This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Norwich City
- 10:00 am: Burnley vs. Manchester City
- 10:00 am: Chelsea vs. Brentford
- 10:00 am: Leeds United vs. Southampton
- 10:00 am: Wolverhampton vs. Aston Villa
- 12:30 pm: Manchester United vs. Leicester City
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Riyad Mahrez, MCI at BUR ($19): Kevin De Bruyne ($21) is the most expensive player on the slate for a reason, as he's scored 20 or more points in nine of his past 12 matches, including performances of 73.3 (!) and 67.2 points. In order to roster him, you'll need to give in other places, which is certainly an option on such a large slate. On the other hand, there's Mahrez, who is also capable of huge performances. Over his past eight Premier League starts, Mahrez scored seven goals, provided three assists, took 15 shots on goal and created 14 scoring chances. For a slightly cheaper price, you can get a massive amount of production. After those two, the RotoWire DFS Optimizer likes the value of Jack Grealish ($17), which is mostly due to him being the cheapest expected starter in City's vaunted attack. Josh Brownhill ($13) should be busy in the Burnley midfield, and you'll be relying on defensive statistics for the most part as Burnley are expected to play compact and on the counter.
James Maddison, LEI at MUN ($14): It's tough to look past Bruno Fernandes ($19), though if you do it's because his price is prohibitive. A cheaper, and less attractive option, is Maddison. He's been hot and cold this season but is coming off a goal, two shots on target, and four chances created against Brentford prior to the international break. With Jamie Vardy sidelined, Maddison and Youri Tielemans ($16) -- along with Kelechi Iheanacho ($15) -- will need to lead Leicester's attack. Maddison had a stretch from October through the middle of January over which he scored 30-plus points in six of 11 matches, showing his ceiling may be worth targeting in tournament formats. As the cheapest of the three aforementioned players, your investment still gives you room to roster attackers from the favorites. Despite facing a Manchester United side chasing Champions League football, there will still be chances to rack up attacking stats, as United concede the fifth most shots on goal and the sixth most chances created of the 12 teams on the slate. Harvey Barnes ($13) is even cheaper and has hit double digits in five straight matches. Jadon Sancho ($16) is cheaper than Cristiano Ronaldo ($20) and Bruno Fernandes and has scored 22 or more in four of his past five starts, making him an attractive option. It's also worth noting that this match has the highest implied goal total of the six on the board.
Solomon March, BRI v. NOR ($11): Burnley are the third highest favorite behind Manchester City and Chelsea, as they'll be playing at home against the last-placed team in the league. March is as cheap of a starting midfielder for a favorite as you'll find. He finished with double digits in each of his past three starts and should get the call again. Norwich concede the second most shots on goal and chances created of the 12 teams, offering a big opportunity for March and the rest of the Brighton attack. Leandro Trossard ($18) is the most coveted option, slightly ahead of Neal Maupay ($17), but the best place to look are the value plays like March or Pascal Gross ($12). Gross takes the majority of set pieces for Brighton, with assistance from March and Alexis Mac Allister ($13). All three are viable plays, but March gives you the best opportunity to stack higher-end players from favorites.
Stuart Armstrong, SOU at LEE ($9): I've been banging the Armstrong drum for a couple months now. The results have been mostly positive and I'll stick by my endorsement of the Southampton attacker. He's been operating as a winger since returning from early-season injuries and has made the most of his opportunity by scoring two goals, taking six shots on goal and creating 11 scoring chances in eight starts. He's also busy defensively and has provided an excellent floor. In those eight matches, Armstrong scored double digits in six of eight matches while finishing with over 28 in two matches. Leeds have looked a bit better under new manager Jesse Marsch, but not enough for me to overlook the value that Armstrong provides. Mohamed Elyounoussi ($12) is another good value play and is coming off a goal in his last outing. He scored over 15.6 points in five of the past seven matches. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall ($10) is another cheap option and should start again.
Cesar Azpilicueta, CHE v. BRE ($10): Chelsea have the second best clean sheet odds and have been the second best side in the league defensively behind Manchester City. Azpilicueta has played a big role in that and will look to build on recent performances in which he's regularly scored in the upper teens. He's Chelsea's cheapest expected starter, making him a reasonable play in both tournaments and cash games. In terms of high-end defenders, I could see James Tarkowski ($14) having a massive day against City's attack due to the number of clearances he could make, while Joao Cancelo rivals Trent Alexander-Arnold for best outside back in the Premier League. Romain Saiss ($13) is a big reason Wolverhampton find themselves in the conversation for European football, and he has been a rock solid fantasy option all season.
Tariq Lamptey, BRI v. NOR ($7): Lamptey should be one of the cheapest starting defenders on the slate, and he's got a great matchup against Norwich. Brighton have struggled of late, but there is no better time to bounce back than when facing Norwich, who have scored just 20 goals in 29 matches. On top of that, they've been the second worst side in terms of goals against, giving opponents the opportunity for serviceable fantasy days. In a match like this, where Brighton could keep a clean sheet, Lamptey offers just enough to make him a reasonable play. James Justin ($8) is another cheap option in a match that has the highest implied goal total of the six matches.
Nick Pope, BUR v. MCI ($6): If you go this route, you'll probably want to fade a Manchester City attack given you'll be playing yourself. Pope is the cheapest expected starter and will be in line for a huge day in terms of saves. It'll be interesting to see how many shots on goal City rack up and if Pope can keep it a close game. David de Gea ($12) is another option I like, as he scored double digits in 13 of his past 17 matches. Since returning from injury, David Raya ($7) has scored at least 19 points in four of seven starts. Ederson ($14) has the top clean sheet odds ahead of Edouard Mendy ($13) and Robert Sanchez ($12). The Aston Villa and Wolverhampton match has the lowest implied goal total, which provides the opportunity to roster Emiliano Martinez ($11) or Jose Sa ($10). I'd opt for Sa in this case because of Wolverhampton's defensive record, and he is tied for fourth in clean sheets with 11.