Yahoo DFS Soccer: Saturday Picks

Christopher Owen

Matches (EDT)

  • 10:00 am: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Southampton

  • 10:00 am: Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace

  • 10:00 am: Sheffield United vs. Leicester City

  • 10:00 am: Watford vs. West Ham United

  • 12:30 pm: Liverpool vs. Arsenal


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Sadio Mane, LIV v. ARS (£27): Both Mane and Mohamed Salah are the most-expensive players on the slate and have the highest anytime goal-scorer odds, with Salah slightly ahead of Mane. Southampton kept Salah buttoned up last weekend (4.4 points), while Mane put in a man-of-the-match performance with a goal and assist as Liverpool made it six points out of six. Mane was also the hero in the Super Cup win over Chelsea and is in top form despite missing much of the preseason. Roberto Firmino (£23) is the cheapest of Liverpool's attacking triumvirate but doesn't have as high of a floor as Mane and Salah. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£21) has scored both match-winners for Arsenal to start the season (14+ points in both outings) and could take advantage of a Liverpool backline that has looked shaky to start the season, especially with Adrian still in net for the injured Alisson Becker. Alexandre Lacazette (£20) scored the opener for Arsenal against Burnley last week, but he could be left out of the starting XI potentially, especially if manager Unai Emery opts to give Nicolas Pepe (£10!) his first start in an Arsenal shirt. Pepe produced 4.05 points in 45 minutes against Burnley and would be a viable play if he makes the starting XI. The biggest problem with going with Pepe is that Liverpool - Arsenal is the late game and doesn't give you a ton of flexibility considering how expensive the other forward options will be, though putting him in the utility spot is your best bet anyway. 

Marcus Rashford, MUN v. CRY (£24): At first glance, Rashford and James Maddison (£19 - M) are the two players I put in my team right away. Both have a share of set-pieces (Maddison has a monopoly), are playing for favorites (United are the biggest favorite on the slate), and their prices coincide with their quality and early season production. Rashford is off to an impressive start, scoring two goals in the opener and providing an assist in Monday's draw with Wolverhampton, good for 23.15 and 8.6 fantasy points, respectively. His partner-in-crime, Anthony Martial (£21), has goals in consecutive matches and provides a slight price break to Rashford but without the share of set-piece duty. On the other hand, Wilfried Zaha (£19) is off to a slow start (1.50 and 4.45 fantasy points) to the season, but keep in mind the revenge-game narrative as he visits his former club. Christian Benteke (£14) showed more life against Sheffield United (5.65 points), but Palace have yet to score a goal and are the biggest underdogs on the slate. 

Andre Gray, WAT v. WHU (£13): Troy Deeney underwent a minor knee operation this week that could keep him out until after the international break, which should bring Gray into the starting XI for a side that are the third-biggest favorite on the slate and playing at home. Danny Welbeck (£15) and Ismaila Sarr (£16) are also options to replace Deeney, while Gerard Deulofeu (£16) should be the main man up front. Che Adams (£10) has yet to produce anything of note from a fantasy perspective, but he has looked formidable in his first two starts for Southampton. 


James Maddison, LEI at SHU (£19): Set-piece monopoly; most accurate crosses through two weeks (fourth-most last season)l; averaging three shots per 90; Maddison should be the first name on your team sheet. Youri Tielemans (£19) is the same price but doesn't have the same floor as Maddison. Wilfred Ndidi (£13) has a much different fantasy profile than Maddison and Tielemans, but he's scored 6.90 and 15.55 (including a goal) points in his first two appearances. Sheffield have been strong at the back to start their campaign, which is why I opt for Maddison because of his floor.

James Ward-Prowse, SOU at BHA (£14): Ward-Prowse is similar to Maddison in the sense that he takes a large portion of set pieces. He's more limited in the attacking side and Southampton aren't quite as good going forward as Leicester; those differences are what make him £5 cheaper. Southampton's trip to Brighton is the most-even matchup on the slate (at least according to the oddsmakers) and is a good place for Ward-Prowse to improve on his past two outings of 3.20 against Liverpool and 7.50 against Burnley, respectively. Pascal Gross (£16) is slightly more expensive but does many of the same things for Brighton. 

Oliver Norwood, SHU v. LEI (£13): Norwood has taken over half of Sheffield's free kicks through two matches, which was boosted when John Fleck went off injured last week. If Fleck is unable to return, Norwood should see most, if not all, of Sheffield's set-piece opportunities. He's failed to take a shot or provide an assist in either of his first two performances, but still managed to put together 6.25 and 5.55 points against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, respectively. Leicester is Sheffield's toughest matchup yet, but they'll benefit from playing in front of the home support at Bramall Lane. 


Aaron Wan-Bissaka, MUN v. CRY (£14): United have the highest clean sheet odds by a sizable margin, and Palace have yet to hit the back of the net this season against Everton and Sheffield United. Wan-Bissaka leads all Premier League players in tackles won (11) and scored 6.80 points in both of his starts. A stack with Harry Maguire (£15) is absolutely in play since he is criminally underpriced in my opinion.

Kiko Femenia, WAT v. WHU (£12): An alternative option to Jose Holebas (£15) is Kiko. I'm fed up with playing Holebas, thinking his free-kick will magically take me to the promised land when he's been utterly disappointing in matchups against Brighton and Everton. Kiko is cheaper and has been outproducing Holebas with 5.35 and 4.00 points. The sample size is very small, but of the teams on this slate, West Ham are allowing the most shots, shots on goal, accurate crosses and passes. Watford have had a disappointing start but could bounce back with a win at home. 

Caglar Soyuncu, LEI at SHU (£10): Soyuncu has been Harry Maguire's direct replacement since the latter moved to Manchester United, which has worked out well from a fantasy perspective. He continues to be minimum priced despite producing a serviceable 7.55 and 4.80 points in the first two games, respectively. At £10, you won't need a ton of production to justify the budget savings he provides. Ricardo Pereira (£14) is more expensive than Soyuncu and has won seven tackles (third most in the league) and six fouls in the opening matches.


David de Gea, MUN v. CRY (£14): A quick note: Vicente Guaita (£17) is the most expensive goalkeeper (Alisson Becker is £19 but ruled out) despite playing on the biggest underdog. He'll be facing David de Gea, who is playing at home and has the best clean sheet odds. His price seems like a misprint and something that should be taken advantage of. As mentioned, Alisson is ruled out, which will keep Adrian (£10) in net for Liverpool. He should see a few save opportunities against Arsenal, but keeping a clean sheet will be a challenge. 

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