- Round one of the 2018-19 season showed that some things don’t change in the Premier League. City and United keep winning, Salah keeps scoring and Kane still can’t find the net in August.
Another thing that stays the same is PlayON offering daily fantasy Premier League contests for cash prizes. To help you move up the leaderboard this week, I’ve provided a rundown of each Gameweek 2 match, including must-have guns and sneaky value picks for the your sides, along with some Point of Difference (“POD”) picks to set you apart from the competition.
Cardiff v Newcastle
The early Saturday game sees both sides coming off the back of opening round defeats. Cardiff managed just one shot on target against Bournemouth and unless you think they’ll show up at home, you wouldn’t be jumping on many for your DFS squads this round.
Newcastle went down 2-1 to Spurs and hit the target just twice themselves. The lack of chance conversion is a worry, but they’ve enjoyed playing Cardiff in the past, winning the last ten. You’d be forgiven then for finding space for the odd Magpies forward or midfielder in your team this week.
Matt Ritchie (£8.4m) provided the assist for Joselu’s goal against Tottenham en route to a 1195-point performance on PlayON. Add in the fact he seems to enjoy playing Cardiff (with a goal and two assists in his last couple against the Bluebirds) and he should definitely be in your thoughts this week.
A couple of choices here, all with pros and cons. Neil Etheridge (£6.2m) was the only Cardiff player to score over 1000 last out, and if they continue to give away 60%-plus in possession, he could find himself very busy again and earn a few points for saves. That said, the score last week was inflated by the penalty save from Wilson, so maybe avoid for now.
Joselu (£7m) managed to get on the scoresheet last week with a well-taken header. 1670 points for that price seems a no-brainer, but remember this is someone who scored just four in 30 appearances last season. Maybe that was the start he needed and he’ll find his groove now. The risk is yours to take, but he won’t have many ‘easier’ opponents on paper.
Everton v Southampton
Both sides earned a point in round one, but I was more impressed with the Toffees’ 2-2 with a man down than the Saints’ 0-0 at home to Burnley. Until they start scoring, I wouldn’t touch any Southampton forwards in your daily fantasy lineups. The defenders and keeper scored well with the clean sheet, but this game is away from home, so I would avoid them and load up on players in blue from this one, especially given their home record against this week’s opponents.
One of the ones I got right last week – Richarlison (£9.2m) – had looked good through pre-season and hit the ground running with two goals and 2905 points. I did say he wouldn’t stay £8.2m for long!
Coming into a home game this week, you’d expect him to keep going. The only concern is the fact he limped off with a calf complaint, but the indications seem to be that he’ll play. Lock him in.
All the measures are pointing at Saints’ defenders for value after game one, but as I said above, I am not fancying them this week.
Instead, I am looking at Michael Keane (£7m), whose assist last week meant he managed over 1000 points despite conceding two. A home game against a misfiring strike-force and the continued threat from set pieces puts him firmly in my sights this week.
There are some who might look at the 215 score last week and be put off, but let’s not forget that Gylfi Sigurdsson (£10.3m) was the one sacrificed after Phil Jagielka’s first half red card. Barring another sending off here, he should get substantially more game time and more chance to show his class.
Leicester v Wolves
This is the first Premier League meeting of these two since the 03/04 season. The last game that season was a bore draw, but the one before finished 4-3 to Wolves (who were 3-0 down). If you think another 0-0 is on the cards, defensive minded players are the way to go. Looking at both squads though, I think the goal-fest is more likely, bringing the attacking players into daily fantasy contention.
Does he ever not score? Another one for Jamie Vardy (£12.7m) last week, showing he’s capable of finding the net even without Mahrez supplying. He could bag his 50th home goal for the Foxes in this one, and still has a few goals in him yet.
Whilst Vardy can now be called an established Premier League goalscorer, Raul Jiminez (£7.9m) is just starting off. But what a way to announce yourself, grabbing the equaliser in your first game at this level. Can he back it up this week? Why not.
