EPL Gameweek 3 Review

 

It’s hard to believe that we have already reached the international break! This gameweek 3 review will go over the action from Saturday and Sunday; hopefully there are some interesting bits of information for us to uncover.

$5 Double-Up

I thought that this was a pretty straightforward slate for cash games and there ended up being a lot of similar lineups to the one I used above. The main thing worth discussing here is the fact that I used Fraser Forster in goal even though I had $1,200 salary still to spend. David de Gea was by far the safest choice at GK for cash games and I wanted to use him in that spot, but taking the discount on Forster gave me a lot more flexibility in the late game. With this lineup construction, I had enough salary left to swap Mata directly to Rashford or Martial without downgrading Blind and Lukaku, or I could also have used a Valencia + Pogba combination instead of Blind + Mata if I needed to catch up. I didn’t want to use any Leicester players or get rid of Lukaku if I could help it, so I thought the extra risk associated with Forster was worth it to maximise my flexibility later. In the end I got a bit lucky to get 17 points out of Forster and I didn’t need to make any late changes to the lineup, but I think it was a good idea to plan ahead regardless and a lot of people might have been in trouble if Mata had been benched.

It’s never exciting to use Tom Cleverley, but with Holebas out I had him on par with players in the $4k range, so I thought it made sense to use him in cash given his $3,300 price tag. Ritchie was a popular choice and he is going to be a great option any time Newcastle have a good matchup. I faded Lukaku and Richarlison in GPPs but they were the obvious cash game options. I actually felt more comfortable with Jordan Ayew in cash compared to Richarlison and I played Ayew on Yahoo, but ultimately the $400 salary savings were significant for me here and I would have felt stupid if I lost after avoiding a 65% owned forward, with no good options in that spot. 6 fouls drawn is a bit of a fluke for Richarlison (2.7 fouls drawn and 2.7 fouls committed per 90 in the Brasileirao) and I will be staying away from him in future weeks whilst ownership remains high.

Other players that I considered in cash were Andros Townsend and Ryan Bertrand. I thought that Bertrand was a better play than Cedric this week in cash but we actually saw Cedric in 26% of the teams compared to just 10.7% for Bertrand. With Ward-Prowse benched again, Bertrand looked like a safe bet to take the majority of corners for Southampton, so even though Cedric still crosses a lot from open play I felt that Bertrand’s floor was higher on Saturday. Townsend was a bit risky in cash for my liking given his high salary and ultimately I thought that Ritchie and Mata were much safer as well as being cheaper. Mata was lower owned than Mooy, Townsend, Tadic and Pogba in the midfield spot, which is very surprising to me given that he would be taking some corners for United; he actually has more upside than those other players as well in my opinion. The only negative with Mata was the risk of an early substitution, but I still had him ranked above most of the other players on the slate even with a minutes restriction factored in. I did use Townsend, Tadic and Pogba in my GPP team but Mooy was pretty far down the list for me on Saturday, as I mentioned in my preview article. Tom Ince looks like a nice pivot away from Mooy until people catch up a bit.

$20k Corner Kick

Kremlin72 and Diesel333 chopped the corner kick on Saturday and there were actually quite a few differences between their lineups:

I really like kremlin72’s lineup; using mostly chalky players with a couple of very low owned options alongside them is an excellent way to approach GPPs. United were the clear top team to target on Saturday and it made sense to use at least a couple of players from that game if you could differentiate your lineup elsewhere. Suttner, Knockaert and Abraham were all players that I liked in the gameweek 3 preview article and I used Abraham in my own GPP lineup. He is a potential superstar in the making and I felt pretty good about him on this slate given Palace’s struggles under new manager Frank de Boer; it’s crazy that Richarlison was 12x higher owned here. Everything about Knockaert’s stats suggest he will be great for DraftKings scoring and it’s never a bad idea to get on a player like that early before the masses catch on. Brighton have West Brom, Bournemouth and Newcastle in their next three and Knockaert, Suttner and Gross will all be viable in those matches.

I don’t like Diesel333’s lineup as much as kremlin72’s, mostly because of his choices at forward. I would have had a lot of interest in Mitrovic if he was starting, but it’s tough to justify using a sub in your lineup at the best of times, especially on a five game slate. It worked out nicely for Diesel333 here, but Ayoze Perez or Christian Atsu would have been better ways to get some low owned Newcastle exposure and Joselu’s ownership wasn’t exactly through the roof, either. Using Mahrez on this slate was unnecessary and it’s especially bad when you are playing three United players in the GK and D spots. It would be rare for Leicester to get enough crosses against United to make Mahrez a safe play and the 12 points he gets for scoring a goal would be cancelled out by the fact that you lose the 11 point clean sheet bonus from your defense. It’s also tough for gameflow to result in Mahrez and Pogba both hitting their ceiling in the same match. On a more positive note, I do like Diesel333’s choice to use Nathan Redmond here. I personally went with a Redmond + Abraham combination at forward in my GPP team, as I thought that this was a good situation for Redmond and he is underrated in general. Southampton were poor overall in this match, though, and 7 points from Redmond is slightly below what you could expect on average.

