Alex McCarthy

The problem with holiday fixtures is that you don’t know who is going to start every match. That means you may want to leave some wiggle room if you have players in the two late matches Saturday. It also doesn’t help that there isn’t an overwhelming favorite, so lineups could differ a lot in the EPL 30K Saturday Chip Pass [$5K to 1st].

FORWARD

STUDS

Danny Ings, Southampton vs. Crystal Palace, $8,200 — There’s no telling who will start for each team Saturday, but Ings didn’t start Boxing Day, so there’s a good chance he gets the call against Crystal Palace. While he doesn’t have much of a floor, he’s scored in six of his last seven starts and the Palace’s backline is running on fumes.

Other Options — Harry Kane, Tottenham, $9,200; Gerard Deulofeu, Watford, $7,700; Ismaila Sarr, Watford, $6,600

VALUES

Troy Deeney, Watford vs. Aston Villa, $5,600 — I like a couple of other Watford players better, but they don’t fit the criteria for a value play. This is Deeney’s most favorable matchup since returning from injury a month ago and he has the best odds to score for Watford. Aston Villa has allowed 21 more shots and seven more shots on goal than any other team in the last 10 gameweeks, and the opportunities will be there for the home side.

Other Options — Michail Antonio, West Ham, $6,100; Joelinton, Newcastle, $5,500; Wesley, Aston Villa, $5,400


MIDFIELDER

STUDS

Emiliano Buendia, Norwich City vs. Tottenham, $7,900 — This is a slate built for midfielders, yet I’m going with one of the cheaper ones. Buendia has at least five shots assisted in each of his last four starts and that’s led to a minimum of 15 fantasy points in each of them. Tottenham is the biggest favorite, but they’re far from dominant and have allowed the sixth-most shots assisted and seventh-most crosses in the last 10 gameweeks.

Other Options — James Maddison, Leicester City, $10,300; Jack Grealish, Aston Villa, $9,600; James Ward-Prowse, Southampton, $7,300

VALUES

Declan Rice, West Ham vs. Leicester City, $3,200 — I went with Rice last slate and he was the perfect cash play, assuming one of your forwards didn’t bust. He has no upside, yet he’s extremely cheap and has at least 4.7 fantasy points in his last four starts, mostly from tackles won and interceptions. He should be plenty busy again, especially if Leicester rest some of its regulars.

Other Options — Will Hughes, Watford, $4,400; Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City, $3,900; James McCarthy, Crystal Palace $3,500


DEFENDER

STUDS

Djibril Sidibe, Everton at Newcastle, $6,000 — If Gylfi Sigurdsson is going to take all Everton corners, Lucas Digne is overrated at his current price ($6,700). Sidibe plays on the opposite side of Digne and has at least 11 fantasy points in his last four starts, the most recent one coming in more of an attacking role under Carlo Ancelotti. Even better, Newcastle has allowed the second-most crosses in the last 10 gameweeks.

Other Options — Serge Aurier, Tottenham, $5,700; Ricardo Pereira, Leicester City, $5,300; Ryan Fredericks, West Ham, $4,100

VALUES

Angelo Ogbonna, West Ham vs. Leicester City, $3,000 — Ogbonna has at least 6.1 fantasy points in his last three starts and similar to Rice, could accrue more defensive stats if Leicester rests a couple of their regulars. Going cheap with your second defender allows you to grab a couple of the better floor midfielders, which makes up for the lack of upside Ogbonna presents.

Other Options — Christoph Zimmermann, Norwich City, $3,200; Mamadou Sakho, Crystal Palace, $3,000; Fabian Balbuena, West Ham, $2,900


GOALKEEPER

STUDS

Alex McCarthy, Southampton vs. Crystal Palace, $5,300 — This is probably the first slate all season in which Southampton have the best odds for a clean sheet. They are coming off two impressive away wins, while McCarthy has made at least three saves in each of his last four starts. As for Crystal Palace, they’ve failed to score in three of their last four away.

Other Options — Kasper Schmeichel, Leicester City, $5,500; Ben Foster, Watford, $5,200; Jordan Pickford, Everton, $5,100

VALUES

Tim Krul, Norwich City vs. Tottenham, $4,000 — There aren’t a ton of reasons to back Krul outside of him being the cheapest goalkeeper. The hope is that Tottenham rests Harry Kane upfront or he shows some fatigue in a short week.

Other Options — Martin Dubravka, Newcastle, $4,500; Vicente Guaita, Crystal Palace, $4,300; Roberto Jimenez, West Ham, $4,200


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