DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

For detailed odds and stats, check out the Fantasy Premier League: Saturday Cheat Sheet.

MATCHES (EDT)

10:00 a.m: Arsenal v. West Ham
10:00 a.m: Bournemouth v. Everton
10:00 a.m: Southampton v. Leicester
10:00 a.m: Huddersfield v. Cardiff
12:30 p.m: Liverpool v. Brighton

FORWARDS

Mohamed Salah, LIV v. BHA ($11,300): Liverpool are giant favorites at home to Brighton, and Salah comes in with a more than 70 percent chance to score, according to the oddsmakers. He doesn't have a big role on set pieces – in fact, he didn't even take Liverpool's penalty despite drawing the foul in the box last weekend against Crystal Palace – but he took 10 shots, putting four on goal, and drew three fouls in Liverpool's two opening games. He doesn't have a great peripheral floor without lots of set pieces, but people have become very accustomed to playing him, and his goal-scoring odds are very high. Fading will be very scary in cash, but he makes for the ideal fade in GPPs, with Sadio Mane ($10,700) a reasonable pivot given that he has three goals on six shots (four on goal), six crosses, four tackles won and two fouls drawn in Liverpool's two games, far outpacing Salah. Given their close prices, Mane's ownership could be decently high in Salah-fade lineups, but you could also pay down for Roberto Firmino ($8,800), who has the same anytime goal scorer odds as Mane (52 percent) and provides $1,900 in salary that can be used elsewhere.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, ARS v. WHU ($8,800): If you're willing to pay $11,300 for a 73 percent chance to score, would you be interested in paying $2,500 less for a 69 percent chance? That's what Aubameyang brings to the table versus Salah, and while the former is rarely a cash-game consideration, the decent price and high expected shot total put him in the conversation (but really it's the goal odds). Salah-Aubameyang combinations are likely to be popular in GPPs, and while I think you'll see a few in cash games, their floors are low enough where it's probably not the ideal pairing. Both teams are expected to score multiple goals, and while Liverpool could theoretically win 3-0 without Salah finding the back of the net, it's more unlikely that Arsenal reach that level and Aubameyang is left off the scoresheet.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, EVE at SOU ($7,100): Sigurdsson continues to take nearly all of Everton's set pieces, and with odds moving enough that Everton may actually be favored away to Southampton, there's every reason to consider him in cash games. In fact, he could be the highest-owned player in those contests because of his attractive salary and forward-eligibility. Richarlison ($7,900) has been the higher-scoring player lately,, with three goals in two games, and Theo Walcott ($6,800) had a goal and an assist last weekend, and while Sigurdsson doesn't have the goal upside, he's much more reliable because of set pieces, many of which come about because of what Richarlison and Walcott do in open play.

MIDFIELDERS

Ryan Fraser, BOU v. EVE ($8,500): While Bournemouth may end up being home underdogs to Everton, the game is still expected to have goals on both sides, which keeps Fraser firmly in the cash-game discussion. He takes a vast majority of set pieces for Bournemouth and has also drawn seven fouls in two games. His price feels high, especially since you can roster Aubameyang or Firmino for only $300 more, but his floor is about as safe as they come. For those who want to jam in Aubameyang or Firmino (or any others in that range), paying down for Fraser's teammate, David Brooks ($4,7000), could be an option. Brooks is much more expensive than he was last week ($3,400), but we can't ignore his 12.75 fantasy points in 78 minutes, all without set pieces. He won't have set pieces this week, but his recent open-play production needs attention when Bournemouth are at home against a non-top-six side. If you're looking for more GPP upside, Henrikh Mkhitaryan ($8,600) is an option because of Arsenal's high win odds and implied goal total, but his goal upside isn't nearly as high as Aubameyang's and you're only getting $200 in savings.

James Maddison, LEI at SOU ($7,600): Leicester are away underdogs to Southampton, but I didn't see anything in the Saints' first two games to make me think I shouldn't roster opposing set-piece takers against them. Maddison is getting most of Leicester's dead-ball opportunities, and it was encouraging to see that with only two crosses last week he still managed 10.0 floor points (non-goal/assist fantasy points) thanks to four fouls drawn and three tackles. The absence of Jamie Vardy (suspension) will change the Foxes' attack a bit, but I see it as just more opportunities for Maddison to take control. Paying down for Demarai Gray ($6,000) is theoretically an option, but he just runs too inconsistently to roster ahead of Maddison, while Marc Albrighton ($5,800) is really limited without most set pieces.

