Off The Mark - EPL Daily Plays October 26th
With matchday 10 upon us, we find ourselves with a relatively small set of matches. Six contests occur on Saturday with Liverpool being the only top six team in action. There are still some solid contests to consider with Wolves, Fulham, Leicester, and Watford all in play as well. The key to this week will be correctly targeting the high floor players from each one. For this, my focus in this week’s article will primarily rely on cash game plays, with some tournament plays sprinkled in.
Jose Holebas, Defender, Watford, $7,100 DK, $6,000 FD – The undisputed league leader in crossing this season is Holebas. Of course, this was all without KDB who’s been out most of the year, but Holebas has a commanding lead in crosses this season, and doesn’t look to be slowing down. Watford really want him to cross the ball, and he’s more than happy to oblige. They play against Huddersfield this week which should spell possession for the Hornets. I think Holebas once again has 15+ crosses, and I wouldn’t shy away from his high price tag.
Matt Ritchie, Midfielder, Newcastle, $6,500 DK, $7,500 FD – Ritchie has been excellent in recent weeks. In his last three weeks he’s had 26 crosses, 73 touches in the final third, nine shots with three on target, to go along with 4 chances created. He has no goals and no assists in that period, but a matchup with Southampton should help alleviate that concern as the Saints have been one of the worst team in conceding shots and conceding crosses from the right side which is where Ritchie lines up. At his cheap price tag, Ritchie is worth taking.
Junior Stanislas, Midfielder, Bournemouth, $6,900 DK, $6,500 FD – If Stanislas gets the start for Bournemouth, he’s almost a must play for me. He should be coming in place of David Brooks who has had trouble in recent weeks. Bournemouth have a matchup against a Fulham squad that have allowed the third most goal attempts in the league while they have allowed the most attempts from inside the box. This puts players like King and Wilson on my radar, but they’ll need guys like Stanislas and Fraser to get them the ball. Stanislas is a cheaper option, but if you want to spend up for Fraser, then there is absolutely no problem with that.
James Maddison, Midfielder, Leicester, $9,100 DK, $9,500 FD – Maddison dominates set pieces for the Tigers, and he contributes in crosses as well for this team. Leicester are in a home matchup against West Ham, which should push the team to be more aggressive in their attack than they did in their Monday matchup with Arsenal. This means they’ll play with wing-backs instead of a back 3. Maddison then would have a bit of open space to work on the wings and provide some crosses either through open play or set pieces.
Chris Lowe, Defender, Huddersfield, $4,700 DK, $4,500 FD – He’s had 53 crosses so far this season in 8 matches and that falls in line with Huddersfield being the top crossing team in the league. Wolves for their part are a team that allows a lot of crosses. They’ve allowed the 2nd most in the league from the right zone, and sixth most crosses from the left zone which is where Lowe would be delivering them from. Another option to look at is Hadergjonaj who is just $4K on DK and $4K on FD.
Mohamed Salah, Midfielder/Forward, Liverpool, $11,400 DK, $11,500 FD – Salah provides plenty of shots and attacking return. The big IF with Salah is whether he can deliver a goal or not. If he does provide a goal, then he can be worth selecting in cash games. If he can score two goals then he’s a tournament play. I think he’s got the floor to qualify for cash games. He should record at least one goal, and probably 3-5 shots to end on 15-20 points on DK.
Joao Moutinho, Midfielder, Wolves, $7,100 DK, $8,000 FD – Moutinho has been on set pieces for this Wolves team and delivers some crosses from open play consistently. He’s not taking a lot of shots with just 9 on the season, but he is still part of the attack as he is potentially one of the higher assist potential players on the season.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, Forward, Fulham, $7,500 DK, $9,500 FD – Mitrovic takes almost as many shots as Salah, and gets just as many of them on target, but he has scored one more goal than Salah. So if Salah is a cash play, then Mitrovic is another good option in the right matchup. This week, Fulham are going against Bournemouth who are not a bad defensive team, but will allow shots from Fulham’s attack. Another option away from Mitrovic is Schurrle who is priced very similar to Mitrovic on both sites, but Schurrle can provide the same production as Mitrovic, with the added benefit of some crosses to go along with it.
