Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Football Game Week 6

It is Game Week 6 in the Premier League and it is currently shaping up as the battle of Manchester, with Manchester City and Manchester United topping the table. After five games both sides have identical records (13 points, 16 goals For/2 Goals Against), which is a very bright start for both clubs.

Both sides won comfortably last weekend, with City winning 0-6 away to previously unbeaten Watford whilst United beat Everton 4-0 at Old Trafford.

Chelsea sit just 3 points behind on 10 points and are starting to find their feet once again and with the Diego Costa situation now finally resolved, The Blues can focus on their title defence. They were involved in a very competitive match with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge last weekend, with the away side putting in one of their best defensive performances in a long time, to nullify the Chelsea attack. Pedro went close on one occasion but took too long to get the ball out of his feet after being sent through on goal by Cesc Fabregas. Aaron Ramsey also went close for The Gunners, hitting the woodwork, before Alexandre Lacazette blazed the rebound over the bar.

All three clubs at the top of the table won in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday with Chelsea and United winning comfortably against Nottingham Forest (5-1) and Burton Albion (4-1) respectively, whilst City had a tougher time despatching West Bromwich Albion. They eventually did thanks to Leroy Sane who added his second goal of the game in the 90th minute to seal a spot in the fourth round.

Manchester City host strugglers Crystal Palace, who managed to score their first goal and secure their first win of the season against Huddersfield in the Carabao Cup with a 1-0 victory on Tuesday night. Chelsea and Manchester United travel to Stoke City and Southampton respectively, with the home sides looking to frustrate to title contenders.

The fixtures for Game Week 6 can be found below:

Saturday 23/09

12:30 pm

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur

3:00 pm

Burnley v Huddersfield

Everton v Bournemouth

Man City v Bournemouth

Southampton v Man United

Swansea City v Watford

Stoke City v Chelsea

5:30 pm

Leicester City v Liverpool

Sunday 24/09

4:00 pm

Brighton v Newcastle

Monday 25/09

8:00 pm

Arsenal v West Brom

Here are this week’s picks in each position.

Goalkeepers

The Stud:

Ederson (£15)

Ederson will be looking for his fourth clean sheet of the season as City hosr Crystal Palace, a side that are still winless in the league.

Had he not have gone off injured half-way through against Liverpool, the Brazilian may well have had another clean sheet to his name but then again Sadio Mane would still have been on the field so the game may have been a more even contest.

Either way, Ederson has so far shown City were right to fork out the £34.7m they spent on him, as he looks the keeper Pep Guardiola has been after. Guardiola has always wanted a keeper that not only keeps well but looks assured on the ball, in order to launch attacks from the back. Ederson so far has provided this and looks to have settled into English football well.

Whilst Palace finally got their first goal and win mid-week against Huddersfield in the Carabao Cup, Rot Hodgson’s side still has plenty of work to do and City will not be the challenge they need whilst still in this transition.

A clean sheet is definitely on the cards for Ederson who has conceded just 2 league goals this season and as such looks a safe play this week.

The Value:

Heurelho Gomes (£13)

Despite conceding six goals against Man City last time out, there is still every chance that Gomes can keep his third straight away clean sheet in the league this season as Watford travel to Swansea.

Swansea have been solid defensively but far from prolific going forward and as such may well frustrate the away side without putting too much pressure on Gomes’ goal.

Being the home side you will hope Swansea create some attempts on goal for Gomes to keep out and as a result accumulate some fantasy points. Despite conceding six, Gomes produced his highest amount of saves last week (4) and will look to build on that this week.

At £13 I think it is worth chancing that this plays out as a 0-0 bore draw, making Gomes’ counterpart a viable option in fantasy also.

The Alternative:

Lukasz Fabianski (£14)

Apart from their 0-4 home loss to Man United in week two, Swansea have looked fairly solid defensively and will be hoping for back-to-back clean sheets for the first time this season.

Fabianksi has kept three clean sheets in Swansea’s first five league games and whilst they have conceded five goals, four of those came against United so it looks as though Swansea can keep less prolific teams at bay.

They proved this in fine fashion last week, frustrating Tottenham at Wembley last weekend with Fabianski making an impressive 8 saves. This led to a 20-point outing for the Polish goalkeeper, which is his outstanding game of the season so far.

15 saves in his last two games suggest Fabianksi is in fine form and whilst Watford have won both of their away games 0-2 this season, Swansea should put up a better fight defensively than both Bournemouth and Southampton did in those two wins for the away side.

There is a danger that Watford come out with a point to prove after their embarrassing defeat last weekend but Swansea are unlikely to roll over and let their visitors run riot. Watford have enough about them to get shots in on goal, as Newcastle did in the last game at the Liberty Stadium and this provides Fabianski with a chance to score fantasy owners some vital points.

Defenders

The Stud:

Marcos Alonso (£17)

It has been a few weeks since Marcos Alonso has featured in these previews but I am ready to put my faith back into the Spanish wing-back.

Chelsea will be looking to find the net as they travel to Stoke this week after drawing a blank against Arsenal at home last weekend and their superior wing-back play will be a vital part of that.

Stoke are a notoriously difficult side to break down and Alonso is the sort of player that can pop up with a vital assist or goal at an opportune time.

With Alvaro Morata such a threat in the air, Chelsea should be a consistent threat from crosses this season, unlike last year where they ranked 20th in cross completion. Alonso can deliver a good ball in, as can Davide Zappacosta, but such is the uncertainty of who starts on the right-hand side between Zappacosta and Victor Moses, Alonso is the safer option.

Chelsea are starting to look like the championship-winning side of last season but will need to make up ground on the Manchester clubs soon, so these potential banana-skin games are must-wins already.

The Value:

Nacho Monrael (£13)

Nacho Monrael has played very consistently in his new role as one of three central defenders, whilst Sead Kolasinac is operating in Monrael's previous role at left wing-back.

Monrael is averaging over 7 points a game so far this season but has posted two 9+ point games in his last two league starts, thanks to clean sheets against Bournemouth and Chelsea.

Arsenal are hosting West Brom on Monday night and the away side have laboured to a 3-1 away loss to Brighton and a 0-0 draw with West Ham in their least two games.

The Gunners have looked very solid defensively in their last two league games which is somewhat out of character for them, but Arsenal Wenger will be hoping it continues and the new system continues to work.

The central-midfield pairing of Aaron Ramsey and Granit Xhaka is helping provide cover for the defence and Monrael is benefiting in fantasy terms as a result.

At £13 you are getting a player that is part of an in-form Arsenal defence who could well claim another clean sheet Monday night.

The Alternative:

John Stones (£15)

Whilst we cannot expect Stones to keep scoring goals (2 against Feyenoord), he is part of a defence that looks to have settled after a shaky start, conceding just 2 league goals this season.

City shouldn't face too much of an attacking onslaught from Palace who may well look to tighten up at the back, rather than attack as they transition to Hodgson's style of play.

Although his 10.55 point average this season is bloated by the 31.55 point showing against Feyeenord, fantasy owners can fully expect Stones to still get near the 10-point mark this weekend.

At £15 Stones is worth coupling with Ederson in your line-ups in the hope the pair keep another clean sheet between them, without even considering the possibility that Stones gets a goal at the other end.

Midfielders

The Stud:

Kevin De Bruyne (£26)

De Bruyne is the most expensive midfielder this week but for very good reason. The Belgian playmaker has picked up exactly where he left off last season, recording four assists in his last three games across all competitions.

With the potent attack of Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero, De Bruyne has quality finishers to supply and given his proven set-piece ability, there is every chance he can match or even better the 18 assists he posted last season.

Palace are a fragile side at the moment and look like they can be taken apart, especially given City’s effort on the road against Watford last time out and a similar result is by no means out the question.

Palace’s defence will be bolstered by the return of £30m signing, Mamadou Sakho at centre-back which may well improve his side, but City could still prove too good going forward even with the Frenchman in the heart of defence.

Both Manchester sides have been running riot this season and City have scored 11 goals in their last two league games without response so you wouldn't bet against them scoring a couple this weekend.

Should this match run to form, De Bruyne will have ample opportunity to not only keep up his current fantasy scoring (12.3 point average) but possibly eclipse the 18.55 point showing against Liverpool which is his highest output so far this season.

The Value:

Pascal Gross (£15)

Pascal Gross has been essential to Brighton’s chances of scoring this season and has actually been directly involved (2 goals, 2 assists) in all four goals Brighton have scored in the league this season.

Gross scored 2 goals and assisted the other in Brighton’s 3-1 home win over West Brom and chalked up another assist in their 2-1 loss to Bournemouth last weekend.

With another home game for him to get his teeth into there is a good chance Gross keeps up this good run of form, and he will be hoping to be involved in another goal this weekend.

Home form will be key to Brighton’s survival chances this season and with Newcastle potential relegation candidates as well there is no playing down the importance of this game. As such, Brighton will be looking to Gross to get the job done again, and will hope he finds the ball at his feet more often than not Saturday afternoon.

All the time he is available at such a modest price it is worth taking the chance on Gross, as he has quickly established himself as the key player in a side that will be looking to put their slow start behind them.

The Alternative:

Matt Ritchie (£18)

Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie is starting to come into his own once again this season and has now recorded four assists in his last three games, including two last time out against Stoke.

The Scotland international has generally been involved in anything good about Newcastle this season, proving a reliable set-piece taker and will no doubt chip in with some goals as the season goes on. A visit to Brighton this weekend will provide Ritchie with another chance to star in what looks to be an improving Newcastle side.

Ritchie’s crosses in open-play still come under scrutiny and he has proved to be very one-footed (left) at times, but should he improve on this over the course of the season he can become even more integral to his side’s campaign.

As nominated penalty taker there is always a chance he can find himself on the scoresheet that way, but for now it is his ability to provide chances for others that we should rely on.

Whilst he has averaged 11.8 points a game over his last three league outings he has still only peaked at 13.95 points, so there is still room for improvement in terms of fantasy and a game against weaker opposition may provide him with that opportunity.

Brighton have kept just one clean sheet this season, when drawing 0-0 with Watford in week 3 but will look forward to playing at the Amex Stadium once again after winning 3-1 in front of their own fans against West Brom two weeks ago. A 2-1 loss to Bournemouth followed last weekend but this was on the road and Brighton should be much better at home. They have only played at home twice so far, losing 0-2 on the opening day against Manchester City before getting that win against West Brom.

Newcastle broke down a resilient Swansea side on the road three weeks ago, which was the start of their current three-win run, so whilst Brighton should put up a good fight and a close game can be expected, there is a good chance the away side breakthrough. A set-piece may be the difference between Newcastle scoring or not and as Ritchie is so involved in those, he looks to be the player to have from The Magpies.

Forwards

The Stud:

Sergio Aguero (£29)

Like De Bruyne there is no real surprises here but Aguero looks the best pick this week given the current form of the Argentine striker.

Aguero has now scored 6 goals in his first 7 games in all competitions this season, with a hat-trick and two assists in his last showing against Watford.

Despite suggestions the two couldn’t play together, Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have formed a formidable strike partnership so far this season and both are greatly benefitting from the other’s performances.

With the likes of De Bruyne and David Silva constantly feeding balls through, there is no worries about whether Aguero will get chances and all City need to worry about is keeping these four players fit in order to stand a clear chance of winning the league this season.

At £29 you are looking at not just the most expensive forward but the most expensive player overall which will take up a large chunk of your salary cap. Both Aguero and De Bruyne can be put in the same line-up if you make use of the value picks elsewhere though and as a result they look must-starts against a desperate Palace side.

The Value:

Laurent Depoitre (£14)

After a 7-minute cameo appearance against West Ham United two weeks ago, Laurent Depoitre made his full Premier League debut against Leicester City and made an immediate impact for his new club, scoring the opening goal in the 1-1 draw.

The striker, who was used sparingly by Porto last season (2 goals in 13 apps) has been subject to fitness concerns this past week, with fatigue cited as the issue and that had fans worried. This makes sense given his lack of playing time last season but he has now had plenty of time off, after being left out of the squad for Huddersfield’s Carabao Cup tie with Crystal Palace and is expected to start this weekend.

Burnley look a decent defence and are generally expected to play well at home, as they did so often last season but despite their best efforts they have only kept the one clean sheet so far this season and that was against Crystal Palace. They defended well to keep Palace at bay that game, as the away side had 23 shots but only 4 were on target. Palace were the better side that day and had it not have been for a poor back pass from Lee Chung-yong the result may well have been different.

The Belgian striker should get some opportunities to score and if he can take a chance as well as he did against Leicester on his full debut, a goal could well be on the cards again here.

With Steve Mounie out through injury, Depoitre should be the focal point of Huddersfield’s attack, as they look for another impressive result to start their season. They looked average away to West Ham two weeks ago but that was The Hammers’ first home game of the season, leading to a more inspired performance from them.

At £14 Depoitre has the potential to be a very useful Utility player or second Forward, saving you salary that you can spend effectively elsewhere.

The Alternative:

Jermain Defoe (£17)

Jermain Defoe got his first goal since his return to Bournemouth, as his side brushed aside relegation and South-Coast rivals, Brighton & Hove Albion 2-1 last weekend.

Bournemouth travel north to play Everton, who have been struggling no-end this season and do not look like picking up in a hurry. Everton did get their second win of the season, beating Sunderland 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night but their form in the league and in Europe has been woeful so far.

Since beating Stoke on the opening day of the season, Everton have drawn 0-0 to Manchester City before losing three straight league games, either side of their 3-0 loss to Atalanta in the Europa League.

Everton have played City, Chelsea, Tottenham and United in their last four league games so couldn’t expect an awful lot points-wise, but it is the manner of their last three defeats (9 goals conceded, 0 scored) that has raised concern.

Defoe is exactly the sort of striker that can feast on a shaky defence and Everton look exactly that at the moment, so the English international looks a good bet to double his tally this season.

Bournemouth will be hoping to keep the momentum going after winning their first league game last weekend and adding another win against the same opposition in the Carabao Cup Tuesday night.

