This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Chelsea vs. Sheffield United
- 10:00 am: Crystal Palace vs. Aston Villa
- 10:00 am: Leicester City vs. AFC Bournemouth
- 10:00 am: Manchester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
- 10:00 am: Newcastle United vs. Watford
- 10:00 am: West Ham United vs. Norwich City
- 12:30 pm: Burnley vs. Liverpool
For detailed stats and odds, check out the FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Cheat Sheet.
Not only is this the biggest slate of the early season, but it also has everything you want from a DFS perspective. There are three big favorites (Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool) and four smaller favorites at home against susceptible back lines (Crystal Palace, Leicester, Newcastle, West Ham). That means there are reasonably seven different teams to look at in cash games, but also seven different teams to stretch for in GPPs.
Mohamed Salah will likely stay at $24 all season, but it's harder to trust him at this price away from home, especially with Raheem Sterling on the slate. Salah averaged 0.6 fewer shots and 0.4 fewer chances created away from home last season, and it'll be difficult to spend max dollar on him in this situation, especially when his cheaper teammate has a better floor. Sadio Mane ($20) had a floor of 26.1 fantasy points last match and has nine chances created, three shots on goal and eight tackles in two starts. Liverpool aren't as big a favorite as Man City, but Mane is still worth using. Otherwise, a lot of cash lineups will be all over Sterling, Sergio Aguero ($22) and Kevin De Bruyne ($20). Of the three, I think Aguero is the best bet because with Gabriel Jesus injured, he could be set for another full 90. He has the best odds to score on the slate and also created three chances last match.
I think Sebastien Haller ($18) is a reasonable cash play if you don't use two spots on the more expensive options. Haller bagged a brace last match and, more importantly, is home against a Norwich side who love to attack. I like David Silva and Mason Mount at the same price, but Haller is on the lower favorite and won't be as highly owned. If Tammy Abraham ($16) starts again, I wouldn't be surprised if he was over-owned after scoring two goals last match, but they were his only chances and he still isn't guaranteed to play more than 80 minutes. I'd rather bank on Jamie Vardy's ($16) upside because even though he doesn't have much of a floor, he has great odds to score against the Cherries.
If you spend on a couple big names, you'll have to look at the next level for your other two slots. This is a great spot to stack West Ham, with Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson both at $14. Lanzini has created 10 chances in the last two matches while Anderson had four shots and three chances created in his return to the lineup last match. Norwich have great attacking numbers, but they've also allowed a lot of good looks on the other end, giving up the most shots on goal (19). Bernardo Silva is also in this range, and while he hasn't done much in his first two starts, that could easily change against Brighton.
I have my eye on Jonjo Shelvey ($12) and Yoshinori Muto ($10) if they make Newcastle's starting XI due to other injuries. Maybe their attack isn't easy to trust, but Watford have looked like a team headed for relegation in their first three matches. For those who love cheap defensive midfielders, Tom Cleverley ($8) looked capable last start, producing three shots (none on goal) and three chances.
I can't justify paying up on a defender when spending the extra money at forward could result in two or three goals from someone like Aguero or Haller. If anything, Oleksandr Zinchenko ($16) and Tyrone Mings ($16) are probably the best plays. Zinchenko should be in the attacking third more often than not, while Mings is away and probably has the best floor on the slate due to clearances. Oddly, I'm again backing Newcastle at defender because of Watford. The Hornets are losing because they can't hold possession, forcing the second-most clearances and co-most tackles. Even better, Newcastle have injuries, which means Federico Fernandez ($8) could start, and possibly also Emil Krafth ($8), who suffered an injury Wednesday. The problem is that those two will be on a lot of rosters, so it's probably not the best GPP route.
Burnley defenders are also a good route as long as you use the cheaper Matthew Lowton ($12) or James Tarkowski ($12). They should be in for plenty of work as Liverpool have forced the second-most blocks and most clearances this season among teams on the slate. You could also consider Dan Burn ($12) and Martin Montoya ($10), though I think it's more likely Man City hold the majority of possession and not force a ton of defensive action, which is why they haven't been a great matchup for fantasy purposes. If you're stuck and need to spend a couple more bucks, I like Paul Dummett ($14), Angelo Ogbonna ($14) and Ben Godfrey ($14) in the mid-range. Diego Rico ($10) should be in play, as well, after racking up three clearances, three interceptions and five tackles in his only start.
Get it through your head: never spend on goalkeeper. That's what anyone who used David de Gea learned last weekend. But, hey, it's a new week. If you want to use Ederson ($16), Kasper Schmeichel ($14) or Vicente Guaita ($14), go ahead. I'd rather save some money and go with a lower favorite like Lukasz Fabianski ($12) or Martin Dubravka ($12). Considering Dubravka just held Spurs scoreless, I wouldn't be surprised if he was the most popular keeper on the slate. On the other end of that, if you don't believe in my Newcastle plays, Ben Foster ($8) is great value for a small underdog.