This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
- 10:00 am: Chelsea vs. Burnley
- 10:00 am: Everton vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
- 10:00 am: Leicester City vs. Southampton
- 10:00 am: Manchester United vs. Norwich City
- 10:00 am: Wolverhampton vs. Newcastle United
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Gylfi Sigurdsson, EVE v. BHA ($7,700): Everton are favored at home, Sigurdsson has had a monopoly of set pieces since Carlo Ancelotti took over as manager, and he fills a forward spot. It's as simple as that as to why he's going to be very popular in cash games, and while he does have GPP upside, teammate Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($7,300) has three goals in his last three games, including nothing away to Manchester City. We also shouldn't ignore Richarlison ($8,000), though Sigurdsson's set pieces make him the clearer cash-game option.
Willian, CHE v. BUR ($9,900): Willian is a set-piece taker for the biggest favorite on the slate, so he's obviously going to be in the cash-game conversation. His forward eligibility certainly helps his case, as I don't think he'd be a real priority if he was only midfield-eligible like teammate Mason Mount ($7,300), who has been sharing those dead-ball opportunities with Willian. The GPP move continues to be Tammy Abraham ($9,000), who has the second-highest anytime goal scorer odds, trailing only Leicester City's Jamie Vardy ($8,100). The difficulty with playing Willian is that it means you're likely to miss out on at least one of the high-floor midfielders because of his high salary, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Willian's cash-game ownership lower than we're used to seeing when he has a solid matchup at home, especially with Mount so much cheaper and potentially other forwards to play. In fact, you could make a strong game that Adama Traore ($8,500) is a better cash and GPP play, and he saves $1,400 in salary versus Willian.
Steven Alzate, BHA at EVE ($4,700): There's not a ton of excitement with Alzate, but a forward-eligible player at under $5,000 who has a floor around five or six points shouldn't be ignored on a slate that has midfielders worth spending up on. The matchup isn't the toughest, even if Brighton are away underdogs, but Alzate actually does some defensive work as part of his floor, so it's not like we're only relying on shots, crosses and chances created. Additionally, he allows you to avoid the constantly under-performing Nathan Redmond ($4,700) away to Leicester City or Miguel Almiron ($5,200) away to Wolves. If anything, Pedro Neto ($5,900) could be an interesting option if he starts in place of the injured Diogo Jota because he provides cheaper access to a strong attack, though his salary isn't that cheap for those looking to save.
James Maddison, LEI v. SOU ($10,100): Maddison is always in the cash-game discussion because only Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne, who is not on the slate, has scored more fantasy points this season, including floor points. Additionally, Leicester are home favorites against Southampton and come in with the third-highest implied goal total, trailing only Chelsea and Manchester United. One thing to watch out for is that Maddison suffered a head injury during Wednesday's Carabao Cup match, and while it doesn't appear to be anything serious, if it's enough to keep him from the starting XI on Saturday then we could get some very cheap access to Leicester's set pieces with either Marc Albrighton ($5,000) or Demarai Gray ($4,600), though Youri Tielemans ($5,500) is also a possibility for those chances. If anything, Albrighton crosses much more in open play, and Gray is a better overall attacker from the wing.
Joao Moutinho, WOL v. NEW ($8,000): A monopoly of set pieces for the third-biggest favorite on the slate will put Moutinho on the radar, especially with Newcastle dealing with a plethora of injuries, including along their back line. He's pretty dependent on the set pieces for crosses and chances created, but that shouldn't be much of a problem in this match because Wolves should have plenty of possession and attacking quite a bit. He could be the most expensive midfield-only player if Maddison doesn't start, but Moutinho's matchup certainly makes him a more viable option than James Ward-Prowse ($7,000) away to Leicester City. The one guy worth arguing about in the price range is Emiliano Buendia ($7,100), who does absolutely everything for Norwich City in terms of set pieces, and they're now facing a Man United back line that is without a few key players, including center-back Harry Maguire. Norwich City like to attack no matter the opponent, so even though they are the biggest underdog, it's really tough to say Buendia isn't a strong option.
Fred, MUN v. NOR ($6,200): On the other side of Buendia's match is Fred, who has scored at least 11.5 fantasy points in four of his last five starts thanks to his role on set pieces. While Andreas Pereira ($6,100) does take some sporadically, Fred's pretty much been the guy, and while his salary feels a bit high for a holding midfielder, it's tough to argue the production, especially with Manchester United the biggest favorite on the slate. He also provides salary relief versus the group above, which is certainly helpful for fantasy players who don't want to pay down at defense or play someone like Alzate in a forward slot. If Fred's price is a little too much, Sean Longstaff ($4,200) looks likely to take set pieces for Newcastle, the team with the lowest implied goal total on the slate. Obviously that's not an ideal situation, even for someone with set pieces, so why not pay all the way down for Hamza Choudhury ($3,000), who could start in place of the injured Wilfred Ndidi? The upside is somewhat limited despite a goal on New Year's Day against Newcastle, but that price sure opens up a lot; the only difficulty is the opportunity cost of using a midfield spot on a player who isn't likely to give you a ton of fantasy points.
Jonny, WOL v. NEW ($4,400): Jonny is hardly a high-volume crosser for Wolves, but playing as a wing-back against a Newcastle side that's conceded the most crosses in the Premier League makes him a viable option. He's decently cheaper than teammate Matt Doherty ($5,100) despite averaging the same number of fantasy points, though Jonny is actually averaging more floor points (5.5 versus 4.5) per match. There are definitely some higher-priced defenders worth looks, plus some cheaper ones who could make value on their lower salaries, but Jonny shouldn't be ignored given the matchup.
Reece James, CHE vs. BUR ($5,800): The Chelsea, Everton and Leicester City fullbacks are all on the higher-end of the salary scale, though they are appropriately priced given their attacking upsides and positive matchups. James has been a better attacker than Cesar Azpilicueta ($5,700), so he gets the nod for me, while Djibril Sidibe ($5,500) surely looks more reasonable than Lucas Digne ($6,300) since the latter no longer has a role on set pieces. Finally, Ricardo Pereira ($5,400) and Ben Chilwell ($4,900) present an interesting argument, as Ricardo has been the higher fantasy scorer, though Chilwell gets his production from more attacking stats.
Cedric Soares, SOU at LEI ($3,800): Despite the poor matchup, Cedric's price will keep him in the conversation, especially since he's able to contribute tackles won and interceptions in addition to his crosses. Teammate Ryan Bertrand ($3,700) is also not usually this cheap, and while he's more likely to finish in the three to six-point range, the higher end of that at his price isn't too bad. Otherwise, Jetro Willems ($3,600) is also a reasonable punt away to Wolves, though Max Aarons ($3,400) could get more attention against Manchester United given their own defensive woes.
Mathew Ryan, BHA at EVE ($4,200): We have zero home underdogs this week, which means Everton's Jordan Pickford ($5,400) is the cheapest home goalkeeper, putting a wrench in the plans of those who like to pay down for that type of player. Kasper Schmeichel ($5,600) is generally my preferred pay-up option, and that doesn't change much this week even with Kepa Arrizabalaga ($5,900) hosting a Burnley side on eight consecutive games without multiple goals, including four times behind shut out. Otherwise, we're looking at away underdogs, with Tim Krul ($3,700) likely to have the highest save upside among the group against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Then again, he's more expensive than Nick Pope ($3,600), the biggest underdog on the slate playing at Stamford Bridge. Ultimately, I wouldn't be opposed to Ryan, who has conceded multiple goals just twice in his last seven Premier League matches, a span that also saw him make at least three saves five times.