 

Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Football Game Week 5

Gameweek 5 in the English Premier League and we have some very intriguing match-ups. The Super Sunday clashes this week include Manchester United v Everton and Chelsea v Arsenal.

Arsenal got back to winning ways last weekend against Bournemouth last weekend, before adding another win against Cologne (Koln) in the Europa League Thursday night. Chelsea are starting to look like the championship-winning side of last season as well, so it should be a great game, as expected when these two meet.

Wayne Rooney and Romelu Lukaku will be the focus of attention at Old Trafford on Sunday, with the former suiting up for Everton, the team he left to join Manchester United years ago. Lukaku who cannot stop scoring for his new side will also be looking to get one over on his former employers, after making the summer switch to Jose Mourinho’s side.

Everton have made a slow start to the season as Ronald Koeman’s men lost once again, this time in Europe as they faced off against Italian side, Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday. United remain unbeaten in the league and after getting off to winning start in the Champions League will no doubt be ready to keep that going this weekend.

United will have to cope without star man Paul Pogba for the first time this season, after the Frenchman picked up a hamstring injury against Basel last time out. The midfielder looks set to be out for around six weeks, which could have a huge impact on his side’s title hopes.

The rest of the fixtures this week are as follows:

Crystal Palace v Southampton

Watford v Manchester City

Liverpool v Burnley

West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United

Huddersfield Town v Leicester City

Newcastle United v Stoke City

Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City (17:30 pm kick-off)

Goalkeepers

The Stud:

Hugo Lloris (£16)

All of Swansea’s points this season (4) have come from away from home, drawing with Southampton as well as recording their first win of the season against Crystal Palace. This is the first time though that Paul Clement’s side have had to makethe trip to a top side.

The last time Swansea played a title contender was their home match against Manchester United in week two, which they lost 0-4. A similar result could happen again this week, as they face a rejuvenated Tottenham side who are on a high from their last two victories against Everton and Borussia Dortmund. Across these two games they have scored 6 and conceded just once, and for that reason Lloris looks a good pick this week.

Whilst Swansea do have some threats up front in on-loan star Tammy Abraham and Jordan Ayew, goals haven’t been easy to come by for the Welsh side and that won’t be made any easier when facing a defence as good as Spurs’.

The Value:

Fraser Forster (£14)

In three of the first four league games of the season, Forster has kept a clean sheet in two of the four games this season and faces a Crystal Palace side that have still not scored this season.

Everyone surrounding Palace will be hoping for an immediate reaction under Roy Hodgson who took over from Frank De Boer during the week.

What Hodgson can't have done this week is added any players and his current squad isn't blessed with goal scorers. Christian Benteke needs better service than he has been getting in order to score, which again won't come straight away.

Palace were unlucky to score against Burnley last weekend, but Southampton are fairly solid and will look at this match as an opportunity to record their second win of the season and keep out Palace in the process.

With the possible return of Virgil Van Dijk into the starting XI, Southampton will only improve and that will make this an even tougher test for Hodgson's side.

The Alternative:

Ederson (£15)

Manchester City haven't looked great in defence but have still managed to keep 3 clean sheets in five games, including two in their last two matches against Liverpool and Feyenoord.

Ederson looked like he might be facing a spell on the sideline after his clash with Sadio Mane but played against Feyenoord thanks to a protective helmet.

City can frustrate Watford this weekend by keeping the ball and constantly attacking, so the home side may not get too many opportunities on Ederson's goal.

At £15 you can get the goalkeeper of one of the best teams in the league, against a team that are due a loss.

Defenders

The Stud:

Kyle Walker (£15)

Since returning to the side, following his dismissal at Everton, Walker has looked in fine form. Eyebrows were raised when Manchester City paid £50m for the right-back but in the last two game he has settled into the player City expected him to be.

Clean sheets at home to Liverpool and away to Feyenoord have helped the Englishman’s cause fantasy wise but it is his assists that have helped his scoring.

Walker has tallied an assist in each of the last two games and with a Watford side who may well be tricky to break down, Walker bursting forward from his wing-back role may be what unlocks their defence.

A clean sheet isn’t out the realms of possibility, but I wouldn’t want to rely on it against Watford who are so far unbeaten this season. Even so, without a clean sheet Walker presents good value to score well again this week.

At £15 he isn’t the most expensive option either, so although he is the stud selection this week, he is more than affordable.

The Value:

Davide Zappacosta (£13)

I picked Zappacosta as the value option in the last round of league fixtures but he unfortunately only played the last 16 minutes against Leicester, however after scoring and adding an assist on his home debut in the Champions League earlier in the week, there is a good chance he will be trusted against Arsenal.

Zappacosta looks a great fantasy style player, similar to Marcos Alonso as mentioned last week which makes him one to keep an eye on. He confirmed these suspicions against Qarabag when he scored 20.55 fantasy points. Arsenal are a different prospect altogether this weekend but I still think he is worth having onside.

If he does indeed start, I can see Zappacosta being heavily involved in a game Chelsea will be desperate to win. The Blues will want to atone for the loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield in Augus, with a win this week where it matters most.

Antonio Conte’s men look solid once again and whilst Arsenal always stand a chance of scoring, Chelsea will be hoping to keep them out on home soil and Zappacosta should have a part to play in that.

Like Walker, even without a clean sheet there is a chance Zappacosta racks up a good amount of fantasy points, so he looks real value at £13 once again.

The Alternative:

Serge Aurier (£14)

Serge Aurier put on a Tottenham shirt for the first time, as his new side took on Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Spurs couldn’t keep a clean sheet but Aurier looked a good signing and he should keep his spot this weekend.

Should Spurs keep a clean sheet against Swansea, a side that have failed to score in three of their first four league games this season, Aurier could produce some eye-catching numbers.

Given his pace, he should fill the void left by Walker and that will be huge for any success Spurs may achieve this season. Kieran Trippier has performed admirably since Walker departed and can consider himself unlucky to be benched but Aurier’s experience and ability gives him the slight edge over the newly-capped England international.

In a game where I expect Tottenham to dominate it is worth coupling one of their defenders with Lloris and Aurier is the obvious option, due to his discounted price. Ben Davies has been in great form this season but would need to be involved in a goal to warrant paying £17 for when Aurier is available at just £14.

Midfielders

The Stud:

Christian Eriksen (£25)

Christian Eriksen may well be the second most expensive midfielder this weekend, behind only Kevin De Bruyne but he still looks a great pick this week.

In five games (four in the league, one in Europe), Eriksen has recorded 1 goal and 3 assists and has been a constant threat to opposition defences this season. He has taken 10 shots during these first 5 games, 6 of which have been on target.

Eriksen is establishing himself as one of the best midfielders not only in the Premier League, but in the world and because of this his upside each week is very high. Similarly, even if he isn’t directly involved in any goals this week he is always on the ball and will generally rack up points regardless.

In seven career games against Swansea, Eriksen has scored six goals, twice netting a brace, so he clearly likes going up against The Swans. He has also added four assists in this span, so has been directly involved in 11 goals in total in that time.

Whilst he is expensive he is certainly worth having in your line-ups, even if just purely based on his goal scoring record against this week’s opponents.

The Value:

Marouane Fellaini (£13)

Marouane Fellaini came on for the injured Pogba against Basel on Tuesday night and made an immediate impact, scoring 15 minutes after coming on.

Although largely a bit-part player this season, Mourinho has made it very clear the Belgian has his full support and trust and with Pogba out through injury for the next few weeks, Fellaini may enjoy an extended run in the side.

Fellaini’s goal against Basel was his second in as many matches, the first coming in his 16 minute cameo appearance against Leicester City and he will be looking to keep that up this week.

Whilst he may still not start against his former side this weekend, he is clearly capable of making an impact in limited minutes. If he is given the nod from the off however, £13 will look a snip.

A constant goal threat and a big combative midfielder, Fellaini is very much a risk/reward type. Due to his size, he is more than likely going to be a target on set pieces and crosses into the box, but also finds himself in the referee’s book quite often.

He is worth chancing in a game that may come down to a moment of quality from a set-piece, especially if he makes his first start of the season.

The Alternative:

Maxim Choupo-Moting (£17)

Choupo-Moting opened his Premier League account in style last time out, scoring two goals against a formally impenetrable Manchester United defence.

Playing just behind striker Jese Rodriguez, Moting managed to score the first and last goal of the game to initially take the lead and then equalise six minutes after Lukaku put United ahead.

Moting who is capable of playing on the left-wing or down the middle is fast, powerful and direct, three attributes that should serve him well on his debut season in the league.

Whilst clearly capable of scoring he only managed to get on the scoresheet three times for Shalke 04 last season, something he can match already in just his sixth appearance for his new side this weekend.

Stoke travel to Newcastle this week who have found their feet at last, winning their last two games, scoring 4 goals and conceding 0 in that time. Stoke are a much better defence than Swansea and West Ham though so Newcastle may well struggle to cope with The Potters direct style of play.

At £17 I think it is worth putting Choupo-Moting in your line-ups in the hope he can carry over some confidence from his heroic performance against United.

Forwards

The Stud:

Harry Kane (£27)

Harry Kane is a man back in form, adding two goals against Borussia Dortmund in the week, to the two he scored against Everton last weekend. A home match-up against Swansea City this week should see Kane add to his tally once again, as he looks to keep up with the pace set by Lukaku so far.

The Englishman has put his slow start to the season behind him and is in the goal scoring form that saw him top the charts in each of the last two Premier League seasons.

No matter who the opponent, when Kane is in this kind of form he has to be considered but given that Tottenham are playing a Swansea side that are susceptible to conceding, he is a must-start this weekend.

Like Eriksen, Kane scored twice in this fixture last season and has scored 3 goals in total against them.

At £27 he does take up a big chunk of the budget but given the salary that can be saved elsewhere this week, he can be slotted into line-ups without causing too much of a headache.

The Value:

Andy Carroll (£14)

Many believe Andy Carroll is unplayable when on form and now he's back fit, the West Ham United forward can get back on the scoresheet this weekend against West Brom.

On Monday night Carroll returned from his long injury lay-off to play 82 of the 90 minutes and impressed. Given his lack of match practice, it was good to see Carroll heavily involved, which will encourage Slaven Bilic.

West Brom are tough opposition, with a strong defence but Carroll is a real handful on his day and he will be keen to repay the faith in him, shown by his manager.

At £14 Carroll looks a cheap option given his potential upside.

The Alternative:

Joselu (£16)

Joselu has played three times for Newcastle since moving to St.James’ Park from Stoke City, who he will be facing this weekend. He is still yet to complete 90 minutes for Newcastle but looks a threat each time he lines up in the black and white stripes of his employers.

In three matches, in which he has played 188 minutes in total Joselu has taken 11 shots, 9 of which have been on target one of which resulted in a goal against West Ham United.

With Newcastle as a whole improving and the side-story of a vengeance games against his former team, it is written for Joselu to get on the score-sheet and at £16 I think he represents great value in the hope he does just that.

 

 

Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Football Game Week 4

It is Game Week 4 in the English Premier League this week and things are starting to take shape early. After three impressive victories, scoring 10 goals and conceding 0, Manchester United are the early favourites to land the trophy this season.

Defending champions, Chelsea have returned to form after losing 2-3 at home to Burnley on opening day. Two wins have followed, the first a 0-2 away victory v Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, before hosting big summer spenders Everton at Stamford Bridge, and brushing them aside 2-0.

Tottenham have made an indifferent start to the season, beating Newcastle United 0-2 on opening day, before losing at their make-shift home the following week. A draw with Burnley, again at Wembley means they have accrued 4 points from their first three games but will hope Harry Kane puts August behind him and start firing.

Despite starting the season unbeaten with two wins and a draw, Manchester City have been far less convincing than their neighbours, relying on a Raheem Sterling winner deep into extra-time to beat Bournemouth last time out. After facing two relegation candidates in Brighton & Hove Albion and Bournemouth in their first three games, it was only going to get tougher for Pep Guardiola’s side and a visit from Liverpool this weekend will provide a sterner test. If they can overcome that obstacle with a big performance, they can send a strong message to their fellow title challengers, proving they mean business.

Liverpool have looked strong themselves so far, winning twice on the bounce at home, beating Crystal Palace 1-0 and Arsenal 4-0 the following week. The 3-3 draw with Watford on the opening day of the season will leave a sour taste in their mouth but with Watford unbeaten in their first three starts (1 win, 2 draws) it may not seem that bad of a result as the week’s progress.

The 4-0 loss to Liverpool in their last game has left Arsenal fans reeling and calls for Arsene Wenger to step down are ringing around North London again. Since overcoming Leicester City in a 4-3 thriller on opening day, Arsenal have now lost their last two, with the other loss coming at the hands of Stoke City, at the bet365 Stadium. The Gunners will look for a successful return from the International Break, as they host Bournemouth this week. Keeping Alexis Sanchez may well be key to their season, should the Chilean be in the right mind-set to help his current employers. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of course departed for Liverpool, but getting £35m for a want-away player in the last season of his contract looks good business. The Englishman has thus far failed to reach his potential and has a long way to go to prove he is worth the significant money paid for him.

Elsewhere, Huddersfield Town (2 wins, 1 draw), West Bromwich Albion (2 wins, 1 draw) and Southampton (1 win, 2 draws) are all unbeaten. Southampton have played out two bore-draws against Huddersfield and Swansea City, whilst Huddersfield and West Brom have both been more impressive in their two victories.

Huddersfield are the clear surprise package so far this season, keeping three straight clean sheets during their unbeaten run. Whilst any game was expected to be a tough affair for the Yorkshire-based club, we will only find out how good they really can be when they player a bigger opponent. That might have to wait another week though, as they travel to the capital to play West Ham, who are playing at the London Stadium for the first time this season.

West Ham sit alongside Bournemouth and Crystal Palace at the foot of the table, with all three sides sitting on 0 points. Brighton are the other side without a win, although they did get a draw and their first clean-sheet of the season against Watford last time out.

