EPL - Matchday 31 (Saturday)

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EPL is getting closer to the end, games are that much more meaningful, teams are scrapping it out to secure European competition spots for next season while others to avoid relegation. As a result, blogs here on forward will also focus on the dynamics of this topic while seeing out plays from a DFS standpoint like always.

And seeing how there is no City on the slate, we can breathe a sigh of relief!

Saturday – Mar 16 – (3 games)

Newcastle @ Bournemouth

Where do they stand: Neck in neck behind each other. Bournemouth has a 3 point edge over their opponents but doesn’t mean much in terms of overall standings.

Surprised, or not?: Newcastle have just won three of their 27 away EPL games on the south coast.

DFS Chatter: I’ll give the slight edge to Bournemouth here as they have a much better home record while Newcastle is not the greatest road team. Also, Bournemouth look to have a healthy squad (Brooks aside) as Wilson came back last week and was influential in their win. It did not look like he missed a beat so he surely is in play again, though I’d lean more GPP due to his high price. Fraser will once again be a popular play in this small slate as he owns sets. If Rico is given a start, he will be added to my shortlist of defenders this week.

Newcastle has seen the reemergence of both Shelvey and Ki as they both played last week. This hurt Ritchie as both those aforementioned players had a role on sets. He still hit nine crosses last game, but I’d be more confident in playing him if the other two were on the bench. If Shelvey starts, I’ll take a long, hard look at him at that price. Rondon and Perez remain GPP fliers every slate especially against a team like Bournemouth who concede quite a bit – Almiron though is the one with the floor. Problem is, Newcastle have a tendency to play down away from home.

Leicester @ Burnley

Where do they stand: Burnley are two points ahead of Cardiff for the last relegation spot – somewhere where they do not want to be. They will be fighting here especially at home. Leicester is in no man’s land and just playing to secure a spot for next season under their new coach.

Surprised, or not?: Burnley have lost 13 league games by a margin of two or more goals, second worst record this season.

DFS Chatter: Leicester got off to a winning start with their new coach, mind you it was against Fulham. This is a tough game to make out, if Leicester was at home I would have more confidence in them to win. Burnley need points and this could be a good game to get them. Barnes is overpriced this slate but GPP viable as you’ll need to find forwards who get goals on this slate with little to no floor players in that position. Set piece roles is the issue with this team as there is no good idea who will take them. If Brady gets a start for once, I assume he will be taking the majoirty of them and at his price, I’d lock him in. If he’s out, you have three players left: Gudmundsson who isn’t at the friendliest price, Westwood who requires an assist or goal to do anything, and McNeil who has fallen off a bit but has the upside.

Let’s now move to Leicester and realize Maddison will be the highest owned player of the slate for good reason – no explanation needed. Vardy is another goal dependent striker, people can chase him based on recency bias but I know he becomes a let down from time to time. Tielemans has been taking a lot of shots since he transferred over, price is a killer though so GPP only. Barnes continues his high shot totals and has yet to be under three shots in a start this season. Pereira let us down last week as Chilwell had a better game – upside vs. floor is the game you’re playing here.

Huddersfield @ West Ham

Where do they stand: Huddersfield is that much closer to officially being relegated while West Ham is just battling for mid-table positioning.

Surprised, or not?: West Ham have not lost a home EPL match against the side starting the day at the bottom of the table since February 2007.

DFS Chatter: This looks like a slate where West Ham will be a popular stack in cash games. I wouldn’t worry too much about last week’s disappointing loss as they tend to play much better a home and actually win. What’s wrong with Arnautovic though? If this is not a bounce back spot for him, I do not know what is. Antonio is another solid way to get exposure if he starts in the front three. Snodgrass on sets will allow him to increase his ownership in cash. Anderson has not been himself so I cannot pay that much for him. Lanzini really disappointed us all last week at a low price, he remains there but only in GPPs for me – matchup is good enough to not warrant a fade. Fabianski is surely the lead to get the highest GK ownership in cash.

As for Huds, you know I don’t like touching them. Mooy’s price perhaps should be a bit higher, for cash he’s viable as he’s on sets. Lowe is a low priced WB with crossing upside if you need to go there. Bacuna played as a WB last game and had quite the DFS performance, he is classified as a mid but you will most likely need someone in the $3K’s this week.

Good luck footy fans! Let’s hear your thoughts!!!

For newbies and beginners, refer to the DFS soccer guide

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