This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Soccer series.
- 10:00 a.m: Bournemouth v. Sheffield United
- 10:00 a.m: Burnley v. Southampton
- 10:00 a.m: Crystal Palace v. Everton
- 10:00 a.m: Watford v. Brighton
- 12:30 p.m: Tottenham v. Aston Villa
Callum Wilson, BOU v. SHE (£24): Harry Kane (£30) is the most expensive player on the slate and has the best goal-scoring odds, but at his price you'll likely need at least one goal, if not more, to justify including him in your starting XI. Bournemouth's matchup against Premier League newcomers is worth targeting, especially with Wilson facing a Sheffield backline that hasn't strengthened outside of Phil Jagielka. Joshua King (£16) is considerably cheaper and would be a solid pivot if you do elect to go with Kane. Wilson has the second-best goal-scoring odds and is coming off a season that saw him score 14 goals and provide nine assists over 30 appearances. Son Heung-Min (£24) is suspended for the match leaving Kane (£30), Wilson (£24) and Richarlison (£20) as the top three forward options. I don't expect Sheffield to be as strong as Villa, though both matches could end up with uneven scorelines.
Danny Ings, SOU at BUR (£17): I mentioned King above, and he's certainly worth a look in the mid-level forwards, but I'm electing for Ings. He's had a full preseason that hasn't been hampered by injuries (at least reported injuries), and he's facing a Burnley side that conceded the most shots (653) and third-most shots on goal (210) last season. Sean Dyche is still in charge at Turf Moor and they haven't added any notable defenders, leading me to believe they'll continue with this playing style, which is something to target for forwards. Burnley are slight favorites at home, though both teams are similar in talent and will likely be towards the back half of the table at the end of the season. Jay Rodriguez (£17) is an option for Burnley, but he'll be competing for playing time with Chris Wood (£15) and Ashley Barnes (£14). The departure of Charlie Austin to West Brom will open up playing time for new boys Che Adams (£10) and Guido Carrillo (£10), who could be the main beneficiaries in terms of playing time.
Christian Benteke, CRY v. EVE (£10): I know there aren't a whole lot of us who are struck with enthusiasm when it comes to Benteke's injury-riddled 2018/19 campaign when he scored one goal in 16 appearances, but hear me out: Michy Batshuayi is back at Chelsea, Benteke is finally over his injuries, he's had a full preseason and he's minimum priced. Wilfried Zaha (£18) could start if he is over the disappointment of missing out on a transfer, while Jordan Ayew (£15) and Benteke will compete for a spot in the starting XI. If Benteke can find consistent, or even semi-consistent, playing time, this will likely be the cheapest you can get him at all season.
Luka Milivojevic, CRY v. EVE (£14): After going through the player pool once over, Milivojevic is the player that was my initial add due to the fact that he's somehow below £18, which isn't unreasonable to think given he was at least £21 in nine of his last 11 matches last season. He's Crystal Palace's primary set-piece specialist and led the Premier League in penalties (11) and penalties converted (10) last season. Another reason for his £20+ salary at the end of last season was his reliability on accurate crosses, as he finished ninth in the league and sixth among midfielders with 52. He is also a defensive stalwart, as his 69 tackles won were the fourth-most in the league. Palace are underdogs at home, but at this price, it's tough to pass on Milivojevic, especially if you want to stack a couple of Tottenham's more expensive players like Christian Eriksen (£27), who should be the focal point in midfield with Dele Alli ruled out, or Kane.
Ryan Fraser, BOU v. SHE (£17): I view Lucas Digne (£16) and Fraser in a similar fantasy light because they were the top-two leaders in accurate crosses, with Digne finishing with 83 to Fraser's 76. These come in handy on one of the only DFS formats that accounts for accurate crosses. Both players are also the primary set-piece takers for their clubs, giving them more exposure to assists and accurate crosses. Fraser has more attacking upside, but he's the sixth-most expensive midfielder on the slate. He finished last season second in assists (13) behind Eden Hazard (15) while also chipping in seven goals. I'd safely put Fraser in my lineup when he's under £20, unless he's facing a top-four side, but as mentioned earlier, Bournemouth will get first crack at Sheffield United now that they're back in the top flight. David Brooks (£17) is out for 12 weeks, which could force the Cherries to rely on Fraser even more. Jefferson Lerma (£12) scored in the final match of the season and is worth a look due to his cheap price and defensive work; double-digits are unlikely, but anything above 5.5 points would be a decent return on his price.
Jack Grealish, AST v. TOT (£16): Both Grealish and Conor Hourihane (£13) are intriguing options due to their role on set pieces. Hourihane is expected to take the majority of free kicks, but he plays in a more central role, while Grealish is the primary penalty taker and is an attacking midfielder. A matchup against Tottenham isn't an ideal spot to play these midfielders, though both are cheap enough. Hourihane bested Grealish in terms of production last season, as he scored eight goals and provided 11 assists compared to Grealish's six goals and seven assists.
Lucas Digne, EVE at CRY (£16): My Lucas Digne - Ryan Fraser tangent still holds true in this portion. Accurate crosses and set-piece duty are reliable and easier to predict than clean sheets, though accurate crosses and set-piece duty aren't the only thing he brings to the table. Digne finished in the top-20 in interceptions (60) and tackles won (46) last season. His goals (four) and assists (four) weren't anything spectacular, but he does enough outside goal creation to get serious fantasy consideration in the right matchup. Seamus Coleman (£14) starts opposite of Digne and was quite serviceable toward the end of the season, finishing with at least 5.75 points in nine of his last 11 starts.
Jose Holebas, WAT v. BRI (£15): I'm probably playing it a little safe here going with Digne and Holebas, but both have matchups against sides that were involved in the relegation battle last season. Brighton added Leandro Trossard (£11) and Neal Maupay to the roster this summer, but both may have a difficult time starting the opener with Jurgen Locadia (£14) and Glenn Murray (£16) expected to start up front. Brighton finished one spot out of relegation, which coincided with their inability to score goals. Only three other teams scored fewer goals than Brighton last season, and all three are playing in the Championship now. Watford strengthened in attack and largely kept their defensive alignment from last year, which should keep Holebas at left-back. His disciplinary issues are no secret, making his selection a bit of a flyer, though he does add accurate crosses on his resume, as he finished in the top-15 last season. Kiko Feminia (£12) will start at right-back and is more fluid in attack than Holebas while not having the disciplinary drawbacks of the Uruguayan.
Chris Mepham, BOU v. SHE (£10): Bournemouth are expected to play a back-three again this season, with Nathan Ake (£17), Steve Cook (£13) and Mepham occupying those spots. Ake is the same price as Ryan Fraser and Danny Ings, which makes it tough to include him. He did play as a central midfielder at times last season due to injuries, which would make him a better play, but we won't know that until lineups come out. Cook has been nursing a groin injury in preseason and doesn't provide enough differential from the minimum-priced Mepham. The clean sheet bonus is always a risk to play for, but Mepham at least gives enough budget savings to make it worth trying.
Ben Foster, WAT v. BRI (£14): Brighton's goal-scoring troubles last season were evident, and Watford have the second-best clean sheet odds behind Tottenham. I typically shy away from expensive goalkeepers, unless his name is Alisson Becker, making Foster my preferred option. Artur Boruc (£10) is minimum-priced and could keep the starting job over Asmir Begovic heading into the season, and a matchup against Sheffield could be fruitful given their lack of attacking power.