This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Newcastle United vs. Everton
- 10:00 am: Southampton vs. Crystal Palace
- 10:00 am: Watford vs. Aston Villa
- 12:30 pm: Norwich City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
- 12:30 pm: West Ham United vs. Leicester City
- 2:45 pm: Burnley vs. Manchester United
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Marcus Rashford, MUN at BRN ($22): The holiday season is always a mystery because you never know who is going to start each match. That'll be the main issue Saturday with fewer than 48 hours of rest between matches for most teams. I'm not sure why Rashford is the most expensive player, but he went 63 minutes Thursday and that leads me to believe he'll start Saturday. He has 11 shots on goal in his last five starts, and I think Man United could have more success against Burnley, who have struggled at home against better competition, giving up multiple goals in three of their last five. Harry Kane ($22) and Jamie Vardy ($22) will likely be more popular, but if they start, I'd be surprised if either went the full 90 twice in three days. If you want someone who was fully rested Boxing Day, Danny Ings ($19) is home against Crystal Palace and has scored in six of his last eight appearances. And if you're looking for a stacking partner for Rashford, Anthony Martial ($18) could get more attention than usual after bracing Thursday.
Troy Deeney, WAT v. AVL ($16): If you want a team to back for tournaments, I think Watford are worth a look. They held strong at Sheffield United last match and beat Man United 2-0 last home match. There isn't one player with a great floor, so Deeney is the play because he's most likely to score. If he doesn't start, Gerard Deulofeu ($14) is their other scoring option, and if neither start, all bets are off, though Ismaila Sarr ($12) is a possible goal-or-bust choice. This is more of a play against Aston Villa, who won last match but were outplayed at home by Norwich. They're figuring out the squad without John McGinn, and a bunch of matches in a short period don't help. I almost wrote about Jack Grealish ($18) for a third straight slate, but I don't want to spend that much money on a team I don't trust. Grealish has been a great fantasy option, but he had three fantasy points last away match. Paul Pogba ($16) is another play in this range who could turn into chalk if in the starting XI, but I wouldn't fall into that trap because a full 90 is unlikely.
James Maddison, LEI at WHU ($16): The price is too intriguing for Maddison in this spot. Leicester's last two matches have come against the best teams in the league, so there's no reason to put too much into those numbers. Maddison created 25 chances in his prior seven starts and I think he and Leicester can get back on track against a team battling relegation. West Ham have lost their last three home matches, giving up three goals in each. While that also points to Vardy, I prefer Maddison in cash games because he has a higher floor and is cheaper. James Ward-Prowse ($16) and Dele Alli ($16) are worth a look in this range, but I'll take the safer points.
Declan Rice, WHU v. LEI ($12): In a slate that has few options to rely on, it may be best to roll with a defensive midfielder or two and hope for 10 to 20 fantasy points from each. Rice had 20.8 fantasy points Boxing Day, which would've been better than most forwards. He has at least 10 fantasy points in his last four starts and should get plenty of defensive work against Leicester, who will be pushing for three points. Rice is close to a guaranteed 90 minutes, averaging 3.17 tackles, 2.33 interceptions and 1.33 clearances per match. Other possibilities include Jonjo Shelvey ($14) and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg ($14), but why spend more money when you don't have to? If you want to go the floor route, a Rice and Wilfred Ndidi ($12) stack is a possible cash play. If you want upside, Jordan Ayew ($12) will get some love, but there's a decent chance numerous teams will be starting backups up front, and while I could write about them, there's no use in projecting starting XIs.
Mamadou Sakho, CRY at SOU ($8): There should be a full range of $8 defenders to choose from because there will be a lot of regulars getting rested. Sakho shouldn't be rested because he just returned from a three-match suspension and should produce around 10 fantasy points. In his six appearances, he's averaging 2.45 interceptions and 4.35 clearances per 90 minutes. There isn't one matchup that stands out in terms of forcing defensive action, as Everton have allowed the most clearances in the last 10 gameweeks. In terms of odds, it makes the most sense to back center-backs from Norwich, West Ham and Burnley, but I think whoever starts for Villa could be more useful, which means Bjorn Engels ($10) or Kortney Hause ($9).
Charlie Taylor, BRN v. MUN ($9): In addition to there not being an obvious matchup for defensive work, there aren't any overly great defenders who have the same upside of someone like Trent Alexander-Arnold. And so, I'm going with another value defender in Taylor, who has at least 11 fantasy points in all four starts in which he went the full 90. He's been awesome the last two matches with five tackles, eight interceptions and nine clearances. He's worth a look because Man United have forced the second-most interceptions and sixth-most clearances in the last 10 gameweeks. If you have extra cash, James Tarkowski ($14) and Ben Mee ($12) are safer bets, as well as Jonny Evans ($12) and Caglar Soyuncu ($11), who seem to rack up defensive stats no matter the opponent.
Ben Foster, WAT v. AVL ($10): Foster and Watford are coming around, with their lone down match in the last few weeks being a trip to Liverpool. Foster has 15 saves in his last three starts and has secured a clean sheet in each of his last two at home. Meanwhile, Villa have taken one point from their last five away matches and aren't playing well. I'm also leaning Foster because Kasper Schmeichel ($10) and Jordan Pickford ($10) will get more attention at the same price. Schmeichel makes sense according to the odds, but it's not like he was posting a clean sheet every match prior to the Liverpool and Man City games. Alex McCarthy ($9) has the best odds for a clean sheet, so he'll also be popular. He's coming off an improbable clean sheet at Chelsea and could get another against an unpredictable Crystal Palace attack.