FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Targets
FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.

Liverpool come in as the highest scoring team in the Premier League, bagging 30 goals (23 assisted!) through 11 games. They have taken a league-high 210 shots, including a league-best 86 on target. Oh, and they've created 171 chances, which also leads the league. However, an argument can be made that you could fade Liverpool on Saturday.

The Reds' home/road splits are unsurprisingly in favor of what they do at Anfield, as they average 21.4 shots, including 10.0 shots on target, per game at home while those averages dip to 17.2 and 6.0, respectively, on the road. If you want to dig deeper, they've had some tough games on the road (Arsenal, Burnley, Spurs, Chelsea, Swansea, Crystal Palace) and easier ones at home (Leicester, Hull, Manchester United, West Brom, Watford), but this weekend's match at Southampton shouldn't be considered easy.

Southampton have allowed just 109 shots this season (fourth-fewest in the Prem) and 28 shots on target (second-fewest), and they perform better defensively at home, allowing just 7.6 shots per game there versus 11.8 on the road. Additionally, Liverpool's steller attacking duo of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino arrived back from international play in South America on Wednesday, with the expectation that they would train fully Thursday. Potentially tired legs for their leading fantasy producers and a match at a tough St. Mary's Stadium is enough to really consider going without Liverpool players Saturday.

Two other road teams that could be avoided are Leicester (at Watford) and West Ham (at Tottenham). In fairness, the top Leicester attackers (Islam Slimani, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez) have been pretty poor fantasy options this season anyway, while Danny Drinkwater has been up-and-down himself. They also have a Champions League match against Club Brugge on Tuesday. And on the West Ham side, it's tough to think Dimitri Payet will explode against arguably the toughest defense in the league, especially since he's only been able to crack 20 fantasy points against Watford (home), West Brom (away), Middlesbrough (home), Sunderland (home) and Stoke (home). Also, and perhaps more importantly, 20 fantasy points isn't nearly enough for a five-figure salary.

CHALKBOARD
Players who are likely to be heavily owned, some with good reason.

GOALKEEPER

Hugo Lloris, TOT v. WHU ($5,500): Lloris has needed to make only three saves in his last three game combined, but it seems more likely that he'll get more opportunities Saturday against a West Ham side that has decent attacking players but no great finishers. Spurs come in with the best clean-sheet odds on the slate, and Lloris has yet to give up more than one goal in any match this season.

DEFENDER

Danny Rose, TOT v. WHU ($7,800): Many fantasy managers focus on the pure defensive statistics (tackles, interceptions, clearances) when analyzing defenders, but don't overlook Rose, who does all of those things but also gets involved in the attack by creating chances and drawing fouls. Rose has scored over 20 fantasy points in six consecutive games, including five over 23, while scoring just one goal over that span. With the West Ham wingers much more focused on attacking than defending, Rose could get plenty of opportunities to create on the attacking end.

Simon Francis, BOU at STK ($7,200): While Stoke have been much better at home, and particularly with Xherdan Shaqiri, Francis will get plenty of attention because of his ability to rack up stats in a number of categories. One thing to watch out for is that Francis could be pushed out wide in place of the suspended Adam Smith, which only helps his attacking stats, though he could take a hit in clearances.

Patrick van Aanholt, SUN v. HUL ($6,900): The Sunderland defense has been awful this season, and van Aanholt's struggles to actually, you know, defend have played a part. However, we get a rare opportunity Saturday to think of Sunderland as an attacking team, as they face a Hull side that have allowed the most goals, shots and chances created this season, as well as the second-most shots on target and passes. With van Aanholt potentially taking all corners and free kicks, he could be a solid contributor to fantasy lineups.

MIDFIELDER

Kevin De Bruyne, MCI at CRY ($11,900): De Bruyne takes all free kicks for a Manchester City side that's the heaviest favorite on the slate despite playing on the road.

Xherdan Shaqiri, STK v. BOU ($7,300): Stoke come in favored against a Bournemouth side that are much better at home than on the road, and Stoke in November is usually not an easy place to play. Shaqiri is back from injury and should resume his role over free kicks and corners, which gives him a solid role in their attack. No, you don't get points for crosses on FanDuel, but Shaqiri should be setting up the attack throughout the match. It's possible people could look to Joe Allen for exposure to the Stoke attack, but he becomes fairly goal dependent when Shaqiri plays.

Christian Eriksen, TOT v. WHU ($9,000): With Spurs heavily favored, fantasy managers will naturally sway toward Erisken, who takes most free kicks, though not always corners. However, his floor is somewhat low for a player with this high of a salary, especially without knowing for sure whether he'll take corners ahead of Heung-Min Son and/or Danny Rose. Nevertheless, the West Ham defense is quite poor, so Eriksen will garner plenty of fantasy attention whether it's warranted or not.

