DraftKings Daily Fantasy Soccer Helper for 1/16/21

For the first time in forever, we’ve got a Saturday Premier League slate with more than three games on it. Let’s look at the games, with odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:

Leeds (+110)+260Brighton (+230)
West Ham (-125)+250Burnley (+380)
Fulham (+550)+320Chelsea (-195)
Leicester City (-125)+260Southampton (+360)

Forwards to Target

Jamie Vardy ($8,600): Vardy is listed as questionable but should be available, according to manager Brendan Rodgers. Vardy is tied for third in the league with 11 goals on the season. He’s also shown more passing ability this campaign, with five assists -- already matching his total from last season. His Leicester City side are decent home favorites over Southampton. Vardy has the best anytime goal scoring odds on the slate, per FanDuel Sportsbook. He is the type of player who doesn’t need a ton of chances to score, taking his chances with ruthless efficiency, and always has high upside in tournaments.

Raphina ($7,600): Raphina has come into the Premier League from France and has proven to be a creative force for Leeds United. He’s really come into his own as of late, with at least 13 DraftKings points in five of his last six games. That span marks when he started to take over as a corner kick taker. This has made him a player with a pretty high floor, averaging more than six crosses, three shots and two chances created per 90 minutes, according to Rotowire.

Dwight McNeil ($6,500): McNeil is always a player we can target for his floor. He's eighth in the Premier League in crosses despite missing a few games recently with injury. His Burnley side are underdogs on the road, but West Ham are not a team that dominates possession. The Hammers allow a decent amount of crosses per game, so McNeil should be able to get balls into the box. A forward with a floor is somewhat uncommon for $6,500, so he can work in certain lineup constructions that want to pay up for two midfield spots.

Percy Tau ($3,500): Tau started his first match for Brighton on Wednesday. He didn't do much fantasy-wise, but that was against Manchester City. He'll now face a Leeds side that have allowed the second most goals in the league. It's rare to see an expected starter at forward for just $3,500, so if he is in the lineup again, you can punt a forward spot with him.

Midfielders to Target

James Maddison ($9,100): After a slow start to the season recovering from injury, Maddison has hit the form that we saw from him in the previous two seasons. In those years, he was one of the highest-floor players in the league, and he has been that in recent matches, scoring 15 DraftKings points in seven of his last games. Three of those games of 15-plus points were against tough opposition in Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham, so he shouldn't have a problem versus Southampton. You know what you're getting from Maddison when you roster him -- lots of crosses and chances created with some chance of a goal or assist. He's definitely worth this salary in all formats.

James Ward-Prowse ($7,100): Ward-Prowse's salary took a dip, and it's difficult to figure out exactly why. He had an off game last time out in a tough match against Liverpool in which the game flow went against him, but he is still fourth in the league in crosses. The matchup away to Leicester isn't ideal. But Ward-Prowse isn't just a set-piece specialist from corner kicks -- he has scored three direct free kicks this season while no other player has scored more than one. It definitely makes sense to play both of these James' at your midfield spots, as they are two of the highest-floor players on the slate.

Hakim Ziyech ($6,700): Ziyech returned from injury in Chelsea's last Premier League game in which they were thoroughly beaten by Manchester City. Ziyech has always been a high-floor player going back to his Ajax days, and he is now averaging 5.75 crosses per 90 minutes for Chelsea. The Blues will take on their West London rivals Fulham, and they are the biggest favorite on this slate. Ziyech had seen his salary rise all the way to $9,400 before getting injured, so now we get a chance to buy low on him in a good spot. He could be the best value on Chelsea, and he's the piece of them I want in my lineup.

Defenders to Target

Aaron Cresswell ($6,700): Cresswell has somewhat quietly been great for DraftKings scoring. He has taken over as West Ham's main corner taker, and this has led to him having the fifth most crosses in the league. Earlier in the season, he was playing in a back three, but in five of the last six matches, he's played as a left-back, his natural position. This obviously gives him more opportunities to cross. Burnley like to sit back and defend deep, which results in them allowing the fifth most crosses per game, according to Cresswell has the highest salary for a defender but is also the only one who regularly takes set pieces, so the salary is justified. He is certainly viable in cash-game lineups.

Joël Veltman ($4,100): Veltman has been shifting around for Brighton, playing some as a center-back, right-back and right wing-back. When he does play on the right, he crosses a fair amount. He has 15 crosses over the past four games he's played on the right, and that includes a match against Manchester City. He's one of the few players around this salary who crosses a decent amount. With Leeds tending to play up-tempo, open matches, targeting players in their games is good strategy.

Ryan Bertrand ($3,700): Bertrand is a value defender who has been a consistent crosser in the past but has lacked that consistency this season. He's someone to take a shot on. There isn't much opportunity cost at a weak defender position, and this is a spot where you'll want to save salary.

Goalkeepers to Target

Édouard Mendy ($5,700): Mendy has been a revelation for Chelsea. He has kept clean sheets in six of his 13 Premier League games, and 10 in 18 total games. He'll take on a Fulham side that have scored the fourth fewest goals in the league. Chelsea have the best odds to win and also the best odds to keep a clean sheet, so Mendy is definitely in consideration at goalkeeper.

Nick Pope ($4,100): Pope has been one of the most reliable keepers in the league over the past few seasons, becoming an England international. This season, he has won just four times in the league, but he has conceded only 16 goals in 15 matches. That means he is unlikely to kill your lineups. For example, on Tuesday against Manchester United, he made six saves in a 1-0 defeat and scored 10.2 DK points. If he does something similar, he's definitely worth a play at just $4,100.

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.