My Southampton lean would have paid off in a big way yesterday with some help from De Gea. Man, goalkeeper is such a crapshoot. And sure, Rashford let me down. But I’m fine with that. It was fun to root for a big day.
Anyway, it’s a new slate, which is why we love daily fantasy sports. Let’s get into each Premier League match. Each club’s goal differential is in parentheses. I like getting an overall sense of what I’m looking at.
Adama Traoré, Wolverhampton ($14)
You can’t teach speed. Traoré is so fast that he’s been courted by NFL teams. The Spaniard has reached speeds of 22 MPH in matches. Here’s a good read on the quicks. If you’re familiar with the NFL, I can tell you that Traoré has Matt Breida speed, as in “Breida the Cheetah.” For reference, Breida’s famed touchdown against the Browns in Week 5 last year was clocked at 22.3 MPH, and that was the fastest run of the NFL season. And per the article referenced, Traoré has been clocked at 23.61 MPH during training sessions. So no, he’s not running in pads in a match–but he IS having to control a ball at his feet. Holy moly at the jets.
All of that is enough for me to be pretty heavy on Traoré today, as he’s $3 less than teammate Jota, and I need someone to pair with Raul Jimenez. The Wolves read like the best attack of the day given the matchup with West Ham. West Ham have conceded 50 goals, the fourth-most in the PL and the most of any club on this slate. Pair that with the Wolves’ 42 goals, which are the most on the slate…I’m buyin’.
Vicente Guaita, Crystal Palace ($9)
You know how the catcher position–before it was changed to C/1B on many sites–was such a crapshoot? That’s the goalkeeper position in soccer DFS. At least from what I’ve seen in the early going. It’s also counter-intuitive at times. Sometimes, playing a keeper on a bad team makes sense, given that the better attacking side will pepper him with shots on goal. Those shots can lead to tons of saves (and points) but they can also lead to goals conceded–which obviously ruins a chance at a clean sheet and lessens the chance at a win.
So when I see a solid mid-table Palace team against a bottom-feeder like Bournemouth, I’m intrigued at Guaita’s $9 price tag on FanDuel. Granted, we are coming off of a shutdown, but Guaita is coming off of three clean sheets in a row. He’s also allowed only 28 goals in 27 appearances. Palace may struggle to score as a team, ranking 18th in the league with only 26 goals. However, Palace rank sixth in the PL with only 32 goals conceded. And it’s only the top clubs ahead of Palace defensively, which should give you an idea of how sound they’ve been. Manchester City (2nd), Manchester United (5th), Leicester City (3rd), Sheffield United (6th), and Liverpool (1st) are the teams with fewer goals conceded. In parentheses is where those clubs rank on the PL table. I’m just sayin’, it’s a really solid defensive team.
Add in that Bournemouth have conceded 47 goals, the fifth-most in the PL, and I’m even more interested in Guaita. Maybe picking the right Palace attacker to score is a crapshoot, and maybe Guaita’s price is lower given that his club struggles to score (thereby lessening his chance at a win). But this reads like a GREAT spot for the keeper to chase a win and a clean sheet. One I’m very happy to take at only $9 on FanDuel.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal ($22)
I’m going right back to the well in this one, and I hope from a game theory perspective this move pays off. Aubameyang was nearly 30% owned in the $4 GPP on FanDuel this past Wednesday, and he mustered a paltry 3.9 FanDuel points. I’m hoping the flop drives some people away from him, especially due to Raul Jimenez being two bucks cheaper and in what reads like a softer spot.
I’m giving Aubameyang a pass for the performance against Manchester City, the second-best team in the entire PL and a side that has conceded only 31 goals…in 29 matches. Aubameyang still ranks second in the PL in goals scored, with 17. And Brighton have conceded 40 goals on the year. They aren’t the worst, but they do sit 15th on the table (out of 20) and have a -8 goal differential–compared to a stunning +40 by Manchester City. These opponents are NOT the same, and I’m happy to bet on Aubameyang again today.
I won’t be choosing between Raul Jimenez and Aubameyang. I’ll be playing both. And I’m really tempted to lock in Traoré and Guaita in 100% of my lineups. The price on those guys is just too good to pass up–plus, I only play a handful of lineups so I have to make some decisions about my core guys. Right now I’m leaning Zaha over Ayew as my lone one-off from Palace, but I’m also continuing to research a bit.
Hope this helps someone! I’m happy to accept any feedback on the format, or criticisms on the picks. I am up-front as saying I’m new to soccer DFS.
Lastly, check those lineups! If a player happens to be out, we’ll have to pivot!