FanDuel Soccer: EPL Under-the-Radar Plays for 9/19/20
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.
|Saturday, September 19th|
|Fulham at Leeds|
|Crystal Palace at Manchester United|
|West Ham at Arsenal|
Matchweek 2 is a short slate featuring two big-six sides in Manchester United and Arsenal. Unlike last weekend, when two of the three games were projected to be tightly contested, this weekend projects to have three clear-cut favorites, per FanDuel Sportsbook. Manchester United is the largest favorite on the slate, with an implied win probability of 77.8% at home against Crystal Palace, followed by Arsenal, with an implied win probability of 66.7% at home against West Ham. Leeds, after an impressive display against Liverpool last weekend, round out the slate with an implied win probability of 62.3% against Fulham.
With three home favorites in action, including one at a lower salary range, entire lineups can be constructed without having to include any players from underdog sides. That should lower popularity across the board on West Ham, Crystal Palace, and Fulham. Expect a decently even split in popularity between stars from Arsenal and Manchester United, as Arsenal's three-goal victory over Fulham last week elevates them to the same level as Manchester United in the minds of many. Be on the lookout for value to open up in United's starting 11, as some of their usual starters are still returning to full fitness following the preseason.
With all that in mind, here are two players to consider on this slate -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Aleksandar Mitrovic, FWD/MID, Fulham
FanDuel Salary: $16
He's back! Following one season in the Championship, Mitrovic returns to a Premier League main slate this weekend. In 2018, he produced 11 goals, 3 assists, averaged 3.5 shots (1.29 on goal) per game, and was a consistent value selection as the key striker in Fulham's attack. He was used as a substitute in Fulham's first match against Arsenal but is expected to start versus Leeds this weekend.
Mitrovic makes for a solid pivot off of Leeds' striker Patrick Bamford ($16) at the same salary. Bamford's goal against Liverpool on opening weekend combined with Leeds' standing as a home favorite should make him a popular value selection -- which will decrease the roster percentage of other players in his salary range. Mitrovic can be selected instead of Bramford, or alongside him, in a match that could see goals on both ends after the two sides gave up a combined seven in their first fixtures.
In two matches against Leeds last season, Mitrovic produced one goal, five shots (two on target), and created four chances. While Mitrovic's outlook is worse than Bamford's this weekend, the discrepancy in their popularity will likely be much larger than their production will be.
Scott McTominay, FWD/MID, Manchester United
FanDuel Salary: $12
With Paul Pogba doubtful for this weekend as he works his way back to full fitness following his recovery from COVID-19, the midfield spot opposite summer-signing Donny van de Beek ($15) is open. It will likely go to either McTominay or Nemanja Matic ($7), with a slight lean toward McTominay given Solskjaer's tendency to opt for youth where possible.
Whoever starts opposite van de Beek makes for an interesting play on this short slate. With va de Beek at a very reasonable salary, he is likely to be popular in his United debut, making the more defensive-minded midfielder working alongside him an interesting pivot. Pogba's return last season relegated McTominay to a limited role, but before Pogba came back, McTominay was effective, producing six performances of 22-plus FanDuel points, with four goals and an assist between September and March.
United may start slowly in their first game back, and if they do, that should benefit McTominay over United's other midfield options, providing him with more defensive opportunities. His ceiling is certainly lower than most of the other starting midfielders in action this weekend, but on a short slate, where a single goal can have a massive impact on overall scoring, he's a contrarian way to gain exposure to the largest favorite.