Assisting Jiminez and scoring a sublime free kick for Wolves’ other goal, Ruben Neves (£7.3m) also started on the front foot following the hype around his Championship season last year. Wolves could be the surprise package this season and these two will be at the centre of it if so. Both will likely be very popular in daily fantasy sides this week.
A quiet game last week against United, but you can’t ignore the aerial presence of Harry Maguire (£7.2m) – as evidenced in England’s World Cup campaign. Leicester should get more chance to attack against Wolves and hopefully more set pieces for Maguire to try and stick his head on.
Spurs v Fulham
Fulham saw 66% of the ball last week but couldn’t trouble the scorers in a 2-0 loss to Palace. That’s worrying, as they likely won’t get anywhere near that against Tottenham, so will need to be a lot more clinical or their forwards won’t be worth playing in this week’s competitions.
Spurs have turned Wembley into something of a fortress, losing only to Chelsea and City here. They won’t be too concerned then by news of a delayed move into the new stadium. Kane remains in his August curse, so look elsewhere in the home squad for your DFS points this week.
Even without a goal or assist, Christian Eriksen (£13.7m) managed 1325 points last week – what a beast! It’s only a matter of time until he’s back amongst them. When he is, the score will be huge.
A sneaky video-technology goal; a score over 2000 and price under £9m and a home game against a side with a good chance of a clean sheet. Jan Vertonghen (£8.6m) ticks all the boxes here.
Something of an out of the box pick here, but any ‘keeper who can score 1500+ in a 2-0 loss is worthy of consideration, even in another game they might lose. Fabri (£6.6m)made eight saves last week and could get the opportunity to make a few more here against a potent Spurs attack (plus August-Kane).
West Ham v Bournemouth
Despite a 4-0 pasting last week, the optimism around West Ham’s squad this season is still there for me, they just aren’t top four or six contenders. Bournemouth started with a win and will be looking to kick on this and exploit any low confidence in the Hammers after last week.
Two wins each and two draws in six meetings and always goals. Over four a game on average in fact. Maybe you shouldn’t pick defenders from this one…
Another of the few I got right last week was Ryan Fraser (£8.2m). He just always seems to be involved and scored again last week on his way to 2050 points. There’s nothing to suggest he won’t be one of the main men this week if the Cherries are to take something.
Another Cherry who went well in round one was Callum Wilson (£8.7m), scoring 2645 even with a penalty miss. His ability is without doubt, the only question mark is around whether he can string a good run of form together and back up good scores. He seems to be the main man upfront this season, so no better chance than now.
There’s always a chance people ignore players from teams after heavy defeats, so you could pick up some Hammers’ players that most won’t have in their daily fantasy team. If West Ham get more than the 35% possession they had last week (which they should), new boy Felipe Anderson (£8.5m) could see a score well above the 860 he managed against Liverpool.
Chelsea v Arsenal
Closing out Saturday’s games, the baptism of fire continues for Unai Emery. City first up and then Chelsea away was probably not how he would have liked to start his reign.
The tough fixtures also make it harder to justify sending the big money on the Arsenal guns, with Aubameyang (£15m) and Lacazette (£13.2m) managing just 780 between them last week. Not the return you want on those prices and probably a risk not worth taking this week either. Wait for West Ham in round three to splash on these two.
He only played 15 minutes from the bench in round one, but in that time Eden Hazard (£14.4m) managed an assist and 670 points. In terms of points-per-minute for round one, he’s probably only bettered by Daniel Sturridge. You’d have to think the Belgian comes back into the starting side for this one. With the Blues winning five of the last six at home against the Gunners, he should also pick up some points if he does start.
One player who has immediately benefitted from the new manager and tactics is N’Golo Kante (£7.7m). I spoke to his defensive stats last week, but his new advanced positioning has already reaped rewards, with the opener in round one. Expect a few more goals, but even if he doesn’t get them, he will still give you the same solid defensive stats. Should be one of the first names on your daily fantasy teamsheets.
In a losing side giving up the majority of possession, Matteo Guendouzi (£5.9m) scored 1075 for owners from holding midfield. I see the Chelsea game playing out similar, so he should see similar amounts of action, and a similar score, this week.