FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: New Year's Day EPL Targets
FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: New Year's Day EPL Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EST)

For additional stats and odds, as well as projected lineups, check out the

FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: New Year's Day Cheat Sheet

FORWARDS/MIDFIELDERS

Kevin De Bruyne, MCI v. EVE ($23): The main question is if De Bruyne is going to start, but if he does, he's the top cash play no matter the price. He's had at least 16.5 fantasy points in his last eight starts, and continues to do a little bit of everything while having a touch of upside with multiple shots on goal in five of his last seven. Gabriel Jesus ($22) and Raheem Sterling ($22) are next in line and are mostly goal-or-bust, but while Man City have the highest implied goal total, I wouldn't be opposed to fading them because Everton have played better defensively under new managers. Of course, while they won at Newcastle last match, they allowed five shots on goal and 15 chances. Almost every other relevant forward is away, which is why trusting City may be the best option even if they've already lost two home matches. That said, Jamie Vardy ($22) is rested and a trip to Newcastle is a good spot for him to rebound after a couple difficult performances.

Danny Ings, SOU v. TOT ($18): If you want to skip on De Bruyne and Man City, there are a slew of forwards in this range worth considering. Ings has oddly been the most consistent with a goal in seven of his last eight starts. His floor is often low, but Tottenham have had defensive lapses away, giving up multiple goals in three of their last four. Ings doesn't have the same odds to score as others because he's an underdog, but that'll also make him less popular. I'd pass on Marcus Rashford ($20) because he isn't doing anything outside of scoring goals, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the other option I was considering because he's had a higher floor playing on the wing the last couple matches. Troy Deeney ($18) also isn't far behind since Wolves are another team who tend to allow a goal or two away, no matter the opponent.

James Maddison, LEI at NEW ($17): Maddison is mostly rested and at a bit of a discount after a string of down performances. However, that shouldn't sway you from picking him against Newcastle, who have allowed the most corners and second-most chances created in the last 10 gameweeks. That's a perfect fit for Maddison, who averages 5.77 corners and 2.58 chances created per 90 minutes. Even if he doesn't make the score-sheet, there's a chance he hits 20 fantasy points, which would be one of the higher floors on the slate. The move would be to ride Maddison and Vardy and hope they connect for a goal or two. In the same mold, James Ward-Prowse ($16) is a better fit with Ings if you want to stack them against Spurs. If you want better odds to score, Raul Jimenez ($17), Dele Alli ($17), Callum Wilson ($16) and Teemu Pukki ($16) are all in fairly desirable situations.

Emiliano Buendia, NOR v. CRY ($15): The main question with Buendia is playing time because he's started the last five matches and plays in a busy midfield role. In that stretch, he has created 26 chances and made 13 tackles, leading to at least 20 fantasy points in every match. He's produced no matter the opposition and that won't change against Crystal Palace, who have allowed the most tackles and third-most corners in the last 10 gameweeks. Joao Moutinho ($14) is slightly cheaper and does the same kind of stuff, though he hasn't been as active as Buendia. There are a few others who provide some kind of upside in this range like Robert Snodgrass ($14) and Adama Traore ($14), but Buendia has the higher floor if he starts.

DEFENDERS

Mason Holgate, EVE at MCI ($11): If you have the money, it makes sense to stack Everton center-backs against Man City, who have forced the most blocks and clearances in the last 10 gameweeks. Holgate doesn't have a high floor, but he's always above 10 fantasy points and should easily hit that number in this matchup. Yerry Mina ($11) had 26.7 fantasy points in the prior meeting and is the other option along with Michael Keane ($12), depending who starts. There are plenty of more expensive defenders who have higher floors, but assuming City stay in the final third against Everton, the defensive work will be there to reach a floor close to 20 points for Holgate and company.

Mamadou Sakho, CRY at NOR ($8): There could be a nice range of cheap defenders, but most of them aren't regular starters, so I'll back someone who is close to guaranteed to start. Sakho may not hit 20 fantasy points, but he's been near 10 in every start and should be there again. Even against a Norwich team that don't force a lot of action, he should reach his usual numbers. Grant Hanley ($8) is the only other regular cheap defender who stands out with most of the reasonable options at $10. My favorite of the bunch is Chris Mepham ($10), who had a floor of 18.6 points last match at Brighton and could see similar defensive work against West Ham. This isn't the best slate for cheap defenders, but there are at least options if you plan on going big at other positions.

GOALKEEPER

Lukasz Fabianski, WHU v. BOU ($9): Fabianski comes at a discount after returning from a three-month hip injury Saturday. He's the third-biggest favorite on the slate and is home, unlike Kasper Schmeichel ($14). The main reason to back him is that Bournemouth are dealing with numerous injuries in their attack and have managed just two goals in their last six games. That's worth betting on Fabianski, who is the cheapest expected starting goalkeeper. Jordan Pickford ($10) and Alex McCarthy ($9) are also possible if you fade Man City or Tottenham, but I'd rather go with Ben Foster ($10) and hope he secures his fourth straight clean sheet at home.

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. Adam Zdroik plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: zdroik, DraftKings: rotozdroik, Yahoo: StreakMaster.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate. 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year.
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