This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Leeds United
- 12:30 pm: Chelsea vs. Fulham
- 3:00 pm: Everton vs. Aston Villa
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
James Rodriguez, EVE v. AVL ($17): There are some good matches Saturday, but it seems like a difficult slate in terms of fantasy. Chelsea are the biggest favorite, but they've been hard to trust at FanDuel all season, while the other two matches could go any direction. That leads me to Rodriguez, even though he hasn't exactly been a stand-out fantasy performer. I'm banking on a repeat of the Tottenham match when he had a floor of 25.9 fantasy points from two shots on target and four chances created. In matches where Everton are allowed to attack frequently, Rodriguez usually does well and that should happen against Villa, who have allowed nine goals in their last five matches. Still, Rodriguez is far from a guarantee since Gylfi Sigurdsson (16$) is stealing set pieces and taking penalties. The situation for Richarlison ($21) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($19) isn't much different outside of them having lower floors. Similar to Chelsea, there isn't much to like about Everton but in the right matchup, Rodriguez can exploit opponents and I'd try to bank on that in cash games, especially against a Villa side that can't seem to figure out their preferred XI without Jack Grealish.
Mason Mount, CHE v. FUL ($17): The Chelsea players to back depends on who starts the match surrounded by two Champions League games. Mount seems fit enough to start and go a full 90 in almost every Chelsea match, while Christian Pulisic ($18) only went 66 minutes midweek. If they both start, I'd maybe lean Pulisic because his goal scoring has been a bit better of late. There's a slight chance Mount takes set pieces, though I think Reece James returns to the XI for this match. But even without set pieces, this is a matchup in which Chelsea should get opportunities after racking up 21 shots and 30 crosses in the first meeting. Mount had four shots and seven chances created in that 1-0 win. He's arguably Chelsea's most consistent player and that's usually the best thing to bet on for cash games. Kai Havertz ($21), Timo Werner ($23) or anyone else could start up front, but they're better left for tournament lineups.
Kalvin Phillips, LEE at BHA ($12): As seen in the close odds, I'm not sure how to play this matchup. Brighton are controlling the pace of most matches against middle-tier sides and even against better ones, they've been more than competitive. However, the first meeting between these teams went the opposite of almost every other Brighton match this season because they lost the possession battle 67-33 and yet won 1-0 after an early goal. Brighton are favored, but their fantasy production has often been all over outside of Pascal Gross ($14), who is always around 10 points because of set pieces. Phillips may oddly be the best cash option in this match even with almost no upside. He's cheap, has a split role of set pieces with Jack Harrison ($17, because Raphinha is hurt) and usually has about a 10-point floor from defensive stats. Patrick Bamford ($20) and Harrison have more upside, but it's hard to see Leeds going off in this match. It makes more sense, especially in cash games, to ride the higher floor plays like Phillips and Brighton set-piece taker Gross.
Anwar El Ghazi, AVL at EVE ($16): There aren't many ways to go in Saturday's slate unless you want to stack one team and hope they go off. Instead of talking about Gross and how he's good for 10 fantasy points, I'd rather use El Ghazi, who is maybe most likely on the slate to take five shots from outside of the box, all on target. He's splitting corners, but he's taking the majority of every other set piece and is on penalties. In addition to the goal last match, he had three shots (one on target) and two chances created. There have been times when he does nothing and gets subbed early, but with numerous injuries in the team, there isn't really anyone to take his spot, meaning another full 90 is possible. If you prefer corner takers, Ross Barkley ($11) looks to be back in the starting XI and took six last match. Otherwise, Ollie Watkins ($20) has at least one shot on target in eight of his last nine starts, while John McGinn ($13) has hit double-digit fantasy points in six of his last seven.
I usually like Ademola Lookman ($17) for Fulham, but they created five chances as a team last meeting against Chelsea and they were playing better at the time. I'd rather look at their defenders who should be set for a busy match.
Adam Webster, BHA v. LEE ($6): If you're spending at other positions, it only makes sense to use Webster, who is only cheap because he was recently out a couple months. As a center-back, he's usually good for a floor around 10 fantasy points and also gets forward on set pieces, giving him a touch of upside. I'd rather take him over anyone else in this range, though it's not like Andreas Christensen ($7) and Antonee Robinson ($7) have massively different floors.
Reece James, CHE v. FUL ($12): There are a few places to go at defender and this only works if James starts, something he hasn't done in Chelsea's last two matches. The main bonus is that he could take the majority of Chelsea's set pieces, giving him more upside than any other defender, though Matt Targett ($11) took some last match for Aston Villa. Marcos Alonso ($13) may be most likely to score of any defender, but this is an odd slate in which almost every defender is viable. The Fulham center-backs make sense against Chelsea, but they aren't that much safer.
Edouard Mendy, CHE v. FUL ($13): Since there aren't really any must-haves at forward, you can probably spend up at goalkeeper. Mendy has the best odds to win and secure a clean sheet by a wide margin and Fulham are still struggling to score despite needing points, recently being held scoreless by Wolves. Otherwise, everyone else is in play if you don't have the money for Mendy. Illan Meslier ($12) is strangely expensive for an underdog, while Alphonse Areola ($7) is also a possibility since Chelsea struggled to find the back of the net in that first meeting.