Lonesome Pundit

Bettting, DFS, Football, NFL – bit of randomness

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Pre-season FPL ramblings …

The pre-season of FPL really for me acts like a drag – the game is launched four weeks ahead of the first fixture, you create your first team, you watch some friendlies, make the odd tweak and then become less enthused about that first team. In a way the best thing to do is setup things randomly and then spend a good few hours in the final week before week 1 creating the masterplan. Alas Twitter has RMTs coming at you from every angle and although there are many great articles and podcasts out there people asking for advice on their teams at this stage really need to just put things on hold. Much can and will change. Please don’t ask me to rate any teams – I’ll politely decline not that I expect anyone is that mad!

I don’t envisage that I will spend much time blogging this season but I did have a look at some ownership rates and thought I’d pen down some thoughts – more probably for myself but if it helps one person then all good. I will say I don’t think owning a player who is heavily owned is necessarily a bad thing. For instance Mo Salah is currently at 47.3% and I’d far rather be in the Salah camp than outside – especially with Liverpool’s early run of games and Salah coming back from the World Cup early. I will want to see him appear fully fit before going in all on Mo. Anyhow there are a few players I think are already too highly owned and I’ll list a few potential differential options which might work out ok to start the season.


David De Gea £6m – (30.3%)

De Gea is 0.5m more than his peers and frankly he’s not worth the extra investment in my opinion. Yes last season he top scored in points but he only finished 14 points ahead of Ederson and 15 ahead of the £4.5m rated Fabianksi. The appeal of the United clean sheets is obvious but I do think the better option is to look away from De Gea. In fact until it’s proven what Mourinho’s back four is I would avoid. Gun against my head I would select Bailly (£5.5m) as he didn’t play in the World Cup and started last season first choice. The Luke Shaw hype is somewhat unbearable – because there is no guarantee he will start ahead of Young when he is back, so you might get one or two games before you have a rotation problem.

Potential replacements:  Alisson £5.5m (8.1%); Leno £5m (3.5%) – whichever keeper ends up in goal for Chelsea also would appeal, especially if it becomes Kasper Schmeichal.


Kieran Tripper £6m – (25.8%)

One quarter of the managers in the game have selected Trippier which frankly astounds me. There are a fair few reasons for this but notably he has had a long world cup and the fullbacks at Spurs do tend to get rotated – Aurier has not disappeared. The appeal of his freekicks are also dampened by the presence of Eriksen, plus with so many Spurs players in the last four of the World Cup it’s anyone’s guess what sort of side they will play at the start of the season. If I was having one Spurs fullback it would be Ben Davies at £6m who is 8.4% owned.

Potential replacements:  Van Aanholt £5.5m (5.6%) – for all the Twitter hype he is still underowned; Coleman £5.5m (4%); Robertson £6m (16.4%) – his ownership is higher but I would far rather AR than KT.


Ryan Sessegnon £6.5m – (13.7%)

To me Sessegnon feels over owned at present – 13% isn’t a lot admittedly but he’s been playing LB in some of the recent friendlies and you don’t want that really to be happening in the big league. Additionally I kind of expect him to find things a lot tougher in the Premier League. He could well come of age but for me it’s definitely a watch and see type job. Fulham do play some good football (best in the Champ last year in that regard) but I also sense they might leak a few goals which also dampens his appeal slightly. In truth there are just many more players at £6.5m I prefer.

Potential replacements: Fabregas/Pedro £6.5m – much depends on if either looks to nail down a place; Walcott £6.5m (4.1%) – cue ridicule in certain quarters; Maddison £6.5m (0.5%) – criminally under-owned; Jota £6.5m (7.9%).


Kevin de Bruyne £10m – (27.4%)

Generally speaking I love KDB as a player but in FPL terms I don’t totally get why his ownership is so far ahead of a lot of similarly priced players who tend to score more goals. De Bruyne like a lot of others has been at the World Cup albeit he is so integral to that team I would expect him to play week one. He also tends though to sit a bit deeper and assists the assister a lot. The City fixtures are good which does increase his appeal but I think until we see what kind of line-up they will play with Mahrez and Aguero/Jesus fit it’s an avoid situation for me. Albeit I have recommended a potential replacement from City.

Potential replacements: Sterling £11m (3%) – ok he’s more expensive but only 3% owned – the biggest differential out there; Hazard £10.5m (9.3%) – lot depends on whether he stays but if he remains very much interested; Eriksen £9.5m (16.1%).


