DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

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MATCHES (EDT)

10:00 a.m: West Ham v. Swansea City
10:00 a.m: Stoke City v. Liverpool
10:00 a.m: West Brom v. Southampton
10:00 a.m: Middlesbrough v. Burnley
10:00 a.m: Manchester City v. Hull City
12:30 p.m: Bournemouth v. Chelsea

PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

GOALKEEPER

Lee Grant, STK v. LIV ($4,100): Grant was in consideration immediately given that Liverpool have forced the most saves this season of any team on Saturday's slate, but his job got significantly easier when it became clear Sadio Mane (knee) wasn't going to play and Philippe Coutinho (illness) likely wouldn't. Liverpool still have fine attacking options, but at less than 100 percent and playing at the bet365 Stadium, Grant could pay off handsomely. Many fantasy managers will likely look at Tom Heaton ($4,500), but it's worth noting that Middlesbrough have forced the fewest saves this season.

DEFENDER

James Milner, LIV at STK ($6,200): With Philippe Coutinho unlikely to play because of an illness that has kept him from training this week, Milner looks slated to take over all corners, giving him the solid floor that he had earlier this season. He has still been a solid open-play crosser, but the corners give him even more of a boost, and while penalties are hard to rely on, Milner has scored seven times from the spot this term.

Cedric Soares, SOU at WBA ($4,800): West Brom haven't been particularly dominant at home this season, at least in terms of goals allowed, and they continue to allow a high number of crosses. In fact, their 22.94 crosses allowed per match this season ranks third-highest on Saturday's slate, which fits in well with Cedric's best skill set. Not only has he sent in 33 crosses in his last seven games, he's also taken at least one shot in six while winning 15 tackles.

Alfie Mawson, SWA at WHU ($3,500): The defender pool is pretty brutal, which moves us to looking for random center-back goals. This is obviously not a cash game play, but Mawson has the fifth-most touches in the box and taken the most shots in the box among defenders over the last six games, while West Ham have allowed the most touches in the box to defenders and the most goals to defenders over that period. If it feels like we're digging too deep on the stats, you're probably right, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

MIDFIELDER

Kevin De Bruyne, MCI v. HUL ($8,800): Getting exposure to the Manchester City midfield seems like a solid strategy as they face a Hull team that can't stop anyone of late. De Bruyne is the most expensive of the bunch, and while he hasn't been shooting as much as he was earlier in the season, he's at least starting to cross more, sending in 36 in his last four games. Paying down for David Silva ($7,300) is also a possibility, as he's been splitting corners with De Bruyne, though his goal upside isn't as high. Raheem Sterling ($7,400) and Leroy Sane ($7,100) should also get consideration, though they are tournament plays because they are so goal dependent.

Willian, CHE at BOU ($8,200):Willian is not guaranteed to start, but it seems like a possibility after Pedro went 90 minutes last week and another 90 on Wednesday (h/t Kevin Swanson). Additionally, if Cesc Fabregas (170 minutes in the last two games) doesn't start, Willian should be able to grab most, if not all, set pieces, giving him an excellent floor against an overmatched Bournemouth side that's allowed multiple goals in five of their last six home games. He is also eligible as a forward on DraftKings.

Stewart Downing, MID v. BUR ($5,400): No one gets excited about rostering Downing, and his ceiling isn't all that high, but he has been taking corners recently and has two games with at least 13 crosses in the past three. He now gets to face a Burnley side that has been horrible away from home this season and has allowed the most crosses per game. Adama Traore ($4,600) could also get some attention, as he's sent in at least five crosses in three of his last four appearances, one of which was a 22-minute stint off the bench.

FORWARD

Sergio Aguero, MCI v. HUL ($10,200): Aguero is the second-most expensive player on the slate but has arguably the highest upside. He has scored a goal in four of his last five games, including each of the last three, and he has the best goal-scoring odds of anyone on the slate, which is unsurprising given that Man City will be hosting a Hull side that's allowed the most goals away from home this season, including nine in their last three, and the second-most overall.

Marko Arnautovic, STK v. LIV ($5,400): The matchup against Liverpool feels a bit easier knowing that they'll be missing two of their best attacking players, and Stoke have been always been much better at home. Meanwhile, Arnautovic has been crossing more in open play and splitting corners of late, so his floor isn't nearly as low as it used to be. He's sent in 26 crosses in the last four games, including eight in each of his last two, while also taking 10 shots and scoring two goals. And while Liverpool's attack is greatly weakened, their defense hasn't been stellar, as they haven't posted a clean sheet since blanking Tottenham 2-0 on Feb. 11, with their last away clean sheet coming Dec. 19 in a Merseyside derby.

Ashley Barnes, BUR at MID ($4,500): If I told you there was a forward who had taken multiple shots in eight of the last nine games and had sent in 44 crosses in that span, is that something you'd be interested in? Well, Barnes hasn't done that exactly. Instead, he's taken multiple shots in eight of his last nine games (27 shots total, including 10 on goal) and he's drawn 33 fouls, the fantasy-point equivalent of 44 crosses. Barnes has won at least four fouls six times during this nine-game run, so it's not like the stats are skewed thanks to a single game (the most he's had is six). Yes, drawing fouls can't turn into assists like crosses can, but a vast majority of crosses aren't even accurate, let alone turn into assists. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have been atrocious this season, and while they were a decent defensive team earlier, they've allowed multiple goals in three of their last four games, including losses to Hull and Stoke. Burnley have been even worse away from home this season, but they've improved of late and could very well grab their first away win this weekend with help from Barnes.

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 a seven-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
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