SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for Sunday 5/23/21

Liverpool have a lot on the line Sunday and are huge home favorites versus Crystal Palace, giving Mohamed Salah a sky-high ceiling. How should you approach this gargantuan 10-match slate?

As always, we're covering FanDuel's main slate, and that kicks off at 11 a.m. EST on Sunday. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

Slate Overview

Fixture Favorite Over 1.5 Goal Odds
(Away | Home)
Most Likely
to Score
Newcastle at Fulham Fulham (+105) +144 | -115 De Cordova-Reid (+110)
Burnley at Sheffield United Burnley (+140) +120 | +136 Wood (+105)
Crystal Palace at Liverpool Liverpool (-650) +450 | -520 Salah (-330)
West Brom at Leeds Leeds (-230) +200 | -295Bamford (-170)
Chelsea at Aston Villa Chelsea (-220) -186 | +300 Giroud (-120)
Manchester United at Wolves Wolves (+155) +132 | +122 Jose (+155)
Brighton at Arsenal Arsenal (-170) +265 | -164 Lacazette (-110)
Southampton at West Ham West Ham (-140) +200 | -170Lingard (-120)
Everton at Manchester City Man City (-250) +320 | -225 Aguero (-115)
Tottenham at Leicester City Leicester (+100) +144 | -138 Vardy (-140)


It's the final day, so we've got all 20 teams kicking off at the same time. Hook it up to my veins. With such a large slate, I'm going to write up this primer a little differently than usual in an effort to cover the slate well but keep you from having to carve out two hours to read through this article. Good info but somewhat concise; that's the goal. I say somewhat because being concise about soccer isn't a strength of mine.

Checking starting lineups will be imperative, so plan on being locked in at 10 a.m. EST. Outside of Chelsea, Leicester City and Liverpool -- who are battling for the top four -- most sides have little to play for, so we could see a lot of unexpected starters. We already got some backup keepers playing earlier this week.

A 10-match slate is a once-a-year occurrence, and it should impact how you do things. We have no shortage of routes we can take, and the massive player pool should keep draft percentages pretty spread out for the most part. With so many goals on the slate, you need to shoot for upside more than ever if you want to win cash -- read: you need goals. And there's also a big opportunity cost to stacking attackers as it will limit your attacking exposure to (at most) three sides. I won't be stacking attackers in the majority of my lineups.

Teams I Most Want Exposure To

Liverpool -- At home versus Palace, the Reds are -140 to go over 2.5 goals. Only five teams on the slate have better over 1.5-goal odds. Motivation won't be an issue -- no small matter this time of year -- as Liverpool can clinch a top-four spot with a win. Mohamed Salah ($23; -330 to score) has slate-best goal odds by a wide margin. The huge player pool may keep him from carrying an insane draft percentage. If you want to stack the Reds or want to pivot off the Salah chalk, Sadio Mane ($21; -150), Roberto Firmino ($18; +120) and Diogo Jota ($15; -145) are fantastic options, especially Jota at that salary if he starts.

Leeds -- The second-best over 1.5 goal odds belong to Leeds (-295), who wrap up their successful return to the top flight with a home match versus West Brom. Leeds could run rampant, particularly if they field their best XI. Patrick Bamford ($21; -170) has sublime goal odds while Rodrigo ($18; +115), Raphinha ($16; +170) and Jack Harrison ($18; +220) are stellar options, as well. On a slate where every buck matters, Raphinha is easy to love at a modest salary. I won't do it much, but a Leeds stack has immense upside.

Manchester City (-250) -- City might be ripe for squad rotation with their next match being the all-important UCL final. But it's City, so even their backups are elite plays, as Ferran Torres ($18; +175) showed last time out. They're -225 to go over 1.5 goals in their home clash with Everton. As is almost always the case, anyone who starts in an attacking spot for City is worth a look. Sergio Aguero ($16; -115) could get the call in his final home game with the club. Kevin De Bruyne ($22; +150) is Kevin De Bruyne, and Raheem Sterling ($17; +125) shouldn't be too popular if he starts given his lack of playing time of late.

Chelsea -- Chelsea are -186 to go over 1.5 goals, and they have a UCL spot on the line in their match at Aston Villa, a side that have given up at least 1.0 expected goals (xG) in 13 straight matches, per FBRef. The Blues should be full go. Timo Werner ($21; +105) has the top goal odds on Chelsea while Christian Pulisic ($15: +165) and (Mason Mount $18; +195) make a lot of sense.

West Ham -- The Hammers' excellent season wraps up at home versus a Southampton team that hasn't kept a clean sheet in nine consecutive outings. Jesse Lingard ($17; -120) is one of my favorite plays on the slate while Michail Antonio ($19; -115) also has dope goal odds. Tomas Soucek ($15; +195) keeps finding ways to make the net bulge, and Said Benrahma ($13; +230) has been in great form to close the campaign.

The Other Best High-Salary Attackers

Jamie Vardy ($17; -140) and Kelechi Iheanacho ($19; +150) -- Leicester need a win to have any chance of making the top four, and they're -138 to go over 1.5 goals. The problem for me is I don't love their form or the matchup, as Spurs won't be a pushover. But Vardy has outstanding goal odds and will be on pens. Iheanacho has seven goals in his last 10 starts across all competitions.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($19; -105) and Alexandre Lacazette ($18; -110) -- Oddsmakers like the Gunners more than I do. They're at home against a Brighton side that has conceded the third-fewest xG this season, but Arsenal are -164 to go over 1.5 goals, so they need to be on our radar. It's likely just one of these guys starts, and whoever does should take penalties.

