FanDuel Soccer: EPL Under-the-Radar Plays for 7/11/20
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 owned by the masses and finding others who you think have a similar point projection but will come at much lower ownership can really separate yourself from your opponents.
The same goes for DFS EPL. 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 three matches.
|Saturday, July 11th|
|Burnley at Liverpool|
|Chelsea at Sheffield United|
|Manchester City at Brighton|
Matchweek 35 features three big-six sides in a short three-game slate. Liverpool is the largest favorite with an implied win probability of 80.39% at home against Burnley. Manchester City is close behind with an implied win probability of 78.26% on the road against Brighton. Chelsea rounds out the slate with an implied win probability of 62.96% on the road against Sheffield United.
The two largest favorites on the slate have nothing left to play for, with Liverpool already being crowned champions and Manchester City securing a spot in next season's Champions League. Both sides are still in excellent positions this weekend, but the combination of fixture congestion and lack of stakes may lead them to rotate their starting XI, opening up some excellent value.
Chelsea has the most difficult matchup of the favorites, but they also have the most motivation as they try to hold off Leicester City and Manchester United for one of the two remaining UCL spots.
With all that in mind, here are two players to consider this weekend -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Oliver McBurnie, FWD/MID, Sheffield United
FanDuel Salary: $16
Sheffield United are playing against the most motivated side this weekend, but they still have a slightly higher implied goal total (0.87) than Brighton (0.84) and Burnley (0.83), according to Rotowire. Chelsea has been excellent in attack since the restart, but their defense has had some struggles recently, conceding two goals to Crystal Palace and three to West Ham. Both of those fixtures came on the road, and since the restart Chelsea has conceded a goal in each of their three road matches for an average of two goals allowed per road fixture.
The Blades are far from an explosive side, but they have been great at home since the restart, winning against Wolves and Tottenham by a combined score of 4-1. On current form, Chelsea is better than both of those sides, but Sheffield United has shown the ability to play with good teams at home all season -- defeating Arsenal, tying Manchester United, and suffering only one-goal defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City. The Blades are a tough out at home and could make things difficult for Chelsea.
Enter McBurnie, who has at least one shot on goal in every game since the restart. He was subbed off after 49 minutes on Wednesday, which could set him up for a longer run this weekend. In his five starts since June, he has gone over 70 minutes in four of them and over 80 in three. His $16 salary places him right in the middle of key players on the three big-six sides in action, which should further lower his ownership. On a short slate he is a decent counter play to the number of lineups that will opt to include Chelsea's stars, specifically the in-form Christian Pulisic ($17).
Jay Rodriguez, FWD/MID, Burnley
FanDuel Salary: $16
Liverpool has rebounded nicely from their lopsided defeat to Manchester City. Despite that, Burnley's implied goal total is just 0.04 below Sheffield United's. Their odds of taking a point from this fixture are worse than those of any of the other underdogs, but they are nearly as likely to score. While Liverpool has been dominant, potential squad rotations and a chance at creeping complacency with nothing left to play for keep Burnley's primary striker in play on a short slate.
Rodriguez has been very productive recently with a goal or an assist in each of his last three matches and six shots on goal during that span. Burnley is undefeated in their last four with three wins and a draw, and outside of a large defeat to Manchester City, the Clarets have been solid since the restart. On the road against Liverpool is a tough task, but there are a couple of ways this one could end up closer than it looks on paper.
Like McBurnie, Rodriguez's $16 salary places him in the company of several stars from the big-six sides. If value does open up through squad rotation on the elite sides, this salary range should see even less ownership if the majority of lineups opt for a stars-and-scrubs approach. On a short slate with three large favorites, there are significant red flags on any options from the underdogs, but Rodriguez's form makes him worth consideration despite a very difficult matchup.