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, as well as expected lineups, check out the 

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Cheat Sheet

DEFENDERS

Trent Alexander-Arnold, LIV v. SOU ($8,000): We uncharacteristically start with defense because there are a number of players at the position who should be prioritized. Paying $8,000 for a defender will make some people think they're nuts for even considering it, but if there was a midfielder who had Alexander-Arnold's stats and continued to take a majority of set pieces for the best team in the Premier League, then that salary would feel like a steal. Throw in the fact that Liverpool also have the best clean sheet odds, and it's pretty clear why paying up for Alexander-Arnold will be a popular move in cash games. It's certainly worth mentioning that Liverpool played just two days ago, with Alexander-Arnold going 77 minutes, so we may get some extra salary help if he doesn't start.

Matt Ritchie, NEW v. NOR ($6,000): Ritchie has returned to his role as Newcastle's primary set-piece taker, and while there aren't many great opportunities to focus on that, home against Norwich City is surely one of them. Newcastle are actually the third-biggest favorite on the slate, and while they aren't overwhelmingly favored like Liverpool, we can't ignore that Norwich City have allowed the fourth-most crosses and chances among teams on the slate. Ritchie's defender eligibility is also a plus since he's been a midfielder in the past, though Newcastle's clean sheet odds aren't that high. There are a few other higher-priced defenders worth considering as well, including Bournemouth's Diego Rico ($5,500), Aston Villa's Matt Targett ($5,300) and certainly Everton's Lucas Digne ($7,000) if Gylfi Sigurdsson ($7,400, midfielder/forward) doesn't start. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising to see three-defender builds in cash games because of the solid floors these guys provide.

Enda Stevens, SHU at CRY ($4,300): Not everyone is interested in paying up for defenders, and Stevens is a solid cost-saver in a matchup against a Crystal Palace side that's conceded the second-most crosses among teams on the slate. Stevens is $200 cheaper than teammate George Baldock, who hasn't been crossing as much as the former, so spending the extra money doesn't seem necessary. Going further down, Norwich City's Max Aarons ($3,900) is in a fine spot against a Newcastle team that's allowed the most crosses in the Premier League this season, which could be enough to make people consider Sam Byram ($3,800) as well.

MIDFIELDERS

Ryan Fraser, BOU v. AVL ($7,200): There are quite a few high-floor midfielders on this slate, and what you do at defense and forward will obviously affect how much money you have for the midfield. Fraser jumps out as a bit underpriced given that he takes a good share of Bournemouth's set pieces and they're hosting an Aston Villa side that's allowed the third-most crosses, most chances and most shots among teams on the slate. That all lines up perfectly for Fraser, who will surely be highly owned because he's considerably cheaper than Villa's Jack Grealish ($9,100), the most expensive midfield-only eligible player. There's no questioning how good Grealish is, but his salary is high enough that you're likely sacrificing at least one midfield and one defender spot to fit him in. There are plenty of 2v2s you can address with Grealish and Fraser in terms of the other guys to fit with them, and based on the builds I put together, I think it might be more beneficial to fade Grealish and Norwich City's Emiliano Buendia ($8,400), which sounds crazy now that I'm actually typing it out.

Robert Snodgrass, WHU v. BHA ($6,800): Snodgrass returned from injury this past Wednesday and took over as the majority set-piece taker for West Ham, finishing with one shot, which was on goal, two chances created and six crosses against Liverpool, producing a solid 8.0 fantasy points in a very tough matchup. The big hesitation for his matchup against Brighton is that no team on the slate has allowed fewer crosses, but West Ham are still favored at home and need points. If you believe in Brighton more than West Ham, Aaron Mooy ($6,900) is certainly in play because of his role on sets, and we saw a fantastic game just last weekend when he put two of four shots on goal, created five chances and sent in eight crosses in addition to a goal away to Bournemouth. Playing West Ham at London Stadium will be a tougher matchup, but Mooy is doing enough to get some consideration, for sure. I also wouldn't rule out Crystal Palace's Luka Milivojevic ($6,000) in his return from suspension even though Sheffield United don't concede a ton of crosses, especially since he's likely to outperform Oliver Norwood ($5,300) on the other side.

