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DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Premier League Picks

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is also a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Football Writer of the Year Award.

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

MATCHES (EDT)

10:00 a.m: Burnley v. Huddersfield
10:00 a.m: Everton v. Bournemouth
10:00 a.m: Manchester City v. Crystal Palace
10:00 a.m: Southampton v. Manchester United
10:00 a.m: Swansea City v. Watford
10:00 a.m: Stoke City v. Chelsea
12:30 p.m: Leicester City v. Liverpool

PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

GOALKEEPER

Kasper Schmeichel, LEI v. LIV ($4,300):
Liverpool struggle to be consistent in attack without Sadio Mane (suspension), but that doesn't stop them from firing shots left and right. Leicester haven't been great defensively this season, but it's good enough to allow Liverpool to keep shooting and give Schmeichel plenty of save upside.

DEFENDER

Benjamin Mendy, MCI v. CRY ($6,400):
Mendy is the most expensive defender on the slate thanks to his solid open-play crossing. City are likely to dominate possession Saturday and the three-point clean sheet bonus is absolutely in play.

Jose Holebas, WAT at SWA ($5,300): Holebas takes most set pieces for Watford, who now face a Swansea side that's allowed the second-most shots, most shots on goal, most crosses and second-most chances created among teams on the slate. You could actually make the case for any fullback in this game, though Holebas' floor and ceiling are the highest (which is why he's the most expensive).

Simon Francis, BOU at EVE ($3,100): Francis' value changes significantly based on whether he starts at rightback or centerback, so make sure you check how Bournemouth are lining up before considering him (you can see that here after lineups are announced). While playing at Everton isn't an ideal situation, Bournemouth are just as desperate for points as Everton and they don't like to bunker down, even away, so Francis should be given opportunities to move up. Additionally, his price is low enough that even if he doesn't send in nine crosses like he did in the Cherries' opening match, he doesn't have to do much to make value.

MIDFIELDER

Kevin De Bruyne, MCI v. CRY ($10,400):
First off, you would almost never play De Bruyne in a midfield spot because he is forward eligible, but I put him here to begin the discussion about what to do with Manchester City. Crystal Palace come in with zero goals in five losses this season, firmly planting them 20th in the table among the league's 20 teams. Meanwhile, City are tied for first with Manchester United after scoring 16 goals in their five matches. If there is something to be weary of it's that Manchester City will play a home Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, so there could be some rotation. Nevertheless, De Bruyne should get plenty of consideration if he's in the starting XI. There are many people who think paying down for David Silva ($7,700) is more effective than paying up for De Bruyne, but it's worth nothing that De Bruyne has taken more shots, gotten more on goal, sent in more than twice as many crosses and won more than four times as many tackles. Silva has one more assist that De Bruyne thanks to two more chances created, and while Silva is certainly a viable option, De Bruyne combines an excellent floor with a much higher ceiling.

Robbie Brady, BUR v. HUD ($6,500): Brady takes all set pieces for Burnley and is the only player in the league to take every crossed corner for his team. Burnley aren't heavy favorites against Huddersfield, though they should have enough of the ball and attack enough at home to get Brady plenty of opportunities to send in crosses.

Jordon Ibe, BOU at EVE ($3,900): Ibe is another player you could use in a forward spot, and his value drops considerably if Ryan Fraser ($6,600) starts, as he'd likely be on all set pieces. Ibe is a solid open-play crosser, and Everton have been far from an elite defensive side (yes, the schedule hasn't been friendly), but his upside is certainly capped if he isn't on corners. Fantasy players looking for midfield punts could be drawn to Steven Davis ($3,100) because he takes some corners for Southampton, but the matchup against Manchester United is far from ideal even with a Wednesday Champions League match in Moscow. Abdelhamid Sabiri ($3,500) got some attention last week after playing in the no. 10 role and picking up an assist for only $3,100, though the assist made up 75 percent of his fantasy points. Emre Can ($4,000) is another possibility after scoring 11 points last week (with an assist), but he's battling a knock and could be rested. Watford's Nathaniel Chalobah ($3,700) is an interesting one, scoring eight (at Bournmouth), eight (home against Brighton) and five (home against Manchester City) fantasy points in his last three games, respectively, thanks to a combination of shots, tackles won and fouls drawn. And for those who want to get a little saucy, there's always Marouane Fellaini ($3,500). All this being said, I think it's a week to pay down for defenders not midfielders.

FORWARD

Gylfi Sigurdsson, EVE v. BOU ($8,400):
Sigurdsson has struggled for the Toffees ever since his near-midfield goal in his club debut last month, but he has a great opportunity to bounce back into fantasy stardom Saturday against Bournemouth. Sigurdsson takes all set pieces for Everton, who are bigger favorites on the slate than Manchester United and Liverpool are in their matches, and they have a higher implied goal total than Chelsea. Meanwhile, Bournemouth have yet to post a clean sheet in five tries this season, allowing multiple goals in three of those matches, and no one on Everton has higher anytime goal-scoring odds.

Sergio Aguero, MCI v. CRY ($11,000): Aguero is the most expensive player on the slate but he also has four goals in his last two matches. He has the same anytime goal-scoring odds as Gabriel Jesus, who costs $1,600 less, and pivoting to the 20-year-old is not a bad option. However, it's worth noting Jesus has played more than 80 minutes once in the Premier League this season while Aguero has gone 90 in three of his four starts (and played 83 in the other). With Tuesday's Champions League match on the horizon, it's also possible that manager Pep Guardiola only starts one of his prized strikers, which makes the decision much easier.

Demarai Gray, LEI v. LIV ($4,500): Liverpool may be favored in this match, but they'll be without star attacker Sadio Mane (suspension) while starting centerbacks Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren could miss out. Additionally, Liverpool have to travel over 2,000 miles to face Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday. Gray hasn't started a Premier League match this season, but he's played very well off the bench while Riyad Mahrez ($6,800) and Marc Albrighton ($5,500) have disappointed. Gray could be on some set pieces if he gets the start, and he makes for a solid value in a forward spot against an undermanned Liverpool side.

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, TheSix: Lairdinho.