FanDuel Soccer: EPL Under-the-Radar Plays for 9/12/20

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 popular and finding others who you think have a similar point projection but will be much less popular 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 3 matches.

Matchweek 1
Saturday, September 12th
Southampton at Crystal Palace
Leeds at Liverpool
Newcastle at West Ham

After a short break, the Premier League returns with a short slate to start the 2020 campaign. Liverpool is the only big-six side in action on Saturday's main slate, and they are the largest favorites, with an implied win probability of 77.78% at home against recently promoted Leeds. Behind them, West Ham has an implied win probability of 50% at home against Newcastle, while Southampton are slight road favorites against Crystal Palace.

With only six sides in action, this slate revolves around the defending Premier League Champions. Their trio of attacking stars should be the most popular players on the slate, and despite their near-guaranteed popularity, a fade is incredibly risky due to the lack of elite alternatives. Instead, consider selecting only one of the trio of Mohamed Salah ($23), Sadio Mane ($21), and Roberto Firmino ($18) and pairing them with less popular options from their midfield. This should provide exposure to their slate-breaking upside at lower popularity overall.

With all that in mind, here are two players to consider on this slate -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.

Jarrod Bowen, FWD/MID, West Ham

FanDuel Salary: $14

After a mid-season move from Hull City to West Ham last year, Bowden made 11 starts and 13 appearances for the Hammers, resulting in one goal and four assists. He had stretches of impressive FanDuel point production but finished the with a run of single-digit performances.

Bowden impressed in the Championship last season, netting 16 times and providing 7 assists, and showed flashes of that production after his transfer. That production included a 35.8 FanDuel point performance against Southampton and a two-assist, 32.1 point performance against Chelsea. As he prepares for his first full season in the Premier League, Bowen could quickly take the next step and become a consistent threat for the Hammers.

Bowen's salary remains low, which could increase his popularity with the Hammer's other goal-scoring threat, Michail Antonio ($20), sporting the third-highest salary on the slate. Bowen's popularity will likely be high enough that he alone won't differentiate lineups that include multiple members of the Liverpool's star trio, but he makes for a great selection for lineups that differentiate their Liverpool exposure as suggested above. His combination of upside and salary on a short slate with limited options makes him a very intriguing option, as a quick start and continued development might keep his salary from ever being this low again.

Moussa Djenepo, FWD/MID, Southampton

FanDuel Salary: $9

Djenepo's inclusion in the starting eleven isn't a given, but he should be healthy after missing the last month of the 2019-20 season with a calf injury. Djenepo's production has been hit or miss since he joined Southampton in the summer of 2019, but at his low salary, and on a short slate, the risk is worth the potential reward.

Djenepo produced two goals and two assists across 18 appearances last season. A three-game suspension for a terrible tackle on Newcastle, saw him fall firmly behind Armstrong and Nathan Redmond for playing time on the wings when the league restarted in June. Stuart Armstrong will miss out on Saturday's game after suffering a quad injury on international duty, which opens the door for Djenepo.

Crystal Palace finished last season with a draw and five losses over their last six games, and have drawn to Brondby IF. They also produced narrow, one-goal victories against Millwall and Oxford in their pre-season friendlies. They were the 15th worst home side in the league last season while Southampton was the third-best away side, generating more points on the road than every squad except Liverpool and Manchester City. Southampton's 30 away goals last season were fifth-best in the league and if those trends carry over into this season, Djenepo looks to be in an excellent spot to make an impact at a low salary and low popularity this weekend.