Welcome to EPL DFS for July 21 (7/21/20). Here you’ll find our top picks, all things considered. The players who have price-considered floor/ceiling on DraftKings are especially highlighted. Keep in mind that teams are now allowed five substitutions instead of three due to lack of training during the hiatus.
Other English Premier League DFS content this week:
- The EPL DFS Primer – Learn How to Play on DraftKings + FanDuel
- The EPL Strategy Show with Jovanni and Alex ‘Awesemo’ Baker”
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EPL Odds Report
Watford (+800) vs. Manchester City (-315), O/U 3.5
The EPL DFS Breakdown
In this showdown we have a Manchester City taking on Watford. Watford’s defense is terrible, and Man City punishes opponents coming off losses. With no significant games until Champions League coming up for Man City, I expect them to start their full squad. The fourth-worst defense in Watford does not stand a chance against the EPL’s top offense with an expected goals of 86.5%. I see Man City taking this game 4-0. With goal involvement, I do not like playing Ederson in this game because even with a modest price tag, I do not see him facing more than two shots and the clean sheet will not be enough to compete with a spread-out Man City onslaught.
These picks are listed in order of what I believe are the top plays, including median projection, floor and upside.
Note: For players not used in the Captain or MVP spot, they are priority in Flex.
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Kevin De Bruyne (DraftKings $18,300)
Raheem Sterling (DraftKings $16,500)
Kevin De Bruyne is second in the EPL in crossing volume and controls Man City’s set pieces and PKs. If you are trying to find a motivation for the players to perform, aside finishing the season strong, De Bruyne is two assists away from the single season assist record of 20. With three assists, he will set the new record and Watford’s defense is the fourth worst in the EPL, allowing an expected goals against of 53.2. De Bruyne also is top five in shot volume and assisted shots.
Raheem Sterling is always my favorite pivot because of price. Sterling will likely not catch Jamie Vardy or Danny Ings in the Golden Boot race, but his last two opponents do not play defense, so why not give it a try? He is top 10 in the EPL in shot volume, but the price makes him a tough Captain play if he does not score.
Kevin De Bruyne 2019-2020 stats: 11 goals, 18 assists, 283 crosses.
Raheem Sterling 2019-2020 stats: 17 goals, 88 shots.
Gabriel Jesus (DraftKings $15,600)
Gabriel Jesus continues to be viable with minutes being secured without Kun Aguero. Jesus joins De Bruyne in the top five with shot volume and is a far more accurate shooter at 41% accuracy. Like Sterling, he needs goals to be viable, but the discount of almost $3,000 from De Bruyne allows more flexibility in the flex.
I will run all three equally in the spot, coming underweight on De Bruyne who draws the most ownership on average and over on Sterling and Jesus. The goal or bust usually makes people pivot to Benjamin Mendy and Riyad Mahrez, so I am comfortable with the leverage on being over on two of the highest-shooting forwards in the EPL.
Gabriel Jesus 2019-2020 stats: 13 goals, 7 assists, 93 shots.
Other Options: Riyad Mahrez (DraftKings $15,600)
Ismaila Sarr (DraftKings $8,000)
Troy Deeney (DraftKings $7,000)
Ismaila Sarr will be tough to fit in if you load up on Man City. His usage makes his price too low for me. He takes some shots and can draw fouls. His value comes in open play crossing, where he ranks in the top 40 in the EPL despite playing almost 10 games fewer than many of the players above him. He will draw no ownership considering the price as a one-off, and that makes him a solid GPP pivot. I will not consider him in cash mainly because you cannot fit him without double punting.
Troy Deeney has been on a scoring run. I do not see it continuing, but you can take into account the Man City motivation. Watford is relegation bound if they cannot take points in their last two games so I expect them to put up a fight. In a GPP, Deeney or Sarr can both be considered Captain plays because even if Man City goes up a few goals early, they likely will start to sub some players off, and I expect Watford to run their guys to the end. With that said, I think Man City’s players will do damage before leaving, so I will be all over them. But if goal contribution is spread out, Sarr or Deeney could outperform the punts required to pay up for the Man City attack.
Ismaila Sarr 2019-2020 stats: 5 goals, 41 shots, 90 crosses.
Troy Deeney 2019-2020 stats: 9 goals, 41 shots.
Phil Foden (DraftKings $8,400)
Benjamin Mendy (DraftKings $5,600)
Phil Foden has been bad, plain and simple. I am not ready to give up on him and he is a “cheaper” exposure to the Man City attack. He is still firing away, and I like to take advantage of the recent bias that people will stay away from him. The concern with Foden comes in his minutes. He does not do enough to pay off the price in a short amount of time. If you filter to games he plays over 70 minutes, he can build a solid floor with crosses and shot volume, and the upside comes in goal involvement. I like him more if he lines up in the attacking wing and not so much if he starts behind Mahrez or Sterling on the wing.
Benjamin Mendy is a lock Flex play for me. In MME, he is a solid Captain play as well due to crossing volume and salary to spread the entire Man City attack. Mendy is averaging 4.53 crosses per game, 1.64 won tackles and interceptions a game and can assist on shots. If Mendy is out, a pivot down to Oleksandr Zinchenko or Joao Cancelo serves the up wing offensive push purpose as well.
Other Options: David Silva (DraftKings $9,200), Will Hughes (DraftKings $5,000), Danny Welbeck (DraftKings $6,600), Kyle Walker (DraftKings $5,200).