SOCCER

DraftKings Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 9/18/21

We’ve got a four-match slate this Saturday in the Premier League, which feels small compared to last week’s six games. Here are the matches, with odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook:

HomeDrawAway
Liverpool (-550)+550Crystal Palace (+1300)
Burnley (+280)+260Arsenal (-105)
Norwich (+115)+230Watford (+240)
Man City (-800)+800Southampton (+1900)

Forwards to Target

Mohamed Salah ($10,800): Salah is off to a hot start this season. He has four goals in five games in all competitions. One thing we know about Salah is that he loves to shoot. He has been in the top two in the Premier League in shots in every season since joining Liverpool. This week, he should have plenty of opportunities to get shots away.

Salah and Liverpool welcome Crystal Palace to Anfield on Saturday. Palace have been unbeaten in three straight games but got demolished by Chelsea away from home in their first match. That is the most comparable game to this one, so Liverpool could have a big game.

Salah is a huge favorite to score at any time, as his goal odds are currently -210. Those are better than Cristiano Ronaldo had last week, so Salah is worth the huge salary on this slate.

Raheem Sterling ($7,600): It’s been difficult to nail down exactly who to play on Manchester City this season. With so many top-notch forwards and attacking midfielders, it’s hard to know who will be in the lineup, and which ones we’ll want to roster. But we can look to Sterling as he comes in with the lowest salary among the Man City players we like to target.

Sterling is a favorite to score at any time at -105, and he has the lowest salary of any player who is better than +100 to get a goal. Man City are gigantic -800 home favorites against Southampton, so trying to get a few pieces of them makes sense. Sterling is a good way to do that, and if City completely blitz Southampton, we could see him contribute to multiple goals.

Milot Rashica ($5,100): Viewers of the Bundesliga will know the kind of talent Rashica possesses. He was having such a good season in 2019-20 before the league shut down that he was linked with a move to Liverpool. Things went a little south from there, and he ended up at Norwich. However, that doesn’t mean we should be staying away from him, especially in a good matchup.

Norwich host Watford in the most intriguing real-life matchup on the slate. Norwich have lost all four of their league matches and have scored just one goal. Their opening schedule has been brutal, but now they have a game against a fellow promoted team that is certainly a winnable clash.

Rashica has been productive for Norwich, including last week when he had seven crosses in 22 minutes against Arsenal in a substitute appearance. He should return to the starting lineup this week and is a good bargain at just $5,100.

Others to consider: Nicolas Pépé ($8,700), Emmanuel Dennis ($5,800), Teemu Pukki ($5,600)

Midfielders to Target

Kevin De Bruyne ($10,200): Unlike the numerous forward options for Man City, we always know the midfielder we want to play. De Bruyne's first start of the season on Wednesday was about as average as you will see from him. He had just one shot, four crosses and didn't contribute to a goal -- yet he still was able to score 12.3 DraftKings points in 71 minutes. That's why we always like to roster him, because his floor is practically unmatched.

In this match against Southampton, it would be surprising if De Bruyne didn't contribute to a goal considering how dominant Manchester City are expected to be. He has anytime goal-scoring odds of +160 but also any time assists odds of +155. We know that we don't even need a goal from KDB for him to be a useful fantasy play, but if he does contribute to multiple goals, it would be tough to win without him.

Tom Cleverley ($4,500): If we want to play Salah, KDB and a high-salaried defender, we're going to have to look at some players who might make you feel uncomfortable. Tom Cleverly would be one of those plays.

The good news is that he gets at least a share of Watford's set-pieces. He hasn't been great in fantasy so far despite that role, but he had a decent season in the second division last campaign. On Saturday, he gets to play against Norwich, who he faced in that division and had a good game against with 15.7 DraftKings points without a goal or assist, per Rotowire. If he was ever going to produce, this would be the game, and he is someone you can take a shot on if you are building a top-heavy lineup.

Billy Gilmour ($3,700): Gilmour is a similar play to Cleverley. He's a midfielder who will hardly produce anything in open play but can score some points because of corner kicks. Norwich have opened the season against Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester and Arsenal, so they'll be happy to have a home game against Watford. GIlmour was still able to squeeze out more than five points in each of the first three games, and that kind of return would be acceptable Saturday given his salary.

Others to consider: Jack Grealish ($8,800), Ashley Westwood ($6,100), Ainsley Maitland-Niles ($3,700)

Defenders to Target

Trent Alexander-Arnold ($9,000): DraftKings finally started making the defender salaries high enough to where rostering players like Trent Alexander-Arnold is a tough decision. Now we don't have a $6,000 defender who scores fantasy points like a $9,000 midfielder. TAA has been so good that he's still plenty enticing at this lofty salary.

Alexander-Arnold has at least 15 fantasy points in every game this season and more than 12 points in 14 straight games going back to last season. His 41 crosses are the most in Premier League this campaign, 10 more than anyone else. Liverpool love to attack with their full-backs, so there is no danger of Trent not being involved, especially in a game in which the Reds should have the ball most of the time. The advantage a defender still has over the midfielders is the three-point bonus for keeping a clean sheet, and with Liverpool being favored to do so, those three points could come his way.

Prioritizing Alexander-Arnold and De Bruyne in a cash-game lineup makes sense, as they are clearly the two highest-floor players on the slate. You can make it work with Salah, as well, if you go really light at the other positions and some of the value plays we like are starting, but beginning your build with those two and going from there makes a ton of sense.

Kieran Tierney ($5,100): If you aren't willing to go all the way up to TAA, Tierney is a fine option. He's one of the most reliable fantasy assets on Arsenal at the moment. He's played 90 minutes three times this season. In the two games where Arsenal didn't go down to 10 men, he's produced more than 12 DK points. He'll definitely have the opportunity to get there this week.

Arsenal are away from home against Burnley, but the matchup sets up nicely. Burnley are the worst possession team in the Premier League, possessing the ball only 38% of the time, according to WhoScored.com. This should allow Tierney to get forward and send crosses into the box. He's the best defender option on the slate outside of Liverpool's full-backs.

Danny Rose ($3,700): Rose had a pretty impressive debut for Watford from a fantasy perspective. He managed to get 8.2 DraftKings points in a tough matchup away to Wolves. He even took a free kick, which is an encouraging sign for him moving forward. In an easier fixture against Norwich, he could get up the pitch more often and send more balls into the box. That would make him a great value at just $3,700.

Others to consider: Andrew Robertson ($6,400), Kyle Walker ($4,000), Rúben Dias ($3,500)

Goalkeepers to Target

Ederson ($5,900): Manchester City's keeper has kept clean sheets in three straight games and now has a great matchup at home. Southampton have scored just four goals in four games this season and are unlikely to be able to pose much of a threat. Man City are -126 favorites to keep a clean sheet, so there's a good chance Ederson will lock in 10 points with a clean sheet and a win.

Nick Pope ($4,200): Pope's salary is above only Vicente Guaita's and Alex McCarthy's, and he is a much better option than those two if you can fit him in. If you are able to get Pope into a stars-and-scrubs lineup construction, you get odds to win of +280 -- instead of Guaita at +1300 or McCarthy at +1900. Arsenal have still scored a mere one league goal this season, and the threat they present is not what it used to be. Pope should at least make some saves, meaning his floor is better than that of the other keepers in this range.



Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.