The Premier League is rounding the corner with a month to go, and while the title has all but been awarded, the relegation battle is heating up. Let’s look at how that affects the top studs and values on Saturday’s main slate.
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool ($13,400) — Salah has been an absolute goal machine this season, and his midweek Champions League goal helped punch Liverpool’s ticket to the semifinals of the world’s most prestigious club tournament. Facing a Bournemouth side that has allowed two or more goals in three of their last four, it’s hard to envision Salah slowing down in this spot.
Others to Consider — Roberto Firmino, Liverpool ($10,100); Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City ($9,400); Johann Berg Gudmundsson ($9,000)
Jordan Ayew, Swansea City ($6,200) — Ayew returns from a three-match ban, and he should be raring to go play in his first EPL match in over a month. He was topping double digits at a consistent clip before his suspension, and with Swansea looking to distance themselves from the relegation zone, I think Ayew comes back with a big performance at home against Everton.
Others to Consider — Chris Wood, Burnley ($6,300); Tammy Abraham, Swansea City ($6,100); Steve Mounie, Huddersfield Town ($5,900)
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace ($8,700) — Zaha scored a dazzling goal in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Bournemouth, racking up five shots and 19.5 points by the time the final whistle blew. Crystal Palace are on the relegation bubble and with Southampton hot on their heels with a game in hand, they can’t afford to slip up at home to Brighton this late in the season. Look for Zaha to continue to thrive in the attack as Palace fight for their EPL lives.
Others to Consider — Sadio Mane, Liverpool ($9,600); James Milner, Liverpool ($8,300); Andros Townsend, Crystal Palace ($8,100)
Solly March, Brighton Hove and Albion ($5,100) — March gets in the mix with a slew of shots, crosses and fouls drawn any time he’s given a full allotment of minutes. He notched 8.5 points in his first start in nearly two months, and if he retains his starting spot, March is in a good spot to exceed value.
Others to Consider — Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth ($6,400); Rajiv van La Parra, Huddersfield ($5,500); Roberto Pereyra, Watford ($4,500)
Jose Holebas, Watford ($6,700) — Holebas piled up 15 crosses last weekend and he’s topped double-figure crosses in three of his last four outings. His price keeps creeping up, but he continues to prove that he’s worth making room for. If you consider getting this kind of consistent production from a forward or midfielder at a sub-$7K salary it’s pretty much an auto-play, so don’t let the seemingly high price tag for a defender scare you away.
Others to Consider — Alberto Moreno, Liverpool ($6,100); Kiko Femenia, Watford ($5,300); Ben Chilwell, Leicester City ($5,100)
Martin Olsson, Swansea City ($4,700) — Olsson managed to hit 10 points last Saturday through a combination of crosses, fouls drawn and tackles won. He’s usually good for four-to-five crosses, and Olsson should tack on some added peripherals at home to Everton, with another double-digit performance a real possibility.
Others to Consider — Leighton Baines, Everton ($4,700); Florent Hadergjonaj, Huddersfield Town ($4,600); Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Crystal Palace ($4,600)
Wayne Hennessey, Crystal Palace ($5,300) — With Crystal Palace clinging to their Premier League lives, they’ll be eying Saturday’s home clash with Brighton as a must-win game. Hennessey has lost three straight at home, but all three have come at the hands of league powerhouses Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham. Considering what’s at stake, I’m buying in on Hennessey bouncing back against a Brighton squad that have just one goal in their last three games.
Others to Consider — Loris Karius, Liverpool ($5,800); Lukasz Fabianski, Swansea City ($5,000); Nick Pope, Burnley ($4,900)
Asmir Begovic, Bournemouth ($3,600) — Begovic is in arguably the toughest spot of any keeper on this slate, but if we want to play off of the Champions League hangover narrative, a case could be made for saving salary with the cheapest goalkeeper on the board. It’s anyone’s guess what kind of squad rotation we’ll see from Liverpool, but as we saw last weekend in their 0-0 draw at Everton, when the big names are out anything is possible.
Others to Consider — Mat Ryan, Brighton Hove & Albion ($4,300)
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