This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Crystal Palace vs. Fulham
- 10:00 am: Luton Town vs. Wolverhampton
- 10:00 am: Manchester City vs. Nottingham Forest
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Julian Alvarez, MCI vs. NFO ($10,200): Maybe this is a controversial take, but I want Alvarez as the first forward in my lineup ahead of Erling Haaland ($11,000). As usual, Haaland comes with outrageous goalscoring odds of -300 at home against Nottingham Forest. His shot volume has been strong in all matches this season with his lowest tally being four while averaging six shots (2 on target) per match.
Haaland paying off his steep price is going to depend on him getting a goal. He is a great cash-game play, but at $11,000, he'll probably need at least a brace to be necessary in a GPP-winning lineup. Alvarez has been in outrageously good form, and in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, it appears that he is the priority set-piece taker. He's the second most likely player to score in the entire slate along with taking most of the set pieces, so I prefer Alvarez's range of outcomes to Haaland's if I had to choose only one of them.
Matheus Cunha, WOL at LUT ($5,900): I think Cunha is good value in a great matchup against Luton Town. He's registered at least two shots in all but one of his starts and I think his early substitution against Liverpool was more due to Wolves trying to hold a draw at Anfield rather than a sign that we can't expect 80 or more minutes like he had in previous starts. His price allows you to play a more balanced construction if you use him as your second forward instead of Haaland. He's a reasonable cash-game option but not a priority in that format. I'm much more certain he is a great tournament option and this might be one of his best chances to score a goal this season.
In tournaments, I think Haaland will see higher than usual rostership. The other two matches have low-implied totals, so it just makes sense to target the Manchester City attack. I think this creates some solid leverage opportunities for the games where Haaland either fails to score or only gets to around 15 DK points with a goal or assist. Jeremy Doku ($9,100) has been very good in his first few starts and he should come in at lower rostership than Alvarez and Haaland. Eberechi Eze ($10,000) is a pay-up-to-be-contrarian option. His matchup against Fulham has a low-implied total, but his set-piece monopolist role is elite and he can score 25 or more points with just one goal.
Phil Foden, MCI vs. NFO ($8,900): Foden is also forward eligible, but the midfield position doesn't have much in terms of options and value. If you fade Haaland, you can afford to play Foden or Pedro Neto ($9,300) in a midfield spot without having to punt the rest of your lineup. I don't think either is a cash-game must, especially if Foden is not taking most of the set pieces. He'll still be popular in cash games, and he has an outstanding open play floor. Playing him with Haaland and Alvarez just requires you punt the rest of your lineup spots. Neto might be one of the best tournament plays of the entire slate. It's difficult to afford his price and you must pass on quality Manchester City options to play him. This should keep his rostership in check while maintaining goal and assist upside against Luton Town.
Andreas Pereira, FUL at CRY ($6,500): It seems like Pereira has resumed taking most of Fulham's corner kicks with Harry Wilson ($5,600) taking some direct free kicks. I'm not excited to click Pereira's name in my lineups, but he profiles as an adequate if unexciting play in cash games on the road against Crystal Palace. I wouldn't blame you if you preferred to save $900 and play Wilson. I've been fading Rodri ($7,200) in all formats for the past several slates and he continues to punish me with amazing goals. I think this has been poor process on my part. In four of Rodri's six starts this season, he's logged four or more shots. His increased attacking output is correlated with the absence of De Bruyne and several other more attacking starters from the squad, so there is a chance his attacking output might remain elevated for the near future. I wouldn't blame you for preferring him over Pereira and that might even be the best move.
Matheus Nunes, MCI vs. NFO ($4,800): Speaking of Manchester City injuries, there is a good chance Nunes will make his first Premier League start for City with Bernardo Silva out with an injury. If this is the case, Nunes offers vital salary relief in all formats. There aren't many viable punts and Nunes was outstanding from a fantasy point of view in his midweek Champions League start where he assisted six shots and took two of his own while playing a full 90 minutes. If Nunes doesn't start, you could replace him with the slightly cheaper Joao Palhinha ($4,400). He shoots a good amount for a defensive midfielder and I prefer him to all the other non-Nunes players in this price range.
I don't feel particularly enthusiastic about any of the defender options. I'll highlight a couple of options I like most below, but I wouldn't consider any of these plays as "musts."
Rayan Ait-Nouri, WOL at LUT ($4,000): I think most of the full-backs range from efficiently priced to overpriced. Kyle Walker ($5,600) has shown more offensive open-play value this season and Kenny Tete ($5,100) finally had a strong offensive outing after a difficult schedule to start the season, logging 13.5 fantasy points and seven crosses against Luton Town. I think both of them are solid plays, but I'm not sure I'll have the salary to pay more than $5,000 on a defender. Maybe Tete's stat line suggests we should target full-backs playing against Luton where Ait-Nouri is favorably priced. He is coming off a knock and hasn't been playing a full 90 minutes this season, but the attacking and clean-sheet equity against Luton make him worth his modest price.
Ait-Nouri has had great attacking performances in the past, so I think he has some upside. Nelson Semedo ($4,700) is more likely to play 90 minutes, but I try to avoid playing him due to his penchant for yellow cards. Antonee Robinson ($3,400) is a good option if he is fit enough to start, as well. Be on the lookout for Robinson when starting lineups drop.
Ruben Dias, MCI vs. NFO ($4,400): It only took about a month, but the Manchester City center-backs are finally efficiently priced by DraftKings. Ruben Dias ($4,400) is the cheapest option of the bunch. He's had four shots in his last four starts for City and he's logged four or more fantasy points in each of those starts despite City failing to keep a clean sheet in each of them. I was surprised to see Joachim Andersen ($3,900) has been averaging just under seven floor points per 90 minutes. He's averaging more than one cross and shot assisted per match as a center-back and his 36 passes into the final third of the pitch this season are seventh most in the entire Premier League. Crystal Palace are home favorites and with implied odds of 36 percent to keep a clean sheet, I think Andersen is a pretty solid play.
After doing a deep dive in advanced stats to justify playing Andersen, I feel obligated to point out that in situations like these with no standout defenders to play, it's perfectly acceptable to just play the cheapest available option if you can improve your other outfield spots.
Bernd Leno, FUL at CRY ($4,200): My inner nerd is begging me to highlight Ederson ($5,900) since City have implied win and clean sheet odds just above 83-percent and 50-percent, respectively. I want to say that Ederson is probably underpriced, and that it's a three-game slate so that it makes more sense than usual to pay up for goalkeeper, especially in cash games. While this is all true, City have conceded a goal in their last four matches and I'm happy to pivot off a chalky goalkeeper in GPPs when it's the most volatile fantasy position.
Leno seems like a fine spend down option that gives you $1,700 to spend elsewhere in your lineup. While Fulham's brutal schedule is undoubtedly a contributing factor here, they have conceded the second-most shots on target in the Premier League this season. Even in a projected low-scoring matchup against Crystal Palace, I think he'll have the opportunity to make some saves.