Football

2 years ago

EPL Gameweek 37 Fantasy Preview. Stacks, Value Plays, Captains

There are only two gameweeks left in the EPL to scratch our daily fantasy itch. The title race is still on, some are still trying to grasp at straws fighting for their Premier League survival, while the others are probably already in holiday mode. Some managers are willing to give their youngsters a run-in before the campaign is over, so expect the unexpected as far as both results and team selections are concerned. Let us briefly examine how our last week’s picks did before moving on to the slate on offer at FanTeam for gameweek 37.

Last Week’s Picks in Review

DEFENSIVE STACKS

We picked Manchester City’s defense as our best-bet stack material and they duly delivered. The visitors limited Burnley to only 0,09xG and 2 shots.

Credit: understat.com

Brighton was our value play stack.

The hosts limited Newcastle to only 0,46xG and 9 shots, but unforunately conceded from the only shot on target.

We tipped Manchester United to keep a clean sheet against a strong Chelsea side. In a rather unconvincing defensive display, they conceded once after a slip-up from De Gea. It is hard to count on a clean sheet when you allow 16 shots and 1,63xG. A small consolation was an assist from attacking-minded Luke Shaw.

OFFENSIVE PLAYS

It was hard not to include Manchester City’s assets in our lineups, although we predicted this to be a tough match-up for the visitors.

Sergio Aguero got on the scoresheet deservedly with 9 shots and 0,86xGI to his name. Sterling did ok in terms of xGI, 0,46 and 4 key passes, but failed to return any fantasy points.

Picked as our value play, Leicester's assets caused havoc in the Arsenal’s back line.

Vardy. 2 goals, 1,91xG+0,07xA, 7 shots (7 in the box), 4 big chance, 11 touches in the box.

Maddison. 1 assist, 0,17xG+0,24xA. 4 shots(0), 6 touches.

Our differential picks from Cardiff (Camarasa and Niasse) didn’t have the best of games and were substituted early in what turned out to be a 0:1 loss.

We have covered our safe captain Aguero already, Redmond, chosen as an alternative captain, had a decent game.0,64xG + 0,18xA, 4 penalty box touches, 6 shots (3), 1 big chance, 1 assist.

Gameweek 37

Here are the games that make up FanTeam daily fantasy slate for the weekend:

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)
  • Matching colors at the bottom show teams playing each other

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

Manchester United are well rested having had no European exertion this week. United's away defensive form is not that great with 6,80 xG and 10 big chances conceded in their last 4 on the road.

The Red Devils have a chance to clinch a top-4 spot and are facing the league's worst offense. I will not look for any further justification to make them my safe stack play.

Bookies give them 48% to keep a clean sheet.

The stack doesn’t come cheap (29,3) but is still cheaper than Liverpool's (31,9 mln, 48%), or City's (31,4 mln, 47%).

Luke Shaw and Ashley Young (on set-pieces) are a threat going forward as well.

Monitor Chris Smalling's fitness as he is rated a doubt at the time of writing

VALUE PLAY

It is a bit of stretch to call a 28 mln. stack a value play, but the defensive value is hard to find this gameweek.

Wolves have allowed only 3,50 xG and conceded 5 big chances over their last 4 home games.

Their visitors, Fulham, are in decent offensive away form in their last 4 outings (5,28xG, 9 big chances created) but failed to impress against Cardiff last week.

We also have to take potential offensive returns of the Wolves' back-line into consideration.

Doherty (14 penalty touches in last 4, 4 goals and 4 assists this season) and Jonny (29 chances created, 1 goal, 1 assist this season) are a big offensive threat.

Boly has scored 4 times following a set piece situation.

DIFFERENTIAL

Brighton are a lot safer after their main survival rivals losing away at Fulham last week but still need a result in London.

The only possible way to grind out results away from home for the Seagulls this season has been resolute defending and set-pieces. I am expecting them to dig in on London turf as well.

