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

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EDT)

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

FORWARDS

Riyad Mahrez, MCI v. SOU ($10,400): Manchester City are huge favorites at home against Southampton on Saturday, and while they aren't the only big favorite, their implied goal total is high enough where stacking two or three attackers looks to be the most viable roster build in cash games and GPPs. Thankfully, we have no late-game shenanigans to deal with, as we'll know who is lining up for Man City before lock. After a string of five consecutive starts, Mahrez has appeared in just one of the past two Premier League and Champions League matches, though he did play 90 in their Carabao Cup match Tuesday, coincidentally, against Southampton, finishing with five shots, including two on target, two chances created and six crosses. Sergio Aguero ($11,000), the most expensive player on the slate, scored twice Tuesday after bagging a brace on five shots in his previous start, which came Oct. 22 against Atalanta in the Champions League. No player has higher anytime goal scorer odds, and he'll be a popular selection. Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling ($10,700) was not in the squad Tuesday but comes in with six goals on 21 shots (nine on target) and three assists on 17 chances created in his last six games (five starts), and he could be a decent pivot from those looking for lower ownership than Aguero (that being said, it won't be low). Gabriel Jesus ($9,900) started with Aguero on Tuesday but that setup seems unlikely to happen again this weekend. That being said, if he starts for Aguero, you get almost the same goal upside for a decent discount. Finally, in terms of forwards, Bernardo Silva ($9,000) looks like a steal, but while he had a hat trick back on Sept. 21, he hasn't scored since and has just one assist in his last five appearances. Mahrez should get consideration because he takes some set pieces, though he's still an excellent open-play attacker in case those go elsewhere (more on that later) Saturday.

Nicolas Pepe, ARS v. WOL ($9,500): Normally a $9,500 price doesn't have you as the 10th-most expensive player on a slate, but here we are with Pepe, who has taken on a big share of Arsenal's set pieces recently. If you're sitting there thinking, "wait, isn't Liverpool against Aston Villa where we should be going for Manchester City pivots?" then the answer is surely yes, which is why Arsenal's lower ownership should be enticing. Mohamed Salah ($10,500) and Sadio Mane ($10,000) are always solid plays in GPPs when Liverpool are big favorites, and that's the case Saturday, but Arsenal's matchup against Wolves shouldn't be ignored. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($9,800) actually has better goal scorer odds than Salah and Mane, while Alexandre Lacazette ($9,600) is level with Mane and ahead of Roberto Firmino ($9,400). Pepe is obviously more of a floor play since his ridiculous free-kick goals only seem to come against youth teams in cup competitions, and paying this much for a floor play may not be great on this slate if you're also thinking about Manchester City. But, if you think Southampton can limit them (I'm not sure why you would think that), then the Gunners offer some interesting alternatives in cash games and tournaments.

Ashley Barnes, BUR at SHU ($5,300): There are a number of interesting GPP forwards on the slate, most of whom will be overlooked by so many people trying to stack Manchester City or Liverpool or maybe Arsenal. Barnes is a classic example, though he hasn't scored in quite a while (he was injured for a bit) despite taking at least four shots in two of his last four starts. He provides a decent floor from shots and fouls drawn, which makes him a bit safer given his price. Teammate Chris Wood ($5,300) has been more successful recently, though he is dealing with a hamstring injury, while Dwight McNeil ($6,800) is always a cash-game consideration because of his floor and shared role on set pieces. McNeil is a little pricey on this slate given the options from the top three sides, but he's surely safer than the slightly more expensive GPP options like Sebastien Haller ($7,900), Andriy Yarmolenko ($7,500), Teemu Pukki ($7,300) and Neal Maupay ($7,200). Maupay has been really good recently, though it's a tough price to pay on this slate, something that also applies to his set-piece-taking teammate Pascal Gross ($8,200). I think all of these guys make for really good tournament plays, but they're pretty much impossible to roster with more than one player from Manchester City, Liverpool or Arsenal. As they say, it's a good GPP slate!

