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

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EDT)

For detailed stats and odds, check out the DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Cheat Sheet.

MIDFIELDERS

James Maddison, LEI v. BUR ($8,800): I am starting with midfielders this week because there are a bunch who we're going to want to play and there aren't many cash-game-friendly forwards that we need to prioritize. Maddison has scored the third-most fantasy points this season among players on the slate, and no player has scored more floor points. It's a bit astonishing that he's the seventh-most expensive player given Leicester's solid matchup at home against Burnley, who have been better defensively this season in terms of allowing peripheral stats, but Leicester are still firmly favorites. Joining Maddison in the upper tier of midfielders is Chelsea's Mason Mount ($9,100), who has been splitting set pieces recently with Willian ($9,600, midfielder/forward) but has still shown a decently high floor thanks to shots, shots assisted and crosses. Admittedly, Willian has been excellent lately, so you could make the case for rostering him over Mount because he's forward eligible, but Mount possesses plenty of upside in a game Chelsea should win.

Jack Grealish, AVL v. BHA ($7,800): The Aston Villa midfield has been a trove of fantasy points, with Grealish, John McGinn ($8,400) and Anwar El Ghazi ($7,600) each scoring double-digit floor points at least three times in their last four games, with the former reaching it all four times. Conor Hourihane ($6,600) shouldn't be ignored because he's actually been taking most of the set pieces recently, but the open-play contributions of Grealish can't be ignored. He leads the league in fouls suffered and is tied for fourth in chances created (shots assisted), while McGinn is sixth in shots, tied for fourth in shots on target and tied for seventh in tackles won this season. El Ghazi is the sleeper of the group, though his totals don't match up yet and he isn't as consistent as Grealish for a very similar price. Brighton have also been decent defensively this season when it comes to peripheral points allowed, but Aston Villa's high-flying midfield is really tough to ignore. If you're looking for some cheaper midfielders who can still make big fantasy impacts, Norwich City's Emiliano Buendia ($6,700) has taken every free kick for the side this season and faces a Bournemouth defense that's allowed the second-most chances, third-most shots and fifth-most crosses among teams on the slate. Then again, Norwich have conceded a ton of fantasy points this season, so Ryan Fraser ($7,000) should certainly be considered if he starts, while Harry Wilson's ($6,600) floor hasn't been as good since losing almost all set pieces.

Sean Longstaff, NEW at CHE ($3,600): A matchup against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge is usually not one worth targeting, but Longstaff could provide some decent salary relief while still giving us exposure to set pieces. It's certainly worth considering that Newcastle may not win many set pieces, which only hurts Longstaff's potential, but he should still be able to provide enough fantasy points at his price through shots, crosses, fouls drawn and tackles to be a cheap piece of a lineup. Given his price, he certainly makes much more sense in cash games than punting all the way down for a center-back, and you just have to make sure he's in the lineup with the right teammates (i.e. not Jonjo Shelvey) to ensure he'll continue taking corners. If the matchup is really pushing you off, Southampton's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ($3,700) has been decent at times this season, while Villa's Marvelous Nakamba ($3,400) is more of a defensive player but is cheap enough for a punt to reach 2x.

FORWARDS

Tammy Abraham, CHE v. NEW ($9,400): Tottenham's Harry Kane ($10,700) is the most expensive player on the slate with a great matchup at home against Watford, but for $1,300 less you can have a player who has scored more goals and averages more shots, more shots on goal, and more shots assisted per 90 minutes while playing for a team expected to score more goals:

Player

Team Odds 

3+ Goals

Player

Goal Odds

PriceMINGA

S

P90

SOG

P90

SA

P90

FS

P90

Kane+125-188$10,700715513.021.130.761.51
Abraham+110-150$9,400576804.062.341.410.78

Both players rely on shots, and putting those shots on target, for their floors, which is a nicer way of saying they are goal dependent but usually end up with more than 12.0 points when they do find the back of the net. Abraham comes in with a goal in back-to-back games, and he's taken at least three shots in all but one of his Premier League starts. Meanwhile, Kane has been quite consistent, scoring in four of his last five games, and he's made the scoresheet in six of his last seven, with his low point coming just before the international break in Spurs' 3-0 loss at Brighton. Willian is the cash-game option for Chelsea if you need to fill a forward spot, and Erik Lamela ($8,700) plays a similar role for Spurs and could have an even bigger piece of set pieces if Christian Eriksen ($9,800) doesn't start.

