We’ve had another action packed week of football, with the start of the Champions League, bringing with it a few pieces of late drama for some of the Premier League teams. It will also bring a short turnaround, with only a few days rest before the start of Gameweek 6 for those teams involved.
There’s no rest for the team at PlayON either, with daily fantasy offerings available for both the Champions League and Premier League games. To help you with the latter, I have gone through this weekend’s matchups and picked out my best options, starting with a massive eight games on Saturday.
Ignoring the first nine games in Gameweek 5, I hit form for the Monday fixture, with all of Murray, Ings and Højbjerg firing for DFS owners.
Hopefully I can bring that form into this week’s picks and help your teams into the prize places.
Fulham v Watford
Kicking us off this week sees two sides who suffered losses to the Manchester clubs last round. A first defeat of the season for Watford, who have flown out the blocks!
Fulham’s problem is conceding. They ship over two a game so far and are yet to register a clean sheet. Forwards for the away team then?
With two goals and an assist so far, Troy Deeney (£9.2m) is about half way to his return for last season in about 20% of the time. Always a physical presence, and likely to be on penalty duties, the skipper has every chance of being involved in any Hornets’ goal.
Within both sides, there are a couple of mid-rangers who have started well. But the one who stands out for me is Jean Michael Seri (£8.6m). Just one goal and assist so far, but he has still racked up an impressive PlayON average of over 1300. With by far the most passes made so far across both teams, he is sure to get involved again in this one.
With the second most passes across the two sides, Kevin McDonald is basement price at £6m. Nothing to note by means of an attacking stat yet, but a DFS average of 650 is pretty good for that cheap. Job security increases with Cairney out and the money saved can be spent elsewhere whilst still getting a solid return here.
Burnley v Bournemouth
A fourth loss on the trot for Burnley last week sees them occupy the bottom spot on the table. Bournemouth registered a third win in five with a 4-2 victory over Leicester, boosting their average goals per game to two.
Both sides conceding a couple along the way, with just one clean sheet each. In their last five meetings, both sides have scored and there have been at least three goals, so you would be looking at the attacking-minded picks for this one.
One of the Cherries’ best last year, Ryan Fraser (£9.2m) has started this season in the same form. An ever-present, he has three goals and two assists so far, including two and one in the last fixture, leading to a 3600 score. He is pushing must have territory when matched against the basement side.
In a side that has lost all but one game, Joe Hart (£7.7m) has averaged over 1200. That is largely thanks to the 26 saves he has made along the way, including some crackers last week.
With the potential to be tested again this week, the potential is there for a few more saves, and points, to be made.
Cardiff v Man City
3-0 winners last out, an unbeaten start and nearly three scored a game on average. City’s start is a sharp contrast to the hosts, who are yet to win and have managed about a goal every two games.
The limited Premier League history for this fixture is big on goals, with a 4-2 City and 3-2 Cardiff win in the 2013/14 season. This time though, with current form, I could see a big City win with a clean sheet, so would be loading up on players from the visitors.
Two-in-two now for Raheem Sterling (£15.4m) and three already for the season. His perceived poor World Cup showing doesn’t appear to have halted his momentum after a breakout season last term and he could really punish the Bluebirds if he keeps going as he has. Another 2000+ DFS score would not be a huge surprise in this one.
Scoring his second of the season against Fulham and playing all but one minute in the last three, David Silva (£9.1m) is worth his weight in gold, particularly when you look at his average of 1600 for the price, when you would need to spend over £15m for the marginally-higher averages of Aguero and Sterling. Steal!
Potentially one to fly under the radar due to a low average, Leroy Sane (£12.5m) returned to the side last week after the birth of his child. He was immediately given a full 90 minutes, found the back of the net and scored a cool 2100 for PlayON owners. Do not be one of those put off by the 630 average from limited minutes in the first few games, especially with De Bruyne still missing.
Crystal Palace v Newcastle
The dire start for the Magpies continued with a 2-1 loss to Arsenal. The fact these losses are by narrow margins becoming less of a consolation as time goes by, without points coming on the board.
Palace grabbed a second win of the season against Huddersfield and will fancy a third in this. Both sides are hardly free-scoring so far, finding the net less than once a game each. That, and the fact there have been four goals across the last three meetings, mean defenders could come into play for this one.
He is continually flagged as the gun for Palace games but Wilfried Zaha (£11m) is their talisman. Palace have scored four this season and he has three of them.
Although he has no assists yet this season, the last two have seen him set up almost as many as he has scored. So if somebody else in the Eagles’ side starts scoring, there’s every chance he will be the one providing.
Back into the side last week for a second clean sheet in three appearances, James Tomkins (£6.6m) is a good play for such a low price. Especially with a home game against a low scoring side.
There is always the chance of the odd goal from him as well (three a season the past two terms) which would bring his value well above his asking price.
