SOC | Must-Haves: EPL | 8/12/17

After a long wait, the Premier League season has finally arrived. A summer of drama filled with multiple transfers has certainly been exciting to follow, but nothing compares to the magic that Premier League Saturdays have to offer. Without further ado, let’s get straight to business and have a look at the Must-Haves for the first EPL slate of the season.

 

Andros Townsend (DK: $7,800): The first Must-Have is Andros Townsend, the English midfielder for Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace’s first match of the season is against newly promoted side Huddersfield Town, and Crystal Palace enters as sizable favorites. Palace will attempt to start the new season on a positive note at Selhurst Park after ending the season on a positive note with a victory in their final home match of the season. Though Palace struggled initially in the early stages of the season, the team turned it around and entered a good run of form in order to ensure safety in the Premier League. Crystal Palace were unbeaten in five of their last seven home matches in the Premier League. Huddersfield’s away form in the Championship last season left much to be desired, as the club conceded more goals than scored. In addition, Huddersfield appeared to be a weaker side and were a beneficiary of the playoff as they squeaked through to the Premier League. Crystal Palace are expected to dominate in this favorable fixture, allowing us to target Andros Townsend. With Yohan Cabaye ruled out for Crystal Palace, Townsend’s floor is elevated as the English midfielder is likely expected to have a monopoly on set pieces. Last season, Townsend was a fantasy stud for much of the season when he started, primarily due to his heavy crossing tendency paired with his set piece ability. Crystal Palace’s playstyle also caters to Townsend’s strengths as Palace play with a target forward in Christian Benteke, who feasts on crosses. In Townsend’s last eight matches, the midfielder averaged 14 FPTs per match, despite only having a goal and two assists over that span. The Englishman also had 70 crosses — yes, you read that right — in the eight match sample size. Andros Townsend offers appeal because of his high floor, and should be in line for another strong performance against Huddersfield.

Sergio Aguero (DK: $10,200): The second Must-Have for the slate is Sergio Aguero, the superstar Argentine striker for Manchester City. Manchester City splashed the cash over the summer in the transfer window, as is usually the case with the English giants. City spent £216.45 million in transfers this summer (equivalent to $282 million), and look to be set to start the season off with a bang. The primary goal for the club was to strengthen their defense, as they certainly boast the attacking firepower to dominate in the Premier League. Signees including Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Danilo, and Ederson all will attempt to play their roles in a successful Premier League campaign. Luckily for Manchester City, their first match is against the newly promoted Brighton & Hove Albion, and Manchester City are fully expected to win comfortably. City enters as the second-heaviest favorites on the slate, despite the match being played away from home. This is likely due to the sheer difference in talent between the sides coupled with Manchester City’s impressive preseason so far, with dominant victories over Real Madrid, Tottenham, and West Ham. Pep Guardiola has a lot of options to choose from, and it is expected that the Spanish manager will experiment with a three back system in order to fit in the attacking threats that Manchester City has to offer. One such player is Sergio Aguero, who will likely form a striker partnership with emerging star, Gabriel Jesus. Aguero has been the heart of Manchester City for multiple years and ended last season off in strong form, with four goals over his last five starts. Despite being plagued by injuries last season, Aguero ended the season with 20 goals in 25 Premier League matches. The Argentine also posted five goals in six Champions League matches, showing his clinical goalscoring ability. Aguero offers fantasy value through his goalscoring upside while also offering a floor because of his shot taking volume. In his last five Premier League starts, Aguero took 31 shots and averaged five shots per match in away fixtures for Man City. Given a favorable matchup against Brighton, coupled with a strong attack around Aguero, we expect the Argentine to have a strong fantasy performance. Lock him in your DraftKings lineups as a Must-Have for the first EPL slate.

 

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to follow me on Twitter @sid_v11 and tweet me.

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