Other notable players I feel are too highly owned at the moment – personal preference obviously. A lot is based on the World Cup as it appears we have a lot of patriotic England fans.


Harry Kane (33.4%) – He’s actually in my current team as wanted to see how it shapes up – that said I feel by the start of the season we will only want one heavy hitter if going with Salah.

Harry Maguire (21.9%) – Potential extended break from World Cup – plus as proven last year Leicester struggle to keep clean sheets.

Henrikh Mkhitarayan (20.4%) – My main concern would be rotation – I would also probably leave until week 3 so we get a better clue.

Ruben Neves (15.3%) – Deep lying midfielder – quality all the same but he won’t assist/score many goals. At a similar price take a punt on Cairney or Ralls (on pens).

Luka Milivojevic (12.5%) – Last year’s hero but £2m more expensive. Scored 7 pens last year which should return to the norm.


And some who are under 5% who I like.


Mesut Ozil (2.5%) – Dropped in value hard to really know how the attack will line up. But Ozil chief creator for two good strikers – I prefer him to Mkhi and Ramsay.

Gylfi Sigurdsson (3.2%) – Everton could be much more potent and Gylfi maybe as 10.

Anthony Martial (2.6%) – A lot depends on Mourinho here but could work out ok for first few games.

Josh King (4.3%) – Nice price for a third striker and fixtures to start are good.

Erik Lamela (0.9%) – Bit punty but someone will need to replace Son and probably Alli for first few games.

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Why I’m using the free chip … We can’t all be sheep!

Thought I’d pen down some thoughts as to why I’m using the free chip this week and not near the back end of the season like many others have advocated. I don’t think this is bad advice at all but I think ultimately you should do what your gut tells you.

At present my score is 246 with a current rank of 2m. Not great by any means –

Here is my week 5 team.


Now they haven’t performed great recently mainly because I keep making terrible knee jerk transfers (not a good move). I’ve had Firmino in for weeks 2, 4 and 5 (missed week 3) and had Chicarito since week 3 (been terrible). I sold Jesus in week 2 and have also regretted getting rid of Lukaku after his missed penalty in week 3 to bring in Kane. I’m happy with Kane and do think he is worth keeping. I’ve also played my wildcard so as you can see things are a mess. Alas I’m of the opinion that you cannot change what has happened before – you just have to deal with it.

Looking ahead to week 6 this team doesn’t look terrible but I have a few glaring problems. Top of the list is I don’t want Chicarito any more. I’m also becoming more sceptical of Firmino but don’t want to move him on just yet. The other main issue is the week 6 fixtures involving Man City and Arsenal, and to a lesser extent Everton (who people are forgetting have just played Chelsea, City and United).

By using the free hit I can solve these problems at a drop of the hat and switch a lot of the tricky away fixtures Leicester away, Saints away, Choupo etc. To much more favourable ones.

Here is my rough week 6 free hit side at present. This is liable to change but it gives you an idea of my thinking.


I will likely make further tweaks as Jesus, Aguero and Kane really appeals up top but the defence I feel are more likely to pick up clean sheets in easier home games and the midfield could really hit with those home fixtures. Up top I think one City striker this week is absolutely essential. Kane is performing better away from home and Abraham is really an enabler to go Sanchez. There are definitely other possible options.

I’ve looked at the likes of Ramsey, Vardy, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Brady, GroB as players in good fixtures at home – so it’s liable to change.

The other good bonus of taking the free hit now – in my opinion – is two fold. One the differentials you will pick up this week in good matches. Some ownership percentages below – not saying he will even play but if Sanchez scores a couple at his ownership it’s very sweet.

Sanchez 2.5%

Hazard 2.8% – not ideal away to Stoke

Jesus 11.9%

Lacazette 11.2%

Ozil 2.1%

Mahrez 5.2%

Vardy 11.3%

Siggy 4.2%

Sterling 2.8%

Ramsey 3.2%

When you compare that to the likes of my week 5 team with Mkhitarayan, Salah, Firmino and Eriksen at around 30% your definitely making a different side for week 6.


If obviously you save the free chip which I’d imagine 95% of players will do then your likely looking at using it later in the season perhaps in the BGW (blank game week) – which obviously makes sense but some of the ownership levels in that week will be crazy as everyone will be using the chip. From playing DFS on the NFL the way to win tournaments is be different and find those low ownership guys. If you want to go with the flow then by all means play safe.

