SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 9/12/20

Liverpool open the 2020-21 season as huge home favorites over newly promoted Leeds. Which Reds should you roster on Saturday?

As always, we're covering FanDuel's main slate, and that kicks off at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday. 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
Southampton at Crystal Palace Southampton (+140) +124 Ings (+100)
Leeds at Liverpool Liverpool (-400) -198 Salah (-170)
Newcastle at West Ham West Ham (+110) -104 Antonio (+140)


Positional Breakdown

Forwards/Midfielders

Liverpool are at the epicenter of this slate. They're the lone big favorite of the six teams in action as they're -400 to beat Leeds at Anfield in Leeds' first top-flight game since 2004.

Each member of the Reds' famed front three is in play -- Mohamed Salah ($23; -170 anytime goal odds), Sadio Mané ($21; -140) and Roberto Firmino ($18; +130). Salah and Mané will likely be chalk while Firmino shapes up as in interesting GPP play given that his salary is steep despite his goal odds being kind of meh when compared to Mane's and Salah's.

Anyone in Liverpool's starting XI is worth considering. In particular, I'll have exposure to midfielders Takumi Minamino ($9; +150), Naby Keita ($10; +400), Gini Wijnaldum ($10: +105) and James Milner ($9; +270) if they start. Gini's anytime goal odds are unusually high while Milner may be on penalties. He and Salah split duties last year, with neither missing a pen. Keita and Minamino have generated some buzz with nice preseasons.

The other two matches don't feature a team with implied win odds better than 50.0%. However, each match gives us one guy who will likely be popular -- Michail Antonio ($20; +140) for West Ham and Southampton's Danny Ings ($19; +100). West Ham are the next biggest favorites as they host Newcastle. The match is -104 to go over 2.5 goals, so it should be the more fantasy-friendly match of the two.

Antonio was one of the EPL's top players post-break last season. Not counting Matchweek 38, when he played just a half, Antonio scored eight goals in his last six EPL matches last season, including a four-goal eruption against now-relegated Norwich. He also took -- and converted -- a penalty in that span. If Antonio starts up top in a number-nine role, he'll be awfully appealing.

Jarrod Bowen ($14; +185) deserves a look, too. He has the second-best goal odds among the Hammers' expected starters. He tallied four assists over the final seven matches last campaign. He's a good one-off play and can also be stacked with Antonio if you're looking for a non-Liverpool stack that has some upside.

The Southampton-Crystal Palace fixture is only +124 to go over 2.5 goals, but on a three-game slate, we have to at least check it out. With the Saints a +140 favorite, Ings will probably be in plenty of lineups -- and rightfully so. Ings had a stellar 2019-20 season, racking up 22 goals.

On the negative side, Ings had only a pair of assists and split penalty duties with James Ward-Prowse ($16; +340). While I like the idea of getting some exposure to Southampton, a side that quietly went unbeaten across its final seven matches of last season, I'll likely opt to fade the goal-reliant Ings in favor of JWP, Nathan Redmond ($13; +340) or Che Adams ($14; +260). Then again, I may fade this match altogether.

Added time -- Leeds made a splash by signing Rodrigo Moreno ($15; +380) this offseason, but it's Patrick Bamford ($14; +260) who has the team's best goal odds in the brutal matchup at Liverpool. ... No Newcastle player has better goal odds than +550, but those belong to new Magpies forward Callum Wilson ($16; +550). West Ham were the second-worst defense in the EPL last year going by FBRef's expected goals, so I like Wilson or Allan Saint-Maximin ($14; +1200) as GPP swing plays. ... Neither Jordan Ayew ($18; +210) nor Wilfried Zaha ($17; +280) figure to garner much attention at their salaries, but Palace's matchup with the Saints isn't a bad one.

Defenders

Well, hello, Trent Alexander-Arnold ($16; +600) and Andy Robertson ($14; +1000). These two are always enticing, particularly when Liverpool are massive favorites like they are here.

Trent is a DFS loophole as a defender who operates as a winger while handling some set-piece and free-kick work. His +600 goal odds are really good for a defender. He has a superb floor/ceiling combination and is a great stacking piece. Trent, however, will likely be very popular.

Robertson, on the other hand, probably won't see as high of a draft percentage, and he will get forward a ton, too. I'll have one of these two in some lineups, and you can go with both alongside one of Liverpool's front three if you're willing to go bargain hunting everywhere else. That would be a way to stack the Reds while still having a unique lineup.

I'm always a fan of low-salary, high-floor defenders on underdogs, so I'll be paying attention to Leeds' backline. FanDuel has Barry Douglas ($6) as an expected starter, and his salary would be a big help in rostering two of Liverpool's attacking studs. The Whites don't have an expected starter above $10, so anyone on their backline is worth a look. They should get bombarded at Anfield.

Added time -- Ryan Fredericks ($10) and Aaron Cresswell ($13) are the expected starting full-backs for West Ham. With the Hammers favored, these two could create some chances and won't be popular picks. ... Ryan Bertrand ($11) has some appeal as an attack-minded defender for the Saints.

Goalies

Having the coin to get up to Alisson ($14) is a priority for me on this slate. He has the best win odds by a mile, and Liverpool are -108 to keep a clean sheet -- another slate-best clip by some distance. While he probably won't get much save volume, I'm here for the clean-sheet win odds.

Of the rest of the keepers, you can make an argument for using a few of them, but you can also pinpoint some reasons why to avoid each one. Of the bunch, I like Alex McCarthy ($9) best. He is the lowest-salaried favorite and should be somewhat busy against a Crystal Palace side that got shut out five times across its last eight matches of the 2019-20 campaign. The Saints' are +162 to keep a clean-sheet, the second-best odds on the slate.

Added time -- Lukasz Fabianski ($12) has a salary just $2 cheaper than Alisson's, so he may slip through the cracks. He has the second-best win odds as well as the third-best clean sheet odds (+174). ... Karl Darlow ($8) is expected to be in goal for Newcastle in place of the injured Martin Dubravka. West Ham aren't a scary matchup.