This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
For detailed odds and stats, check out the Fantasy Premier League: Wednesday Cheat Sheet.
2:45 p.m: Bournemouth v. Burnley
2:45 p.m: Arsenal v. Huddersfield
2:45 p.m: Chelsea v. Swansea City
3:00 p.m: Everton v. West Ham
3:00 p.m: Manchester City v. Southampton
3:00 p.m: Stoke City v. Liverpool
Chelsea (v. Swansea), Manchester City (v. Southampton) and Arsenal (v. Huddersfield) are the three biggest favorites on the slate, with Liverpool (at Stoke City) firmly expected to win as well. Unfortunately, pretty much all of their players are expensive, making it very difficult to get even two of them in one fantasy lineup. We may get some cheaper opportunities with the sides possibly rotating thanks to the congested schedule, but even the backups on these teams are pricey.
Alexis Sanchez ($10,200) hasn't been that great in terms of floor points recently, though he does have a goal in back-to-back Premier League matches. He is expected to be on most set pieces because of the likely absence of Mesut Ozil (illness), though it's possible a few midfielders could poach some of the corners. Joining him up front could be any one of Alexandre Lacazette ($8,300), Danny Welbeck ($7,300) or Olivier Giroud ($7,100). Any of them make decent GPP plays, with my thought that it'll be Welbeck who starts in an effort to save Lacazette for Saturday's match against Manchester United.
Chelsea's Eden Hazard ($9,800) saw his price increase by $1,900 from last weekend's match against Liverpool, one in which he had an assist, one shot (on goal), eight crosses and three fouls drawn. He has now scored at least nine fantasy points in eight consecutive matches, scoring six goals and assisting three others in that span. He's been really effective at getting shots on goal, failing to put the ball on target just three times among his 20 shots during this run. He only took one shot during the Liverpool match, but part of that is because he took over on set piece duty with Cesc Fabregas ($6,600, midfielder) on the bench. Fabregas is expected back in the starting XI, which should allow Hazard to get more shooting opportunities. All of that being said, Hazard still doesn't feel like a reliable cash play, and his salary (the fifth-highest on the slate) doesn't leave any room for struggles. Teammate Alvaro Morata ($9,600) shouldn't touch a cash lineup, but with higher goal-scoring odds than all but three players, he has to get some GPP consideration with Swansea allowing the third-most shots and second-most shots on goal this season. A more long-shot possibility is Victor Moses ($5,500), who could get the start in his regular right wing-back spot, though he still doesn't cross that much to make himself cash viable other than his low price.
Manchester City forward roulette returns, though we could get a break with some rotation. Gabriel Jesus ($9,400) looks likely to start after Sergio Aguero ($10,600) did so in four of the past five games, including each of the last two in all competitions. Aguero's solid play has left Jesus with just two starts in their last seven games, so at least he's fresh. The biggest separator between the two is that Aguero has never met a shot he didn't like, while Jesus is a little more calculated (that's a nice way of saying he just doesn't shoot as much). Jesus is fine in GPPs, but with plenty of goals expected to be scored on this slate, there's really no need to pay up in cash. Kevin De Bruyne ($9,600) will be the Man City forward people turn to in cash, though he could also be rotated to the bench after starting every Premier League and Champions League match this season. If that's the case, Leroy Sane ($9,000) could take over set pieces, though even he could be rotated out for a player like Bernardo Silva ($7,200). It's kind of crazy to think that we might be able to actually fade Man City on this slate, but with so many players who can produce, it's much easier to land on the wrong guy in cash than the right one.
And that brings us to Liverpool. If we want to have fun with stats, we can acknowledge that they've scored 15 goals in their last four away matches. So what if seven came against Maribor in the Champions League? They bagged four goals at West Ham and then three at Sevilla before last weekend's tough 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Anfield. Meanwhile, Stoke City have allowed the second-most goals and assists in the league. Mohamed Salah ($10,400) has been the engine, scoring nine goals on 36 shots (21 on target) in their last eight games. His 2.46 shots on goal per 90 minutes leads the Premier League, and he's fourth in shots per 90 among players who have played at least 400 minutes. Teammates Philippe Coutinho ($10,100) and Daniel Sturridge ($6,800) are ahead of him in the shots category, though the latter seems like a long shot to start after doing so against Chelsea. Oh, and it's possible Salah doesn't start either, with Liverpool having the possibility of using Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ($5,700) up front with Roberto Firmino ($7,500) and Coutinho. The Liverpool lineup will help determine who is the best cash play, with Coutinho looking like the safest option if Salah doesn't start.
Now that we have the big boys out of the way, let's find the potential values for cash games! Gylfi Sigurdsson ($7,800) is starting to turn it around, though this price seems pretty high because it likely locks us out from getting two of the higher-priced players and his days of seven shots and 17 crosses seem long gone. After Sigurdsson, you'll scroll down to....well....there's....sorry, still scrolling...um...Johann Berg Gudmundsson ($5,400), who has reached at least 10 fantasy points in three of his last four games? Unfortunately, two of those required an assist to get there. Going deeper, you'll eventually land on Jordon Ibe ($4,800) and begin convincing yourself that he's fully capable of playing a full game after going 88 minutes last weekend at Swansea. People like to consider Ibe because he takes some corners for Bournemouth and occasionally sends in some open play crosses, but they rarely really think about why he's priced so low all the time. It's because he's scored double-digit fantasy points twice this season, and both times required at least an assist to do it. Sure, he can draw some fouls or take a shot or two, but we haven't seen him do it all in one game and now we're expecting him to get an assist against a Burnley side that's allowed seven goals in seven away matches while Bournemouth have scored seven goals in six home games? Yes, he's cheap and fills a forward spot, but there may be enough cheap midfielders to not force you into Ibe.
