DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Bundesliga Picks

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Bundesliga 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 Bundesliga Cheat Sheet

FORWARDS

Christopher Nkunku, RBL v. SCF ($9,700): RB Leipzig are the biggest favorite on the slate and Nkunku has a solid role on set pieces, one that has helped him create 16 chances and send in 18 crosses in his last three Bundesliga matches (it's worth nothing nine of those chances created came against Schalke when he finished with four assists). He shares corners with midfielder Angelino ($6,200), who probably would have gotten attention if he was classified as a defender, but his wing-back role has him only eligible at midfield on this slate. Nkunku also takes a decent number of shots, averaging 2.42 per 90 minutes in league play, but he's only scored four goals in 23 appearances (15 starts). If goals are what you're after from the team with the highest implied goal total, the first turn is to Timo Werner ($10,500), the second-most expensive player on the slate and the one with the highest anytime goal scorer odds. Werner will surely be owned in GPPs, as no player on the slate has taken as many shots, put as many on goal or scored as many goals as him, so while Nkunku technically has a higher floor, seeing Werner just as owned in cash games shouldn't be surprising. Normally I'd make the case that you can pivot to Patrik Schick for cheaper access to the RB Leipzig attack, but at $9,400 it just doesn't seem worth it. Paying this much for Nkunku or Werner makes it tough to also get Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland ($10,200), who has been a revelation since joining from RB Salzburg in January, scoring 11 goals on 21 shots in eight appearances (six starts) in all competitions. The difficulty with Haaland is that is floor is pretty low, so you definitely need at least one goal to make his salary close to workable. On the other hand, only Werner has higher anytime goal scorer odds, and Dortmund have the second-highest implied goal total. If anything, you're better off focusing on Jadon Sancho ($10,800), who comes in with 14 goals and 15 assists in 23 appearances (21 starts) this season. Sancho has a role on set pieces, though it's far from a monopoly, and he's dealing with a muscle injury that could hold him out (or keep him from playing 90 minutes, especially since teams can now make up to five substitutions instead of three). If that's the case, Thorgan Hazard ($8,900) becomes more attractive because he'll presumably get more dead-ball opportunities.

Kai Proger, SCP at F95 ($7,500): Even though RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund are sizable favorites, that doesn't mean they're the only teams we should focus on. In fact, you can make a decent argument for fading both of them, partially because of their prices, but also because Dortmund are playing a tough derby against FC Schalke and Leipzig could be rusty after the league suspension (in fairness, that latter point applies to every team). Either way, Proger could be a valuable piece to cash lineups, as he comes in as the second-highest crosser on the slate, and he leads his team in shots and chances created. Unfortunately, his team is pretty awful, as Paderborn come in dead last in the table. Then again, they're playing a Fortuna Dusseldorf side that is only two spots ahead of them, so it's not like the matchup needs to be feared. Proger's role on set pieces has allowed him to do all the things we look for in a fantasy scorer, particularly in cash games, and while he doesn't have the ceiling of an Nkunku, Werner or Sancho, his floor is arguably higher.

Matheus Cunha, BSC at TSG ($6,200): Cunha's per-90 averages are simply too good to ignore, and while playing away isn't great, there is arguably no better side to be facing when having to travel, as Hoffenheim have allowed 31 goals at home this season, tied with last-place Paderborn for the most in the Bundesliga. Cunha played sparingly for RB Leipzig earlier this season, but he's been excellent since joining Hertha Berlin in January, averaging 5.26 shots, including 1.75 on goal, and 4.68 fouls drawn per 90 minutes. Granted, he's only played 308 minutes, but 18 shots in four starts (including zero in 45 minutes against FC Koln) should have him on the radar. Oh, and he found the back of the net in both of his past two starts. His floor is really just his shots and fouls drawn, but he could be a very important piece if he can extend his goal streak against the leaky Hoffenheim defense.

MIDFIELDERS

Kevin Stoger, F95 v. SCP ($6,800): Stoger will share set pieces with Erik Thommy ($8,200, midfielder/forward), and while he doesn't shoot as much, the difference in their floors doesn't justify such a price discrepancy. Paying up for Thommy doesn't seem necessary, especially with other forwards worth rostering, so getting exposure to Dusseldorf's set pieces at a cheaper price seems like the more viable move. Consideration for Stoger will move us into the discussion about the attacking fullbacks/wingbacks on favored teams who are classified as midfielders, specifically RB Leipzig's Angelino ($6,200), Borussia Dortmund's Achraf Hakimi ($6,400) and Raphael Guerreiro ($6,100) and Hoffenheim's Robert Skov ($7,700, midfielder/forward). Each player has plenty of attacking upside, but they'd certainly be more valuable as defenders because they'd be eligible for clean sheet bonuses. The same applies to Augsburg's Philipp Max ($5,900), though he's a home underdog. Angelino makes the most sense if you don't want to pay up for Nkunku, while Hakimi and Guerreiro theoretically get a slight boost if Sancho doesn't start. The problem is that the Dortmund guys aren't usually big crossers, and they're all sharing more of the pie than Stoger, even if he's doing so with Thommy in a game that's supposed to be closer.

