DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Premier League Breakdown
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Premier League Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

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

MATCHES (EDT)

10:00 a.m: Bournemouth v. Leicester City
10:00 a.m: West Brom v. Watford
10:00 a.m: West Ham v. Swansea City
10:00 a.m: Stoke City v. Southampton
10:00 a.m: Manchester United v. Crystal Palace
12:30 p.m: Chelsea v. Manchester City

PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

FORWARD

Romelu Lukaku ($11,300) is the most expensive player on the slate. He has the best anytime goal-scoring odds and leads an attack that is expected to score the most goals. He has played eight matches in all competitions since the beginning of the season (six in the Premier League and two in the Champions League), and he's scored at least one goal in all but one, a 2-0 victory over Leicester City when he took six shots (three on goal) and created two chances. With no other big favorites, Lukaku is heading to be the chalk forward option on this slate. There are other big-name forward-eligible players, but would you pay up for Sergio Aguero ($10,100), Kevin De Bruyne ($9,500) or Gabriel Jesus ($8,400) playing against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge when you could have Lukaku against Crystal Palace? How about Eden Hazard ($9,200) or Alvaro Morata ($8,700) against a Manchester City side that's allowed two goals in their six league matches?

That being said, Lukaku's price is high, which means you could pivot to Marcus Rashford ($8,000) or Anthony Martial ($7,700), who had a goal and two assists during Wednesday's Champions League match at CSKA Moscow before coming off as a precaution after picking up a knock. Aguero, Jesus, De Bruyne, Hazard and Morata could each score at least one goal, but it certainly seems to make more sense to focus on the team that's facing the worst side in the Premier League.

Paying up for anyone above makes the second forward spot tough to fill, especially since there are some higher-priced midfielders to consider. Players like Leroy Sane ($7,000) and Raheem Sterling ($7,200) offer discounts from their high-priced teammates, but it feels like that Chelsea-Manchester City game could be a slog despite both clubs' ability to light up the scoreboard. Unfortunately, there aren't a ton of lower-priced forwards that are easily playable in cash games.

Richarlison is an interesting option at $6,000 against a West Brom side that's better defensively at home (then again, who isn't?). Watford could still have enough of the ball for Richarlison to keep drawing fouls at his high rate. Unfortunately, that's as far as it goes with him, as he's not really a big shooter, he doesn't cross and he doesn't create many chances. Southampton's Nathan Redmond ($5,100) is another possibility playing away to Stoke, who have an extremely banged up back line. Redmond has taken at least two shots in every match this season, including eight in his last two (four on goal) while also creating two chances in each. Yes, chances created isn't a stat on DraftKings, but it gives us an indication of players who are contributing in the attack. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Demarai Gray, who still hasn't gotten a start this season but could very well be in my lineup if he does get the call. $4,900 for a possible set-piece taker against Bournemouth who fills a forward spot? Sign me up. Any consideration for Gray means consideration for Riyad Mahrez ($6,900), but he's been so disappointing this season and he's not even on penalties anymore.

As for GPP options, Jamie Vardy ($6,900) has the same matchup as Gray and Mahrez, though it's worth noting that he only scores against good teams and he's working through a hip issue. There's obviously more to that, but Vardy gets many of his goals on the counter, scoring twice against Arsenal and once each against Chelsea, Huddersfield and Liverpool. Playing at Bournemouth could certainly give him some counter opportunities but he could put up a donut without them. Staying in that game, Joshua King ($6,300) scored his last time out and has better goal-scoring odds than players like Sane, Sterling and Mahrez. You could also pay down for Jermain Defoe ($5,700), who doesn't offer anything but goal potential. If you really want a Bournemouth forward, it should probably be Jordon Ibe ($4,300), though he's more of a cash play and isn't even that great of one with Junior Stanislas back.

The Stoke-Southampton match has a number of forwards who could find the scoresheet, including Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting ($5,900), who has taken 13 shots in his past three matches (including one each against Manchester United and Chelsea). Jese ($5,300) is there too, though he's failed to take a shot in his past two appearances (123 minutes). Shane Long ($4,800) has started the last two for Southampton, putting up a grand total of two shots in 172 minutes. I'd pass on Long but you'd have to at least consider Manolo Gabbiadini ($5,500) or Charlie Austin ($5,700) if they start instead.

