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

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

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

MATCHES (EST)

10:00 am: AFC Bournemouth vs. West Ham United
10:00 am: Liverpool vs. Crystal Palace
10:00 am: Manchester United vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
10:00 am: Newcastle United vs. Cardiff City
10:00 am: Southampton vs. Everton
10:00 am: Watford vs. Burnley
12:30 pm: Arsenal vs. Chelsea

FORWARDS

Mohamed Salah, LIV v. CRY ($11,000): The toughest decision for Saturday's slate will be whether or not to roster Salah, which is a bit odd considering it's a seven-game slate; usually that's a consideration for a Sunday two-gamer. However, Liverpool are the biggest favorites, he has the highest anytime goal scorer odds and he arguably has the highest upside; and even if there are players who have the same upside, Salah is much more likely to reach his at home against Crystal Palace. However, rostering Salah means you're likely making sacrifices at multiple positions, and for cash games that may be too much of a risk. Then again, if you decide to fade Salah and he scores a brace or a hat trick, you're probably dead in any head-to-head where your opponent has him. Given the lower-priced players you have to have in your team to roster Salah, I don't think he is going to be overwhelmingly owned in cash games, which is making me side on the belief that he can be faded (gulp). As we described on the preview podcast this week, you're likely going to have to pay down at multiple positions to fit Salah in, which means it's not a simple 2v2 in terms of whether to play him or not, but rather it's a 3v3, and that's not even including a goalkeeper. The more I build lineups with Salah and without him, I just find it hard to be comfortable with a cash-game lineup with him in it unless some tremendous value plays open up Saturday after lineups are announced.

David Junior Hoilett, CAR at NEW ($5,600) Hoilett has been a much more active attacker of late, as he took multiple shots in three straight matches before last weekend's scoreless draw with Huddersfield, one in which he took all set pieces for Cardiff City, including opportunities when Victor Camarasa ($6,000, midfielder) was on the pitch. Hoilett has scored at least 5.50 floor points in five of his last six starts, and he'll now face a Newcastle side that's conceded the most crosses, third-most corners and fourth-most shots among teams on the slate. He's one of the cheapest cash-viable forwards, and his low price could make him especially popular for those who want to roster Salah and can't stomach going further down to Pascall Gross ($4,600), who is a huge away underdog against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Troy Deeney, WAT v. BUR ($6,800): Deeney shouldn't come close to sniffing a cash lineup, but he's worth a look in GPPs against a Burnley side that's conceded the most goals, most assists, most shots and most shots on goal this season, some of which came from Deeney, who had one goal on four shots (three on target) and one assist on two chances created when these teams met earlier this season. Deeney's price isn't even that attractive, though that only means fewer people will take the plunge on a player who has taken multiple shots or created multiple chances in five of his last six starts. If you want some Watford forward exposure in cash, Isaac Success ($6,400) could be a viable option, as he showed a few games ago when he scored 13.50 fantasy points without a goal or assist thanks to his shots, crosses and fouls drawn. His floor is significantly safer than Deeney's, though his place in the starting XI is uncertain.

MIDFIELDERS

Matt Ritchie, NEW at CAR ($6,600): Ritchie has been one of the most cash-friendly midfielders in the Premier League of late, as he averaged 9.20 crosses per 90 minutes over his last five games, a span that also saw him grab two assists on 12 chances created. Making it even more impressive, three of those games came against Liverpool (away), Manchester United (home) and Chelsea (away), though he really took advantage of the other opponents, sending in 11 crosses against Fulham and 15 against Watford. Up next is a matchup against Cardiff City, who have conceded the third-most goals, fourth-most crosses and second-most corners among teams on the slate. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that he'll have a monopoly of set pieces because all of his main competition is either hurt or away on international duty. If you really want to get nuts with Newcastle, I'd also give a look at Christian Atsu ($5,000), who has scored at least 7.00 floor points in three consecutive matches thanks to seven shots, 11 crosses, five tackles won and five fouls drawn over that span.

