After a busy midweek of European action, there are only five games on this small Saturday afternoon slate. Three of England’s four Champions League sides are in action so take this into consideration when picking line-ups that contain Man City, Leicester City or Arsenal players. The following article goes through player picks at every position offering options at both ends of the market. As always, you can hit me up on Twitter @JamieHinksDK.
Kasper Schmeichel – ($5,600) – Leicester City – Schmeichel had a Champions League debut to remember midweek at Club Brugge, scoring 14 fantasy points to pick up his second clean sheet of the season. The third one should arrive this Saturday as Leicester go into a clash against Burnley in which they are a heavy favourite.
Maarten Stekelenburg – ($5,400) – Everton – The other big favourite on Saturday is Everton. Stekelenburg is on 13 fantasy points per game (FPPG) over the last two and both of those have been clean sheet wins. The Dutch stopper will make it three in a row against Middlesbrough.
Adrian – ($5,000) – West Ham – West Brom look allergic to scoring and have managed just two goals in four games. The growing uncertainty surrounding the future of manager Tony Pulis gives West Ham a big chance here. Adrian has been busy all season thus far, making four saves per game. Consider that two of their three losses have come against title contenders in Chelsea and Man City, and it makes Adrian are far stronger choice than his form suggests.
Arthur Masuaku – ($5,000) – West Ham – Since arriving from Olympiacos, the French full back is averaging 3.8 tackles and 2.5 interceptions per game. From an attacking standpoint, his three crosses per game gives optimism that he can add to the one assist, which he provided in the away game at Man City.
Nacho Monreal – ($4,800) – Arsenal – Hull City away is turning into a tough fixture from an attacking perspective, yet defensively it should be plain sailing for the Gunners, just like when United picked up a win. Monreal has been one of the busier Arsenal defenders this season and is on 3.3 tackles and 4.3 interceptions in the league. Monreal also has 2.25 crosses per game and should see an uptick in that column this Saturday.
Antonio Barragan – ($4,400) – Middlesbrough – Busy defenders score points and the Boro pair of George Friend ($4,300) and Barragan will be busier than most this Saturday. Barragan scored 13 fantasy points last weekend against Palace thanks to a big seven tackles. He also offers performance going forward, as evidenced by six crosses in that same game, and faces an Everton side that likes to play just as wide as Palace.
Kevin de Bruyne – ($9,700) – Man City – Today’s big midfield targets are cut from the ‘never fade’ fantasy cloth and the Belgian attacking midfielder just edges it. So far this season, de Bruyne has not dipped below double figures for fantasy points in any game with a low of 11 fantasy points. De Bruyne was the best player on the pitch in the Manchester Derby last Saturday lunchtime, his one goal, six shots (two on target) and seven crosses good for 26 fantasy points. Bournemouth will be quivering at the prospect of facing him.
Dimitri Payet – ($9,600) – West Ham – Wherever Payet was for the first few weeks of the season, every fantasy player was glad he returned last weekend. The Frenchman scored 25 fantasy points and his two assists, five shots and eight crosses was typical Payet. No matter the flow of a game, Payet is always fantasy relevant thanks to his rampant point scoring. That doesn’t change this weekend against a West Brom side that will struggle to cope.
Kevin Mirallas – ($5,900) – Everton – Mirallas was happier than any other Everton player to see the back of Roberto Martinez. Since he departed, Ronald Koeman has started Mirallas in all four games and trusted him to take corners and free kicks. Mirallas already had a goal before he picked up an assist on one of Romelu Lukaku’s three goals on Monday night. With double digit points in every game so far, he is cracking value at sub-$6K.
Danny Drinkwater – ($4,400) – Leicester City – To try and create some space in GPPs, Drinkwater looks an interesting choice. In two of the four Premier League games so far, Drinkwater has reached 10 fantasy points and he averages a weighty 4.8 tackles per game in the league. The former Man Utd youngster also has 2.3 shots per game and if he adds in a goal then you may benefit from a nice bit of what is expected to be low ownership.
Jamie Vardy – ($9,400) – Leicester City – Vardy got little credit, beyond a foul drawn, on DraftKings for winning a penalty in Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League win over Club Brugge. Before that he scored in two straight Premier League games for the Foxes and if there’s anything to learn about Vardy last season it’s that he scores in packs. Vardy has 18 FPPG over his last two games and three shots (all on target) meant that he offered far more than just a goal against Liverpool. As not even the top priced forward on the slate, his ownership will be high and he’s close to a must pick in cash games.
Romelu Lukaku – ($8,600) – Everton – Another player that loves to score his goals in packs, Lukaku has five goals in two games for club and country. The latter three were part of a 45.25 fantasy point night against Sunderland on Monday when he also had nine shots (six on goal). With Yannick Bolasie and Mirallas feeding him, Lukaku looks well placed to continue his scoring spell against an average Sunderland side.
Kelechi Iheanacho – ($7,200) – Man City – This is the final Premier League game that Sergio Agüero is missing due to suspension and the Nigerian centre forward will start in his place once again. Already this season he has two goals and two assists in five appearances in all competitions and averages 15 FPPG over the last two. He was among the few players on the pitch against United who were on De Bruyne’s level and at this price expect ownership to be high. Even so, the points return will make you happy you drafted him.
Simone Zaza – ($7,300) – West Ham – The Italian centre forward had a debut to forget against Watford, yet when Payet is in your team, a bad run for a forward rarely lasts that long. For Juve last season, Zaza had five goals but started just five games and is up against a West Brom team that has kept just one clean sheet in two home games. He represents little value to cash game players, however, in GPPs there is an upside.