EPL Fantasy: Draft Kings Classic – Week 18

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at Etihad Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

WHILE fans revel in the glut of games and surprises over the Christmas period, we’re ready to take a look at the best DFS options heading into the eighteenth round of the Premier League season.

We’ll be basing our selections on Draft Kings Classic 8-Player format as we analyse the best inclusions for your Sunday AEST DFS lineups.

Goalkeeper

Ederson (Manchester City)
$6, 000

The Brazilian stopper has kept eight clean sheets in 17 games, at an incredible rate of almost 50%. The only thing taking the gloss off the achievement is being outshone by his countryman over on Merseyside, Alisson, who has been even more impressive with 11 clean sheets for Liverpool.

City entertain 15th place Crystal Palace at the Etihad this weekend. Only Huddersfield have a worse goalscoring record than the Eagles, having hit the back of the net only 14 times this campaign. Their blunt attack and defensive shape makes them unlikely to score at the Etihad.

In this format there is relatively little deviation in the cost of keepers and high rewards for a clean sheet, so we think it’s generally worth accommodating a high-end pick in this slot.

Defenders

Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)
$5, 600

With 7 assists and 1 goal from wingback this season, the Spanish international is a player you can accommodate almost every week at this price. This format incentivises you to include defenders with attacking intent, and under Maurizio Sarri’s progressive style at Chelsea, Alonso fits the bill perfectly.

Chelsea host a Leicester side that has been affected by injuries and struggled in recent weeks, sitting at 13th in the form table with only one win in their last five. The 4th-placed Blues also endured a sticky patch but seem to be back on track with back-to-back wins after defeating champions Manchester City.

The 27-year-old will have license to get forward and terrorize the Foxes backline in this fixture.

Pablo Zabaleta (West Ham United)
$4, 000

With four wins on the trot, sitting at 4th in the form table, Pellegrini’s resurgent Hammers are the red hot mid-table team at present. The ex-Manchester City fullback capped 58 times by Argentina is in great form, and looked a real attacking threat against Fulham last weekend. As a result, the 33-year-old seems to have reestablished himself in the West Ham starting eleven.

This week the Hammers host Watford at the London stadium. The Hornets have enjoyed an impressive season, sitting one place behind West Ham in 10th, but have struggled for form in the last month. Only Bournemouth have conceded more goals in the last five games. Expect Zabaleta to continue rolling back the years with his coverage of the touchline this week.

Midfielders

Michal Antonio (West Ham United)
$7, 000

The 28-year old has scored 22 times for West Ham in 90 appearances, outlining his attacking potential. This season has been a tough one, but with two goals in his last three games he seems to be on song again. As we said, we’re inclined to include key West Ham players in our lineup, but the likes of Anderson, Chicharito and even Snodgrass are too expensive to accommodate. Given Antonio’s goalscoring pedigree, and his form, we think he is a savvy consideration at $7, 000.

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – Value pick
$7, 200

He’s back. Manchester City’s player of the season notched 8 goals and a league-high 16 assists last season, meaning he is likely to be a key player going forward in fantasy football for the remainder of the season.

City’s midfield linchpin marked his return to the starting line-up against Leicester in the Carabao Cup in midweek with a trademark goal. Guardiola will be delighted to have De Bruyne available again, and we suspect this will be the cheapest price you’ll get for Kevin Heaven all season.

With David Silva injured, and City having lost a step, we expect the Belgian to be thrust straight back into the lineup this weekend.

Forwards

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – Marquee must have
$10, 600

The Belgian superstar has started 13 games this season, scoring eight goals and assisting nine. The 27-year old is in the form of his career, and is arguably the most influential player in the Premier League at present. Chelsea’s striker woes have made them even more dependant on Hazard than usual, but the two-time Premier League champion has relished the burden of spearheading Sarri’s attack.

Chelsea have recovered from their blip and face Leicester this weekend. Hazard is our marquee must have simply because in this sort of form, you can’t even imagine him having a quiet game.

Gerard Deulofeu (Watford)
$6, 500

The 24-year-old Spaniard is an awesome talent, but admittedly he has been hit and miss this season. When he’s on his game, as he was in the last round against Cardiff City with a goal and an assist, he is capable of stealing the show. Still, 6.5 points per game in this format is very respectable.

Life has not been easy for the 10th placed Hornets in recent weeks, but with an attack that has become reliant on Deulofeu for inspiration, we think he is a good consideration despite Watford’s tough fixture against West Ham.

Utility

Domingos Quina (Watford) – Basement bargain
$3, 100

The 19-year-old Portuguese midfielder is the basement bargain of the season. He has only started two Premier League games, but looked an exceptional talent and performed beyond his years in both, becoming the youngest Watford player to score in the Premier League with a delightful finish against Cardiff City.

Most players at the $3,000 range have not played this season, or only appeared as late substitutes. Quina is a star who already boasts an impressive 6.4 points per game. He should be an auto include in your lineup for weeks to come. This wonderkid is a star in the making, and this week no line-up can justify excluding him.