With only five matches in Saturday’s fantasy soccer slate and none of them including a huge favorite, there are a number of places to go with your lineup. I looked at some of the expensive Everton players as they are most likely to score a few goals, but going with anyone on Arsenal or Liverpool could set you apart in the EPL $30K Counter Attack Special [$5K to 1st].
STUDSGylfi Sigurdsson, Everton vs. Brighton, $9,600 — Sigurdsson costs much less than Mohamed Salah ($10,500), yet he probably has a better floor and just as much upside. He’s hit at least 14 fantasy points in each of his past four starts and, more importantly, his floor has been in that area whenever at home. Even better is Brighton have allowed the most shots (113) and crosses (139) in the league in the past five gameweeks.
Other Options — Mohamed Salah, Liverpool, $10,500; Richarlison, Everton, $9,000; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal, $7,700
VALUESGerard Deulofeu, Watford at Newcastle, $5,900 — There aren’t a ton of value forwards unless you want one without a floor or one that might not start. Deulofeu at least provided a spark last match for Watford with four shots, and while he might not play 90 minutes, he should get a couple more shots at a minimum. Newcastle haven’t played well at home with five losses in five chances, and this one won’t be easy against a Watford side back in form having won their past two.
Other Options — Theo Walcott, Everton, $6,700; Kelechi Iheanacho, Leicester City, $6,400; Callum Paterson, Cardiff, $5,000
STUDSJosh Murphy, Cardiff vs. Leicester City, $7,200 — This is a surprising pick for a stud, but I didn’t want to go with another Everton player — Richarlison ($9,000) — and Murphy has been excellent for Cardiff. In his past four matches against teams not named Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City, he’s had a floor around 10 fantasy points. He’s producing 3.30 shots and 4.12 crosses per 90 minutes and there’s no reason to trust Leicester, who have one point from their past three matches and are allowing two goals per road game.
Other Options — James Maddison, Leicester, $8,900; Marko Arnautovic, West Ham, $8,300; Matt Ritchie, Newcastle, $6,400
VALUESRobbie Brady, Burnley at West Ham, $5,200 — Brady is kind of under the radar because he started the season with a hamstring injury and missed most of last campaign with a major knee injury. He returned for a full 90 against Chelsea last weekend and managed three shots and six crosses. In 15 starts last season, he averaged 1.69 shots and 8.66 crosses per 90 minutes. At this price, he’s a steal, and West Ham have allowed the second-most crosses in the league (225).
Other Options — Bobby Reid, Cardiff, $4,700; Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester, $3,900; Lucas Torreira, Arsenal, $3,500
Lucas Digne, Everton vs. Brighton, $6,900 — This is a pretty easy choice unless Jose Holebas ($6,400) returns to Watford’s starting XI. The only time Digne hasn’t hit double-digit fantasy points was last match at Manchester United, and he still had 8.5 points from 10 crosses. At home against Brighton, he also has great clean-sheet odds, which could push him to 12 or 13 points.
Other Options — Jose Holebas, Watford, $6,400; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool, $6,100; Ben Chilwell, Leicester, $5,600
VALUESFabian Balbuena, West Ham vs. Burnley, $3,600 — Balbuena has been pretty active as a center back with seven shots in his past three starts, and this is a decent spot for a clean sheet. When not against top competition, his floor has been around four fantasy points without a clean sheet, and Burnley aren’t top competition. Burnley have given up nine goals in their past two matches, and their only road goals have come against Fulham and Cardiff — two teams lower than them in the table.
Other Options — Aaron Cresswell, West Ham, $5,000; DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle, $3,900
Ben Foster, Watford at Newcastle, $4,700 — This match is listed close to a pick ‘em mostly because Newcastle have been playing for draws without a goal in four of their past five matches. They also only have six goals on the season, and while that could lead to few saves for Foster, it’s worth a shot aiming for another clean sheet. Plus, Foster made seven saves against Huddersfield last match and their attack is as bad as Newcastle’s, according to the numbers.
Other Options — Jordan Pickford, Everton, $5,600; Lukasz Fabianski, West Ham, $5,400; Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester, $5,100
Mat Ryan, Brighton at Everton, $3,900 — Ryan is the cheapest goalkeeper on the slate, but it’s not like Everton are going to go full Manchester City on them. Huddersfield and West Ham already have held the Toffees to one goal at home, while Ryan has a clean sheet in his past three. That might not happen again, but he also has made at least four saves in each of his past five starts. Of course, if you use Ryan, it makes sense to fade Sigurdsson and the rest of Everton’s attackers.
Other Options — Neil Etheridge, Cardiff, $4,500; Petr Cech, Arsenal, $4,300; Joe Hart, Burnley, $4,100
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