Starting Eleven: Saturday Premier League Breakdown
Starting Eleven: Saturday Premier League Breakdown

This article is part of our Starting Eleven series.

MATCHES (EST)

10:00 a.m: Brighton v. Leicester City
10:00 a.m: Everton v. Cardiff City
10:00 a.m: Fulham v. Southampton
10:00 a.m: Manchester United v. Crystal Palace
10:00 a.m: Watford v. Liverpool
10:00 a.m: West Ham v. Manchester City
12:30 p.m: Tottenham v. Chelsea

FORWARDS

There is no shortage of attacking firepower on Saturday's seven-game slate, with 14 of the top 17 goal scorers (all who have scored at least five goals) all available to choose from. The schedule-makers made it a little easier on us by pairing Tottenham with Chelsea, a match that's probably best avoided given that Manchester City are away to West Ham, Manchester United are home to Crystal Palace and Liverpool travel to Watford. But wait, there's more! Everton are also home against Cardiff City while Leicester will play away to Brighton, two additional strong matchups for attackers.

There's no question that whenever they're on a slate, Sergio Aguero, the league-leader in goals (eight) and shots (54), and Mohamed Salah, who is tied for fourth in goals and solo-second in shots, are in heavy consideration. Man City are the biggest favorite on the day, while Aguero comes in with the best anytime goal scorer odds. Liverpool's win odds aren't as high, but the book makers are still expecting them to score almost two goals, with Salah the most-likely Red to find the back of the net. It's possible to diversify with players like Raheem Sterling or Sadio Mane, but you're likely going in that direction to differentiate more than trying to get more fantasy points.

Given the high implied goal total for the slate as a whole, three forwards seems like the ideal attack to take advantage of their respective upsides, though the third forward is a tricky one. You could stack Man City and/or Liverpool, or go in a different direction like focusing on Manchester United's Anthony Martial, who has scored in five consecutive Premier League matches, bagging six goals in that span. Martial has had a pretty solid shot-floor of late, and he'll be playing against a Crystal Palace side that's allowed multiple goals in three of their last four Premier League games. Manchester United are the second-biggest favorites, so there's no denying Martial's potential.

If you're hesitant to trust a team run by Jose Mourinho to produce a lot of attacking fantasy points, Everton's Richarlison could be a nice pivot in a match the Toffees are expected to win handedly. His 81 duels won are the 10th-most in the league this season, though he's played fewer minutes than all but two players ahead of him, and only Aleksandar Mitrovic has taken more shots. Meanwhile, Cardiff City, Richarlison's opponent, have allowed the second-most goals, assists and shots on goal this season.

MIDFIELDERS

Manchester City's win odds, and expected high possession against West Ham, should put plenty of their players on the fantasy radar, with David Silva deserving attention after getting himself on the scoresheet in six of his last eight matches, scoring five goals on 22 shots (eight on target) and picking up two assists on 22 chances created in his last eight games. City's high expected possession should also lead to plenty of completed passes, which is convenient for Silva, who has finished with at least 50 accurate passes in five of those games. A bit of an off-the-radar selection might be teammate Ilkay Gundogan, who could start for the injured Bernardo Silva, though if you're playing the passing game, you might just be better off with Fernandinho.

Liverpool's midfield isn't nearly as attractive as it's front line, which is why it seems reasonable to fade them for other teams on the slate, mainly Manchester United, Everton and Leicester City. The two latter teams offer great options that have significant role on set pieces, namely Gylfi Sigurdsson and James Maddison, both of whom have recently recovered from injuries. However, they represent the best fantasy options for their respective sides, and their Saturday matchups are prime opportunities to roster them.

The Manchester United front is always a bit difficult, but it's tough to argue against Paul Pogba, who has taken multiple shots in all but two matches this season (away to Chelsea and away to Juventus) while also drawing multiple fouls in all but three games. Think what you want about Pogba in terms of his relationship with Mourinho, but he's one of the most consistent fantasy options in the game.

DEFENDERS AND GOALKEEPERS

Manchester City and Liverpool always present attractive defensive pieces, though there could be some trepidation since both are playing away, even if City have the best clean sheet odds on the slate. Instead, focusing on Manchester United and Everton at home could be key.

United's defensive situation has led to only one Premier League clean sheet for David de Gea, which is pretty shocking after he led the league with 18 last season. However, his home matchup against Crystal Palace, who have four goals in their last five away matches, may be too good to pass up. In defense, Ashley Young presents the most upside with solid clean sheet odds, while Antonio Valencia could finally return from his injury absence.

On the Everton side, Lucas Digne has been taking on a huge role on set pieces, giving him arguably the highest upside on the slate among defenders. It's also a huge benefit that Everton have the second-best clean sheet odds among the home teams, which doesn't make it crazy to pair Digne with someone like Seamus Coleman, and of course, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

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 Head of DFS Content and Senior Soccer Editor. He is a seven-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award
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