Bruno Fernandes ($23; +180) -- Manchester United have the Europa League final next Wednesday, and oddsmakers are expecting them to field a weakened team at Wolves on Sunday, which is why United are just +132 to go over 1.5 goals. If Bruno starts, his floor/ceiling combination would necessitate that we consider him. If United field a backup team, this match is one I'll mostly fade.

High-Upside Attackers Who Could Go Overlooked

Danny Ings ($17; +120) -- Playing at West Ham, Ings will likely fly under the radar with so many top-notch attacking options at our disposal. But he's got attractive goal odds, will be on pens and West Ham haven't kept a clean sheet in 10 straight.

Harry Kane ($22; +115) and Son Heung-min ($19; +150) -- These two are road underdogs at Leicester, and while Kane will always attract attention in DFS, I don't think he and Son will be chaly. Kane -- in what may be his last Spurs match if you like narratives -- is the easier sell. He has the better goal odds and will be on penalties. But Son's goal odds are pretty nice, he won't be as popular as Kane, and his numbers (17 goals with 10 assists) are nearly as good.

Chris Wood ($17; +105) -- Wood has five goals in his last five games, has delectable goal odds and gets a friendly matchup at Sheffield United. Burnley are just +120 to score two-plus goals, so Wood won't have a lot of eyes on him.

The Top Value Attackers

Bobby De Cordova-Reid ($11; +110) and Josh Maja ($12; +120) -- Whichever one starts up top for Fulham will be low-salary access to solid goal odds. The Cottagers conclude their relegation campaign at home versus Newcastle. In the middle of the year, this match wouldn't be fun for fantasy, but sometimes high-scoring games develop in these matchups between meh teams when nothing is on the line, especially if first-choice defenders are left on the bench. The game is -150 to go over 2.5 goals, and Fulham are -115 to score at least two.

Said Benrahma ($13; +230) -- We touched on Benrahma earlier, but he deserves a mention in the value section. If he starts, he's a smashing point-per-dollar play. In his first season after shredding the Championship at Brentford, Benrahma has flashed his talent and seems to be setting himself up for a big Year 2 in a West Ham shirt. He's got 24.3 and 27.3 FanDuel points in his past two and didn't start one of those matches.

Pablo Hernandez ($7; +170) and Tyler Roberts ($11; +135) -- Not in Leeds' usual lineup, I could see one of these two starting on Sunday. Either would be a cost-effective way to get a piece of a fantasy-friendly side. This will be Hernandez's last match for Leeds, so they could give him one final start. Playing either of these two frees up a lot of cash for elsewhere.

Ashley Barnes ($10; +135) -- Barnes has played a total of just 36 minutes as a sub over his last three matches as he works his way back from injury. If he starts Sunday, he would get the same delightful matchup versus the Blades that Wood gets, and Barnes is usually Burnley's first-choice penalty taker.

Defenders

My priority on this slate is to get the attackers I want, so I will be going with value picks at defender. If some teams rotate, we could have a bunch of low-salary defenders to choose from.

Of the expected starters, James Tomkins ($8), Joel Ward ($7), Jayden Bogle ($6) and Matt Ritchie ($8) are the guys I like most. Tomkins and Ward are part of a Palace back line that will be under siege at Anfield, giving them a decent floor. Ritchie should be able to get forward a good amount at Fulham, and he handles some set-piece work. Bogle has +470 anytime goal odds, which are tied for the best among defenders, and his matchup with Burnley isn't anything to shy away from.

Mason Holgate ($7) and Ben Godfrey ($9) are two more low-salary options I'm into. They're high-floor plays with Everton likely to be pinned back at Manchester City.

If you have coin to drop on defenders, Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15) and Andrew Robertson ($13) bring sexy upside into their date with Palace. The Reds should dominate the ball against an Eagles side that averages the third-lowest possession (40.4%), giving these two full-backs plenty of chances to get forward. Alexander-Arnold is +470 to score while Robertson is +700. Stacking one of them with a Liverpool forward will be a popular tactic.

Goalies

It's rare to have one standout keeper on a 10-match slate, but that's what we have with Alisson ($14). Liverpool's overwhelming -650 win odds are by far the best on the slate, and the Reds are -116 to keep a clean sheet, another slate-best mark. On the negative, Palace have been blanked just once (by Man City) in their last 10, and Alisson's slate-high salary isn't ideal. With that said, he's a priority for me.

The next-best clean-sheet odds belong to Manchester City (+118), Chelsea (+122) and Arsenal (+136). Each side is a fairly comfy favorite, too, so you can make a solid case for Ederson ($13), Bernd Leno ($13) and Edouard Mendy ($11). Factoring in salary, Mendy is my favorite play from that group. Chelsea have mostly been airtight defensively under Thomas Tuchel, although they haven't kept a clean sheet in four straight after doing so in 13 of their previous 17 matches before the past four games.

Illan Meslier ($11) doesn't have as good of clean-sheet odds (+178) as those three, but his win odds (-220) are great. I love the idea of pairing him with a Leeds attacker. He did get a rest last time out, so make sure it's him between the posts and not Kiko Casilla ($5). If Casilla starts, the salary savings would be nice, but I'm not sure I'd use him.

Of the value options, Kasper Schmeichel ($8) checks some boxes. Leicester are slight +100 favorites and will be going all out against Spurs. They're just +235 to keep a clean sheet, though.