DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

For detailed odds and stats, check out the Fantasy Premier League: Saturday Cheat Sheet.

MATCHES (EDT)

10:00 a.m: Crystal Palace v. Leicester City
10:00 a.m: Sunderland v. West Ham
10:00 a.m: Everton v. Burnley
10:00 a.m: Stoke City v. Hull City
10:00 a.m: Watford v. Swansea City
12:30 p.m: Southampton v. Manchester City

PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

GOALKEEPER

Tom Heaton, BUR at EVE ($3,800): Heaton is the cheapest starting goalkeeper, which isn't surprising given that DraftKings' pricing algorithm is heavily dependent on win odds. He's made his money making a plethora of saves this season, but he also comes in with three clean sheets in his last four matches. The shutout is unlikely to happen at Goodison Park, but the saves opportunities should be there, as Everton have forced the sixth-most saves per game this season, including the third-most at home among teams on the slate.

Eldin Jakupovic, HUL at STK ($4,300): The Hull defense hasn't been great of late, as Jukupovic has conceded 17 goals in his last eight games, though he's limited the damage by making 25 saves. However, Stoke haven't been a strong attacking force, as they've scored one or zero goals in 10 of their last 11 games. So, while Jakupovic is likely to see a few shots come toward his net, he's unlikely to get lit up.

DEFENDER

Erik Pieters, STK v. HUL ($4,300): Pieters' stats won't burst off the stat sheet, but he's been a consistent fantasy producer at home of late, scoring nine (v. Everton), eight (v. Crystal Palace), seven (v. Middlesbrough), five (v. Chelsea) and nine (v. Liverpool) in his last five. Saturday's opponent isn't as strong as that group, Boro aside, so there could be more opportunities to move forward in the attack. Pieters' calling card is crosses and tackles, as he had 14 crosses, 25 tackles and 17 interceptions in those home matches and now faces a Hull side that's allowed the third-most crosses per game among teams on the slate.

Jose Holebas, WAT v. SWA ($5,200): The upper-tier defender options are basically Holebas and Leighton Baines ($5,100), both of whom have solid matchups. Baines hasn't been crossing nearly as much as he was earlier this season, but he's facing a Burnley side that's allowed the second-most crosses per game this season and will be away from home. Meanwhile, Holebas' opponent doesn't allow quite as many crosses but he's been doing it himself, sending in 24 in his last three matches, including 17 in his last two at home. And while Watford haven't been an elite defensive team, they had clean sheets in two of their last three matches (they were blasted 4-0 at White Hart Lane last weekend), while Swansea were scoreless in three of their last four.

Aaron Cresswell, WHU at SUN ($4,300): Cresswell is questionable to play after missing the past few matches with a knock, but he makes for a solid option if he's able to get back in the starting XI. Backup left-back Arthur Masuaku failed to deliver filling for Cresswell, who had at least five crosses in five consecutive games, including three straight with six. He'll now face a Sunderland side that's allowed the most crosses per game this season, as well as the most shots in the box, including the most by center-forwards, which would work out well if one of Cresswell's crosses can find Andy Carroll's head.

MIDFIELDER

Andros Townsend, CRY v. LEI ($8,000): Townsend's price is as high as it's been in quite some time, but he has a solid matchup this week that should allow him to justify it. He's been sharing corners with Yohan Cabaye ($5,200), but he sends in many more crosses from open play, accounting for 37 in his last five games. Additionally, he's taken multiple shots in three of those matches while also winning 16 tackles. Oh, and he has a goal and an assist. Up next is a Leicester side that is coming off a tough Champions League match in Spain this past Wednesday against Atletico Madrid and will play them again Tuesday, so they could be without many of their starters.

Marko Arnautovic, STK v. HUL ($6,100): Arnautovic, who also qualifies at forward, lost some of his corner duties to Xherdan Shaqiri ($6,500) last weekend against Liverpool, but the former was still able to send in five crosses while taking three shots in a tough 2-1 loss. Shaqiri definitely had the better game of the two (10 crosses and an assist), but it was the first time he reached double-digit crosses since Sept. 24. Meanwhile, Hull have allowed the third-most crosses and third-most shots per game this season among teams on the slate, while Arnautovic has better goal-scoring odds than players like Ross Barkley ($8,500), Gylfi Sigurdsson ($10,200) and Kevin De Bruyne ($8,300).

Manuel Lanzini, WHU at SUN ($6,900): Lots of fantasy attention has been paid to Robert Snodgrass ($7,400) since his move to West Ham, but it's become clear that the fantasy performer he was at Hull is not who he is now. Not only is he splitting set pieces with Lanzini, but he hasn't taken more than two shots in a match since his transfer. Lanzini, on the other hand, has taken at least three shots in six of his last eight games while also scoring three goals (all at home) and sending in 29 crosses over that span. While he'll be away for this match, that shouldn't be too much of a worry against Sunderland, who have allowed the most shots, most shots on goal and most crosses per game this season, and they've been shut out in nine of their last 10 games overall.

FORWARD

Wilfried Zaha, CRY v. LEI ($7,900): Like Townsend, Zaha will be lining up against a Leicester side that could be missing a number of regular starters ahead of Tuesday's Champions League match against Atletico Madrid. Zaha has scored at least 10 fantasy points in five consecutive games, and while three of those were aided by goals and/or assists, those aren't out of the question against the Foxes. Nevertheless, he's still able to contribute without those high-fantasy-point actions, as he has 12 shots (three on goal), 19 fouls drawn, 10 crosses and seven tackles won over that span. Teammate Christian Benteke is likely to get plenty of GPP attention, as he comes in at only $6,400 and has the fourth-best anytime goal-scoring odds, which isn't surprising given Leicester's shaky defense and his two goals on 13 shots (four on goal) in his last three games.

Romelu Lukaku, EVE v. BUR ($10,600): Lukaku is the most expensive player on the slate, but he also has the best anytime goal-scoring odds. He's been particularly good of late, scoring seven goals and assisting two others in his last seven games, finding the back of the net in five of those matches (he failed to score at Anfield and at Old Trafford). His 23 goals this season are four more than any other player and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gotten more shots on goal. The Burnley defense has been decent this season, but mostly at home, as their 30 goals allowed on the road are more than all but four teams. Kevin Mirallas ($7,200) is likely to get some attention for cash lineups because he's been taking set pieces for the Toffees, who are the biggest favorites on the slate, but his lack of open-play crossing and low shot numbers limit his upside.

M'Baye Niang, WAT v. SWA ($6,000): Niang has only two crosses in his last two games, but he was a very serviceable option before that, and he comes into Saturday's match with two goals on 20 shots (eight on goal), two assists, 22 crosses and 14 fouls drawn in his last eight matches, with both goals, both assists, 16 shots and 16 crosses coming in his five home games during that span. Meanwhile, Swansea City have allowed multiple goals in seven of their last nine away matches. Troy Deeney ($5,900) has the higher goal-scoring odds, but he's unlikely to contribute anything of substance if he doesn't score.

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 Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is a seven-time FSWA finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
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