This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Brentford vs. Crystal Palace
- 10:00 am: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Fulham
- 10:00 am: Chelsea vs. Southampton
- 10:00 am: Everton vs. Leeds United
- 10:00 am: Nottingham Forest vs. Manchester City
- 10:00 am: Wolverhampton vs. AFC Bournemouth
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Erling Haaland (MCI at NFO, $9,400): I regret to inform everyone that with Manchester City as massive favorites against a Nottingham Forest squad they pummeled 6-0 at home earlier this season, it is officially an Erling Haaland slate. At the time of writing, his anytime goalscoring odds were -250 (an implied probability of 71 percent) and his price is surprisingly cheap. With a 60th-percentile outcome involving Haaland scoring at least one goal, I will probably not be fading him in cash games. If you fade him in tournaments, you need to play options that can outscore him even if he gets a goal.
Joao Felix (CHE vs. SOU, $9,200): We now have a sample of two consecutive games with Felix taking corners, including Chelsea's recent Champions League fixture in which Hakim Ziyech also started. It appears that Felix is the primary taker of left-sided corners (with upside to take all of them if Ziyech and Ben Chilwell don't start) along with being one of the most dangerous pieces in Chelsea's attack. He's in a great fantasy spot against a struggling Southampton side that just gave up two goals to a 10-man Wolves squad last weekend. If Ziyech starts, Riyad Mahrez ($8,800) has a similar set-piece split and goalscoring odds at a $400 discount.
Spending up twice at forward in cash games certainly seems like a reasonable approach to me, although you will have to make sacrifices elsewhere in your lineup. The mid-range options are fraught with uncertainty. Evan Ferguson ($7,200) and Aleksandar Mitrovic ($7,100) both stand out on paper as options with brace upside who can keep up with Haaland if you choose to fade him in tournaments. In practice, I expect an early substitution from Ferguson since he is just coming off of a leg injury. Mitrovic is expensive for an underdog side, so I am more likely to play him with other Fulham and Brighton players and hope for a shootout in that match.
If you are looking to spend down on a cheaper option, Alex Iwobi ($5,700) has taken half of Everton's corners under Sean Dyche. If you choose to spend down at a forward spot in cash games, I think he is one of the most sensible options, especially since he's $1,100 cheaper than Dwight McNeil ($6,800). Matheus Cunha ($5,100) is a value given his goalscoring odds against a Bournemouth side that has allowed 44 goals in 22 league matches this season. Just note he is likely to be subbed off early. Options below Cunha are complete goal-dependent punts on underdog sides. For example, Odsonne Edouard ($4,700) and Jean-Philippe Mateta ($3,800) offer solid goalscoring odds for their prices, but their matchup away to Brentford doesn't seem likely to feature many goals.
Kevin De Bruyne (MCI at NFO: $9,300): Spending up twice at forward makes it difficult to afford De Bruyne. Pep Guardiola has been tinkering with Manchester City's tactics lately and it seems to have resulted in De Bruyne seeing fewer touches per game. On the other hand, fading him seems irresponsible in a matchup against Nottingham Forest. He still takes half of City's set pieces and is capable of massive open-play performances. Unless you are content punting two of your defender spots, the main cash-game decision seems to be if you are going to spend up on De Bruyne or two forwards. One expensive tournament option I like is Solomon March ($8,100). I think he will come in with low rostership, especially with players like Hakim Ziyech ($8,200) and Jack Grealish ($7,900) priced nearby.
Alexis Mac Allister (BHA vs. FUL: $6,400): The midfield position is full of strong options and I'm opting to highlight Mac Allister as my favorite of the mid-priced group. The Brighton-Fulham match has the second-highest implied total on the slate and Mac Allister took seven shots and created two chances last week lining up as a central attacking midfielder. I think he is slightly underpriced if he lines up in that role again. On the other side of that matchup, Andreas Pereira ($7,100) is still taking nearly all of Fulham's set pieces. Unfortunately, Brighton concede fewer than four corners per match, so I will probably only use him in GPPs. Mykhailo Mudryk ($5,900) might only play 70 minutes, but at his cost and matchup against Southampton, I think he is worth playing in GPPs. Bournemouth's defense has been a sieve all season and they are among the Premier League's worst teams in terms of goals, shots, crosses, and corners conceded per game. It is viable to target any team playing against them and Wolves' Pablo Sarabia ($5,600) has decent goalscoring odds and at least a partial set-piece role.
Matheus Nunes (WOL vs. BOU: $4,200): Earlier in the season, Nunes was being deployed as a defensive midfielder. He is currently priced as if he is still in that role, but he has lined up as a left-sided midfielder the past two Premier League matches under Julen Lopetegui. I've already outlined why it's worth attacking the Bournemouth defense, so he looks like one of the best salary-saving options. Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek ($4,100) is just $100 cheaper and will likely play defensive midfielder, but he has been used all around the pitch this season, so he is at least worth monitoring when starting XIs come out.
Reece James (CHE vs. SOU: $6,100): James is starting to get to a salary where it becomes more reasonable to utilize him in cash games even if Chelsea use a back four and he doesn't have set pieces. He has a ceiling from open play that none of the other available defenders have, along with a solid floor. I'd like to roster him in cash games and I will definitely use him in GPPs. Pervis Estupinan ($5,300) is in great form and notched an assist with eight crosses last week against Crystal Palace. He is a solid option, but if I can, I'd rather find the $800 extra needed to get up to James.
Antonee Robinson (FUL at BHA: $4,100): The defender position doesn't have that many values popping out to me, but Robinson seems fairly priced. He whipped in 11 crosses last week against Nottingham Forest. I wouldn't expect that strong of a performance against Brighton, but he has a fairly reliable floor of six-to-seven points against most opposition. Joel Veltman ($3,800) might start as a right-back for Brighton and he would be slightly underpriced as a home favorite if that is the case this weekend, as well. Given my lack of enthusiasm for the options I outlined above, I think it is completely fine to punt at your second defender spot (maybe even both!) to save salary. Pascal Struijk ($2,700) might return to Leeds' starting XI as a left-back and a Manchester City center-back such as Ruben Dias ($3,300) is always a reasonable choice.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE vs. SOU: $5,800): Although Manchester City have the best odds to win, Chelsea have the best clean sheet odds at just over 49-percent (at the time of writing). This, combined with the fact that City usually dominate possession, makes me prefer the $100 in savings I get from Kepa versus Ederson ($5,900). In games where City don't keep a clean sheet, Ederson is less likely than Kepa to face shots on goal and accrue save points
I don't think it's necessary to pay down for Keylor Navas ($3,600) on a six-game slate. Even if he gets a ton of saves, it's likely one of the away underdog goalkeepers gets a win and clean sheet, so the risk doesn't feel worth the reward. If I can't spend up, I'll just let the rest of my lineup dictate which goalkeeper I roster in tournaments.