This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Aston Villa vs. AFC Bournemouth
- 10:00 am: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. West Ham United
- 10:00 am: Everton vs. Watford
- 10:00 am: Norwich City vs. Newcastle United
- 10:00 am: Southampton vs. Liverpool
- 12:30 pm: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
For detailed odds and stats, check out the FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Saturday EPL Cheat Sheet.
It's officially a full Saturday slate with Liverpool and Man City in action after it was Harry Kane or bust last week. There are questions for each of those teams as the new format makes things a little more interesting with a forward/midfield combo. Is Mohamed Salah ($24) worth it as the most expensive player, especially with Sadio Mane ($20) and Roberto Firmino ($18) a bit cheaper? Liverpool are decent favorites against Southampton, but they played Wednesday and scored 21 fewer goals away from home last season. Throw in Salah's 120 minutes in the UEFA Super Cup, and he probably won't go the entire way. Not only did Man City not have to play Wednesday, but they're also bigger favorites against Tottenham. Raheem Sterling ($22) will probably be most popular given the odds and his opening hat trick, and I can't argue that decision. I'm also comfortable backing Kevin De Bruyne ($20) and Gabriel Jesus ($18), especially since Salah costs four valuable dollars more. Of course, there's also a decent chance Sergio Aguero ($20) and Bernardo Silva ($14) return to the starting XI, and if that's the case, Silva will be in all of my teams. The true GPP route is spending on Harry Kane ($22) and Christian Eriksen ($18), but I can't support that strategy.
The only other players I'd consider at $18 and above are Gylfi Sigurdsson ($18) and Teemu Pukki ($18). Sigurdsson still has one of the better floors in the game (14.3 points last match) and is home against against Watford, who lost 3-0 at home against Brighton. The main worry for Pukki is that Newcastle continued their defensive tendencies in the opener after allowing 23 away goals last season, one of the better rates in the league. You could use teammate Emiliano Buendia ($16), who has a slightly better floor due to corners and free kicks, though Pukki's goal odds are some of the best on the slate (+125). For cash games, Matt Ritchie ($16) is always in play, but he's a bit expensive for a floor play.
There are still a lot of viable plays in the lower range, namely Callum Wilson ($16) and Ryan Fraser ($14) after they disappointed last match. Any time Fraser is this cheap, I'll take a chance on him, especially against Aston Villa. He only had 4.3 fantasy points last match, but he still had eight crosses and that often led to a floor near 15 points last season. You could also stack Villa on the other side because Bournemouth allowed 45 away goals last season, tied for the worst mark in the league. That said, after John McGinn ($14), Jack Grealish ($14), Trezeguet ($12) and Conor Hourihane ($10) all put in respectable openers, they'll likely be popular value options.
If you want to go cheaper, the only viable route is likely through defensive midfielders. It's not a flashy move, but Isaac Hayden ($12), Fabinho ($12) and Declan Rice ($10) are players who often reach at least 10 fantasy points from defensive stats. Philip Billing ($10) may be the best of them after he had four interceptions and six tackles in his Bournemouth debut, finishing with 24 fantasy points. Miguel Almiron ($10) is one of the only attacking players in this range, and his price dropped after Newcastle did nothing offensively against Arsenal. Helping his upside, he played as a forward in a 3-5-2 formation and will surely get more opportunities against Norwich. If anything, he's a decent GPP play with solid upside for cheap.
If you're willing to spend money on Virgil van Dijk ($18), just know that Trent Alexander-Arnold ($16) had a better floor last match and will make the score sheet more times this season due to assists. Otherwise, the only other defenders I'd spend that much on are Tyrone Mings ($16), Fabian Schar ($16) and Jan Bednarek ($16) because they're usually good for a floor of 15-20 fantasy points from defensive stats (Mings' floor is based off one match).
That being the case, I'm still riding with cheaper defenders. Diego Rico ($10) may be my favorite play of the slate after he hit 17.3 fantasy points with three clearances, three interceptions and five tackles. If he can reach those numbers against Sheffield, there's no reason he won't see that much defensive work in every match, and that doesn't include chances created from crosses and corners. I'm less comfortable with Dan Burn and Paul Dummett at the same price, but they also reached a floor of 15 points, and I'd be willing to test my luck on them again as a second defender. If you want to go cheaper, there aren't a ton of choices, with Neil Taylor ($8) one of the only expected starters. Either way, it's not easy finding a minimum-priced defender who will reach double-digit fantasy points.
If there isn't a $10 defender you like, you're better spending a couple more bucks to get the likes of Yerry Mina ($12), Martin Montoya ($12) or Jamaal Lascelles ($12), who all consistently accrue at least 10 points from central defensive positions. Chris Mepham ($12) will probably be over owned after he scored last match, and that's probably a bad idea since his floor was 6.5 points. I'd rather bank on John Stones ($12) or Seamus Coleman ($12), who both have clean-sheet potential as well as decent floors from defensive activity.
I'm against paying up for a goalkeeper, but with only two major favorites on the slate, it may be best to spend on Ederson ($16) or Adrian ($14). Ederson should get the win, and securing a clean sheet isn't impossible against Spurs, while Adrian's a little trickier because he isn't Alisson Becker, one of the best keepers in the world. If you'd rather spend on field players, I don't hate going cheaper with someone like Tim Krul ($10), who surprisingly has better odds to win than eight other teams on the slate. Wait… what? If you think Krul will be too chalky, Angus Gunn ($8) should rack up saves against Liverpool, and I doubt Brighton score three goals in back-to-back matches, making Lukasz Fabianski ($10) a viable differential.