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Wednesday 18th Oct 2017

The 2016-2017 season of the English Premier League, commonly known as EPL, began with a major disappointment for Leicester City fans. Week 2 may not bring any solace, as Leicester City will face Arsenal, fresh off a 7-goal entertaining game with Liverpool. However, playing at the King Power Stadium could make the difference.

Leicester City–Arsenal is EPL’s Week 2 game to watch and is one of six matches featured this week by DraftKings. Note that DraftKings offers several weekly EPL contests. The standard lineup of each DraftKings contest includes two goalkeepers, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one utility player. The utility player is similar to a flex position, a position that is commonly found in fantasy football leagues. Any player other than a goalkeeper qualifies as Utility.

Our strategy is to place a numerical value (weight) out of 100 to the key characteristics for each player position. Use this weight value to devise your own roster should you be unable to fit our recommended lineup under the salary cap.

Let me elaborate on why we have a weighted value and how to use it. Each goal is valued at 10 points. With that in mind, we assign a high weighted value to those players who tend to score even if they are fullbacks, like Alexandar Kolarov, who has scored ten times since joining City. Another factor to keep in mind when deciding your roster that is essential in DFS Soccer and more valuable than, say, in baseball, is the quality of the opponent.

Goalkeepers: His clean sheet, valued at 5 points, depends on how good he is (weighted value of 20/100), how capable his defense is (40/100) and if the opposing team he faces has a weak attack (40/100). We have assigned only a 20-weight value to a goalkeeper’s individual quality because the better the goalie, the higher his salary, which leaves less for the offense. With that in mind, our research this week points to Lukasz Fabianski, Petr Cech and Kasper Schmeichel.

Defenders: A goal scorer gets 10 points, the highest prize. Hence, defenders who have a history of scoring receive a 60/100 value. Knowing how to deliver a goal assist, valued at 6 points, receives a 30/100 value. A 10/100 weight value goes to tackles won, because each gets 1 point. Suggested defenders this week are Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal and Alberto Moreno.

Midfielders: The key here is to pick players who know how to deliver goal assists, that is, send that final pass, cross, header or shot which leads to the goal being scored. We recommend Eden Hazard, Dele Alli and Phillipe Coutinho, who suffered only a cramp and is fine for Week 2. Note that Paul Pogba is out.

Forwards: This is the most important section simply because most points are assigned to the goal scorers. In addition, a shot or a shot at goal are each worth 1 point. Hence, 60/100 value is given to those strikers who have historically scored well, while 40/100 value is used when considering the opposing team and the quality of its defense. This is the position where we want to spend our money. This week, let’s go with Alexis Sanchez, Troy Deeney and Yannick Bolasie.

Utility: Given the way DFS points are distributed, we strongly favor a forward in this position. This week, we have Jamie Vardy and Roberto Firmino.

Follow Pasko on Twitter @varnica123. His essays about sports in ancient Roman times can be found at SportsInAntiquity.com

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