FORWARD

Sergio Aguero, MCI at CRY ($12,500): Aguero has the best anytime goal scorer odds for Saturday's slate, and he plays for the team that's expected to score the most goals.

Harry Kane, TOT v. WHU ($9,900): Spurs' odds to score one, two or at least three goals actually match Manchester City's (the Citizens have slightly lower odds to get shut out), and Kane is the likeliest goal scorer.

Romelu Lukaku, EVE v. SWA ($10,300): Lukaku has scored in each of his last three home matches, and Swansea are arguably the worst opponent of that group. He was kept in check by Chelsea in his last match before the international break, but Lukaku had scored at least 25 fantasy points in six of his previous seven games. And while he had a goal or an assist in those six matches, he has the second-highest goal-scoring odds (trailing Aguero) on Saturday's slate.

WATCH BOARD
Players to consider with lower salaries and/or potentially more playing time due to injuries

GOALKEEPER

Fraser Forster, SOU v. LIV ($5,300): If you believe that Liverpool should be faded because of the reasons above, there's every reason to roll with Forster, who made a combined seven saves against Chelsea and Manchester City. Southampton are coming off a disappointing loss at Hull City, when Forster failed to make a single save, but he's likely to see plenty of balls coming his way against the shot-happy Liverpool attack.

DEFENDER

Tyrone Mings, BOU at STK ($3,000):Adam Smith's suspension opens up a spot along the Bournemouth back line, one that could be filled by Mings, who comes in at the minimum price on FanDuel. Mings, who was Bournemouth's club-record signing when they got him two summers ago, played 11 minutes in the opener of the 2015/16 season before suffering a torn ACL. He returned in mid-October and has sat on the bench for four consecutive games, but Smith's absence could be a great opportunity to get Mings back on the field. He can play center-back or left-back, and with Simon Francis' ability to play right-back (where Smith starts), Mings could get the start in the middle to rack up clearances and interceptions against a Stoke side that will welcome back their top two attacking pieces in Shaqiri and Marko Arnautovic. If manager Eddie Howe decides to ruin our dreams by going in another direction, Marc Wilson ($3,200) or Nathan Ake ($5,600) could fill the spot.

Juan Zuniga, WAT v. LEI ($3,900): The suspension of Jose Holebas will open up a spot at left-back (or left wing-back) for Zuniga, who has performed well in limited playing time this season. Watford have waffled back-and-forth between a back-four and a back-three, but regardless of how they line up, if Zuniga is in the starting XI, he'll be playing outside. He's unlikely to rack up a ton of peripheral stats, but his salary is low enough that almost anything over 90 minutes will pay off.

MIDFIELDER

Charlie Adam, STK v. BOU ($3,500): Adam has started the last two matches, as Stoke have dealt with a number of injuries in their midfield, and while Shaqiri and Arnautovic are returning, the Potters are likely to be without both Geoff Cameron (knee) and Glenn Whelan (hamstring), opening up two spots in the holding midfield. Gianelli Imbula ($4,800) could also get a start, though Adam provides more bang for the buck plus a higher ceiling.

Ki Sung-yueng, SWA at EVE ($4,200): Ki's value will come from tackles and interceptions, as Swansea will look to slow down an Everton attack that's headlined by one of the best goal scorers in the Premier League. He has scored over 15.0 fantasy points in three straight games, including 26.0 against Watford back on Oct. 22, an impressive tally without a goal or an assist. He isn't likely to be attacking as much at Goodison Park, but he checks off enough boxes on the stat sheet when he plays 90 minutes to pay off a fairly low salary.

Pedro Obiang, WHU at TOT ($4,800): In a similar vein, Obiang is likely to be busy trying to slow down Spurs' attack, and he's shown in previous weeks that he can rack up the tackles, winning at least four in three of his past four games. He doesn't get involved in the attack much, but we're not considering him because of that anyway. He's likely to be paired with Havard Nordtveit ($5,000) in place of the suspended Mark Noble ($7,400), and with the two players likely to finish with around the same fantasy points, take the cheaper guy.

FORWARD

Jermain Defoe SUN v. HUL ($6,300): Defoe has scored in back-to-back league matches and now faces off against the worst defensive side in the Premier League. The difficulty is that he's very goal-dependent (though most forwards are), as he doesn't create chances and has only gotten at least two shots on target twice this season. On the plus side, Hull have allowed the most shots on target this season, including a league-high 7.5 per game on the road.

Joshua King, BOU at STK ($6,700): While goal dependent for a big score, King has a fairly solid floor for a forward, as he's won six tackles, drawn five fouls and put four shots on target in his last three games. If Callum Wilson ($5,700) is unable to recover from his knock, King could be tasked with an even bigger attacking responsibility against a Stoke side possibly missing their two starting defensive midfielders.

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: Lairdinho.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew M. Laird
Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 and 2018 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Head of DFS Content and Senior Soccer Editor. He is a seven-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
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