FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Targets
FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EDT)

10:00 a.m: Burnley v. Southampton
10:00 a.m: Crystal Palace v. Everton
10:00 a.m: Watford v. Brighton
10:00 a.m: Bournemouth v. Sheffield United
12:30 p.m: Tottenham v. Aston Villa

FORWARDS/MIDFIELDERS

Let's get this straight: Harry Kane is only worth his $24 price if he scores a brace. He's four more dollars than everyone else, and the players at $20 aren't worth it, either. Yes, Kane has the best anytime goal scorer odds, but he doesn't have much of a floor after averaging 1.71 shots on goal and 1.11 chances created per 90 minutes last season. I'd rather save cash and go with one or both of his teammates like Christian Eriksen ($18) and Lucas Moura ($16). Eriksen has a higher floor from creating chances and making tackles, and he also is almost as likely to make the score sheet with the help of assists. Moura is upside-or-bust, but if you want to go heavy on the biggest favorite on the slate, that's not a bad strategy. Both Wilfried Zaha ($20), who seems unlikely to play anyway, and Gerard Deulofeu ($18) are too expensive for me to consider. Zaha's floor was inconsistent throughout 2018/19 while Deulofeu is returning from injury and probably won't play a full 90.

Gylfi Sigurdsson ($16) will draw a lot of interest because of how much he's on the ball, but I wouldn't put him in every lineup after accruing 5.6 fantasy points in this spot last season at the end of April. More often than not he hit value, though he closed last campaign with nine fantasy points or less in six of his final 12 starts. Similar to the Kane-Eriksen situation, Sigurdsson has a better floor than Richarlison, but Richarlison is more likely to score.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to combine Callum Wilson ($16) and Ryan Fraser ($16) in cash and GPP since those guys linked up a ton last season. It helps that Wilson has the second-best odds to score on the slate against a newly promoted Sheffield United side. If you want a cheaper combo, it's the same idea with Ashley Barnes ($16) and Dwight McNeil ($12). However, Burnley are barely a favorite and are expected to score almost half a goal less than Bournemouth. 

For those who use Kane, Burnley are a reasonable team to back with McNeil and Johann Berg Gudmundsson ($12) at cheap rates. McNeil had a run last season of eight-straight matches reaching double-digit fantasy points while Gudmundsson takes corners and supplies defensive stats. In that range, Christian Benteke ($12) could be a decent GPP route after struggling through last season with injuries. Otherwise, guys like Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ($12) and Pascal Gross ($12) have slightly higher floors due to defensive capabilities.

Since it's Gameweek 1, there could be some new faces in starting XIs who are cheaper. That means Conor Hourihane ($10) from promoted Aston Villa or Guido Carrillo ($8) and Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld ($8) at Southampton and Bournemouth, respectively.

DEFENDERS

I get that Lucas Digne ($20) is an awesome fantasy player who sends in tons of crosses to go with decent defensive stats, but even with a floor of 20 fantasy points, I don't think he's worth it. It wouldn't be surprising if both Villa center-backs hit 20 points, with those likely being James Chester ($16) and Tyrone Mings ($12). It's been a long off-season, but don't forget defenders on the biggest underdogs usually get the most work. Full-backs like Digne, Jose Holebas ($14) and Patrick van Aanholt ($14) tend to provide the most upside, though they usually have lower floors and don't get as much defensive work.

I may be most interested in the Palace center-backs because Everton forced the third-most tackles and fifth-most clearances to defenders last season. If Martin Kelly ($12) and Joel Ward ($10) both start, it's hard to overlook their prices. That said, Southampton may be the better bet because no matter which defenders made the starting XI last season, they usually reached around 15-20 fantasy points. Jan Bednarek ($16) is at the correct price, but Jannik Vestergaard ($14) and Maya Yoshida ($14) still come at good rates. 

A lot of people will likely look at the Tottenham prices and fill both defensive spots with those guys, but they likely won't be seeing much defensive work. A clean sheet is possible, yet that still may only result in 10 fantasy points for Jan Vertonghen ($16) and Toby Alderweireld ($14). In this situation, I'd rather go with a full-back because Kyle Walker-Peters ($12) is cheaper and also more likely to get up the field and contribute in the attack if Spurs control possession, as expected.

GOALKEEPER

Even at the lofty price, Hugo Lloris ($16) could be the most popular goalkeeper. Tottenham have the best odds to win and secure a clean sheet, though that also means he probably won't make more than one or two saves. I usually prefer to find value at goalkeeper, and that's where Artur Boruc ($10) and Vicente Guaita ($10) come into play. Bournemouth have better odds to win and secure a clean sheet, so Boruc is the better route. Both of them averaged more than three saves per match last season, helping their floors in case they allowed a goal or two. If you wait for lineups to come out, you could save more money on Nick Pope ($8), Joe Hart ($8) or whoever starts for Burnley. Lloris looks like an easy play, but in the same situation last season, he allowed a goal and made two saves against Fulham, reaching 10.5 fantasy points.

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. Adam Zdroik plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: zdroik, DraftKings: rotozdroik, Yahoo: StreakMaster.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate. 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year.
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