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

FORWARDS

Mohamed Salah, LIV at SOU ($10,800): Salah is the most expensive player on the slate, but a share of set pieces for a big favorite plus high anytime goal scorer odds will surely make him popular. Consideration for Salah likely (but not definitely) means you're fading Manchester City forwards in cash games because they are playing against Tottenham, which looks like a tough matchup on paper. However, City are actually the biggest favorite on the slate while playing at the Etihad, and while they aren't as big as they were last weekend away to West Ham – a match they won 5-0 – if they were playing pretty much any other team with those odds then we'd be considering them more. It also doesn't help that they're in the late game, especially after Gabriel Jesus ($8,900) started and scored a goal last weekend while Sergio Aguero ($9,800) bagged a penalty off the bench (Aguero actually had his first effort saved but was given another opportunity because the goalkeeper left the line – something that was spotted thanks to VAR!). And we obviously can't forget that Raheem Sterling ($9,300) had a hat trick against West Ham, and only Aguero and Salah have better anytime goal scorer odds on Saturday's slate. Oh, and there's always Riyad Mahrez ($9,100), who had two assists on four chances created, three shots and three tackles won in the opener, not to mention the possibility that Bernardo Silva ($8,500) makes his way back into the starting XI; and that's just the forward-eligible Man City attackers in a game they are expected to dominate. Meanwhile, if you think Liverpool also put up a big number away to Southampton, we could get another start from Divock Origi ($7,900) after he had a goal last weekend, or a return to the starting XI for Sadio Mane ($10,300), though his inclusion seems less likely after he played 103 minutes in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday; then again, he scored both of Liverpool's goals. Any consideration for Liverpool should also include Roberto Firmino ($8,300) after he had an assist against Norwich last week, though he's usually not a great cash-game play (same for Origi). Any of these guys are very solid options in GPPs, and because there are so many of them then no single one is likely to be that highly owned, except maybe Salah, who figures to be the highest owned in cash games. Then again, the ultimate GPP play might be Harry Kane ($8,700) against a Man City back line that is certainly capable of making mistakes at the wrong time for someone like him.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, EVE v. WAT ($9,600): Sigurdsson is usually a solid cash-game play, but with Manchester City and Liverpool on the slate, it's possible he is a bit lower owned than we're used to seeing. Everton were awful in their opener away to Crystal Palace last week, with Sigurdsson sending in just one cross and creating one chance (he salvaged the day by putting two of four shots on goal). A matchup at home against Watford, who lost 3-0 at home to Brighton last week, should be easier, though we're hardly getting any kind of discount on Sigurdsson compared to the bigger favorites. If you're intent on Everton, Richarlison ($8,800) might be the better GPP play, as only Aguero, Salah, Jesus, Sterling, Mane and Origi have better goal odds (admittedly, that list isn't short and Richarlison isn't that cheap). A first start for Moise Kean ($7,300) would be a more attractive GPP path, especially since Callum Wilson ($7,400) and Pascal Gross ($7,500) might get more attention in the price range. Gross is much more of a cash-game play, though it's possible he loses a lot of his appeal if Leandro Trossard ($6,400) starts eating into his minutes.

Teemu Pukki, NOR v. NEW ($6,200): If there's one big thing we learned (or at least think we learned) from Norwich getting drubbed by Liverpool last Friday it's that they're going to play attacking football no matter the opponent. That should surely come in handy Saturday against Newcastle, who are decent defensively but certainly not a team we should avoid. Pukki, who scored against Liverpool, leads the line for Norwich and should be a good GPP option. His goal odds are similar to Firmino's, Bernardo Silva's and Wilson's, they're level with Sigurdsson and better than Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez. He probably shouldn't sniff a cash lineup, though his salary range may be required for those looking to pay up and don't want to rely on Miguel Almiron ($6,600), who is good at checking off a number of columns in the box score but doesn't do any of them that prolifically. Given how open Norwich play, Almiron certainly make sense in cash games, but you're also relying on Newcastle doing something good away from home. Pukki's GPP appeal will be compared to guys in his range like Joshua King ($6,100), Neal Maupay ($6,100), Joelinton ($6,000), Glenn Murray ($5,900) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($6,600), each of whom should be in consideration because of their goal potential.

MIDFIELDERS

Kevin De Bruyne, MCI v. TOT ($8,600): Numerous injuries last season robbed us of seeing De Bruyne more, but he's fully fit again and looked great in City's season opener. His fantasy returns aren't as consistent as we like to think they are, but he did take all of City's set pieces last weekend and will likely have a majority any time he's on the pitch. The matchup against Spurs isn't going to be easy, but again, if you're just playing the odds then you're getting set pieces for the biggest favorite on the slate for less than $9,000, which seems pretty good for the team expected to score the most goals. Paying up for De Bruyne and at least one forward makes it very tough to roster Ryan Fraser ($9,200), who was pretty disappointing last week despite sending in eight crosses and winning four fouls while taking all of their set pieces. Fraser's home/away splits were actually pretty even last season in terms of peripheral stats, but you still have to make the conscious decision to pay $600 more for a monopoly of set pieces for an underdog versus a monopoly of set pieces for the biggest favorite on the slate. If anything, Harry Wilson ($4,800) might be a more worthwhile play at his price in cash games because of the potential of set pieces (he took them last season for Derby County), though he didn't even play in the opener, so a start this week might be asking for too much (thankfully, we'll know before the slate locks).

