FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 2/4/23
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 six matches. All betting lines come from the soccer odds at FanDuel Sportsbook and FoxBet, and they may change after the article is published.
Liverpool (-115) at Wolves (+310)
Over 2.5 Goals: -126 | Most Likely to Score: Salah (+155)
Leicester (+280) at Aston Villa (-105)
Over 2.5 Goals: -116 | Most Likely to Score: Watkins (+175)
Bournemouth (+850) at Brighton (-290)
Over 2.5 Goals: -138 | Most Likely to Score: Ferguson (+125)
Crystal Palace (+800) at Manchester United (-260)
Over 2.5 Goals: -122 | Most Likely to Score: Rashford (+130)
Southampton (+300) at Brentford (-115)
Over 2.5 Goals: +102 | Most Likely to Score: Toney (+120)
West Ham (+500) at Newcastle (-160)
Over 2.5 Goals: +110 | Most Likely to Score: Wilson (+155)
Matchweek 22 features two big-six sides, with Liverpool and Manchester United in action.
Brighton (-290 to win) are the largest favorite on the slate, and Ivan Toney ($22) has the best odds to score (+120) of any player expected to be active on Saturday.
Manchester United (-260 to win) are the second-largest favorite, followed by Newcastle (-160 to win). Liverpool and Brentford (-115 to win) have equal odds to win in their matches, and Aston Villa (-105 to win) round out the slate as slight favorites.
Saturday's slate features six betting favorites, with all of them but Liverpool playing at home. Manchester United's recent form should result in their stars being the most popular players on the slate, but Brighton's and Newcastle's form, combined with the salary discount on their stars, may pull some draft percentage away from Bruno Fernandes ($21) and Marcus Rashford ($20). Mohamed Salah ($20) and Darwin Nunez ($19) should be far less popular than United's duo given the Reds' horrendous run of form, but they offer no salary discount.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Antony, FWD/MID, Manchester United
FanDuel Salary: $17
Antony hasn't scored a goal since October. His lack of production has resulted in increased pressure following his big-money transfer at the start of the season, and he is likely to go overlooked this weekend as the public's confidence in him continues to decline. He hasn't scored more than 20.0 FanDuel points in a Premier League match since October, and the return of Jadon Sancho ($15) could result in a decrease in playing time.
All that said, he remains a consistent part of a Manchester United attack that is in excellent form. Over his last three matches in all competitions, he has a combined 14 shots, 3 shots on target, 7 key passes, and 1 assist. Despite his struggles, he continues to shoot and should have plenty of opportunities to get on the score sheet against Crystal Palace this weekend.
At a salary of $17, Antony provides a slight discount to Rashford and Fernandes. His odds to score (+200) are better than goal odds for Fernandes (+210), Cody Gakpo ($17; +210), and Miguel Almiron ($17; +300). His recent struggles don't inspire confidence that he can deliver on Saturday, but an expected low draft percentage makes up for that with an on-paper outlook that remains excellent from an odds perspective.
Cody Gakpo, FWD/MID, Liverpool
FanDuel Salary: $17
Gakpo's transfer to Liverpool was met with excitement, but he has failed to deliver since his arrival. In two starts, he has produced a combined 6.3 FanDuel points, and Liverpool have failed to break out of a terrible run of form. After two disappointing games for the Dutch star, the interest in Gakpo this weekend should be far below what it was for his first couple of appearances, providing an opportunity to roster an exciting talent on a favored side at a potential low draft percentage.
In his last game, Gakpo tallied just 6.3 FanDuel points at home against Chelsea, but he was heavily involved. He recorded 7 shots, placing just one on target in 82 minutes played. Entering just his third game for Liverpool, Gakpo appears to be trending in the right direction, even if his DFS production so far has been almost nonexistent.
Facing a Wolves side currently sitting 17th in the table, Gakpo should have plenty of chances on the ball in the final third this weekend. Wolves have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven fixtures and are conceding 1.5 goals per Premier League match this campaign.
Liverpool's struggles combined with Gakpo's slow start as well as us having plenty of other options from in-form sides in his salary range should allow him to fly relatively under the radar on Saturday. Despite that slow start, his talent and opportunity are well worth consideration for large-field tournaments this weekend.
Leon Bailey, FWD/MID, Aston Villa
FanDuel Salary: $14
Villa enter this weekend with three wins in their last four EPL fixtures and only one loss in their last seven. They have scored at least one goal in each of their last nine Premier League matches and are home favorites against a Leicester City side heading in the opposite direction.
Leicester are winless in their last five EPL matches, with four losses and a draw by a combined score of 10-3. They have been one of the worst away sides so far this season, conceding 2.3 goals per match on the road, the second-most in the Premier League. This match is the only one of the six to not feature at least one team from the top half of the table, so it could go overlooked, leaving Aston Villa's forwards at low draft percentages in a very good matchup.
Bailey has just four goals and two assists in 19 appearances this season but has been extremely involved as of late. Over his last three matches, he has a combined 11 shots, 3 on goal, 1 goal, and 4 chances created. His odds to score (+290) are better than the marks for both Almiron (+300) and Allan Saint-Maximin (+300).
Facing a struggling Leicester side, Bailey is worth consideration for large-field tournaments this weekend at this very reasonable salary.