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Sunday 28th May 2017

Is Hull the new Leicester? Probably not, but it is certainly enjoyable to see the Tigers sitting between the two Manchester powerhouses and Chelsea at the top of the EPL standings.

Hull City - Manchester United is one of the most interesting matchups of Week 3 and is one of seven games featured by DraftKings. Note that DraftKings offers several weekly EPL contests.

The standard lineup of each DraftKings contest has 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 high weighted values 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 the expensive David De Gea and Petr Cech and, my favorite this week, Artur Boruc.

Defenders: A goal scorer gets 10 points, the highest prize. Hence, those 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 are Antonio Valencia, Mason Holgate and Robert Huth. They all performed well last week and are reasonably priced.

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 again Eden Hazard, Ross Barkley and, for the first time, Paul Pogba, fresh off a great performance last week.

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 the expensive Zlatan Ibrahimovic, then with inexpensive Nathan Redmond to ease the pain of the salary cap and lastly with Olivier Giroud.

Utility: Given the way DFS points are distributed, we strongly favor a forward in this position. This week, we have Diego Costa (two goals so far) and Jamie Vardy.

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

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