It is hard to see Arsenal not scoring (bookies give the visitors a 12% chance to keep a clean sheet). But the stack value is only 12,8 mln., and Dunk and Duffy (7 goals between them this season)  are still a major threat at set-plays.

I believe the hosts capable of coming away with something against a slightly out-of-breath Arsenal side after their Europa League tie on Thursday. They might struggle to break down Brighton (8,30 xG and 8 big chances conceded in their last 4 away games) who will undoubtedly park the bus looking for a draw.

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

With Liverpool and Manchester City having somewhat tricky fixtures this gameweek, we turn our eyes toward England's capital - London.

Chelsea (8 goals, 7,03xG, 48 shots in the box, 9 big chances in their last 4 home games) are hosting Watford.

The visitors have conceded 15! big chances and have allowed 8,21xG in their last 4 away from home.

Hazard (13,0) entered the fray in the 61st minute in the midweek Europa League fixture in Germany. He should be relatively fresh for this encounter. 39 penalty box touches, 2,74xGI, 10 shots, 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 home games, he is as deadly as ever.

Higuain (12,8) stayed on the bench in midweek and will most likely start. While 17 penalty box touches, 1,61xGI, 1 goal, 16 shots (11) and 2 big chances in his last 4 home appearances are not mind-blowing, I believe Higuain will play a part in it.

Chelsea are given 71% to score 2+ goals.

VALUE PLAY 

Southampton have scored 8 goals in their last 4 games (4,31 xG, 8 big chances in 4 away games) and are safe.

West Ham are leaky at home (5,10 xGC, 60 shots, 10 big chances conceded in their last 4 home games) and have nothing to play for.

Southampton's manager Ralph Hasenhuttl wanted to give his fringe players a chance so I am expecting this game to have a few goals in it with no pressure on either side.

West Ham have a 52% percent chance to score 2+ goals according to the bookies, while their opponents have a 44% chance to do likewise.

Redmond (9,2) leads the team in penalty area touches (23), shots (15), xGI (3,72) in the last 4 games. He has 2 goals and 1 assist to his name as well during the same period.

Long (8,0) is not far behind with 3 goals, 14 shots, 6 big chances, and 2,43 xGI.

Although it is highly unlikely for players in such fine form to be dropped, keep an eye on Southhampton's lineup for some of the youngsters.

DIFFERENTIAL

Liverpool supporters will be praying for the hosts to come away with at least a point. These hopes are not unfounded given Leicester's leaders' stellar form.

Jamie Vardy (5,8) has 10 goals in his last 9 outings and loves scoring against the big six. Will Leicester pull off another miracle here?

Maddison (5,9, on set-pieces) links up well with Vardy, has 7 goals and 7 assists (leads the team) this season.

Budget options

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

  • Hoilett (CAR) 6,8 – their best player in the last 4 games
  • Mitrovic (ful) 6,0 – on penalties, Wolves have been conceding at home
  • Vardy (lei) 5,8 – no one scores more against the top-6 and on penalties. Will he stop the City party?
  • Rondon (NEW) 5,6 – your best bet if you are betting against Liverpool

Captains

SAFE PICK

I am going with Hazard (13,0) this week. Deadly at home, relatively rested and playing against a terrible away defense.

Hazard has a 49% chance to score according to bookies.

ALTERNATIVE OPTION

Jimenez (12,8) leads the team with 3,22xGI (1 goal, 2 assists) in his last 4 games. Fulham tend to struggle away from home (6,90 xGC, 12 big chances conceded in their last 4) so look for the hosts to seal the 7th spot with the victory here.

Jimenez has a 51% 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.


I play at FanTeam under the username KJIIOIIIKA. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games above, they do not necessarily reflect the views of DraftGym. I may use different players and strategies in my lineups compared to what I had talked about above.


We hope this helps you build a winning lineup for this weekend’s slate. We will be providing similar tips ahead of major slates atFanTeam 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 mostly on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2000 tournaments played and a 40% 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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