EPL Targets: April 5th

There is a six-game Premier League slate on tap tonight, and it’s something that will have plenty of ramifications at both ends of the table. This article goes through every position and identifies my top considerations at every price range.


GOALKEEPER

STUDS

Hugo Lloris – ($5,500) – Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs closed the gap on leaders Chelsea to just seven points by beating Burnley, and, like the Clarets, Tuesday’s opponents Swansea hold an impressive home record. Unless they’re playing top four teams. The Swans have lost four and drawn one in their five home games against opponents in that part of the league. Combine that with the fact that Spurs have the best defensive record in the league and Lloris’ five point win bonus with a clean sheet feels attainable.

Eldin Jakupovic – ($5,200) – Hull City – Hull’s home record under Marco Silva has been exemplary, and a game at home to Middlesbrough is just the tonic for that to continue. Whilst they’ve kept just one clean sheet in Silva’s five home games, four of them have been wins, and the opportunity of the second clean sheet is high when you consider that Boro have scored the least of any Premier League team (20 goals). For his part, Jakupovic brings 3.7 saves per game to the party, and the Hull stopper is my top goalkeeping option on the slate.

VALUES

Thibaut Courtois – ($5,000) – Chelsea – Saturday’s loss to Palace was a blip as far as Chelsea’s season is concerned, and on another day, given how many shots they had, the Blues would have won easily. Whilst Chelsea don’t allow many shots on goal, Courtois’ 13 clean sheets quite clearly show that he makes the saves when he needs to. Man City do represent a big test, but Chelsea should be able to bounce back and it will give Courtois a good shot at achieving a win.

Wayne Hennessey – ($4,000) – Crystal Palace – Whilst the whole Palace side has undoubtedly benefited from the January transfer window, Hennessey has perhaps been the most improved performer. His goal no longer leads such a charmed life, and the Welsh stopper has hit double digit fantasy points in four consecutive games, all of them wins. The 10 saves he made on Saturday against Chelsea played a huge part in handing Palace the three points, and a blunted Southampton attack that is without key man Manolo Gabbiadini will be the next to hit this South London brick wall. At just $4K, I think he’s a solid option.


DEFENDER

STUDS

James Milner – ($6,800) – Liverpool – Milner has cooled down from his early season fantasy exploits but still represents a huge attacking threat from left back and is one of the top options this midweek thanks to the fact the opposition is Bournemouth. The Englishman ranks third in total crosses (206) among all players and also takes penalties for Liverpool, which is always something that gives him a leg up from a fantasy perspective. He’s a high price, but should Liverpool be chasing a goal at any point he will get forward.

Kyle Walker – ($5,500) – Tottenham Hotspur – Walker missed Saturday’s game at Burnley as he was presumably being saved for the trip to Swansea. The right back is one of the best attacking weapons in the Premier League and already has five assists this season, the most of any defender. Add in the fact that Swansea’s defence has conceded 63 goals this season, which is the worst total of any team, and you can see Walker having plenty of joy.

VALUES

Andrew Robertson – ($4,300) – Hull City – The Scot has hit double digit points in successive games for the Tigers and is a potent attacking threat from full back. That much is clear by the fact he scored against West Ham and in the preceding game had 11 crosses. Over the last six games, Robertson is averaging 5.8 crosses per game, and there has been a distinct uptick since Silva took charge. Middlesbrough, who Hull play today, are likely to do nothing more than defend stoically all game, and that will give Robertson license to bomb forward, which could result in a good fantasy total.

Adam Smith – ($3,900) – Bournemouth – Whilst Smith is not the consistent performer of last season, I think he’ll be sufficiently busy against Liverpool’s attack to pick up a decent point return on Wednesday. Smith has hit double digits in his last two games for Bournemouth, and his points come across a range of categories, namely tackles won, interceptions, crosses, fouls drawn and shots. At this price, he’s certainly worthy of consideration as your second defender.


MIDFIELDER

STUDS

Christian Eriksen – ($10,400) – Tottenham Hotspur – Eriksen put in another double-digit fantasy performance in the win at Burnley, scoring 13 fantasy points without a goal or an assist. His average of 3.8 shots per game is the third highest of any player, and Eriksen also averages 6.1 crosses per game. The Danish midfielder has also contributed 10 assists, which is again in the top five of all Premier League players. I don’t think Swansea, Spurs’ opponents, will be able to stop Eriksen bringing in a decent fantasy return.

Philippe Coutinho – ($8,800) – Liverpool – Coutinho was Liverpool’s best player in Saturday’s derby win over Everton, scoring one goal and laying on another. It means he has hit double digits for fantasy points in six of the last seven games. The Brazilian leads Liverpool with 3.2 shots per game plus has seven goals and six assists in what has been an injury-shortened season.

VALUES

Kamil Grosicki – ($7,000) – Hull City – It almost feels like Hull boss Silva is teasing us with Grosicki by leaving him on the bench until half time and then busting out the Polish winger to full effect. That happened on Saturday afternoon, Grosicki assisting both goals in the win over West Ham. In games where he has played 45 minutes or more for the Tigers, Grosicki has 11.8 FPPG and faces one of the league’s worst sides in Middlesbrough this Wednesday.

Wilfried Zaha – ($6,900) – Crystal Palace – Zaha played a vital role in pulling off a huge upset for Palace on Saturday at Chelsea as he scored the first goal then set up the second for Christian Benteke. It was the third game running where Wilf has hit double digits for fantasy points, and in the last two he is averaging 5.5 fouls drawn per game. For the season as a whole that number increases to 3.2 fouls drawn per game, the highest in the Premier League. Southampton have struggled since losing their first-choice centre back pairing, and there’s enough here to suggest Zaha will have another fruitful night.


FORWARD

STUDS

Alexis Sanchez – ($10,500) – Arsenal – Things have gone off the boil at Arsenal, but the visit of West Ham is exactly what they need. Alexis has been a part of that drop in form, although his fantasy scoring has not fallen off a cliff and sits at 15.8 FPPG over the last five games for club and country. For the season as a whole, he has 18 goals and nine assists in the league, and in a game that Arsenal should win well, I think Alexis should be considered.

Diego Costa – ($8,600) – Chelsea – Costa had nine shots in the loss to Palace, and it’s unlikely he’ll misfire quite so spectacularly against a City defence that looked poor against Arsenal. The Spaniard has scored 17 goals this season, which remains the fourth best of all players, and whilst he doesn’t usually bring a huge amount of points outside goals, I think he’ll have a good night against City.

VALUES

Divock Origi – ($6,800) – Liverpool – Due to a glut of injuries, Origi will get the nod to start this one and comes into it having had a goal or an assist in his last three appearances for the Reds. That includes a goal against Everton on Saturday. The fact he’s almost certainly going to lead the line for Liverpool makes him a decent option at this price.

Christian Benteke – ($5,600) – Crystal Palace – Benteke got back to scoring ways at Chelsea and added an assist in a performance that was long overdue. For the season, he now has 10 league goals, eight of them coming away from home. At this price and position, Benteke can bring a decent return if he stays in form.