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Sunday 24th Sep 2017

You got to love it when there is as much parity as this year in the English Premier League (EPL). Four teams separated by two points with three more teams lurking right behind.

Spurs win over City certainly did a good job in surprising us, almost as much as what Stoke City accomplished at Old Trafford. Will things change after the break for the FIFA World Cup qualifying? On the topic of surprises, how will Everton, undoubtedly this year’s surprise team, do with the table leader City? Which of the two Italian coaches, Conte or Ranieri, will prevail? On the topic of Italian coaches, with Francesco Guidolin dismissed, we have for the first time an American, Bob Bradley, as a permanent, as opposed to interim, manager in the EPL. Last question, how will Manchester United do in Liverpool?

I am ready for Gameweek 8. DraftKings features six games on Saturday, October 15. They are:

Arsenal vs. Swansea
Manchester City vs. Everton
Bournemouth vs. Hull City
Stoke City vs. Sunderland
West Bromwich vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Crystal Palace vs. West Ham

The standard lineup for each DraftKings contest has one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one utility player.

Our recommendations for your fantasy lineup are:     

Goalkeepers (Choose one): Petr Cech, Claudio Bravo (my new favorite after he stopped Eric Lamela’s penalty kick)   

Defenders (Choose two): Gael Clichy, Jonny Evans (get him before he gets suspended), Jordi Amat (he will have plenty of opportunities for tackles as the ball will be in his half quite often), Laurent Koscielny (expensive)   

Midfielders (Choose two): Dele Alli, Ilkay Gundogan, Ross Barkley, Idissa Gueye (inexpensive)     

Forwards (Choose two): Son Heung-Min (must stay with him after his stellar performance against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Championship League game), Christian Benteke, Marko Arnautovic     

Utility (Choose one): Alexis Sanchez, Callum Wilson, Theo Walcott (should not be ignored after scoring twice against Basel)

You must have noticed that not all of the above names are top players. The reason is simple: there is a mix to allow you to fit your fantasy lineup under the dreaded salary cap. Due to an interesting twist, several midfielders and forwards qualify at both positions on DraftKings. Unfortunately, that may not help your salary cap, as all of these players are quite expensive. In light of that, our strategy is to pick inexpensive defenders to limit your exposure and end up with at least four capable forwards.

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

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