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

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EST)

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

FORWARDS

Willian, CHE v. WHU ($9,700): Chelsea are the second-biggest favorite on the slate, and while their set-piece situation has been pretty fluid, Willian has at least been the most consistent. West Ham haven't conceded a plethora of crosses this season, though they certainly give up more when they're playing away. With Tammy Abraham (hip) unlikely to play, GPP players could get a discount for Michy Batshuayi ($8,500), though Christian Pulisic ($9,000) is also a very viable option if he starts ahead of Pedro ($8,800). Paying up for the Liverpool guys – Mohamed Salah ($10,800), Sadio Mane ($10,500) and Roberto Firmino ($9,300) – is always an option, though they're all pretty goal dependent, a situation that also applies to the Tottenham attackers like Son Heung-Min ($9,800) and Harry Kane ($10,400). Needless to say, all of these guys need goals to make value, though Willian at least provides the set-piece floor many look for in cash games.

Dwight McNeil, BUR v. CRY ($7,800): This price is quite high for McNeil, but he's worth consideration in cash games because Burnley are the second-highest crossing team on the slate and Crystal Palace have conceded the second-most. There is a lineup situation worth monitoring, however, as midfielder Ashley Westwood, who shares set pieces with McNeil, is suspended, which could allow Robbie Brady ($4,600) to get into the lineup. The expectation is that the two would still share corners, though Brady always finds a way to get a bigger piece of the pie, and at his salary, people could surely convince themselves he's the better Burnley exposure. Meanwhile, Ashley Barnes ($6,500) is goal dependent but also cheap for his upside, as he has the best anytime goal scorer odds among players not from Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.

Gerard Deulofeu, WAT at SOU ($6,600): Deulofeu seems to have a split of set pieces with defender Jose Holebas ($4,800), but he's enough of an attacker to get serious consideration in cash games because of his lower price. Facing a Southampton side that's conceded the most crosses, second-most chances, second-most shots and third-most shots on goal, Deulofeu figures to be very active in the attack even without relying on corners. Ignoring the top three teams on the slate feels a bit nuts, especially considering their strong goal odds, but McNeil and Deulofeu provide some salary savings to spend up at other spots if you don't want to rely on goals. The pay-down options further down get pretty sketchy quickly because those players are facing either Liverpool, Tottenham or Chelsea, sides that can be leaky but also ones that should control significant possession.

MIDFIELDERS

Christian Eriksen, TOT v. BOU ($8,400): Eriksen didn't start either of new manager Jose Mourinho's first two games in charge, but he was a quick sub Tuesday against Olympiacos and was excellent, finishing with one assist on three chances created, two shots, eight crosses and a tackle won for 18.3 fantasy points. It's really hard to trust Eriksen given how little playing time he's gotten this season, not to mention that he hasn't always been on set pieces even when he's in the game, but the matchup is firmly in Spurs' favor. Otherwise, paying up for Chelsea's Mason Mount ($9,200) is an option, though it's a very steep price for a player without a monopoly of set pieces.

Ryan Fraser, BOU at TOT ($6,600): There are a few midfielders in Fraser's price range who are worth considering, but he stands out because he's able to do more than just take set pieces. That's pretty much a shot at Luka Milivojevic ($6,700), who has the easier matchup away to Burnley, and the biggest difference between the two is that Fraser tends to get his floor points from attacking stats like shots, chances created and fouls drawn while Milivojevic supplements his crosses with tackles won and interceptions. Spurs have been pretty leaky in Mourinho's first two games, enough so that I am okay with Fraser at this price. If you don't like either of these guys, James Ward-Prowse ($7,400) has a great matchup at home against Watford, though the price separation is a bit much for those who want to pay up at certain spots. Ward-Prowse has been good, mostly because of crosses from set pieces and shots, but it's just tough to get overly excited when the slightly cheaper guys probably offer just as much floor.

Harry Winks, TOT v. BOU ($3,400): Winks has been Spurs' primary set-piece taker since Mourinho took over, and while he missed out on many once Eriksen came into Wednesday's match, he figures to be over corners again if Eriksen doesn't start. He's been crossing more in open play too, which certainly helps his floor, and with Spurs a big favorite at home and Winks with a very reasonable price, he could be popular if Eriksen is on the bench. Otherwise, Brady is a decent option playing against Crystal Palace, though $4,600 isn't all that cheap.

DEFENDERS

Trent Alexander-Arnold, LIV v. BHA ($7,300): Alexander-Arnold is the second-highest scoring player in the Premier League, and no player has scored more floor points. He has yet to score fewer than 7.3 floor points in a start this season, and his role on set pieces and active open-play crossing ensures he creates chances. If there's a small knock to his fantasy value it's that he doesn't shoot much, particularly in open play, but we also have to remember he's a right-back. And speaking of his defender position, he comes in with the highest clean sheet odds on the slate. He will be super popular, and his high price isn't likely to push people away in cash games or GPPs (he makes more sense to fade in the latter, obviously).

Jose Holebas, WAT at SOU ($4,800): Holebas' days as Watford's only corner taker seems to be over, but he is still getting enough opportunities to warrant consideration, especially against Southampton, who have conceded the most crosses among teams on the slate. Holebas has actually been crossing more in open play this season, so while he may not have every dead-ball opportunity, all is not lost with his fantasy floor. There's a pretty big gap between Alexander-Arnold and Holebas salary-wise, and the players in between them have solid floors and even some upside, as the Tottenham and Chelsea fullbacks have shown strong fantasy scores throughout the season. You could easily make the argument that they're all better than the midfielders in their salary range, making this a weird slate where you would certainly consider playing five defenders if there were defender/midfielder spots.

Charlie Taylor, BUR v. CRY ($3,700): The Burnley fullbacks continue to be underpriced, though Phil Bardsley at $4,300 still feels a bit nuts. Instead, Taylor is $600 cheaper, and while his floor hasn't been as high, Bardsley's six fouls drawn last week were surely an outlier. There can't be high expectations here, though Taylor at least faces a Crystal Palace side that's conceded the second-most crosses among teams on the slate, and Burnley's clean sheet odds are the same as Tottenham's.

GOALKEEPER

Ben Foster, WAT at SOU ($4,400): Avoiding the three big favorites on the slate, if you want to pay down, leaves you with Foster away to Southampton, who have scored multiple goals just twice this season, including last weekend away to Arsenal (of course). Foster has had some up-and-down performances this season, but that surely shouldn't sway you one way or the other because of the variance in goalkeeper scoring overall. Southampton put only three shots on goal in each of their previous three games before last weekend, but Watford's defense is porous enough to allow more shots to get toward Foster; let's just hope he stops them.

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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