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DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Premier League Picks

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, a four-time FSWA Award finalist, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and an editor for the site's NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, CBB and DFS content.

For detailed odds and stats, check out the Fantasy Premier League: Saturday Cheat Sheet.

MATCHES (EDT)

10:00 a.m: Liverpool v. Burnley
10:00 a.m: Newcastle v. Stoke City
10:00 a.m: West Brom v. West Ham
10:00 a.m: Watford v. Manchester City
10:00 a.m: Huddersfield v. Leicester City
12:30 p.m: Tottenham v. Swansea

GOALKEEPER

Jack Butland, STK at NEW ($4,400): I am definitely a proponent of picking whichever goalkeeper is available after you've built the rest of your team. The variance with goalkeeper, regardless of price, is so high than spending up at the position and limiting yourself at the others is detrimental. If you build your team and you have money left over and want to spend up for one of the three highest favored keepers then go nuts, though I'd advise to look further and make sure you can't improve your defenders, midfielders or forwards. If you really want a pick, let's go with Butland, as Newcastle have forced the third-most saves among teams on the slate while no available keeper has made more saves this season than Stoke's no. 1.

DEFENDER

Aaron Cresswell, WHU at WBA ($4,000): Cresswell took all 10 of West Ham's corners during Monday's win over Brighton due to the absences of Manuel Lanzini (knee), Marko Arnautovic (suspension) and Mark Noble (knee). Arnautovic is back this weekend, but we can't ignore a defender possibly sharing set pieces, especially one who crossed an additional nine times in open play. As long as Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio are in the box, Cresswell has two big targets to send crosses into from the wing.

Ben Davies, TOT v. SWA ($5,600): What if I told you that there is a defender who has sent in the same number of crosses, created three more chances, won four more tackles, drew two more fouls and scored just as many goals as Christian Eriksen and his salary is $4,200 less than the Spurs midfielder? Is that something you'd be interested in? Davis has been splitting corners with Eriksen this season and has performed so well that fantasy owners are begging Danny Rose (knee) to stay on the sideline. The biggest difference between Eriksen and Davies is that the former has taken 15 shots (six on goal) while the latter has taken only six (three on goal). However, with Spurs overwhelming favorites for the win and shutout, Davies' clean sheet bonus helps close the gap. If you're set on taking Eriksen and don't want to combine him with Davies, Liverpool's Andrew Robertson ($5,600) has shown excellent attacking upside for a defender and he also plays for a heavy favorite with good clean sheet odds.

Kieran Gibbs, WBA v. WHU ($3,900): Gibbs hasn't started yet for West Brom since his move from Arsenal this summer, but he presents a solid option if he is in the first XI. He's primarily known for his attacking ability, which could be why manager Tony Pulis hasn't given him the full green light yet, but Saturday could be a good opportunity for a run out against a West Ham team still trying to figure out their style.

MIDFIELDER

Kevin De Bruyne, MCI at WAT ($10,300): There has been a lot of talk that De Bruyne's fantasy upside isn't as high this season because he's playing a bit farther back and therefore not joining the attack as much. While his positioning isn't as high as a few other attacking midfielders, he's still an elite option who continues to produce. I mean, we're complaining about a player who can pass like this:



Many people will look at the fact that De Bruyne has been splitting corners with David Silva, with Leroy Sane also poaching a few, but De Bruyne has six free-kick crosses and three free-kick shots this season while Silva has one and zero, respectively, which is one more free-kick cross than Sane. You're obviously saving money with Silva ($7,200) and/or Sane ($7,100), but De Bruyne is the clear top option on a Man City side that's a heavy favorite, despite being away, and with the same implied goal total as Liverpool home against Burnley.

Tom Ince, HUD v. LEI ($5,500): The optimal strategy is to stick to players from Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham this week because they are all big favorites with high implied goal totals, but the biggest issue is that all of their fantasy relevant players are very expensive. Speaking of expensive, Aaron Mooy is $7,000, which is actually down $500 from Monday. Mooy continues to take most corners for Huddersfield, but Ince has been taking a few himself, and he's taken nine shots and created five chances in the last two games. In fact, he came close to a huge fantasy score during Monday's game against West Ham but his rocket shot hit the crossbar. He's probably more of a GPP play because he's a tad expensive for cash in a game between these two teams, but on a per-dollar basis I'm leaning more toward Ince than Mooy.

Gareth Barry, WBA v. WHU ($3,300): Look, I'm as disgusted writing this paragraph as you are reading this, but we have to at least recognize that Barry took some corners for West Brom last weekend and he'd present potentially solid value for cash lineups if he had the role again, particularly as they're favored at home against a West Ham side coming off a win over Brighton but was otherwise awful to start the season. Barry split corners with Matt Phillips (4-2 in Barry's favor) because Chris Brunt didn't play, and if Brunt does make his way back into the starting XI it could take Barry off corners. Tom Cleverley ($3,100) could be in the same situation if for some reason Jose Holebas doesn't start, though Watford at home to Man City probably isn't the ideal situation for Cleverley. Thankfully, Southampton play in the early match, so we don't have to put any thought into playing Steven Davis, who continues to swipe corners for the Saints for some unknown reason. If you're really looking to punt a midfielder, don't overlook Stoke City's Darren Fletcher ($3,100), who has scored eight, seven and eight fantasy points in his first three games, respectively, thanks to a collection of tackles won and fouls drawn. Heck, he's even taken a few shots and sent in a couple crosses; just don't expect a ton of production for that low salary.

FORWARD

Harry Kane, TOT v. SWA ($11,000): Kane is the most expensive player on the slate, but he also has the highest anytime goal scoring odds by a decent margin and he's playing for the biggest favorite with the highest implied goal total. It doesn't hurt that he's scored four goals and assisted two others in his last two matches for Spurs after bagging a brace and picking up an assist for England in their World Cup qualifier against Malta earlier this month (as in, not August).

Philippe Coutinho, LIV v. BUR ($9,700): Coutinho is in contention to start in place of the suspended Sadio Mane, and he could provide steady returns if he resumes his role on corners. It's no guarantee given that he hasn't started yet this season after his failed forced transfer to Barcelona in August, but it seems the team has put that behind them and they're ready to ride their Brazilian star for one more year before probably letting him leave next summer. Six different players have taken at least one corner for Liverpool this season, but Coutinho is better than all of them and does enough in open play to warrant consideration in cash and GPPs.

Demarai Gray, LEI at HUD ($5,200): This match doesn't figure to be high scoring, but that doesn't mean there isn't an opportunity for cheaper peripheral points. Gray is another player who hasn't started yet this season, but he should get consideration if he makes it into the first XI in place of Marc Albrighton. Gray usually takes some corners (splitting with Riyad Mahrez) and he's not hesitant to shoot, as we saw with his three shots in 75 combined minutes against Chelsea and Manchester United. You could appropriately call him a poor man's Mahrez as he costs $2,300 less while providing similar production.

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: Andrew Laird, TheSix: Lairdinho.