This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
Petr Cech, ARS vs. MID ($6,000): For those looking to pay up at keeper, it'll be between Cech and Liverpool's Loris Karius. Both teams are at home and the highest favorites. I find Cech the more desirable option given the recent struggles for Middlesbrough, who've gone winless in their last six, losing four of their last five. The Gunners, on the other hand, are in spectacular form, winning six consecutive league games and coming off a 6-0 thrashing of Ludogorets in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Tom Heaton, BUR vs. EVE ($4,000): Through eight games, Heaton has the second-best save percentage in the Premier League (78.8 percent, behind only Hugo Lloris's 80 percent) among keepers with at least four starts this season. Heaton has also faced the most shots on goal in the league (52 shots on goal, 41 saves), and his 41 saves are 10 more than the next highest keeper. To this point, Everton has had 73 percent of its shots on target saved. Finally, Burnley have allowed just three goals in five home matches this season, a goals-allowed rate bettered by only Leicester City and Tottenham.
James Milner, LIV vs. WBA ($7,600): Milner has the highest floor of any Liverpool player, which is pretty amazing on a team with a number of excellent attacking players. Even with an early withdrawal in an ugly 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Monday, Milner scored nine fantasy points, his second-lowest total of the season. In the two matches prior to facing the Red Devils, Milner totaled 19 crosses, five tackles and four interceptions. Oh yeah, he also had THREE goals. He has not missed a penalty this season, and the dribbling and foul-drawing abilities of the talented Liverpool attack greatly bolster the probability of drawing penalties.
Neil Taylor, SWA v WAT ($3,700): Taylor seems to have finally regained his fitness, and his starting job back under new manager Bob Bradley. His first full game back came in an extremely hard spot, traveling to London to face Arsenal. It was far from a good showing, but the three crosses at least hint at some viability from the fullback. He lacks real upside, but he did manage to contribute a couple of assists and over two crosses per game last season. Meanwhile, Watford allow the most crosses per game in the league.
Daniel Ayala, MID at ARS ($2,900): For under $3,000 you're often lucky to find a live body, but Ayala brings a little more than that given he now has 11 goals across 2.5 seasons for Boro in the Championship and Premier League. A goal against Arsenal is extremely unlikely, but he'll certainly have his opportunities to pick up some defensive statistics. Last season, Ayala averaged nearly 5.5 combined tackles and interceptions per game. He'll have to avoid picking too many fouls, and the potential for a yellow is somewhat high, but his low price could give that extra little bit you need to afford a premier attacking player.
Robert Snodgrass, HUL vs. STK ($7,400): After a tough run of matches that included Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United, Hull get an easier matchup Saturday at home against Stoke. Since scoring five times in the space of 13 days for club and country back in early September, the barrel has run a bit dry for the Scottish international. He's still picking up a fair number of peripheral stats, though he is averaging over six crosses per game over the last six. He's also averaging over one shot on goal per match, so clearly the goal threats are still present.
Manuel Lanzini, WHU vs. SUN ($6,400): Lanzini has played over 45 minutes three times this season, and in those games he had two goals on 11 shots (three on target). Dimitri Payet is obviously the premium option in this game, but a complete lack of confidence in Italian striker Simone Zaza leaves Lanzini as arguably the second-best choice. The 23-year-old had six goals and two assists in limited action last season, both totals he'll have a good chance to top this season as he's needed to score more with Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll still sidelined. The more expensive Michail Antonio will draw some attention as well, but I'd consider Lanzini's central attacking role more prevalent to goals than the somewhat defensive wingback/right midfield role Antonio plays.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson, BUR vs. EVE ($5,400): The absence of record-signing Steven Defour hurts Burnley quite a bit, but it should move Berg Gudmundsson into a more active role, picking up additional corner and free-kick duties. While splitting with Defour, the Icelandic midfielder still managed 13 crosses over Burnley's last three games. I'd expect him to upgrade both his crosses and shots (he's averaging just over a shot per game), which raises his goal-scoring potential as well. In his last two seasons in the Championship with Charlton, Gudmundsson had 16 goals and 15 assists.
Theo Walcott, ARS vs. MID ($8,900): It was just a month ago we were getting Walcott for under $7,000; he's $2,000 more now but still a great play. In his last six starts, Walcott has seven goals and one assist. He's scored between 14 and 31 fantasy points in every outing, averaging 23.3 per game. Superb form for the Gunners clashing with the meager form of Middlesbrough combines to make a spectacular matchup for the English winger and the rest of the Arsenal attack.
Sadio Mane, LIV vs. WBA ($8,400): Though he doesn't shoot as often as teammates Roberto Firmino or Philippe Coutinho, Mane leads the team with two shots per game from within the penalty area, making him the more efficient goal threat. He leads the team with nearly 2.9 fouls drawn per game, a number topped only by Eden Hazard in the league.
Modou Barrow, SWA v WAT ($5,800): It's just a one-week sample size, but new manager Bob Bradley looks prepared to unleash Barrow down the right wing. In a much more difficult match against Arsenal last weekend, Barrow picked up 14 fantasy points thanks so one assist, one shot (on target), four crosses and three fouls drawn. In games when Barrow has played over 60 minutes this season, he's scored at least nine fantasy points, with his highest total (16) coming at Leicester.