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

MIDFIELDERS

Filip Kostic, SGE at WOB ($10,600): We don't have any of the top five teams on the slate, but dynamic pricing is biting us because a lot of the players we're used to seeing as values are now efficiently priced or overpriced, making it much harder to pay up for Kostic, the most expensive player on the slate. Following two relatively disappointing matches after the season re-start, Kostic reminded us just how awesome he is by scoring 33.9 fantasy points against SC Freiburg, including five shots, five chances created and 19 crosses. It was the third-highest cross total of the season for Kostic, who has reached double-digit crosses in 22 of 35 starts between the Bundesliga and Europa League. The difficulty with rostering him Saturday is that he is very expensive and has a miserable matchup, on paper at least, against a Wolfsburg defense that has allowed the fourth-fewest shots, fifth-fewest chances created and eighth-fewest crosses. Oh, and Wolfsburg are the second-biggest favorite on the slate (though they're only -109 to win on DraftKings Sportsbook). Fading Kostic is always scary because his floor is simply ridiculous (he had 18.3 fantasy points against Wolfsburg in their first meeting, including 16 crosses and a yellow card), but his high salary really makes it tough to have a more balanced lineup. You can try the cheaper route to Eintracht Frankfurt's set pieces with Sebastian Rode ($5,000), who has scored at least nine fantasy points in four straight games, but you obviously know you're not getting nearly the production of Kostic. We could also get some lineup rotation that could deliver us a great value in Mijat Gacinovic ($3,900), though he's unlikely to produce what Daichi Kamada ($6,500) did against Freiburg when he cost only $4,800 earlier this week.

The other side of that match shouldn't be ignored, especially since Wolfsburg are actually favored. That consideration will turn to Maximilian Arnold ($9,100), who had 34.8 fantasy points against Bayer Leverkusen this week thanks, in part, to one goal on four shots (two on target) and two assists on two chances created. Arnold continues to have a big role on set pieces (his goal was a free kick that deflected while trying to shoot under the wall), which has helped him score at least 8.0 fantasy points in 29 of 34 starts this season in the Bundesliga and Europa League. If there's one reason to pass on Arnold it's because he shares set pieces with a forward-eligible player we'll discuss later, not to mention it's a hefty price to pay if he doesn't make the score-sheet.

Leonardo Bittencourt, SVW at S04 ($7,800): Bittencourt is one reason why some fantasy players could pass on Arnold, as he has a similar role but costs less. Admittedly, he's an underdog in his match, but Schalke have looked absolutely awful since coming out of the league suspension, so it doesn't seem like a situation that needs to be feared. Bittencourt has a major role on set pieces, and he is somewhat rested after only playing 28 minutes off the bench earlier this week, still managing 4.2 fantasy points after taking one shot, creating two chances and sending in three crosses with to two corners. He's not a high-volume crosser by any means, but the set pieces surely help. And if you prefer a larger role of set pieces in this price range, Augsburg's Philipp Max ($7,900) fits the mold, even if he's been losing a few opportunities to Eduard Lowen ($5,100). There's a case for Lowen because of his lower price, but he's not nearly as consistent as Max, even if he has a bit more upside after scoring a free-kick goal earlier this week. Max's position as a left-back could also turn some people off, and basically the same can be said about Pavel Kaderabek ($7,000), who continues to play right-back for Hoffenheim. He's still been a decent chance creator and crosser from the position, but a total lack of set pieces dampens the optimism.

Vladimir Darida, BSC v. FCA ($5,700): Darida saw a slight increase in corners earlier this week when Marvin Plattenhardt ($6,400, defender) was forced off with a concussion, and he could maintain that role against Augsburg on Saturday. The biggest benefit for Darida is that he provides exposure to set pieces for the biggest favorite on the slate for significantly lower salary than the high-floor players mentioned above. Darida sent in 21 crosses in the last two games before the shut-down, and while he's been playing a bit further up front in the past two games, it hasn't resulted in huge fantasy points. Nevertheless, he's a safe pay-down option who is likely to be popular in cash games because many will want to jam in at least one expensive midfielder. Mainz's Pierre Kunde ($5,100) could also get some attention if Aaron ($6,800) doesn't start again, while Nuri Sahin ($3,600) and Dennis Geiger ($3,200) shouldn't be ignored if they happen to get rare starts.

