FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 12/19/20
If you have played daily fantasy sports for a while, you know the importance of being contrarian in large-field tournaments. Recognizing which players are going to be popular and finding others who you think have a similar point projection but will be much less popular can really separate yourself from your opponents.
The same goes for DFS EPL. Even though the large-field tournaments aren't quite as large as they are for other sports, there is still value in identifying quality under-the-radar plays.
This article will discuss FanDuel's main Saturday slate, which starts at 10:00 a.m. EST and features three matches.
|Saturday, December 19th|
|Manchester City at Southampton|
|Arsenal at Everton|
|Fulham at Newcastle|
Matchweek 14 features two big-six sides in Manchester City and Arsenal and comes on the heels of midweek fixtures for all six clubs on the slate. City is the largest favorite on the slate (-220) on the road against Southampton, but they enter this one off a disappointing draw with West Brom on Tuesday. Everton (+145) is the next closest favorite followed by Newcastle (+180).
From an odds perspective, Manchester City is the clear target, and their stars will be among the most popular on the slate. However, their odds are far from reassuring for an elite side, and the dismal draw with West Brom during the week has raised some questions. They should bounce back in this one but don't mistake their outlook for previous "Manchester City" slates, where their odds were head and shoulders above the rest. Southampton held Arsenal to a draw during the week and currently sits third on the league table.
With all that in mind, here are two players to consider on this slate -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Alex Iwobi, FWD/MID, Everton
FanDuel Salary: $11
Iwobi has started each of Everton's last five matches, averaging 84.4 minutes played per fixture. Three of his starts were as a left or right mid in a 3-4-3 formation, but his last two saw him slot in as a forward on the right of Everton's 4-3-3. Notably, those last two fixtures marked a turnaround for Everton, who had been struggling, resulting in wins over Chelsea and Leicester City. If Iwobi starts in a similar position on Saturday, he will have a good chance to add to his former club's misery and extend Everton's good run of form.
Iwobi has been more involved as a distributor than goal-scorer in his role, but on a short slate, for his low salary, he's well worth consideration against an Arsenal side that is winless in their last six Premier League fixtures. He notched his second assist of the season during Wednesday's win over Leicester City and has now scored double-digit FanDuel points in three of his last four matches.
Over his last three matches, he has produced a combined 22 crosses, 2 shots, 1 assist, and created 5 chances. Assuming he remains in his role as a forward in a 4-3-3, he offers solid value at his salary and should go overlooked due to a lack of goals so far this season.
Ademola Lookman, FWD/MID, Fulham
FanDuel Salary: $17
Lookman's salary places him in the same range as some of Manchester City's potential starters, most notably Ferran Torres ($17) and Riyad Mahrez ($18), and he is more expensive than Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette ($16), who could return to the starting lineup this weekend. The presence of those options should be enough to keep Lookman's popularity at reasonable levels despite his recent play pointing to a productive fixture against Newcastle.
With the exception of a terrible performance against Manchester City, Lookman has scored at least 12.3 FanDuel points in each of his nine starts this season. His last three performances, excluding the encounter with City, produced 18.2, 24.5, and 34.5 FanDuel points, with a combined 1 goal, 1 assist, 8 shots, 5 shots on goal, and 4 chances created. He has been at the heart of Fulham's attack and should remain there for this weekend's battle with a Newcastle side that just conceded five goals to Leeds on Wednesday.
Newcastle hasn't kept a clean sheet at home yet this season, conceding an average of 2.0 goals per game through six home fixtures so far, the worst clip in the league. Fulham appears to have improved on their defense with their recent results, but their 22 goals conceded is still the fourth-worst in the league, opening up the possibility for goals on both sides in this one.
Consider playing Lookman alongside a Newcastle forward to gain exposure to the game that is likely to attract the least attention on the slate despite a similar outlook to Everton-Arsenal.