This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
The last time I wrote a three-game preview, every highlighted player scored and an underdog goalkeeper made 10 saves. There's a chance I miss on everything this time, but at least I tried.
- 9:00 am: Brentford vs. Aston Villa
- 9:00 am: Everton vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
- 9:00 am: Leeds United vs. Burnley
Raphinha, LEE v. BUR ($10,700): I don't want to pay this much for Raphinha, but on a slate without a must at midfield or defense, you can afford him. In addition to taking the majority of set pieces, he has the fifth-best odds to score on the slate and that number will probably be higher if Patrick Bamford isn't ready to start (he isn't). Leeds haven't played in a couple weeks, so the thought is they'll be rested against Wayne Hennessey and company. In favorable matchups, Raphinha has often hit a minimum of 10 floor points and he's also scored in recent games against Arsenal and Chelsea, showing his upside. Dwight McNeil ($8,500) is the other expensive cash play, also with a safe floor around 10 points but with limited upside. He seems to get to his numbers every match, but he's struggled to convert chances into score-sheet appearances. Leandro Trossard ($8,200) would normally be a better play, but I'm worried he isn't ready for a full 90 after missing the last match with a hamstring issue.
Chris Wood, BUR at LEE ($4,000): It's an ugly slate at forward and I could write about Joe Gelhardt ($3,800) since he may start again, but Wood continues to be the main question in any slate in which he's involved. For the first time in a while, he actually held a floor against Man United last match, hitting 6.4 points from a few shots and a shot assisted. He has the third-best odds to score and should get opportunities against what will be an unpredictable Leeds starting XI. His price allows you to spend up on Raphinha and almost anyone else. He'll be popular in all formats because of that and the difference in winning lineups may end up being the decision of Wood or Gelhardt.
Alexis Mac Allister, BHA at EVE ($6,800): Trossard has only been out a week with a hamstring tweak, so there's no guarantee he'll start. I'm not sure how Graham Potter feels, but I wouldn't start one of my better players if he's at high risk for re-injury with his hamstring. If Trossard doesn't start, Mac Allister might be the best midfielder after taking 12 set pieces the last two matches and producing a floor of at least 15 points in each game. Considering one was a trip to Chelsea, that's impressive, as he also totaled seven shots in those matches. Teammate Jakub Moder ($4,700) has seem to lost all set pieces with Mac Allister in the squad, but he's a cheaper option in a similar attacking role. Solomon March ($6,400) has started two of the last three and sent in 19 crosses between those matches, so he can be considered from Brighton, as well. John McGinn ($7,800) is a tad expensive away from home and it's not guaranteed he'll start or play a full 90. Instead, teammate Emiliano Buendia ($5,900) has dropped in price and seems like a quality option against Brentford, even if he doesn't go 90.
Mathias Jensen, BRE v. AVL ($4,500): There's a big list of usable midfielders in this range, but only Jensen has a chance of taking all set pieces for his team. His recent numbers don't look great because of matchups, but when on the pitch, he's usually the guy taking free kicks and corners. I don't like the matchup that much, but Jensen is cheap and set pieces could be enough to get him close to 10 fantasy points, especially at home. Douglas Luiz ($5,700) is worth a look, though Villa's set pieces are unpredictable. Jacob Ramsey ($4,500) is viable in GPPs, while Ashley Westwood ($4,600) continues to be a boring cash play with no upside.
Stuart Dallas, LEE v. BUR ($5,400): The last time Dallas was home against a non-top-four club, he was priced $6,500 against Brentford. After a few down matches because of competition, he's in a good spot against Burnley, one that could again produce a floor of at least 10 points. He takes every set piece that Rapinha doesn't, so pairing the two would be logical in cash games. Otherwise, everyone in this range is fine. Marc Cucurella ($5,900) is most expensive, but Tariq Lamptey ($5,500) is probably the better play on the same team. The Villa full-backs are always in play and Sergi Canos ($5,600) gets a rare set piece, so the options are plentiful.
There isn't anyone else who stands out and I'm not going to write about a random center-back who has a chance to score (I like Axel Tuanzebe, $2,700, and Ben Mee, $2,500). Outside of Raphinha, there aren't any musts on the slate, so you could roster two of the better defenders and hope for the best. Luke Ayling ($4,300) and Junior Firpo ($3,900) would be enticing if at full-back, but again, all of the above options are fine. Take your pick or stack two on the same team.
Robert Sanchez, BHA at EVE ($4,800): I'm only going Sanchez because Brentford are tough at home and he's only $200 less than Emiliano Martinez. Sanchez has made at least three saves in each of his last six starts and hasn't allowed more than one in his last seven. Even if Dominic Calvert-Lewin returns for Everton, I'm not sold on Everton scoring. And shoutout to Will Norris for randomly being $6,000.