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, which is available to RotoWire subscribers. Not a member, click here to join or you can sign up for a free 10-day trial here (no credit card required).

MATCHES (EST)

10:00 a.m: Manchester City v. Crystal Palace
10:00 a.m: West Ham v. Watford
10:00 a.m: Chelsea v. Leicester City
10:00 a.m: Huddersfield v. Southampton
10:00 a.m: Bournemouth v. Brighton
10:00 a.m: Newcastle v. Fulham
12:30 p.m: Cardiff City v. Manchester United

FORWARDS

Leroy Sane, MCI v. CRY ($8,800): We have another Manchester City roulette slate, as they come in with the highest win odds and implied goal total against a Crystal Palace side that allowed three goals in each of their past two away matches, which came against Brighton and West Ham. For reference, Manchester City have scored three more goals than Brighton (20) and West Ham (25) combined. We can try to dissect who has the highest floor among the potential Man City attackers, but at their prices it doesn't really matter; we're rostering them for goals and/or assists, and Sane comes in with two goals and two assists in his last two games. Additionally, he was rested for Tuesday's Carabao Cup match against Leicester City, one that saw Riyad Mahrez ($9,400) play 90, Sergio Aguero ($9,800) start and play 76, Raheem Sterling ($10,300) play 24 off the bench and Gabriel Jesus ($8,400) play 14 after coming on for Aguero. We'll know the lineups before lock anyway, but Sane's spot seems pretty secure, and the biggest question is really whether you want to pair him with another Man City attacker or not. The high-priced alternative to the Man City guys is Chelsea's Eden Hazard ($10,600), who came off the bench to score the match winner in Wednesday's Carabao Cup match against Bournemouth. Chelsea are the second-biggest favorite on the slate with a high implied goal total, and Hazard has made the scoresheet in five straight games, including one goal on 11 shots (four on goal) and five assists on 13 chances created in his past four Premier League matches. He isn't crossing much, sending in just five over that span, but he won an impressive 18 fouls (he leads the league with 51 this season). Hazard is arguably just as goal dependent, but he also has better anytime goal scoring odds than anyone but Aguero and Jesus. A Man City attacker/Hazard combination is doable, though it's costly.

Salomon Rondon, NEW v. FUL ($7,800): Is $7,800 too much for a player who has four goals on 23 shots (nine on target) in his last six games and is facing the side that's allowed the most goals, second-most shots and most shots on goal this season? It's certainly not worth it for cash games, but Rondon headlines an interesting price tier of forwards who are all decent GPP options. Also in this group is Callum Wilson ($7,700), who was questionable for Wednesday's Carabao Cup match against Chelsea because of a lingering hamstring injury, but he started and played 90. Prior to that match, Wilson had two goals and one assist in his past two starts and now faces a Brighton side that has conceded the most shots this season, though six teams on the slate have allowed more goals. You could also try to save some money with Joshua King ($7,200), though he hasn't scored a goal since Nov. 25 and his last assist was on Sept. 15. And we certainly can't ignore Danny Ings ($7,400), who had two goals on three shots (all on target) against Arsenal last week and has now made the scoresheet in three straight starts; then again, two of those starts were Nov. 4 and Nov. 10, as he missed over a month because of a hamstring injury. Southampton are slightly favored away to Huddersfield, who haven't conceded many shots this season but have allowed the fourth-most goals among teams on the slate. If you're looking for a more cash-friendly option, Michail Antonio ($7,000) is one of only three Premier League players (and two on the slate) who has scored at least 5.75 fantasy points in every start this season (minimum five starts).

Demarai Gray, LEI at CHE ($3,700): First things first: I don't envision myself rostering Gray, but his salary and floor warrant some discussion. Is his matchup good? No. Is his ceiling that high? Not really. Is his floor even that high? Kind of. Gray has taken multiple shots in six of his last seven appearances, including each of his last three, and while he's highly unlikely to score a goal, getting four or five points while being able to fill a forward spot with a sub-$4K player will allow you to pay up for at least two midfielders. With high-upside forwards available from Manchester City and Chelsea, and theoretically Manchester United too, paying down at one spot and getting more expensive players in the midfield could be a decent contrarian lineup build.

MIDFIELDERS

Juninho Bacuna, HUD v. SOU ($3,600): The answer to who would take corners for Huddersfield without Aaron Mooy and Chris Lowe ($5,300, defender) was loudly answered by Bacuna, who ended up with nine crosses thanks to five corners last weekend against Newcastle, a match that also saw him put his lone shot on target, and win three tackles. His price is shockingly low for DraftKings given how quickly they usually increase set-piece takers, and this may be the last slate we get a discount into the Huddersfield fantasy-point machine (I can't believe I just wrote that). Huddersfield continue to have a bunch of solid midfield options, including Alex Pritchard ($6,300) and Philip Billing ($5,300), and before you exclaim "wow, that's way too much Huddersfield," at least appreciate that Everton and Manchester City are the only teams in the Premier League with more fantasy points, excluding goals and assists (they are 14th if you include those pesky score points).

