This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: West Bromwich Albion vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
- 12:30 pm: Leeds United vs. Aston Villa
- 3:00 pm: Newcastle United vs. Wolverhampton
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Pascal Gross, BHA at WBA ($16): Brighton are the biggest favorite on the slate and they're away from home. Wait, what? While it's a surprising situation, it's not that surprising considering the matchup. West Brom are headed for relegation and have allowed multiple goals in seven of their last nine, while Brighton are playing well and controlling matches despite unluckily losing to Crystal Palace last game. I've been backing Gross for a few weeks because he's safe and doesn't cost an overwhelming amount. He's had at least eight fantasy points in every start this season and is creating almost three chances per 90 minutes to go with a couple tackles. He has an almost exclusive role on corners, which is where most of his chances come from, and given the matchup, he could again come close to 10. Throw out the Liverpool game, and he's taken 34 corners over four matches. If you want more upside, Leandro Trossard ($17) has had a similar floor and four shots on goal the last two matches. The odds don't show it, but I'd take him to score over Neal Maupay ($18) on Saturday. That said, Maupay is also an option if you want a Brighton piece after he had a 15-point floor last match. On the other side, Mbaye Diagne ($17) and Matheus Pereira ($14) are more GPP darts. Pereira is cheap, but if Brighton control possession, as expected, he won't have the same set-piece opportunities as his last time out.
Raphinha, LEE v. AVL ($19): Stacking Leeds will likely be a popular strategy because they have the highest implied goal total on the slate. I prefer Raphinha over Patrick Bamford ($21) because he's on the ball more and more likely to assist, but he doesn't have the same upside. Bamford had a second-half hat trick when these teams last met, though that was the only time he's scored more than one goal in a match this season. He also never does anything when I back him in this article, so that's why Raphinha gets the nod (this probably means you should use Bamford). He has four goals and five assists over the last 14 matches, hitting at least 13 fantasy points in 13. In addition to taking almost every set piece, he's averaging more than one shot on goal per 90 minutes. At this point, the only time I'd fade Raphinha is when he plays Manchester City; otherwise, he's consistent and has upside, making him an every-game option, which isn't much different than someone like Kevin De Bruyne. It's a little harder project where other production comes for Leeds, especially after Jack Harrison ($16) was subbed off at the break last match, but Tyler Roberts ($6) provides salary relief and produced six shots and two chances the last two games, both starts.
Ross Barkley, AVL at LEE ($14): You don't have to save money, but spending max price for Ollie Watkins ($22) doesn't feel right. He's great in GPPs, but he has 11 fantasy points the last two matches and isn't worth the money in cash games. I'm backing Barkley because Jack Grealish ($20) is out. Barkley took the majority of corners last game, and while that didn't lead to much fantasy value, I think Villa will get better opportunities against Leeds than against Leicester City. Villa have intriguing players like Bertrand Traore ($13) and Anwar El Ghazi ($11), but the absence of Grealish really depleted their potency last game and neither is worth a look in cash games.
Pedro Neto, WOL at NEW ($18): Wolves had more than 60 percent of possession in the first meeting and took 16 shots compared to Newcastle's five. That's the basis of me recommending Wolves over Newcastle because both have been unreliable this season. Neto has double-digit fantasy points in eight of his last nine starts, mostly from set pieces and he's the first place I'd look in this matchup. No matter how the game goes, he should hit his usual numbers and may be most likely to hit the back of the net, given the lack of quality opportunities Willian Jose ($14) is getting up front. Willian Jose has GPP upside because he's a forward, but he doesn't have a shot in two of the last three matches. Ruben Neves ($17) is only worth a look because you don't really have to save money on this slate. He has a decent floor because of defensive stats, and he's had a nose for goal in the second half of the season, mostly out of necessity. Everyone on Newcastle is almost in the same boat without Callum Wilson in the squad. Allan Saint-Maximin ($15) provides upside and is most likely to score, but he doesn't have much of a floor and hasn't gone a full 90 since returning from COVID-19 a few weeks ago.
Ahmed Elmohamady, AVL at LEE ($6): Without any high-end forwards, it almost doesn't make sense that there are so many value defenders. In a normal slate, there may be zero expected starting defenders below eight bucks, but there are nine Saturday. Diego Llorente ($7) is about on the same level as Elmohamady, but I'm not sure he starts twice in a short week. Elmohamady is a full-back, but his defensive stats are oddly consistent, and he gets up the field a ton. In the 11 games he's went a full 90 the past two seasons, he's hit double-digit fantasy points in 10, most recently racking up 16 floor points in the loss to Leicester City. You don't need to save money on this slate, but Elmohamady may have as good of a floor with upside as any defender.
Liam Cooper, LEE v. AVL ($13): It's the rare slate when you can spend up on both defenders. Cooper may be the best, as he's hit double-digit fantasy points in 14 of his last 15 starts. He provides a variety of defensive stats and has surprisingly supplied five shots on target the last two matches. Joel Veltman ($13) is intriguing because of his upside on the wing, but the Brighton defenders are unlikely to have much of a floor against West Brom. Any Villa defender is in play against Leeds, while Kyle Bartley ($13) is another center-back who has been extremely consistent. For the most relevant numbers, Brighton force the second-most interceptions and fourth-most blocks in the league, and Leeds force the second-most clearances and Villa force the third-most.
Robert Sanchez, BHA at WBA ($11): Sanchez has the best odds to win and secure a clean sheet, so he'll be the most popular. He was unfortunate to allow two goals to Crystal Palace last game, but he allowed just one in the prior six. Illan Meslier ($13) is viable with Grealish out, while I don't trust either goalkeeper in the Newcastle-Wolves match. Given Brighton's scoring struggles, Sam Johnstone ($8) is a possibility in GPPs if you want to bank on five-plus saves.