This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
- 2:45 pm: Everton vs. Crystal Palace
- 3:00 pm: Aston Villa vs. Burnley
- 3:00 pm: Chelsea vs. Leicester City
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Thursday's three-game slate features Chelsea as the biggest favorite and they have an implied goal total above two for their home match against Leicester City. Everton have everything to play for as they fight relegation and they are home favorites against Crystal Palace. Burnley are also desperate for points and should be up for their trip to Aston Villa.
No player on the slate is favored to score. Romelu Lukaku ($7,800) has the best goalscoring odds at +115. He's taken 10 shots in his last two games and has three goals but his lack of floor at that salary rules him out of consideration in cash games, for me. None of the expensive forwards have a floor that is worth targeting. Richarlison ($9,500) is priced considerably higher than the rest. With Everton having all the motivation to win, you could consider him in tournaments for the potential leverage. I plan on saving some salary at forward and allocating it to defender.
Philippe Coutinho, AVL vs. BRN ($6,600): Villa have a favorable matchup at home against a Burnley team that gives up chances and allows plenty of peripheral fantasy points. This is the first time all season that Coutinho is priced under $7,000. All of the Villa forwards seem relatively cheap for this spot. Ollie Watkins ($6,800) has scored in three of his last four games, while Danny Ings ($6,300) has two goals and an assist in that span. Coutinho has the higher floor but all of them have big upside and make for good GPP options.
Eberechi Eze ($6,400) could be the best cash-game option in this range, depending on the Crystal Palace lineup. He didn't take any corners over the weekend with Luka Milivojevic back in the starting XI but if Milivojevic drops back to the bench Thursday, Eze should be back over a majority of them. If that's the case, he probably has the highest floor in this range. Palace are underdogs but Everton have played more defensive recently and they've been a favorable matchup all season.
Maxwel Cornet, BRN at AVL ($6,200): Cornet returned to the starting XI over the weekend and played 90 minutes. He'll likely split set pieces with Dwight McNeil ($6,700) and Josh Brownhill, but I'd expect Cornet to take a slight majority and he also takes penalty kicks. Burnley need a result and should have all the motivation. The aforementioned McNeil is also a viable option and probably even has a higher floor than Coutinho. He's noticeably had a lack of upside, however, registering no goals and only one assist in 36 appearances this season.
Looking in the cheaper range, it's possible that Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($4,700) gets another start after scoring over the weekend. He didn't know much about the goal as it deflected off his chest and hasn't been in good form this season. Nevertheless, the salary is cheap and Everton have a favorable matchup. Wout Weghorst ($4,900) is another tournament option in this range, as he's probably Burnley's best hope to score and they need a result in their push for survival.
Tough decisions will have to be made in midfield. Both Mason Mount ($9,900) and James Maddison ($9,200) have been exceptional of late and they have a matchup against each other where Chelsea are sizable favorites at home. It's for this reason that Maddison isn't a must on this slate, despite him scoring in back-to-back matches and and that he's shown a pretty consistent 15-point floor. As for Mount, he's taken just one set piece over the past two games and his salary seems steep if he doesn't have that added floor. It's possible that Chelsea could rotate and bring in Hakim Ziyech ($9,000). I'd expect him to share set pieces and if that's the case, he'd be the top option at the position and likely a priority for me.
Anthony Gordon, EVE vs. CRY ($7,700): Everton are still fighting to stay up and will have all the motivation for their final home match of the season. Gordon will take most of the set pieces if Demarai Gray ($7,000) isn't in the lineup. It's a favorable matchup against Crystal Palace, who've struggled away from home at times. If Gray starts, he's an equally good option, though less likely to play 90 minutes. Both players have nice floors and decent goal/assist upside.
In the cheap range, Luka Milivojevic ($3,600) took six set pieces and scored 7.4 fantasy points in his return from injury Sunday. He'd be a fine option for cash games but I'd avoid him in GPPs based on the lack of upside. Jorginho ($4,100) is cheaper than we're used to seeing, but he's put up at least seven floor points in each of his last three starts and has upside with assumed penalty-kick responsibility. Douglas Luiz ($4,400) is still splitting set pieces and considering Villa's favorable matchup against Burnley, he looks like the safest option for cash games.
Reece James, CHE vs. LEI ($6,900): James has been taking most of the right-sided set pieces ahead of Mason Mount in recent weeks. He's coming off another massive game over the weekend and he's scored double-digit floor points in three of his last four. Marcos Alonso ($7,100) is a similar option with similar upside, though James' floor seems a tad safer to me and rostering both of them together is more than viable Thursday.
Lucas Digne, AVL vs. BRN ($6,000): Digne will split set pieces for Villa, who are in a great spot at home against Burnley. He has assists in two of his last three and his floor is similar to that of James and Alonso. I'd consider rostering all three of them, depending on whether or not Hakim Ziyech starts. In that case, I'd leave out Alonso.
In the bottom range, Nathaniel Clyne ($3,500) would be a fine option as the cheapest full-back on the slate if you're looking to save some salary. He had seven floor points Sunday and the matchup against Everton isn't bad.
Jordan Pickford, EVE vs. CRY ($5,400): Everton have considerably more motivation than Chelsea which is why I'm highlighting Pickford over Edouard Mendy ($5,800). Pickford's clean sheet odds are worse than Mendy's, but he's $400 cheaper.
Nick Pope, BRN at AVL ($4,300): I'll side with Pope in the cheap range as Burnley are the other team on the slate who still have a lot to play for. I'd expect him and Kasper Schmeichel ($3,700) to face plenty of shots if you're looking to target save upside.