What would you pay for the dominant set piece taker for a team that's playing against the one that's allowed the most goals, most assists, most shots on goal, fourth-most crosses and had the most fouls won against it this season? Is that something you'd be interested in? Well, then you're going to have to consider Manuel Lanzini ($7,500), who has one goal, one assist, 15 crosses and five fouls drawn in his last three games. Granted, West Ham have been pretty bad this season as well, but there's no question that Lanzini is the guy who will be there on dead-ball situations. His price isn't much different from Sigurdsson's, but his surrounding pieces are much better.
You could pay $100 less for Man City's David Silva, though there's no guarantee he'll take over on all set pieces if De Bruyne doesn't start. Silva has been taking a few more shots lately, but he hasn't had more than four crosses in a match since Sept. 23. The floor is just too low these days. Paying down for Ilkay Gundogan ($5,200) could be an option in GPPs, but that's as far as I'd go.
Liverpool rotation could lead us to James Milner ($7,000), who has a path to set pieces if a few rotations fall the right way. Playing against the poor Stoke defense would definitely put him in play. We could also see a first start for Adam Lallana ($6,400), but he's pretty much always just a GPP option. Speaking of GPP plays, Xherdan Shaqiri ($7,300) playing against a horrific Liverpool away defense isn't an idea I'd turn away. Shaqiri has been on a great run, scoring a goal or assisting one in each of his past four games (two goals on 10 shots and three assists in that span).
With Ozil out, Aaron Ramsey ($6,900) could be given more attacking responsibilities. He's actually been decent in drawing fouls and winning tackles, and he's never afraid to shoot in the right situations. Home against Huddersfield feels like the right situation, no? There's also talk that Jack Wilshere ($3,700) could get the start for the Gunners, and depending on where he lines up, he could make a great value play, more because he's cheap than he's going to have a monster game.
Chelsea being an overwhelming favorite puts Cesc Fabregas ($6,600) in play for sure. He only has three assists in the Premier League this season, but his 35 chances created are more than any other player. Fabregas tends to take all the set pieces when he's on the pitch, a situation very similar to Robbie Brady ($6,900), who has taken 56 of Burnley's 59 corners this season, and he's crossed all but two of his opportunities. Brady has sent in 24 crosses in his last two games, and no team has allowed more crosses than Bournemouth.
Significantly cheaper midfield options fall into two categories: holding midfielders on overwhelming favorites or set piece takers on overwhelming underdogs. The latter group includes Aaron Mooy ($5,800) playing at Arsenal, James Ward-Prowse ($5,100) or Steven Davis ($4,000) at Manchester City, Renato Sanches ($4,400) at Chelsea, and maybe Darren Fletcher ($4,100) v. Liverpool. It's understandable to target set-piece takers, but how many opportunities will they really get?
The other side includes players like Tiemouse Bakayoko ($3,900), Fernandinho ($3,600) or possibly Mohamed El Neny ($3,000). It's tough to get a ton of value out of these guys, but the former two will have their opportunities in the attack because their sides are expected to have so much possession.
El Neny's minimum price actually has me looking at other players in that range, mostly because they have to do so little to pay off their salaries. Southampton's Mario Lemina has reached nine fantasy points three times this season without a goal or an assist. Everton's Tom Davies could be used as a wingback against West Ham, and while he's not a big crosser, he's capable of winning tackles and drawing fouls. You can't expect much from this group, but you don't need a ton and it allows for spending elsewhere.
The expensive defenders on this slate aren't really big crossers, and the most prolific one of late, Davide Zappacosta ($5,700), may not start. Arsenal doesn't use their wingbacks to cross into the box, a similar situation to what we see with Manchester City. Liverpool's options, and specifically Alberto Moreno ($5,300), are always in play, though I think we can pay down at the position to, again, pay up elsewhere.
All of the fullbacks in the Bournemouth-Burnley match can be considered, though if you're sitting there thinking "am I really going to roster Phil Bardsley ($3,500)?" then you'll probably want to keep digging. If you got burned by Simon Francis ($4,300) when he was red carded in his last game, home against Burnley is a great opportunity to reload.
Everton's Jonjoe Kenny ($3,800) is worth a look too, though Cuco Martina ($4,200) could be the higher crosser. And the right game script could allow Aaron Cresswell ($4,400) to send in a load of crosses, though it's far from a guaranteee.
Any of the higher priced options will be in great positions for wins, though I'd expect Ederson ($5,800) to get more save opportunities, especially if Charlie Austin leads the line again. Southampton bagged four goals on 17 shots against Everton last weekend, but the City defense is significantly stronger.
For a cheaper option, Nick Pope ($4,300) has a nice matchup despite being away. Bournemouth have looked better of late, but they're still not scoring that many goals and Burnley almost never concede that many. You're really playing with fire going down to the likes of Lukasz Fabianski ($3,700) at Chelsea, Jonas Lossl ($3,800) at Arsenal or Fraser Forster ($3,600) at Manchester City. Of the group, I'd probably go with Lossl only because I think the Arsenal attack is a step below Chelsea's and about 17 below Man City's.