Sebastian Rudy, TSG v. BSC ($4,800): Rudy is one of the cheapest paths to set pieces, as he's expected to share them with Skov, who has much higher upside because of his positioning. Rudy is a holding midfielder who doesn't attack much, so his set pieces are very important to his floor. Hoffenheim are the third-biggest favorite on the slate, though they're not even 50 percent favorites, so targeting them just because they are the highest after Leipzig and Dortmund isn't the right move. In actuality, Rudy is probably a bad play on a slate that could be high scoring, at least in terms of total fantasy points, but if cheap set pieces are the key to your lineup, Rudy theoretically fills a void. The other side of this game offers a similar situation, with Dodi Lukebakio ($5,100) likely getting a few opportunities on corners that don't go to Maximilian Mittelstadt ($5,600, defender). Then again, if Pavel Kaderabek ($5,400) gets a start, he sits ahead of everyone else in the price range.

Weston McKennie, S04 at BVB ($3,300): Punting a midfield spot could be a popular play because there are forwards and defenders worth paying up for, which will inevitably put players like Rudy in the conversation. However, even $4,800 is pretty high for a punt, so now we're starting to look at holding midfielders who could maybe, possibly do something (can you feel the excitement?). The first place to look is obviously our two big favorites, with Dortmund's Thomas Delaney ($3,900) and Leipzig's Konrad Laimer ($4,000) filling those defensive midfielder roles. The idea is simply that if their sides can really dominate their matches then maybe they move up in the attack and let a long-range shot fly, hoping for it to find the net. Admittedly, it's a long-shot (no pun intended), one that makes us start looking at the other side of their games in the hopes that maybe those defensive midfielders can rack up enough points to justify a roster spot that helps pay up for others. That's where we find McKennie, who took multiple shots in five of the last six matches. Yes, he's playing for the second-biggest underdog, but a tight derby match could be one where he unexpectedly breaks out. Am I grasping at straws here? Absolutely, but McKennie is the type of player you're going to have to consider if you want to roster multiple elite attackers. A few other guys who might fit this mold include Paderborn's Christopher Antwi-Adjei ($4,000, midfielder/forward) and Hertha Berlin's Marius Wolf ($4,500), who are a bit more attacking than the others, which is why they are slightly more expensive.

DEFENDERS

Maximilian Mittelstadt, BSC at TSG ($5,600): The lack of guys like Angelino, Hakimi and Guerreiro from the defender pool doesn't mean we're stuck with punts at the position. Mittelstadt is one of the players we can pay up for, especially because he could be on set pieces for Hertha Berlin due to the absence of Vladimir Darida (suspension). Mittelstadt lines up as a wing-back enough that it's surprising he also didn't get midfielder eligibility, but we can take the clean sheet equity and roll with a player up against a Hoffenheim side that's allowed the second-most crosses and third-most chances created this season. The matchup certainly works in Mittelstadt's favor over Christian Gunter ($5,100), who leads all players on the slate in crosses but also faces a Leipzig side that is not only the biggest favorite but also has allowed the second-fewest crosses among all teams on the slate. And if you're considering Schalke's Bastian Oczipka ($4,800) because his price seems low for a set-piece taking defender, just know that Dortmund have allowed an average of only 12.68 crosses per games this season, the lowest on the slate by more than three.

Laurent Jans, SCP at F95 ($3,900): Jans could be one of the cheaper fullbacks in play Saturday, though his floor continues to be more from defensive stats like tackles won and interceptions. However, he has a decent number of games with three-plus crosses, and he now faces a Dusseldorf side that's allowed the second-most crosses among teams on the slate. You could also consider Jamilu Collins, who will start on the other side, but paying $1,000 more for two or three more crosses doesn't seem like an ideal use of funds.

GOALKEEPER

Thomas Kraft, BSC at TSG ($4,400): Kraft is the cheapest goalkeeper not facing RB Leipzig or Borussia Dortmund, which is enough for many people to consider him. Given the variance at the position and the need to spend up at forward and midfielder or defender, prioritizing a goalkeeper just doesn't seem to make sense on this slate. Because of that, there will surely be people who roster Freiburg's Alexander Schwolow ($3,600) or Schalke's Markus Schubert ($3,900) with the expectation that they get plenty of save opportunities, but again, we're discussing which goalkeepers to save money on and not who to spend money on.

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 an eight-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for Football Writer of the Year.
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