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DFS Premier League Week 31: Eden Hazard and Philippe Coutinho are Heating Up

It’s late in the season and the desperate battle for positioning in the EPL is upon us. Teams just outside of the top 4 try to scrape and claw their way in so they can get a taste of that sweet nectar of UEFA Champions League action next season, while the squads at the bottom of the table desperately try to keep their heads above water to avoid the dreaded regulation out of the Premier League. It’s a great time of the year indeed.

Before we get into our DFS Premier League Week 31 picks, let me just bring to your attention that every team had a midweek game this week, so it is a short week of rest for the lads. Like last week, We must be extra vigilant as far as checking lineups Saturday morning and making sure all our picks are playing and starting. Even if one of our guys finished the midweek game fine, it’s not uncommon for the fatigue to set in and cause someone to pick up a knock in training or in the pregame warm-ups. Keep an eye peeled on those injury reports and now, let’s get to the picks.

This week I like a couple of big name stars surrounded by guys riding hot streaks with good match ups.

Goalkeeper:

Fraser Forster – Southampton – $4,900. I originally had Victor Valdes here, but he put up an absolute stinker midweek, conceding 4 goals and looking completely lost against Hull City. Forster is an experienced, proven goalie on a solid Southampton squad that is going up against a West Brom squad that doesn’t have any huge threats on offense. He has a chance for both a win and a clean sheet here so let’s roll with it.

Defense:

Martin Olsson – Swansea – $5,900 and Cedric Soares – Southampton – $4,800. Olsson has been really hit or miss, and has a habit of following up mediocre game with monster performances. He has had 15 and 27 point games in the last month so he has the potential to go off. He is at his best when he can get up the pitch on the counter attack and fire in crosses, and he should have plenty of opportunities against West Ham. Soares doesn’t have quite as high of a ceiling as Olsson, but he consistently hangs around 8 or 9 points even on off games and is coming off a very solid 15 point outing on Wednesday.

Midfield:

Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool – $8,700 and Dusan Tadic – Southampton – $6,700. Coutinho has scored in 3 straight games and will be one of our two bonafide superstars anchoring our squad this week. Coutinho is a threat to score whenever he has the ball in the attacking third. He has one of the best shots in the entire EPL and will get even more scoring chances off of free kicks from any fouls that occur around the opposing 18 yard box. Tadic is a very good central attacking midfielder on a more than solid Southampton squad. He loves to fill up the stat sheet with shots and hopefully he can pop a goal or two in. He is another guy with a high ceiling this week.

Forwards:

Eden Hazard– Chelsea – $8,900 and Andy Carroll – West Ham – $6,800. Hazard is our second superstar anchor of the week. He’s coming off a dominant 2 goal performance in a huge midweek match with Manchester City. With Diego Costa’s volume goal scoring starting to slow down, Hazard is ready to pick up the slack making him a must start this weekend. Andy Carroll had been coming on strong with two straight 15+ fantasy point performances before West Ham got shellacked by Arsenal on Wednesday. This shouldn’t have any effect on this Saturday’s matchup with Swansea for the hammers though. Carroll is a huge dude who dominates aerial challenges and is a danger to score on any sort of cross. He attacks the ball and simply knows how to finish. Against Arsenal, West Ham didn’t have enough of the ball to get Carroll any chances, but that won’t be an issue at home against Swansea.

Utility:

Wayne Routledge – Swansea – $3,200. Routledge has certainly had an inconsistent year but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t shown glimpses here and there. It just so happens that one of those instances was midweek against Tottenham where he looked dangerous for large stretches of the game and put home the Swans lone goal of the game. Swansea may have found some much needed offense by playing Jordan Ayew long and having him dish off to an overlapping Routledge. I think he is a sneaky cheap option that could have a big week.

Remember to check those lineups Saturday morning and adjust if you need to. Late season Premier League battles and The Masters! What a splendid weekend we have ahead of us!

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