Here are three players in each position that I believe can impress in Game Week 4.

 

Goalkeepers

The Stud:

David De Gea (£16)

Until proven otherwise, the Manchester United defence looks extremely solid, with a rejuvenated Phil Jones partnering Eric Bailly in the centre-half roles, whilst Daley Blind and Antonio Valencia occupy the full-back/wing-back roles.

Stoke City are not the most prolific of scorers but Jese Rodriguez may just provide enough of a threat to force countryman, De Gea into a couple of saves this weekend.

After keeping a clean sheet away to Leicester City in their last game I see no reason why United cannot repeat that and make it four straight games without conceding. Jones looked assured once again for England in mid-week and no other member of that back-four has looked like putting a foot wrong so far either, so it is going to take a huge effort to be the first team to break them down.

The start his side has made will delight Jose Mourinho, who has always prided himself on his team’s ability to defend well and he will hope that continues against Stoke this weekend.

I can see De Gea being called into action enough to accrue some points for saves and he will hopefully add another clean sheet to make him worth the significant outlay.

The Value Play:

Ben Foster (£14)

At £14 West Brom stopper, Ben Foster looks a steal this week as his side face relegation favourites, Brighton. Brighton have still failed to find the net this season and whilst they will have home advantage, West Brom are always a tough side to break down no matter where the game is held.

Tony Pulis has always been a defence-first type manager, following the logic that if you can keep a clean-sheet, you stand a chance. Whilst this is often criticised as a negative mind-set, it often yields results and it has certainly worked so far this season.

Foster and co. kept a clean sheet against both Bournemouth (Home) and Burnley (Away) and Brighton offer less going forward than both sides.

Brighton failed to strengthen up-front before the window closed, missing out on a number of targets and until they prove otherwise, their current crop of strikers do not look up to Premier League standards. It looks set to be another frustrating afternoon for Chris Houghton’s side, and West Brom's unbeaten league run can stretch to four games.

The Baggies have had a very successful transfer window adding talent in key areas, especially defensively with Kieran Gibbs another solid signing from Arsenal at left-back. Gibbs adds further talent to an already serviceable defence, whilst on-loan PSG midfielder Gregorz Krychowiak offers further protection in front of the back-four as well. All in all, these two signings should ensure Pulis’ side become even tougher to beat this season, making Brighton's job even harder this weekend.

The Alternative:

Lukasz Fabianksi (£14)

Swansea have kept two clean sheets this season, against Crystal Palace and Southampton and they will look to do the same when they host Newcastle United this weekend.

Newcastle did run out 3-0 winners’ last time out but that was against a struggling West Ham United and Swansea themselves have looked fairly solid so far.

With Newcastle buoyant from their last win, they will look to take the game to Swansea as they travel to Wales, but Paul Clement’s side will try their best to remain solid.

Manchester United put four past The Swans in their match-up in Game Week 2, but they have been steamrolling through most opponents and Newcastle are nowhere near the same level.

A plucky effort from the away team should see Fabianski called in to action on occasion but hopefully his side can hold firm again, and add their third clean sheet in four games.

Defenders

The Stud:

Daley Blind (£17)

The aforementioned, Daley Blind has put in some impressive performances at left-back this season and as such has become a reliable fantasy option.

The Dutch international is averaging just shy of 10 points so far this season, recording 9+ points every game. He is also averaging three successful crosses each game, and eventually one of those is going to translate into an assist.

Whilst not a typical pacey wing-back, Blind clearly operates well in his new role and has become an enticing fantasy option since making the move from defensive midfield. A good passer of the ball, Blind can be just as useful in the attacking third as he is defensively and that means more fantasy points.

Should United keep up their good form defensively and keep yet another clean sheet, Blind should approach the 10-point mark again and could exceed that should be have his hand in a goal for the first time this season

The Value Play:

Davide Zappacosta (£13)

Davide Zappacosta was brought to the Premier League by Chelsea for around £25m on deadline-day and the Italian will add some much needed depth to the right side of the defence.

Victor Moses has played pretty well in Antonio Conte’s formation, however Zappacosta may well get the nod from now on. With Zappacosta more natural in the role, as opposed to Moses who has made the transition since Conte come in, the manager may well prefer his fellow countryman.

Zappacosta joined up with the Italy squad after his transfer and despite only playing the second half against Israel on Tuesday night, was named Man of the Match.

He has been in training today for his new team and will be in the squad against Leicester City, although it yet to be seen whether he or Moses will start.

Should Zappacosta play 90 minutes, he could well prove a bargain at £13, as he looks to have the same effect as fellow Serie A recruit, Marcos Alonso has had since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.

Zappacosta is known for his deliveries into the box and with Alvaro Morata a convincing aerial threat, he could well have a similar impact to Alonso from a fantasy perspective. He averaged a key pass every 56.9 minutes last season and put in an impressive 167 crosses. Of his crosses 28.7% were successful and this will be incredibly helpful for a Chelsea side that ranked dead-last in the Premier League for successful crosses last season (15.9%). Zappacosta provided more assists from crosses than any defender in Italy’s top league last season, which is no small feat.

There is a good chance Conte leaves him on the bench this week as he lets the new signing settle in, but at £13 he is worth consideration. If he proves to be the sort of player he is expected to be in Conte’s system, which expects a lot from his wing-back’s, he may not be £13 for much longer.

The Alternative:

Matthew Lowton (£13)

Burnley are yet to keep a clean sheet this season but a home match up against a struggling Crystal Palace side may well provide them with a chance to secure one.

If that is the case full-back, Matthew Lowton may well outscore his price this week, given his tendency to get involved offensively as well.

He's already got an assist to his name this season ( v Chelsea) and he may well get the chance to get forward again this week.

Lowton made 4 interceptions last time out, to double his tally for the season and if he can get near that number this week, in addition to keeping a clean sheet he could put together a seriously good fantasy week.

Until Palace show any signs of improvement, it is worth picking players from the defences they face this season.

Midfielders

The Stud:

Paul Pogba (£24)

Paul Pogba has perhaps the easiest match-up of the top midfield options this week and given his form in the first three games you'd expect him to play well.

Pogba received a lot of criticism last season, despite playing solidly throughout. With two goals already to his name in the first three games, it appears the Frenchman is keen to prove to the doubters he is worth his weight in gold.

There is no doubting his abilities and when he goes on the marauding runs everyone know he can, he often looks unstoppable. This combined with his ability to shoot from long range makes him an exciting fantasy option each week.

Stoke are a hard team to break down, especially at home but with so much talent in this year's Manchester United side, it is impossible to contain everyone.

Pogba has taken 9 shots over the first three games in the league this season and although he fired five against Leicester last week without hitting the target, he surely won't be so wasteful again.

At £24 I think Pogba is the best value at the top of the list in midfield.

The Value Play:

Nathan Redmond (£16)

Nathan Redmond scored 7 goals in his debut season for Southampton and he will be hoping for an even better output this time around.

Redmond has not opened his account yet this term, but can get off he mark against Watford this weekend, in what should be a close encounter.

Redmond took 3 shots last time out against Huddersfield and 2 in each of his starts before that, so it is clear he still has an eye for goal.

The winger already has one assist to his name this season, which matches his total for the whole of last season and he will be hoping to improve in that area during this campaign.

At £16 it is worth chancing that Redmond gets forward and gets himself on the scoresheet for the first time this year, in a decent match-up at home.

The Alternative:

Tom Ince (£19)

Tom Ince was always influential in the Championship, most recently with Derby County and while he may not yet have reached the heights expected of him, he has shown promise so far this season.

Heavily involved in all three of Huddersfield's first three games, Ince will be hoping to translate his good form into goals and assists, which will in turn elevate his fantasy potential.

A constant threat to defences on his day, Ince can open his account against a very fragile looking West Ham side. The winger will relish the chance to spoil the occasion, as West Ham play in front of their home fans for the first time this season, where nerves will no doubt creep in.

At £19 he is certainly not the cheapest option this week, but if he can keep showing promise and find the goal scoring touch he showed on a consistent basis in the Championship, he may well end up reaching those lofty expectations and goals surrounding him.

Forwards

The Stud:

Harry Kane (£25)

What’s that? Oh it’s September calling, which means Harry Kane can put the supposed curse that hits him in August behind him and start scoring some goals for Tottenham.

He got two goals for England V Malta last Friday and whilst he drew a blank against Slovakia, he was starved or service, something that shouldn’t be the case with his club side.

With the likes of Christian Eriksen and Deli Alli in behind him, he is always likely to have at least a half chance during a game and given his goalscoring ability, he will soon start to take them.

Tottenham visit Everton this weekend and whilst the latter should be tough opponents, it should be an open game which will play into Kane’s hands.

At £25 it is worth plugging Kane into your side, in the hope that he can get finally open his Premier League account for the season this weekend.

Even without scoring, Kane managed to score 14.00 fantasy points against Burnley last time out and a goal will open the floodgates to some much better scoring.

Kane has won the Premier League Golden Boot for the last two consecutive seasons, so it surely won’t be long before he gets off the mark, as he looks to make it three-in-a-row.

The Value Play:

Chris Wood (£19)

Chris Wood made his Premier League debut for Burnley when they faced Tottenham last time out, with the New Zealand international introduced to the game for the last 33 minutes.

In the short time he was on the field, Wood managed to make an impact for his new side, scoring the equalising goal in added time.

It has already been reported that this could be a make or break game for Frank de Boer, needing a win to save his job so nerves are bound to run through this Palace side. Regardless of the position the manager finds himself in, Palace would still need to improve greatly on their first three performances in order to go to Turf Moor and take all three points.

Palace have conceded six goals in their first three games and I cannot see their fortunes changing this week, so a clean sheet for the away side looks unlikely. With this in mind, having Burnley’s record signing and main focal point of attack in your line-up seems wise.

Should Wood continue to adapt quickly to the Premier League and impress in the same way he did in the Championship in the last two seasons, he will be a valuable player to have in fantasy.

The Alternative:

Alvaro Morata (£23)

Whilst it was reported in the pre-season that Alvaro Morata may struggle to adapt to life in the Premier League, the Spanish striker seems to have found his feet ok.

Morata came on for the last half hour in Chelsea’s season-opener against Burnley and scored a goal and also added an assist, but it was too little too late as the away side took the spoils.

A blank v Tottenham Hotspur saw him score just 4.55 fantasy points but a week later Morata put in a performance very similar to that of his debut, scoring a goal and again adding an assist.

In two of the three league games he has played so far, Morata has exceed 16 points twice and a goal against Leicester City this weekend would see him put up similar numbers once again.

At £23 you are getting one of the league’s most talented strikers at what looks to be a discount price. Leicester are no pushovers but the 2015/16 champions conceded three away to Arsenal in week one, and two at home to Manchester United last time out, so there’s a good chance Chelsea will find the net this week.

Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Football Game Week 3

It is game week 3 and the first two games of the season have already given some early indications of what we can expect. Manchester United run out 0-4 winners again, this time away to Swansea City and they look like the early favourites.

Chelsea got their season right back on track, as the defending champions beat last year’s runner up 1-2 away to Tottenham Hotspur last week, who still seem to be adjusting to life at Wembley. Elsewhere the other top-4 contenders endured mixed fortunes. Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 1-0, but still have some work to do whilst Arsenal lost 1-0 away to Stoke City. Manchester City and Everton played out a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Monday Night to round off the week 2 fixtures.

Newly-promoted, Huddersfield Town once again impressed, keeping a second consecutive clean sheet, beating Newcastle United 1-0 at home. Fellow promoted-side, Brighton & Hove Albion made the now tough trip to Leicester City and failed to find the net again losing 2-0 to the 2015/16 Premier League Champions.

Two more away wins came in the form of Watford beating Bournemouth 0-2 whilst West Bromwich Albion kept their 100% record and another clean sheet, beating Burnley 0-1.

Southampton remain unbeaten, improving on their 0-0 draw in week 1, beating West Ham United 3-2. The Hammers were down to 10-men after 33 minutes as Marko Arnautovic was given his marching orders, but it was West Ham’s other summer signing, Javier Hernandez who almost saved his blushes. Hernandez scored on the stroke of half-time and scored again in the 74th minute to make it 2-2 before Charlie Austin ruined the afternoon scoring a 90th minute penalty for the home side, their second of the day.

Stand-out performers in Gameweek 2 include striker Hernandez (26.05 points), Sadio Mane (22.1 points), Marcos Alonso (23.6 points) and Jack Butland (19 points).

Mane and Alonso were both mentioned as stud options last week whilst value play, Jonas Lossl scored a very respectable 17.50 points as he kept another clean sheet in the Huddersfield goal.

Onto this week and who you should be putting into your line-ups ahead of Gameweek 3.

Goalkeepers

The Stud:

Thibaut Courtois (£15)

Thibaut Courtois looks set to busy again this week, as Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge and the Belgian will be looking to keep his first clean sheet of the season.

Last week he made six saves and conceded once against Tottenham Hotspur which was enough for him to accrue 11.00 fantasy points.

Should Chelsea tighten up at the back this week and keep their first clean sheet, Courtois could well be the highest scoring keeper this week, as Everton will no doubt get some efforts in on goal even if they can’t score.

At £15 he is available at a discount in comparison to David De Gea (£17), Ederson (£16) and Hugo Lloris (£16) and may well see the most action of the four, increasing his point-scoring potential.

The Value Play:

Lukasz Fabianski (£13)

Swansea travel to London this weekend to play Crystal Palace and whilst they haven’t been in the best form themselves their opponents are really struggling.

Palace got their season off to a terrible start, losing 0-3 at home to Huddersfield before travelling to Anfield where they lost 1-0 to Liverpool. Whilst that is to be expected away to a top-4 contender, it was the manner in which they lost that raises concern.

Wayne Hennessey had to make 12 saves at Anfield to keep the score respectable and going forward they lacked any real quality. They did improve on their showing against Huddersfield, at least defensively but they still only took 4 shots, with 1 on target. Christian Benteke squandered a good chance to score after linking up with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and the Belgian is off to a frustrating start to the season.

