This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Crystal Palace vs. Everton
- 12:30 pm: West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea
- 3:00 pm: Burnley vs. Southampton
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Reece James, CHE at WBA ($6,300): James is expected to continue taking most of Chelsea's set pieces, and given they are huge favorites away to West Brom, who have allowed eight goals in two matches, getting him at this price with clean sheet equity is an excellent opportunity. Chelsea defeated Barnsley 6-0 in the Carabao Cup earlier this week and Mason Mount ($6,700, midfielder) took most of their corners, but James did not play, so the expectation is that he'll be back in that role with his spot in the starting XI at right-back.
Lucas Digne, EVE at CRY ($7,200): The addition of James Rodriguez ($8,400, midfielder/forward) led some to speculate that Digne would lose his role on set pieces, but he's taken 10 of the team's 18 corners and free kicks through two games, helping him to 20 crosses and six chances created. The price is certainly high for a defender – it's the highest at the position – but with few midfielders worth prioritizing and a lack of overwhelmingly expensive forwards, paying up at both defender spots could be a popular build, particularly in cash games.
Timo Werner, CHE at WBA ($9,200): Werner is the most expensive expected starter, but there will be plenty who flock to him because he's playing for the biggest favorite with the highest implied goal total, and he has the highest anytime goal-scorer odds on the slate. He has yet to find the back of the net for Chelsea, but he has a strong shot floor (particularly as a big favorite) and could even be in line for a few crosses if he moves out to the left wing while Tammy Abraham ($7,900) starts as their center-forward. That speculation comes from manager Frank Lampard saying Friday that he likes the play of Abraham and Kai Havertz ($7,700, midfielder) together, which was evident during that Barnsley match when Havertz bagged a hat trick and Abraham had one goal and two assists, both to Havertz.
Chris Wood, BUR v. SOU ($6,400): Wood shouldn't really be in the cash lineup consideration, but he makes plenty of sense in GPPs as the player with the highest anytime goal-scorer odds in the game most people will overlook. Burnley are home underdogs to Southampton, and the match has the lowest implied goal total on the slate, but it's actually not much lower then the Crystal Palace v. Everton match, which is one many people could target if they want to fade Chelsea because of players like James Rodriguez ($8,400), Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($7,400) and Wilfried Zaha ($8,000). In fairness, Andros Townsend ($7,000) and/or Eberechi Eze ($5,900) could be cash-game considerations because of potential roles on set pieces (thankfully we'll know the lineups first), but they don't have the same goal potential as the other players listed. Wood's Burnely aren't without cash-game guys, with Dwight McNeil ($7,200) leading the way there, while Southampton's Danny Ings ($7,800) probably will be less popular in GPPs than he should be as a favorite, though maybe not since he could have the second-highest anytime goal-scorer odds on the slate among starters.
James Ward-Prowse, SOU at BUR ($8,500): Ward-Prowse is the most expensive active midfield-only eligible player on the slate, which isn't surprising since he takes a vast majority of the set pieces for a favored side while also having a role on penalties. He comes in with one of the highest floors in the Premier League, and while you'll have to pay for those points, he's just incredibly consistent. Paying up at both forward spots and both defenders will make it tough to get Ward-Prowse in as well, and given that he's still mostly a floor player, fading him in GPPs to get more Chelsea is an understandable move, especially after Havertz's hat trick earlier this week.
Matthew Phillips, WBA v. CHE ($3,700): I was going to highlight James McCarthy ($3,600) because he takes some set pieces for Crystal Palace, but it's pretty impressive how little he does other than that, not to mention he seems like a yellow-card magnet. So instead, let's hope for Phillips to get a start, even against Chelsea. The Blues' defense was incredibly shaky last season, and while they've made some improvements, it's early enough in the season where taking a shot against them isn't a bad move. Paying up for Matheus Pereira ($7,600) doesn't seem worth it (at least in cash games) considering Chelsea are likely to have a ton of possession, but the risk with Phillips' lower salary is warranted. One thing to consider is that Phillips is playing in the second match of the slate, so you won't be able to pivot to McCarthy because he's in the first. That being said, you don't really want McCarthy, so don't worry about losing out on him and instead just consider players like N'Golo Kante ($3,500) or Josh Brownhill ($3,200), even though they are much more defensive players.
Charlie Taylor, BUR v. SOU ($4,300): Taylor and Phil Bardsley ($4,100) both seem a bit under-priced considering they are decent fullbacks playing at home. Southampton are slight away favorites, which seems a odd given Burnely aren't that bad, so we can simply take the savings and target the home side while mocking how expensive Ryan Bertrand ($5,100) and Kyle Walker-Peters ($4,900) are on the other side.
Darnell Furlong, WBA v. CHE ($3,900): Furlong averaged 5.06 crosses per 90 minutes last season in the Championship, and while the matchup against Chelsea isn't ideal given how little of the ball West Brom are expected to have, at least they are at home and could be attacking more because of that. The bigger benefit of Furlong is that he's cheap and we know he's actually a fullback, which may not be the case for whoever starts at left-back for West Brom in place of the suspended Kieran Gibbs.
Sam Johnstone, WBA v. CHE ($3,800): All of the home goalkeepers on the slate are underdogs, and Johnstone is unsurprisingly the cheapest at home against Chelsea. His win and clean sheet odds are about as bad as they come, but presumably he has the highest save upside, and if you're only playing Chelsea peripheral guys like James or Mount, then you may be able to get away with Johnstone and hope he makes enough saves to overcome the goals he allows.