from last season to carry over as they have not made any splash in the transfer mill and have the same squad that was an utter failure over the final 75% of the year. They even sold Richarlison, who was by far their best player in the first half of the season (now at Everton). I think they can see themselves relegated by season’s end.
West Ham United
Projected Finish (betting odds): 9th
Set Piece Takers: Robert Snodgrass, Aaron Cresswell, Felipe Anderson
Preview: Spent big in the transfer market this year with Felipe Anderson, Andriy Yarmolenko, and Issa Diop all costing more than 24 million dollars apiece. They also picked up established Premier League players in [midfielder] Jack Wilshere and [goalkeeper] Lukasz Fabianski. This team has far improved from last year, on paper, where they had a disappointing 13th place finish behind Palace, Bournemouth, and Newcastle. I think this year will be good for West Ham, but I do suspect a slow start. Not only having several new players to get assimilated with each other, they also play a very tough opening set of matches, going on the road against Liverpool and Arsenal in two of their first three.
Projected Finish (betting odds): 8th
Set Piece Takers: Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Helder Costa
Preview: They walked through the Championship last season and now have ambition beyond belief. They have the financial backing to stick around in the Premier League as well as endless Portuguese talents filling out the squad. While they were just promoted, the 8th place projection in terms of betting odds makes sense. They even just signed extremely talented winger Adama Traore! With many talented players and a good manager in Nuno, Wolves will be a very good team this year and cause trouble for anyone who plays them.