Whilst I expect Palace to improve on their first home performance, I still think they are getting used to life under Frank De Boer and with the influential Wilfried Zaha still rehabbing from his knee injury, Palace’s attacking problems will continue going forward.

It may be hard to see Swansea keeping a clean sheet after losing 0-4 at home to Manchester United last week but they kept one against Southampton on the opening day and will be hoping for another at Selhurst Park, with Palace still looking for their first league goal of the season.

Both sides won in the cup this week, with Palace securing a 2-1 home victory against Ipswich Town, however Swansea secured a 1-4 win on the road against MK Dons and with both Jordan Ayew and Tammy Abraham getting on the scoresheet, their confidence should be higher coming into this game. If Swansea can put Palace under pressure, they could get an early goal and then shut up shop, and mark danger-man, Benteke out of the game.

Swansea have lost just one of their last twelve games against Crystal Palace, providing them with a mental edge that may just see them pick up their first win of the season.

The Alternative:

Heurelho Gomes (£14)

Heurelho Gomes and Watford have got off to a good start in the league, taking four points from a possible six and he will be looking to keep a clean sheet against a Brighton side who have failed to score a goal in the league so far this season.

With Watford the home side, you would expect them to be on the front foot and unless Brighton really take the game to them, it could be routine for The Hornets, in front of their own fans.

The last game at Vicarage Road saw them concede three goals in the 3-3 draw with Liverpool, but Liverpool are a potent attacking force whereas Brighton seem to be far from that at this level. Brighton could of course come out all guns blazing, after defending so much against Manchester City and Leicester but it remains to be seen whether they have attacking players who can really perform in the top-flight.

Watford did well to keep a clean sheet when they travelled to Bournemouth last weekend and will be hoping to do the same on home soil this week against what appear to be inferior opposition.

Defenders

The Stud:

Marcos Alonso (£18)

Until he stops totting up serious points from defence, he is a must-start for me. Whilst a clean sheet may not be expected this week, as Chelsea face a visit from Everton, Alonso should still put points up on the board.

Scoring two goals last week seriously bolstered his points tally but I still think he gives you a safe floor score, even if he doesn’t go near that 20-point mark again this week. He is such a threat in the final-third that he looks a good prospect for a goal or an assist each week, taking the pressure off a good defensive performance, at least in a fantasy sense.

Whilst Everton are a good side and Wayne Rooney has been in good form in front of goal, scoring in each of the first two games, Chelsea are still the superior side and may well welcome Eden Hazard back to the fray this week, which improves them further.

If Hazard does miss out again then like last week, Alonso will be a big feature in the final third once again, thus adding to his scoring potential further.

The Value Play:

Andrew Robertson (£14)

Liverpool kept their first and only clean sheet of the season against Crystal Palace last week and Andrew Robertson started at left-back in that game, playing well on his league debut for his new club.

Alberto Moreno has played the other three games this season, when Liverpool have conceded three against Watford and three goals over their two-legged Championship League qualifier with Hoffenheim.

With Moreno struggling again in mid-week, now is surely the time to implement Robertson into the side on a regular basis. If he starts v Arsenal he will look to get at Hector Bellerin and the rest of the Arsenal defence and get some crosses into the box for the likes of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to feast on.

Robertson put up 13.65 fantasy points in Liverpool’s home win v Palace last week and whilst it may be harder to add another clean sheet, he should offer plenty going forward again, in what should be a free-flowing attacking game.

Whilst it is a battle of two unsettled defences and goals are expected, Robertson should have the chance to chalk up some points once again even without a clean sheet. Arsenal are unlikely to go two weeks in a row without scoring, with Stoke frustrating them last week, so a clean sheet isn’t a safe assumption here, but with Robertson likely to be busy all game, his scoring potential is high.

The Alternative:

Kieran Trippier (£15)

Kieran Trippier completed his return from injury, playing 89 minutes in Tottenham’s 1-2 loss to Chelsea at Wembley last week and should now become a fantasy favourite once again.

Tottenham are now playing with a back-three in the centre, with Trippier and Ben Davies/Danny Rose in as wing-back’s on the either flank, giving Trippier a license to roam forward.

Trippier has always been known for his crossing ability and as he should now be in the starting line-up every week, thanks to the departure of Kyle Walker, he should continue to grow and impress for the rest of the season.

With the potential up-side of a clean sheet against a Burnley side who don’t travel well, Trippier has a good chance to score some good points both in an attacking and defensive sense this week.

Burnley had an awful away record last season, winning just once and losing a staggering 14 times, and on away form they finished 19th in the table. Their excellent home form ensured they finished 9th in the home table, thanks to their 10 home wins and 3 draws in their 19 games. They finished 16th in the table overall, but this just proves how much better they were at home last season and with a tough away game this week I expect them to revert back to the form of last season as they find themselves on their travels again.

At £15 Trippier is cheaper then Davies (£17) on the other flank and has every chance of being as effective now that he is injury-free.

Midfielders

The Stud:

Christian Eriksen (£27)

Despite rife speculation of a move to Barcelona, Christian Eriksen is still part of this very impressive Tottenham Hotspur side and whilst his side suffered a setback last week against Chelsea, I think they can get back to winning ways against Burnley this weekend.

Tottenham have of course got to get over the Wembley hoodoo but that will come the more they play there and I don’t want to get too hung up on them losing last week. Chelsea always raise their game against Tottenham, such is the rivalry and this week the latter will be hoping to prove they are too good for Sean Dyche’s men.

Burnley of course got that huge win at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the season, beating Chelsea 2-3 but they were however brought back down to earth when they hosted West Brom last week, losing 0-1.

Eriksen played brilliantly on the opening day of the season against Newcastle, setting up two goals, whilst taking five shots of his own (3 on target) and hee can repeat this sort of effort this week against Burnley.

The Danish international scored 12 goals in all competitions last season and he can get off the mark in this new season, in a nice match-up this week.

 

The Value Play:

Nathaniel Chalobah (£11)

Nathaniel Chalobah was named in Gareth Southgate’s 28-man England squad for the next two games, and will hope to get the nod in one of the fixtures to earn his first England cap.

With the England news the youngster should be in a buoyant mood as his side host Brighton, who have failed to make an impact on the Premier League so far this season.

Watford have secured 4 points in the first two league games, with Chalobah playing a large part in both games. Whilst he only managed to put up 2.45 points against Liverpool in 90 minutes he did enough to secure 6.50 points against in Bournemouth in the 89 minutes he played and he can greatly surpass that this week.

Chalobah took 5 shots against Bournemouth, two of which were on target and it would have been more had Harry Arter not shouted “leave it”, leading Chalobah to believe one of his team-mates wanted the ball when he was just about to pull the trigger himself.

A home game against Brighton should give Chalobah a license to get more involved in the final-third and if he can’t get on the scoresheet himself, hopefully he will be able to provide an assist. At £11 he can certainly secure you some vital points for a bargain price.

The Alternative:

Henrik Mkhitaryan (£25)

Despite showing flashes of brilliance last season, it was by no means plain sailing for Henrik Mkhitaryan in his debut season with Manchester United but the early signs this season are largely positive.

Often played out wide last season, a positional change in the opening two games has seen him play in the No.10 role behind Romelu Lukaku, as he did behind Pierre Emerick Aubameyang when playing for Borussia Dortmund. Although we are still just two games in the new season, it looks as though the Armenian is flourishing in his new role for his current club so it is time to take notice of him from a fantasy perspective.

In their opening two Premier League games this season, United have run out 4-0 winners both home and away and Mkhitaryan has been a big part of that. He has provided four assists (two in each game) so far this season, so it looks like he will be heavily involved in Manchester United’s attacking-play in his second season with the club.

He will be hoping to turn from provider to scorer this week and get himself off the mark against Leicester City, as he looks to improve on the four goals he scored last year. Primarily the focus though will still remain on his creative side, as he looks to supply £75m-man, Lukaku.

Leicester are United’s toughest test this season, with the 2015/16 season champions bouncing back from their narrow 4-3 opening day defeat to Arsenal, with a 2-0 home win against Brighton last weekend, so the home side will need to be on top of their game to ensure a third straight league victory.

With the opponents in mind, Mkhitaryan will hopefully find another gear from his opening two games and improve again, making him a valuable fantasy option.

Forwards

The Stud:

Javier Hernandez (£25)

West Ham’s biggest signing this window got off the mark last week, scoring two against Southampton and he can do the same this week when they visit Newcastle.

Newcastle have got off to a dismal start this season, conceding three goals over the first two games without scoring and they also lost 2-3 in extra-time to Championship side, Nottingham Forest in the week.

With such a leaky defence on show at the moment, Hernandez should be able to exploit this weakness and ensure he keeps his goal-scoring efforts, on this tough away run for West Ham. The Hammers have not played at home yet this season due to the athletics at the London Stadium and won’t play there now until they welcome Huddersfield on 11/09.

West Ham desperately need to steady the ship and get a result before the club becomes more unsettled and calls for Slaven Bilic’s sacking ring around East London again.

Hernandez gives West Ham that spark they have been lacking for so long and he is genuinely one of the best strikers in the division, when in-form and should show that against a very fragile Newcastle side.

The Value Play:

Shinji Okazaki (£15)

Shinji Okazaki has been a nuisance for defenders since he arrived in the Premier League and he has got off to a good start the campaign, scoring against in both games against Arsenal and Brighton.

Whilst Okazaki has been subbed off in both games and aside from his goal in each game hasn’t offered much fantasy-wise, he is worth chancing this week at a bargain price.

The Japanese forward has scored with both his shots on target this season and has only taken four shots in total. If he can get some more efforts on goal, he could rack up a decent points tally, especially if he adds a third goal of the season.

At the lower-end of the salary cap there are not many striking options this week, but Okazaki at least provides you with a player who has found the net twice this season, even with limited chances.

The Alternative:

Anthony Martial (£22)

Just like Okazaki, Anthony Martial has taken advantage of his limited shots on goal, the difference being Martial has only been on the pitch for 25 minutes over the first two games.

Martial came on for the last ten minutes against West Ham in week one and provided a goal and an assist in that time, as he looked to force his way into the starting XI. A week later, the Frenchman found himself on the bench again, with Jose Mourinho opting for Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata in the wide areas instead.

Despite finding himself on the bench again, Martial came on as a sub and in the 15 minutes he was on the pitch once again found the net for his second goal of the season.

He is making Mourinho’s life very difficult at the moment, almost forcing his manager to give him the nod from the off this week and if he does get handed a start, it would provide him with a chance to prove his worth once again.

Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Football Game Week 2

Following on from the introduction to the game last week, it is time to look ahead at week 2, and who we can expect to put in good performances this weekend.

Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur all impressed on the opening weekend, whilst Liverpool laboured to a draw and defending champions, Chelsea lost 3-2 at home against Burnley. The champions were 3-0 down by half-time and down to 10-men, before clawing two back in the second half. Gary Cahill was sent off in the first half and things got from bad-to-worse as Cesc Fabregas was also given his marching orders.

Chelsea will need to find something else this week, without two of their key players as they play last season's runners-up, Tottenham in the 16:00pm (GMT) kick-off on Sunday.

The rest of the top-4 contenders have some softer match-ups this week, with Liverpool hosting Crystal Palace who were on the end of a shocking 0-3 defeat as they hosted newly-promoted Huddersfield Town, whilst Arsenal travel north to face Stoke City who lost to Everton on Merseyside last week. Manchester United travel to Wales to face a Gylfi Sigurdsson-less Swansea City after Everton finally got their man, stumping up £45m for the talismanic Icelander. After labouring to a 0-0 draw with Southampton and creating just 4 shots, none of which hit the target, it is clear Swansea will struggle if they fail to replace their key man.

Let’s take a look at who stands out as interesting options this week in Yahoo! Daily Fantasy.

Goalkeepers

The Stud:

David De Gea (£16)

De Gea is the joint most expensive goalkeeper this week but for very good reason. Swansea struggled to create chances last week against Southampton and will likely do so again this week against much tougher opposition.

Should Swansea find a way through the Manchester United defence, they will still have to beat the best goalkeeper in the league and any saves De Gea makes will add to the Spaniard's fantasy points.

He made just one save last week against a lacklustre West Ham, but should United win and keep a clean sheet as I expect them to do he can eclipse the 11.5 points he accrued last week. Whilst Swansea don't look like a strong attacking outfit, especially now Sigurdsson is gone, they should at least get some shots away in their first home game of the season.

The Value Play:

Jonas Lossl (£13)

Huddersfield made a successful start to their first season in the top-flight since 1972, when playing away at Crystal Palace last week and The Terriers looked to have successfully solved their goalkeeper issue, again opting for a loan move instead of buying a player to wear their #1 shirt.

After taking Livepool's Danny Ward on loan last year, David Wagner looked abroad this time around, taking Jonas Lossl on loan from Mainz 05, a club he knows well from his time as a player as well as his time coaching at Borussia Dortmund.

On his Premier League debut, Lossl kept a clean sheet away from home, making four saves in the process. This week, Lossl will come up against fellow promoted-side, Newcastle United and will be playing in front of his home fans for their first time this season. If Huddersfield and Lossl can perform as admirably as they did last week or hopefully even better, picking Lossl could save you some vital £'s in your salary cap this week.

The Alternative

Fraser Forster (£14)

Fraser Forster finished tied for third with De Gea last year for clean sheets (14) and got off to a good start last week, keeping his first of the season in week one.

A home game against West Ham United gives Forster a very good chance to keep a second clean sheet in two weeks, as West Ham managed just one shot on target out of the possible nine attempts on De Gea's goal.

West Ham do have some good attacking options, including summer signings, Javier Hernandez and Marko Anautovic so they may well test Forster's resolve at St. Mary's this weekend but should the England International keep them at bay, it could be another good fantasy week for him.