Joe Ralls, CAR at HUD ($4,800): Ralls becomes a much more viable play if David Junior Hoilett ($6,600, midfield/forward) sits because of the groin injury that forced him off early last weekend, as Ralls will take on a bigger load of Cardiff's set pieces. He was a bit unlucky last week, as he was unable to get an assist on his four chances created and he didn't win any of his three attempted tackles, but he still managed to reach 7.75 fantasy points thanks to nine crosses, one shot and an interception. His salary is low enough where it won't take much to reach value, and while he could be in consideration even if Hoilett plays, the stability isn't there as much. Hoilett could actually get some attention as a cheaper forward with set pieces and the ability to contribute in open play, but the groin issue adds uncertainty about playing the full 90 minutes. Another potential cheap set-piece taker in this range is Southampton's Stuart Armstrong ($4,400), who could be a good play if he can get back into the starting XI in place of James Ward-Prowse ($6,900). The Southampton set-piece situation seems to constantly be in flux, and while Ward-Prowse will probably get a majority of the opportunities if he starts, we haven't seen a full Premier League match with both he and Armstrong in the starting XI, so paying up for JWP could be risky.

DEFENDERS

Trent Alexander-Arnold, LIV v. BHA ($6,600): Alexander-Arnold and teammate Andrew Robertson ($6,000) are both very strong attacking fullbacks, but Alexander-Arnold has a higher floor if he can maintain his shared role of Liverpool's corners. James Milner ($7,800, midfielder) should get more of the dead-ball opportunities, if he starts, but with a few possibilities on the bench for Milner's spot, and the fact that Liverpool are in the late game, Alexander-Arnold brings more certainty. The pivoting difficulty with Milner is that it's possible he's replaced by Xherdan Shaqiri, who costs $1,700 more, or even Adam Lallana ($5,900) or Jordan Henderson ($3,500), who almost certainly won't be on set pieces if they start. Milner sitting makes Salah a more interesting possibility, but it's Alexander-Arnold who probably gets the biggest bump.

Ben Chilwell, LEI at SOU ($5,500): Salah faders could have plenty of money to spend, and Chilwell comes in as the next-best defender option thanks to his shared role of set pieces and active open-play attacking. Paying up for the Arsenal fullbacks seems unnecessary because they aren't a big part of the team's attack, and if Chilwell is a bit higher than you want to spend, there are a couple good options right below him that are viable, such as Southampton's Ryan Bertrand ($4,800) or Everton's Seamus Coleman ($4,600). Coleman is a more complete fantasy defender than Bertrand, though the latter could take set pieces if the lineup dominoes fall a certain way.

Chris Lowe, HUD v. CAR ($4,100): The Huddersfield set-piece situation is pretty muddy, but it's at least worth seeing that Lowe leads the team in free-kicks and crosses. He usually has a hard time playing all 90 minutes, but he went the distance in last weekend's match against Manchester City, when he had five crosses and one foul drawn. The matchup against Cardiff should be much easier, and while this game has a low total, that doesn't mean it'll be void of peripheral stats. Teammate Florent Hadergjonaj ($4,300) does a little more in open play, though not enough for me to spend $200 more. And on the other side of this game is Joe Bennett ($4,200), who hasn't been crossing that much from his left-back position but still had six fouls drawn, four tackles and four interceptions in two games.

GOALKEEPER

Neil Etheridge, CAR at HUD ($4,500): With so many different directions you can go in cash games and GPPs, finding a goalkeeper who isn't going up against one of your attackers shouldn't be too difficult. Fading Salah doesn't necessarily mean you should roster Mat Ryan ($3,600) because you could just pivoting to Mane or Firmino, but an Arsenal fade could certainly lead you to former-Gunner and current West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski ($3,700). For the other three games, I think you could make a reasonable case for each of the away keepers, with Etheridge joined by Kasper Schmeichel ($4,600) and Jordan Pickford ($4,700) in that category. None of Huddersfield, Southampton and Bournemouth offer elite attacks, though I'd put the latter slightly higher than the others. Etheridge has put up some nice games already thanks to two penalty saves, and while those won't continue, there's more reason to think he'll make numerous saves Saturday and not allow numerous goals.

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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