Boxing Day is full of favorable matchups, which usually makes it harder to set a complete lineup. Liverpool and Manchester players likely will lead the rosters for the EPL $25K Mini Boxing Day [$5K to 1st], but a few value options will be needed.
STUDSMohamed Salah, Liverpool vs. Newcastle, $10,400 — Salah is one of many top options in a great situation, and he might be the most in form with five goals and an assist in his past four starts in all competitions. And while he costs a little extra, that’s for a better floor because in addition to shots, he also creates for his teammates, which not many other forwards can say, namely Harry Kane ($10,200). Other Options — Harry Kane, Tottenham, $10,200; Son Heung-Min, Tottenham, $9,200; Marcus Rashford, Manchester United, $8,800
VALUESDominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton at Burnley, $6,600 — Due to the schedule, this is a difficult slate for value options. Calvert-Lewin is extremely hard to trust and might cost a bit too much, but he’s made the score sheet in his past two starts as Everton’s front man. More enticing is Burnley give up the most opportunities in the league, having allowed 357 shots (116 on goal) and 283 chances.
Other Options — Roberto Firmino, Liverpool, $7,100; Callum Wilson, Bournemouth, $6,500; Ashley Barnes, Burnley, $6,200
STUDSChristian Eriksen, Tottenham vs. Bournemouth, $8,000 — Once one of the easiest midfielders to trust, Eriksen is far down the list partly due to inconsistent playing time since a return from injury. The main worry is he hasn’t had much of a floor, but this is another match Tottenham could have a goal party in with the second-most expected goals on the slate. Bournemouth have also struggled against top competition, giving up nine goals in their past three against Liverpool, Man City and Arsenal. Other Options — Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton, $7,900; Paul Pogba, Manchester United, $7,800; Andros Townsend, Crystal Palace, $7,600
VALUESMax Meyer, Crystal Palace vs. Cardiff City, $4,600 — Palace are decent favorites and can’t be ignored on this slate. They are coming off a huge win at Man City in which they took zero corners, but expect that to change against Cardiff, who have allowed the second-most corners in the league (117). In addition to splitting corners, Meyer has held a decent floor with 2.37 shots per 90 minutes.
Other Options — Ander Herrera, Manchester United, $6,100; Josh Murphy, Cardiff, $5,800; Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester, $4,000
STUDSLucas Digne, Everton at Burnley, $6,000 — Digne is the most expensive yet most comfortable defender to back against a Burnley side that has allowed the fourth-most crosses (372) and most corners (133) in the league. Assuming Everton show up for the match, his floor should be easily attainable after a difficult performance against Tottenham. Other Options — Kieran Trippier, Tottenham, $5,800; Ashley Young, Manchester United, $5,700; Andrew Robertson, Liverpool, $5,500
VALUESPhil Bardsley, Burnley vs. Everton, $3,600 — Bardsley is the opposite of exciting (like most value defenders), but he’s shown a decent floor in the past two road trips to Arsenal and Tottenham. His floor is often around three or four points, but has hit 6.5 fantasy points in his past two home matches due to more interceptions.
Other Options — Sol Bamba, Cardiff, $3,800; Michael Keane, Everton, $3,700; Fabian Schar, Newcastle, $3,400
STUDSVicente Guaita, Crystal Palace vs. Cardiff City, $5,500 — Instead of spending on a goalkeeper that could allow a garbage goal, Guaita could prove to be just as valuable, coming off a win at Man City. Considering Cardiff have scored just five goals in eight road matches, a clean sheet is a good bet, too. Other Options — Alisson, Liverpool, $6,000; David De Gea, Manchester United, $5,900; Bernd Leno, Arsenal, $5,300
VALUESKasper Schmeichel, Leicester vs. Manchester City, $3,800 — City aren’t playing their best and managed only one goal in a trip to Leicester in the League Cup a week ago. Plus, Schmeichel just held Chelsea scoreless and has made at least five saves in two of his past four starts.
Other Options — Neil Etheridge, Cardiff, $4,000; Jonas Lossl, Huddersfield, $3,700; Martin Dubravka, Newcastle, $3,600
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