Defenders

The Stud:

Marcos Alonso (£17)

Yes Chelsea play Tottenham this week and yes Chelsea conceded three at home to Burnley this week, but Marcos Alonso still offered what he always does going forward.

Alonso’s attacking threat helps him secure a solid benchmark of points each week, even if the defence as a unit fail and I cannot see Chelsea playing as bad two weeks in a row.

Without the influential Cesc Fabregas on the field this week, who misses out through suspension, Antonio Conte will be looking for his wing-backs to create, maybe even more than usual.

So with this in mind, Alonso looks likely to at least repeat his performance from week one and hopefully better it, should Chelsea’s defence improve in week two.

Tottenham struggled playing at Wembley last season and whether it was the competition (Champions League) as opposed to anything else that caused their issues, there are still question marks over how they’ll play at their make-shift home this season.

Chelsea are always up for this fixture and there is a possibility star-man, Eden Hazard may well be able to feature in some capacity this week, as his nears his return from injury. Hazard played 90 minutes behind closed doors in the week, so the signs are promising, and with him in the side, Chelsea are undoubtedly are better team and can help put Tottenham on the back foot.

The Value Play:

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£12)

Trent Alexander-Arnold started against Watford last weekend and also against Hoffenheim mid-week, and it was against the latter that Alexander-Arnold scored his first senior goal for his boyhood club.

On his European debut, Alexander-Arnold curled in a free-kick which gave his side a vital lead in the away tie of their Champions League play-off and it is that sort of moment that will give the 18-year old the confidence to build on his good start to his senior career.

Liverpool play Crystal Palace at Anfield this week and with the latter without the influential, Wilfried Zaha they look like a team that will regress, even on their performance from last week. They lost 0-3 at home last week to newly-promoted Huddersfield Town and without Zaha they will offer even less on the attacking front.

Despite Christian Benteke being the type of striker keen to put one over on his former employers, I believe Liverpool and Alexander-Arnold have every chance to keep a clean sheet in front of their own fans this week. Couple a clean sheet with a win and you have a good basis for fantasy points, before adding in other parts of Alexander-Arnold's game.

At £12 Alexander-Arnold may well be the best value of the week defensively, giving you plenty of freedom for the rest of your line-up.

The Alternative:

Cedric Soares (£14)

Cedric Soares has always been a solid fantasy option and this season should be no different. Much like Alonso, he likes to get forward and help create and he generally does so over the course of the season.

The Portuguese International put in eight crosses last week, exceeding his highest single-game output from last season, but unfortunately none of them connected. Southampton fired 29 shots last week against Swansea City last week, but were far from clinical, with only 2 shots hitting the target. If the strikers can up their game this week, and especially get on the end of some of Soares crosses, the right-back could score a solid amount of points this week. Soares still scored 7.6 points last week, even without any of his crosses amounting to anything, largely thanks to the clean sheet they kept and that feat can repeated again in their first home game of the season.

West Ham are the visitors to St. Mary’s this week and whilst they played tougher opposition in Manchester United last week at Old Trafford, they look poor going forward during their 4-0 drubbing.

The Hammers do have some good options in the final-third but they need to create chances for them to be taken and I expect them to struggle once again this week, so Soares and co. will be hoping for a second consecutive clean sheet and a better effort going forwards.

Midfielders

The Stud:

Sadio Mane (£27)

Like Alonso, I am opting for Mane as my Stud play for the second week in a row, mainly because they both offer safe options, with huge upside.

Mane duly delivered last week, scoring one of Liverpool’s three goals away to Watford and after another big performance against Hoffenheim, both Alexander-Arnold and Mane shared Man of the Match plaudits between them across various news outlets. Arnold generally got the nod thanks to his spectacular goal, and the fact it was such a big performance on his European debut but Mane contributed consistently throughout the game, despite not scoring.

A great match-up at home to Palace this week presents the Senegalese international with a chance to get on the score-sheet once again and he will no doubt be a focal point in Liverpool’s attack once again. Like last week, Mane will have to share chances with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah but Mane may just slightly edge it as the most impressive of the three, so far this season.

The Value Play:

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (£10)

When you look at the £10 range you start finding players who are either players who get limited minutes off the bench or those that are not involved in the squad at all, so it is a pleasant surprise to see Ruben Loftus-Cheek available at said price this week.

As already noted, Palace have got a tough game this week, away to Liverpool but Loftus-Cheek was the only bright spark in an otherwise dreadful showing from The Eagles last week.

Loftus-Cheek was the most fouled player last week (6) and after adding three tackles won, 2 interceptions and a corner won, it is easy to see that Loftus-Cheek got himself about against Huddersfield. Palace fans were delighted with Loftus-Cheek who was making his loan debut, and will be hoping for more from the Chelsea loanee this week.

With Zaha out, Loftus-Cheek may be asked to use his presence in a more attacking manner at Anfield and if he can get some shots on goal and make a nuisance of himself again, he has the potential to far out-score his salary this week.

The Alternative:

Riyad Mahrez (£20)

Usual service resumed for Riyad Mahrez in the first game of the season, setting up one of Leicester City’s three goals against Arsenal last week, as well as taking two shots himself and he should be able to emulate that effort this week.

Mahrez and Leicester will host Brighton & Hove Albion this week, who got off to a tough start to Premier League life last week, eventually losing 0-2 to Manchester City, but in truth it could have been more.

Leicester showed a lot of life in scoring three goals at the Emirates last week and in front of their own fans, and whilst Brighton are likely to sit back and absorb pressure as they did last week, Leicester have enough attacking prowess to break down their defence.

It was a valiant effort from Brighton's defence last week, but they did eventually cave to City’s attacking power and with the likes of Mahrez and Jamie Vardy posing a noticeable threat, it could be more of the same this week.

Mahrez takes a lot of set pieces and also tends to be on the same wave-length as Vardy with the two often inter-changing to score goals, so I expect a good attacking showing from The Foxes this week and Mahrez and Vardy in particular.

Forwards

The Stud:

Alexandre Lacazette (£25)

It took Alexandre Lacazette all of 90 seconds to introduce himself to the Premier League, scoring with a well-placed header against Leicester City last week.

Even when fellow countryman, Olivier Giroud was brought on for the last 25 minutes last week, Lacazette was not withdrawn opening up the possibility that Arsene Wenger might opt for both up front if he can find a way of them working together.

When Giroud came on, Lacazette was moved to a wide position, where Wenger was impressed with his efforts, but it is down the middle that us fantasy players like to see the prolific goal scorer.

It looks as though Lacazette will get the nod to spearhead the attack again this week and unless he proves otherwise as the season goes on, he looks a viable fantasy option most weeks. A man with his obvious knack for scoring a goal is always going to be someone you want on side and he will enjoy taking on a Stoke City defence that surrendered a goal to Wayne Rooney, who was making his first Premier League start since returning to his boyhood club, Everton last week

Stoke will be the hosts this week, but I don’t think this will bother Lacazette or this Arsenal side as a whole, who like previous years gone by look to be a free-flowing attacking force once again.

The Value Play:

Sam Vokes (£17)

Many wondered how Sam Vokes would cope with the pressure of being the main attacking outlet last week, without the presence of strike partner, Andre Gray who made a move to Watford earlier in the week, but he answered those questions and then some.

Burnley were very impressive as a team away to defending champions, Chelsea where they won 2-3 but it was Vokes' individual effort that really stood out. He scored a brace against a top-4 defence in the league at their own ground, proving he is a capable goal scorer, even at the very top level.

Dating back to last season, Vokes has now scored in his last four Premier League appearances, an impressive feat for any player. The first game of that impressive run was against the side they play this week, West Brom and he will be hoping for more this week. Vokes scored two in that game, before scoring one against both Bournemouth and West Ham in his next two games to end the season with 10 goals.

Going up against a side he scored two against last season and on a high from last week’s shock away win, Vokes should be full of confidence on his first start at Turf Moor this season.

At £17 he looks a snip and until Burnley bring in anyone as viable competition for his spot, Vokes will continue to get the nod in Sean Dyche’s team, that continue to impress.

The Alternative:

Jamie Vardy (£23)

Like Mahrez, I think Jamie Vardy is a very viable fantasy option, especially as he is available at a discount in relation to the top-tier strikers this week.

Vardy got off to a quick start in his fourth successive Premier League season, scoring two goals against Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening fixture of the new season.

Despite getting off to a slow start last season, as Leicester City struggled with the pressures of being defending champions Vardy managed to claw it back, finishing with 13 goals in the Premier League, nine short of the 24 he scored in the title-winning season.

Ever since Craig Shakespeare has been in charge, Vardy has looked every part of that player he was the season before and at 30 years of age, he will be keen to make this his best season yet. Whilst at 30 he is by no means the oldest striker in the league, for a player that relies so much on his pace to succeed he will want to make full use of it, whilst it is still as explosive as it is.

Mahrez and Vardy should cause Brighton problems this weekend not to mention summer signing, Kelechi Iheanacho who is waiting in the wings for his chance to impress. I expect Leicester to win this game, extending Brighton’s tough start to Premier League life, so it makes sense to have their main goal threat in your line-ups this week.

An introduction to Yahoo! Daily Fantasy Football, with a look at Game Week 1

It feels good doesn’t it? That feeling you get that Friday night at 19:45, Arsenal and Leicester will get the 2017/18 Premier League season underway, beneath the floodlights of the Emirates Stadium.

With the return of the football season comes the return of fantasy football, which of course will excite a lot of football fans. By now a lot of you will have your season-long teams set up and are eagerly anticipating your star striker scoring a hat-trick on opening day. What you might not have done yet is set up your daily fantasy team ready for Game Week 1.

If you are new to the format of Daily Fantasy Sports, it is quite simple. In Yahoo’s format, you get a £200 budget to select 11 players. Amongst those 11 players you must select 1 Goalkeeper, 3 Defenders, 4 Midfielders, 2 Strikers and an additional Utility player. The Utility slot gives you the freedom to pick one extra outfield player from any of the three positions. Instead of waiting until the end of the season to learn the fate of your team, you will find out by the end the weekend if you have done enough to win a contest. So how do you score points? See the Points Breakdown below for each position.

Points Breakdown

Goalkeeper

Win = 4 Points

Draw = 2 Points

Clean Sheet = 6 Points

Save = 1.5 Points

Penalty Save = 3 Points

Goal Conceded = - 2 Points

Own Goal = - 2 Points

Yellow Card = - 2 Points

Red Card or Two Yellow Cards = - 5 Points

Defender

Goal = 8 Points

Assist = 4 Points

Shot = 0.5 Point

Shot on Target = 2 Points

Successful Pass = 0.05 Point

Successful Cross = 0.5 Point

Corner Won = 0.5 Point

Foul Won = 0.5 Point

Tackle Won = 0.5 Point

Pass Intercepted = 0.5 Point

Block = 1 Point

Clean Sheet = 3 Points

Foul Conceded = - 0.5 Point

Penalty Kick Conceded = - 1 Point

Penalty Kick Miss = - 4 Points

Own Goal = - 4 Points

Yellow Card = - 2 Points

Red or Two Yellow Cards = - 5 Points

Midfield, Forward

Goal = 8 Points

Assist = 4 Points

Shot = 0.5 Point

Shot on Target = 2 Points

Successful Pass = 0.05 Point

Successful Cross = 0.5 Point

Corner Won = 0.5 Point

Foul Won = 0.5 Point

Tackle Won = 0.5 Point

Pass Intercepted = 0.5 Point

Block = 1 Point

Foul Conceded = - 0.5 Point

Penalty Kick Conceded = - 1 Point

Penalty Kick Miss = - 4 Points

Own Goal = - 4 Points

Yellow Card = - 2 Points

Red or Two Yellow Cards = - 5 Points

The pool of players you will have to select from will depend on which contest (also referred to as a “slate”) you enter. You can choose to enter one which includes all the games across the weekend or if you prefer a smaller list of players to choose from, exclusively the games that kick-off at 3pm Saturday or even just the limited amount of fixtures on Sunday. You can choose to take on hundreds or thousands of people or you can also go head-to-head, it is all personal preference. There are great cash prizes on offer and whilst there are a range of FREE contests to enter, there are also several paid contests (contest entry fees vary) enabling larger prize funds.

With this in mind let’s look ahead at who should make your line-up this week. As you have to stick to the salary cap of £200, it is imperative you mix those fantasy studs, a la Harry Kane (£29) with some value players also. Being week one, there is a great chance to add in some of the new signings who we are unsure yet how they will perform.

One big example of this is Tammy Abraham. Can the teenage sensation keep up the scoring form he showed at Bristol City last season, now he’s made the step up into the Premier League? If you think he can, he is the sort of the player you will love putting in your team, as he can be had for £16 this week, which may well look a bargain come Saturday evening. Of course with Daily Fantasy Sports, the salaries will constantly be changing, so if he scores a brace this weekend, expect his salary to take a huge jump in Game Week 2.

Here are a collection of options at varying price points for each position, who I believe could well score you some much needed points in the season opener.

Goalkeepers

The Stud:

Hugo Lloris (£16)

With an unsettled back-four in front on him on Sunday, Hugo Lloris may well be called into action on a few occasions, but luckily for Spurs he is vying with David De Gea for title of "best goalkeeper in the Premier League".

Newcastle are not blessed with Premier-League level strikers, but their midfield is full of players with attacking intentions and may well test him from range. Saves like this can go in his stat column as we look for the Frenchman to stack fantasy points.

A clean sheet was almost a given for Spurs at certain points last season, especially at home and although they will travel to St.James' Park on Sunday, they will go their hoping to come away with the win.

Whilst they will miss Kyle Walker and the injured Danny Rose, Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier (if fit) are ready to fill the void.

The Value Play:

Simon Mignolet (£14)

Often ridiculed and blamed for a large majority of Liverpool's problems last season, Mignolet managed to turn his form around to an extent and will start the season as the undisputed No.1.

In the end Mignolet kept 11 clean sheets last season and if Liverpool can eventually land long-term target, Virgil Van Dijk, Mignolet may become an even better option as the season goes on.

