This article is part of our DraftKings 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
Raphinha, LEE v. AVL ($10,700): Raphinha is always a big consideration when Leeds are on a slate, and this one is no different, especially since Aston Villa will be without Jack Grealish ($10,000), which frees up salary we likely would have used elsewhere. A dominant role on Leeds' set pieces helps him to an excellent floor from crosses, chances created and shots, and there's every reason for those to continue at home against Villa. Even though he's the most expensive player on the slate, Raphinha should be popular in cash games and GPPs, though tournament players could pivot to Patrick Bamford ($8,800) because he has the highest anytime goal scorer odds while leading the line for the team with the highest implied goal total.
Pascal Gross, BHA at WBA ($9,300): Gross has a basic monopoly of set pieces for the biggest favorite on the slate, and while he is expensive, there are likely to be plenty of Raphinha/Gross combinations in cash games because they have such high floors. Wolverhampton's Pedro Neto ($9,500) is in their class as well, though his share of set pieces makes it a bit easier to fade, if only because you can have access to their dead balls at a cheaper price. With a number of viable cheap midfielders and no defenders worth paying up for, this definitely seems like a slate where we see lineup constructions of two expensive forwards.
Willian Jose, WOL at NEW ($5,400): Adama Traore ($7,200) is usually the Wolves forward worth considering if you don't want to pay up for Neto, but his salary is in a bit of a weird spot where paying down doesn't really get you anything. However, Jose's is low enough, and we can't ignore that only three expected starters have higher anytime goal scorer odds. Then again, he's +235 on DraftKings Sportsbook, which quickly reminds us that this slate isn't expected to have many goals. Jose shouldn't really be a cash-game consideration, but theoretically he works if you want to pay up at midfield, even with Grealish out.
Matheus Pereira, WBA v. BHA ($9,000): Pereira has the highest floor of any midfielder on the slate thanks to his set-piece monopoly, and it hasn't even mattered that he plays for the absolute worst team in the Premier League. Grealish's absence makes it a bit easier to fit him in, though he doesn't fit nearly as easily for those paying up for two forwards. Given that, he may not be overly popular in cash games despite his high floor, and you better hope that your cheap players pick up the slack of Pereira's high salary if you do roster him.
Ross Barkley, AVL at LEE ($5,900): Grealish's absence should allow Barkley to maintain his dominant role on set pieces, and he is likely to be very popular in cash games because he's so much cheaper. Villa are away underdogs, but they're also playing in the match with the highest implied goal total, making it a little easier to stomach rostering Barkley. There are actually a number of midfielders in his price range who make sense from a cash-game perspective, including Jonjo Shelvey ($5,100) and Joao Moutinho ($5,700), while Matt Ritchie ($5,600) is always an intriguing option when he's in the starting XI.
Ahmed Elmohamady, AVL at LEE ($4,600): With no dominant defenders on the slate, this seems like where many people will look for salary savings. Elmohamady is a solid attacking fullback and likely to start in place of the injured Matty Cash ($5,100), and he makes for a fine option if you have the salary. That being said, Luke Ayling ($4,800), if he starts out wide, Rayan Ait-Nouri ($4,700) and Darnell Furlong ($4,500) are just as good, but I wouldn't necessarily prioritize them over players at the other positions.
Ezri Konsa, AVL at LEE ($2,600): Because there aren't any great fullbacks on the slate, there are a few center-backs priced above $4,000, and given their lack of shot-taking and hardly impressive clean sheet odds, there seem to be few reasons to pay that much. I've struggled with minimum-priced defenders recently (I'm looking at you Semi Ajayi), so instead I'll take the drastic step of spending $100 over the minimum for Konsa, who .... is a cheap center-back and not that much worse from a median perspective than guys nearly twice his price. If you're going to get (at best) five points from your defender, wouldn't you rather spend $2,600 instead of $3,600 or $4,600?
Karl Darlow, NEW v. WOL ($4,400): Because the three matches on the slate don't include an overwhelming favorite, the salary difference between Robert Sanchez ($5,400), the biggest favorite, and Sam Johnstone ($4,200), the biggest underdog, is only $1,200, which strangely doesn't move the needle much in most lineup builds. Given how horrific West Brom have been, it wouldn't be surprising if more fantasy players focus their attention on Karl Darlow ($4,400), who is also at home. Either make sense from a save perspective, sitting first and fifth in the category league-wide.