An out the box pick here, and definitely one to wait for teamsheets to jump on. The last three games have seen zero minutes for Jonjo Shelvey (£8.1m). My gut feel is that was a tactical play for the tough games to put out a more defensive-minded holding mid to align to the tactics.
As this is a game Newcastle, will see as winnable, there is a high chance they set up a lot more offensively. This increases the chance of Shelvey seeing game time and he has an average over 1000 when he has featured.
Leicester v Huddersfield
Two losses on the bounce for the Foxes while the Terriers are still searching for their first win of the season.
What the home side have managed to do is find the net (over 1.5 a game so far), whilst conceding a few as well (1.8 per game). You would expect an open game then, until you look at the fact that the visitors score about 0.4 per game and lost this one 3-0 last time. Foxes players all round.
With Vardy missing a couple of games suspended, James Maddison (£9.8m) has stepped up to the plate as the Foxes’ main goal threat. His two for the season is the most of any player on either side. The large amount of game time he has been getting is another plus. The lad is only 21 as well, so plenty of development to come even in the coming games.
A goal last week to go with an assist already this season, Marc Albrighton (£7.7m) continues to show the potential to pop up with the odd attacking stat. Eight assists and a couple of goals last season, when he gets a chance he generally delivers.
Time is the big issue though, with limited minutes so far. Even last week’s goal came in a 30 -minute cameo. Wait for the final teams before you make the jump and hope that his goal last out earns him a recall to the starting side.
Liverpool v Southampton
Something of a homecoming for Liverpool’s squad, given the frequency with which they raid the Southampton ranks. 100% record so far, but come up against aside who are unbeaten in their last two.
In the last four meetings between the sides, the Reds have not conceded and have won the last two. They will come in with some confidence after seeing off PSG midweek too, so I would be looking at their players for my sides.
Even without an attacking stat last week, Sadio Mane (£14m) still managed a DFS score of 1350. Couple that with an average of nearly 1900 (behind only Richarlison and Hazard overall) and he becomes close to the first name on your team sheet most weeks. But definitely this week, with a winnable home game.
Mr. Reliable makes an appearance in the preview again. Liverpool skipper James Milner (£8.3m) has played 90 minutes in all but one game so far and already has a goal and two assists. Constant work rate, both offensively and defensively (in these two teams, he sits top two for assists, passes and tackles) continues to lead to solid PlayON scores.
He was sent off in his first game, but then Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (£7.1m) has scored two in two for an average of 1760. Admittedly, picking him is a risk when the Saints have not scored in this fixture for four games. But if everyone thinks like that and he does net one, he could set you apart in the PlayON standings.
Man United v Wolves
This is a matchup between two sides who on paper should not be one place apart on the table. The fact that they are is a combination of a shaky United start and quite a good Wolves one. Both come into this two-from-two and will be confident.
The last time the sides met at this level was in 2011/12, where United won both games 5-0 and 4-1. This is a stronger Wolves side though, and they will look to exploit the limited recovery for the Red Devil’s after a Wednesday European game. Potential to be an open game, with defenders on either side low down on my shopping list.
Lukaku is among the goals this season, but given a nearly £4m discount and two midweek goals, I will be opting for Paul Pogba (£11.8). A season average of around 1450 and an 1125 last time even without a goal or assist. Backing him in for something here and a few DFS points to come with it.
In what could be an open attacking game, attackers on both sides become a premium. The fact, then, that you can get an average of 1350 for £8.4m is reason enough to bring Raúl Jiménez into your side. The added confidence from another goal last week is just another reason to jump on.
Brighton v Tottenham
After starting three-from-three, Spurs have lost their last two. Brighton had a good win over United in round two, but it is their only one so far.
Just the one clean sheet between the two sides so far. If either are to get one here, my money would be on the visitors, but I am not rushing to bring any defenders in from this. At least not for their defensive skills.
Notwithstanding the array of talent in the Spurs squad, you have to admire the goalscoring instincts of Glenn Murray (£10.3m). Proving his 12 last season was no fluke, he already has four in five this term and shows no signs of slowing down even at 34!
He faces a Spurs side in a little bit of a rut. That, and a home game, make him a good chance of another goal or two here.
A quieter game last time against Liverpool, Lucas Moura still has a DFS average of 1480, which is a steal for his £9.8m cost. Three goals and an assist so far, and continued 90 minutes runs in the side. There is a lot to like here.
Anthony Knockaert (£8.1m) came into the Premier League with a bit of a reputation from the Championship. One that he largely failed to live up to last season. He has started well this year though, with three assists already (two more than all of last season!) and an average daily fantasy score of 1150.
If he keeps performing, he will be in a lot more teams soon, so jump on him while he is a true POD.
Eight games in the day is a lot to take in. Once you have, and you think you have the magic line up, make your way to the Games Lobby to enter your teams for the day and sit back and enjoy the action. Then head back here Sunday to check out the picks for the last two games.