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 additional stats and odds, check out the 

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Cheat Sheet

FORWARDS

Gylfi Sigurdsson, EVE at NEW ($7,800): New manager Carlo Ancelotti's first game in charge gave us a significant change, as Sigurdsson had a full monopoly of set pieces, no longer sharing them with defender Lucas Digne ($6,700). Granted, it's a one-game sample, but Sigurdsson's price is too low if he does get all the dead-ball opportunities again as an away favorite. He's still not likely to be a volume shooter, but with the crosses comes shots assisted, and he's likely to be the most popular player on the slate in cash games, or at least the most popular forward, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($7,100) and RIcharlison ($8,100) more suited for GPPs.

Lucas Moura, TOT at NOR ($8,000): Lucas took over on set pieces for the Boxing Day match against Brighton, though it didn't lead to a huge increase in production, as he only sent in four crosses and didn't create a single chance. His role on set pieces is hardly guaranteed Saturday, especially after we saw Christian Eriksen ($7,200, midfield) and Giovani Lo Celso ($6,600, midfield) each take two corners after they subbed on, but Lucas figures to get some ownership if he's the lone expected set-piece taker once again. We also shouldn't ignore that he's playing in one of the two late games, so you should have some kind of plan ahead of time in case he doesn't start. And, of course, Harry Kane ($9,200) is in play for GPPs because no player has higher anytime goal scorer odds on the slate.

Miguel Almiron, NEW v. EVE ($6,400): Almiron has no role on set pieces, but he continues to provide a solid floor from shots, shots assisted, crosses, fouls drawn and tackles won. The matchup against Everton isn't the easiest, but he should still be able to do enough across the stat-sheet, especially after only playing 63 minutes on Boxing Day. There aren't any obvious pay-down options, though some will surely open up when lineups are announced, which could make someone like Isaac Success ($3,800) a popular option if he starts at home against Aston Villa.

MIDFIELDERS

Jack Grealish, AVL at WAT ($9,600): Grealish and Leicester City's James Maddison ($10,300) are the two-most expensive midfield-only players on the slate, which isn't surprising because they are the two with the highest floors while also providing tons of upside. Maddison is the third-highest scoring player in the Premier League while Grealish is fourth, and they sit second and fourth in floor points, respectively. Both have favorable matchups this week and would certainly be considered together if we had viable pay-down forward options. Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has already said he expects to rotate his side because of the congested fixtures, but Aston Villa can't afford to sit Grealish, as they currently sit in the relegation zone, five points ahead of Watford. The Maddison decision is also hindered by the fact that Leicester play in the later part of the slate, so while there are available pivots, there's no one as good as Maddison. Youri Tielemans ($5,900) could take on set pieces if Maddison sits, though Marc Albrighton ($4,700) could also be an option. Meanwhile, Grealish had a monopoly of set pieces against Norwich City on Boxing Day, helping him to eight crosses, two shots assisted and two shots (one on target) while also adding six fouls drawn, the fifth time in the past nine games he's drawn at least that many (he leads the league in the category, 24 ahead of Maddison, who is third). Both players are in excellent spots, but the slight safety of knowing whether Grealish is starting puts him slightly ahead for me in cash games.

Emiliano Buendia, NOR v. TOT ($7,900): Despite playing for a side that sits last in the Premier League with only 12 points after 19 matches, Buendia is second in shots assisted, tied with Trent Alexander-Arnold and trailing only Kevin De Bruyne, and he's ninth in crosses. The matchup against Tottenham is a tough one, with Norwich City the biggest underdog on the slate, but Buendia's floor continues to be high because of his role on set pieces for a team that likes to attack. His salary is at the top of range that includes a number of high-floor midfielders who take set pieces, including James Ward-Prowse ($7,300), Eriksen, Robert Snodgrass ($7,000) and Jonjo Shelvey ($6,900). Eriksen is probably the best of the group if he starts, though that's hardly a guarantee and we won't know if he's starting until three games are already well underway. Additionally, he may even split set pieces with Lo Celso if both start, so there's plenty of risk if you're not ready to pivot when lineups are announced. On the plus side, spending for Buendia could allow you to pivot to Eriksen is the opportunity is there because his salary is higher and they're playing in the same game.

Max Meyer, CRY at SOU ($3,800): Meyer got a rare start on Boxing Day and paid off fantasy owners with 8.6 fantasy points on a $3,900 salary against West Ham. The matchup Saturday is about even, and his floor is solid enough for his salary to make him an ideal pay-down option. There really aren't many midfielders in the lower range who offer much attacking upside or floor, which is why Meyer could be popular again. Meanwhile, teammate Luka Milivojevic ($5,800) looks pretty cheap as a primary set-piece taker against a Southampton side that's conceded the fifth-most crosses and fourth-most corners in the Premier League this season.

DEFENDERS

Lucas Digne, EVE at NEW ($6,700): Digne would be a reasonable play at this price if he had his share of set pieces, but after watching Sigurdsson get every opportunity in their match against Burnley on Boxing Day, it's really hard to justify Digne now. Granted, he's playing a Newcastle side that's conceded the most crosses in the Premier League, but again, without hte set pieces it's tough to see Digne getting to a high enough level to justify the price. The same applies to Djibril Sidibe ($6,000), whose price skyrocketed after scoring 22.6 fantasy points Thursday while playing as a midfielder. If anything, Serge Aurier ($5,700) and Jan Vertonghen ($4,800) make more sense from a cost-perspective, while Ricardo Pereira ($5,300) and Ben Chilwell ($4,900) are more cost-efficient than the Everton duo.

Ryan Bertrand, SOU v. CRY ($4,400): Only three teams in the Premier League have allowed more crosses than Crystal Palace, and while Cedric Soares ($4,700) is usually the Southampton fullback to target in that regard, Bertrand has been just as good recently getting up the wing. There are a few fullbacks in this price range who should get consideration, including Kiko Femenia ($4,600), Ahmed Elmohamady ($4,500) and Jetro Willems ($4,200), but Bertrand is steady enough to be ahead of them as a home favorite. Christian Fuchs ($4,300) would also be a great consideration if he starts, but we won't know that until the two later matches.

Arthur Masuaku, WHU v. LEI ($3,700): Expected to start in place of the suspended Aaron Cresswell ($4,300), Masuaku is a decent floor play because of his crosses and defensive work. The matchup is hardly positive, but West Ham are at least at home, and he provides salary relief while still offering work from the wing. Otherwise, you're likely looking at a center-back in this range, unless someone like Adam Masina ($3,700) starts.

GOALKEEPER

Lukasz Fabianski, WHU v. LEI ($4,100): Fabianski has been out since September because of a hip injury, but he is back in full training and could return Saturday against a strong Leicester City attack. However, with the Foxes expected to rotate, it might be a good chance for Fabianski to rack up some saves while Leicester's finishers may not be on the pitch. The risk is obviously high when you're goalkeeper is facing such a good team, but Fabianski could certainly make enough saves to counter any goals allowed.

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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