Chicharito ($7,800) at home against Swansea is certainly worth a look, as is teammate Andy Carroll ($6,700), who is never one to shy away from shooting while Swansea have allowed the most shots of any team on the slate. And the West Ham defense has been very up and down this season, posting two clean sheets (v. HUD, at WBA) but allowing at least three goals in their other four matches (at MUN, at SOU, at NEW, v. TOT). Tammy Abraham ($5,900) has the best goal-scoring odds for the Swans, with Wilfried Bony ($5,400) close behind. Unfortunately, there are about 20 potential starting players who have better odds.

MIDFIELDER

Lukaku isn't the only Manchester United player likely to be heavily owned, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan ($8,600) should also be very popular. He is the most expensive midfielder without forward eligibility, and while he could continue to split corners with Juan Mata, it's possible Manchester United win enough for it not to matter. Mkhitaryan began the season with five assists in the first three Premier League games, and while he hasn't had one since, he's still creating multiple chances each time out. He also bagged a goal during Wednesday's Champions League match and came off after 60 minutes, so it seems likely he'll start Saturday.

Xherdan Shaqiri ($8,300) is another high-priced midfielder to consider in cash games, as he continues to take all set pieces for Stoke, who get a bit of a reprieve Saturday after already facing Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, who they beat, drew and got blasted by, respectively. Shaqiri has been a very solid fantasy producer, taking multiple shots and sending in at least eight crosses in four consecutive matches while creating 15 chances over that span. There is a noticeable drop in quality midfield-only players after Shaqiri, unless you're bold enough to pay $7,400 for Junior Stanislas home against Leicester. David Silva ($7,100) has four assists in his last two Premier League matches (and he had another during Tuesday's Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk), creating 11 chances over that span. That being said, facing the Watford and Crystal Palace midfielders is quite different than trying to find the seams between N'Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko. Speaking of Kante and Bakayoko, how incredible is this video? (thanks to Kevin Swanson for sending it my way)


Also, well done for anyone who grabbed Bakayoko last weekend at $3,000 for his 13 fantasy points (with an assist). If you think he could keep up the tackle numbers (five last weekend and five Wednesday against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League), that's a pretty good price. Cesc Fabregas ($6,200) is also a possibility, as the Man City defensive midfield isn't nearly as strong as Chelsea's and he continues to be on set pieces.

Manuel Lanzini ($6,400) could finally return from his knee injury, though there's no guarantee he'll start, and even if he does it seems unlikely he'll play 90 minutes. He's probably going to take most set pieces, and facing Swansea is no deterrent in selecting him. Tom Carroll ($5,200) will be taking them for the opposition, but West Ham actually haven't allowed that many crosses or corners, which is pretty much all he's good for despite taking five shots (one on goal) in his last three games.

You could probably sniff around Ander Herrera at $4,500 with the expectation that Manchester United will dominate possession, which would allow him to move up in the attack while Nemanja Matic ($3,500) sits back. Then again, this game could be so one-sided that they are both in the opposing half a majority of the time.

If you want to dumpster dive a bit, there's always Steven Davis ($3,700), who has taken more corners than any other Southampton player over the past five games. Crazy people may want to consider teammate Dusan Tadic ($6,300) against the previously mentioned banged-up Stoke defense, but the days of Tadic being a cash consideration are over.

DEFENDER

Manchester United continue to be the theme, as Antonio Valencia ($5,600) looks likely to slot back into the lineup after staying home for Wednesday's Champions League match in Moscow. He should have plenty of crossing opportunities against Palace, though you could make the case that Ashley Young could have just as many opportunities and he costs $1,200 less. It's possible that Matteo Darmian ($4,700) starts, but he tends not to cross as much. And, of course, Daley Blind ($6,000) is always a possibility because of his shared role on set pieces. Blind and Young started Wednesday's Champions League match, and a home match against Palace is certainly a good opportunity to rest them.