This might end up a disaster but he who dares – usually gets another red arrow!



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The good, the bad and the bloody frustrating.

Recap of week 5 on DraftKings – in truth it was a week that promised so much and delivered so little. I probably won’t go into as much depth usually but got a bit carried away!!!


My cash line-ups on the whole performed pretty poorly which considering the amount they scored was a tad disappointing.


Here is a good an example of how I managed to get screwed over somewhat.


I had this line-up in four head to heads and lost 50% of them. It did also cash in a 50/50 and do ok in a GPP. But 173.4 points was good enough for 2,304 of 35,294 in that event so I feel a little frustrated that it didn’t perform better in cash games. Every head to head I played which scored less than 150 lost – which goes to show that a lot of the chalky plays all paid off. The previous week 75% of those line-ups won. It has me questioning the wisdom of what events to actually play and maybe I should navigate more towards a 60/40 split and play a few more guaranteed tournaments. Or it might be a case of needing a lot more data.


Looking at the tourneys I wanted to try and get a better split in these where I had more teams scoring 180 and more scoring 100. i.e. taking more risks. I think that worked as an aside here in the $1.35m prize event – I had five entries and cashed with four. Scores were 182.3, 174.5, 166.9, 151.7 (just cashed), and 111 (blame AJ Green). I’m quite happy with the way the GPPs went although a few of them were sitting very pretty after the early games and then blew out rather. If Beckham, Lacy, Anderson and Jeremy Hill had actually done anything I would have made a decent score.


What worked cash games –


Based on trying to get 3x value here is how I got on with my favourite selections last week. The 3x is a good indicator as you have $50,000 to spend each week and getting to 150 points especially in cash is near enough the cut off line. Last week it was 140 – this week higher in some events. In the head to head events you take the rough with the smooth. The percentage figures here are from a $5 giant double up with 40,229 entrants.




Roethlisberger 33.2DK points (43%) – this was definitely a chalky play with nearly half of the field playing. Big Ben cost $7.2K so he returned nearly five times value. Sometimes it pays to just go with the obvious and not be fancy at QB. Big Ben at home is always in play.

Brady 32.64DK (11.4%) – again a reasonably high number on Tom Brady and again he paid off scoring four times value. The other QBs to do well were Carr, Rivers and Luck – Mariota also but such low ownership.

Wentz 17.92DK (5.7%) – Wentz had an ok game but missed out reaching 3x value so really was a bust.

I had a few line-ups with Derek Anderson in and he had an absolute stinker. I definitely think playing the chalk at QB in cash is sensible. Teams with Big Ben on the whole had a great chance of cashing.



Bell  24.4DK (25.4%) – Scary to think that Bell has yet to score a TD since his return. At $7.5k he beat his value and isn’t far off becoming an Antonio Brown every week starter.

Gordon 14.7DK (12.6%) – This didn’t work and Gordon is someone I’m avoiding in cash for the foreseeable future. He is TD dependent for me at present.

Murray 21.7DK (10.2%) – DeMarco just fell short of his 3x value but he had a great game and has a high floor at present with 5 catches out of the backfield. He is one worth considering weekly although the price is steep.

Freeman 21.3DK (4.9%) – Devonta worked out well as he got 4x his value and looked great doing so. Again he has a nice floor with the passes. Coleman is also worth watching.

Washington 10.2DK (47.4%) – Again nearly half the field played this chalky play. At 10.2DK points he reached his 3x value level but wouldn’t have been winning many events on his own. The Raiders backfield is cheap but is somewhat of a mess in terms of usage. Jalen Richard was better this week, Washington maybe next or Olawale.

West 10.9DK (8.9%) – This was just so frustrating. I think it was a sound pick and West actually played well but at $4.8k it didn’t pay off because of dumb coaching.

McKinnon 5.6DK (62.5%) – Well look at that a complete egg only just getting over 1x value but with 62% of the field playing him. Fading the chalk works at times. He only caught one pass also so there is a substantial floor here. Unlike with someone like Riddick or even Bobby Rainey who catches passes out of the backfield. That said McKinnon remains someone to monitor. Asiata also had a nice game.


Some of the players I missed which hurt were Howard who was owned by 63.4% of this field and scored 28.3DK points, Riddick 26.2DK points but surprisingly only 5.5% ownership and Elliott who racked up 35.1DK points but crazily only 1.7% ownership. Zeke is worth it for his upside. McCoy has also performed really well since the change of OC.



