EPL DFS Picks: Brighton and West Ham to Strike Early and Often

The four-game EPL DFS slate has close matchups from an odds perspective. Bournemouth will look to rebound at home against Nottingham Forest in a test that will be tough, but they fancy their chances. Brighton goes on the road to take on a Leicester City side that has no answers on the defense. Southampton and Aston Villa should see both sides finding a goal or two. Let’s take a look at the EPL DFS picks and find where it makes sense to spend up.

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EPL DFS Predictions & Picks

Forwards/Midfield

Solly March (DraftKings: $8,500; FanDuel: $19)

Karou Mitoma (DraftKings: $7,800; FanDuel: $14)

Similar to a week ago, the focus is on Brighton in this matchup. Yes, the salaries on the visiting side attack have risen, and that is a good thing because it looks to keep the ownership down. The only player who should garner a decent amount of ownership is core play Solly March. His willingness to shoot offers upside, and the drawn fouls, created chances and crossing volume, whether on set shares or in open play, make March the perfect balance of floor and balance. He comes in as the third highest projected player on DraftKings, according to the Stokastic EPL projections, at 16.58 points and second highest on FanDuel at 23.77 points.

Last week, Evan Ferguson was a key target. Recency bias will not let the Brighton attacker go unnoticed for a third straight week. He has four goals and assists in a short run of just four matches with starts and sub appearances combined. His shot volume is impressive at 3.68 in a 90 minute run, and the created chances sit at 3.10 per match, which would put him top five on the club had he been a regular starter. The pivot off Ferguson, who likely sees aggressive ownership, for an upside play with little floor is Karou Mitoma, who offers the same lack of floor as Ferguson and is slightly higher on the salary. His ownership in GPP will come in lower than Ferguson, making him a solid leverage play from a side that cannot be ignored. Mitoma averages 4.23 created chances and 1.23 drawn fouls with a club top five seeding of 1.64 won tackles. His shot volume stands at 1.92 per match with an over 2.35 on starts average and a 50% on-target clip. Notable pieces, including the PK man, are Alexis Mac Allister and Pascal Gross.

If James Maddison were to return for Leicester City, his asking price is too cheap regardless of him running only in the 75-80 minute range. He handles all sets, stands with over three drawn fouls per match, and sports north of seven combined shots and created chances on average. Should Maddison not be fit yet come kick off, Youri Tielemans is the cheap core play. Keep in mind Marc Albrighton being in the lineup will affect this because the indirect sets would belong to him. No Albrighton and no Maddison see Tielemans ranking as the best overall value play on DraftKings, according to the Stokastic EPL projections, with a value of 2.67 and a DFS projection of 16.03.

Morgan Gibbs-White (DraftKings: $9,400; FanDuel: $15)

Demarai Gray (DraftKings: $8,800; FanDuel: $15)

Nottingham Forest visits Bournemouth in a battle of two newly promoted sides trying to stay in the EPL for next season. Forest has to take advantage in this matchup with injuries plaguing the home side. Morgan Gibbs-White handles the set shares for Forest and does well in open play to accumulate a team leading 1.96 shots per match with 3.99 created chances and 5.03 crosses via an even split on sets and open play. His asking price for the floor and given matchup is more fitting of a $10,000+ salary on DraftKings. His upside is in goal contribution, and that rate stands at 42% of the club’s overall scoring. The PK man is Brennan Johnson, who provides a solid pairing in a Forest stack for GPP only. Gibbs-White is a core play, and in cash and SE lineup any of the two wing backs mentioned in the other options below can be paired with him.

Everton is going to get destroyed by West Ham. It is not that West Ham is a force of nature on offense, despite having enough individuals who could make it one. The common theme on the year is that Frank Lampard does not know how to run defense. That is fine for DFS, because the only way Everton will come away with points is finding goals and pressing for more than one. Demarai Gray does his part with set shares and open-play work. He averages 2.03 shots per match and hits the target at 38% accuracy. His 3.57 created chances, 8.69 crosses and 1.58 drawn fouls per match round a floor that pays off the asking price. There is little interest in the surrounding cast around Gray, and on his own could perform while the team crumbles around him. West Ham has some high-upside plays in the other options who can take advantage against an Everton side that allows 1.80 expected goals on the road and 1.33 actual goals per match, which ranks bottom four in the EPL.

The highest priced player on this slate is James Ward-Prowse. He is a good play with a high floor and a matchup that offers upside. His set shares and indirect free kick accuracy always provide chances to find the back of the net. The matchup is not favorable, but Ward-Prowse time and again proves he can score well regardless of what the real life box score of a match looks like at the end. From a value perspective, it’s hard to imagine Gray not being a better play with as much set share control and nearly $2,000 discounted on the asking price. Gibbs-White has a much better matchup but is around the same asking price. Gray and one of the two would be a starting point for a core play on DraftKings if Dwight McNeil is not in the starting lineup for Everton and not taking away from the indirect sets. On FanDuel, Gibbs-White has to be a better option than the other two given a weak defensive matchup, more shot volume, and a greater on-target rate despite not having the PK opportunities Ward-Prowse does.

Other Options: Jaidon Anthony (DraftKings: $7,500; FanDuel: $12); Said Benrahma (DraftKings: $10,200; FanDuel: $12); Lucas Paqueta (DraftKings: $7,300; FanDuel: $16), Keiffer Moore (DraftKings: $5,000; FanDuel: $12)

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Defender

Aaron Cresswell (DraftKings: $5,600; FanDuel: $11)

Alex Moreno (DraftKings: $5,000; FanDuel: $9)

West Ham has a favorable home matchup, as mentioned above. Paqueta, Benrahma and Jarod Bowen have GPP appeal for goal contribution upside. Bowen has had a down year but the salary reflects that. There are still set shares that belong to Aaron Creswell. His upside is in his teammates scoring, which has been few and very far between, but the floor is solid and he can produce on offense and defense with 5.94 crosses, 3.11 created chances and 2.05 won tackles and interceptions. On the other end of the pitch, a lower floor but higher upside option is Vladmir Coufal. He sees an average of 3.77 won tackles and interceptions with 2.55 created chances and 5.44 crosses per match. His floor comes from the crosses being all in open play, and his 1.16 committed fouls per match average him the second most yellow cards on the team sheet at an average of one every four matches.

Aston Villa and Southampton battle it out, and Villa will have Alex Moreno seeing a formal start after the injury to Lucas Digne a week ago. Moreno did well in his time with Real Bettis and was a more pressing wingback for offensive chances to the tune of a mix of over one shot per match and 4.5 crosses and created chances mixed. His drawn-fouls rate mirrored the committed fouls in that stretch of time. These numbers are not all that impressive, but the offense ran more without the wingbacks in his time, whereas Villa will ask him to keep moving forward, like his short run a week ago when he subbed in for Digne.

Other Options: Serge Aurier (DraftKings: $5,500; FanDuel: $13); Renan Lodi (DraftKings: $5,100; FanDuel: $8)

Goalkeeper

Gavin Buzunu (DraftKings: $4,600; FanDuel: $10)

Lukazs Fabianski (DraftKings: $5,400; FanDuel: $12)

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Jovanni Vidal
Author
Jovanni Vidal is accountant and finance analyst, with lifetime passion for fantasy sports. He has provided content and player analysis for season-long fantasy sites. He joined Stokastic to help new and current DFS soccer players learn new approaches to the game and how to succeed, with an overall goal to grow the DFS soccer sport and various league content offerings. You can reach him on Twitter @fluff_marsh.

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