Chelsea and Manchester City both have excellent attacking defenders, but we unfortunately miss out on a great one after it was announced that Benjamin Mendy ($5,500) suffered a torn ACL in last weekend's match, likely ruling him out for the rest of the season. Danilo ($4,500) is expected to start in his place, but he doesn't offer nearly as much fantasy upside. Kyle Walker ($4,700) and Davide Zappacosta ($5,300) are the other upper-tier defenders in this match (Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses are classified as midfielders), though with such high-powered attacks they could be held back.

The days of getting Aaron Cresswell cheaply are over, as he's now the second-most expensive defender at $5,800. He's sent in 19, 17 and 11 crosses in his last three Premier League matches, respectively, and facing Swansea at home means you'll have to pay up. However, Cresswell's fantasy upside will be very dependent on where he lines up and who else is starting with him. Lanzini's return could push him completely off corners and if Andy Carroll isn't in the starting XI, there really won't be anyone for Cresswell to cross to in the box.

There are a few other higher-priced defenders to pay attention to, including Jose Holebas ($5,200) because of his role on set pieces. If West Brom sit back and allow Watford to have more of the possession, there could be a few dead-ball opportunities for Holebas. It's also worth noting that West Brom have allowed the third-most crosses among teams on the slate. Kiko Femenia ($4,500) offers a few crosses, tackles and interceptions each game, though his lack of set pieces hurts a bit. On the other side, Kieran Gibbs ($3,900) has a pretty attractive price, especially if he maintains his role on corners (he did so last week against Arsenal, though Chris Brunt and Matt Phillips were on the bench). While West Brom have allowed plenty of crosses, Watford have allowed just two fewer this season.

Not to be outdone by West Brom and Watford, Leicester have allowed the most crosses among teams on the slate, so Charlie Daniels ($5,100) could take advantage. He's reached double-digit fantasy points in three consecutive matches, though he had a goal in one and an assist in another.

And, of course, there are plenty of centerbacks who could score but you're really just guessing on any of them. Nicolas Otamendi ($3,100) leads all centerbacks in shots, taking at least one in five of six Premier League games. Meanwhile, Swansea have allowed the most shots (15) and goals (two) to centerbacks this season while Otamendi is the only one to take more shots than West Ham's Jose Fonte, who had an assist last weekend against Tottenham. But again, picking out centerback goals is a crapshoot.

GOALKEEPER

Manchester United's David de Gea ($6,000) has by far the best win and clean sheet odds against a Crystal Palace side that will try to attack without Christian Benteke, their starting striker, and Wilfried Zaha, their most dynamic playmaker. A clean sheet win is never guaranteed, but de Gea's chances for both sure look good. The biggest negative will be that he's unlikely to see many shots that need saving, as Palace have put just 15 shots on goal in six matches, the third-fewest in the league (Swansea 10 and Everton 13).

Every other goalkeeper has serious questions. West Ham are the second-biggest favorites on the slate, but Joe Hart ($5,300) has scored fewer than zero fantasy points in half of his starts. Theoretically, Swansea should allow him to be on the positive side, but as noted, they don't get a lot of shots on goal and Hart is the second-most expensive option. Does anyone think he could greatly outscore his opposing keeper, Lukasz Fabianski, who costs $1,200 less? Every other keeper has warts, so like always, build your team and see who fits at the end. Given a few values on the slate, it could be de Gea. This isn't to say a goalkeeper on the slate won't put up a GPP-winning 25 fantasy points, it's that I simply have no idea who it's going to be, and if someone says they know, they're lying.

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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only Soccer Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire Soccer fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
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.
Yahoo DFS Soccer: Tuesday UCL Picks
Yahoo DFS Soccer: Tuesday UCL Picks
FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Tuesday UCL Targets
FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Tuesday UCL Targets
Tuesday Champions League Cheat Sheet
Tuesday Champions League Cheat Sheet
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Tuesday UCL Picks
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Tuesday UCL Picks
Fantasy Soccer Podcast: Tues, Sept. 17 DraftKings UCL Preview
Fantasy Soccer Podcast: Tues, Sept. 17 DraftKings UCL Preview
Yahoo DFS Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks
Yahoo DFS Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks