The biggest decision for Saturday’s EPL $30K Backheel Special [$5K to 1st] is between Eden Hazard and Mohamed Salah. From there, it’s a mixed bag with mediocre teams in favorable matchups like Burnley and Leicester hosting Fulham and Southampton, respectively.
Eden Hazard, Chelsea vs. Newcastle, $11,200 — Hazard is more expensive than Salah, but there also aren’t many other players I want to throw big money at. He has the same odds to find the back of the net and his floor is almost five fantasy points better than Salah’s. Hazard hasn’t made the score sheet in three of the last four, yet he’s still averaging 10 points over that period since he does a little bit of everything. He’s averaging 3.12 shots, 2.95 crosses and 3.69 fouls drawn per 90 minutes, plus he’s at home.
Other Options — Mohamed Salah, Liverpool, $10,300; Sadio Mane, Liverpool, $8,500; Andros Townsend, Crystal Palace, $8,400, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Fulham, $7,900
Dwight McNeil, Burnley vs. Fulham, $5,800 — There are a lot of viable forwards in the mid-range, but McNeil is still quietly underpriced given his performances. He’s averaging 15.3 fantasy points in his only three starts this season from eight shots and more importantly 18 crosses. Burnley may have the best matchup of the weekend against a Fulham team that’s allowed almost three goals per match on the road.
Other Options — Ryan Sessegnon, Fulham, $6,400; Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace, $6,100; Danny Hoilett, Cardiff, $6,000
James Ward-Prowse, Southampton at Leicester, $6,500 — Ward-Prowse isn’t exactly a stud, but he has one of the better floors of the midfield-only players. He’s taken suspended Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s spot in the lineup and produced just as much. In Ward-Prowse’s last three starts, he’s had a floor of 10 points from eight chances created, 19 crosses and seven tackles. The kicker is that those three matches came against Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham. Leicester have allowed the most crosses (130) in the last five gameweeks and that should give Ward-Prowse another floor of at least 10 points.
Other Options — James Maddison, Leicester, $8,100; Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Burnley, $7,000; Josh Murphy, Cardiff, $6,100
Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester vs. Southampton, $4,200 — Ndidi isn’t a flashy option, but that’s why he’s a value play. He’s had at least 6.8 fantasy points in four of his last five home starts and Southampton will give the ball away to him plenty in the midfield, whether through interceptions or tackles.
Other Options — Max Meyer, Crystal Palace, $5,200; Ashley Westwood, Burnley, $4,600; Jean Michael Seri, Fulham, $4,100
Ricardo Pereira, Leicester vs. Southampton, $6,100 — Pereira doesn’t rely on crosses as much as other defenders in this range so he won’t be as popular, yet he also does a little more of everything else. He has at least seven fantasy points in his last five home starts and should attack plenty in a favorable spot. He’s only averaging 3.10 crosses per 90 minutes, but his 2.31 tackles won, 1.92 interceptions and .90 shots are more than most fullbacks.
Other Options — Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool, $6,200; Jose Holebas, Watford, $5,900; Andrew Robertson, Liverpool, $5,700
James Tarkowski, Burnley vs. Fulham, $3,700 — Tarkowski has at least 5.5 fantasy points in his last four home starts and he also has decent odds for a clean sheet. Fulham has struggled on the attacking end all season, forcing the third-most interceptions (141) and seventh-most tackles (91) out of defenders. Tarkowski has a floor near four points from tackles, interceptions and fouls drawn and if he gets lucky with a clean sheet, that’s a nice total.
Other Options — Sol Bamba, Cardiff, $3,800; Calum Chambers, Fulham, $3,700; Kiko Femenia, Watford, $3,600
Alisson, Liverpool at Brighton, $5,700 — Alisson has allowed just one goal in his last four road trips not against Man City. That’s a good reason to spend a few extra bucks on him and while Brighton has had some recent success, they still only have five goals from their last five league matches. It’s also easier to trust Liverpool’s back line over Chelsea’s.
Other Options — Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea, $5,900; Neil Etheridge, Cardiff, $5,100; Vicente Guaita, Crystal Palace, $5,000
Martin Dubravka, Newcastle at Chelsea, $3,700 — If you back Salah instead of Hazard, Dubravka is the place to turn at goalkeeper. He’s made at least four saves in his last three starts and hasn’t had a negative fantasy total in his last seven. Combine that with Chelsea’s recent ineffectiveness (one goal in their last two league matches) and Dubravka is worth a try as the cheapest goalkeeper.
Other Options — Joe Hart, Burnley, $4,800; Sergio Rico, Fulham, $4,500; Jonas Lossl, Huddersfield, $4,300
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (username: rotozdroik) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.