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Thursday 21st Sep 2017

Ah, the vagaries of game time scheduling! What a shame that the big match of the week, the clash, the game that has already been called by some the “Manchester classic” will be played early in the day and so it will not be featured by DraftKings.

Nevertheless, there are seven other matches to enjoy. From their rosters we have selected players who we consider key to your winning lineups. 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 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. I am staying with my favorite from last week, Artur Boruc, who had a penalty shot saved in Week 3. In addition, I like Tom Heaton and Heurelho Gomez.

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 Toby Alderweireld, Roberto Firmino and Hector Bellerin.

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 Santiago Cazorla, Ross Barkley (again) and Michail Antonio.

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 Alvaro Negredo, Michy Batshuayi (note: inexpensive) and Cristhian Stuani, who now after Week 3 belongs to the dream team.

Utility: Given the way DFS points are distributed, we strongly favor a forward in this position. This week, we have Adama Diomande and Joshua King.

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

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