DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

 MATCHES (EST)

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

MIDFIELDERS

James Maddison, LEI v. ARS ($9,900): I usually start the slate discussion with forwards because it's not always easy to fill those with strong floor players for cash games, and while that is also the case for Saturday's five-game slate, I think it's important to start with why the forward discussion is so difficult. Maddison is one of a number of high-priced midfielders who are in very good spots, and while there are cheaper options who are decent fantasy scorers, DraftKings is making us pay up for consistently high floors. Usually one who relies on creating chances and taking shots, Maddison has actually scored a goal in three of his last five Premier League games, which has helped him extend his streak to 10 consecutive games with at least 12.2 fantasy points this season. The price feels a bit high because he's playing Arsenal, but Leicester are actually the second-biggest favorite on the slate and we don't have to worry about him possibly not starting the late game.

Ryan Fraser, BOU at NEW ($8,500): You could try to make the argument that Fraser is a bit overpriced based on Bournemouth being away, but his role on set pieces keeps him very much in the conversation, especially against a Newcastle side that's conceded the most crosses per game among teams on the slate. He has scored double-digit fantasy points in all but two starts this season, which coincidentally came against both Manchester clubs at Vitality Stadium, and Bournemouth are barely underdogs Saturday. Paying up for Maddison and then Fraser makes it really tough to add another high-floor midfielder unless you pay down at both forward spots (more on that later), so it'll be tough to also fit in Robert Snodgrass ($7,700), who has dominated West Ham's set pieces recently, helping him to 31 crosses and seven shots assists in the past two games, a span that also saw him score a goal on two shots in each game. Burnley haven't been the fantasy-point sieve they were last season, but Snodgrass' price could make him more attractive for some over Fraser in cash games. And despite the better matchup at home against Sheffield United, I find it hard to justify paying $7,900 for Christian Eriksen given how unproductive and unreliable he's been for Spurs this season. If anything Giovani Lo Celso ($6,500) makes more sense after he took set pieces for them in their Champions League victory away to Crvena zvezda on Wednesday. 

James Ward-Prowse, SOU v. EVE ($5,700): Ward-Prowse has been a bit of an afterthought this season because Southampton haven't been that good, but he remains their primary set-piece taker, and he's shown a solid floor from crosses, shots and shots assisted in the right matchups. Southampton are actually home underdogs, but it's not by an overwhelming margin and Everton haven't been impressive by any means. The lower salary makes Ward-Prowse fit for those who pay up for other midfielders or forwards, so there's a path to some ownership. If you don't want to rely on Southampton's set pieces, you could pay a bit more for Newcastle's, with Jonjo Shelvey ($5,900) having a solid matchup at home against Bournemouth. However, you could also save a little money and roster the guy who is actually scoring more consistent fantasy points for them, Allan Saint-Maximin ($5,300), who scored at least 7.1 in each of the last three games thanks to a combination of shots, chances created and fouls drawn. He's still likely a bit expensive for those who are paying up for two high-priced midfielders and an upper-tier forward, but going lower forces you into the defensive midfielder world occupied by guys like Isaac Hayden ($3,400), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ($3,300) and Matteo Guendouzi ($3,700), though Ryan Sessegnon ($4,300) could be worth a gamble if he gets his first start for Spurs this weekend, at least for those who can't get up to Ashley Westwood ($4,800).

FORWARDS

Nicolas Pepe, ARS at LEI ($8,000): The likely injury absence of Dani Ceballos ($6,100, midfielder) could allow Pepe to get a majority of set pieces for Arsenal, though they are away underdogs and he's not the cheapest option out there. Additionally, if Mesut Ozil ($5,300, midfielder) starts then he's likely to take opportunities away from Pepe too. Rostering Pepe, whose spot in the starting XI is definitely not guaranteed and he comes with the added risk of playing in the late game, means you're making the choice to focus on Arsenal and not Everton, who has Richarlison ($8,800) and Gylfi Sigurdsson ($9,100) available. Sigurdsson's floor is no longer higher than Richarlison's, even with a share of set pieces, and it's a bit puzzling that he's more expensive unless that's simply the tax of being their designated penalty taker. However, with a much better Everton cash-game option at defender, who is also much cheaper, it's tough to justify either Richarlison or Sigurdsson in those types of contests. Then again, GPP players should probably focus on the other side of the Arsenal match, though Jamie Vardy ($9,500) as the second-most expensive forward on the slate is a bit tough to swallow, especially when you can get Son Heung-Min ($9,200) of Tottenham for slightly less.

