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

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

For detailed stats and odds, check out the DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Cheat Sheet.

MATCHES (EST)

10:00 am: AFC Bournemouth vs. Wolverhampton
10:00 am: Newcastle United vs. Huddersfield Town
12:30 pm: Leicester City vs. Crystal Palace

FORWARDS

Andros Townsend, CRY at LEI ($8,700): Saturday's three-game slate doesn't exactly offer a plethora of good cash-game forwards, which means plenty of fantasy players are likely to pay up for Townsend, who has scored at least 10.00 floor points (fantasy points minus goals and assists) in four of his last seven games. His role on set pieces continues to decline, but he's still enough of an open-play crosser to justify the price, especially since he continues to take shots, draw fouls and win tackles. Another Palace possibility is Wilfried Zaha ($8,100), who comes in with a goal in each of his last two starts, a run that was preceded by an assist. He's drawing fouls at a high rate again and ripped off 14 shots in his last three games that didn't include a trip to Anfield, where he was held shot-less. Both Zaha and Townsend are worthy cash-game options, with the former having more upside for GPPs, and you can always consider Michy Batshuayi ($7,300), though you're pretty much only playing him for a goal.

Miguel Almiron, NEW v. HUD ($5,500): The second forward spot is going to be really tricky in cash games if you don't double up on the Crystal Palace guys, a strategy that may not be ideal given they're away underdogs. Almiron is hardly a lock to start, and even if he does make the starting XI, 90 minutes seems unlikely too. That being said, we'll know before lineup lock if he's in, and while there is no expectation he will take set pieces like he did with Atlanta United, he's still shown a penchant for taking shots and drawing fouls. The more realistic starter is Ayoze Perez ($5,600), who doesn't really cross, doesn't draw many fouls and does minimal defensive work; oh, and he doesn't shoot much or create a lot of chances. The real answer is Salomon Rondon ($8,100), and while he's a good GPP target, he's a real stretch at that price for cash games. If you're still searching for a cheaper option, Adama Diakhaby ($5,000) showed his versatility and potential against Arsenal in his last Premier League start, finishing with five shots, including three on goal, six crosses and two fouls drawn in 90 minutes.

MIDFIELDERS

Ryan Fraser, BOU v. WOL ($8,600): Fraser may be an underdog, but Bournemouth will hardly be limited at home against Wolves, and his vast majority of set pieces and open-play activity could make him the most popular midfielder in cash games and highly owned in GPPs. He's taken a few more shots recently after David Brooks ($8,200) went down with an injury, and there's little reason to think that slows down Saturday. There are a number of midfielders in his high price range, but Fraser is probably the safest of the group.

Matt Ritchie, NEW v. HUD ($8,300): Whether he lines up as a left-back, a left wing-back or an attacking midfielder, Ritchie remains Newcastle's most versatile attacker and safest cash-game option. It's possible that Ki Sung-yueng ($5,300) eats into some set pieces if he starts after a long injury layoff, but Ritchie is still active enough in open play to warrant plenty of consideration, especially since Newcastle are the biggest favorite on the slate. Paying up for Fraser and Ritchie could make it tough to fit in a third high-priced midfielder, with Luka Miliovjevic ($8,500) and James Maddison ($8,400) strong plays. Unfortunately, Milivojevic doesn't seem as attractive for those playing Townsend and Zaha in their forward spots, while Maddison could miss out due to injury and the Leicester v. Palace match is the late one on the slate. The safest bet if you want Maddison is to budget for Milivojevic because he's $100 more, though if you want to pivot to a different potential Leicester set-piece taker like Youri Tielemans ($7,100) or Rachid Ghezzal ($5,800), just know you're going to end up leaving a decent amount of salary on the table.

Aaron Mooy, HUD at NEW ($7,300): Mooy is an alternative to the $8K+ midfielders, as he is likely to take a majority of Huddersfield's set pieces and will be matching up against a Newcastle side that's conceded the most crosses in the Premier League this season. He also contributes with defensive stats, which helps his floor, and while he doesn't have a ton of upside, this isn't a slate expected to have a lot of goals. If you want to keep going lower for GPPs, Wolves' Ruben Neves ($5,000) fully subscribes to the mantra that you miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take, while someone like Wilfred Ndidi ($4,600) has a decent floor because of his defensive work and took multiple shots in three of his last five starts.

DEFENDERS

Harry Maguire, LEI v. CRY ($3,700): I see no reason to pay up at defender because you're ultimately costing yourself higher-floor midfielders and forwards for the potential of maybe four more fantasy points. In fact, I am not sure you even need to prioritize fullbacks because the ones who cross are so expensive and they don't tend to offer much goal upside. Maguire comes in with at least one shot in five consecutive matches, the first of which was an excellent four-shot game against Southampton that included two on target, and he scored away to Liverpool three games ago. Is picking Maguire at this price a punt? Of course, but Leicester have decent clean sheet odds and I'm not sure you're getting that much more at higher price points.

Joel Ward, CRY at LEI ($3,800): If you're adamant about a fullback, Ward could be one of the cheapest starters if he gets the call in place of the injured Aaron Wan-Bissaka ($4,500). Ward hasn't appeared in a Premier League match since Aug. 26 against Watford thanks to Wan-Bissaka's play, but he was fine for this price last season because of his scattered few crosses, tackles won and fouls drawn. You can't possibly expect much in this price range, and I'm not sure Ward even offers that much more than center-backs, so why not just roster guys who actually might score a goal? Keeping with this trend, Huddersfield's Tommy Smith ($3,700) seems like he could be the cheapest fullback, and while he had five crosses in his last start, he has a bunch of other appearances with zero, even against lesser opposition.

Ricardo Pereira, LEI v. CRY ($6,400): If you somehow find yourself with money to burn, Pereira is definitely the defender worth paying up for, which is why he's the most expensive option at the position. He draws a decent number of fouls for a right-back, and he creates a solid number of chances, helping him grab three assists in his last six games. He's probably more worthwhile than the midfielders at his salary, but it's kind of a weird zone for them unless Ghezzal starts without Maddison or Tielemans and has a majority of Leicester's set pieces.

GOALKEEPER

Jonas Lossl, HUD at NEW ($3,900): For a slate that's not expected to be high scoring, it seems insane to pay $5,500 for Martin Dubravka, even if Newcastle are the biggest favorite on the slate with the best clean sheet odds. Whether it's Lossl or Ben Hamer ($4,000), a $1,600 difference between these two goalkeepers seems nuts, with Newcastle coming in having scored one or zero goals in 11 of their last 13 Premier League matches. Even if Lossl doesn't get the win or clean sheet, his cheaper salary will be more helpful at the other positions versus the risk of paying up.

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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