With no NFL this weekend and the NBA in the middle of the All-Star break, it’s a great weekend to dive into the Premier League for some daily fantasy sports excitement. I personally have had a blast jumping into the FantasyLabs projections and finding great options to build around on the variety of slates throughout the week.
This Saturday, the featured slate has six games that each kick off at 10 a.m. ET. It makes up the key piece of a great Matchweek 24.
For those new to the EPL, the season consists of 38 Matchweeks and runs through May 23. Each team will play a total of 38 matches, and at this point, each team has played 22, give or take a game. With just under half the season left, there is still a lot of time for teams to move up or down the table. The bottom three teams are “relegated” to the Championship League, which is the next league lower than the Premier League, while the top five teams earn automatic entry into expanded opportunities in European competitions.
This week, the 12 teams in action on the featured slate come from all across the table. Defending champions Manchester City reclaimed the top spot in the table earlier this week by knocking off Arsenal 3-1, and they’ll play their second game of this Matchweek Saturday when they visit Nottingham Forest, who sits 14th of the 20 clubs in the table.
Brentford will put their 10-game league unbeaten streak on the line as they host Crystal Palace in a matchup of mid-table teams. Brighton hosts Fulham in a critical matchup for the two teams just outside automatic qualification for European play.
At the bottom of the table, Southampton will head to Chelsea, trying to move out of the 20th spot. Bournemouth and Everton will also try to move out of relegation spots as they face Wolverhampton and Leeds United, respectively. The Everton-Leeds matchup is especially intriguing since Leeds just made a manager change, sacking Jesse Marsch, and Everton made a similar move in January. Leeds is just one spot clear of the relegation zone themselves, and Everton can pass them with a victory.
Inside our soccer Player Models, you’ll find median and value projections, along with our Lineup Builder and Lineup Optimizer. The Lineup Builder is great for those of you that like to hand-build your teams — or you can utilize the Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups.
Now, let’s get into the slate!
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Premier League Forward DFS Picks
Top Play: Erling Haaland at Nottingham Forest, $9,400
Haaland leads the Premier League with 26 goals in 22 games this season after scoring against Arsenal as part of a strong showing on Wednesday that resulted in 15.2 DraftKings points. No other player has reached the 20-goal plateau yet, but the 22-year-old Norweigan continues to pile on.
He had actually been in a drought by his lofty standards after going two full games without scoring. Prior to that, though, he had a hat trick against Wolverhampton that resulted in a massive 40.1 DraftKings points. It was remarkably his fourth hat trick of the Premier League season.
Earlier this season, he also had a hat trick against Nottingham Forest, posting 37.6 DraftKings points in a 6-0 Mac City rout. Forest has surrendered 37 goals in 22 matches, so Haaland should be able to find space and put up another big game in this contest, as long as fatigue isn’t a concern since this is his second game of the week.
Stacking City’s offense is a great option, according to our projections for this Saturday, and Haaland has too high of a ceiling to pass up unless you’re just building a contrarian lineup.
Top Value: Matheus Cunha vs. Bournemouth, $5,100
The only forward who matches Haaland’s Projected Points per $1,000 of salary of all forwards on this slate is Cunha, who has been playing well as of late for Wolverhampton and gets a very nice matchup against Bournemouth.
The Wolves surged back last week to win 2-1 despite trailing early and being a man down after a red card to Mario Lemina, who is suspended for this week as a result. Cunha could move to the wing as the lineup shuffles a little bit, which could lead him to be more involved in the buildup, providing chances for more crosses and accurate passing points to accumulate.
He’s projected for over 10 DraftKings points, which would be an outstanding return at his salary barely over $5K.
Other cheap plays at forward to take a look at include Jordan Ayew and Odsonne Edouard of Crystal Palace, Manor Solomon of Fulham, and Noni Madueke of Chelsea.
Premier League Midfielder DFS Picks
Top Play: Kevin De Bruyne at Nottingham Forest, $9,300
De Bruyne’s projection is the second-highest of any player on the slate, behind only his teammate Haaland. The duo are sure to be a popular stack, but it’s hard to argue against them, given their extremely strong form and favorable matchup.
On Wednesday, DeBruynehad a goal and an assist for 23.7 DraftKings points in City’s big win over Arsenal. He has double-digit DraftKings points in 21 of his 22 games this season. He has only four goals, which pales compared to Haaland’s haul, but his role as the primary creator in the midfield has kept him involved consistently throughout the season. He regularly contributes crosses and is key on set pieces, making him and Haaland the duo of choice on this slate.
The 31-year-old Belgian has already assisted Haaland six times in the Premier League this season, more than any other player has assisted another in the entire league. He has carried his team to the top of the table and will look to build their lead over Arsenal in this good matchup.
