Football

2 years ago

EPL Gameweek 31 Daily Fantasy Preview

While many season-long fantasy football enthusiasts (myself included) ponder on how to tackle this short gameweek in English Premier League, we take a look at the given week from the daily fantasy perspective. We will analyze the EPL slate on FanTeam and help you choose worthy picks for your fantasy lineup both in defense and attack.

In this article we will focus on Saturday's slate which features these matches:

All games start at 3 p.m. GMT!

6-a-side format


For gameweek 31 FanTeam have rolled out a 6-a-side one day tournament. You must choose only 6 outfield players for your lineup with no more than 4 players from the same team. You do NOT get to pick a goalie. Your total budget is 60 million.

You are not required to fill every position in your squad (defenders, midfielders, attackers). Although, you must not have more than 5 players in each position. That can lead to formations such as 0-5-1, 5-0-1, 3-2-1, 1-3-2 etc.

Clean sheet odds

With defenders still offering a lot of value in terms of their price\point ratio even in such a short slate, let's take a look at bookies’ odds for each team to keep a clean sheet.

Courtesy of oddsonfpl.com

It makes even more sense to look in the direction of defenders considering not a lot of goals are predicted to be scored in the slate’s three games (1,81-1,88 total under 2.5 for each of the 3 games).

Defensive picks

West Ham are clear favorites to keep a clean sheet with just 4,20 Expected Goals against (xGa) in their last 4 home games. Their chances are boosted by Huddersfield woeful away numbers - an average of 0,30 xG per match generated in their last 4 away games.

Quick tip: Expected goals against (xGa) is the number of goals a team is expected to have conceded based on the quality and quantity of shots they have taken.

Expected goals (xG) – the number of goals a team or player would be expected to score based on the quality and quantity of shots taken.

West Ham defenders don’t come cheap, though, with the cheapest - Angelo Ogbonna - priced at 8,8M on FanTeam.

Declan Rice, though, is the defender to look out for. With 18 shots (10 inside opponent’s box), 2 goals and 2 big chances to his name he comes at 9.8M on FanTeam and has best offensive numbers amongst his defensive teammates. It is worth noting that he plays as a holding midfielder, although is listed as a defender.

In this slate, without big-priced heavy-hitters to fit into your team, you might splash the cash on him as the solo pick from West Ham’s defensive line if you opt not to go for their whole defensive stack.

If you are looking for a differential defender, look no further than Leicester.

They boast the best away xGa record of 4,20 amongst three team playing away across the last 4 away games (Newcastle has 8.00, Huddersfield 6,70).

Ricardo Pereira (7,0), Ben Chilwell (6,6), Harry Maguire (6,5) are an attacking threat as well.

Maguire has 28 shots to his name, 23 inside the box, 3 goals, and 3 big chances.

Pereira’s numbers are slightly inferior with 21 shots, 10 inside the box and 2 goals.

Chilwell, though, is ranked 2nd in his team for chances created (28), although only 2 of them were deemed big chances, while Pereira has 7 big chances to his name.

Attackers

Quick tip: In such a short slate, where every point counts, you must maximize the number of players who play the whole match, thus yielding you +1 point for 90 minutes played.

FanTeam football scoring explained

No match-up promises many goals with odds for total over 2.5 goals scored hovering around the 2.00 mark for all three matches. West Ham’s attack seems a bit overpriced for our liking with the cheapest of the bunch - Mark Noble - valued at 10,2M.

Yes, Huddersfield have 6,80 xGa across last 4 away games and West Ham are capable of scoring at home, but our eyes are fixed on Bournemouth this week.

5,44 xG, 23 shots in box and 10 big chances created by Bournemouth over their last 4 home games aren't exactly mind-blowing numbers (big chances aside), but Newcastle have conceded an average of 2xG in their last 4 away games.

Return of David Brooks (8,8M) and Callum Wilson (10,2M) to fitness might also play a key role in Bournemouth’s attack prowess.

Wilson has 29 shots (1st in team), 27 inside the box (2nd), 5 goals and 10 big chances (2nd), 63 touches inside the box (2nd) in 11 games played at home.

Brooks has 21 shots (3rd), 15 inside the box (3rd), 4 goals and 4 big chances (4th), 43 touches inside the box (3rd) in his 14 games at home.

Both could be considered good captaincy options, and a double-up, or even a triple-up with Joshua King (9,8M) or Ryan Fraser (9,5M), might be feasible.

Differentials

Quick tip: A differential is a player who is owned by a very small percentage of a daily fantasy tournament's participants, thus allowing you to gain an edge if he scores many points, provided that you have him in your lineup, of course.

It is no easy feat finding a differential in a slate consisting of just 3 games. But one name springs to mind.

Youri Tielemans (7.5M) has only played 5 games for Leicester after his loan move from Monaco. Has 13 shots (2nd), 1 goal, 2 assists, 6 chances created (3rd) in his last 4 games. He is overshadowed by Maddison, of course, in each of the aforementioned categories, but they both seem to be carrying the creative burden, while Wilfried Ndidi's covers up for them in defense.

Feel free to share your views on the upcoming gameweek in the comments section below and good luck to all your fantasy teams in such a short and rather unique slate!

Alexey Bobrov
Author

Alexey Bobrov

Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2500 tournaments played and a 30%+ ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.

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