Miguel Almiron, NEW v. BOU ($5,000): He's still without a Premier League goal or assist, but Almiron is firmly back on the cash-game radar with a price that was pushed down because of a lack of production, but it's starting to come back. He still doesn't have a role on set pieces, but he's been taking more shots recently while drawing fouls and creating chances, and a $5,000 salary on this slate will be super helpful in a forward slot. The matchup against Bournemouth is also solid, as they've allowed the third-most shots and second-most chances created among teams on the slate. If you're worried about Almiron, you can pay a little less for a similar player in Southampton's Nathan Redmond ($4,700), who has been hovering around seven floor points over the past seven Premier League games, all without a role on set pieces. The home match against Everton isn't as easy as what Almiron has, but Redmond does enough to make value.

Ashley Barnes, BUR v. WHU ($5,400): Barnes' price continues to be low thanks to his lack of goal-scoring, but he has been taking shots recently and Burnley are favored at home and have the third-highest implied goal total on the slate. He could even get some cash-game consideration, though he's probably better off in GPPs. There are higher-priced forwards worthy of GPP thoughts (like always), but Barnes' price range includes other solid darts like Joshua King ($5,900), Danny Ings ($5,200) and Lys Mousset ($5,800).

DEFENDERS

Lucas Digne, EVE at SOU ($7,200): Digne is by far the most expensive defender on the slate, but he also has by far the highest floor. In fact, only Maddison is in the conversation for the highest floor on the slate, and he doesn't have the benefit of a clean sheet bonus if his team shuts out his opponent. It always feels wrong to pay this much for a defender, but Digne would be an easy play even if he was a midfielder, having scored more than 10.0 fantasy points in every match this season except against Manchester City when he had 8.3. You could always fade Digne in cash games, but you have to go in understanding that you're fading the player with the clearest path to reliably high fantasy points.

Diego Rico, BOU at NEW ($5,800): Rico's price is in the usual range for the most expensive defender on a slate, though Digne is actually the only one who costs more and we've already discussed why. Despite the return of Fraser on a lot of set pieces, Rico continues to be a great attacking fullback, scoring at least 9.2 fantasy points in every start this season. The clean sheet is in play, albeit unlikely, though we shouldn't ignore that Bournemouth have three consecutive clean sheets while Newcastle have one game this season with multiple goals, including four times getting shut out. Based on the midfielders who are priced around Rico, you can understand why it might be easier to just roster Digne and Rico and then pay down elsewhere.

Cedric Soares, SOU v. EVE ($3,700): Cedric has fully recovered from a calf injury that has held him out for more than a month, so his spot in the starting XI can't be assumed, even if he was a regular starter before the absence. With Ryan Bertrand suspended, Southampton could use Cedric in a more attacking role to make up for the lack of crosses coming from the other wing, though at his price we don't need a whole lot of attacking work since he's been winning enough tackles and intercepting enough passes that even three or four crosses is probably enough. Teammate Yan Valery ($3,500) could also be an option in this range if he starts, though we've seen enough of him to know he won't attack quite as much as Cedric. If you don't want to trust Southampton, Burnley's Matthew Lowton is only $3,600 and has scored more than six points in all but two of his 10 starts this season.

GOALKEEPERS

Dean Henderson, SHU at TOT ($3,900): If you're not rostering Tottenham attackers, it makes plenty of sense to roll the dice with Henderson, who is the cheapest goalkeeper on the slate and has scored at least nine fantasy points in five of his last seven games. He hasn't conceded multiple goals in a game since August, and while Spurs come in after a 4-0 drubbing of Crvena zvzeda, we should note that they haven't scored multiple goals in a Premier League match since Oct. 1 against Manchester United.

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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