Top Value: Idrissa Gueye vs. Leeds United, $3,800
Gueye trails only Man City’s De Bruyne and Rodri in Pts/Sal at midfield on this slate, and he brings lots of upside for a player under $4K. He usually plays a defensive midfield role for the Toffees and is a key piece to them playing their way clear of relegation. Everton shocked Arsenal in their first game this month, but they fell 2-0 on the road at Liverpool last week. They can move out of the bottom three with a win over Leeds, and Gueye has said it feels like a “final” since it will have such a huge impact on the standings.
In his 17 appearances this season, Geuye has averaged 4.9 DraftKings points per game and has at least 4.5 DraftKings points in six of his eight most recent matches. He had an assist and double-digit DraftKings points in a ceiling game against Man City on New Years Eve, and he would be a great value if he can come close to that production at this price.
This should be a good spot for him in a game Everton can win. Especially if you build around Haaland and De Bruyne, you’ll need some cheaper options as well, and Gueye is a safe play with a good ceiling.
Other value options to consider in the midfield include Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucouré, Brentford’s Bryan Mbeumo and Mathias Jensen, Fulham’s Joao Palhinha and Nottingham Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White.
Premier League Defender DFS Picks
Top Play: Reece James vs. Southampton, $6,100
I hate to go away from Pervis Estupiñán, who has been in my picks almost every week since I started these previews and has become a personal favorite. He’s still a good option, but he doesn’t quite have the ceiling that Reece James brings from his spot in the Chelsea defense. He has the highest salary of the defenders on the slate but also the highest projection by a wide margin.
James regularly gets involved in the offense and had 11.2 DraftKings points against West Ham in his most recent Premier League match. He had that impressive total without the benefit of a clean sheet since he had five crosses, a shot, and a shot assisted. He also looked strong in Wednesday’s Champions League match, which ended in a 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund.
Southampton has been struggling in all phases of the game, so Chelsea is a solid stack to consider. The defense has strong options across the salary spectrum, with Marc Cucurella, Trevoh Chalobah, and Thiago Silva projected to start across the back four.
Top Value: Kristoffer Ajer vs. Crystal Palace, $2,600
Ajer doesn’t press forward like James or the other top options on this slate, but he has been a regular contributor as a solid piece of Brentford’s defense and has been key to their strong run of results since the World Cup. Ajer missed over two months with a knee injury, but he has returned to his spot in the starting XI for the Bees in three of their past four league games.
He is projected for the third-highest Pts/Sal on this slate since he comes so cheaply and is expected to produce over five DraftKings points. Like Gueye, he brings solid production at significant savings, making him a nice complimentary piece to a City stack or other high-ceiling stars.
The towering 6-foot-6 defender controls the air well for Brentford and should work more into the attack as he gets back to full strength. Getting him at this price at home in what is expected to be a close, low-scoring contest makes a lot of sense
If you are looking for alternative bargain defenders, options to consider include Leeds United’s Pascal Struijk, Crystal Palace’s Chris Richards, and Brighton’s Joel Veltman ($3,800).
Premier League Goalie DFS Picks
Top Play: Ederson at Nottingham Forest $5,900
Manchester City is by far the heaviest favorite in the field and is one of just two teams favored to keep a clean sheet. Ederson hasn’t been lights out since returning from the World Cup, where he played for Brazil, but his team has been very good as a whole and moved into the top spot in the table.
He has given up exactly one goal in each of his past three games and has only managed one clean sheet in his last six league contests. However, this should be a good enough matchup to expect that possibility to be in play. Nottingham Forest has only scored one goal in its past four matches across all competitions and failed to find the back of the net last week against Fulham. They have a total of just 17 goals in 22 matches this season, and Ederson had a shutout against them in their previous league matchup last August.
The other strong option to consider based on matchup is Chelsea’s fill-in keeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga, as he faces the struggling Southampton Saints.
Top Value: Illan Meslier vs Everton, $4,600
Meslier has the third-highest projected Pts/Sal of all the goalkeepers on the slate. He has the fourth-highest projection at the seventh-highest salary and offers nice savings as a value play against Everton, who has scored just 16 goals in 21 matches this season, the worst record in the division. Both these clubs recently made manager changes as they try to avoid relegation.
In his two most recent EPL matches, Meslier has allowed two goals each, but each of those games was against an elite Manchester United attack, and he did manage a total of eight saves in those two games as well. The French international is still just 22 years old and has actually looked pretty sharp despite some sketchy defense in front of him.
If Leeds is going to turn things around after the manager change, this game will be a huge one for them, so look for Meslier to turn in a strong effort.
Alternative cheap plays worth a look include Southampton’s Gavin Bazunu and Bournemouth’s Neto. Both those keepers will likely remain active and get plenty of saves since their team’s defense has been leaky in front of them.
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