Sadio Mane, Midfielder/Forward, Liverpool, $9,800 DK, $9,500 FD – For tournaments, stacking Liverpool is a good idea. For almost $2K of savings you can go with Sadio Mane who scored for the first time since the first week of September in the Champions League matchup with Red Star Belgrade. Mane’s price still hasn’t dropped enough to accommodate for that, so I don’t think that people will roster him a lot unless they fade Salah which is a solid strategy for tournaments. Another option for tournaments is to go with Firmino who also scored for the first time in a while this past UCL contest, or with Shaqiri who has assists in his last three matches for Liverpool.
Marko Arnautovic, Forward, West Ham, $7,000 DK, $11,500 FD – The biggest struggle for tournaments will be selecting the right forward for a middle-of-the-table team. There are several options, chief among them for me will be Marko Arnautovic. Arnie has taken a lot of shots this season, and has delivered 46% of them on target with almost a third of those shots on target making it into the goal. This week on the road against Leicester, he’ll be ignored in DFS but that makes him a solid tournament option as his ownership won’t be very high, but his potential to score should be high.
Joshua King, Forward, Bournemouth, $7,100 DK, $8,500 FD – As mentioned earlier, Fulham are allowing a lot of shots from inside the box and from all over the pitch. Bournemouth has been playing with two forwards and King is capable of delivering in these circumstances. Fulham are the worst defensive team in terms of goals allowed, with 25 goals conceded, King and Callum Wilson should both get opportunities this week and it wouldn’t surprise me to see either of them score multiple goals this week.
Jamie Vardy, Forward, Leicester, $8,700 DK, $11,000 FD – Vardy should be back from his injury this week and if he is back then I think he can come through in this one. He’s fast and the West Ham center backs tend to go forward on set pieces so Vardy may get some open pitch plays on the counter which puts him in position to snag a goal.
Jonjo Shelvey, Midfielder, Newcastle, $5,200 DK, $7,500 FD – The potential for goal scoring is there with Shelvey as he’s a volatile player. As mentioned in previous weeks, he can either deliver goals or get a red card. Over his last three games though he’s been solid with 16 crosses and 9 chances created, 9 shots with five of them on target. The matchup with Southampton should give him some opportunity to add to those numbers.
Ryan Fraser, Midfielder, Bournemouth, $8,100 DK, $7,500 FD – Fraser could easily be a cash game play this week, but I’m putting him in tournament because I think that Stanislas ends up starting which takes some of the cash play from Fraser. Fraser then would push further forward and is in position to score a goal for Bournemouth. This game is fixing to be very high scoring and I think that Fraser will have a hand in it.
Central Defenders who are header specialists – This list includes a few players, some of them are playing this weekend. If you’re confused, these are the tall central defenders that step up into the box to assist their team in a set piece and usually get their heads on the ball and may slot in 2-5 goals a season. They are rare occurrences, and tough to get right the first time. But they are worth gambling on if you want to go cheap in a GPP and think you can get a 1% goal scoring chance. Here are the prime candidates this week:
Fabian Balbuena – 8 headed goal attempts out of 9 shots, 0 goals, 0.86 xG
Christian Kabasele – 6 headed goal attempts out of 7 shots, 0 goals, 1.44 xG
Harry Maguire – 6 headed goal attempts out of 10 shots, 2 goals, 0.9 xG
These three are my favorites this week to get chances at the goal and their price tags are fairly cheap as well on both FD and DK, and with the exception of Maguire, haven’t found success yet in scoring this season, so they won’t have a lot of attention.
Alisson, Liverpool, $6,000 DK, $6,000 FD – The most expensive keeper on the slate on both sites is Alisson who mans the goal for Liverpool. Liverpool should get the win here with a potential clean sheet for the Reds. There is risk with taking him as he won’t get many shots on target and thus won’t get a lot of saves, so if a goal goes in, he’s toast from a fantasy perspective. That said, he’s the safest option on the slate, but sometimes the right move isn’t going safe.
Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester, $5,100 DK, $4,500 FD – Schmeichel is going to get a chance here to get a win at home against a West Ham team. I think the hammers get their fair share of shots, and Schmeichel has a chance at getting a bunch of saves, and even if he concedes a goal, he can end up in double digit points with saves alone.