This week though, Mignolet is just fine against Watford this weekend, saving you some valuable Salary Cap room and still not giving away too much, if like me, you expect Liverpool to come out on top this weekend.

Alternative:

Jordan Pickford (£15)

Pickford, a huge £30m buy for Everton earlier in the summer will be keen to prove his worth early on, as he makes the step up from relegated Sunderland to top-6 contenders Everton this season.

The young Englishman was a fantasy stud last season, despite being part of a poor Sunderland side and with a better defence and team in general in front of him, he may well flourish. A good shot-stopper, Pickord was regularly called into action last season, giving him the chance to score well.

Stoke City are not without their problems and they seem to lack a prolific scorer this season, so there is every chance The Toffees will keep a clean sheet this weekend, which will be essential for Pickford's scoring.

Defenders

The Stud:

Marcos Alonso (£17)

A must-start this week is Chelsea left wing-back, Marcos Alonso. Many chuckled when the former Bolton Wanderers player was brought into Stamford Bridge for big money but he proved any doubters wrong, week-after-week putting in exceptional performances.

A big part of Antonio Conte's system, Alonso reaped all the benefits of being part of a title-winning side and was in fact very unlucky to be snubbed for the PFA Team of the Year.

Burnley have very little in the way of an attacking threat, after selling their star forward to Watford in the form of Andre Gray and I find it difficult to see them breaking down a strong Chelsea defence. With that in mind you are potentially looking at points for a clean sheet, before you take into account what Alonso adds going forward, regularly looking to get balls in the box.

He is tied for the most expensive defender this week, but for very good reason and there is value elsewhere to allow you to spend the money to put him in your side.

The Value Play:

Charlie Daniels (£13)

Charlie Daniels was one of many positives things about Bournemouth in their second season in the Premier League and another season on there is every reason to expect more of the same.

Almost an Alonso-lite, Daniels wasn't far behind the elites in terms of fantasy scoring last season, averaging 7.0 points a game. Alonso averaged 8.9 but that far exceeded most and the next-best was James Milner at 7.9.

For £13 you are getting an attack-minded full-back in a side that enjoy playing good football. The Bournemouth defence did ship a lot of goals last season (67) but they play a West Brom side who are not the most potent attacking force, so a clean sheet is a distinct possibility this week.

Alternative:

Andrew Robertson (£14)

Liverpool have improved a problem-area for them this summer, bringing in Scotland's, Andrew Robertson who should make the left-back spot his own, replacing Alberto Moreno.

Robertson is attacking by nature as are Liverpool, so it looks a match made in heaven. Better defensively than his predecessor, Liverpool increase their chances of  a clean sheet with Robertson in the side instead of Moreno.

Hoping to get off to a big start to the season, Liverpool will be expecting a comfortable win over The Hornets and Robertson will be desperate to prove that the Merseyside club were right to plump for a player who was part of a relegated side (Hull City).

Midfielders

The Stud:

Sadio Mane (£25)

Mane had a very good debut season for Liverpool last year despite limited appearances and they will be expecting more of the same from him this season. Mane could only manage 27 league appearances during his first year at Anfield due to injury and the African Cup of Nations, but he still managed to score 13 goals.

Despite a lack of appearances, such were the quality of his performances when he was on the field, he managed to now only be picked as the club's player of the season but was also named in the PFA Team of the Year.

With Coutinho looking likely to head for the exit door, Liverpool will be looking to Mane, Roberto Firmino and new signing, Mohamed Salah to make things happen going forward.

Mane scored twice against Watford when The Hornets travelled to Anfield but Mane was not involved in the reverse fixture. Playing at Vicarage Road shouldn't bother him though and there is every chance he can improve on his efforts last season, given how impressive the attacking trio of Firmino, Salah and Mane have looked in pre-season.

Watford conceded 68 goals last season, with only Sunderland (69) and Hull City (80) conceding more. They have signed a right-back in the shape of Kiko Femenia but otherwise this is a similar looking defence that struggled badly last season.

Liverpool will be expected to win this game and really it is just a case of which attacking player of their's to put in your side this week. Firmino and Salah are both cheaper at £24 each but there are plenty of forwards to chose from this week. With some big-name midfielders missing in Game Week 1, Mane may be the spark you need in your midfield to lead the way in your respective contest.

The Value Play:

Matt Ritchie (£17)

Ritchie enjoyed a great first season in the top-flight with former side Bournemouth, before moving to Newcastle last summer, to the bemusement of many. Still, he vindicated his decision by making the immediate return to the Premier League that everyone associated with Newcastle expected, and he will be looking to make an impact at the highest level once again.

For £17 you are getting a player who is involved in a lot that is good about Newcastle going forward, and they may well lean on him more this season to get goals, as their look short of Premier League quality up front.

In his first season in the league with Bouremouth, he showed some good quality and now another two seasons on he may well improve on that first top-flight outing. Under the guidance of a manager of Rafa Benitez's quality you are bound to progress as a player and if Newcastle are to stay up, one would imagine Ritchie will be heavily involved in that happening.

Spurs would have looked a very difficult season-opener when the fixtures came out, but with the loss of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose's injury and off-field concerns, the North London side are now unsettled at the back. Kieran Tripper and Ben Davies are both capable replacements as previously stated, but Ritchie will enjoy running at Davies all the same.

Ritchie is also a set-piece taker for his side, which is always a huge plus for fantasy purposes.

Alternative:

Wilfried Zaha (£20)

Huddersfield will have to travel to Selhurst Park to start their Premier League campaign and it is unclear how the newly promoted side will get on.

Of course there is uncertainty at Palace at the moment, with the newly appointed Frank De Boer looking to take the Premier League by storm. A graduate of Ajax's system both as a player and a manager, De Boer will undoubtedly look to introduce a more attractive style of play, which will suit the skillful Zaha.

Zaha had a very good season last year, even when Palace were struggling and as a result was linked strongly with Tottenham Hostpur, as well as former side Manchester United. For now though, Zaha looks set to stay put and if he is given the freedom in De Boer's system, he could flourish once again.

Huddersfield have spent plenty of money in the summer in a desperate bid to stay in the league, but Palace will still look to give them a reality check at the first opportunity.

Zaha seems to be at the focal point of anything good at Palace and if he carries that momentum from last season, into the first week of this one he could well score big on Saturday.

Forwards

The Stud:

Romelu Lukaku (£28)

Expensive he is, but for good reason. Many expect Manchester United to contend for the title this year, which they do most years and now they have a goal scorer of Lukaku’s quality in the side, they are that bit stronger once again.

It is not just the quality of his club though, Lukaku has an outstanding record against West Ham, scoring 9 goals in 12 appearances and those 9 goals came in 9 consecutive games whilst in an Everton shirt.

West Ham struggled last season and whilst they are expected to pick up this year, an opening day visit to Old Trafford is certainly not what they would have hoped for, even if Javier Hernandez will relish in the chance for redemption.

Simply put, Lukaku is amongst the league’s elite strikers and now playing in a team of United’s quality he should only improve and given his track record against the Hammers, he and everyone associated with the club will be expecting him to score at least once this weekend.

The Value Play:

Tammy Abraham (£16)

As mentioned previously, Abraham was in red-hot form in the Championship and whilst we have seen in the past that these strikers making a step up in league can struggle, I fully expect Abraham to make a big impact in this Swansea setup.

Paul Clement may well have used his ties at previous employers, Chelsea to get this loan deal completed and the striker who has just signed a 5-year deal at his parent club will be keen to impress at the first time of asking in the top-flight.

There are question marks surrounding Southampton this season and with Virgil Van Dijk out through injury and probably not returning as he looks for a move to a top-4 side, The Saints may well struggle in defence this season. Abraham can exploit this weakness on his competitive debut for Swansea, using his pace and clear goal scoring ability to make his mark.

Whether he is partnered up front with Fernando Llorente in the long term, or whether they go with one striker remains to be seen but if it is the latter, Abraham may have to settle for limited minutes off the bench over the course of the season. Long term doesn't matter in this game though, this week he is worth chancing at a modest price, as Llorente is ruled out with a fractured arm, which he sustained whilst cycling over the summer, making Abraham an even better prospect.

Ultimately, until proven otherwise we are looking at a striker with an eye for a goal and the world at his feet.

Alternative:

Michy Batshuayi (£18)

New signing Alvaro Morata may well need time to settle into the side and with Diego Costa disenchanted there is a chance for last summer's signing, Michy Batshuayi to get an extended run in the side.

The Belgian international scored four goals in his last three games last season and he will look to carry that form over to the new season and get a goal in the opening fixture at home to Burnley.

Burnley struggled terribly on the road last season, winning just once and losing 14 times and whilst they can only really improve on that, I don't expect them to start that improvement here.

Only Hull City and Sunderland lost more away games (15) all season and I cannot see their fortunes reversing this weekend at Stamford Bridge, so this Chelsea side should come in with every confidence of securing a good result. This should give Batshuayi the freedom to go out and play his game, which saw him score plenty of goals in France, before arriving in England.

Even if Morata is thrust straight into the starting XI, he will no doubt be eased in, so we could see Batshuayi at the very least get 20/30 minutes at the end of the game, especially if Chelsea are leading. This makes him a viable option as either your second forward or at the Utility spot.

 

27th August EPL DraftKings preview

An exciting start

It is week 3 of the 2016/17 Premier League season and we have been treated to an exciting start so far. Fantasy football is in full flow now and makes the weekends that more enjoyable.

Whilst we expected the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea to start well and score plenty of goals between them, there is a surprise inclusion at the top of the table.

Hull City have got off to a miraculous start taking maximum points from their first two games. They beat last year's champions, Leicester City 2-1 in the opening game of the season, then went to Swansea and beat them 1-2 last week. Hull have a very thin squad and currently Mike Phelan is still in charge as caretaker manager. There is no reason to expect Hull to pull off what Leicester did last season, but it is a good start all the same. Phelan will be hoping to get the gig full-time and a good result against his former employers will only help his cause.

Elsewhere there are seven more Premier League games to enjoy today. Liverpool are playing Tottenham in the early kick-off, which looks to be a thrilling encounter. This is the pick of the games today but as it is the early kick-off, the focus from a fantasy point of view will be elsewhere. The 3pm kick-offs and the later games is where to focus your attention for fantasy football on DraftKings.

Let's take a look at the best and value plays for today's games.

Goalkeepers

Best plays

Points last week: 12.0

David De Gea ($5,600)

At $5,600, De Gea is one of the more expensive goalkeepers this week but for good reason. Hull's bubble has to burst sooner or later and today may be the day.

Hull will look to counter this very strong Man Utd side, so De Gea may have some saves to make but he will expect a clean sheet and a win. As a result he can lock up 10 points for fantasy owners (+5 for a win and +5 for a clean sheet) and any saves will mean bonus points (+2).

Abel Hernandez (3 shots a game) and Diamonde (2 shots a game) may well test De Gea today and hopefully keep him busy, without scoring. Robert Snodgrass also had 5 shots against champions, Leicester on the opening weekend.

Utd have to be favourites and after improving on the one goal they let in against Bournemouth, with a clean sheet against Southampton they should be capable of more of the same today.

Last week's stats: 1 win, 1 clean sheet, 1 save

Fraser Forster ($5,500)

Points last week: 2.0

A slightly cheaper option to De Gea this week is Southampton's, Fraser Forster. He has had a rough start to the season, as his side are without a win or a clean sheet, but that can change this week.

Southampton played De Gea's, Man Utd last week and despite making an encouraging 3 saves, Forster still conceded two. Utd look strong however and today's opponents, Sunderland are a less daunting prospect.

Sunderland have lost their first two games of the season 2-1, against very different opposition. A 1-2 loss away to Manchester City seemed an admirable effort, but a loss in front of their own fans last week to their newly promoted rivals, Middlesbrough was clearly disappointing.

Jermaine Defoe is the main threat to Forster today and he registered just 2 shots at home last week, both off target. Adnan Januzaj was more of a threat firing in 4 shots (1 on target), but Forster will look to keep the pair out. Southampton are the better side and have home advantage so a win and a clean sheet look entirely possible.

Last week's stats: 3 saves, 2 goals conceded.

Value plays
Steve Mandanda ($5,000)

Points last week: N/A

Possibly a bit expensive for a value play, but Mandanda looks a good price at home v Bournemouth. Mandanda made his competitive debut for Crystal Palace against Blackpool in the cup this week, and as expected kept a clean sheet.

Whilst you cannot judge him on what he did against a League One outfit, the reviews of Mandanda's performance were positive. With Wayne Hennessey facing a late fitness test, it looks as though the French International will start. He was called up for the latest France squad this week, which is a good sign his respective managers think he is ready.

Bournemouth scored at home against Man Utd on the opening day of the season, but drew a blank away to West Ham last week and I expect the same this week. A clean sheet and a win looks probable for Palace, especially after strengthening at the other end of the field.

Last week's stats: N/A

Tom Heaton ($4,200)

Points last week: 20.0

Heaton has averaged 16.0 fantasy points over his first two games of the season and can score points again today. Whilst you wouldn't want to bet on Burnley keeping a clean sheet away to Chelsea, he should certainly be busy.

On the opening day of the season, Heaton made 7 saves against Swansea so despite conceding 1 goal, still garnered 12 points. A win and a clean sheet against Liverpool last week were a real bonus.

He has made 12 saves in two games so far this week and as long as Chelsea don't go overboard and put 3 or 4 past him, Heaton should score well for fantasy owners again today. Chelsea have won both of their games 2-1, against West Ham and Watford and a similar scoreline today could see Heaton keep up his 16 point average.

Last week's stats: 1 win, 1 clean sheet, 5 saves

Defenders

Best plays
Branislav Ivanovic ($5,100)

Points last week: 10.3

Burnley were impressive last week against Liverpool but Antonio Conte would have studied that game and should be aware of the counter-attacking threat.

