SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 1/21/23

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

Slate Overview

Brighton (+105) at Leicester (+250)
Over 2.5 Goals: -118 | Most Likely to Score: Vardy (+170)

Aston Villa (+155) at Southampton (+185)
Over 2.5 Goals: +106 | Most Likely to Score: Watkins (+210)

Everton (+380) at West Ham (-130)
Over 2.5 Goals: +108 | Most Likely to Score: Ings (+175)

Nottingham Forest (+175) at Bournemouth (+175)
Over 2.5 Goals: +136 | Most Likely to Score: Solanke (+230)

Newcastle (-115) at Crystal Palace (+350)
Over 2.5 Goals: +116 | Most Likely to Score: Wilson (+175)

Positional Breakdown
Forwards/Midfielders

I'm always a big fan of slates that don't have many big-six sides, as it forces us to use players we don't normally roster. This slate has zero big-six clubs on it, so I love it.

Overall, things are pretty wide open. We have only two teams who, according to the betting lines, have an implied win probability greater than 50%.

The biggest favorites are West Ham, who are -105 to go over 1.5 goals, tied for a slate-best mark. The Hammers are in the midst of a wildly disappointing season. After finishing sixth and seventh in the previous two campaigns, David Moyes' squad currently sits 18th. At home against 19th-placed Everton, this is a big match for the Hammers. If they lose it, they might have to start worrying about an actual relegation battle. But there are reasons to be optimistic about West Ham moving forward.

Going by expected goals (xG), they've been really unfortunate. Their real-world goal difference is -10, but their xG difference is +1.6, per FBRef, which ranks ninth-best in the league. That's why there are seven teams with shorter relegation odds in the futures market than what the Hammers have (+430). They're not nearly as bad as what their results might have you believe, and facing an Everton side that is every bit as bad as their results -- 19th in xG difference -- West Ham can right the ship in a big way on Saturday.

Due to their poor results, West Ham's best DFS options -- Michail Antonio ($13; +180 anytime goal odds), Lucas Paqueta ($16; +270) and Jarrod Bowen ($15; +220) -- come at friendly salaries. I really like all three, and if Said Benrahma ($12; +330) starts, he's a fantastic value pick. New signing Danny Ings ($16; +175) may not be up to speed enough to start, but he does carry the Hammers' best goal odds.

Brighton are the other side that's -105 to score at least twice, and they're playing at Leicester. Brighton went a little under the radar in DFS last weekend and then thrashed Liverpool. They won't be under the radar this weekend, and they are the most logical place to spend salary on this slate.

As is always the case with Brighton, they are a difficult team to zero in on for DFS because their goals come from everywhere. Four players have scored at least four times for them in EPL play, and the guy with a team-best seven goals, Leandro Trossard, just got sold to Arsenal.

Evan Ferguson ($18; +180) has started just twice this campaign, but he's been excellent lately and boasts Brighton's top goal odds. He's produced 25.0, 30.0 and 19.3 FanDuel points over the past three, notching two goals and two assists in that time. Kaoru Mitoma ($14; +310) is emerging, too. Despite scoring twice last time out, Solly March ($19; +500) is a fade for me. The goal odds just aren't there for a player with that kind of salary. I won't have much of Pascal GroƟ ($19; +490) for the same reason.

Newcastle are a good shout, too. They're +100 to score at least twice at Crystal Palace, and while they're not technically a big-six side, the Magpies are playing like one as they rank third in xG difference (14.1). I will have a lot of interest in Alexander Isak ($21; +200) if he starts. If Isak doesn't start, Callum Wilson ($20; +175) will likely be in there, and he holds Newcastle's best goal odds. Allan Saint-Maximin ($13; +340) is a fun low-salary play.

Among the rest of the teams, Leicester's Jamie Vardy ($14; +170) has the best goal odds, but he hasn't scored since October 23rd. Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins ($18; +210) is intriguing in a road matchup against a Southampton side that's conceded the second-most goals.

Added time -- The Forest-Bournemouth matchup is a doozie in terms of the relegation battle but might be a snooze-fest for DFS. It's a slate-worst +136 to go over 2.5 goals. If I get any exposure to it, it'll likely be via Kieffer Moore ($12; +260), who owns the match's best goal odds. ... Villa's Emi Buendia ($11; +360) is worth a look as a value cog. ... Palace's Wilfried Zaha ($17; +290) and Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($15; +280) are on underdogs and will likely go overlooked, but they have the talent to pop.

Defenders

There aren't many super-appealing high-salary attackers on this slate, which should give us a little more coin to spend on defenders.

Newcastle's back-line has been full of fantasy production this season. Kieran Trippier ($15) leads the way, posting an average of 20.9 FanDuel points per match. He handles corners and some free kicks, giving him additional chances to amass points, and he's generated at least 13.8 FanDuel points in 12 straight matches. The floor/ceiling combination is as good as it gets at defender on this slate.

Also for the Magpies, Fabian Schar ($14) is averaging 17.3 FanDuel points per game for the season while Sven Botman ($11) has scored between 12.8 and 15.4 FanDuel points in four consecutive matches.

James Tarkowski ($14) has been a DFS monster this year for Everton, averaging 16.6 FanDuel points per game. He's dipped below 9.1 FanDuel points just once across his past 10 appearances and should be busy at West Ham.

West Ham's full-back duo of Aaron Cresswell ($11) and Vladimir Coufal ($10) stands out. Creswell will be a core play for me. He's +260 to score or assist and should have plenty of opportunities to push forward against Everton. Coufal is +440 to score/assist.

Added time -- Old vet Ashley Young ($10) still offers some DFS juice. Villa are slight road favorites at Southampton, and Young is +230 to score/assist, a slate-best mark for the position. ... Renan Lodi ($8) is a respectable low-salary punt. Playing for Forest keeps him busy defensively, and he can do some work going forward in a matchup with Bournemouth. ... Adam Webster ($8) is listed as a probable starter for Brighton, with the injury to Levi Colwill opening the door for him to get back into the lineup. Webster had some serviceable DFS outputs earlier in the season.

Goalies

West Ham's Lukasz Fabianski ($12) and Newcastle's Nick Pope ($13) are who you need to lock in on if you're after win and clean-sheet odds. Both have a strong case, but going by the betting numbers, Fabianski looks like the better bet between the two of them.

Fabianski is +130 to keep a clean sheet and -130 to win -- both of which are slate-leading marks. Everton have mustered only 15 goals through 19 matches. However, with Fabianski $1 less in salary than Pope and in a soft matchup, he'll surely be chalk. Pope, on the other hand, may slip through the cracks a wee bit.

Pope's matchup with Palace -- who are second-worst in xG scored -- is a really nice one, too, and he plays behind an excellent defense, with Newcastle shipping the third-fewest xG. I don't like swallowing chalk at goalie, so give me Pope.

The next two in terms of clean-sheet odds are facing each other in the Bournemouth-Forest clash. Neto ($9), the Cherries' keeper, is +195 to blank Nottingham Forest. Wayne Hennessey ($9) is +200 to hold Bournemouth without a goal. As I mentioned earlier, this match is a slate-worst +136 to go over 2.5 goals. Matches between relegation candidates can sometimes be cagey affairs. Both of these keepers make sense and come at easy-to-like salaries.

Added time -- Aston Villa's Emi Martinez ($11) is in a nice spot. The World Cup star is facing a Saints attack that is fourth-worst by xG. He's +210 to keep a clean sheet. ... I don't mind Leicester's Danny Ward ($9). Brighton usually generate chances, and Leicester typically allow a lot of chances. That gives Ward big-time upside if he can keep a clean sheet and/or get a win.