Dwight McNeil, BUR at LEI ($5,300): McNeil is priced quite low for a player with a partial role on set pieces and who has scored at least 8.0 fantasy points in six of eight games this season, which included zero goals and two assists. He's primarily a crosser, which helps him create chances, but he also adds some shots, tackles, interceptions and fouls drawn to give him a decent floor. He's priced down because of his matchup, but he's a player who still managed 12.7 fantasy points away to Arsenal, 17.1 (with an assist) away to Wolves and 10.4 at home against Liverpool. Brighton's Pascal Gross ($6,200) also offers some cheaper exposure to set pieces, and his matchup away to Aston Villa is a positive one given they've allowed the second-most shots, third-most crosses and third-most chances among teams on the slate.

Jamie Vardy, LEI v. BUR ($7,600): Back to the goal-dependent players, with Vardy coming in with the third-highest anytime goal scorer odds while leading the line for the third-biggest favorite on the slate. He understandably struggled in the loss to Liverpool just before the international break, but he showed his upside the week prior, scoring two goals on four shots (two on target) against Newcastle. Vardy isn't a high-volume shooter, so his floor is definitely lower than Abraham and Kane, but his lower price helps account for that. And speaking of goals, the Bournemouth v. Norwich City match could certainly have them, which should put Teemu Pukki ($8,000), Callum Wilson ($7,000) and Joshua King ($5,800) on the radar, with the home attackers surprising cheaper even though Wilson has five goals in his last five games, while Pukki has just one in that span. The cash-game consideration in this price range is Adama Traore ($6,900), who has been a much better attacker while playing as a forward instead of a wingback, though his floor really hasn't been as good as Gross'.

DEFENDERS

Ben Chilwell, LEI v. BUR ($5,000): There are a number of expensive defenders worth consideration, including Chilwell's teammate Ricardo Pereira ($5,300), Bournemouth's Diego Rico ($5,600), and Chelsea's Marcos Alonso ($5,800) or Emerson Palmieri ($5,100), but Chilwell's slight price break and excellent matchup puts him near the top of the list. The difficulty with this group is that there are midfielders worth paying up for and not many cheaper forward-eligible players, so it might be tough to spend on defenders unless you find a punt elsewhere.

Frederic Guilbert, AVL v. BHA ($4,600): Guilbert has been a solid attacking fullback for Aston Villa, sending in at least five crosses in three straight games. Unfortunately, his upside is more assist dependent, as he barely shoots, and even the assists might be hard to come by since he's only created three chances in the past four games. Nevertheless, a home match against Brighton should allow him to move up, and he's cheaper than the elite group. If you're willing to try a fullback for a decent underdog, Jetro Willems ($4,100) has scored at least 6.4 fantasy points in four straight games, including three over 9.0.

Jamal Lewis, NOR at BOU ($3,800): After starting off the season slowly, Lewis has joined the attack more of late, sending in nine crosses while creating four chances in his last three games. His price is low because his fantasy points usually are, but if Norwich are going to push him up the wing, it's certainly a situation we can take advantage of away to Bournemouth, who have allowed the third-most shots, second-most chances and fifth-most crosses among teams on the slate.

GOALKEEPER

Ben Foster, WAT at TOT ($3,800): Similar to the defenders, it might be tough to pay up for a goalkeeper on this slate, though the one that jumps out for that is Kasper Schmeichel ($5,700), the fourth-highest scoring goalkeeper this season with by far the lowest variance in terms of fantasy points scored per game. Schmeichel and Tim Krul ($4,100), who might not play because of a back injury, are the only goalkeepers on the slate with multiple starts and no games with negative points, and while that's hardly indicative of anything, Schmeichel's matchup at home against Burnley gives him a good chance at a win and clean sheet. If you're curious about other goalkeepers, here's a chart outlining the most active goalkeepers, with the vertical line representing their total fantasy points scored this season and the rectangle the fantasy-point difference between their highest score this season and their lowest:

Those who are looking to pay down are met with some tough choices, as Foster has been arguably the worst fantasy keeper this season, and a match away to Spurs doesn't provide a ton of optimism. However, he did have a clean sheet in his last start, while Spurs were shut out in their last game, so maybe we're onto something. The choices are all pretty bad at the lower end of the salary spectrum, with Martin Dubravka ($3,700) facing a tough Chelsea attack, Nick Pope ($3,900) traveling to face Leicester City and Angus Gunn ($4,100) away to Wolves.

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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