EPL - Week 1 Recap
In this series of blogs, I will be recapping my low single entry contests for each EPL slate. I treat DFS as a hobby outside of my normal life – therefore, it’s not my main focus but instead something to distract me in a fun way. Soccer DFS is my nirvana and this is just a fun read for enjoyment purposes!
The EPL has started and for many, this is the time of year that soccer lovers enjoy the most! Even more so when you are a daily fantasy player as the EPL brings (somewhat) bigger and better contests to the stage. With that said let’s get to the basis of this blog series where for the majority of the EPL weeks ahead, I will be posting a recap of my approach to the respective slate and their results. It is always good to analyze your results so you can learn from your errors and better refine your lineup construction for next time around.
Saturday, August 10th
Opening week tends to be difficult for some due to new faces coming into clubs, not knowing what their role will be, not knowing who the set piece takers ought to be, but also dealing with players still lacking match fitness or still being on break from tournaments such as the Gold Cup or Copa America. There was a bunch to consider this week so let’s begin especially with two newly promoted sides in the first slate of the season.
This slate was a question of whether or not to fade Kane. His price was exorbitant, needing at least two goals to pay off, he had the biggest goal scoring odds facing a promoted side in Villa. The facts were there but to create a balanced line that I liked with him seemed impossible. Hence, my lines faded him. It was honestly looking like a brilliant move until the 86th minute when he scored, then in injury time, he scores another. Only took 4 minutes to knock my lines back, still in the green, but a much lower payout. Overall, Kane was a risk this late no matter how you put it, he was 4 minutes away from breaking hearts yet he saved himself with two goals in the dying end to this slate.
Once I got past my decision of fading Kane, I had a decision to make between Eriksen or Fraser. Since Sigurdsson was really the only eligible M/F player with a strong floor, I had to pair him with one of these two aforementioned. There was a lot of uncertainty around Eriksen, whether he would play or not, whether the inclusion of Lamela in the lineup would hurt his floor, so I took the $200 savings in Fraser. There was a strong case for him, no H. Wilson to share in sets, and playing at home against a promoted side. He definitely had a sub-par performance but I take it as a win since Eriksen didn’t end up starting. In hindsight though, I would have rather played Lamela at a much cheaper price tag with a monopoly of sets – but this is the problem with having a late game included in the main slate (which I wish DK would consider removing).
I figured Norwood would be popular since he was the cheapest set-piece taker and with no Freeman, I had to just plug him in. I went Digne over Holebas as my next choice because we all know he creates more chances and is much more valuable with less of a headache to get a card. Pieters was an easy lock on a slate without much value, he also helped me save elsewhere. Sometimes these guys pay dividends, I was not expecting a 20 point performance nor a 10 point performance – more like a 6 point outing – but it happened so I take it.
This left me with GK, UTIL, and FWD spots left. I usually plug in GK last. As I had no Tottenham exposure as of yet, I knew I needed some. I did debate on Lamela for the FWD spot but again, the risk was there. Would he start? And if he did, I assumed Eriksen would be in so his floor wouldn’t be as high. I went back and forth but instead decided on Rose on also had potential to take some corners as he did last year. Plus he’s a strong attacking wing-back with the potential at a clean sheet. He did well enough for me. As a result, I landed on Gudmundsson. A good luck of the draw for me with his goal – playing at home in a wide position with some role on sets, I took my chances as the FWD pool was very limited.
With no Zaha on Crystal Palace to start with, Pickford slid in perfectly into my final spot as GK.
Late games are going to continue to cause a headache for many players, not knowing lineups ahead of time is not advantageous and not kind, especially this week. Imagine if you didn’t have a Lamela to pivot off to when you found out Eriksen was not starting? Not many teams have that depth.
Is Brighton finally a good team? Biggest surprising result of the week.
Kane is still a machine, but please note his goals only came when Eriksen entered the match. If Eriksen does end up leaving this team, I think Kane regresses a bit in his shot totals as well as his goal totals.
Sunday, August 11th
Arsenal was the big favourite of the day, but their lineup came out very weak. Their bench was in fact stacked, but due to lack of match fitness and for others, lack of training together, Emery trusted some of his youngsters to play this one out. However, Aubameyang played up front and with the highest goal odds, it was hard to fade him in cash, even though his floor is not meant for cash type games. With that in mind, instead of going my usual hybrid route, I decided to prepare solely a cash line and then a GPP line. Yes, Auba was +50% in cash which rounded out my thought, and his goal proved crucial. As you can see, in GPP, I went with Rashford – perhaps, he was even a more appropriate cash play since there was a chance he could be on sets but I had to go with the pack in cash at least. Rashford then paid me off in GPPs with two goals leading the line for United.
My number one option of the day though was Maddison. I don’t have to explain this pick, it’s obvious.
I wasn’t too confident in Leno seeing how they were playing away, but I was more confident in him than any other GK on the slate along with his team’s win odds. Worked out.
With absolutely little value on the slate once again, it was almost like you had to risk taking the youngsters for Arsenal fully knowing they had a very small floor. Once again, if we knew the lineups of the late game, Pereira from United would end up being the value we needed as a set taker who outscored both Willock and Nelson combined. Late games are troublesome but this time around it was warranted as two game slates are garbage. Monreal was the cheapest wing-back to start with so I chose him first with the potential of a CS as well. I was then debating between Chilwell and Pereira of Leicester for my other DEF spot. I went with the former for his crossing upside and he sometimes appears on sets so why not? This left me with a spot for Alonso in cash but once I saw him not starting, Bissaka was plugged in and did really well.
In GPP, the savings on Rashford for Auba allowed me to get another set piece taker in Mount.
Lampard is not fit enough to be a Premier League coach, just my opinion. Chelsea is weak either way, but a coach without pedigree to lead this young side is a big risk.
Why did United decide to spend so much money with Solskjaer when Mourinho was begging them for necessary reinforcements before he got sacked?
Wolves are the same old away team, getting dominated on the ball throughout the game and just relying on their counter attack. Arsenal better bring up their new faces to speed if they want to attack the Top 4 this year which they have a very good chance at doing. Bissaka looked really good in the United back line, it may be worth paying up for him this year.
It turned out to be a comfortable opening weekend, let me know what other things I should touch on in my weekly recap.
Week 1 started off well, most of the chalk hit big so hopefully you were on those plays.
But I’ve been around to know it won’t be like this for long!
Follow me on twitter @CarlitosWayDFS.