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

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

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

MATCHES (EST)

10:00 am: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Liverpool
10:00 am: Burnley vs. Fulham
10:00 am: Cardiff City vs. Huddersfield Town
10:00 am: Crystal Palace vs. Watford
10:00 am: Leicester City vs. Southampton
12:30 pm: Chelsea vs. Newcastle United

FORWARDS

Mohamed Salah, LIV at BHA ($10,300): Salah and Chelsea's Eden Hazard ($11,200) profile fairly similarly on this slate, as they are the best players on the two highest favorites while coming in with the highest anytime goal scorer odds. Hazard has had the much higher floor, averaging 10.57 fantasy points per 90 minutes over 17 starts, scoring more than 10.00 10 times, while Salah is averaging 7.31 per 90 in his 20 starts, scoring more than 10.00 just twice. So why side with Salah away to Brighton ahead of Hazard at home against Newcastle? Because Chelsea have a cash-game friendly alternative to Hazard while Liverpool do not have one for Salah. Don't get me wrong, you're playing Salah with the expectation of a goal, something he did in three consecutive matches, as well as grabbing an assist in each, before their recent loss to Manchester City, but his floor is decent enough where his salary is worth paying for ahead of Hazard.

Willian, CHE v. NEW ($9,500): There may be enough value on the slate to play both Salah and Hazard, but saving $1,700 in cash games for Willian, who averaged 8.72 fantasy points per 90 minutes over his 18 starts, including six times with double digits, could be worth it. Willian scored 4.25 fantasy points before coming off injured in the 38th minute during his last Premier League start, a pace that would have seen him cross the 10-point threshold once again. He takes most of Chelsea's set pieces when he starts, and he supplements those with 2.46 shots, including 1.00 on goal, and 1.40 fouls drawn per 90 minutes. Up next is a Newcastle side that's conceded the most crosses and third-most corners among teams on the slate.

Dwight McNeil, BUR v. FUL ($5,800): The Burnley conversation used to revolve around Johann Berg Gudmundsson ($7,000) because he had a monopoly of set pieces and was pretty much the only reliable Claret. However, the return of Robbie Brady ($5,400, midfielder) from a long-term injury started to siphon some set pieces away, and recently Ashley Westwood ($4,600) has taken on the role, accounting for seven of their last 11 opportunities. However, McNeil has been the best Burnley option over their past two games, scoring one goal on six shots (one on target) while adding one assist on two chances created, 11 crosses, five tackles, three interceptions and one foul drawn. With Brady suspended for Saturday's match, McNeil has a good opportunity to produce against Fulham, who have conceded the most goals, most assists, third-most shots, most shots on goal and second-most crosses among teams on the slate. His price feels expensive since his previous high was $1,000 less, but he's still a nice bargain given his potential production.

MIDFIELDERS

James Maddison, LEI v. SOU ($8,100): Hazard is the only player in the Premier League who is averaging more floor points per start this season (minimum six starts) than Maddison, with much of that coming from the fact he has the second-highest share of his team's set pieces, trailing only Watford's Jose Holebas ($5,900, defender). And while more than 40 percent of his floor points have come from set pieces, Maddison has displayed solid upside by scoring five goals and assisting three others (he also, unfortunately, missed a penalty in his last start). Even if we remove his crosses, Maddison is averaging 6.54 fantasy points per 90 from his shots, shots on goal, tackles and fouls drawn, and he now comes in playing for the third-biggest favorite on the slate. Maddison's closest competition for a fantasy lineup is probably Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend ($8,400), who you can also play in a forward spot. Townsend's role on set pieces isn't nearly as high as Maddison's, but Maddison and Hazard are the only players averaging more floor points per 90 than Townsend, who scored 17.25 (v. Cardiff), 4.50 (v. Chelsea) and 15.75 (at Wolves) in his past three games, respectively, all without getting on the scoresheet. Up next is a Watford side that's conceded the fifth-most crosses, fourth-most tackles won and third-most fouls drawn among teams on the slate.

