This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
- 9:30 am: 1. FC Köln vs. Union Berlin
- 9:30 am: Fortuna Düsseldorf vs. Borussia Dortmund
- 9:30 am: Hertha BSC Berlin vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
- 9:30 am: SC Paderborn vs. Werder Bremen
- 9:30 am: VfL Wolfsburg vs. SC Freiburg
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Filip Kostic, SGE at BSC ($9,000): These articles are generally geared toward cash-game discussions because I am mostly a cash-game player, but while Kostic is going to be highly owned in double-ups and head-to-heads, he has plenty of GPP appeal as well, specifically because of his floor. The league-leader in crosses by nearly 100 (he's 94 ahead of second-place Christian Gunter), Kostic is also third in chances created, sixth in shots and fifth in assists, production that gives him more than a goal's worth of points before he even gets going (he's averaging 16.69 floor points per 90 this season). And while his salary is high, he's absolutely under-priced, especially considering he's facing a Hertha Berlin side that's allowed fourth-most crosses in the Bundesliga. Additionally, Kostic may have an even bigger role on set pieces because Sebastian Rode is suspended. Yes, the Dortmund guys have higher ceilings in a game they should dominate, but Kostic is still going to be the highest-owned player in cash games and could be the highest in GPPs.
Christopher Trimmel, FCU at KOE ($7,600): Kostic may have a monopoly of set pieces, but we pretty much know Trimmel, who is now a midfielder instead of a defender, will. Only Kostic and Gunter have sent in more crosses than Trimmel this season, and he now faces a Koln side that has conceded the fifth-most corners in the league. Admittedly, they don't allow a plethora of crosses like Hertha Berlin, but Trimmel comes in with at least 12 crosses in four of the five games since the league restart. His salary isn't cheap by any means, but you're not going to get someone with such a consistent floor for less. Fantasy players who pay up at forward may not have room for Trimmel, so he won't be nearly as chalky as Kostic, but he's sure to be owned well in cash games.
Erling Haaland, BVB at F95 ($11,000): Consideration for Borussia Dortmund attackers has to start with Haaland, despite the strong play of Jadon Sancho ($12,500), who is responsible for a decent share of their set pieces. Dortmund are the biggest favorite on the slate with the highest implied goal total, and Haaland has the highest anytime goal scorer odds at -175 on DraftKings Sportsbook. It's not overwhelming, but it's ahead of Sancho (-110) and he's $1,500 cheaper. He's still likely to be owned in cash games because of these reasons, but Haaland's floor is very low if he doesn't find the back of the net, and he's really in this section because of his GPP ownership. Sancho is certainly possible too (not really together), and while he has a decent floor because of set pieces, he really needs to make the score-sheet at least once to make the salary work. That being said, he comes in with 17 goals and 16 assists in 28 appearances (23 starts) this season.
Christopher Antwi-Adjei, SCP v. SVW ($5,700): There are a number of mid-tier (at least compared to the Dortmund guys) forwards who are solid for cash games, though each one becomes significantly better if one of their teammates doesn't start. Antwi-Adjei is the one who is likely a solid play even if his set-piece-sharing teammate starts because of his salary. Kai Proger ($6,900) is the teammate who also takes set pieces for Paderborn, and while they share the responsibilities, they have both been crossing more than enough to make them viable cash-game plays Saturday. Additionally, they're facing a Werder Bremen side that's allowed the most crosses, fourth-most shots and fourth-most chances created in the Bundesliga this season. Paderborn may sit last in the table, but Bremen are just one spot ahead of them, so it's a little surprising they're the favored side. The other players in this range who could become better if the lineups shake out in their favor are Milot Rashica ($7,900) if Leonardo Bittencourt ($7,400, midfielder) doesn't start (both are actually questionable to play), Vincenzo Grifo ($7,700), who will likely split set pieces with Gunter, and Josip Brekalo ($7,300), who is the least likely to have his outlook changed because it's highly unlikely that Maximilian Arnold ($8,700) sits. Many cash lineups are likely to have two of these guys, both because they have good floors and because they make it easier to fit Kostic and at least one other high-priced midfielder or defender (and there are defenders worth paying for, too). Otherwise, spending up for Mark Uth ($10,500) is theoretically a play, but most people will see that Haaland is just $500 more and probably go there instead even though Huth has had one of the most reliable floors in the league since he joined FC Koln in January. And if Haaland doesn't start, pivoting to Thorgan Hazard ($9,300) could be the move if he leads the line against Dusseldorf.