Emiliano Buendia, NOR v. NEW ($6,500): While Pukki is more of a GPP play from Norwich, Buendia could be a popular cash-game choice because of his role on set pieces. They didn't win many against Liverpool, but it seems most likely that Buendia will have a near monopoly of dead-ball opportunities in a home match where they are favored. Given the price differences, I think it's tough to justify paying $7,400 for Matt Ritchie, who should be taking set pieces on the other side, even if he's a more prolific crosser in open play. GPP consideration for Buendia is definitely justified, though you could also go a little more off the board for Marco Stiepermann ($5,600), who had a few excellent chances at Anfield last week, but he unfortunately sent two of his three shots into Row Z. If he can reduce the trajectory of those shots against Newcastle then he could really pay off that salary. Getting exposure to the Aston Villa set pieces is a possibility in cash games, and $5,700 for Conor Hourihane isn't that bad, though he doesn't do nearly as much as Jack Grealish ($7,000) in open play; then again, that's why he's so much cheaper. One player who sticks out a little is Robert Snodgrass ($7,600), who didn't start last weekend but took all of West Ham's set pieces after he came on. A match away to Brighton doesn't seem that bad, though the salary makes it a tougher swallow in cash games with cheaper options available.

Trezeguet, AVL v. BOU ($5,500): As just mentioned, you could pay more for Grealish because of how many chances he could create, or you could stay in this range for Aston Villa's set pieces, but Trezeguet's open-play value may be enough to outscore Hourihane's corners. While he only lasted 59 minutes in the opener against Tottenham, Trezeguet still had a solid 9.50 fantasy points thanks to two shots (one on target), one shot assisted, four crosses, two fouls drawn, one tackle and one foul committed. The playing time concerns will likely persist, but a home match against a Bournemouth side that struggled defensively against Sheffield United should certainly put Trezeguet in the conversation for cash games if you're willing to look beyond the total lack of set pieces. His price range actually has a few others worth considering, including Bournemouth's Philip Billing ($4,600), and there is a theoretical path for Aaron Mooy ($5,300) and Manuel Lanzini ($5,100) to take set pieces, though both are probably unlikely this week. Otherwise, you could take the big risk of trying for Erik Lamela ($5,900) again, but you have to remember his spot in the starting XI isn't guaranteed and he's playing in the late game; oh, and he's the biggest underdog on the slate.

DEFENDERS

Lucas Digne, EVE v. WAT ($6,300): Despite being the most expensive defender on almost every slate he's on, paying up for Digne in cash games continues to make sense. His split of Everton's set pieces give him a solid floor, and he's a strong attacker who also get clean sheet points if they can hold Watford out. There's really not much that needs to be said for rostering Digne, and he even makes sense in GPPs as a correlation play with Kean, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison or whoever starts in attack for Everton. Unfortunately, he's not the only defender worth paying up for, as Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold ($6,100) is in a great spot as a partial set-piece taker for the second-biggest favorite on the slate. Like Digne, Alexander-Arnold also crosses well in open play, and there is definitely a path to a strong lineup with both of them; it just requires paying down at midfield or forward. The two are much more expensive than Watford's Jose Holebas ($4,900), who is usually considered because of his set pieces, but he didn't create nearly as many chances as he should for his crosses, and he's an away underdog after getting shut out at home by Brighton.

Kiko Femenia, WAT at EVE ($4,200): While Holebas' floor is really dependent on set pieces, Kiko is able to contribute without them, scoring 8.0 fantasy points just last week in a match Watford were thoroughly outplayed in. They are underdogs this week away to Everton, but Kiko's ability to create chances while still putting in the defensive work makes him an attractive pay-down option in cash games. Others will push toward someone like Martin Montoya ($4,100) because he's starting as a wing-back for a favored side, but you're still mostly relying on his defensive points because he simply doesn't cross that much. If you'd rather focus on a favored side, the Norwich duo of Jamal Lewis ($4,000) and Max Aarons ($3,700) could pay off their fairly low salaries, though the former is the better crosser.

Yerry Mina, EVE v. WAT ($4,100): Mina is a huge target in the box and represents a correlation play with either Sigurdsson or Digne in GPPs. Most centerbacks aren't worth considering in cash games, but they make plenty of sense in tournaments because of their cheaper salaries and goal potential (that being said, they don't score that many goals, they're just options on set pieces). Similarly to Mina, Virgil van Dijk ($4,600) is a fine option against his former club if you're also rostering Alexander-Arnold and/or Salah, while John Stones ($3,600) is pretty cheap exposure to Manchester City if you have De Bruyne. Unfortunately, we're unable to get cute with Norwich because Ben Godfrey had the most shots among defenders on the team last season, but he's a $3,200 midfielder on DraftKings.

GOALKEEPER

Hugo Lloris, TOT at MCI ($3,800): If you don't think the odds are right and that Man City will have a tougher time with Spurs, rostering Lloris makes some sense. Granted, you could think Man City shouldn't be as big of a favorite but still expect them to beat Spurs, but at least there should be some save upside for Lloris. Then again, he's really just attractive because he's cheap. Paying up for Ederson ($5,800) or Adrian ($5,700) seems like a waste of funds on a slate with lots players to pay up for at every position, though that makes them attractive GPP options along with Jordan Pickford ($5,500).

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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