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

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EDT)

For detailed stats and odds, check out the DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Cheat Sheet.

FORWARDS

Wilfried Zaha, CRY at NEW ($8,400): The forward pool for Saturday's slate is tough for cash games because there really aren't that many attractive options, and the ones who are sit at the top of the salary scale. Zaha is the most expensive forward, but a matchup against Newcastle, who commit more fouls than any team on the slate, is hardly one that shouldn't be exploited. Teammate Andros Townsend ($8,200) could also be in consideration because Newcastle also allow the most crosses per match in the Premier League, and while I've previously made the argument that you could roster both if you think they each have a good probability of performing (i.e. they don't cannibalize each other), I don't think this is the slate for it. Like Crystal Palace, Burnley potentially offer two cash-viable forwards in Johann Berg Gudmundsson ($7,600) and Dwight McNeil ($8,100), who each have had roles on set pieces, though the former is more likely to take them if they both start.  Some duo out of the four will likely be a popular cash-game strategy, though taking one with Newcastle's Miguel Almiron ($6,700) is another possibility because he saves almost $1,000 in salary that can be used for the midfielders worth paying up for. Almiron has been a popular cash forward on many recent slates because he's usually pretty cheap and has a decent floor from shots and crosses, and while he's much more expensive now, there are pretty much zero good floor options at lower price points.

Karlan Grant, HUD v. LEI ($5,600): If you don't want to pay at least for Almiron in a second forward spot in cash games, punting the position might be the way to go. Any of the forward options are fine for GPPs because literally any of them can score, but Grant at least has shown a decent floor for a goal-dependent forward, taking 10 shots (three on target) and sending in four crosses in his four starts this season. His brace against West Ham isn't likely to be repeated, especially with Huddersfield the biggest underdog on the slate a week after officially being relegated, but Grant's slight goal upside and non-zero shot floor put him in consideration. That being said, it's mostly that he's likely to be one of the cheapest starting forwards, and while you could punt a midfield spot, there are actually midfielders worth targeting, so the opportunity cost of using a roster position on a punt there may not be optimal.

Callum Wilson, BOU v. BUR ($8,300): Wilson failed to score in his last two starts, but a bounce back Saturday is certainly in the cards against a Burnley side that's conceded the most goals, most shots and most shots on goal this season. Wilson usually garners more attention than teammate Joshua King ($7,400), who had a brace two games ago but took only one shot last week, and he makes for just as good a GPP option. In fact, this slate is packed with good tournament plays, with Leicester City's Jamie Vardy ($8,500) the most expensive after scoring five goals on 15 shots (seven on target) in his last five starts, plus Salomon Rondon ($8,000), who has gotten on the scoresheet in four of his last five home starts.

MIDFIELDERS

James Maddison, LEI at HUD ($9,000): Given the makeup of the slate, it seems all but certain most cash lineups will have two higher-priced midfielders, including Maddison, who will continue to take all set pieces for Leicester City, the biggest favorite among the six teams. He has been one of the best all-around floor players in the Premier League this season, and especially of late, taking 23 shots (five on goal), sending in 56 crosses, creating 35 chances and drawing 20 fouls in the last eight games, a run that has seen him score at least 11.00 fantasy points in each game, an impressive run that includes just one goal and two assists. Huddersfield have been the worst team in the league this season, as fully evidenced by their relegation after just 32 games, and there's little reason to think they'll slow down Maddison, who scored one of his six goals this season against Huddersfield back in September. If you want to fade Maddison in GPPs but still want Leicester City exposure, Harvey Barnes ($6,000) is the cheaper option versus Youri Tielemans ($7,500), while Wilfred Ndidi ($5,000) is always more of a floor play.

