Football

2 years ago

EPL Gameweek 36 Fantasy Preview. Stacks, Value Plays, Captains

The English Premier League has 3 more exciting weeks of football left in it with many daily fantasy dilemmas to solve. But before we plunge into the slate on offer at FanTeam this week, let us reflect on our recommendations from last time.

Last Week's Picks in Review

Defensive Stacks

We picked Chelsea as our best-odds stack.

Burnley had managed 6 shots (3 on target) and 0,79xG with Ashley Barne’s close-range effort weighted at 0,65xG. It can be argued that the scoreline doesn’t reflect the true nature of the match

Newcastle was our value play stack.

With 15 shots (3 on target) and 1,29 xG the visitors had deserved their goal in what was a rather comfortable win for the hosts.

We tipped Crystal Palace for an upset and they duly delivered beating Arsenal 3:2 at the Emirates. They couldn’t keep a clean sheet conceding 2 goals, 12 shots (5) and 1,54xG.

Offensive Plays

Liverpool generated 3.00 xG, had 17 shots (12) and 4 big chances in a dominant display.

The fantastic Liverpool did quite well in terms of shots, xG, and xA but didn’t get on the scoresheet.

Salah. 0,66xG+0,14xA, 4 shots (3), 1 big chance, 1 fantasy assist (earned a converted penalty)

Mane. 0,19xG+0,59xA, 3 shots (2)

Firmino. 0,59xG+0,22xA, 3 shots (3) 1 big chance

Everton delivered at home against a shaky United’s team rewarding those who included our value play duo into their fantasy teams.

Sigurdsson. 2 shots (0), 0,03xG+0,33xA, 1 goal and 1 assist.

Richarlison. 0, 70xG, 6 shots (5), 1 big chance, 1 goal.

Grant failed to start the game but got on the score sheet being subbed on in the 2nd half. He scored a header from close range with his only shot on goal.

Mooy had 2 shots (1), 0,14xG+0,04xA.


Gameweek 36

Aside from the City’s game at Burnley, other fixtures of the slate are hard to call with no team having a significant advantage according to bookies. We are faced with many hard decisions to make so let us see how we can navigate this unpredictable sea of fixtures.

Here are the games that make up FanTeam’s slate for the weekend:


Odds for teams winning and drawing (middle column)

Before we dive into stacks, double-ups, and captain recommendations, let us share with you this chart that might come in handy while preparing for the slate.

  • Home teams are golden, teams playing away – silver.
  • % – to keep a clean sheet
  • Red number – xG Conceded over the last 4 games (4 home games for teams playing at home, 4 away games, for teams playing on the road)


Right-clicking and selecting ‘open in a new window’ option will display a high-quality picture

Defensive Stacks

Defensive stacks are extremely important when playing at FanTeam. That is why we will focus on this aspect of the game providing you with safe, value, and differential options for the slate on offer in every preview article.

Great Odds

Having won the Manchester derby on Wednesday, it is unlikely the visitors will stumble at Turf Moor. Playing at Burnley is not a walk in the park and Guardiola’s team have struggled here at times in the past (1-1 last year, 2-1 two years ago).

While scoring might prove to be a problem, Manchester City have a 53% to keep a clean sheet.

The stack doesn’t come cheap (31,1) but with other games hard to call might be worth investing in. I will not try to guess Pep’s selection in order to decrease the stack value, I will go for the safest options here.

Value play

The absence of Miguel Almiron will impact the Magpies’ offense in a big way. They might struggle on transition and despite Ayoze Peres stellar form might be limited to a handful of chances by the hosts.

With only 1 win in their last 4 away games (Leicester), 3,45 xG and 3 big chances created, the visitors look beatable for Brighton, who themselves have tightened up at the back recently (1 goal allowed in their last 2).

Birghton have conceded 4,30 xG and 6 big chances in their last 4 home outings and have a 36% chance to keep a clean sheet according to bookies.

The stack value is very enticing (18,7) with Dunk and Duffy (7 goals between them this season) dangerous at set-pieces.

Set plays might be Brighton’s only weapon as the goals have dried up of late - 0 goals scored in their last 7! games.   

