There was a prevailing notion amongst football pundits and couch midfielders over the summer that Southampton, after selling off their core nucleus of players from the previous season, including Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana, would be somewhat of a dumpster fire this season. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. And while there are several new additions that have helped the club surge to second in the table, perhaps none have been better than Dusan Tadic.
Marking the first signing under the new regime of Ronald Koeman, the Serbian Tadic has become a Premier League starlet and fantasy darling since first setting foot on the pitch. To date, though he only has found the back of the net once, he has notched seven assists (second only to Cesc Fabregas with nine), registered 28 created chances (again, second only to Fabregas, who has 31), has taken 24 shots, played a whopping 71 crosses, and racked up a massive 17 fantasy points per game on Draft Kings. That, my friends is the definition of a stat sheet-filler.
This weekend, Southampton will play hosts to the lowly Foxes from Leicester City who have leaked 16 goals in 10 contests thus far. Tadic, along with fellow newcomer and emerging star, Graziano Pellé, should be able to feast on a suspect defensive unit, and, though the price is steep ($10,900), is someone you can feel comfortable shelling out for considering his ability to provide a steady stream of fantasy points regardless of wether or not he scores a goal.
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Let’s take a look at the rest of the favorable week 11 plays.
Fraser Forster – Southampton ($5,500), Adrián – West Ham ($4,400), Eldin Jakupovic – Hull City ($3,600)
It’s slim pickin’s this week for backstop’s, so paying for one who has a surefire matchup is certainly a solid strategy. Forster has arguably been the best keeper in the Prem this season, and has an excellent shot at securing the coveted double: clean sheet/victory.
Adrián and West Ham have another tasty matchup in week 11, as they will play host to a punchless Aston Villa side that have scored a league low five goals. Adrián doesn’t have the defense in front of him that Forster has so a clean sheet wouldn’t be as likely, but Villa should muster a few shots on target, giving him the chance at making a few saves. Additionally, West Ham’s lethal attack should see the home side best the visitors easily, giving their keeper a well deserved victory.
Jakupovic is a bit of a risk this week given that he may not start if Allan McGregor or Steve Harper are fit to play, but assuming they aren’t, it’s hard to ignore his matchup against Burnley. Burnley, like Aston Villa, have only found the back of the net a measly five times this year. If you feel like dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight, pull the trigger on Jakupovic and live the stream.
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Rafael – Manchester United ($4,900), Pablo Zabaleta – Manchester City – ($4,700), Kieran Trippier – Burnley ($4,700)
Full disclosure, I’ll be punting defense this week. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some strong value plays. Rafael got off to a hot start but as cooled off somewhat of late. Despite the cool down, he still represents the best attacking threat amongst available defenders and should play many a cross into United’s deadly attacking front against Crystal Palace.
Zabaleta is another forward-thinking defender that should get his fair share of chances to do so against QPR. However, City, like most clubs, often do not play up to their full potential on the road and I could see the “Citizens” leaking a goal or two.
Despite Burnley’s inability to score, I like their home matchup against Hull City this week. Trippier has been the club’s best fantasy player, and even if the Clarets don’t keep a clean sheet he should provide plenty of crosses. He’s averaging 8.3 FPPG.
Stewart Downing – West Ham ($7,200), Marouanne Fellaini – Manchester United – ($6,900), Mohammed Diame – Hull City ($6,600)
Downing has been revitalized playing behind Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho, and that has led to 28 created chances (tied for second with Tadic), two goals, and three assists. West Ham should have no trouble at home against Villa, and with Sakho expected back from injury the club will be at full strength.
Fellaini (still can’t believe I’m saying this) appears to have finally found a home in the United first XI. The big Belgian has returned to his bruising ways in central midfield, and seems to have filled the role once held by Ander Herrera. Given the sparse selection of midfielders, Fellaini makes for a sneaky play especially if you’re playing in a GPP.
Diame will continue to fill in for a suspended Nikala Jelavic and should continue to get his chances. He’s led the team in shots for three consecutive matches.
Edin Dzeko – Manchester City ($9,600), Diafra Sakho – West Ham ($7,300), Danny Ings – Burnley ($5,200)
It’s been the Sergio Agüero show for the most part thus far for City (understandably), but lets not forget they also boast another world class striker in Dzeko. Spending big for a striker this week in certainly understandable, but if you’re looking to be a little thrifty then Dzeko could be your guy.
As stated earlier, Sakho will return this week from a shoulder injury and should get back to his goal-scoring ways against Aston Villa. He’s currently sitting on five goals and one assist.
Ings is my ultimate under-the-radar play this week. When healthy, he’s Burnley’s best threat to score (I realize that’s not saying much), and although he only has one goal, his 17 shots taken since returning from injury three weeks ago bode well going forward.