After a couple of big Saturdays of Premier League action, this week pulls the schedule back slightly with just six games on offer. There is still a lot to get excited about in there though, and plenty to get excited about at PlayON, with daily fantasy offerings all round.
To turn the excitement into profits, I have tried to throw out the best buys for the Gameweek 8 games, featuring the must-have guns, the value-for-money plays and the sneaky POD picks nobody else will have.
Burnley v. Huddersfield
Huddersfield remain something of a team in trouble. No wins this season and scoring less than once every two games, they sit firmly at the foot of the table. Probably not the time to travel to play a Burnley side with two wins on the bounce.
These sides have played twice before at this level, both goalless draws. There is, then, an argument to be made for defenders from both sides, but the form of the Terriers so far means I have to lean mainly towards the Clarets in all positions.
Across both sides, the outfield player boasting the best average is Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£10.4m). Admittedly, it is boosted by his 2400 last out against Cardiff but he does seem to have hit some form over the last couple of games, with a goal and three assists.
Games do not come easier than a home matchup against the bottom club, so no excuses for not getting a big score here.
In a somewhat disappointing Terriers run, Philip Billing (£6.9m) continues to be a bit of a positive aspect. In terms of DFS at least.
Averaging over 1000 and scoring 1100 last week without a goal or assist, you cannot ask for much more from someone at rock bottom price.
A quiet one last out, and a season average under the 1000 mark might scare a few off. Admittedly, Aaron Lennon (£7.5m) does run a bit hot and cold, but we know what he is capable of when he is on. As I said above, there are no excuses for not performing in this one.
Crystal Palace v. Wolves
A narrow loss to Bournemouth last round for Palace sees them sit in 13th with a mixed bag set of results. Wolves however, have hit the ground running and are unbeaten in their last five, sitting in the top half.
No history at the top level for these two, but the current form gives a slight edge to the visitors. Both sides have three clean sheets from their first seven though, so it could be a tight one.
From goal scorer to goal provider, the change has not hurt the impact of Raúl Jiménez (£8.9m) who boasts the highest PlayON average of any player in this game. Two goals earlier in the season got him out the blocks, but an assist in each of his last two has seen his scores still remain around the 1500 mark. When you consider his price tag, that is a bargain!
Boosted by a goal last week, Jonny (£6.9m) brought home 2300 points for owners. The three clean sheets already this season are a good enough base to justify selection, with any attacking add-ons a bonus.
Leicester v. Everton
Wins and clean sheets for both sides in round seven. A first clean sheet of the season for the Toffees in fact. These two have played each other 24 times at this level, drawing 13 of them (four Foxes wins and seven for the Toffees).
I cannot pick a winner here, but given the away side love conceding a goal as much as scoring them, I can see both sides on the scoresheet, bringing the attacking-minded picks into play.
A few form players in this one makes for a juicy matchup, but you just cannot ignore Gylfi Sigurdsson (£11.4m) and his 3600 from round seven. The highest scoring PlayON player across the last round, he has three goals in his last three. Always likely to be the one pulling the strings for the Toffees.
Based on average score against price, the most value for money in this game is technically Richarlison. However, he is merely living off his great start and his value is actually dropping given no goals or assists since round two.
The player whose value is on the rise is James Maddison (£10.3m). The return of Vardy has not slowed the lad down, with two goals and an assist in the three games since, earning him a call up to the England squad. Showing no signs of stopping, pick him with confidence.
Last week against Fulham, Bernard (£7m) played two minutes and scored 610 points courtesy of an assist. The talk (from random Everton fans at the pub…) is that he could be pushing for some more minutes, which would make him a sneaky POD play with other PlayON players not expecting it.
Tottenham v. Cardiff
All three of the sides in the relegation zone are winless, including Cardiff who have now lost four on the trot. Spurs have won their last two after a slight wobble to sit in the top four.
Both these meetings finished 1-0 Spurs last season. On current form, with Spurs scoring and Cardiff conceding two a game on average, suggests this could be a higher scoring game than the previous encounters. All home players for me from a PlayON perspective.
Banging in two last week to take him to five for the season, Harry Kane (£16.5m) sits in the top six for averages across all teams and is the clear highest scorer from all players in this game.
Yes, it is a big cost, but he has proven himself Mr. Dependable over the last few years and is always likely to net a few goals, especially if this turns into a rout, which it could.
Carrying his good World Cup form into the new season, Kieran Trippier (£8.4m) has a goal and three assists already and is well on track to top last season’s effort of seven assists.
Advancing full-backs in an attacking team are always a big plus and Trippier fits that bill perfectly.
Watford v. Bournemouth
After a flying start, the Hornets come into this without a win in three, while the Cherries have two in the same period, making this a sixth against seventh clash.
In six previous encounters, there have been five draws, three of which were 2-2. Only one of the six had less than two goals in it as well, suggesting this could be a good game for goals on either side. Attackers, then.
Standouts in this one for me are the two forwards on either side. They are both priced the same, at £9.3m, and both averaging over 1200, so I cannot split them.
Callum Wilson scored in his first two, but has since turned provider, racking up five assists. He has also only missed about 30 minutes of action this season. A lock for your sides with massive minutes and great scores.
Troy Deeney on the other hand has managed to maintain a similar average despite only having two goals and an assist to his name. In round seven, he managed a PlayON score of 1125 in a 2-0 loss to Arsenal. A solid base scoring level means when he does find himself back among the attacking stats (which he will soon), the scores for owners will be massive.
Another who scored well in the Arsenal defeat, Will Hughes (£7.9m) has compiled a ‘solid-for-the-price’ daily fantasy average of 1150 with just the one goal and assist. If you are looking for a cheaper option to free up some cash for big guns elsewhere, he is certainly not the worst choice.
Man United v. Newcastle
This is a fixture that has produced some crackers over the years and some high scoring games. I am not sure if I see that happening this time though, with both teams in something of a rut. United are without a win in two, have lost three already this season and sit mid table. Newcastle are yet to record a win this season.
This one is either going to be a really tight affair, great for defenders, or a United blowout, bringing their forwards into it. The gamble when picking your PlayON sides is picking which will happen. For what it’s worth, I reckon United players are the go.
If the Red Devils are to run riot in this, you can expect a couple of goals for Romelu Lukaku (£15.2m). The big Belgian has gone a few weeks without a goal so is definitely due for a big score.
My value for this one sits with Luke Shaw (£7.3m). Firmly back in favour and an ever-present in all but one game, the full-back provided another assist last week and will continue to bomb forward.
Given Newcastle’s defensive set up will invite him forward more, there is a good chance he could pop up with an attacking stat and a nice boost to his score.
Many will be put off by the limited minutes of Marcus Rashford (£8.5m) this season. But keep an eye on the teamsheets. If he has played his way into a starting spot with his goal last out, he could be a good low-ownership option to set you apart from the pack.
And so ends the Saturday games. Don’t worry though, there are still three games on Sunday and I will be back to preview them.
In the meantime, get your Saturday PlayON teams in, then sit back and enjoy the games!