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.

FORWARDS

Raheem Sterling, MCI v. MU ($9,900): Manchester City are the biggest favorite on the four-game slate despite playing in the usually tough Manchester derby, a situation that's clouded quite a bit because not only are they playing in the late game but Man City are also playing away to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Wednesday. They have already clinched the top spot in their group, so there is fully an expectation that they will heavily rotate for the match in Croatia instead of this weekend's fixture. Man City also played this past Tuesday, a 4-1 win over Burnley, giving them a little more rest than United, who defeated Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday. Riyad Mahrez ($9,600) usually has the highest floor of any Manchester City forward, but with the uncertainly about the lineup, using the $300 buffer with Sterling is the safest move if you only want a single piece. Bernardo Silva ($9,700) seems overpriced until you recognize he's been taking some set pieces recently, enough so that he's actually had a better floor than Mahrez, while Gabriel Jesus ($9,000) is the most goal dependent of the forwards. Then again, none of them have floors high enough to justify their prices without goals or assists, but they're the biggest favorite on the slate with the highest implied goal total. On the plus side, we do have GPP alternatives for those who think this match is close enough where paying up for multiple Manchester City attackers isn't worth it, though high-floor forwards aren't likely to come from the other two big teams on the slate, Tottenham and Liverpool.

Wilfried Zaha, CRY at WAT ($7,600): Zaha doesn't have any role on set pieces for Crystal Palace, but he continues to display a solid floor thanks to shots, shots assisted, crosses, fouls drawn and tackles won. His price, while not low, is at least low enough to justify taking him while only relying on his floor, and the matchup away to Watford isn't one we need to worry about, even for a team like Palace. The relatively small move up to Divock Origi ($8,000) could be enticing for some if he starts (Liverpool absolutely need a point in their Champions League match Tuesday in Salzburg, so they could rest their regular forwards again), though he's more of a goal play more than a floor one. Consideration for Origi obviously opens up the possibilities of Mohamed Salah ($9,800), Sadio Mane ($10,000) and Roberto Firmino ($8,500), though the Tottenham guys like Son Heung-Min ($9,100) and Harry Kane ($8,900) should get just as much attention at home against Burnley, with Lucas Moura ($6,800) offering cheaper exposure to their attack.

Ismaila Sarr, WAT v. CRY ($5,700): Gerard Deulofeu ($6,600) will jump out because of his lower price in a solid matchup while possibly having a monopoly of set pieces because Jose Holebas (ankle) has been ruled out, but we've been down the road where Deulofeu has been in that situation and is a total bust. In fact, you have to go all the way back to Wednesday for the latest example, as he took all of Watford's set pieces and finished with 4.1 fantasy points, which was preceded by 1.7 against Southampton last weekend. Meanwhile, Sarr has no role on set pieces but has actually been scoring fantasy points, hitting 10.1 and 8.0 floor points in the past two games, respectively. His cheaper salary is certainly helpful for those looking to pay up elsewhere, and it only helps that he's at home and facing a Crystal Palace side that's conceded the most crosses and third-most shots while committing the most fouls per game among teams on the slate.

MIDFIELDERS

Kevin De Bruyne, MCI v. MU ($10,600): De Bruyne leads the Premier League in total fantasy points and total floor points, so it's unsurprising that he's the most expensive player on a slate where Manchester City are the biggest favorite. The benefit of De Bruyne over his Manchester City teammates is that he fairly regularly scores a goal's worth of points without actually scoring a goal, and if the Manchester derby ends up being a tightly contested affair, De Bruyne will still be able to produce. It's a hefty price to pay, but there aren't actually a plethora of midfielders worth playing, and he comes in with at least 13.4 floor points in seven consecutive Premier League games.

Ryan Fraser, BOU v. LIV ($6,500): Playing someone against Liverpool is always a hesitation, but we could see a rotated side because of their UCL match next week, and it's not like Bournemouth are just going to sit back and absorb the pressure at home. There was some hesitation last weekend when Fraser was $6,600 playing away to Tottenham, but he finished that one with 9.5 fantasy points thanks to eight crosses, one shot assisted and three fouls drawn. With an ever-so-slight discount and a home game, deploying Fraser in cash games shouldn't be ignored. For those who do choose to ignore him, Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic ($6,700) has had some solid floor games recently and now faces a struggling Watford side.

Philip Billing, BOU v. LIV ($3,000): The clear pay-down option at midfield will be Harry Winks ($4,400) if Christian Eriksen ($7,800) continues to be used off the bench, as Winks has been taking most corners in that situation. Eriksen would be a very enticing option if he's in the first XI, especially since Spurs look so much more dangerous when he's on the pitch. However, long-time readers of this piece know my history with Billing, so I obviously couldn't not write about him when he's minimum priced. The matchup against Liverpool isn't great, but as a player who relies mostly on defensive work, he has a pretty clear path to making value while allowing you to pay up elsewhere.

DEFENDERS

Trent Alexander-Arnold, LIV at BOU ($7,300): De Bruyne is the only player in the Premier League with more floor points than Alexander-Arnold this season, as his role on set pieces for a potent attacking team gives him plenty of opportunities for crosses and shots assisted. That will be the case again Saturday, as Bournemouth have conceded the most chances, most shots and fourth-most crosses among teams on the slate. Paying down at other spots is specifically to ensure you have salary space for Alexander-Arnold, who will be one of the highest owned players if he starts. One thing to note: if Joe Gomez ($3,400) starts at right-back instead of Alexander-Arnold, he is far from a direct replacement in terms of fantasy points, and you're better off focusing elsewhere.

Jan Vertonghen, TOT v. BUR ($4,400): Teammate Serge Aurier ($5,900) is the most expensive defender other than Alexander-Arnold, and he makes for a strong play if you have the money (a situation that could arise if Alexander-Arnold doesn't start). Vertonghen usually plays as a center-back, but two straight starts at left-back could give us some decent salary savings while still getting some attacking exposure. Danny Rose ($4,900) would also be fine in this price range if he starts at left-back instead of Vertonghen, and surely people will be tempted by Man City's Benjamin Mendy ($4,700) if he gets the call.

Kiko Femenia, WAT v. CRY ($3,800): With Holebas ruled out, Adam Masina ($3,600) could get another start at left-back, a role that helped him earn more than eight fantasy points against Leicester City on Wednesday until he gave some back with four fouls committed and a yellow card. It's worth noting that he lined up as one of three center-backs last weekend against Southampton, and while we could get a good idea of what specific position he's playing when lineups are announced, we can't be overly surprised if it ends up being different. One guy who isn't going to be a center-back is Kiko, who has scored at least 5.8 fantasy points in three consecutive starts. That's not a load of fantasy points, but it's pretty good for less than $4,000, and he's playing for a home favorite.

GOALKEEPERS

Vicente Guaita, CRY at WAT ($4,500): Aaron Ramsdale ($3,900) is the cheapest home goalkeeper, but facing a hot Liverpool side could make people look away. Meanwhile, David de Gea ($3,700) is the cheapest expected starter, a pretty crazy salary on the surface until you remember they're the biggest underdog on the slate. However, he's likely to see plenty of shots, and crazier things have happened in that derby. Meanwhile, Guaita comes in with back-to-back clean-sheet victories and now faces a Watford side that scored one goal in its last three games (coincidentally scored by Sarr).

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 an eight-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for Football Writer of the Year.
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