It’s Gameweek 26 and we’ve been fielding your DraftKings 1-day fantasy questions across social media over the past few days.
We’ve taken a handful of the best questions put to us, crunched the numbers and done all the legwork for you - below you’ll find a definitive answer to some of the trickiest fantasy conundrums out there this week. Enjoy.
Leighton Baines, $4,500 (West Brom, home) or Cesar Azpilicueta, $3,800 (Newcastle,home)
Leighton Baines’ season has only recently got under way really thanks to injury, and he’s only played 659 minutes of Premier League action.
That means his production has been limited, but there’s signs of life in his game - To put that in context, despite playing 16 fewer games than Cesar Azpilicueta, the Everton man has more assists. Still, the data pool is shallow and it’s tricky trying to figure out which way he’s trending.
Baines produces on average two crosses-per-game to Azpilicueta’s 0.2, and is fouled more regularly (1.09 times-per-game to Azpilicueta’s 0.53) - all key points when it comes to DraftKings 1-day fantasy football scoring.
But, in truth, those numbers are negligible - if Baines hits his average he’ll have a base of three points, and then you’re left hoping he can bag a goal or assist (never wise for a defender), or Everton keep a clean sheet, which isn’t that likely - The Toffees have the 20th worst home defensive record.
While Roberto Martinez’s side always provide goals and entertainment, Baines is the most expensive defender this week and that will impact on your selection strategy; you’ll likely have to make cut-backs elsewhere in positions where the big points can be earned. For example, Benik Afobe is only $300 more than Baines and has been scoring for fun recently.
If you have to go with one, Baines is the safer bet but with his price - plus Azpilicueta’s limited output - you’re better placed looking elsewhere for value further down the price list.
Ayoze Perez, $5,300 (Chelsea, away) or Jermain Defoe, $5,000 (Manchester United,home)
Defoe instantly jumps off the page as a solid utility player choice with 10 goals this season and a respectable price tag - but there are a few red flags. Manchester United have statistically the second best defence in the Premier League, while Defoe is 14th amongst strikers in terms of average fantasy points-per-game (FPPG) despite being the 12th most expensive forward. He’s also averaging just two shots a game, which doesn’t put him in the top 30 in the league, and his record against Manchester United across his career stands at five goals in 25 games.
Sunderland have improved a little of late but have just two wins in their last 12 and last time round in September they fell to a 3-0 loss against the Red Devils that Defoe missed.
Perez is more expensive with even fewer shots and less on target than Defoe, while he has scored just five all season. Chelsea’s defensive record at home is a little suspect - they’ve shipped 20 goals at Stamford Bridge this term - but Newcastle have mustered just six away goals all season.
Defoe at least manages to get 70% of all his shots on target and you can expect him to try his luck against a Manchester United side that still looks a little shaky despite their upturn in form. Put him in a utility spot and cross your fingers at very best. Forget Perez for this week.
Eden Hazard, $5,300 (Newcastle, home) or Graziano Pelle, $5,000 (Swansea, away)
Why would you pick a player who is yet to score in the Premier League and didn’t even start in Chelsea’s last outing against Manchester United?
He’s averaging just more than five points-per-game as it stands which is pretty poor, but with Chelsea’s form on the up - they’re unbeaten in their last nine league outings - he has to start scoring soon, right?
This weekend seems as good as any, Newcastle have only kept two clean sheets on the road all season, but it would take a brave man to back the Belgian right now - in truth there are few indicators jumping off the page, screaming ‘pick me’. He’s only mustered 23 shots in 25 league games and has hit the target with just half of them. As it stands he’s untouchable, even as a utility player.
Pelle is an interesting option, especially if you’re looking for a cheaper striker to accompany more pricey options. He’s had more than double Hazard’s shots this season and while he only has six goals to his name, Swansea are struggling near the foot of the table while Southampton have found form after a rough patch. While he’s a little overpriced in terms of his average FPPG - the match up and overall price in relation to others are appealing.