FORWARDS

Josip Brekalo, WOB v. SGE ($7,100): The case for Brekalo is pretty simple: he has a role on set pieces for the second-biggest favorite on the slate and helps fill a forward spot when we have numerous midfielders (and defenders) that we'll want to play. He took five of eight corners earlier this week against Bayer Leverkusen, helping him to 9.8 fantasy points without a spot on the score-sheet. Oh, and we shouldn't ignore that he has the second-best anytime goal scorer odds, trailing only teammate Wout Weghorst ($6,900). The possibility of using Brekalo in cash makes it a bit easier to fade Arnold for possibly one of the cheaper midfielders, which in turn pushes Kostic's ownership up.

Matheus Cunha, BSC v. FCA ($8,200): Cunha is the most active attacker for the biggest favorite on the slate, and he comes in with four goals in his last five games, understandably failing to get on the score-sheet against RB Leipzig earlier this week. The reason Cunha gets consideration, even in cash games, is that the higher-priced forwards with potential set pieces all have warts. Hoffenheim's Robert Skov ($9,800) is the most expensive forward, and he'll share set pieces with Sebastian Rudy ($5,100, midfielder), making it more likely he'll have to get on the score-sheet to make value. Meanwhile, Werder Bremen's Milot Rashica ($8,400) was excellent earlier this week when he didn't have to deal with Bittencourt, but the two are likely to share the dead-ball opportunities Saturday. And speaking of sharing free kicks, we're likely to see that with Schalke as well, which limits the floor of Daniel Caligiuri ($7,400). That being said, Caligiuri is still likely to get some attention in cash games, and the salary difference from Rashica and Skov only works to increase his ownership.

Davie Selke, SVW at S04 ($3,600): Given a number of high-priced players in favorable spots, there is a viable path to paying all the way down at forward instead of punting midfielder or defender. Selke didn't start Tuesday's match against Borussia Monchengladbach, but he still managed to put two shots on goal and create one chance in 16 minutes. Granted, that level of production can't be expected over 90 minutes (or even 60), but at $3,600 he doesn't have to do a whole lot (and he's unlikely to do a whole lot). Other potential cheap options include the Schalke duo of Guido Burgstaller ($3,500), the cheapest forward on the slate, and Rabbi Matondo ($3,900), who at least have the benefit of being on a favored team.

DEFENDERS

Bastian Oczipka, S04 v. SVW ($6,200): Oczipka will split set pieces with Caliguiri, and while he's not as much of an attacking player because of his left-back position, his floor is actually better because of his defensive contributions. Granted, those floor points can't help him to a ceiling game, but he's at least a tad bit safer and presumably has clean-sheet upside, even if their defense has been awful. Additionally, he's playing a Werder Bremen defense that's allowed the most crosses, most shots and most chances created among teams on the slate. Hertha Berlin's Marvin Plattenhardt ($6,400) likely would have been a big consideration had he not suffered a suspected concussion earlier this week, and while Maximilian Mittelstadt ($6,200) could start in his place, Darida's availability doesn't make him nearly as attractive. If you don't want to rely so much on set pieces, Wolfsburg's Kevin Mbabu ($5,500) has one of the safest floors on the slate, though his upside is more based on assists than goals since he's only taken eight shots in 14 Bundesliga appearances. A similar description applies to Eintract Frankfurt's Almamy Toure ($5,400), though he's the underdog in Mbabu's game.

Daniel Brosinski, M05 v. TSG ($6,100): Paying up at both defender spots won't be easy for those who are paying up at midfield and forward, obviously, but Brosinski took set pieces when he started and there's a guess on the Bundesliga website that he'll make his way back in Saturday (thankfully, we'll know before lock). His cross volume is really attractive for a player at his price, even though he's near the top of the defender salary list, and he only adds to the possibility of punting a forward in cash games.

Theodor Gebre Selassie, SVW at S04 ($4,100): Gebre Selassie's price went up despite Werder Bremen being an underdog in this match, but as one of the cheaper fullbacks on the slate, you can guarantee he'll be owned in cash games (though not nearly enough that we really have to worry about it). He's really not exciting at all, but you might be stuck with him if we don't get a random cheap fullback who gets a rare start because of lineup rotation.

GOALKEEPER

Andreas Luthe, FCA at BSC ($3,900): Luthe is the cheapest goalkeeper on the slate because Augsburg are the biggest underdog, but it's not like Hertha Berlin are big favorites. He's coming off back-to-back clean sheets, and sure, he could get blown up by a Hertha Berlin side with multiple goals in five straight Bundesliga games, but it's goalkeeper, so maybe he makes enough saves to counter the goals conceded. Additionally, this match has the second-lowest total 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 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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