Vladimir Darida, BSC v. SGE ($7,100): Marvin Plattenhardt ($6,100, defender) is questionable to play, and Darida's viability increases significantly if Plattenhardt is unable to start, as he's likely to stand over all dead balls. The big issue with Darida is that he doesn't fit, salary-wise, a lot of the builds that include paying up for Kostic and Trimmel, or Kostic and a high-priced forward, but that shouldn't completely rule Darida out of consideration. The difficulty is that he's similarly priced to the Dortmund wing-backs, Achraf Hakimi ($8,100) and Raphael Guerreiro ($7,200), whose floors are lower but ceilings much higher, especially given their matchup. Darida at least provides some salary savings from Arnold, who is in a great matchup against Freiburg, a side that has conceded the most chances created and second-most crosses among teams on the slate. Unfortunately, his high salary makes it really tough to pair him with Kostic, and playing him instead of Kostic is really risky in cash games because of ownership (and the fact that Kostic's floor is higher anyway).
Yunus Malli, FCU at KOE ($3,600): Malli was very solid last weekend against Schalke, finishing with 8.1 fantasy points in 69 minutes thanks to one shot, which was on goal, one shot assisted, two crosses, three fouls drawn and one interception. The matchup against Koln won't be as easy, but Malli showed he doesn't have to rely on any singular stat to make value. His low salary is obviously the selling point, especially for people who want to pay up at other positions. If you prefer a better matchup, Eintracht Frankfurt's Mijat Gacinovic ($3,300) has been decent in his central attacking midfield position, though we should keep a look out for Jonathan de Guzman ($3,900), who has taken three set pieces off the bench in the past two games. Additionally, Dominik Kohr ($3,600) has been good for his price lately, but he may be their lone defensive midfielder Saturday because of Rode's absence, so we can't expect him to do much in the attack. Then again, paying up slightly more for Almamy Toure ($4,600), who is now a midfielder, isn't a bad move at all, especially with the possibility of Andre Silva ($6,100, forward) and Bas Dost ($5,200, forward) starting up front together.
Ludwig Augustinsson, SVW at SCP ($5,200): Augustinsson's viability grows considerably if Rashica and Bittencourt don't start, which we saw last week when he took a good share of Bremen's corners, helping him to nine crosses, four chances created and two shots, eventually finishing with 14.8 fantasy points without getting on the score-sheet. He's probably a consideration even if they do start, but he's certainly more attractive if they don't (additionally, he's much more likely to go 90). The real play at defender is Christian Gunter ($6,300), who I considered in the chalk section above instead of Trimmel. Gunter's matchup against Wolfsburg isn't great, as they've allowed the seventh-fewest crosses in the league, though their total does include the 11 he sent in against them on Dec. 9, a match he ended with 9.9 fantasy points without a goal or assist. Given their high floors, we could see rosters with Plattenhardt, Augustinsson and Gunter if lineups drop the right way, making the cheap midfielders even more important.
Laurent Jans, SCP v. SVW ($3,600): Right after I say many lineups will have higher-priced defenders, we come to Jans, who is obviously a pay-down option for those who want to stack Dortmund or just pay up everywhere else. Jans' floor isn't overly high, but he's a decent crosser and has the same great matchup that Antwi-Adjei and Proger have. You can't expect much, and teammate Jamilu Collins ($4,200) is probably a better play in terms of raw points, but Jans is there if you need the salary savings.
Alexander Schwolow, SCF at WOB ($4,100): Florian Kastenmeier ($3,800) is the cheapest goalkeeper on the slate because he is the biggest underdog while playing at home against Borussia Dortmund, and if there are people who aren't playing Dortmund attackers then Kastenmeier theoretically makes sense. The issue is that Dortmund have scored the second-most goals in the Bundesliga this season but have only taken the sixth-most shots. In fairness, they've put the third-most on goal, but they are clinical enough that eight teams have forced more saves, including FC Koln and Wolfsburg, the latter of which has one more than half the goals of Dortmund. There will be people who play Kastenmeier, but if there's salary left, moving up to Schwolow may be fine given he faces that Wolfsburg side that's forced the sixth-most saves this season. Otherwise, Rafal Gikiewicz ($4,300) is only slightly more and is the cheaper goalkeeper in the game with the lowest projected total.