DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Premier League Breakdown
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday Premier League Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EST)

10:00 a.m: Crystal Palace v. Stoke City
10:00 a.m: Manchester United v. Brighton
10:00 a.m: Newcastle v. Watford
10:00 a.m: Tottenham v. West Brom
10:00 a.m: Swansea City v. Bournemouth
12:30 p.m: Liverpool v. Chelsea

PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

FORWARD

Saturday's six-game slate includes two heavy favorites: Manchester United at home against Brighton and Tottenham at home against West From. As a result, players from those two teams are probably going to be pretty chalky. Harry Kane ($10,100) is the most expensive player and has the highest anytime goal scorer odds, while Romelu Lukaku ($10,100) is close behind in both price and implied goals. Neither player has been great lately, though Kane did net earlier this week against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. If there's something that really separates the two it's that Kane is a much more prolific shooter, taking 64 shots this season while the next highest player, Watford's Richarlison ($9,200), has 43, with Lukaku and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah ($9,600) right behind with 42.

Marcus Rashford's ($8,800) probable start could push fantasy players away from Lukaku in cash games, while Son Heung-Min ($8,300) isn't cash viable enough (or at all) to take anything away from Kane. Rashford has been taking most corners lately, and while it's possible Juan Mata or Ashley Young or Anthony Martial ($8,400) poach a couple, it's probably not enough to warrant passing on Rashford.

Finding cash viable forwards this week is a bit tough because the Liverpool pair of Salah and Philippe Coutinho ($9,500) that many have been relying on lately are playing at home against Chelsea. Liverpool shut out Manchester United at home earlier this season, and there's little reason to think this game will be drastically different. That's not to say it's going to be a scoreless draw, but it's tough to see a ton of fantasy points coming out of their match. Add in the fact that you really have to pay up for Salah, Coutinho, Eden Hazard ($7,800) and Alvaro Morata ($8,000), and it makes all of them easily avoided in cash. They're all solid GPP options, however, as we've seen them have big games at points this season. I'm just not convinced we see it this weekend. You could get cute by paying down for Roberto Firmino ($7,200), but again, how much upside does he have against Chelsea?

Looking beyond those three matches, Andros Townsend ($7,300) seems like a much more viable cash option if Christian Benteke ($6,100) also starts. Townsend has been a decent source of crosses this season, but you have to figure sending balls into the box will be more of the game plan if Benteke is up front. Benteke is wonderfully goal dependent, so while he shouldn't sniff a cash lineup, he's an attractive GPP option against a Stoke side that's allowed the most goals among teams on the slate.

In terms of forward-eligible set-piece takers, Jordon Ibe ($4,600) may return from injury and could take corners with Junior Stanislas ($7,100, midfielder) out with injury. Ibe rarely plays all 90 minutes, but the matchup against Swansea isn't bad. Pascal Gross has consistently taken set pieces for Brighton but how many do you think he'll take at Manchester United?

And, of course, anyone could be a GPP option. Tammy Abraham ($6,400) has a nice opportunity against Bournemouth at home, though he's questionable because of back spasms. Wilfried Bony ($5,300) doesn't offer the same upside if he starts in his place but he theoretically is a play (just not for me). Richarlison is quite expensive, but with Kane, Lukaku, Morata, Salah, Coutinho, Mane, Martial, Rashford, Hazard, etc. he could be overlooked.

MIDFIELDER

While we don't have a ton of attractive forward options for cash games, the total opposite is the case for the midfielders. Christian Eriksen ($10,300) jumps out as the player taking set pieces for one of the biggest favorites. He's expensive, but you know what you're getting with Eriksen as opposed to Dele Alli ($8,800), who is really goal and assist dependent. Paul Pogba ($8,600) doesn't take many set pieces but might be the most active United midfielder. At least you know he'll shoot. Juan Mata ($6,100) is an option to start, but he doesn't take enough set pieces to make it worth it, especially when you only have three possible midfielders.

Yohan Cabaye ($6,700) has seen his salary skyrocket over the past few weeks, but that's what happens when you score 19, 15 and 16 fantasy points in the past three games, respectively. He's done that without a goal or an assist, and he's fully expected to remain on set pieces, even while losing a few corners to Townsend. Ruben Loftus-Cheek ($4,400) is a bit more of a flier, though his salary makes him a more interesting option than Wilfried Zaha ($8,100, forward eligible), who will take a few shots and win some fouls, though at that salary it's not enough without a goal. Xherdan Shaqiri ($8,000) is on the other side, though you might be able to get similar production for less.

Speaking of less, Matt Ritchie ($7,800) and Jonjo Shelvey ($4,900) are both solid options, even with their price differences. Shelvey does a bit more across the stat sheet, but Ritchie has much higher upside and takes more set pieces. Watford have committed the fourth-most fouls among Saturday's teams, which could give them some decent dead-ball opportunities. Watford's lineup is likely to dictate the fantasy value of their midfielders, as Will Hughes ($4,000) could be on set pieces if Jose Holebas ($5,600) doesn't start again. Of course, that also opens up the possibility of taking Tom Cleverley ($3,700), and who doesn't love rostering Cleverley? (Hint: me)

Swansea City's Renato Sanches ($4,500) has a great matchup at home against Bournemouth, who have allowed the most shots, crosses and corners. Sanches' price has risen $1,000 since last week, but he's also scored at least 11 points in three straight games.

DEFENDER

While we have few solid cash options among the forwards and a number of viable mid-priced midfielders, the defender list is packed with expensive options we like to roster. Both Tottenham fullbacks are playable, with Kieran Trippier ($5,800) and Danny Rose ($5,700) looking likely to start since they didn't do so earlier this week. Manchester United are likely to go with Antonio Valencia ($5,500) and Ashley Young ($5,900), as usual, with the latter offering much more cross upside. The Liverpool and Chelsea options aren't as attractive playing against each other, and going further down the list will lead you to players like Charlie Daniels ($4,800), DeAndre Yedlin ($4,700) and Adam Smith ($4,600), all of whom feel a bit too expensive.

However, Kyle Naughton ($4,500) has been really filling up the stat sheet and could be a strong option at home against Bournemouth. Martin Olsson ($4,100) on the other side has a bit more cross upside, which works well against the side that's allowed more of them than any other team on Saturday's slate. The Watford fullbacks, even if Holebas doesn't start, could be considered too, but I'm not sure they offer a ton more than the Swansea guys.

GOALKEEPER

David de Gea ($6,000) and Hugo Lloris ($5,800) are the sure things as the biggest favorites, but you'll have to pay for them. De Gea didn't shut out Newcastle last week but still managed to score 11 fantasy points. He's now scored double-digit fantasy points in 10 of his last 11 club matches. Lloris hasn't been nearly as strong, so I'd probably side with the guy who costs $200 more.

I hate to say every week that everyone else is the same, but...everyone else is the same. With the possibility that the Liverpool-Chelsea match is close, I wouldn't shy away from Thibaut Courtois ($4,400). I'd love to trust Simon Mignolet ($4,800), who has allowed only a single goal at Anfield this season, but I think I'd rather the $400 discount for Courtois, especially with more save upside.

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 Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is a seven-time FSWA finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
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