This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
Saturday's four-game slate features Manchester City as a massive home favorite against Southampton and at the time of writing, Erling Haaland's odds to score two or more goals ranged from +110 to +150, depending on the sportsbook. The City implied goal total stands well above the rest of the teams on this slate around 2.75. The focus will rightfully be on Man City for this reason, but their players are expensive and the other three games project around 2.75 total implied goals. Chelsea are in a good spot at home hosting Wolves and Newcastle are home favorites against Brentford. Finally, both of the defenses in the Bournemouth-Leicester City match have been terrible this season which could be a recipe for several goals.
- 10:00 am: AFC Bournemouth vs. Leicester City
- 10:00 am: Chelsea vs. Wolverhampton
- 10:00 am: Manchester City vs. Southampton
- 10:00 am: Newcastle United vs. Brentford
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Erling Haaland, MCI vs. SOU ($11,600): I think it's worth spending up once at forward in cash games and it's going to be a difficult decision between Haaland and Phil Foden ($10,000). Haaland's price reflects that he's almost favored to brace, but he doesn't have much of a floor outside of goal contributions. While Foden feels safer, his floor this season has not been consistent. There are a few slate dynamics that make it reasonable to spend up for Haaland in cash games. First, there aren't many forward-eligible players that have a floor and the main set-piece takers that we normally like to spend up on in midfield are expensive or in poor matchups. No other forwards stand out for their goalscoring odds and there are some viable spend down options at other positions. Finally, I think Haaland will be popular in double ups, so it makes sense to play him as a blocker. I'll be going back and forth on this decision until lock, and for me it is going to come down to how I can use the extra $1,600 in salary in the other spots of my lineup. For example, it's easier for Foden lineups to spend up at goalkeeper.
Tournaments are a different story. Haaland probably needs at least a brace to be necessary to win first place and the salary savings from fading him might be valuable. Foden scored a hat trick last week and certainly has upside, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($7,000), Callum Wilson ($8,300), and Patson Daka ($6,900) are all projected to start, are significantly cheaper, and have decent anytime goalscoring odds.
Mikkel Damsgaard, BRE at NEW ($5,300): I expect optimal, cash-game builds to spend down at least once at the forward position. Damsgaard got his first start last weekend for Brentford and was productive with two shots on goal, two crosses and a chance created despite only playing 61 minutes. If Mathias Jensen starts, Damsgaard probably will not take set pieces, but I don't think he needs them to make value on his salary. Joelinton ($5,400) has shown a decent floor in favorable matchups, as well, and generally goes a full 90 minutes. Wolves have a tough matchup against Chelsea, but I'm intrigued by Goncalo Guedes ($5,300). There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding Wolves since they just sacked Bruno Lage, but Guedes took set pieces for Wolves last week when Pedro Neto got injured. An early substitution is certainly possible, but he could easily be the source of a cheap goal, as well. I don't mind embracing this uncertainty in GPPs at his price.
Kevin De Bruyne, MCI vs. SOU ($9,500): As usual, De Bruyne is going to be one of the most popular players in cash games and tournaments. He didn't play in the midweek Champions League fixture, so I expect him to start and even be close to a full 90. It certainly feels ridiculous that he's $1,300 cheaper than James Maddison ($10,800). You have to fade Haaland and Foden to afford that in cash games, which seems like a mistake. In tournaments, Maddison is a pay-up-to-be-contrarian option. It at least makes sense to consider him because of a matchup against Bournemouth that could easily feature a lot of goals, but I'd rather play his less expensive teammates.
While I don't think I'll have the salary to get to this range in cash games, the mid-tier midfielders has a lot of enticing GPP options. We shouldn't ignore Chelsea's favorable matchup against Wolves and Mason Mount ($7,300) has access to a high ceiling if the Chelsea set pieces fall to him and he gets on the scoresheet. Jack Grealish ($6,300) has been finding form for Manchester City the past few games and I think he is underpriced relative to his teammates. I already mentioned the matchup between Bournemouth and Leicester having potential for a lot of goals, so I don't mind playing Marcus Tavernier ($6,400) with one of his forward eligible teammates such as Dominic Solanke ($5,700). On the other side of that matchup, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall ($4,800) seems underpriced and I am also interested in Youri Tielemans ($5,300) in tournaments.
Ryan Fraser, NEW vs. BRE ($3,800): There are a few viable options at midfield under $4,000 and I think it makes sense to play two of them. Fraser hasn't made it past the 71st minute as a starter this season, but he should be active in open play with crosses and shots against Brentford. Ryan Christie ($3,700) is another option, but it's worth noting that without set pieces he has been scoring fantasy points based on shots and defensive peripherals. If Mateo Kovacic ($3,600) starts, I think he is a fine option in cash games. If you don't play the Chelsea goalkeeper, Matheus Nunes ($3,500) is a tempting option in cash games and GPPs; he's taken two or more shots in half of his games this season. Finally, Jorginho ($3,900) is always in play at this price in tournaments. There's still a chance he's Chelsea's PK taker (it's unknown if he has the job over Aubameyang).
Kieran Trippier, NEW vs. BRE ($6,300): There are a few interesting spend-up options at defender and I think you should spend up at least once. In cash games, I prefer the security in Trippier's role in open play and set pieces for Newcastle. Reece James ($6,600) is a great tournament option and is always a threat to score, but Chelsea's set-piece situation is unpredictable week to week and we'll need to wait until lineups come out to see if he will line up as a wing-back. Joao Cancelo ($5,800) was subbed off early in Champions League midweek, so he should be a strong tournament option, as well.
Manuel Akanji, MCI vs. SOU ($3,400): If you don't spend up twice at defender, I think it makes sense to avoid the mid-tier defenders in cash games and play a Chelsea or Manchester City center-back. They all seem cheap relative to their clean sheet odds. Kalidou Koulibaly ($3,400) is a similar option for Chelsea and if Akanji doesn't start, Nathan Ake ($3,700), Ruben Dias ($2,900) or even Aymeric Laporte ($3,600), who returned midweek, make sense.
Ederson, MCI v SOU ($5,900): City have the highest implied win percentage on the slate, but Chelsea have slightly higher clean sheet odds. Either way, I think Ederson and Kepa Arrizabalaga ($5,700) are worth spending up for as they stand out above the rest of the goalkeeper options in terms of win and clean sheet odds.
Jose Sa, CHE vs. WOL ($3,800): Wolves have been good defensively this season, making me feel more comfortable selecting Sa than I usually am when selecting goalkeepers in this range. He's scored at least two fantasy points in every game this season. Otherwise, Neto ($4,400) is the least expensive home goalkeeper on the slate and he makes sense in lineups where you're not rostering Leicester players. Whether you spend up or down, just make sure your goalkeeper is not negatively correlated to the rest of your lineup in tournaments.