FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 1/14/23
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 five matches. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.
West Ham (+170) at Wolves (+175)
Over 2.5 Goals: +124 | Most Likely to Score: Cunha (+240)
Leicester City (+165) at Nottingham Forrest (+165)
Over 2.5 Goals: +104 | Most Likely to Score: Vardy (+160)
Liverpool (+115) at Brighton (+220)
Over 2.5 Goals: -166 | Most Likely to Score: Salah (+155)
Southampton (+230) at Everton (+125)
Over 2.5 Goals: +112 | Most Likely to Score: Calvert-Lewin (+175)
Bournemouth (+440) at Brentford (-165)
Over 2.5 Goals: -118 | Most Likely to Score: Toney (+110)
Matchweek 20 features one big-six side, with Liverpool in action on the road against Brighton.
Brentford (-165 to win) are the largest favorite on the slate, and Ivan Toney ($22) has the best odds to score (+110) of any player expected to be active on Saturday.
Liverpool (+115 to win) are the second-largest favorite, followed by Everton (+125 to win). Leicester City and Nottingham Forest (+165 to win) have equal odds to win in their clash, and West Ham (+170 to win) round out the slate as slight favorites.
On paper, Saturday's slate is setting up to be one of the most closely contested slates of the season. The lone big-six side in action, Liverpool, has an implied win probability of just 46.5% as they continue to try to get their season back on track after a very slow start. Brentford, the largest favorite on the slate, have an implied win probability of 62.3%. The favorite in each of the other three matches has an implied win probability of 44.4% or worse.
With a limited number of options available at the top of the player pool, draft percentages could be spread relatively evenly among the middle-tier options this weekend. There are only six players with a salary of $17 or more who are expected to be active on Saturday.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Evan Ferguson, FWD/MID, Brighton
FanDuel Salary: $14
In a game in which all eyes could be on Liverpool's Cody Gakpo ($19) making his Premier League debut, Ferguson may go overlooked despite his impressive form.
After working his way up through the ranks of Brighton's academy, Ferguson made his first start for the Seagulls on January 3rd and recorded a goal and an assist in 71 minutes of action. In the game before that, he produced a goal in a 30-minute appearance as a substitute. He enters this showdown versus Liverpool with two goals and an assist in his last two matches, and he comes at a salary that seems too low for his outlook.
Ferguson's odds to score (+200) are better than Gakpo's (+220) and are the third-best odds of anyone expected to be active in this game. Brighton and Liverpool enter this contest side-by-side in the league table, each with four wins over their last six matches. Liverpool are on the road and are only slight favorites.
Gakpo can certainly deliver in this matchup, but he has a much higher salary and should be more popular. Consider fading him in favor of another rising talent who has already scored multiple goals in the Premier League or including both players in the same lineup.
Bryan Mbeumo, FWD/MID, Brentford
FanDuel Salary: $15
Prior to their one-goal loss to West Ham in the FA Cup last Saturday, Brentford had been on an incredibly impressive run of form. They are undefeated in their last six Premier League fixtures, with a draw against Tottenham and wins over West Ham and Liverpool since the league resumed in December.
All eyes will be on Ivan Toney ($22) in this one. He is making his return after a one-game absence. Toney has four goals, an assist, and a combined 127.7 FanDuel points in his last three starts and will likely be the most popular player on Saturday's slate.
Mbeumo scored against Liverpool in Brentford's last match and offers a way to gain exposure to a pristine matchup against Bournemouth at a lower draft percentage than Toney's.
Bournemouth's struggles are well documented, they have nine losses in their past 11 fixtures, including their last five across all competitions. They are allowing a league-worst 2.2 goals per match this season and should offer up plenty of opportunities to Brentford on Saturday.
Mbeumo's odds to score (+220) are even with Gakpo's, and while his ceiling isn't as high as Toney's, on a smaller five-game slate, he is certainly capable of reaching a FanDuel point total that justifies his inclusion in lineups for large-field tournaments.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, FWD/MID, Everton
FanDuel Salary: $16
Despite both sides entering this contest in the relegation zone, the public may favor Southampton with the Saints coming off back-to-back cup wins over Crystal Palance and Manchester City. While Southampton have had more to cheer about recently, they are also in a prime spot for a letdown after their emotional victory against City. On just three days' rest, the Saints have to travel to face a well-rested Everton side that are favorites on paper.
Considering Everton's run of poor results, doubting the Toffees is certainly fair. But Southampton have been just as poor and are the second-largest underdog on Saturday's slate. Calvert-Lewin (+175 to score) has the fifth-best odds to score among all players on Saturday's slate and has a modest salary for a striker on a home favorite.
With goals in back-to-back games and a lower salary, Demarai Gray ($14) could see a higher-draft percentage than Calvert-Lewin this weekend despite having much worse odds to score (+420). The small increase in salary to DCL isn't much of an issue on a slate lacking quality high-salaried options.
Consider Calvert-Lewin this weekend despite Everton's shoddy form. On a smaller slate and in an excellent matchup, he has paths to a productive performance in this contest.