You can get your Super Bowl weekend started with a little different kind of fantasy futbol with another great slate of action from the EPL. FantasyLabs projections can help you build a lineup to start the big weekend with a big win on Saturday morning.
This week’s main soccer slate on DraftKings includes five Premier League matches that kick off at 10:00 a.m. ET as part of Matchweek 23. Unlike the last few weeks, this turbo-style slate of synchronized action includes several of the teams from near the top of the table, meaning there should be plenty of top talent and familiar names available to build around.
At the very top of the table, Arsenal will be looking to bounce back after last week’s surprising loss as they host in-form Brentford, who hasn’t lost its last nine EPL matches. Brighton is also coming into the weekend hot, having picked up four straight wins or draws to climb to sixth in the table as they get ready to head to Crystal Palace. Just ahead of Brighton, Tottenham Hotspur is also in this five-match set as they visit Leicester City in one of the matches that are expected to produce plenty of goals.
It’s always fascinating to track the teams at the other end of the table, too, as they battle to escape the relegation zone. (For those new to the EPL, the bottom three teams at the end of the season are demoted to a lower league.) Southampton is at the very bottom of the table and needs to start getting some points if they want to earn another EPL season next year. The Saints will host Wolverhampton this Saturday, and the Wolves have climbed clear of the relegation zone by playing well lately, claiming seven points from their last four games, including last week’s win over Liverpool. Nottingham Forest has also surged out of the relation zone lately with a five-game unbeaten streak, but they’ll be in a tough matchup on the road at Fulham.
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: Harry Kane at Leicester City, $9,200
There are two games with good odds of having three goals or more–the matchup between Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City and the matchup between Arsenal and Brentford. When looking for offensive players, those are the games to try and stack, which isn’t surprising since those teams have the biggest offensive studs in play.
Leicester City is a good matchup for Tottenham, who has won four straight in this head-to-head matchup by a combined score of 16-7, including the Spurs’ 6-2 earlier this EPL season. In that matchup, South Korean superstar Son Heung-min went off for 39.1 DraftKings points with a hat trick. Unfortunately for him, he has only been able to find the back of the net one time in his 13 EPL matches since that huge game, though. In this matchup, though, the projections like Son to get back on track, giving him the highest Projection of any player on the slate.
I’m actually going with Kane, though, since I prefer his consistency of form throughout this season. He comes into this match second in the PEL with 17 goals in his 22 games this season. He has taken a total of 11 shots and scored two goals in his two most recent EPL matches, producing 19.5 DraftKings points against Fulham and 20.7 DraftKings points against Manchester City.
Kane also regularly delivers against Leicester City, with 18 goals and four assists in 15 EPL games in his career against Leicester, including eight goals and three assists in their eight most recent meetings. He had a goal, an assist, and 24.1 DraftKings points in their matchup earlier this season, and I’m willing to pay up for Kane on this slate due to his elite ceiling, and the solid value plays in other roster spots.
Top Value: Edward Nketiah vs. Brentford, $7,700
The other top-five team in action on this slate is Arsenal, who is in the other game where goals are expected to flow. Nketiah has the second-highest Projected Points per $1,000 of salary of all forwards on this slate and comes significantly cheaper than his teammates Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard.
Like most of the Gunners, Nketiah didn’t do much last week against Everton, finishing with 5.2 DraftKings points. He was excellent in his previous EPL game, though, with two goals and 30.3 DraftKings points against Manchester United. That matchup with the Red Devils was also his most recent home game.
Since the World Cup break, Nketieh has taken multiple shots in each of his six EPL matches with four goals and four games with over 9.5 DraftKings points. He leads the team with 21 shots, 20 shots in the box, seven big chances, and 10 shots on target since stepping in for the injured Gabriel Jesus (knee), who is nearing a return but will still be sidelined for this match.
Premier League Midfielder DFS Picks
Top Play: James Maddison vs. Tottenham, $8,600
Maddison is usually among the leaders in our projections, and this week he takes the top spot as he leads Leicester City against the Spurs. The Foxes’ star has eight goals and four assists in 15 league games, including two goals in his three most recent games. Maddison also scored in the high-scoring contest against Tottenham earlier this season, posting 34.2 DraftKings points with seven shots (three on goal) and four crosses.
