With the busy Holiday fixtures and the FA Cup games behind us, let’s turn our attention to the English Premier League Gameweek 21. Eight games will be played this coming Saturday, January 14. DraftKings will feature seven of the eight games for their daily contests. The matches featured by DraftKings are:
West Ham - Crystal Palace
Sunderland - Stoke City
Hull City - Bournemouth
Swansea City - Arsenal
Watford – Middlesbrough
Burnley FC - Southampton
Leicester City - Chelsea
Our recommendations for your fantasy lineups are below. The standard lineup of each DraftKings contest has one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one utility player.
In doing the search for a winning fantasy lineup, we are sensitive to the requirements of the dreaded salary cap. Our recommendations include players who have a favorable scheduled match and whose salary will allow you to field a well-balanced team. In addition, our recommendations for your lineup are based in part on the odds set by English bookmakers for each game.
Our recommendations for your GW21 fantasy lineup are:
Goalkeepers (choose one): Tom Heaton (Burnley FC), Artur Boruc (Bournemouth)
Defenders (choose two): Marcos Alonso (Chelsea, he is again listed here, the highest fantasy point getter among defenders for the first half of the season), Winston Reid (West Ham), Steve Cook (Bournemouth), Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth)
Midfielders (choose two): Michail Antonio (West Ham), Joe Allen (Stoke City), Junior Stanislas ((Bournemouth), Theo Walcott (Arsenal, check his injury status)
Forwards (choose two): Diego Costa (Chelsea, my top choice this week), Alvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Jermain Defoe (Sunderland), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace, check his injury status)
Utility (choose one): Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal, expensive but productive, almost a must this week), Andre Gray (Burnley FC, one bad game against Manchester City is not enough to keep him off this list), Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City)
Note that several midfielders and forwards qualify at both positions, in addition to utility, on DraftKings. Unfortunately, that may not help your salary cap, as all of these players are quite expensive. Our strategy is to mix in low-salaried defenders.
Follow Pasko on Twitter @varnica123. His essays about sports in ancient Roman times can be found at SportsInAntiquity.com