Ryan Fraser, BOU v. BUR ($7,800): While Maddison figures to be really popular, he won't be the only one, as Fraser also comes in with a near monopoly of set pieces, and he faces a Burnley side that's conceded the most shots, second-most shots on goal, most chances, third-most crosses and second-most corners in the Premier League this season. Bournemouth are much better at home than they are away, and while Fraser is fine for GPPs as well, it's understandable to at least consider David Brooks ($6,900) in tournaments, though he hasn't been shooting nearly as much lately; then again, maybe a match against that peripherally porous Burnley defense is exactly what he needs to bounce back.

Luka Milivojevic, CRY at NEW ($7,400): There's a reasonable case to be made for paying up at both midfield spots and using the utility on a higher-priced midfielder, with Milivojevic in consideration as the primary set-piece taker for Palace while also chipping in enough defensive stats to give him one of the more solid floors on the slate. Rostering Milivojevic certainly makes sense for those who don't roster Zaha or Townsend in a forward spot but still want Palace exposure, though for those who do take one, or both, Huddersfield's Aaron Mooy ($6,800) isn't all that bad for cash games. Newcastle's Matt Ritchie ($7,700) also has to be in the discussion even if he doesn't have all of the Baggies' set pieces anymore, but he feels a bit expensive when Milivojevic is so close in price. Speaking of Newcastle, Jonjo Shelvey ($3,900) would be an obvious pay-down choice if he got the start, and the same could be said about Burnley's Robbie Brady ($3,700).

DEFENDERS

Ricardo Pereira, LEI at HUD ($5,600): Because it's tough to pay down at forward, and it doesn't seem worth it to pay down at midfield, there isn't a whole lot of room to pay up at defender. Thankfully, there aren't really  defenders worth spending a ton of salary on for cash games, which makes Pereira a pretty attractive GPP option because he's a solid attacker but just happens to have a salary that doesn't fit many lineup builds. It's not that he doesn't have a floor, as he's scored at least 4.50 fantasy points in six consecutive starts (and pretty much most starts this season), but 4.50 isn't nearly enough at $5,600 when you can use the funds elsewhere. Then again, he's a good chance creator and has a history of success. If you prefer the more in-form Ben Chilwell ($5,300), who had multiple chances created in four of his last five starts, that's a decent GPP pivot as well.

Chris Lowe, HUD v. LEI ($4,100):  Lowe is also an attacking defender, one who has actually started as an attacking midfielder the past two games, resulting in four shots (two on goal) and eight crosses. It's worth noting that Huddersfield are terrible and underdogs, but at least they're at home and Lowe's price help alleviate some concerns. Speaking of his price,  you can also get Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt for $4,100, and while his floor is always lower than people think it is, he showed two games ago that he does have goal upside. That being said, Aaron Wan-Bissaka ($4,300) is less of an attacker but has a higher floor thanks to his defensive work.

Ben Mee, BUR at BOU ($2,800): With no defenders who really stand out, or at least no two who will be really highly owned because of their high floors, why not pay down as far as possible and grab Mee, who is likely to be the cheapest starting defender. Does he have a floor? Not really. Does he have goal upside? Um, no. Does he fill the defender spot and possibly allow you to spend an extra $1,000 for a forward or a midfielder? Yes! If we're looking for positives, Mee has won multiple tackles in three of his last four games, which is really all you have to focus on because he's taken multiple shots twice this season (he has 16 total shots in 32 starts), and he's gone 10 straight games with one or zero interceptions.

GOALKEEPER

Tom Heaton, BUR at BOU ($4,400): None of these matches are so one-sided that it makes sense to pay up at goalkeeper, even if Huddersfield are already relegated and hosting a solid Leicester City side. If you want to pay up for Kasper Schmeichel ($5,500), so be it, but given the variance at the position it seems like a sub-optimal use of salary. Heaton's returns have been pretty volatile of late, but he's a goalkeeper, so what do you expect? If you think $4,400 is too much, Ben Hamer ($4,100) is the cheapest option and playing at home, so there's an extra $300 you can use somewhere else.

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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