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Tuesday 19th Sep 2017

Chelsea and Manchester United played their UEFA Championship League games on Tuesday. Their EPL matches are scheduled for Sunday. That’s two more days of rest than Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham, who after being engaged in Europe on Wednesday, will play their EPL games this coming Saturday. Such are the vagaries of fixtures.

On paper, the EPL opponents of Chelsea and Man. United appear stronger than those of Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham. So, maybe all things appear equal. But are they? Would you risk placing in your active fantasy Premier League lineup Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino after he played against Seville FC on Wednesday when he will be on the pitch from the first minute? We certainly would.

We have examined each of the upcoming Gameweek 5 matches and selected players who have a favorable fixture and are currently in form. In other words, these players are projected to score the most fantasy points. Roberto Firmino is among them.

Use this list as part of your preparation for setting your fantasy Premier League lineups, but check injuries after the UEFA CL games this week.

Friday, Sept. 15

Bournemouth – Brighton

FWD: Jermain Defoe (BOU)

Saturday, Sept. 16

Crystal Palace – Southampton

GK: Frazer Forster (SOT), DEF: Cerdic Soares (SOT), FWD: Manolo Gabbiadini (SOT)

Huddersfield - Leicester City

GK: Jonas Lossl (HUD), DEF: Christopher Schindler (HUD), DEF: Harry Maguire (LEI), FWD: Jamie Vardy (LEI)

West Bromwich - West Ham

DEF: Ahmed Hegazy (WBA), MID: Matt Phillips (WBA), FWD: Jay Rodriguez (WBA)

Liverpool - Burnley FC

GK: Tom Heaton (BUR), DEF: Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV), MID: Mohamed Salah (LIV), MID: Sadio Mane (LIV), MID: Robbie Brady (BUR), FWD: Roberto Firmino (LIV)

Watford - Manchester City

MID: David Silva (MCI), FDW: Richarlison (WAT), FDW: Gabriel Jesus (MCI), FDW: Sergio Aguero (MCI)

Newcastle - Stoke City

GK: Rob Elliot (NEW)

Tottenham Hotspur- Swansea City

GK: Lukacz Fabianski (SWA), DEF: Ben Davies (TOT), MID: Dele Alli (TOT), MID: Christian Eriksen (MID), FDW: Henry Kane (TOT)

Sunday, Sept. 17

Chelsea – Arsenal

GK: Petr Cech (ARS), DEF: Marcos Alonso (CHE), FDW: Alvaro Morata (CHE), FDW: Alexandre Lacazette (ARS)

Manchester United - Everton

GK: David de Gea (MUN), MID: Henrich Mkhitaryan (MUN), MID: Paul Pogba (MUN), MID: Gylfi Siguroson (EVE), FDW: Romelu Lukaku (MUN), FDW: Wayne Rooney (EVE)

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

After the international break, English Premier League soccer resumes this coming Saturday, September 9. DraftKings will feature six Saturday games for its daily contests. The matches featured for EPL Gameweek 4 are:

Arsenal - Bournemouth

Brighton and Hove Albion - West Bromwich Albion

Everton - Tottenham Hotspur

Leicester City - Chelsea

Southampton - Watford

Stoke City - Manchester United

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 searching 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 GW4 fantasy lineup are (DraftKings salary in parenthesis):

Goalkeepers (choose one): Petr Cech ($5,800, Arsenal), Frazer Forster ($5,600, Southampton)   

Defenders (choose two): Ryan Shawcross ($2,800, Stoke City), Phil Jones ($3,100, Manchester United), Ryan Bertrand ($5,500, Southampton), Ben Davies ($5,800, Tottenham Hotspur)   

Midfielders (choose two): Henrikh Mkhitaryan ($8,300, Manchester United), Paul Pogba ($8,200, Manchester United), Dele Alli ($8,500, Tottenham Hotspur), Christian Eriksen ($10,500, Tottenham Hotspur)   

Forwards (choose two): Romelu Lukaku ($10,800, Manchester United), Jamie Vardy ($6,100, Leicester City), Henry Kane ($11,000, Tottenham Hotspur), Alvaro Morata ($8,500, Chelsea)    

Utility (choose one): Manolo Gabbiadini ($7,100, Southampton), Wayne Rooney ($7,000, Everton; last week’s DUI notwithstanding. He may miss a few games in the near future.)

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 insert into the mix low-salaried defenders.

