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FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Value Plays

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, a four-time FSWA Award finalist, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and an editor for the site's NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, CBB and DFS content.

Welcome to the first week of Fantasy Premier League on FanDuel. If you've been playing DFS soccer on other sites, I recommend you review FanDuel's scoring rules to familiarize yourself with the stats and values for each one. Unlike many other fantasy soccer games, FanDuel does a great job of making defenders and holding midfielders valuable even though they don't score or assist on many goals.

Some stats are more important than others, and I suggest checking out this article to get a better idea of where to focus your researching resources. In terms of some useful player picks, here are a few that caught my eye:

GOALKEEPER

David Marshall, HUL at WAT ($4,600): Chasing clean sheets isn't necessary on FanDuel, as four saves and two goals allowed are just as valuable as a save-less shut out. Because of this, starting keepers on the heavier favorites won't necessarily be at the top of the salary scale. In fact, Hull's Eldin Jakupovic is the most expensive option this week, but Marshall has had the starting job for a number of weeks and can be had for $1,800 less. Admittedly, Marshall has had some rough outings of late, allowing five goals to Liverpool and six to Bournemouth, but he's been serviceable overall due to his saves, averaging five per match in his four starts. Hull have allowed the most shots on target this season, and Marshall should have plenty of save opportunities.

Tom Heaton, BUR at MUN ($6,200): Heaton is the most expensive goalkeeper expected to start Saturday, and while Burnley have the lowest clean sheet odds for the entire weekend, we're much more interested in his save potential. A perfect storm of saves sets up for Heaton, as Burnley have allowed the second-most shots on target this season, but only Spurs have allowed fewer to turn into goals. Additionally, while Manchester United have put 48 shots on goal (seventh-best in the league), only 27.1 percent have found the back of the net, a percentage that puts them seventh from the bottom. Lots of poor shots on target should mean plenty of saves, and fantasy points, for Heaton.

DEFENDER

Jan Vertonghen, TOT v. LEI ($5,600): Vertonghen has been much more successful (fantasy-wise) since Toby Alderweireld went down with his knee injury, as he's been credited with 20 clearances and 115 passes in the last two games. For what it's worth, Leicester have allowed 268 clearances this season (third-most in the league), while Spurs have been credited with 268 themselves, which is also third-most. Teammate Danny Rose ($7,900) is also an excellent option, as he had at least three tackles, three clearances and three fouls drawn in each of his last four games, but you'll have to pay up significantly.

Jose Holebas, WAT v. HUL ($6,100): Holebas has been an excellent fantasy option of late, scoring over 20 fantasy points in three straight games, including a 40.5-point explosion against Middlesbrough thanks to one goal, six interceptions, 20 passes, three tackles and a chance created. He'll now face off against a Hull side that has allowed the most shots and shots on target, as well as the second-most passes this season.

Antonio Valencia, MUN v. BUR ($6,200): Teammate Daley Blind ($7,100) has been a solid fantasy option of late, though his expected production could change if he plays as a center back in place of the injured Eric Bailly (knee). However, Valencia is still capable of providing enough fantasy points, especially against a Burley side that will likely be on its heels for most of the game. Valencia has been a solid contributor in the attack, picking up six chances created in the last four games (including three last weekend against Chelsea) while also picking up 192 passes in that span (thrice going over 50). Valencia has always been a big crosser, and with Burnley allowing the most crosses in the Premier League, Valencia could turn those into chances created and, hopefully, assists.

MIDFIELDER

Danny Drinkwater, LEI at TOT ($7,100): Drinkwater comes in with the second-most tackles in the Premier League, including the most in the last four games. Additionally, he's fourth in passes, as he and Jordan Henderson are two of only three players in the league in the top-20 in both categories. Drinkwater doesn't have much goal upside, but he comes in with a very solid floor thanks to his ability to accumulate stats in the categories that pay off the most points overall, and he'll now face a Spurs side that leads the league in tackles allowed.

Philippe Coutinho, LIV at CRY ($10,300): No midfielder has put more shots on target than Coutinho (13), and no one player with at least 10 shots on target this season (there are 15 others) has as many as Coutinho's 396 passes. He's understandably been effective in the attack, picking up two goals and two assists in his last four games. Henderson may have the safer floor, but Coutinho has the best combination of floor and upside in the Liverpool midfield.

Victor Wanyama, TOT v. LEI ($7,100): Wanyama has scored over 20 fantasy points in three of the last four games, picking up at least five tackles in each of those matches. Additionally, he created two chances in each of the last two games and now faces a Leicester side that has allowed the eighth-most chances created this season.

FORWARD

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, MUN v. BUR ($11,500): Ibrahimovic is second in the Premier League in shots on target, while only Sergio Aguero has more goals among players on Saturday's slate. Meanwhile, Burnley have allowed the second-most shots and shots on target this season, and while Tom Heaton could make plenty of saves against United, it's still a perfect opportunity for Ibrahimovic to break out of his five-game goal-less streak.

Roberto Firmino, LIV at CRY ($9,100): Firmino has done well enough as Liverpool's false 9 that Daniel Sturridge has been relegated to the bench. Firmino has scored at least 22 fantasy points in every game since the season opener, and he has three goals and an assist in his last five games. Making it even better, in the two games over that span when he didn't get on the scoresheet, he still contributed enough tackles, chances created and interceptions to be a viable fantasy option. The Liverpool attack is flush with fantasy possibilities, and Firmino's forward eligibility makes it possible to get multiple players against a Palace side that has allowed four goals in their last two league games.

Troy Deeney, WAT v. HUL ($6,400): Deeney has been tremendously disappointing of late, but his matchup Saturday against Hull could ease his ills. He has failed to get a shot on goal in each of his last two games, but he'll now face a Hull side that has allowed the most shots and shots on goal in the league this season, and they've allowed multiple goals in each of their last five games in the Prem.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Andrew M. Laird plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kingmorland, DraftKings: andrewmlaird, Yahoo: Andrew Laird, PlayTheSix: Lairdinho.