Brown 22.8DK (51.6%) – Half of the field but he didn’t make 3x value – it’s tough to fade Antonio but at his price it’s definitely not worth having full exposure … I think

Marshall 28.4DK (30.1%) – This one worked and Marshall returned 4x value. WRs playing against the Steelers are always noting as they just have to catch up.

Cooper 30.8DK (6.4%) – Probably my favourite call of the week. Returned decent value and low ownership.

Crabtree 13.7DK (8.3%) – Surprised Crabtree’s ownership wasn’t higher but it was Cooper’s week this time so this was a bust

Steve Smith 5.9DK (13.3%) – Injured …. Shit happens

T Williams 25.7DK (2.3%) – Paid off this one.

T Benjamin 21.7DK (5.6%) – Again another which returned better than 3x value

Woods 4.6DK (6.4%) – Another failure. Catching two passes is going to do that.

Pryor Sr 10.3DK (2.4%) – Well I read that one totally wrong! Pryor maybe just worth it for the GPPs now his value has shot up.


On the whole not too bad. Looking at some of the higher entrants players which outperformed included Hilton, Coates and Meredith. But a lot of the teams at the top had Brown, Marshall and Cooper.

Some of the bigger named WRs laid goose eggs compared to the price and they are on the avoid for cash games – looking at Julio, ODB, Hopkins and Green.



Ertz 6.7DK (52.3%) Egg laid. Only saving grace was that over half the field went that way. For 0.2k you could have zagged to Bennett and cashed everywhere.

Brate 4.8DK (5.2%) Yep that didn’t work either. Trying to be clever look a moron.

My fades of Gronk and Olsen were not great the latter scored a whopping 30.1DK. Ravens are decent against TE so was wise to fade Reed.



If I get a chance this week I’ll look at the GPPs also but I think there are some ideas for future cash games there.


QB – pay up for class

RB – concentrate on pass catchers at lower prices – higher floor

WR – zig on Brown sometimes – target Steelers games mind

TE – are a headfuck


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Week 5 – Game Bets

Early games.

Miami – Tennessee

DeMarco Murray under 80.5 yards @ 5/6

Baltimore – Washington

DeSean Jackson anytime TD @ 15/8

Terrance West anytime TD @ 6/4

Detroit – Philadelphia

Zach Ertz anytime TD @ 5/2

Jordan Matthews anytime TD @ 13/10

Cleveland – New England

Isaiah Crowell over 65.5 yards@ 10/11

Martellus Bennett anytime TD @ 12/5

Minnesota – Houston

Jerick McKinnon over 68.5 yards @ 5/6

Stefon Diggs under 60.5 yards @ 5/6

Pittsburgh – New York Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick over 231.5 yards @ 5/6

Le’Veon Bell under 88.5 yards @ 5/6

Sammie Coates over 42.5 yards @ 5/6


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GPP line-ups Week 5

GPP line-ups this week – going with a bit of risk in a few of these.


In an ideal world I want to avoid scoring the run of the mill 130 and just cashing. I’d like some of these to score 170+ and then some less than 100 where I’ve taken on the risk and they’ve blown out. My favourite stack this week is the Manning/Beckham one and then Dalton/Green. I think also it’s worth looking at a lot of low priced RBs and then pay up at WRs.


Tournament One – Roethlisberger, CJ Anderson, Blount, Beckham Jr, Coates, Hilton, Hill (flex), Bennett, Dolphins

Tournament Two – Manning, Powell, West, Beckham Jr, Nelson, D Thomas, Ertz, Parker (flex), Vikings

Tournament Three – Brady, CJ Anderson, Howard, Cooper, Matthews, Sanders, Bennett, Washington (flex), Titans

Tournament Four – Dalton, Washington, J White, Cruz, AJ Green, Nelson, Tye, A Brown (flex), Ravens

Tournament Five – Carr, Gordon, West, Crabtree, AJ Green, Smith Sr, Bennett, Inman (flex), Colts

Tournament Six – Wentz, CJ Anderson, Freeman, K Benjamin, Butler, Matthews, Brate, Evans (flex), Steelers


The only other one I’ve slung out is one which started Thursday and I’ve already had David Johnson score 36.5 points.


Tournament under way – Roethlisberger, Johnson (36.5), Washington, Brown, Coates, T Williams (SD), Ertz, Marshall (flex), Colts – as you can see with this I’m banking on PIT v NYJ being a 55-40 point barn burner!