Paul Pogba, MUN v. BHA ($8,800): Pogba is the most expensive midfielder on the slate (not counting players with midfielder/forward eligibility), but he's also $1,200 cheaper than teammate Marcus Rashford (forward only) despite somewhat similar returns of late. There is no denying Rashford's impact, as he has three goals on 13 shots (eight on goal) and one assist on two chances created in his last three games, but his floor is pretty dependent on those shots, as he added just four crosses, three fouls drawn and one tackle won in that span. Meanwhile, Pogba has two goals on 14 shots (10 on goal), two assists on eight chances created, five fouls drawn and three tackles won in those three games; so why are we spending over $1,000 more for Rashford, who has taken one free kick during this run, when they have the same anytime goal scorer odds? Pogba's price is high, but Brighton have conceded the second-most shots and third-most chances among teams on the slate, while Manchester United have the second-highest implied goal total. Pogba's lack of free kicks make people think he's not a cash-game target, but he's accounted for more floor points than anyone else on the team.

Ryan Fraser, BOU v. WHU ($7,700): Fraser has scored at least 7.00 floor points in nine of his last 11 starts, failing to reach that threshold away to Man City and away to Wolves. He's been particularly strong lately, as he scored 13.00 floor points against Watford (a match in which he also had a goal and an assist) and then 14.00 against Everton last weekend when he took commanding control of the Cherries' set pieces, accounting for 10 of their 13 opportunities. A home match with West Ham, who he had 16.25 fantasy points (including an assist) against earlier this season, is another nice opportunity, even if the Hammers have conceded the eighth-most shots and seventh-most crosses among teams on the slate. Fraser is generally reliable, and while he's probably priced out for those who roster Salah, those who fade the Liverpool star will hope for Fraser to accumulate like he normally does.

DEFENDERS

Jose Holebas, WAT v. BUR ($6,100): After seven consecutive matches with six or fewer crosses, Holebas returned to his high-crossing ways last weekend against Crystal Palace, sending in 12 and picking up an assist on his way to 16.00 fantasy points. His matchup against Palace was almost ideal, as they came in allowing the third-most crosses among teams on that slate, and he was able to take advantage. His monopoly of set pieces will always give him at least a few crosses, though it's worth noting his crosses go down considerably if Watford don't win any corners or other free kicks. However, he'll now face a Burnley side that's conceded the most corners and second-most crosses this season, which likely means Holebas will be rostered in lots of cash lineups.

Lucas Digne, EVE at SOU ($6,600): While Holebas is heavily reliant on set pieces to get his fantasy points, Digne continues to turn in excellent fantasy scores while only taking a fraction of Everton's set pieces, as he shares that responsibility with Gylfi Sigurdsson ($8,500, midfielder/forward). And while Holebas has taken one shot in his last four starts, Digne has taken two in each of his last four, a run that's also seen him send in at least eight crosses in each of those games. His salary is obviously a huge factor, but you can make the argument that he's better, for cash games and GPPs, than every midfielder in his price range. And while there are going to be people who consider Holebas or Digne, don't be surprised if a lot of cash-game lineups have both defenders, something you basically can't do if you roster Salah.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka, CRY at LIV ($3,700): Taking an away full-back against one of the best attacking teams in the league doesn't scream like a great play, but Wan-Bissaka shouldn't be ignored despite being a heavy underdog and having no role on set pieces. While he does send in a few scattered crosses, let's focus on the fact that he's the league-leader in tackles won while also sitting fourth in interceptions, and he's now facing a Liverpool side that's had the third-most tackles won against them while having the second-most passes intercepted. You're obviously not going to get a ton of fantasy production out of Wan-Bissaka, but his low salary should put him in play since his defensive work will be put to the test against Liverpool.

GOALKEEPER

Alisson, LIV v. CRY ($6,000): Anyone who pays up for Salah likely isn't going to be paying up for a goalkeeper, one who could match the 10 points for a goal with a win and clean sheet. The decision to pay up likely comes down to Alisson and David de Gea ($5,900) because of their commanding win and clean sheet chances. de Dea is coming off a remarkable 11-save clean-sheet win over Tottenham last week, and he's posted shutout victories in back-to-back matches, but he's now facing a Brighton side that has forced the fewest saves in the Premier League this season. If paying up isn't in the cards, David Button ($3,700) and Wayne Hennessey ($3,500)Julian Speroni ($3,500) are facing the two teams that have forced the most saves this season among teams on the slate.

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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