MIDFIELDERS

Kevin De Bruyne, MCI v. SOU ($10,800): De Bruyne is the reason you may not roster two Manchester City forwards since he has such a big role on set pieces for by far the biggest favorite. He was left on the bench for Tuesday's game against Southampton but will absolutely be a popular play in cash games if he starts Saturday. He's scored more than 11.0 fantasy points in every game this season, with crosses, shots assisted and shots the most prevalent part of his floor (it also doesn't hurt that he already has two goals and 10 assists in all competitions). No other midfield-only player is remotely close to De Bruyne in terms of floor or upside; the only issue will be how comfortable you are with your forwards to get him in. Or, for those paying up for two big forwards, slightly cheaper midfield options include guys like Robert Snodgrass ($7,600), if he starts again, and Emiliano Buendia ($7,100), though Ilkay Gundogan ($6,900) is also a possibility in the range and could provide cheaper Man City exposure.

John Lundstram, SHU v. BUR ($3,700): Stacking Manchester City or Liverpool or Arsenal will require a number of cheaper players, and Lundstram fits the mold this week. His fantasy scores aren't going to jump off the page, though he did have a solid 6.7 last week at West Ham thanks, in part, to two shots, one shot assisted, one cross and two tackles won. Sheffield United will likely be able to attack Burnley, who traditionally play more defensively when they're away, and Lundstram's low price should fit in well and provide enough value with at least a hint of upside. Otherwise, you're likely trying to depend on guys like Marvelous Nakamba ($3,200) or Isaac Hayden ($3,100), who could certainly make value through defensive stats because they are so cheap, though their upsides are limited.

Allan Saint-Maximin, NEW at WHU ($4,400): Saint-Maximin is starting to put it together now that he's getting regular playing time, scoring at least 5.9 fantasy points in four straight games, and he's doing it with attacking stats, including six shots, six chances created, six crosses and five fouls drawn in his last three games, which came against Manchester United, Chelsea (away) and Wolverhampton. Newcastle playing away isn't the ideal situation, but West Ham are vulnerable enough for Saint-Maximin to make an impact. Unfortunately, he's a little expensive for those with multiple five-digit players, so he could be overlooked. Others in the range who could be attractive cash-game options include Ashley Westwood ($4,600), Jonjo Shelvey ($5,100) and John Fleck ($5,600).

DEFENDERS

Trent Alexander-Arnold, LIV at AVL ($6,800): If there's one player who might be able to rival De Bruyne for the best floor on the slate, it's Alexander-Arnold, who you can have for $4,000 less and he comes with the possibility of a clean sheet bonus. He's scored at least 9.9 fantasy points in every game this season, and he's been particularly dominant of late, sending in a ridiculous 41 crosses while creating 14 chances in his last three games, which came against solid opponents in Leicester, Manchester United (away) and Tottenham. He's $1,000 more expensive than the next highest defender, teammate Andrew Robertson, but the difference in their floors is worth more than that.

Benjamin Mendy, MCI v. SOU ($4,300): Mendy's attacking returns haven't been that great recently, but it seems pretty nuts to get him for this price because Man City are so heavily favored at home. Admittedly, Joao Cancelo ($5,300) has been much better, as he wins more tackles, takes more shots and sends in more crosses, but Mendy is worth the risk if he starts because of his crossing upside and cheap exposure to the Man City attack.

Aaron Cresswell, WHU v. NEW ($4,800): Not everyone has to pay down for a defender, so for those who aren't trying to convince themselves that whichever two of Jamal Lewis ($3,600), Max Aarons ($3,400) or Sam Byram ($3,300) starts for Norwich are fine, Cresswell gets a solid opportunity at home against a Newcastle side that's conceded the second-most crosses and third-most chances among teams on the slate, including the most crosses per match while playing away. Cresswell hasn't had a role on set pieces this season, which happens when a team has four or five midfielders who can handle those duties, but he's still capable of sending in crosses and even taking a few shots in the right matchup, one of which happens to come Saturday.

GOALKEEPER

Tom Heaton, AVL v. LIV ($3,800): Because it's not easy to get exposure to Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal, a reasonable strategy for goalkeeper is to pay down to whoever is facing the team you're not loading up on. Stacking Liverpool seemingly makes it worthwhile to not target Heaton, but a Manchester City stack requires salary savings and Heaton provides that with plenty of save upside. Rui Patricio ($4,100) is a bit more expensive and playing away, but if you have no Arsenal then he makes some sense. Angus Gunn ($3,600) probably has the highest save upside of the group, but we've also seen Man City force some horrific goalkeeper scores this season.

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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