SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 5/7/22

With all eyes on Liverpool and Chelsea, Crystal Palace's Jean-Philippe Mateta could come in at a low draft percentage. Which other players make for quality contrarian options?

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 separate you from your opponents.

The same goes for EPL DFS. 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 six matches. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

Slate Overview

Southampton (+230) at Brentford (+120)
Over 2.5 Goals: -116 | Most Likely to Score: Toney (+115)

Watford (+450) at Crystal Palace (-155)
Over 2.5 Goals: -108 | Most Likely to Score: Edouard (+125)

Aston Villa (+140) at Burnley (+200)
Over 2.5 Goals: +112 | Most Likely to Score: Weghorst (+190)

Wolves (+900) at Chelsea (-300)
Over 2.5 Goals: -116 | Most Likely to Score: Lukaku (+125)

Manchester United (+155) at Brighton (+175)
Over 2.5 Goals: -108 | Most Likely to Score: Ronaldo (+125)

Tottenham (+550) at Liverpool (-230)
Over 2.5 Goals: -182 | Most Likely to Score: Salah (-110)

Matchweek 35 features four big-six sides, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, and Liverpool all in action on a six-game main slate. Chelsea (-300 to win) is the largest favorite on the slate, and Mohamed Salah ($21) has the best odds to score (-110) of anyone expected to be active on Saturday.

Liverpool (-230 to win) is the second-biggest favorite, followed by Crystal Palace (-155 to win) in third. Brentford (+120 to win), Aston Villa (+140 to win), and Manchester United (+155 to win) round out the slate.

All eyes will be on the afternoon clash between Liverpool and Tottenham. The Reds are looking to keep pace with Manchester City in the title race, and Tottenham is trying to challenge Arsenal for the final spot in next season's Champions League.

With four big-six sides in action, there are plenty of options available at the top end of the salary table. However, everyone besides Chelsea enters Saturday with some question marks. Liverpool and Tottenham have difficult tasks ahead of them, while Manchester United are barely on-paper favorites over Brighton as United limp toward the finish line on their dismal season.

With that in mind, here are three players to consider -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.

Ollie Watkins, FWD/MID, Aston Villa

FanDuel Salary: $18

With four big-six sides in action on Saturday, Watkins should go overlooked at the high-end of the forward/midfielder player pool. Lineups that do opt to include a striker from Villa will likely go for former Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho ($19), but Watkins has been more productive recently.

Working alongside Coutinho in Villa's attack, Watkins has scored twice in his last four matches, with 10.6 and 18.2 FanDuel points in the two matches in which he didn't find the back of the net. Over that stretch, he has a combined 16 shots, six on goal, and seven chances created. While all eyes are on Coutinho and stars from big-six sides, Watkins offers an opportunity to roster high-salary production and at a likely low draft percentage.

Villa's opposition, Burnley, are on an excellent run of form, with three wins in a row and just one loss in their last six. However, their latest victory was a last-minute escape against a Watford side that has lost five in a row. Watkins should have plenty of chances to extend his good run of form.

Anthony Elanga, FWD/MID, Manchester United

FanDuel Salary: $17

Completely swearing off any Manchester United player at this point is totally understandable. After all, there has been little to cheer for since they were bounced from the Champions League by Atletico Madrid in March. That said, Elanga has been a relative bright spot for United in an otherwise lost season and has now started five consecutive games as he looks to end his breakout season on a high note.

In those five starts, Elanga has been productive against non-elite opposition. Failing to produce against Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool, but notching an assist against both Brentford and Norwich. Brighton are in good form but are more like the latter opponents than the former.

With public sentiment surrounding Manchester United nearing all-time lows, Elanga should go completely overlooked on Saturday.

Jean-Philippe Mateta, FWD/MID, Crystal Palace

FanDuel Salary: $14

Any side facing Watford should be in consideration, and Crystal Palace is no exception. Following their shocking late collapse against Burnley last weekend, Watford has now lost five straight and will most likely be officially relegated on Saturday. Palace is coming off a last-minute victory over Southampton and is the third-largest favorite on Saturday.

Mateta has found the back of the net just twice in his last six starts but has been consistently applying pressure to opposing defenses. He has 19 combined shots over those five starts, with eight in his last two. A meeting with Watford provides an excellent opportunity to turn those attempts into goals.

Watford has conceded an average of 2.0 goals per match this season, the third-worst in the Premier League. Over their last six, they have allowed a league-worst 15 goals, including 2 to Burnley, 3 to Leeds, and 2 to Brentford. There are few better opponents for a striker to face right now.