Nathaniel Chalobah, WAT v. EVE ($3,600): There aren't many viable cheap midfielders on the slate, which is another reason why I anticipate many people paying up for at least two of them, though Chalobah's role on set pieces for Watford recently has helped him score at least 6.2 fantasy points in four straight games. He topped out at 7.7 over that span, but that's still a solid return for a player in his price range. Watford are actually home underdogs in this one, though they've been playing well enough that it should be a close game and Chalobah shouldn't have too much of an issue making value. It's just a matter of whether he's worth the opportunity cost of taking a midfield or utility spot away from a player with a much higher attacking floor.

FORWARDS

Anwar El Ghazi, AVL at BOU ($5,900): The forward pool isn't necessarily light when it comes to high-floor options, but paying up a bit for those guys will make it much tougher to spend at midfield and defense, which is really where we want our salary to go on this slate, at least in cash games. Aston Villa have been pretty putrid this season, but this is a huge six-pointer where they'll need to try to get at least a point. Usually that would mean trying to grind out a scoreless draw, but it seems highly unlikely they'll be able to do that, which should keep El Ghazi moving forward. He's sharing set pieces recently with Grealish, and while the latter's floor is significantly higher, he also costs much more and doesn't fill a forward spot. For those looking to pay down at forward, El Ghazi certainly fits the bill, as could Newcastle's Miguel Almiron ($6,000) with his excellent matchup at home against Norwich City. I also wouldn't necessarily shy away from Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew ($5,400), though El Ghazi has more upside. Otherwise, we might get a start from Brighton's Steven Alzate ($4,400), whose floor is much better than anyone else below him on the salary list.

Mohamed Salah, LIV v. SOU ($10,900): We can't ignore Salah, the most expensive player on the slate who comes in with three goals on 21 shots (eight on target) and two assists on 12 chances created in his last five games. Additionally, Liverpool are the biggest favorite with the highest implied goal total, and no player has higher anytime goal scorer odds than Salah. They aren't overwhelming (-155 on FanDuel Sportsbook), but they're still the best. The injury absence of Sadio Mane will open up a starting spot for either Divock Origi ($9,400) or Takumi Minamino ($8,800) up front, though Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ($7,500) is an option for the front three as well, especially after he scored a goal two days ago. Either way, you can't roster any of these guys for their floors because they simply aren't high enough for their prices – that obviously applies to Roberto Firmino ($9,900) as well – but if there is one team that is expected to score a few goals Saturday, it's Liverpool. Given their score-sheet dependency, I struggle to see them being highly owned in cash games, but GPP players will surely be interested.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, EVE at WAT ($7,400): Admittedly, this isn't a recommendation for Sigurdsson, as it appears his monopoly of set pieces is gone, making him just another somewhat score-sheet dependent forward for a slightly favored team. Even the share of set pieces isn't really enough to justify playing him in cash games away to Watford because he just doesn't create enough chances or send in enough open-play crosses to make rostering him worthwhile. You can try for the upside of Richarlison ($8,200) or Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($7,200), but loading up on Everton doesn't seem like it'll pay off Saturday. The problem is that the other forwards in this range who have been cash-game viable in the past like Leandro Trossard ($7,000), Pascal Gross ($7,100) and Gerard Deulofeu ($7,700) don't seem to have their set-piece roles anymore, while goal-dependent guys like Teemu Pukki ($6,900), Neal Maupay ($6,700) and Sebastien Haller ($6,400) aren't cheap enough to rely on for cash games. Even Wilfried Zaha ($6,800) seems a little too expensive for his floor, enough so that maybe trying Callum Wilson ($6,100) isn't the craziest route even though his salary is too high for just his floor.

GOALKEEPER

Alex McCarthy, SOU at LIV ($3,700): Playing away to Liverpool is never an easy matchup, but we might be able to take advantage of a slightly tired squad that is playing their third game in the past week. McCarthy has been very solid, allowing multiple goals just twice in his last 11 Premier League starts, and while he is the biggest underdog on the slate, he theoretically has the highest save upside. If anything, I don't see this being a slate where you can easily pay up for goalkeeper, and McCarthy's low salary will stick out for those who can't afford Pepe Reina ($4,100), Tim Krul ($4,200) or Vicente Guaita ($4,400).

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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