With this in mind, a first clean sheet of the season looks a good bet for Ivanovic and Chelsea this week. Last week I got Burnley wrong and it cost me, but Chelsea shouldn't roll over in the same manner.

In two games so far, Ivanovic has 10 crosses, 7 of which he whipped in at Watford last week. If he can get the same number of crosses in today, points should be scored. Add on 3 points to his average so far for a clean sheet and he looks a good play.

Last week's stats: 7 crosses, 1 foul drawn, 3 tackles won, 2 interceptions

Cedric Soares ($4,900)

Points last week: 7.3

The Euro 2016 winning full-back has averaged 8.0 points so far this season and will emulate that this week. Soares has achieved this 8.0 average without a clean sheet in the first two games, so he can reach double-digit points for the first time this season.

Soares is putting in five crosses a game and also had two shots (both on target) against Watford in his first game. He will be coming up against fellow attacking full-back, Patrick Van Aanholt today, but he can get the better of him at both ends of the field.

If he can still get his crosses in, which he did against a better Man Utd last week, Soares is still a viable option. I do believe Southampton will keep a clean sheet today, which is why he looks a better play than he has so far.

Value plays
Luke Shaw ($4,300)

Points last week: 6.0

Luke Shaw has recovered from a broken leg, which kept him out for the majority of last year, but he now looks raring to go. Still just 21, the best is to come from Shaw and he will look to prove that this season.

After keeping a clean sheet against his former club last week, Shaw scored 6 fantasy points. He will look to emulate all his numbers last week against arguably a weaker Hull side and keep up the good defensive efforts from Man Utd so far this year.

Shaw has only put in two crosses (both last week) so far in his two games, but he will look to get forward more today. Using his pace, he often draws fouls, which actually scores him more fantasy points than his crosses, so hopefully he is brought down (pain-free) a lot today.

3 points for a clean sheet coupled with a more attacking performance from him today could see him score double digits for the first time this season. Shaw will also look to put in more tackles, as he has only managed to win 1 over his two games, which again will score more points.

Last week's stats: 1 clean sheet, 2 crosses, 1 foul drawn, 1 interception

Kyle Naughton ($3,700)

Unless Swansea change their style of play dramatically, Naughton will be a focal point of their attack once more.

Naughton put in 7 crosses last week against Hull and 4 in at Burnley last week, but it is the 5 shots he fired in last week that boosted his numbers.

On the defensive side of the ball, Naughton has managed to win 7 tackles and also intercept the ball 5 times in his two games, and he should get the chance to add to that against Leicester's wingers today. Whilst he may be drawn into his first foul of the season, he should still put in some solid numbers.

Leicester have not got off to a great start, scoring just one goal over the two games, which was a Riyad Mahrez penalty. If they stumble to another draw as they did last week at Arsenal, Naughton could prove great value given his modest salary.

Last week's stats: 5 shots, 7 crosses, 3 tackles won,  1 interception

Midfielders

Best plays
Eden Hazard ($8,600)

Points last week: 16.0

Hazard will probably feature in this article each week, until he becomes the most expensive midfield option. There are four midfielders more expensive than him, none of which have had made a better start than he has.

After scoring in the season opener against West Ham, Hazard failed to find the back of the net last week at Watford. Back in front of his home fans, in which is arguably an easier match-up, he can get back amongst the goals again.

It is not essential that he scores though. He managed 16.5 points against West Ham, and only dropped half a point last week at Watford.

He has the ability to rip any team apart and he looks in the form where he will do just that. Hazard will draw fouls, put in crosses and test the keeper, everything you want from an attacking player in fantasy. His 16.3 average so far is good enough, but I can see him scoring 20+ points today.

Last week's stats: 4 shots, 2 shots on target, 6 crosses, 6 fouls drawn, 1 foul conceded, 1 tackle won, 1 interception, 1 yellow card

Ross Barkley ($7,800)

Points last week: 13.8

Barkley has made a great start to the season with a goal and an assist already to his name and he looks set for another good performance against Stoke today.

Stoke were hammered 1-4 by Manchester City at home last week and that was a week after drawing away at Middlesbrough. Everton on the other hand have drawn 1-1 with Tottenham and beaten West Brom as they adjust to life under Ronald Koeman.

Barkley setup Kevin Mirallas last week, and with Mirallas' countryman Romelu Lukaku also in the fray, Barkley is surrounded by some great attacking talent.

Similar to Hazard in the respect that his points are scored across the board, this match-up looks good for him. Stoke are generally good defensively, but they have conceded 30 goals on the road in 10 games so far in 2016. Expect Everton to score today and expect Barkley to be involved one way or another.

Last week's stats: 1 assist, 2 shots, 1 shot on target, 1 cross, 4 fouls drawn 

Alternatives to these two if struggling with salary would be Adnan Januzaj ($7,400) and Andros Townsend ($7,100) who have averaged 10.1 and 19.8 points respectively so far.

Value plays
Kevin Mirallas ($5,600) 

Points last week: 14.3

Another Everton midfielder who looks set for a good game against Stoke.

Mirallas opened his account for the season against West Brom last week but like Hazard and Barkley doesn't rely on goals to score fantasy points. He had two shots (both on target) and 7 crosses against Tottenham, whilst he scored with his only shot last week.

The tricky Belgian draws fouls, puts in crosses and generally does everything a good winger should do.

After falling out of favour last year, Mirallas has enjoyed the minutes he has had on the field so far. Roberto Martinez has just taken over as Belgium boss and although he was the one who wasn't playing him last season, he has recalled him to his latest squad. Another good performance this week will be vital for Mirallas ahead of the international break.

Last week's stats: 1 goal, 1 shot, 1 shot on target, 3 crosses, 1 foul drawn, 2 fouls conceded

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ($4,700)

Points last week: 9.3

Primarily used as a defensive midfielder, Hojbjerg doesn't seem the most viable fantasy option, but he can get points.

Given his strong presence in the middle of the park he has the ability to break up play (3 interceptions and 5 tackles won last week) but he can also offer attacking value.

Hojbjerg is a class player, you only need to look at his past to know that. He already has 17 caps for Denmark at 21, and made 17 appearances for Bayern Munich before they sold him to the Saints.

He managed to score a decent amount of points against Utd last week in his first start (played 35 minutes week one), so he should be able to build on that as Southampton improve. That improvement should start this week against Sunderland so he is worth chancing. Hojbjerg scored 12 goals in 32 starts when representing Denmark at U17, U19 and U21 level so if given the chance to get forward he could pitch in with a goal. He also netted twice in the Bundesliga last year during his 16 appearances on loan at FC Augsburg.

Last week's stats: 3 crosses, 2 fouls drawn, 3 fouls conceded, 5 tackles won, 3 interceptions

Forwards

Best plays
Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($9,600)

Ibrahimovic has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water, already bagging three goals in two games. He scored 2 last week against Southampton and a repeat performance looks likely.

The big man can drawn fouls even when he's not scoring and just his sheer presence gives defenders a hard game. There are no points for being an effective presence though, so fantasy owners will want goals.

Ibrahimovic has attempted 5 shots so far, 4 of which have been on target and 3 which have been goals, which is a great ratio. Whilst he is expensive, he is playing a make-shift defence that can't put the heroic shifts they have been so far in every week.

Man Utd could put in 3 or 4 against Hull today, of which Ibrahimovic will be right at the heart of.

Last week's stats: 2 goals, 3 shots, 2 shots on target, 2 crosses, 2 fouls drawn, 1 foul conceded, 1 tackle won, 1 interception 

Romelu Lukaku ($9,000)

Points last week: 3.3

Lukaku came off the bench after 37 minutes last week after West Brom took the lead, in what was his first appearance of the season.

Now that all the speculation of a transfer away is behind him, it should be another good season for the man who scored 18 in the league last year.

In the three seasons Lukaku has been at Everton, he has played Stoke 6 times and scored 4 goals including 3 last season. He scored 2 in the home fixture last year and can do the same today.

With Barkley and Mirallas' support, Lukaku can run this Stoke defence that has looked fragile, absolutely ragged today.

Last week's stats: 2 shots, 2 shots on target, 1 cross, 3 fouls conceded

Value plays
Shane Long ($6,800) 

Points last week: 9.0

Coming off the back of his best goal-scoring season in the Premier League (10), big things are expected of Long this season to.

Whilst he has not found the net in his opening two games of the season, Southampton as a side have not been at the races and if expected they improve today, Long should to.

With the pace of Long and Nathan Redmond in attack, the Saints should cause defences all sorts of bother this season and Long will be looking for 15+ this year.

The Sunderland defence is suspect at best and Long will use his pace to get in behind and score today.

Last week's stats: 4 shots, 1 shot on target, 2 fouls drawn, 2 tackles won

Nathan Redmond ($5,900)

One or the other are going to score today as Southampton should record their first victory of the season. Redmond has the upper hand on Long so far after netting against Watford on his debut and can do the same again today.

Redmond could easily drift out wide an provide support as well as be in the middle to score and this makes him an exciting fantasy option.

He didn't have a chance to do anything against Man Utd last week, but he should have more opportunities this week. Whilst his 3.5 points last week was disappointing, the 19.3 in week one was great especially given his salary each week.

This is the most expensive he has been all season, but at sub-$6k he is still more than viable.

Last week's stats: 1 shot, 2 crosses, 2 interceptions

 

20th August EPL DraftKings preview (3pm)

Re-introduction to DraftKings

It is time to back into the swing of things, in the world of EPL on DraftKings. For those of you that still don't know, DraftKings is a daily fantasy sports service. What this means is instead of agonising over your season-long fantasy team, you get to put one together each week.

The Rules

What remains the same in DraftKings this season is you will have a salary cap ($50,000) and you will need to pick 8 players. In the new format this season however, you will now pick; 1 x Goalkeeper, 2 x Defenders, 2 Midfielders, 2 Forwards and 1 x Utility player. The Utility player is an extra player you can have in your line-up with no position restrictions.

Also new this year is the M/F option. There are now certain players that can be selected as either Midfielders or Forwards, typically wingers. One example of this type of player is Riyad Mahrez. The reason you might like to use Mahrez as a Forward is maybe there is only one out and out Striker you like that week, but three attacking players who you want in your line-up. You are now no longer forced to select two Strikers, which is becoming less common in real-life formations these days.

You get the idea, other than that it is all fairly self-explanatory.

How scoring works on DraftKings

As you may guess, certain players are expensive, others aren't. Like your usual fantasy football though, there is always value. Salaries are based on form, match-ups and the ability to score points. A good example of this is Lukasz Fabianski. Now you would not expect him to be the 4th most expensive starting keeper this week, but here is why he is. Fabianski made 115 saves (2nd highest) and kept 9 clean sheets (6th highest) last season, despite Swansea's struggles. Swansea as a team struggled, but more often than not, Fabianski played well. Even in games where he was conceding (-2 points) he was making up for it in the number of saves made (+2 points).

Here is a full list of the DraftKings Scoring Rules for all positions:

This should give you an idea of those sort of players that can have a massive effect for you on a weekly basis. Players who are going to take several set-pieces in a game become important, as does the marauding full-back in the side, it is not just about goals.

Without further ado, here are the players in each position that could win you some contests this week. It is important not just to find the best option in each position, but also the value players, so multiple picks will be offered in each position.

Goalkeepers

Best Plays 
Simon Mignolet ($5,300)

Points last week: 6.0

Mignolet had a torrid time last week, but he couldn't really be blamed. He picked the ball out of the back of the net three times, after his side hung on to beat Arsenal 4-3. The Belgian stopper will be expecting an entirely different week altogether against newly promoted, Burnley.

Despite conceding 3 goals, Mignolet did manage two saves, one of which was a penalty stop from Theo Walcott. Whilst he may not have a whole bunch to do against Burnley this week, striker Andre Gray will be looking for his first goal in the top-flight and may ask some questions of Mignolet and his Liverpool defence. Liverpool looked in good form going forward last week so should score and they will be hoping for a tighter performance from the defence. You have to believe they will have worked on this on the training ground this week, so a win and a clean sheet looks perfectly viable here.

Last week's stats: 1 x win, 2 saves, 1 x penalty save, 3 goals conceded

Lukasz Fabianski ($5,000) 

Points last week: 17.0

As noted above, Fabianski is one of the most viable fantasy options in this format, due to his suitability to the scoring system. What I mean by that is that his position is based on the amount of saves made and clean sheets (he ranked 2nd and 6th respectively last season). After making three saves last week, he is currently on track to make 114 through the season.

Swansea kept a clean sheet against Burnley last week and play another side promoted from the Championship last season, in the shape of Hull City. Swansea have the home advantage and if you believe as I do that it will be low scoring, Fabianski could rack up the points again. Hull started their season brightly against defending champions, Leicester last week beating them 2-1. Confidence will be high, but Swansea and more importantly Fabianski can keep them out. Should Swansea manage a smash and grab 1-0 victory, Fabianski could score in the region of the 17 he garnered last week.

Given his salary, Fabianski may actually be a better option than Mignolet.

Last week's stats: 1 win, 1 clean sheet, 3 saves, 1 tackle won

Value play
Eldin Jakupovic ($4,300)

Points last week: 11.0

In favour of picking Fabianski is my prediction that the Swansea v Hull game should be low-scoring, so why not pick the keeper at the other end?

Jakupovic made a great start to life in the Premier League last week, making 4 saves, en-route to a 2-1 victory over Leicester City. Thanks to the 8 points he accumulated through his saves + the 5 points for the win, he still walked out way with 11 points last weekend. Swansea have attacking options that can test him, so saves will be on the cards again. Hull managed to keep Leicester out from open-play, as Mahrez scored from the spot to equalise. This make-shift defence could consider themselves unlucky last week, as it looked as though Demarai Gray was brought down outside the box anyway. Out of position Jake Livermore played at centre-back last week as well, so this defensive effort was even more impressive.

Both keepers in this game may be as busy as they were last week, given some of the attacking talent on the field, however I still think both can score well.

