After a sneaky midweek game to tide us over, the Premier League returns this weekend with a full slate of fixtures for round 26. There’s a couple of big games on the way too, at both ends of the table.
Some big games from the boys at PlayON as well, with Daily Fantasy offerings throughout the round. To help you out in your efforts to take home the cash prizes, I have gone through the games and picked out my best plays from a DDFS perspective, starting with Saturday.
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Crystal Palace v West Ham
A win for Palace last out and a good point against Liverpool for West Ham. The Hammers sit a bit further away from the drop zone than the Eagles, so the three points more valuable to the home side at this stage.
Fifteen previous meetings for these two see West Ham lead 7-4 in terms of wins, including a 3-2 victory back in December. They are also unbeaten in the last five against the Eagles, winning three.
On that basis, I would lean towards them for the result and their players for PlayON purposes. That said, with just four clean sheets for the visitors, I can see an argument for the odd home player also.
Back with an assist last out, a quieter spell recently hasn’t stopped Felipe Anderson (£10.7m) maintaining a 1450 average.
If the Hammers build on their good result at Liverpool with a result in this one, he should be one of the driving forces behind that.
Priced as a defender, Jeffrey Schlupp (£6.7m)’s four goals for the term means his average of near-800 sits as value for money.
A goal last out, he could benefit from the more advanced position he is being utilised in by means of goals and assists is the Eagles are to get on the scoresheet here.
Banned for a second for clapping at the ref, some may overlook Wilf Zaha (£11m), not realising his appeal means he gets to play this one. Some may leave him out purely because he’s averaging under 1000 while costing so much.
Whatever the reason, the chance of low ownership shapes him as a POD if he does something here. He does have a goal and an assist in his last two starts…
Huddersfield v Arsenal
Fresh from a 5-0 spanking at the hands of Chelsea, bottom side Huddersfield face another top-four hopeful in Arsenal.
They’re not much to say really, the Terriers have been poor of late and the Gunners are three from three against them in the Premier League. Could be another big one, but whatever the score, it’s all Gunners for DFS purposes.
Nothing doing against City, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£17.1m) has 15 goals and six assists for the season, building a PlayON average of 1620.
Playing against a team leaking goals, he could fill his boots here.
A goal against City, Laurent Koscielny’s 915 average is not a bad pickup for £7.8m. A good chance of a clean sheet and, with two in his last two starts, not a bad chance of a goal as well.
Some may hold off to see how he goes in the Premier League, or overlook his 120 average after a cameo appearance against City. But the rumour is Denis Suarez (£6.7m) is pushing for a start here.
If he gets a start though, this is a game where Arsenal could run riot, so he is worth taking a punt on.
Liverpool v Bournemouth
What a difference a week makes for Liverpool. After Newcastle’s shock win over City, the Reds had the chance to go seven clear with a win at Leicester. Two draws later and City are now top on goal difference, albeit having played one more. The mental impact of throwing away the lead could be massive in the title race though.
They will be looking to get back on track against a Bournemouth side who lost to Cardiff immediately after giving Chelsea a battering. The very definition of a mixed bag, and sums up why they sit exactly mid-table.
Not a bad game for the hosts to try and get back to winning ways. From seven clashes, they’ve won five and drawn one and have won the last three by a combined 11-0. Smart money is on the Reds, and their players for PlayON sides.
Two games without an attacking stat. Mo Salah (£16.7m) must be due then!
An average of 1870, although it does come at a Premium. Your biggest headache for Saturday’s games will likely be Salah vs Aubameyang.
Two assists in two games, picking up the 900+ average of James Milner (£7m) for his cut-price is a good piece of business.
Should continue to get game time with all the injuries floating around.
With a couple of defensive outs, the Reds have conceded in each of their last three, so the Cherries are a chance for a consolation here.
If it comes, I’m backing Ryan Fraser (£10.7m) to add to his five goals or nine assists. I can see a lot of players overlooking the away players here if they back the hosts for the win, so he could see low ownership levels.
Southampton v Cardiff
Relegation six-pointer here, with Cardiff in the drop zone and Southampton only two points away. The Saints are actually unbeaten in the last five and the Bluebirds beat Bournemouth last out, so both should come into this with confidence.
Just the three matchups at this level. After the Saints for the first 3-0, back in 13/14, the Bluebirds have taken the next two 1-0.
Tough to call, but the extended form of the home team edges it for me. Just five clean sheets for them this season, however, and none in four, means the odd player from the visitors could provide value.
No Ings? No worries as Nathan Redmond (£8.9m) stepped up and took on goalscoring responsibility for the Saints last out.
A couple of goals and assists of late. Starting to show a glimpse of his previous form?
Bagging both goals against Bournemouth, is it time for Bobby Reid (£8.1m) to kick on and replicate his Championship scoring form?
If it is, he won’t be priced this low for long.
Watford v Everton
No win in two for these sides and just the three between them in the last five games. Despite that, they both still sit in the top half and just a point away from each other.
Eleven matches of history for these two, of which the Toffees have won six to the Hornet’s four, with three draws. Also a draw back before Christmas, but the four games before that all went to the home side.
The result could be a bit of a stab in the dark. My most likely outcome given the defensive records would be goals on each side, so avoiding defensive-minded players here.
Topping the DFS averages in this on with 1150, Abdoulaye Doucouré (£11.3m) is expected to return for the hosts.
Three goals and five assists for the season. Two of those were headed goals too, so he could capitalise on the Toffees’ well-documented struggled with set pieces.
Priced cheap as chips, Tom Davies (£5.8m) is a good pick up for this one. Even the current average of 630 is not bad for the price, but if he can snag a goal or assist in this, he will score well above that.
He has played 90 minutes in each of the last three, should be set for another run in this one.
I asked an Evertonian friend of mine who he thought was due for this one. The response was “Cenk Tosun (£7.6m) – if he plays!”
He certainly won’t be in many teams with his current average, but eyes on the teamsheets if he gets a start. In his last start he popped up with an assist so could be a real POD here.
Brighton v Burnley
Closing out the day is a fixture that in it’s, admittedly short, Premier League history has produced just one goal. Draws for both last out and no wins in three for either – although Burnley are unbeaten in five. The Seagulls currently sit 13th and the Clarets 17th but they are separated by just one point, showing just how tight the bottom of the table is.
Given two of the three meetings have finished 0-0, you can expect a low scoring one here. I’m leaning towards the visitors sneaking it, so focussing on their players from a DFS perspective.
Three goals in his last six, if anyone’s going to win it for Burnley, it is Chris Wood (£9m)! He knows where the goal is and is priced under $10m, all upside!
My second most likely to score pick goes to Ashley Barnes (£9.3m), who has two in two and six for the season.
I still favour Wood, but if you think the Clarets find the net more than once, he’s a good second pick.
Another day of action done, or it will be once you head to the lobby and enter your teams.
Still, plenty to come though, so be sure to check back in for the Sunday and Monday previews.