EPL Gameweek 9 Review

Gameweek 9 wasn’t the most exciting, but there was still plenty to sweat on DraftKings and Yahoo last weekend. For the gameweek 9 review I’ll be focusing on the Saturday main slate. As for the Sunday slate, I thought it was obvious to just load up on Arsenal and Spurs players. If I told you Cristiano Ronaldo was $10700 at home against a dodgy defence on a two game slate, you’d expect him to be in basically every lineup. I’m not sure why Harry Kane vs Liverpool was treated differently, but I’ll happily take it!

$5 Single Entry Double Up – DraftKings

This lineup scraped into the money in the single entry double up, but overall I had a poor day in cash games on DraftKings thanks to making mistakes at the back.

I said in the preview article that I wasn’t very high on United, I thought the Southampton fullbacks were in a great spot, and I didn’t think Stoke would keep a clean sheet. Obviously de Gea had an unexpectedly poor game and I don’t think it was necessarily a mistake to use him, but I did like Rob Elliot and Ben Foster more with price factored in. The issue was finding a combination of defenders that I liked with each GK, and none of the options really looked too appealing.

Delph and Johnson are never going to be great plays on DK and I should know better. Delph was a safe bet for a clean sheet, but he rarely crosses and wasn’t going to have to make many tackles or interceptions against Burnley either. I should have been on Ashley Young for just $200 more – his chances to take some set pieces were elevated with the news that both Rashford and Mkhitaryan were benched. Johnson was cheap, but you can only expect 3-6 points out of him. Given the fact that I wasn’t using Aguero and I liked some other GKs, I should have tried to get up to one of the Southampton fullbacks instead. I was on Bertrand + Foster instead of DDG + Johnson until about 5 minutes before lock, so whilst I would have still missed on Young vs Delph I would have made it into the money in most contests with my original combination. Results aside, I think DDG + Johnson is worse on average given how I was expecting the Southampton vs WBA game to play out.

I’m fairly happy with the choices I made elsewhere, although I doubt I will be using Tom Carroll again for a while with his price above $5k and Sanches/Clucas poaching some set pieces. Carroll just doesn’t do much from open play and it’s hard to see Swansea repeating another 19 shot, 34 cross performance any time soon. I was pretty happy with Shelvey’s floor for his price, as mentioned in the preview article, and I was surprised that he was only 12% owned here.

KDB was a lock for me on this slate, but the big decision was whether to use Aguero or not. I’m definitely not going to call it a mistake to use Sergio against Burnley, but I ultimately decided I wanted to use three City outfield players instead of two. The fact that Aguero was only going to play 60-70 minutes was crucial here, and I might have thought differently if he was certain to play the full game. Bernardo Silva is overrated for DFS purposes and I wouldn’t normally use him in cash games, but Burnley are a special case and his floor was elevated in this matchup. I was strongly considering paying down a bit at GK and using David Silva instead of Bernardo, however. Leroy Sane has been putting up excellent numbers this season and I certainly wasn’t going to make a cash lineup without Aguero and Sane on this slate.

Overall I don’t think this lineup is completely terrible, but I will struggle to beat high rake by making sub-optimal choices at the back, and I think this team will probably lose more money than it wins long term.

£10 Double Up – Yahoo

My Yahoo team did better, and I thought it was easier to make a cash team on there this week with the Newcastle players being so cheap in a great matchup at home. Martial and Mata did their best to torpedo this lineup, but ultimately Sane handed me a lifeline and I was able to earn a profit on the slate. A lot of people went with Bernardo over David or Sane and paid up a bit at defender, but I thought Bernardo was clear 3rd best on Yahoo even at a cheaper price, and I didn’t want to fade David on both sites; he has a higher floor on Yahoo thanks to passes. Martial and Aguero were almost universally owned in cash games and I think they were the clear best pairing in this format. My choices at defender were more a result of having to save money rather than them being elite options, and whilst I was happy with this combination you could certainly argue that it was better to use Bernardo and pay up for one or two City CBs instead.

$5k Set Piece (3 Entry Max) – DraftKings

MojulTOM123 took down the $3 3max tournament on DraftKings, and it’s worth taking note of what he did with this lineup, going with a balanced construction in a week where everyone was using a stars + scrubs approach. Nobody would have said Stanislas, Tadic or Mahrez were bad plays on Saturday in a vacuum, and he was able to get them all between 4-5% ownership. The only reason people didn’t use these guys much (myself included!) is because it was hard to fit them in with the likes of Aguero, KDB and Lukaku. On a low scoring week a more balanced lineup will often end up doing great, particularly in 3max or single entry tournaments, where people are more reluctant to fade the expensive star players and a lot of players lazily click in their cash game lineup. Sometimes you don’t need to take long-shot players to get a contrarian lineup, you just need to leverage roster construction to your advantage and go a different route to everyone else.

The one question mark I have with this lineup is stacking the City defenders if you’re fading most of the outfielders. Obviously they have great clean sheet potential, but there are a couple of issues here. Ederson won’t have to make many saves (if any) so he needs the win bonus to be viable, which requires goals from the likes of Aguero etc. I don’t think it’s a great idea to use GKs against Burnley in GPPs in general, especially when they are priced up at $6000. Otamendi needs a goal to be worth using in a GPP, which will lead to an assist from one of the set piece takers. Walker put in 5 crosses on Saturday, but he typically doesn’t have a high floor and needs an assist to outscore some of the other defenders in that price range. Walker scored fewer points than guys like Young, Cedric and Bertrand, which is what you would expect to happen on average even with the matchups factored in.

Overall this is a very nice lineup, and congratulations to MojulTOM123 for the win.

£8k Guaranteed, £5 Entry GPP – Yahoo

The main Saturday GPP was won by Ian, who used a lot of positive correlation and stuck with the home favourites in decent matchups. I think three Swansea attackers is too many on basically any week given their low shot volume, and only Ayew really paid off here. It’s not completely awful, but I think it will be sub-optimal in most situations. Choupo-Moting and Diouf was a nice pairing that I didn’t give enough consideration to, and that stack is going to be more viable in future weeks if Hughes continues to play Diouf in his natural CF position instead of RWB. The City players were obvious and both Stones and Otamendi had around 100 passes against Burnley, which gives them a very nice floor on Yahoo. Stones didn’t have any tackles, interceptions or shots and still scored 8.05 fantasy points! Southampton were also in a great spot to pick up a clean sheet, and Ian’s choice to use Yoshida over Cedric paid off nicely here. Congratulations to Ian for taking down the £800 first place prize.


Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the article please share it on social media, and I’ll be back with the GW10 preview later in the week.

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