SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 10/17/20

As always, we're covering FanDuel's main slate, and that kicks off at 10 a.m. EST. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

Slate Overview

Fixture Favorite Over 2.5 Goals Most Likely
to Score
Southampton at Chelsea Chelsea (-185) -182 Werner (-125)
Arsenal at Manchester City Man City (-200) -210 Aguero (-150)
Manchester United at Newcastle United Man United (-145) -136 Ighalo (+125)


The first main slate after the international break is like a lot of slates after an international break in that we have quite a lot of injury situations to monitor. The biggest news -- as of early Friday -- is that Kevin De Bruyne is out for Manchester City. Gabriel Jesus is also out for City, and we have several other big-name players dealing with knocks, including Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Hakim Ziyech to name a few.

There is a lot of clarity on this slate in terms of favorites, however, as Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all healthy favorites. Even though City are expected to be short-handed and are up against a solid Arsenal side, Man City are the slate's biggest favorite. I expect all three favorites to be popular, and Arsenal's attackers are worth a look, too, given City's struggles defensively.

Let's take a look at each match.

Southampton at Chelsea

Stacking Chelsea is going to be a justifiably popular play on Saturday, especially with Man City missing some of its stars. And with the staggered start times on this slate, Chelsea being in the first match may drive up their popularity as stacking them keeps you from having to rely as much on the guessing game when it comes to the lineups in the other matches.

Among players who are expected to play, Timo Werner ($20; -125 to score) has the best anytime goal odds. Werner hasn't yet opened his EPL account, but he has put four shots on target through four league outings and is a season removed from a 28-goal campaign with RB Leipzig. Werner will likely be one of the slate's chalk picks.

The Blues offer several other high-upside options, too, including Kai Havertz ($18; +185), Christian Pulisic ($16; +150), Mason Mount ($17; +290) and Tammy Abraham ($14; -120). I like the idea of fading Werner and nabbing one of these guys. If they start, Pulisic or Abraham would be my preferred option. Abraham has sublime goal odds at a modest salary, and Pulisic -- who should be getting near full fitness -- was Chelsea's top attacking player at the tail end of last season, finishing with nine goals and four assists.

Chelsea also offer two attack-minded full-backs in Reece James ($14) and Ben Chilwell ($13). Both have the freedom to bomb forward, especially if the Blues opt to play three at the back, and they are sensible stacking partners with any Chelsea attacker. Chilwell took some corners in his Chelsea debut, which is a big positive for his DFS prospects.

In goal, we could see Kepa Arrizabalaga ($10) once again as new signing Edouard Mendy has been ruled out due to injury. Chelsea have good win odds and are +154 to keep a clean sheet, so Kepa deserves a look -- even though it'll feel yucky to roster him. The clean-sheet odds are tops on the slate.

On the Saints' side, Danny Ings ($17; +130) has by far the best goal odds on the team, and there's a chance he sees a low draft percentage due to the other players in his salary range. Chelsea have given up three goals to West Brom and one to Brighton this year, so it's not going to shock anyone if the Saints make the net bulge. Ings has taken Southampton's only EPL penalty this year.

Arsenal at Manchester City

With KDB, Aguero and Jesus either already ruled out or expected to be out, City are still the slate's biggest favorite. And it's not like Arsenal have been bad. It just goes to show you how much depth City have and how respected this side is by oddsmakers.

We should feel fine attacking City like we normally would, and with this game a slate-best -210 to go over 2.5 goals, I like the idea of getting at least two of my attackers from this game -- maybe three -- as the Arsenal side is appealing, too.

As long as he's fit, Raheem Sterling ($19; +105) is my favorite play from this slate. He should be the focal point of the attack for City, and he took two penalties a year ago, giving him a shot to be on pens with KDB and Aguero sidelined. Sterling has put a shot on target in each of his three EPL matches this season, and he's fired nine shots overall.

Phil Foden ($17; +170) and Riyad Mahrez ($21; +170) will probably be more central figures than usual for City, and Ferran Torres ($14; +230) would be an enticing value target if he gets in the lineup.

Arsenal lost to Man City by identical 3-0 scorelines in both EPL meetings in 2019-20, but the Gunners got better as last season progressed and beat Liverpool, City and Chelsea late in the year, with the latter two wins coming in the FA Cup. Given that City have yet to keep a clean sheet over their three league matches this season and that City are just +166 to keep a clean sheet, Arsenal's attackers are in a nice spot.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($19; +145) is the obvious dude to target for Arsenal. He'll be on pens and netted both goals in the Gunners' upset win over City in the aforementioned FA Cup semifinal. Alexandre Lacazette ($17; +210) is a fun pivot. Laca has a goal in all three of his EPL starts this season, and he's put five shots on target in those outings. He'll likely be deployed centrally, too, in a number-nine role.

David Luiz ($11) is an Arsenal defender I don't mind using. The Brazilian should be busy, and he totaled 13.0 FanDuel points in a similar spot at Liverpool earlier this season. I'd prefer to spend down to get floor defenders, but there's not many of those options on this slate.

Manchester United at Newcastle United

From a goal-scoring perspective, this is the least appealing of the three matches as it's a slate-low -136 to go over 2.5 goals. I think you can justify fading attackers from this match and hope that any goals come from odd places, and it's not a bad spot to look for a cheap defender -- especially on the Newcastle side -- or your keeper.

If Man United are going to snap out of their early-season rut, Bruno Fernandes ($19; +135) will likely play a key role in them doing so.

He was immense last season, becoming one of the best DFS plays in the league, and he's been productive this campaign despite the team's struggles, scoring 23.0, 42.1 and 22.6 FanDuel points in his three league matches. He's got two goals and an assist and has been credited with eight total chances created. Bruno will be on pens and is the lone attacker in this match who can reliably have a good DFS day without a goal.

With Anthony Martial banned, we'll have to see how United lines up. It'll likely be one of Marcus Rashford ($21; +135), Mason Greenwood ($17; +190) or Odion Ighalo ($14; +125) filling in as the Red Devils' number-nine. If Ighalo gets the call, he'd be very tempting at his salary. Across all competitions, he put home five goals last season in limited minutes. The catch here is that this is the last match of the slate, so if you've budgeted to roster Ighalo and he doesn't start, you could be in a jam.

Newcastle typically pack it in against top teams, which limits the upside of their forwards. Callum Wilson ($15; +170) is in superb form, though, scoring four times through four matchweeks. He's also tallied an assist and created four chances. He's scored at least 20 FanDuel points in three of four EPL matches. I'm not expecting the Magpies to create much, so I won't use Wilson, but he's someone who is capable of being a GPP swing play.

Earlier I said it's not a good slate for cheap floor defenders. Newcastle are the exception. They have two expected starters in defense who are listed at $8 or cheaper in Jamal Lewis ($8) and Javier Manquillo ($7). Jamaal Lascelles ($7) could start, too. All of the Magpies' defenders should be able to rack up FanDuel points in a match in which they should spend a lot of time defending.

Man United are +156 to keep a clean sheet, so David de Gea ($13) warrants consideration. I don't mind Newcastle's Karl Darlow ($7), either.

Darlow is just +410 to keep a clean sheet, so there's plenty of risk in rostering him. But the salary is a big help, and it's not like Man United are all that fearsome in their current form, totaling just 3.1 expected goals, per FBRef, through three league games. If you use Darlow, it makes sense to pair him with Wilson. Attacker-goalie stacks are one of the best stacking options.