There’s nothing pretty about Saturday’s slate and that usually means it’s best to roster floor instead of upside. Raul Jimenez has the best odds to score, but it may be worth it to fade the biggest favorite and back Fulham for a better chance to win the EPL $20K Backheel Special.
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace at Cardiff, $7,800 — Zaha may have the best floor of any forward, yet comes at a decent rate. He’s expected to hit at least five fantasy points from fouls drawn, but he’ll also have upside on counterattacks since Cardiff is in need of three points or their season is over. He may not have the same upside as the Wolverhampton guys, but you know he’s going to get an opportunity in a favorable matchup.
Other Options — Diogo Jota, Wolverhampton, $9,400; Ryan Babel, Fulham, $7,500; David Hoilett, Cardiff, $6,800
Danny Ings, Southampton at West Ham, $5,300 — Ings had a floor of 8.5 fantasy points last match and is averaging a solid 3.03 shots and 1.22 fouls drawn per 90 minutes. While he hasn’t scored since December, this match has the highest over/under and as Southampton’s No. 9, he’ll have opportunities in front of net. He has the third-best odds to score, which is rare at this price, though Marko Arnautovic isn’t much more expensive.
Other Options — Michy Batshuayi, Crystal Palace, $6,000; Marko Arnautovic, West Ham, $5,600; Ryan Sessegnon, Fulham, $4,800
Luka Milivojevic, Crystal Palace at Cardiff, $7,700 — Milivojevic has gotten recognition for converting penalties, but his floor is still usually around 10 points. He’s hit that number in six of his last seven starts and should be close again before taking into account a goal or assist. Milivojevic is Palace’s exclusive corner taker and Cardiff have allowed the most this season, which will only help his floor.
Other Options — James Ward-Prowse, Southampton, $8,300; Roberto Snodgrass, West Ham, $7,900; Joao Moutinho, Wolverhampton, $7,100
Tom Cairney, Fulham at Wolverhampton, $4,100 — Cairney has quietly been a reliable fantasy option, as long as he doesn’t play a top club. Throw out the Man City and Liverpool matches, and Cairney has at least 4.8 fantasy points in six of his last seven starts. He’s done that through a variety of stats, though maybe most important is he took a few corners last match, boosting his floor another point or two. He has seven chances created in his last three starts and while Wolves are in the top half of the table, they are far from a dominant team with a goal differential of only plus-two.
Other Options — Ruben Neves, Wolverhampton, $5,000; Mark Noble, West Ham, $4,500; James McArthur, Crystal Palace, $4,100
Joe Bryan, Fulham at Wolverhampton, $5,400 — There aren’t a ton of routes for top defenders, but Bryan has been solid with at least 9.3 fantasy points in four of his last five starts. He has taken 10 corners in his last four and that’s helped his floor jump a couple of points in addition to defensive stats. This isn’t an easy play given the matchup, but he already hit 9.3 points against Man City so there’s no reason he can’t do the same at the Wolves.
Other Options — Matt Targett, Southampton, $5,900; Yan Valery, Southampton, $5,000; Matt Doherty, Wolverhampton, $4,900
Sean Morrison, Cardiff vs. Crystal Palace, $3,900 — Morrison has been in attack mode with seven shots in his last three starts to go with five tackles won. That’s not an easy thing to count on for a center back, but Cardiff has to push for three points this match and Palace have allowed the fourth-most shots to defenders this season.
Other Options — Patrick van Aanholt, Crystal Palace, $4,000; Bruno Ecuele Manga, Cardiff, $3,700; Ryan Bennett, Wolverhampton, $3,500
Rui Patricio, Wolverhampton vs. Fulham, $5,700 — This is probably too much for Patricio, but he has the best odds to win and secure a clean sheet. While Fulham is on a nice winning streak, I’m not confident their offense is much improved with 12 goals in 18 away matches this season. Still, if you have money to burn, Patricio makes the most sense at goalkeeper.
Other Options — Lukasz Fabianski, West Ham, $5,000; Neil Etheridge, Cardiff, $4,900
Vicente Guaita, Crystal Palace at Cardiff, $4,700 — Guaita is probably the smartest goalkeeper play on the slate with at least three saves in each of his last six starts. No matter how this match goes, he should finish in the positive as long as Cardiff don’t score in the first 10 minutes. He’ll rack up saves if Cardiff comes out gunning, and if they score, it’s unlikely they’ll push for a second if up 1-0.
Other Options — Angus Gunn, Southampton, $4,600; Sergio Rico, Fulham, $3,800
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