SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 6/17/20

As always, we're covering FanDuel's main slate, and that kicks off at 1 p.m. EST. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

Slate Overview

Fixture Favorite Over 2.5 Goals Most Likely
to Score
Sheffield United at Aston Villa Sheffield United (+120) +108 Mousset (+150)
Arsenal at Manchester City Man City (-330) -270 Agüero (-210)


Positional Breakdown

Forwards/Midfielders

This slate centers on Manchester City. They opened at -280 to win, and the line has risen to -330. I think that still undersells Man City a bit as Pep Guardiola's side are a whopping 44.6 goals better than Arsenal by expected goal (xG) differential this season, per FBRef. While the Gunners are unbeaten in their past eight league matches, they've been riding their luck -- at least according to expected goals. They finished with fewer xG in four of those eight outings, and xG had them losing 2.9-0.5 at Chelsea, their last match against a big-six side and one they somehow drew 2-2.

So, yeah, you need some Man City dudes on this slate. One trick is that we won't know the City-Arsenal lineups before the Villa-Sheffield United match starts, but that's something we're going to run into a lot this summer with the wonky schedule. Fortunately, City have enough high-powered studs that we have plenty of flexibility.

The usual suspects are in play for City -- Sergio Agüero ($21), Kevin De Bruyne ($22) and Raheem Sterling ($19).

Agüero has juicy anytime goal odds (-210), and KDB has been a fantasy monster all season. The Belgian's floor is incredible -- single digits just once in 26 games -- and he offers a rare blend of goal and assist upside. KDB is +170 to score and dominates set-piece duties, which may now include penalties after he cashed one in Champions League play before the break. Sterling (-105 to score) always has a huge ceiling in this pristine attack. Plus, he's been unlucky to tally just one assist in league play as FBRef has him for 5.8 expected assists.

Riyad Mahrez ($18; +145), Bernardo Silva ($15; +170), İlkay Gündoğan ($11; +330) and David Silva ($14; +330) are enticing, too, if they get in the starting lineup. Pretty much any City starter is in play, and on a small slate, you can even dip down to a bench guy if you can stomach the risk since subs will likely be more prevalent under the new rules (five subs per match).

Oddsmakers like Villa more than I do in their clash with Sheffield United. But oddsmakers are usually right, and Villa have it all to play for in their relegation fight. At +108 to go over 2.5 goals, this fixture looks be a bad place to go for attackers. Villa and the Blades have combined for 64 goals; Man City have 68. But it's a two-game slate, so here we are.

Jack Grealish ($17; +320) leads the Villans in goals (six) and assists (seven). His DFS outlook is boosted by his corner duties, and he might be the highest-owned non-City player. Anwar El Ghazi ($8; +250) is a superb value target if he gets in the starting lineup, something he's done in 21 of 25 EPL games, and he could be on pens. John McGinn ($13; +330) had three goals and two assists this campaign before getting injured and is expected to be back in the lineup.

For Sheffield United, Lys Mousset ($12; +150), Oliver McBurnie ($17; +160), Billy Sharp ($15; +190) and David McGoldrick ($14; +190) all carry better anytime goal odds than anyone on Villa. Mousset typically comes off the bench, but he'd be very appealing at this price if he starts. While the Blades don't have a go-to goal-scorer, they are 25.8 goals better than Aston Villa by expected goal differential, so it makes sense to take a shot on one of their attackers.

Added time -- I will mostly stay away from Arsenal attackers as City are a much better defense with Aymeric Laporte back. With that said, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($18; +140) could be a GPP difference maker if he nets a goal. ... Mbwana Samatta ($16; +240) will likely go under the radar in the Villa-Blades matchup, but he has the best anytime goal odds on Villa and is a savvy pivot off Grealish if he gets into the starting XI.

Defenders

In terms of ceilings, it's not a great defender slate. If he gets the nod, Benjamin Mendy ($14) would offer upside for Manchester City. Unfortunately, he's started just 13 EPL matches this year. But WhoScored has him as a probable starter, and the Frenchman's crossing prowess makes him a great stacking partner. João Cancelo ($11) and Oleksandr Zinchenko ($10) started at full-back in City's last league match, and both would be worth a look if they're in the starting XI.

Arsenal's defenders are high-floor options. Sokratis ($8) and David Luiz ($11) are the probable starters at center-back and should be very busy in a game in which City will likely dominate possession. Sokratis is going to be hard to pass on at that price.

With the Blades playing three at the back, Sheffield United's defenders have been solid fantasy options this season, particularly wing-backs George Baldock ($10) and Enda Stevens ($13). Baldock has two goals and three assists this season while Stevens has registered two goals and two assists. They're both decent plays, and I'd assume the masses will take the savings with Baldock when choosing between the two, giving Stevens GPP appeal.

Added time -- Kyle Walker ($12) normally doesn't produce much fantasy goodness. As such, he shouldn't be popular, but three of the five most likely scorelines -- per FanDuel Sportsbook -- have City keeping a clean-sheet, and Arsenal have enough going forward to keep him somewhat busy defensively. ... Matt Targett ($14) and Frederic Guilbert ($12) are expected to start at full-back for Villa. Each has a pair of assists on the year and is worth having on our radar on a two-gamer.

Goalies

Ederson ($14) has by far the best win odds on the slate, and he's priced as such -- $3 more expensive than any other keeper. The issues with Ederson are that he'll likely be popular, and, per usual, the save volume probably won't be there to boost his floor if he misses out on the clean sheet. His average of 11.7 FanDuel points per game is actually second-worst among the four keepers. If you get the feel that he won't be highly rostered, he becomes a lot easier to stomach.

Instead of using the Brazilian, I'll likely take a stab at one of the goalies in the Villa-Sheffield United matchup -- Dean Henderson ($11) or Pepe Reina ($7). The evenly matched nature of this game should cap the ownership on both goalies, but it profiles as a low-scoring affair. Of the two, I side with Henderson. He's better, is on the superior team and two of the four most likely scorelines involve a Blades clean sheet. The most likely scoreline, however, is a 1-1 draw (+500), which would be a nightmare result as neither keeper would get the win bonus or the clean-sheet points.

Added time -- Every once in a while, a big underdog keeper facing Man City racks up immense save volume and keeps the damage to one or two goals, resulting in a respectable fantasy output. That's in the range of outcomes for Bernd Leno ($7). Also in said range of outcomes is negative points. If you think Arsenal slow down City, Leno is worth a look.