Since that matchup, Maddison battled a knee injury that kept him from making an impact in the World Cup and limited his minutes for several matches. However, he returned to the starting XI last week against Aston Villa and had 17.2 DraftKings points in 67 minutes.
Maddison is expected to be one of the most sought-after playmakers this summer in the transfer window, but first, he’ll try and keep his current club above the relegation zone with more strong performances. He is the focal point of everything in the Leicester City offense, so if this game is free-flowing and high-scoring, he should put up a big total.
Top Value: João Palhinha vs. Nottingham Forest, $3,800
Fulham is heavily favored against Nottingham Forest and offers some solid value plays if you need to go cheap to balance out stacking the Arsenal and Tottenham games.
Palhinha offers the third-highest Pts/Sal of all midfielders and the highest projection from any team aside from the Gunners and Spurs. He has started seven straight games for Fulham and played all 90 minutes in each of his six most recent contests.
While the Cottagers offense has not been very productive, Palhinha has taken multiple shots in each of his past two games and has been very involved in the buildup and creation of opportunities. He has gotten a yellow card in each of his two most recent games, but if he eliminates that one issue, he’ll be a great value even if he doesn’t break through for a goal.
Other value options to consider in the midfield include Tottenham’s Ivan Perisic, Arsenal’s Jorginho, and Southampton’s Mohamed Elyounoussi.
Premier League Defender DFS Picks
Top Play: Kenny Tete vs. Nottingham Forest, $6,000
Another nice option from Fulham to consider is Kenny Tete, who has been getting very involved in the attack for Fulham from his role at right back. He has the highest projection of all defenders on this slate due to his offensive involvement. He also has a good shot at a clean sheet since Fulham has only allowed four goals in their seven EPL games since the World Cup, and Nottingham Forest has only scored one goal in their three most recent matches across all competitions.
Tete has pressed forward and hit seven crosses in each of his two most recent EPL games, producing 9.8 DraftKings points against Tottenham and 16.8 DraftKings points in last week’s clean sheet against Chelsea. He has averaged 11.9 DraftKings points in his seven EPL matches since the World Cup and brings a high ceiling, especially for a defender.
Top Value: Chris Richards vs. Brighton, $2,800
Crystal Palace defender Chris Richards is one of just four defenders on the slate with at least 2.0 Pts/Sal, and he is the only one with a salary under $3K. In fact, he’s one of only two players under $3K with more than 1.3 Projected Pts/Sal.
The 22-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama, is the U.S. men’s national team center back and has started and played all 90 minutes in each of Crystal Palace’s last three EPL matches. In those games, he has had strong showings against Man United and Newcastle United and recorded one shot in each match. Brighton has been playing well, so expecting a clean sheet would be ambitious. Still, Richards is getting enough done to be worth a look at this salary since he allows so much flexibility in other places across the board.
If you are looking for alternative bargain defenders, options to consider include Arsenal’s Ben White, Fulham’s Antonee Robinson, and Brighton’s Pervis Estupiñán, who has been a favorite of mine over the past few weeks.
Premier League Goalie DFS Picks
Top Play: Aaron Ramsdale vs. Brentford, $5,800
Arsenal is the heaviest favorite on the slate, so it makes sense that their keeper is the most expensive option and the keeper with the highest projection. Ramsdale made three saves last week against Everton but also gave up a goal to finish with 4.3 DraftKings points.
Ramsdale and the Gunners had three clean sheets across all competitions to start 2023, including an impressive performance against the Spurs which resulted in 24.1 DraftKings points on Jan. 15. He’s a solid +100 to get a clean sheet here even though Brentford has been playing well, so he’s the best option if you have the salary to afford him.
Top Value: Gavin Bazunu vs. Wolverhampton, $4,600
The highest Projected Pts/Sal of all the goalkeepers on the slate belongs to Bazunu, and he has the second-highest projection on the entire slate as he continues to try and help Southampton climb from the bottom of the table. Last week was a rough day for the 20-year-old Irish international, who allowed three goals without making a single save, but the projections are highlighting this as a bounceback spot for him at a bargain price.
Bazunu has been better at home, and he posted 6.3 and 9.3 DraftKings points in his two previous starts before last week’s letdown.
While I would avoid David Raya as a punt play against Arsenal, I do think Keylor Navas of Nottingham Forest, José Sa of the Wolves, or Robert Sánchez of Brighton can be good plays at their price points if you can’t pay up for Ramsdale.
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