Differential

Everyone will be looking away from Manchester United’s assets given their poor run of form (1 win and 5 losses in their last 6).

Despite losing to their rivals from the blue part of Manchester, United have limited the visitors to only 8 shots (5) and conceded 0,52xG.

Over the last 4 home games, they boast 3,80 xG and 3 big chanced conceded. I don’t see many goals in this match with the Champions League berth up for grabs.

An affordable stack price of 20 calls for a gamble. If the hosts manage to contain Hazard, the clean sheet looks possible. The bookies rate that at 25%.

Offensive Double-ups

Good correlation of players in your squad is of extreme importance in any fantasy team no matter the sport.

In football, it is crucial to single out players who assist each other often, are involved in the attacking play, and are on set-piece duty.

With a lot fewer opportunities to get offensive returns in comparison to other sports, such as hockey, basketball, American football etc., understanding which players offer the most threat and link-up well is one of the most important tasks a fantasy manager faces.

Double or triple-ups should come into consideration when you are expecting one team to score more than 2 goals, with selected players sharing assists and goals between them.

In this section, we will provide you with some advice on which players make a well-correlated duo (trio) for the slate. 

Premium

We advise against a triple-up in this encounter as it probably won’t be a goal fest with Guardiola’s side struggling at Turf Moor in their 3 last meeting (1 win, 1 draw, 1 loss).  

Sterling (14,3) leads the team with 2 goals and 1 assist (2,67xGI) in his last four.

Aguero (14,8) trails him with 1 goal and 2 assists (1,60xGI). Both are safe and solid captaincy options in a team full of confidence.

Consider Sane (12,8) and Bernardo Silva (13,3) as another option for your double-up.

Value Play

Arsenal will be arriving at the King Power stadium bereft of confidence after their heavy defeat (1-3) at Wolverhampton. They have conceded 6,20 xG, 56 shots, and 9 big chances in their last 4 away outings.

Leicester are cruising under their new manager, enjoying some fluid attacking football, 6,16 xG, 41 shots in the box, 9 big chances in their last 4 at home.

During that spell, Vardy (9,5, on penalties) leads the team with 4 goals and 1 assist (2,88xGI).

Maddison (9,8, on set-pieces) has 2 assists. (1,77xGI).

Consider Tielemans (8,6) as well. He is not far off with 2 assists and 1 goal (1,49xGI).

Differential

Oumar Niasse (8,9) has 4,96 xG and 0 goals scored which speaks of his finishing ability. What other game to prove that wrong?

Fulham are still leaky even at home having allowed 6,70 xG, 69 shots, and 7 big chances in their last four.

Camarasa (8,0, on set-pieces and penalties) leads the team with 5 goals and 4 assists this season (8,55xGI).

Budget options

Players that are worth less than 7 mln. but capable of attacking returns. Used to pluck holes in your lineup.

  • Morrison (car) 6,8 - main set-piece target
  • Barnes (bur) 6,0 - on penalties and might cause problems in the box
  • Neves (wol) 5,6 - on free kicks in an in-form side
  • Atsu (new) 5,6 - will play as a winger in the Almiron’s absence
  •  

Captains

Safe pick

Aguero (14,8) might be your best bet as a penalty box lurker in a game where City's wingers might struggle to find space.

Aguero has a 60% chance to score according to bookies.

Alternative Option

Redmond (10,8) leads the team with 2,98xG (2 goals) in his last 4 games. Bournemouth tend to struggle away so look for the hosts to seal their Premier League survival in this home match. redmond has a 27% chance to score according to bookies.

xG = expected goals. The model works by assigning a value to a shot that is taken based on the likelihood of it being scored. 
xA = expected assists measure the likelihood that a pass will be a primary assist. The model is based on the finishing location of the pass, what type of pass it was and a variety of other factors.
xGI = expected goals involvement equals xG+xA.

We hope this helps you build a winning lineup for this weekend’s slate. We will be providing similar tips ahead of major slates on FanTeam in the future. Follow us on Twitter , stay tuned and good luck!

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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