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

Dwight McNeil, BUR at BOU ($7,800): With none of the top six sides on the slate, we're looking at one that is likely to have fewer goals, which makes a focus on peripheral fantasy points more important. McNeil continues to be a reliable cash-game player because of his shared role on set pieces, and he comes in with more floor points this season than any other forward on the slate. One player who profiles similarly to McNeil is Brighton's Pascal Gross ($8,900), but that's a pretty hefty price to pay because Brighton are only slight home favorites while Sheffield United have allowed the fourth-fewest crosses, fewest chances and fewest shots per match among teams on the slate. However, if Gross doesn't start and Leandro Trossard ($7,100) does, he could be quite popular in cash games.

Christian Benteke, CRY at NEW ($5,100): Okay, here me out before you aggressively scoff at the possibility of playing Benteke. The forward pool is devoid of cheap floor players unless you want to continue convincing yourself that Nathan Redmond ($5,200) is a reasonable play (I am personally done with that). That's not to say Benteke has a good floor, though he did have four shots, including three on goal, one shot assisted and two crosses in his first start of the season last week against Brighton. Benteke will never be one who provides a good floor on a consistent basis, but so much of his game is reliant on the wingers lofting the ball up to him in the box, and he's now facing a Newcastle side that's conceded the most crosses in the Premier League. Wilfried Zaha ($8,500) is obviously the Palace forward most will go after, though paying up that much might be tough if you want to prioritize midfielders. Otherwise, Jordan Ayew ($5,500) isn't too far away from Benteke and earns points from shots, fouls drawn and tackles won.

Diogo Jota, WLV at NOR ($7,600): Wolverhampton are the biggest favorite on the slate, and while Raul Jimenez ($9,000) has the best anytime goal scorer odds, Jota has actually taken more shots over the past few games and comes at a considerable discount. Jimenez has created more chances, so that's in his favor, but their floors are fairly similar and Jota provides some salary savings while still being a front-line player for an away favorite. Then again, Adama Traore ($8,800) is the safest of the three because of his crosses, fouls drawn and shots, making him much more cash-game friendly than Jimenez if you have the money to spend.

MIDFIELDERS

Ryan Fraser, BOU v. BUR ($6,800): Fraser figures to be highly owned because of his role on set pieces for a home favorite who is decently cheaper than similar players in his spot. He went through a tough spell when he had zero shots in three games (two starts), but he bounced back last week with 11.9 fantasy points away to Chelsea thanks to two shots (one on goal), one shot assisted, seven crosses, two fouls drawn and one interception. Burnley have been solid defensively this season in terms of peripheral points allowed, but Fraser's price is too low for his production.

John McGinn, AVL v. SOU ($6,900): Only one player on the slate has scored more floor points than McGinn this season, and that player's salary is $2,200 higher. Then again, maybe Jack Grealish ($9,100) should be the most expensive player on the slate given his really solid returns lately. However, that shouldn't make us overlook McGinn, who continues to have a role on set pieces while scoring points by creating chances, sending in crosses, winning tackles and drawing fouls. Grealish has certainly had more upside games recently, scoring two goals in his last four Premier League games, but paying down for McGinn, at least in cash games, could be a viable move because of the available funds to spend on other players. There are actually a number of very viable midfielders on the slate, specifically between McGinn and Grealish price-wise, with Emiliano Buendia ($6,700), Luka Milivojevic ($7,100), James Ward-Prowse ($7,500) and Joao Moutinho ($8,000) all sticking out because of their dominant roles on set pieces. It's tough to spend up for three of them unless you pay down at forward and/or defender, but it's tough to argue against the highest floor players for cash games.

Sean Longstaff, NEW v. CRY ($5,400): In addition to the big group of midfielders above, we have a few pay-down options who aren't as reliable, though that's also why they're cheaper. Longstaff reclaimed his role on Newcastle's set pieces last week due to the injury absence of Jonjo Shelvey ($8,200), who has a chance to return Saturday. If Shelvey is on the bench, Longstaff figures to keep his role on corners for a home favorite (that being said, the game has the lowest implied goal total). Oliver Norwood ($5,200) could have most of Sheffield United's set pieces because John Fleck is suspended for yellow-card accumulation, though Luke Freeman ($4,400) took some earlier this season and also contributes more in open play; the only issue is that he's not guaranteed to start. A guy much more likely to start is Ashley Westwood ($4,800), who is the very definition of a boring central midfielder who does basically nothing helpful other than take set pieces, but at least he's priced down despite a matchup against Brighton that's not overly difficult. Meanwhile, Kenny McLean ($4,600) has been solid, though he's unlikely to get any dead-ball opportunities if Buendia starts, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ($4,400) won't have any set pieces but comes in with at least 9.4 fantasy points in four of his last five games, with zero goals or assists in that span.

DEFENDERS

Cedric Soares, SOU at AVL ($4,300): Southampton have been pretty poor recently, but Cedric has been solid, scoring at least 8.5 floor points in three of the last four games. He mostly gets his fantasy points from crosses, shots and shots assisted, which is fine when facing the team that's allowed the third-most crosses, most chances and most shots among teams on the slate. There seems to be little reason to pay up slightly for Ryan Bertrand ($4,700), and while the Aston Villa guys on the other side, specifically Frederic Guilbert ($5,200) and Matt Targett ($5,100) have more attacking upside, they don't seem worth their high prices.

Diego Rico, BOU v. BUR ($6,000): Rico is the best floor defender on the slate, but a $6,000 salary seems pretty tough to fit in cash games, especially when Fraser is only $800 more. However, I wanted to point out Rico if only because being only $500 more than Martin Montoya is crazy, so if you're in that range you may as well spend up.

Max Aarons, NOR v. WLV ($3,800): Aarons isn't an overly impressive fantasy play, but that's why he's under $4,000. Norwich are technically the biggest underdog on the slate, but the odds are hardly overwhelming, and they're playing at home. He has been a more consistent crosser than Sam Byram ($3,900), but both are likely to have some ownership if only because they could be some of the cheapest fullbacks on the slate. If Matthew Lowton ($3,800) gets a start for Burnley, he'd be an easier play despite playing away to Bournemouth.

GOALKEEPER

Dean Henderson, SHU at BHA ($4,400): With no overwhelming underdogs on the slate, the bottom of the goalkeeper group isn't nearly as cheap as we're used to seeing. Norwich City's Tim Krul is the cheapest expected starter, but at $4,300 he doesn't save much money for having a fairly tough matchup against Wolves. Meanwhile, Henderson comes in off back-to-back wins, conceding just once in that span, and now faces a Brighton side that's hardly known for it's attacking upside despite a few good recent results. That being said, if you have the extra funds, Vicente Guaita ($4,600) has scored at least 12.2 fantasy points in four straight games (two wins, three clean sheets) and faces a Newcastle side that's consistently inconsistent.

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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