Last week's stats: 1 win, 4 saves, 1 goal conceded

Defenders

Best plays
Kyle Walker ($5,300)

Points last week: 12.3

The cheaper of the two Tottenham Hotspur full-backs this week and as a result my favourite play. In true Walker fashion last week, he managed to put in 5 crosses, one of which led to an assist.

Walker put in a inviting cross, which Erik Lamela cooly converted with a diving header. Always known more of an attacking full-back, Walker improved last year defensively and therefore looks a solid pick each week. On top of his attacking efforts, Walker managed 2.6 tackles a game last season, which is a sterling effort for a full-back. No one played more games than Walker (33) and averaged higher.

A clean sheet could very easily be on the cards against Palace who have one recognised striker available (Connor Wickham) and have just lost Yannick Bolasie. Wilfried Zaha will look to expose Walker, but Palace have managed just 2 Premier League wins in 2016, so form is against them.

Last week's stats: 5 crosses, 1 assist, 1 shot, 2 fouls conceded, 2 tackles won, 1 interception

Nathaniel Clyne ($4,400)

Points last week: 11.3

Another full-back I love this week is Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne. It is nip and tuck between Clyne and Walker as to who is the best English right-back, with Walker just getting the nod last season and at Euro 2016.

Clyne is however a very good fantasy play each week. Jurgen Klopp's system generally allows him to get forward and express himself in the attacking third. He loves doing this is and has proven a threat in the past, even as recently as last week. Although his back was against the wall defensively against Arsenal last Sunday, Clyne still scored 11.3 points. This was thanks to the the one cross he managed to swing in leading to an assist for Phillipe Coutinho.

Clyne also managed to get a shot in on goal and with the extra freedom this week, he should elevate all his numbers. A win and a clean sheet looks likely, so should he get forward and deliver more crosses, points will be scored.

Last week's stats: 1 assist, 1 cross, 1 foul drawn, 1 foul conceded, 2 tackles won, 1 interception

Value play
Kyle Naughton ($3,500)

Points last week: 12.0

Play him while you can. I say this because as the season goes on, he probably won't be such a viable option. Swansea had a tough time last season and that may not change this year.

This week though, they have a favourable home match-up against Hull, where a clean sheet isn't against the realms of possibility. Last week, Naughton put up 4's across the board. Whilst contributing to Swansea's clean sheet, Naughton managed to put in four crosses alongside his solid defensive efforts.

Naughton won four tackles as well as intercepting the ball on four occasions and if he can put up similar numbers this week against another newly promoted team, he could prove great value.

Last week's stats: 4 crosses, 4 tackles won, 4 interceptions

Midfielders

Best plays
Riyad Mahrez ($9,900)

Points last week: 22.0

Mahrez is the second most expensive player on DraftKings in today's 3pm kick-offs, and for good reason.

Even though 12 of his 22 points came from converting a penalty last week, he should still be considered again this week. It is almost written in the stars that the tricky winger will put Arsenal to sword today. He has been chased relentlessly by today's opposition all summer, before he signed a new deal at the King Power Stadium in the week until 2020 and he will be keen to show the Gunners what they are missing.

The Algerian fired in 5 shots last week, of which 2 were on target and also swung in two crosses. This was a good output given the disappointing performance from his side and hopefully he can kick on today, in what will be a more open game.

Mahrez can also be used as a forward thanks to the new M/F position, so should be played in some capacity.

Last week's stats: 1 goal, 5 shots, 2 shots on goal, 2 crosses, 3 fouls drawn, 1 foul conceded, 1 tackle won

Eden Hazard ($7,800)

Points last week: 16.5

Another that qualifies as a M/F, however the modest salary means playing him in midfield makes more sense.

I am convinced Hazard is going to be the player he was two seasons ago and will be in the running for Player of the Season. He showed some of this form on Monday night against West Ham and faces arguably weaker opposition in the shape of Watford today.

Again, like Mahrez, Hazard scored from the penalty spot. Statistically Hazard was pretty good in general on Monday night, scoring 16.5 points but I expect a better output today.

He shoots, crosses, draws fouls and scores. With the likes of Diego Costa in front of him he can always expect an assist too. At $7,800 he is my favourite play this week. This is a $200 saving on Monday night, which seems extremely generous given the opposition.

Last week's stats: 1 goal, 3 shots, 1 shot on goal, 2 crosses, 1 foul drawn

Value play
Adam Lallana ($5,700)

Points last week: 17.0

Adam Lallana put in a fine performance against Arsenal last week, so expect something similar at Turf Moor today.

Lallana was positioned in a more reserved position, but still managed to find the net, with an exquisite finish. The Englishman played in the midfield three, with Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum, whilst Sadio Mane, Roberto Firminio and Phillipe Coutinho formed an attacking three.

Should this game go as expected, Lallana will have plenty of chances to contribute offensively, so points are up for grabs.

Last week's stats: 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 shots, 1 shot on goal, 2 fouls conceded, 1 interception, 1 yellow card

Strikers

Best play
Diego Costa ($8,400)

Points last week: 16.0

The pricing on Chelsea players seems generous all round this week and Costa is no exception. He scored the winner on Monday night against West Ham and can easily find the net against Watford today.

With the likes of Willian and Hazard giving support, Costa will have chance in bundles this season.

Costa was booked last week, which can potentially happen in every game, given his combative nature, but his scoring output outweighs this.

Chelsea can win this game comfortably today and with Costa spear-heading the attack, points should be scored.

Last weeks stats: 1 goal, 3 shots, 2 on goal, 3 fouls drawn, 1 foul conceded, 1 yellow card

Value play
Salomon Rondon ($5,600) 

Points last week: 22.3

Rondon could be put in both the Best play and Value play category, so I have put one striker in each. At just $5,600 you can have the focal point a team's attack in your side.

The Venezuelan international scored 10 goals in 35 appearances in his first season in England. This was in a West Brom side that finished 14th and scored just 34 goals in total. With a full season in the Premier League under his belt he should improve this year and 15 goals seems a realistic target.

Rondon scored last week and attempted 6 shots in total, of which 2 were on target. Repeating this high volume of shots on a weekly basis, could mean plenty of points this season. He will face a decent Everton side today, but they can be scored against. Rondon is back in front of his own fans this week, which can only help.

Last week's stats: 1 goal, 3 shots, 2 shots on target, 3 crosses, 2 fouls drawn, 1 foul conceded, 1 interception

It's Derby Day

Two huge crunch matches today, that could decide the next season competitions these teams will be playing in 2016/17.

Man City take on Man Utd which could decide the qualification for the Champions League and the loser the Europa League.

Newcastle take on Sunderland in the North East Derby in which could decide one of these teams playing in the Championship next season and for the winner a stay of execution in the Premier League.

Both will be highly passionate and tense and I wouldn't bet against a red card in either!

Premier League Matchweek 29 DraftKings preview

It's Matchweek 29 in the Barclays Premier League or the EPL as it is commonly know worldwide, and there are some fascinating match-ups, with Tottenham v Arsenal at White Hart Lane set to take centre stage.

This is one of the most significant North London Derby meetings in years, with Spurs sitting in 2nd place 3pts behind Leicester on 54 points, with Arsenal a further 3 points behind on 51. Both teams missed a chance to get closer to the leaders, with Spurs losing to West Ham in the week and Arsenal also losing to Swansea.

With home advantage Spurs will be well fancied but you just don't know which way these derby games are going to go on the day.

Another intriguing match-up this week are the two in-forms teams playing each other, as West Ham who currently sit 4th in the form table (last six games) make the trip North where they will face Everton (6th) at Goodison Park. In reality these two teams sit 6th and 11th respectively in the league, but they are certainly in fine form as it stands.

West Ham can make top-4 a reality though if results against the two Manchester clubs go their way as they are a point behind the two with City sitting 4th and United 5th. They will find it tough though, as they have not beaten Everton at Goodison in the last seven years, and have lost four of those meetings in that time. They have also won just one of their last six games on the road, although they will take heart from the fact that Everton have won just one of the last six games in front of their own fans, losing four in the process.

Looking at the form it can go either way on the day as both teams are evenly matched, with Everton maybe having the slight edge thanks to a certain Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku who found the net again in the week against Villa, marked his 17th goal of the season. This was his first in seven, but he will keen to get to the 20-goal mark before the end of the season. Other stars on show will be the likes of Dmiri Payet and Ross Barkley who will be throwing themselves in the mix as midfielder of the season alongside Mesut Ozil and Deli Alli.

There are a five other games on Saturday ; Chelsea v Stoke, City v Villa, Newcastle v Bournemouth, Southampton v Sunderland, and Swansea v Norwich. These are the games that I will be focusing my attention on regarding fantasy picks.

I will be picking two players from each category, my favourite player in each position (without price consider) and a sleeper/value pick who to me represent the best value of the week.

DraftKings Premier League Preview:

Goalkeeper(s):

Lukasz Fabianski ($3,800) - Norwich have lost their last five straight away games and scored just one goal in the process, since beating Manchester United 2-1 the weekend before Christmas. With that in mind I can see them struggling against this Swansea side that beat Arsenal at the Emirates in the week.

Fabianaki made 13 saves against Tottenham three games ago, and made 3 last game against Arsenal.

His points chances must be boosted by Norwich's lack of ability to score on the road and I can see him slamming the door shut this week, hopefully keeping a clean sheet for just the second time in his last ten games.

He maybe a risky play, but he represents good value considering the opposition, and there are question marks about the others above him in the price list.

Defenders:

Charlie Daniels ($4,200) -  Daniels has double-digit outings in his last three matches against ; Southampton (10.5), Watford (14.0) and Stoke (17.5), this was of course helped by clean sheets for Bournemouth against both Southampton and Watford in the last two starts.

His best tally in that time was obviously the 17.5 against Stoke and that was secured with his 5th assist of the season, six crosses and also adding a shot on goal. Strangely this was the game of the three where he didn't keep a clean sheet, and it's likely he doesn't keep one again this week.

In Newcastle's last three games they have scored 6 goals, including 3 against United in the 3-3 draw and the should be good enough to get a goal against this Bournemouth.

It's the upside that you get with Daniels' production and if Bournemouth can score a goal, there is a good chance he could be involved.

Vincent Kompany ($2,700) - Despite City not keeping clean sheets in any of their last three league games, they have played Tottenham, Liverpool and Leicester you have to fancy them to keep an Aston Villa side who sit bottom of the table at bay for 90 minutes.

In this fixture, Villa have only managed 4 goals  in the last 8 meetings, those goals coming over the space of three games and City have won every time, winning to nil on five occasions.

Kompany, although not a prolific point scorer (averaging 5 points this season) is the sort of the player that can nick a goal at any point and if you expect, like I do he will keep a clean sheet he's worth the $2,700 you need to spend on him.

Midfielders

Xherdan Shaqiri ($6,100) - Shaqiri is slowly turning into Stoke's main attacking outlet, taking the reigns from early season form man Marco Arnautovic.

Crosses are a big part of players points scoring in this game and Shaqiri has put in 33 of them in his last two starts, which is absolutely off the charts.

He has got a goal and two assists in his last three games, and he is definitely in the reckoning for the best fantasy midfield option at present.

His 29.5 points tally against Newcastle last week was a great performance, and he can put in a solid effort again at Stamford Bridge. These two fixtures actually came in a row earlier in the season and he got 6.5 against Newcastle and 11.0 the next game against Chelsea, so I think he can get a decent score again this time around.

I am playing Shaqiri until there is a significant drop in form from him.

Michail Antonio ($5,100) - Antonio has finally started showing what he's capable of on a regular basis and with goals in his last two starts I am happy to take a chance of him scoring again.

West Ham will be well up for the visit to Everton, and will fancies their chances of taking points back to East London.

If he doesn't score, he should at least be busy with efforts on goal and will hopefully be involved in any chances or goals his team can muster up.

His points total in fantasy has very much  relied on him scoring goals, as he's not the busiest player otherwise in the other scoring facets of the game, so I'm hoping the scoring streak makes it to 3 in 3.

Forwards: 

Sergio Aguero ($8,600) - There's a reason Aguero is the priciest player this week, and that is because he has the softest matchup, Villa at home.

Whilst he drew blanks against Tottenham and Liverpool in his last two league starts, he's scored 8 goals in all competitions since the start of 2016 and he should find the net again this week.

Villa are the sort of the side Aguero can run ragged and it wouldn't be a surprise at all to see him chip in with a hat-trick this week.

Max Gradel ($4,100) - Gradel has returned from a torn ACL he suffered back in August and on his two games back he has accumulated 28.0 points.

He only played 67 of the 90 minutes on his return as he came on for Junior Stanislas in the 23rd minute against Watford, but he still managed to fire 3 shots on goal and swing in another 2 crosses, whilst generally being busy, good enough for an 11.0 point showing.

In his last game he put in 10 crosses and also took a shot on goal, which along with the other facets of his game was enough for 17.0 points.

Now in his third game back he should be firing on all cylinders, and given the type of player he is, he has the ability to score double-digits every week.

If he can get some more shots in and get his first goal for the club, something that is feasible against a questionable Newcastle side,  he could be a great option, given his $4,100 price tag this week.

Sleepers/Utility picks:

Struggling to fill your team, due to low funds after you've tried to fit in the likes of Aguero and Costa in the same lineup? Here's two players  under $3,000 who could well add some cheap points for you.

Ramiro Funes-Mori ($2,500) - Funes-Mori has played fairly well this season and generally likes to get involved at the attacking end of the pitch as well as doing his defensive duties, chipping in with 9 shots in his last four games.

He contributed a goal and an assist against Villa mid-week, which secured him 21.0 points and in a game where a set-piece could be the difference, it may be worth having the Everton man in your line-up.

Bertrand Traore ($2,800) - At $2,800 Traore offers great value. Listed as a midfielder, the forward can add a goal against Stoke and he's definitely worth adding to the lineup.

He's got double-digit points in the last two games thanks to a goal and an assist, which should have been enough to secure more playing time.