Robert Snodgrass, WHU v. WAT ($7,800): Snodgrass is in a great run of form, as he had two goals on three shots (two on goal) and three assists on 13 chances created in his past four games. His floor has been strong over that span thanks to 32 crosses, seven tackles won and five fouls drawn too, and he now faces a Watford side that's allowed the fourth-most crosses and corners among teams on the slate. Any consideration for Snodgrass should also have you looking at Felipe Anderson ($8,100), who won't be as popular in cash games but has higher GPP upside. Paying up for Snodgrass (or Anderson) is tough for those who pay up heavily at both forward spots and don't want to spend down at defense (more on that later), but he fits that mold of the contrarian build of paying up for at least one midfielder. Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser ($8,500) could get some attention too against a Brighton side that's allowed the most shots, sixth-most crosses and most fouls drawn among teams on the slate, though his price is high enough that in cash games you're probably just safer paying up a little for one of the Man City attackers or paying down for Solly March ($7,700), who has one goal on nine shots (two on target), two assists on 10 chances created, 32 crosses and seven fouls drawn in his last four games.

Matt Ritchie, NEW v. FUL ($6,500): There will always be people who pay down for Ki Sung-yueng ($3,800) because he's taking corners, but Ritchie is a much more attacking player who still has a role on some set pieces when he starts. His minutes have been very inconsistent, but it's tough to deny his stats, as he sent in 29 crosses in his last three starts, which included 10 in just 54 minutes against West Ham. His shots, tackles and fouls drawn are helpful but also inconsistent, but facing a Fulham side that's allowed the most goals, most assists, second-most shots, most shots on goal, second-most crosses and second-most chances could have fantasy players considering more ceiling than floor.

DEFENDERS

Chris Lowe, HUD v. SOU ($5,300): No, the Huddersfield considerations don't begin and end with the midfield, as Lowe has been their best option for cash games, though Bacuna may take that accolade this week. Lowe gave fantasy players lots of hope last weekend, putting one of his two shots on target while sending in seven crosses in 59 minutes, except he was subbed off after that, ending up with "only" 8.25 fantasy points. He's always a sub risk, but Lowe should have plenty of opportunities at home against Southampton on Saturday, and the bigger question is whether you pair him with one or even two other high-priced defenders. One of those players will most certainly be Jose Holebas ($6,000), who leads all players on the slate in crosses this season. He actually hasn't been that prolific of late, sending in just 15 in his past three games, but he did score one goal on three shots and won eight tackles over that span.

Ashley Young, MUN at CAR ($5,700): Young continues the trend of set-piece-taking defenders, though he comes with a bit more risk because it's possible he doesn't start, and playing in the late game won't leave you the option to pivot to Lowe or Holebas, if you want a defender with a similar profile. Additionally, now that Jose Mourinho is no longer in charge, it's also possible Young starts but isn't on set pieces. He's still a very active crosser, sending in 34 in his last four starts, and he usually adds at least one shot, tackle or foul drawn to multiple interceptions. It also doesn't hurt that United have the third-best clean sheet odds on the slate. And if you don't trust Manchester United, there's always Southampton's Matt Targett ($5,500), who has been very strong lately, picking up an assist on one of his three chances created last weekend against Arsenal, and he's now racked up 35 crosses in his past four starts. The matchup away to Huddersfield looks a bit tricky at first, as only Manchester City have allowed fewer crosses this season, but Targett at least offers some lineup safety versus Young because we'll know if he's starting when the slate locks.

Joe Bryan, FUL at NEW ($4,200): While everyone keeps looking for Calum Chambers ($3,600) to have another big floor game, Bryan has quietly scored at least 10.00 fantasy points in back-to-back matches without getting on the scoresheet. Starting at left-back in both of those games, Bryan has sent in 11 crosses, won four tackles and drawn six fouls, and he now faces a Newcastle side that's allowed the most crosses in the league this season.

GOALKEEPER

Neil Etheridge, CAR v. MUN ($3,900): Etheridge is the cheapest home goalkeeper on the slate, and he could be the most popular pay-down option for those who don't buy into the Manchester United narrative of playing up now that Jose Mourinho is gone. There is also no denying Etheridge's save upside, as he's made 14 in his past three games while Man United have forced the second-most saves this season. Paying up for goalkeeper has been a crapshoot, and while Ederson ($6,000) has the best win and clean sheet odds, he hasn't posted a shutout in Premier League play since Nov. 24 at West Ham (a match that required just one save). If you have the money, it's probably best spent elsewhere, but if you're adamant about paying up here, Kepa Arrizabalaga ($5,900) has posted three consecutive clean sheets at home, which came against Everton, Fulham and Manchester City, and Leicester have been held scoreless in each of their past two in league play.

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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