EPL DFS: Shots on Target - July 8
Three games are on the docket for Wednesday’s Draft Kings noon slate. One match appears to be the most promising for goals and big fantasy points, while two should be closer but still provide value and results. Manchester City are at home against Newcastle United and want to rebound from a weekend loss. Sheffield United host a Wolverhampton side trying to keep their top four push going. Finally, Burnley travel south to London to take on West Ham who are treading water just above the relegation line.
Manchester City vs. Newcastle United
City come in licking their wounds from a loss on the road over the weekend at Southampton. A return of Kevin DeBruyne to the lineup should help tremendously. Turnover is expected in the lineup, with Foden, Mendy, Walker and Gundogan all having a shot at the starting XI. There is not much positioning for City as second seems locked up; however, the newly dethroned former champions made a statement last match at home versus Liverpool and should try to keep the dominance going. In fact, City have won their last three home matches 3:0 (Arsenal), 5:0 (Burnley) and the 4:0 thrashing of the league Champions. Newcastle should not provide any more resistance and a rout is likely.
Newcastle come to the Etihad unbeaten in their last six but with a host of injuries to deal with. Two of the most productive players recently, Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, are dealing with knocks and are doubtful to play. Almiron has been playing through his injury and has been productive since the restart. Other injuries to regulars will open slots for Matty Longstaff and Nabil Bentaleb to try and take a place in the midfield.
Prediction: Manchester City 4:0 Newcastle United
Lock of the Match: Phil Foden – MCI Foden should be given a chance to start based on recent success. The youngster has put up 26+ FPPG in the two contests in which he has started since the break. Overall, he has scored four goals with one assist in his last four matches and added seven crosses in that same time frame.
Player to Avoid: Ederson – MCI While Ederson is likely to keep a clean sheet, his save total should be minimal. That combined with him being the highest priced GK on the slate says stay away. There is better value in the other matches.
Sheffield United vs. Wolverhampton
Wolves bring a three-match road winning streak to Bramall Lane to face a strong Sheffield United squad. After a disappointing 2:0 defeat at home against Arsenal, Wolves are fighting to keep within reach of a top four finish and a spot in the Champions league. They also come in with a fully healthy squad. Another win on the road would not be far-fetched and a chance to finally break the two-goal mark might even be in play.
Sheffield are looking to build on a strong season and maintain their position in the top half of the table. While still dealing with some injuries, they do welcome back Jack O’Connell to anchor the back line. He provides great value with only a $2900 price tag and a chance to provide crosses in supporting the attack. With a late goal against Burnley at the weekend, Sheffield should come into the match with confidence against Wolves.
Prediction: Sheffield United 1:2 Wolverhampton
Lock of the Match: Adama Traore – WOL Traore has put up 14 points in the two games he has started since June contributing with shots, crosses and drawing fouls. The lightning quick right winger can make his own space and has an opportunity to put shots on target against Sheffield.
Player to Avoid: Matt Doherty – WOL Last season’s fantasy darling is having a rough go since the restart with only one double digit DK PPG in the last four matches. While he should still put up some stats on defense, do not expect too much.
West Ham vs. Burnley
Burnley come in having won two of three, narrowly missing make the streak three in a row as Sheffield pulled off a later stunner to draw on Wednesday. Still, their push to remain in the top half of the table shouldn’t hit too much a bump against a West Ham team struggling to stay above the relegation zone. A solid defense that has seen Burnley keep six clean sheets in their last ten games will keep them in the game and provide the best value option in the slate in Nick Pope at goalkeeper. They also will get a boost from Chris Wood coming back from injury and Dwight McNeil continuing a stretch that has seen him put up 11 DK FPPG in two of the last three matches.
West Ham host the match having conceded two or more goals in nine of their last eleven contests. A troubling stat that will have Burnley pushing the attack. Another knock to the Hammers is the continued absence of Robert Snodgrass and likely absence of Felipe Anderson. They will see an injection of energy if longtime captain Mark Noble can start and rally the troops. All in all, West Ham have an uphill battle even as the host squad.
Prediction: West Ham 0:2 Burnley
Lock of the Match: Nick Pope – BUR Clean sheets abound for Burnley lately and at only $4300, Pope represents a massive discount from Ederson that can be applied elsewhere in the lineup. Pope has scored at least 17 DK FPPK in two of his last three matches and against an anemic West Ham lineup a win and a clean sheet are in the cards.
Player to Avoid: Tomas Soucek – WHU Soucek has scored in two straight games for the Hammers, both coming from set pieces. While he still could provide points defensively, Burnley have only given up five goals on set pieces all season. That’s a hard pass on a player with no track record of scoring goals before the last two games.