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

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

For detailed odds and stats, check out the Fantasy Premier League: Saturday Cheat Sheet, which is available to RotoWire subscribers. Not a member? Join here!.

MATCHES (EDT)

10:00 a.m: Southampton v. Bournemouth
10:00 a.m: Burnley v. Brighton
10:00 a.m: Crystal Palace v. Leicester City
10:00 a.m: Huddersfield v. Everton
10:00 a.m: Newcastle v. West Brom
12:30 p.m: Swansea City v. Chelsea

FORWARDS

Willian, CHE at SWA ($10,600): Chelsea are the biggest favorites on the slate, but any possible rotation could really throw a wrench in the plan. Willian is the obvious play for cash games if Cesc Fabregas ($6,600, midfielder) doesn't start, though I'd still heavily consider the former even if the latter is in the starting XI. Chelsea are five points back of Spurs for fourth place, which is hardly an insurmountable lead over the last four matches of the season. You can question Chelsea's motivations all you want, but they have scored five goals in their last two Premier League matches (both were away) and they beat Southampton to book their spot in the final of FA Cup. Oh, and they are the biggest favorite on the slate by a decent margin. If you're looking for more GPP upside, I'd probably pass on paying up for Eden Hazard ($10,500), even with one goal on nine shots (three on target) and five chances created in his last two Premier League starts, in favor of Olivier Giroud ($9,500) or Alvaro Morata ($9,200), though Pedro ($7,300) would be more enticing if he starts because of his lower price.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson, BUR v. BHA ($9,700): Burnley are legitimately fighting for a Europa League berth, so the thought that they are simply happy after clinching another year in the Premier League is preposterous. A home match against Brighton opens up a few doors, with Gudmundsson the strongest cash-game play because of his role on set pieces. His price is pretty expensive, but there aren't a ton of players worth paying up for on this slate, which makes him more reasonable. He's coming off an excellent match at Stoke last weekend when he put two of his four shots on goal and sent in 13 crosses while drawing three fouls. Amazingly, he's not the only Burnley forward worth considering, with Ashley Barnes ($6,800) and Chris Wood ($6,300) definite GPP plays at home against Brighton, who haven't shut out a league opponent since Dec. 30 and have allowed multple goals in three of their last five games.

Demarai Gray, LEI at CRY ($5,900): Paying up for Riyad Mahrez ($9,100) is a possibility because of his shared role on set pieces, but he could be sharing those opportunities with Gray if Marc Albrighton ($7,000, midfielder) doesn't start. Even without them, Gray has the ability to take shots, send in crosses and draw fouls, with his reduced price making up for his somewhat lack of upside. Yannick Bolasie ($5,600) is another player who caught my eye in this price range, even with Wayne Rooney ($6,100) taking most set pieces for Everton because Bolasie just does so much more in open play and comes at a considerable price decrease compared to teammate Theo Walcott ($7,200). I really want to also like Jordon Ibe ($5,500), but he seems to have reverted back to his old self after playing fewer than 70 minutes in three straight games, including back-to-back starts with fewer than 60. It also doesn't help that Ryan Fraser ($7,400, midfielder) has been over most corners recently.

MIDFIELDERS

Andros Townsend, CRY v. LEI ($8,400): Townsend has been a steady contributor thanks to his shots and crosses, the latter of which is aided by the fact that he generally shares corners with Yohan Cabaye ($5,900) and/or Luka Milivojevic ($6,000). He's a more cash-game friendly player than other teammate Wilfried Zaha ($9,400), who scored three goals on 10 shots (six on target) and drew nine fouls in his past three games. I've seen Zaha in a number of cash lineups recently and while I'm tempted to join the party, I'll probably end up siding with Townsend because I tend to play it safer (in other words, if you like the risk, Zaha looks great this week).

Alex Pritchard, HUD v. EVE ($6,200): Pritchard has taken on a majority of Huddersfield's set pieces recently, and while they aren't big favorites at home to Everton, a win would be massive in their quest to stay in the Premier League. It's not the sexiest pick, but Pritchard could be a nice reliable option for cash games, with players like Rajiv van La Parra ($5,500), Collin Quaner ($4,800) and Tom Ince ($5,400) more suited for tournaments.

Chris Brunt, WBA at NEW ($5,700): Taking the set piece taker for the last place team in the Premier League doesn't sound like the safest of plays, but with West Brom needing three points in every match, you have to expect that they'll come out attacking. Brunt picked up an assist in last weekend's home draw to Liverpool, his third straight match with at least five crosses and multiple shots or interceptions. His upside is still somewhat limited, but at $5,700 he can provide enough to make it helpful to pay up anywhere else, if needed. I also wouldn't shy away from James McClean ($5,300), who does all of his work in open play and still managed to score at least 7.25 fantasy points in three straight games thanks to a combination of shots, crosses, fouls drawn and tackles won. The same could be said about Matt Phillips ($5,400), though McClean has been scoring more recently.

DEFENDERS

Ryan Bertrand, SOU v. BOU ($5,800): Southampton are a hot mess right now and seem destined for relegation, but they're at least going down with a fight, scoring twice against Arsenal and Chelsea before being shut out at Leicester in their last league match (Chelsea also kept them scoreless in their FA Cup semi-final). Bertrand's value will greatly increase if midfielders James Ward-Prowse ($7,800) and Dusan Tadic ($6,800) don't start, and before you say "that would never happen" just remember that we never know what's going on with Southampton, regardless of manager. There are actually a bunch of defenders worth paying up for on this slate, but Bertrand would be my top one if those midfielders sit.

Ben Chilwell, LEI at CRY ($5,300): The defender I'm more (realistically) interested in paying up for is Chilwell, who has scored at least 10 fantasy points in four of his last five starts, though admittedly some where aided by assists or clean sheets. It seems a bit counter to think that Mahrez and Albrighton are the best plays from Leicester but I recommend Gray and Chilwell, but the reduced prices with fairly similar floors is enough for me to go with the cheaper options.

Charlie Daniels, BOU at SOU ($4,200): Paying down for defender gives us a few nice options, including Daniels and teammate Simon Francis ($4,000), who are going up against a relegation-bound Southampton that may leave plenty of opportunities to start a counter. Neither are high-volume crossers, though they do move up in the attack enough to warrant consideration against one of the worst teams in the league.

GOALKEEPER

Nick Pope, BUR v. BHA ($5,200): Goalkeeper is all about finding the one you're not choosing attackers against, so if you decide to fade Chelsea then Lukasz Fabianski ($3,900) makes a ton of sense. The win may be hard to come by but at least it doesn't run against your other players. Pope has a definite shot at a win and faces a Brighton side that have scored multiple goals just once in their past five games. Burnley's defensive strength hasn't equated to many clean sheets for Pope, but they're firmly in play for the win and Pope comes in with at least four saves in three of his last four.

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 Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is a seven-time FSWA finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
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