This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
- 11:00 am: Leeds United vs. AFC Bournemouth
- 11:00 am: Manchester City vs. Fulham
- 11:00 am: Nottingham Forest vs. Brentford
- 11:00 am: Wolverhampton vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
It's a Manchester City slate and the biggest question is if Erling Haaland ($11,900) will be fit enough to start. If he starts, he changes the slate with goalscoring odds at -260, and with City massive favorites and few other enticing spend-up options, I'll expect him to be popular in all formats. In this situation, I think rostering Haaland as a blocker in cash games and making the rest of the lineup work from there is a sensible strategic decision. In tournaments, there are plenty of alternative routes if you decide to fade Haaland. At his salary, he needs more than one goal and an early substitution is even more likely given his fitness issues.
Elsewhere, Leeds are favored as they host Bournemouth and they have the second highest implied goal total on the slate. As great as that might sound, that is still almost a goal behind City's implied total. The matchups between Nottingham Forest and Brentford, and Wolves versus Brighton have low implied totals and are not projected to be fertile fantasy scoring environments.
Phil Foden, MCI vs. FUL ($10,800): If Haaland doesn't start, I think it's worth paying up for Foden. He should see some of City's set pieces and has strong value from open play. If teammate Riyad Mahrez ($7,900) starts, he is +105 to score a goal, may take away some of Foden's corners and seems underpriced given the matchup. I think there are ways to play him and Foden together in cash games, but it's worth noting Mahrez hasn't gone past the 70th minute in league play since August and just played a full 90 on Wednesday. Of course, that might be plenty of time for him to pay off his salary against Fulham. Julian Alvarez ($9,500) is -140 to score a goal, which isn't good enough to play him in cash games, but he will certainly be a popular tournament play.
No one else in the high-end range at forward stands out to me. Brighton are only slight favorites away from home and I would rather play City players or Rodrigo ($8,300) in a favorable matchup than spend up for Leandro Trossard ($9,300) or Pascal Gross ($8,700) in GPPs. Bernardo Silva ($7,500) is always capable of a brace and will be much less utilized in tournaments than his other forward-eligible teammates.
Patrick Bamford, LEE vs. BOU ($4,100): I think the forward position is quite weak on this slate and it has me tempted to spend down at the second spot in cash games. Morgan Gibbs-White ($6,000) will be taking set pieces for Nottingham Forest and I suppose the matchup at home against Brentford is solid. Mikkel Damsgaard ($5,600) will take some set pieces for Brentford, but I question how much he'll play if he starts. Why not just spend as little as possible and go down to Patrick Bamford ($4,100)? While his minutes have not been consistent, Leeds are in the second-best game environment and his +110 goalscoring odds seem worth the price, especially if you can make my lineup stronger at other positions.
In tournaments, I'm interested in Yoane Wissa ($6,400) or Bryan Mbeumo ($6,200). They are often subbed early, but there is a chance they get more minutes this game with Ivan Toney out and Brentford's starting XI needs to be checked, as there could be some changes. Nottingham Forest have given up over two goals per match this season, so I think both have solid upside at likely low rostership.
Kevin De Bruyne MCI vs FUL ($9,900): As usual, De Bruyne stands out as the best play of the slate. I think he is an absolute must in cash games and I find it difficult to fade him in tournaments, as well.
Brenden Aaronson LEE vs BOU ($6,300): I'm confused to why Aaronson is $1,800 cheaper than Jack Harrison ($8,100). They have nearly identical goalscoring odds and split set pieces for Leeds, so I think Aaronson is underpriced. It's worth noting Marcus Tavernier ($7,100) hasn't taken a corner in the last two matches for Bournemouth. While I doubt he has lost this role entirely, it seems like teammate Lewis Cook is now the preferred option for corners on the left side of the pitch. With few enticing options in this price range, it might be worth considering Rodri ($5,700) in this spot for tournaments. He scored seven goals for City last season, the matchup is great and the opportunity cost is relatively low.
Lewis Cook BOU at LEE ($3,300): There's a few playable punt midfielder options. I already mentioned Cook and he took two corners and a free kick against Tottenham last match. Brighton's Kaoru Mitoma ($4,500) got an assist last match against Chelsea and is a compelling GPP option. You could also look to his teammates Moises Caicedo ($4,000) and the minimum-priced Adam Lallana ($3,000).
Joao Cancelo MCI vs. FUL ($6,000): There aren't any must play defenders for their floors, but I think Cancelo stands above the rest of the high-end options due to his unmatchable goal upside and matchup. I'd like to find a way to play him in cash games. Pervis Estupinan ($5,200) seems to be more settled into Brighton and played well in his 90 minutes against Chelsea, but I can't ignore that he was subbed off early in his five starts before that. If Joel Veltman is on the bench, he'd likely be subbed out at some point. Neco Williams ($5,500) took three corners against Arsenal last match, but don't be fooled about him necessarily earning his set-piece role back. Those were taken when he was subbed on after Gibbs-White was subbed off.
Rasmus Kristensen LEE vs. BOU ($3,800): Kristensen is the best mid-range option at defender. This season it's been smart to avoid players in this range more often than not, but he's a bit too cheap in a favorable matchup against Bournemouth. I think his floor is similar to Estupinan's at a better price. Kristoffer Ajer ($3,500) might start as a right-back but doesn't offer much offensively. The Manchester City center-backs are priced in a similar range, but I think Kristensen has a better floor. If you really need the salary, I think it's fine to play a cheap center-back. Robin Koch ($2,700) has the best clean sheet odds of the players in the minimum-priced range.
Ederson MCI vs. FUL ($5,900): It feels like it's said every Manchester City slate, but they have significantly higher win and clean sheet odds than the rest of the teams and this makes Ederson the clear spend-up option at goalkeeper if you can afford it.
Jose Sa WOL vs. BHA ($4,400): Sa is the cheapest home goalkeeper, so if you can't pay up at goalkeeper in cash, I'd try to make sure I can afford him. With so many Leeds and City players likely to be in my cash-game lineup, I am reluctant to play them with Mark Travers ($4,100) or Bernd Leno ($3,600). In tournaments, it always makes sense to pick any goalkeeper that doesn't negatively correlate with your lineup.