Jason Puncheon, HUD at CAR ($3,400): Puncheon joined Huddersfield on loan last week and in his first start, which came in the FA Cup against Bristol City, he took over on set pieces. Granted, many of the names we're used to seeing taking corners for Huddersfield didn't start, but Puncheon presents as a great salary-saving option if he can maintain that role against Cardiff, who have conceded the third-most corners among teams on the slate. Puncheon isn't the only Huddersfield midfielder worth discussing, as Philip Billing ($5,600) comes in averaging 7.71 fantasy points per 90 minutes over his 20 starts, including at least 9.50 in four of his last six, with a minimum of 5.50. His salary feels high for those who rostered him for $2,000 less earlier in the season, but there are few players who are as consistent.

Josh Murphy, CAR v. HUD ($6,100): It's not often that Cardiff City are favorites, but here they are at home against Huddersfield, though they do have the lowest implied goal total among the favorites. Cardiff consideration usually goes to Victor Camarasa ($7,700) because of his role on set pieces, but paying nearly $8,000 for any Cardiff player seems extreme, even in a favorable matchup. And while some may want to pay down for Joe Ralls ($4,000), Murphy is actually their best attacker, even with no role on set pieces, as he leads the team in shots, shots on goal and fouls drawn while sitting second in crosses. His 2.95 fouls drawn per 90 minutes this season trail only Hazard among players on the slate who have played at least 900 minutes, and no player averaging at least 2.00 fouls drawn has sent in more crosses. His price point will also have you looking at James Ward-Prowse ($6,500) if he gets the start, and while we generally know Ward-Prowse will take set pieces if he's in the starting XI, rostering him with Southampton playing away to Leicester City isn't a sure thing, especially since he's generated close to nothing without his work on dead balls.

DEFENDERS

Trent Alexander-Arnold, LIV at BHA ($6,200): There are a number of high-priced defenders who are in consideration, but I don't think this is a slate where you need to pay up for two, as doing so will likely make it impossible to pay up for two forwards and a midfielder or one forward and two midfielders. While he has had a role on set pieces this season, Alexander-Arnold has scored only 20 percent of his floor points from those opportunities, providing a solid floor even if he's not on them against Brighton. Another popular option is Holebas, who gets almost 55 percent of his floor points from set pieces, and a lack of those lately has resulted in fewer than seven crosses in seven of his last eight starts, including each of his last six. And while they aren't huge underdogs, Watford are still not favored away to Crystal Palace, a side that's conceded the fourth-fewest corners among teams on the slate.

Calum Chambers, FUL at BUR ($3,700): Chambers' role as a central midfielder hasn't exactly done wonders for his fantasy upside despite scoring at least 9.50 in two of his first three starts there, and while he's only scored 16.25 fantasy points in his last four games combined, the average isn't bad for this salary. In fact, there are a few players in his price range worth considering if you're just looking to get four to six points, including Cardiff's Greg Cunningham ($4,000), Fulham's Cyrus Christie ($4,100) and Huddersfield's Florent Hadergjonaj ($4,300).

Matthew Lowton, BUR v. FUL ($4,400): While Charlie Taylor ($4,900) has gotten more attention this season because he's had a small role on set pieces, Lowton shouldn't be ignored after scoring at least 4.25 fantasy points in five straight starts. The matchup against Fulham is certainly encouraging, as they've conceded the second-most crosses and had the second-most tackles won against them, and while the upside is pretty limited with any Burnley player, Lowton's low salary shouldn't make it too tough to pay off.

GOALKEEPER

Jonas Lossl, HUD at CAR ($4,300): While he's conceded six goals in his past three starts, Lossl has scored at least 8.00 fantasy points in each of those matches (the middle one was helped by a saved penalty), and while the Huddersfield defense is far from good, they'll at least now face a Cardiff side that's scored only 19 goals in 21 matches, including two in their last four. This is less about believing in Lossl, who is playing in the match with the lowest implied goal total, and more that his salary is simply too low versus the opposing keeper, Neil Etheridge ($5,100), who has two clean sheets in his last three matches (as well as a penalty save), but given the variance at goalkeeper, the extra $800 seems like an overspend.

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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