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

Now that Wayne Rooney has scored the 200th goal in EPL, I may keep him permanently on my fantasy squad. Unfortunately, Everton is not one of the teams DraftKings will feature for this coming Saturday. The matches featured by DraftKings for EPL Gameweek 3 to be played Saturday, August 26 are:

Crystal Palace - Swansea City
Watford – Brighton
Newcastle - West Ham United
Huddersfield – Southampton
Manchester United - Leicester City

Our recommendations for your fantasy lineups are below. The standard lineup of each DraftKings contest includes one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one utility player.

In searching 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 GW3 fantasy lineup are (DraftKings salary in parenthesis):   

Goalkeepers (choose one): Robert Elliot ($4,900, Newcastle), Frazer Forster ($5,100, Southampton)   

Defenders (choose two): Phil Jones ($3,300, Manchester United), Ryan Bertrand ($5,200, Southampton), Christopher Shindler ($3,200, Huddersfield), Timothy Fosu-Mensah ($3,500, Crystal Palace)   

Midfielders (choose two): Henrikh Mkhitaryan ($8,600, Manchester United), Paul Pogba ($8,400, Manchester United), Aaron Mooy ($6,500, Huddersfield), Nathan Redmond ($5,500, Southampton)   

Forwards (choose two): Romelu Lukaku ($11,200, Manchester United), Jamie Vardy ($6,600, Leicester City), Charlie Austin ($7,100, Southampton), Javier Hernandez ($7,000, West Ham United)   

Utility (choose one): Manolo Gabbiadini ($6,800, Southampton), Steve Mounie ($6,100, Huddersfield)

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 insert into the mix low-salaried defenders.

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

Let’s take a look at the South American World Cup Qualifying games to be played tomorrow, August 31. DraftKings features four matches for their daily contests. The games are:

Chile - Paraguay
Uruguay - Argentina
Brazil - Ecuador
Peru - Bolivia

Note that the contest goes live on Thursday at 6:30 PM ET.

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. DraftKings salary is in parenthesis.          

Goalkeepers (choose one): Jose Carvallo ($5,700, Peru), Claudio Bravo ($5,600, Chile)

Defenders (choose two): Dani Alves ($6,300, Brazil), Marcelo ($5,800, Brazil), Eugenio Mena ($4,500, Chile), Aldo Corzo ($4,100, Peru)

Midfielders (choose two): Angel Di Maria ($8,900, Argentina), Roberto Firmino ($8,100, Brazil), Arturo Vidal ($7,300, Chile), Christian Cueva ($8,200, Peru)

Forwards (choose two): I do not think that we can fit both Neymar ($11,800, Brazil) and Lionel Messi ($10,900, Argentina) under the salary cap. We recommend selecting one of the two and then one more forward from this group of three players: Edison Cavani ($8,400, Uruguay), Miguel Almiron ($6,900, Paraguay), Mauro Icardi ($8,500, Argentina). As far as the Neymar/Messi dilemma, we prefer Messi because Brazil has already qualified.

Utility (choose one): Paulo Dybala ($9,400, Argentina), Gaston Pereiro ($5,000, Uruguay)

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 insert into the mix low-salaried defenders.

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

EPL started with a bang. Gameweek 1 was fun, fun. There were some surprises, which is exactly why we love soccer.

Let’s turn our attention to Gameweek 2. For their daily contests, DraftKings will feature six EPL games to be played on Saturday 8/19. The six matches are:

Bournemouth – Watford

Burnley - West Bromwich Albion

Leicester City - Brighton & Hove Albion

Liverpool - Crystal Palace

Southampton - West Ham United

Stoke City - Arsenal

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 searching 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 GW2 fantasy lineup are (DraftKings salary in parenthesis):     

Goalkeepers (choose one): Ben Foster ($4,600, West Bromwich Albion), Frazer Forster ($5,600, Southampton)     

Defenders (choose two): Ryan Bertrand ($5,400, Southampton), Craig Dawson ($3,800, West Bromwich Albion), Sead Kolasinac ($4,700, Arsenal), Charlie Daniels ($4,800, Bournemouth)     

Midfielders (choose two): Mohamed Salah ($8,500, Liverpool), Sadio Mane’ ($8,600, Liverpool), Matt Phillips ($6,100, West Bromwich Albion), Nathan Redmond ($5,600, Southampton)     

Forwards (choose two): Roberto Firmino ($9,100, Liverpool), Alexandre Lacazette ($9,000, Arsenal), Jamie Vardy ($7,500, Leicester City), Charlie Austin ($7,200, Southampton)     

Utility (choose one): Jermain Defoe ($6,600, Bournemouth), Demarai Gray ($5,700, Leicester 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 insert into the mix low-salaried defenders.

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

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