News of Sergio Aguero's hamstring injury certainly dampened the brilliance of football on the pitch during this past International break, but the headlines around the EPL have been nothing short of monumental. A new manager in Liverpool and a little time-out for the self-proclaimed "Special One" in London are the cracking headlines as the Barclays Premier League heads into the second quarter of what will certainly be the most exciting season in recent memory.
The chase for the Title and the top-four Champions League spots are all very much up for grabs and there are easily eight different teams with the necessary quality. All of this quality lends itself to a much wider pool of players to choose from when putting together our fantasy teams.
As a quick note, the majority of our picks will be focused on the Saturday slate of matches given the majority of EPL games take place then, but each of our recommendations is one we stand behind regardless of the day they take to the pitch. Let's take a look at who you should be considering in the DraftKings game for the upcoming weekend:
Joe Hart (Manchester City, $5,700)- The Citizens suffered a big injury to their talisman Sergio 'Kun' Aguero (4-6 weeks) over the break, however the return of their captain and defensive brick wall, Vincent Kompany, will most certainly solidify what's been a shaky and inexperienced back four in recent weeks and absolutely justifies Hart's price against a newly promoted Bournemouth squad that recently lost their most prolific goal-scorer, Callum Wilson, for the season.
Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion, $4,800)- Tony Pulis, the West Brom gaffer, is one of the most universally respected leaders in all of Football. He loves to game-plan around stacking giant men all throughout the pitch and preaches the importance of home victories to a tremendous extent. West Brom are undefeated in 10 of their last 11 matches against Sunderland in all competitions combined with the fact that Sunderland have failed to win their last 11 matches in all EPL competition, the appointment of 'Big Sam' Allardyce will definitely move Sunderland into the right direction, but their defense is atrocious and we like Myhill as a very sneaky, low owned value play this weekend.
Other options to consider: Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City, $4,800), Petr Cech (Arsenal, $5,300), Asmir Begovic (Chelsea, $5,400).
Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City, $6,800)- We almost feel ashamed posting this behemoth at the top of our list as it should be universally known by now that between his consistent ability to send in lovely crosses, and his obvious capabilities to get those extra clean sheet points, we believe the absence of Aguero and the likely inclusion of Bony into the starting XI will raise the probability of a Kolarov cross ending up in the back of the net. We approve the steep spending move here.
Kyle Naughton (Swansea City, $4,300)- Naughton is a very, very intriguing play to us this week for a variety of reasons. First and foremost Swansea is led by a very charismatic and inspiring coach named Garry Monk who was himself a player only a few years back and has done a marvelous job of turning the Swans into a highly dynamic home squad that should get the win and clean sheet against lowly Stoke.
Ryan Bertrand (Southampton, $3,700)- Bertrand has been skating under the DraftKings radar of late as he recently returned from injury and regained the starting right back position from Matt Targett. Unfortunately for Ryan he has had a rather injury-plagued career, and found himself constantly on-loan from Chelsea. However after solidifying a very promising partnership with Nathaniel Clyne last season, it looks as if he has found a long-term home with Southampton and we love the upside of one of his crosses finding Pelle's forehead and into the back of the net.
Other options to consider: Bacary Sagna/Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City, $4,500/$4,300) - check the starting lineups, Cedric Soares (Southampton $4,300) Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle, $3,900).
Dimitri Payet (West Ham, $9,100)- Payet has proven to be one of the most active and successful signings of the Summer Window by starting his campaign with 4 goals, 3 assists, and 1.5 shots/game proving to be instrumental in the fast-paced, prolific West Ham offense thus far that has oddly performed much better on the road.
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, $8,000)- KDB has been nothing short of incredible since his arrival from Wolfsburg and will feel even more of an attacking responsibility this week with the absence of Aguero. With 3 goals and 2 assists paired with a whopping 12 shots in 4 games, we don't see any reason as to why that production rate will slow against a pivotal home matchup with Bournemouth.
Jefferson Montero (Swansea City, $6,300)- Montero is simply sublime zooming down the left flank and if it weren't for his injury-riddled beginning to the season he would most likely cost around $8K on DK. One of the most important stats from the Midfield position is the ability to send in dangerous crosses and Montero absolutely epitomizes that in every way. No manager has found a way to stop him in his first two seasons and we don't expect to see anything different coming from a lack-luster Stoke defense.
Other options to consider: Dusan Tadic (Southampton, $9,700), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal, $7,800), Willian (Chelsea, $6,100), Bakary Sako (Crystal Palace, $6,000)
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal, $11,600)- With 9 goals in his last 5 appearances it's safe to say the Chilean maestro is simply en fuego! Form is one of our main factors when determining who to play and regardless of his expensive tag, we simply cannot fade away from Mr. Sanchez this week against a lowley Watford defense.
Sadio Mane (Southampton, $9,100)- Mane has been utterly electric for Manager Ron Koeman this season and certainly looked the part of a superstar 2 weeks ago even after being denied an obvious PK at Chelsea. With transfer rumors swirling and speculation of Manchester United preparing to swoop in for the young Senegalese forward, you better believe he's going to keep producing this weekend.
Wilfried Bony (Manchester City, $6,500)- With the massive absence of Aguero up top for the Citizens, it only seems fitting to fill the goal-scoring slot with the massive presence of Wilfried Bony. Manchester City will be desperately seeking a return to winnings ways after the International Break allowed them time to heal their defensive superstar, Kompany, and we are sensing a nice Kolarov cross finding Bony's forehead at least once for a beautifully headed goal.
Other options to consider: Theo Walcott (Arsenal, $8,200), Saido Berahino (West Brom, $6,700), Graziano Pelle (Southampton, $9,400), Kevin Mirallas (Everton, $5,400), **Steven Fletcher (Sunderland, $5,200) - EXTRA GPP SPECIAL**
Here's a sample lineup we'll be using this week:
Who are you planning on picking this week? Will you be playing the cash games or Guaranteed Prize Pools? Let us know in the comments and share your results with us on Twitter this weekend! Good luck!