Liverpool and Manchester United are the biggest favorites on the seven-game slate, and they likely will be the most popular sides to back. Still, with most matches having high expected goal totals, there are numerous places to turn and deciding which team to back will be the most important task in the EPL $25K Backheel Special [$3K to 1st].
STUDSMohamed Salah, Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace, $11,000 — Salah is a bit pricey, but he has the best goal-scoring odds and has found the back of the net in four of his past five starts. His floor isn’t great, yet that hasn’t mattered because of the goals, and Crystal Palace aren’t expected to stop him having given up multiple goals in three of their past four road trips. Palace also have allowed the fifth-most shots (65) over the past five gameweeks, and that should help Salah’s floor. Other Options — Marcus Rashford, Manchester United, $10,000; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal, $9,200; Willian, Chelsea, $8,300
VALUESJunior Hoilett, Cardiff at Newcastle, $5,600 — There are a few decent forwards in the mid-range, and Hoilett might have the best value. He’s had at least 5.5 fantasy points in his past four matches with the help of six shots and 19 crosses. Cardiff are on the road, but Newcastle aren’t an overwhelming team and Hoilett already has shown he can produce in any situation after 7.8 fantasy points in 45 minutes of a 3-0 loss against Tottenham.
Other Options — Marko Arnautovic, West Ham, $7,000; Troy Deeney, Watford, $6,800; Ashley Barnes, Burnley, $5,800
STUDSPaul Pogba, Manchester United vs. Brighton, $8,800 — Pogba is an easier player to back than teammate Marcus Rashford ($10,000) with a similar floor and much better price. He has one of the best floors on the slate with 15 shots on goal and 13 shots assisted in the past five matches. It’s even easier to back him against Brighton, who are battling but still have allowed the second-most shots (335) and chances created (242) in the league. Other Options — Felipe Anderson, West Ham, $7,900; Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth, $7,700; Roberto Pereyra, Watford, $6,400
VALUESAshley Westwood, Burnley at Watford, $3,900 — I probably wouldn’t use more than one Burnley player on this slate, but most of them are underpriced against a sketchy Watford back line. Plus, Westwood has been more involved on the wing, accruing 17 crosses and 10 shots assisted in his past five starts. There’s a chance his floor reaches five fantasy points, as Watford have allowed the fifth-most crosses all season (441) and third-most in the past five gameweeks (107).
Other Options — Samir Nasri, West Ham, $5,300; Ander Herrera, Manchester United, $5,200; Christian Atsu, Newcastle, $5,000
STUDSLucas Digne, Everton at Southampton, $6,600 — Even as the most expensive defender, Digne should be the most popular one. He has at least 9.5 fantasy points in seven of his past eight starts and the down performance came against Tottenham. He has at least two shots and eight crosses in his past four starts and then there’s still the three combined tackles and interceptions he averages per 90 minutes. Even better, Southampton have allowed the most crosses to defenders over the past five matches (43). Other Options — Jose Holebas, Watford, $6,100; Andrew Robertson, Liverpool, $5,500; Matt Targett, Southampton, $5,300
VALUESFabian Schar, Newcastle vs. Cardiff, $3,700 — With Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark both dealing with injuries, Schar should return to the starting XI. He has at least seven fantasy points in his past three matches in which he’s played 90 minutes and is averaging 2.16 tackles won and 3.65 interceptions for the season. Newcastle are also only behind Liverpool and Man United in terms of clean sheet odds.
Other Options — DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle, $3,800; Phil Bardsley, Burnley, $3,800; Sol Bamba, Cardiff, $3,300
STUDSMartin Dubravka, Newcastle vs. Cardiff, $5,200 — Dubravka is cheaper than most favorites because he has worse odds to win, yet he still has the third-best odds for a clean sheet in a match with the lowest expected goal total. Cardiff have just six goals and five points from 10 road matches this season, so Dubravka is worth the gamble against a team that rarely finds the back of the net. Other Options — Alisson, Liverpool, $6,000; David De Gea, Manchester United, $5,900; Ben Foster, Watford, $5,600
VALUESNeil Etheridge, Cardiff at Newcastle, $4,100 — On the other side of Dubravka is a Newcastle team that has been equally bad at home and also only have scored two goals in the past five matches. Newcastle have scored just seven goals in 11 home matches, so there’s at least a chance for a scoreless draw. The other bonus is Etheridge’s only negative performances in the past 10 matches have come against Tottenham and Man United.
Other Options — Alex McCarthy, Southampton, $4,800; Tom Heaton, Burnley, $3,900; David Button, Brighton, $3,700
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