I hope you guys enjoyed the international break and the fairly boring, one-sided football it brought. Personally, I can’t wait for the Premier League to return this weekend, where we don’t have to watch an 8-0 blowout daily. Before we get too caught up in how bad international qualifiers are, let’s talk about what we learned from week four:
- Chelsea’s defense still sucks. It’s horrific. The Blues allowed two goals to Crystal Palace and are now last in the league in expected goals allowed, a metric that measures how many goals a team should allow based on the quality of shots they concede. Chelsea are also last in goals conceded and have gone from best to last in both categories this season. They need to make a change in their starting lineup this week or we’re headed for more of the same against Everton.
- Liverpool are not as good as they think. They lost 3-0 at home to a mediocre West Ham side and looked lost for the majority of the game. They need to find a way to get Benteke more involved.
- Leicester City are not as good without Mahrez. The Foxes attack struggled to create chances in the second half last week after Mahrez was subbed out with an injury, but worry not, the star participated in international duty this week and will return in week five.
The sports books like Petr Cech this week when it comes to goalkeepers, even at his high price. With that high of a win-to-nil chance, I think he’s THE cash game play and should be considered a safe bet for points. Stoke City have not been good and don’t travel well and Cech will benefit from that. There are really no other “safe” goalkeepers in terms of clean sheets and wins as we have a lot of fairly even matchups this week, so feel free to experiment in GPPs.
A worthy note here is that Sergio Romero might not start this week with David de Gea officially remaining at Manchester United. Follow that story closely, but it may not be until an hour before kickoff that we find out who starts in goal for the Red Devils. We also don’t know who starts for West Brom, as Andres Lindegaard has a chance to take over Myhill’s job.
Cech is once again the play here and everyone else is very closely bunched together. I’d go for cheaper options in GPPs and spread my money up top in what could be a high scoring weekend, with my favorite punt plays being Stekelenburg and Ruddy.
Once again, Sergio Aguero is the best play of the slate. He wasn’t able to score last week so he was a huge disappointment for fantasy managers but it’s very hard to predict goals in soccer and I’m not going to go away from Aguero just because he hasn’t scored as much this season. He continues to play well and Manchester City score goals for fun, it’s only a matter of time Aguero scores a brace.
On top of Aguero, the sports books like Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud. If both of them start, I like both on Draftkings, but I would lean to Sanchez in cash games due to his higher floor and Giroud in GPPs, due to his lower price tag and likely lower ownership percentage.
It’s a similar story on MondoGoal with the top plays of Giroud, Sanchez, and Aguero. One player that the sports books don’t like is Bafetimbi Gomis, and that’s understandable considering his ridiculously high price on MondoGoal, but I think he has some value in GPPs. People might shy away from him because of the price, but if he can score once again and be relatively low owned, he could be a good value.
That’s it for me this week. Good luck!