There is no minimum salary cap and it’s great to see that kremlin72 and Diesel333 were comfortable leaving $2,100 on the table to help differentiate themselves from the field. However, a mistake that both players made here was using Newcastle players in the flex spot instead of players from the late game. As I mentioned in my article ‘Understanding How to Pick DraftKings Players‘, using the late game players in the utility spot gives you a lot more flexibility if you want to adjust your lineup later. If Diesel333 had used Mitrovic at forward, he would have been able to swap Mahrez for Mkhitaryan or Mata, for example. Lukaku’s ownership was a bit lower than I expected in GPPs, but even still it made a lot of sense to fade him on this slate and get United exposure via the midfielders instead.

Premier League £10,000 Saturday – Yahoo

I made an account on Yahoo in gameweek 2 and it paid off in a big way on Saturday when I took down the £5 GPP for £2,000. I actually didn’t check the results for a while because I assumed that I was nowhere near first place with Tadic and Gabbiadini in my lineup, but it was such a low scoring slate that a goal from 5% owned Tammy Abraham was enough to get me over the line. I was mostly busy with sorting my DraftKings teams but Yahoo very kindly gave me a free entry to the tournament, so I put my cash team in as well, which ended up finishing in 12th place. Other than using the Swansea forwards, nothing I did here was very contrarian. I knew that avoiding Lukaku would probably be enough to differentiate myself from the field given how easy it was to fit him in, so I didn’t really see a need to move away from the high equity players at midfield or defense. For now I will still be focusing mostly on DraftKings in the articles, but I might add Yahoo content at some point in the future.

$15k Sunday Corner Kick

I couldn’t play on Sunday, which was frustrating given how high I would have been on Liverpool. Arsenal are tactically inept, particularly in the transition phase, where Liverpool excel. They have predictably struggled against Liverpool in recent matches and once again left huge spaces in midfield for large parts of the game, which Salah and Mane were able to exploit multiple times on the break. I was amazed to see Salah in just half as many teams as Mane given his $1,100 discount and a juicy matchup against Hector Bellerin, who for some reason started at LB instead of Sead Kolasinac. Bellerin ended up going AWOL and Monreal had to push up from CB to cover for him the entire match. Aside from Kane and Eriksen, Salah was my favourite play on the slate, with Mane not far behind him. Oxlade-Chamberlain is a talented player but he shouldn’t really be starting at fullback against a team as good as Liverpool. Rob Holding was forced to try and cover Mane on his own, which is hard enough for even the best defenders to do. Holding looked completely out of his depth and it’s hard to see Arsenal’s defense improving any time soon, with Mustafi likely to leave the club this week.

Arsenal’s tactical deficiencies are nothing new, as these excellent pieces by @TomPayneftbl here and @LGAmbrose here show. The fans seem to want to get rid of Ozil, but it’s not his fault that Wenger is incapable of building a good system around him. I would much rather see Wenger go than the most talented player in the squad if I was an Arsenal fan… Liverpool targets Naby Keita, Virgil Van Dijk and Thomas Lemar are all players that would significantly improve Arsenal, but the Gunners seem to be more interested in offloading players this summer instead of investing in the squad. As a side note, agreeing a deal to sign Keita next season is a fantastic bit of business by Liverpool. At just 22 he is already one of the best midfielders in Europe and he could be sold for a much bigger fee than the £48m release clause Liverpool have agreed to pay next summer.

Sasin ended up taking down the $15k Corner Kick on DraftKings thanks to double digit points from every outfielder in his lineup. Aside from the fact that he put Fabregas in flex instead of Brady, this looks like a good lineup to me. There is no way I would have used Heaton or Brady against Spurs, but it worked out well here as Burnley were able to deny the home team on multiple occasions and mounted a strong comeback late in the game. Brady fired in a lot of crosses once new striker Chris Wood came onto the pitch and, as much as I hate to admit it, they will both be decent options in the upcoming home fixtures against Crystal Palace and Huddersfield. Tottenham had easily the best matchup on the slate so it’s interesting to see a lineup without any Spurs players take down the GPP, especially wih Dele Alli posting the second highest score on the day (24 points). I would have probably tried to fit both Eriksen and Kane into a cash game team, but avoiding them in GPPs arguably resulted in a better overall lineup. Alli and Son were much more reasonably priced and were great alternatives in GPPs. I don’t buy the narrative that Spurs can’t win at Wembley; they should be able to get over the ‘curse’ against Swansea and Bournemouth in their next two EPL home games.

Morata and Fabregas had a much tougher matchup than Eriksen and Kane, but they offered a significant discount on the Spurs duo and I did like their chances against an Everton side that set up in a less defensive formation than the previous game against Manchester City. Joe Gomez was surprisingly low owned here given his $3,300 price tag and it is good to see him making crosses if he is going to be getting more playing time in future weeks. Moreno was also a bit too cheap; Liverpool didn’t have many corners against Arsenal due to the way they chose to approach the game, but Moreno probably would have taken them from the left hand side and I liked him better than the Spurs fullbacks with salary factored in.

Slate Super Squad

I might have to stop doing this if the teams look this bad in future weeks! Ritchie and Ince aren’t really suited to playing centrally as number 8s and this team would probably get destroyed in a real match.

Thanks for reading! I will probably do an article later in the week if there are any noteworthy transfers from a DFS perspective, so keep an eye out for that on Friday or Saturday.

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