Sometimes being the biggest favorite doesn’t matter in DFS, and that’s kind of what Saturday’s fantasy soccer slate presents. Manchester United and Crystal Palace are in the best position to win, yet whether because of injuries or prices, might not be the easiest teams to back. That should make for an interesting EPL $30K Backheel Special [$3K to 1st] with plenty of variety expected in the top lineups.
STUDSJamie Vardy, Leicester vs. Bournemouth, $8,300 — This isn’t the prettiest forward slate with Marcus Rashford ($9,300) the most expensive option, but there are still viable options. Vardy is one of them at a reasonable price with the second-best odds to score. He doesn’t have much of a floor, but not many of these guys do. His main selling point is Bournemouth have allowed multiple goals in nine of their past 10 away matches. Other Options — Marcus Rashford, Manchester United, $9,300; Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace, $8,900; Callum Wilson, Bournemouth, $7,300
VALUESTroy Deeney, Watford at Manchester United, $4,700 — Deeney easily could bust, but he’s averaging more than two shots per 90 minutes, and this matchup isn’t as tough as recent trips to Man City and Liverpool. For starters, Man United have allowed at least one goal in their past five matches in all competitions and allowed two to Southampton in their previous match at Old Trafford. Deeney has three goals and three assists in the past four matches and at least has potential.
Other Options — Glenn Murray, Brighton, $5,300; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Brighton, $5,000; Karlan Grant, Huddersfield, $4,700
STUDSJames Maddison, Leicester vs. Bournemouth, $8,800 — Maddison probably has the best floor on the slate and likely will be the most popular play in cash games. There’s little reason to fade him, having hit at least 11 fantasy points in his past seven starts. Most of that is due to corners, and Bournemouth have allowed the fifth most in the league. He also has some goal-scoring upside as seen last match, while averaging 2.54 shots per 90 minutes. Other Options — Paul Pogba, Manchester United, $8,600; Ryan Fraser, Bournemouth, $7,600; Luka Milivojevic, Crystal Palace, $7,500
VALUESJuninho Bacuna, Huddersfield at Crystal Palace, $3,700 — Bacuna was a steal last week when he scored, and now he’s even cheaper. Sure, the matchup is more difficult, but he’s had at least 4.8 fantasy points in each of his past six appearances, whether as a defensive midfielder, outside midfielder or right back. He’s averaging 2.20 tackles won and 1.70 interceptions per 90 minutes, but as a midfielder is getting more shots and as a defender is accruing more crosses. Crystal Palace are favored, but they just lost at home to Brighton, so I wouldn’t be completely sold on a clean sheet.
Other Options — Manuel Lanzini, West Ham, $4,100; Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester, $4,000; Leander Dendoncker, Wolverhampton, $3,800
STUDSRyan Bertrand, Southampton at Brighton, $5,000 — With Lucas Digne unlikely to play, there isn’t one defender that should be highly owned. For Bertrand, his floor is relatively safe with at least six fantasy points in six of his past seven starts. If you throw away the trips to Man United and Man City, he’s had at least seven crosses in his past five starts. It’s unlikely Brighton slow him down as they’ve allowed the seventh-most crosses to defenders despite playing one or two fewer matches than every other team. Other Options — Ashley Young, Manchester United, $5,800; Ricardo Pereira, Leicester, $5,500; Yan Valery, Southampton, $4,800
VALUESTerence Kongolo, Huddersfield at Crystal Palace, $3,600 — Given his price, you’d think Kongolo is useless in fantasy, but that’s not the case. He’s had at least five fantasy points in his past four starts and rarely goes below three. While he assisted last match, most of his numbers come from tackles and interceptions. That’s convenient because Crystal Palace have allowed the most tackles to defenders this season.
Other Options — Jonjoe Kenny, Everton, $3,700; Kevin Long, Burnley, $3,600; Willy Boly, Wolverhampton, $3,300
STUDSVicente Guaita, Crystal Palace vs. Huddersfield, $5,700 — It’s a bold move to spend this much on Guaita, but there’s no arguing the odds. He has the best chance for a clean sheet, and while he’s had some tough recent outings, it’s usually a good idea to go against Huddersfield, who have scored just 11 goals in 15 away matches. Other Options — David de Gea, Manchester United, $5,800; Lukasz Fabianski, West Ham, $4,900; Mat Ryan, Brighton, $4,800
VALUESJonas Lossl, Huddersfield at Crystal Palace, $3,800 — Lossl only has five saves in his past four starts, but it’s not like any of the other cheap goalkeepers are making tons of saves. While the odds don’t favor him, it can’t be overlooked that Palace haven’t been great at home, scoring one goal in each of their past three opportunities and just 11 in 15 matches this season.
Other Options — Jordan Pickford, Everton, $4,700; Angus Gunn, Southampton, $4,600; Tom Heaton, Burnley, $4,500
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