EPL Gameweek 5 Review – DraftKings Main Slate

Another week of the EPL season is in the books, and this gameweek 5 review will break down a couple of lineups from the DraftKings main slate last Saturday to see what we can learn. We had three elite teams in great matchups last weekend, but Liverpool and Spurs both disappointed from a results perspective, whereas City absolutely thrashed Watford 6-0. It’s always worth keeping in mind that whilst it can be useful to look at the results on a weekly basis, you should be much more focused on improving your long-term process instead.

$5 Double-Up (Single Entry)

I had a decent day in cash games, but I made a significant mistake and was fortunate to get away with it.

Starting at the back, I usually try and pay up at GK and it’s never attractive to take a West Ham goalie on the road, but I thought the opportunity cost at the other positions was much bigger this week than normal, and West Ham didn’t have awful clean sheet odds in this situation. I’m not really scared of the West Brom attack, and Hart didn’t have much to do in this game. I mentioned in the preview article that Cresswell was far too cheap for his new role as the set piece taker, and he also crosses a lot more when playing as a wing-back with Andy Carroll on the field. I used him in 100% of lineups on Saturday. Chilwell was poor but I am fine with that play regardless; I think he hit his floor here.

I am higher than most on Newcastle in general, and I liked their matchup against Stoke, so I wanted to try and use Matt Ritchie in cash if possible. Abdelhamid Sabiri started for Huddersfield which made it possible to fit in the other midfielders and forwards that I wanted. He was just about the only Huddersfield player I didn’t discuss in the preview article because I didn’t expect him to start, but if you read my article on transfers you hopefully remembered that he might be an interesting fantasy option if he gets more playing time. At $3100 it was an easy decision for me to play him in every lineup to open up the expensive options on Liverpool, City and Spurs. Sabiri didn’t do much in the end, but he got the assist for Depoitre to avoid a disappointing fantasy performance.

Coutinho and Sturridge were easy plays for me against Burnley even with the concerns about a potential minutes limit for both of them. It can sometimes be tough to create big chances against Burnley, but they will always concede plenty of shots even if the goals don’t follow, and both Coutinho and Sturridge had 7 shots each. It turns out that Liverpool spread the corners around between several players, which hurts Coutinho’s value significantly, but he is still a moderate floor/high ceiling play in good matchups even without a monopoly on set pieces. I saw plenty of people using Nick Pope, but he just isn’t a good GK and he was a bit lucky to not concede more in this game.

The mistake was using Eriksen in flex when I had enough salary for Harry Kane. I was already comfortably inside the cash line in most double-ups before the late game started, and even though I typically prefer Eriksen’s floor/ceiling combo in cash, I should have gone with Kane instead in this situation. The Spurs striker was 3x higher owned than Eriksen and multiple-goals from him could potentially kill my chances of cashing, whereas a big performance from Eriksen probably wouldn’t be enough to move me out of the money if I had used Kane instead. Kane had plenty of chances and Spurs should have had one or two penalties as well, so I was very lucky to win money here after making that mistake.

Looking at some other ownerships from cash games, I was surprised to see Emre Can in around 30% of lineups on Saturday. Can was $3900 in a good matchup and has put in some OK recent performances for a player at that salary, so I can understand the appeal a little bit. He wasn’t really a player that I considered, but I guess I might have at least looked into him if Sabiri didn’t start. Chris Brunt is perpetually overowned even in cash (20%) and I preferred Tom Ince (11%) straight up even before you consider the $700 discount. Mahrez (16%) also looks a bit too popular here for his expected production against Huddersfield at a $7500 salary. Using 2x Spurs players was a popular choice, and whilst I can’t argue with it, I slightly preferred Coutinho instead once salary was taken into consideration.

$16k Long Ball (Single Entry)

The $400 entry-fee Long Ball was won by ‘OCSAFI1975’, who used an interesting contrarian lineup with plenty of correlation. I’m not a fan of the Nick Pope play personally, but at least OCSAFI1975 didn’t use any Liverpool players against him. Cresswell was basically unfadeable in small field tournaments even at 70% ownership on this slate; $4k was just far too cheap. I normally don’t use CBs, but I did actually play Otamendi in GPPs a bit myself. City will always cause problems for teams from set-pieces purely because of how good KDB’s delivery is, and this looked like a nice spot to fish for a set piece goal given that Watford’s defence was hit by so many injuries. I also expected John Stones to be more popular than Otamendi, as he was cheaper and scored twice in the previous game. There weren’t as many elite options at fullback as a typical slate, and once you got into the $3k-$4k range I didn’t think guys like Otamendi and Matip were that far behind the likes of Chilwell and Gibbs for GPPs.

Typically it’s hard to justify loading up on so many players from one team when there are other good teams on the slate also. However, this City side are a bit of an exception to that rule in good matchups given how elite the attack is, and using all three of KDB, Jesus and Aguero was a unique combination in this tournament. Every other entrant used at least one Spurs or Liverpool player in their lineup, so by fading those teams OCSAFI1975 put himself in great position to win if the game script went his way.

It was also interesting to note the ownerships on City were much lower in higher stakes than lower stakes, with most high stakes players preferring to take advantage of the better matchups for Liverpool and Spurs. City were in a great situation also though, and it’s always a good idea to take advantage of low ownership on elite players when possible. Aguero was higher owned than Jesus here, but he was actually less popular than his stike partner in smaller buy-in GPPs, which is something I talked about in the preview article. I suspect we might see people lean back towards Aguero instead of Jesus next week after his huge 49.75 point performance.

I didn’t mind this spot for Huddersfield, but a Depoitre and Kachunga stack wasn’t really on my radar. This stack was cheap enough to allow OCSAFI1975 to fit in the expensive City players though, and it’s always nice to target correlated players when saving money. If Depoitre and Kachunga both do well, it will often be because Kachunga provided an assist for Depoitre, and vice versa. I jokingly predicted a goal or assist for Kachunga in the preview, and he did actually have a goal unfairly disallowed, which would have given Huddersfield the three points.

Overall this looks like a well thought out lineup. Personally, I think this type of roster construction would have made more sense in a larger field GPP than one with 39 players, but it certainly worked out nicely here.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the article, please share it on social media. I’ll be back with the gameweek 6 preview later in the week.

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