FanDuel Soccer: EPL Under-the-Radar Plays for 10/17/20

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 three matches.

Matchweek 5
Saturday, October 17th
Southampton at Chelsea
Arsenal at Manchester City
Manchester United at Newcastle

Matchweek 5 features another short slate, but this one is loaded with big names as Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Manchester United are all in action. The slate is highlighted by Arsenal's clash with Manchester City, and despite their opposition, City is still the largest favorite on the slate with an implied win probability of 66.7% against the Gunners. Chelsea is a close second with an implied win probability of 64.9% at home against Southampton, and Manchester United rounds out the slate as road favorites with an implied win probability of 59.2% against Newcastle.

Expect Chelsea to be the most popular side on the slate despite City's odds, as the bottom has likely dropped out on the public's confidence in Manchester United following their horrendous five-goal loss to Tottenham. City facing Arsenal combined with Kevin De Bruyne being ruled out could see City's popularity fall slightly as they may be required to shuffle around things against an Arsenal side that has won three of their first four but failed their one test against a quality opponent with their two-goal loss to Liverpool.

All in all, this should be a relatively wide-open slate from a popularity perspective. The presence of four big-name clubs provides a wealth of options at all salary ranges, and with the exception of Manchester United, three of those clubs should generate decent interest in their stars this weekend.

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

Juan Mata, FWD/MID, Manchester United

FanDuel Salary: $8

United -- to say the least -- are going through a tough spell heading into this weekend. They will enter Saturday's game against Newcastle with Anthony Martial suspended, new signing Edinson Cavani unavailable, and Harry Maguire in the worst form of his career following a miserable international break. The lone bright spot in United's season thus far has been their two three-goal victories in the League Cup. Juan Mata has played a starring role in those, scoring a goal in each.

With Martial sidelined, Mata may be given a start on the right in an effort to provide some sense of veteran leadership in a game that looks like a must-win for United. At a salary of just $8, if he does start, Mata provides excellent value as an extremely affordable piece of United's attack, opening up salary for high-priced attackers from Chelsea, City, or Arsenal. Mata has struggled for playing time since 2018 but was effective in his Europa League matches last season, notching two goals and five assists in 11 appearances.

Newcastle has been all over the place to start their campaign, securing victories over West Ham and Burnley, losing to Brighton, and drawing with Tottenham. Through it all, their defense has been strong, allowing just five goals, tied for the third-fewest in the league so far this season.

With the talent on United's side, it's always possible they turn things around and produce a big game, but it's a risky bet to make with Marcus Rashford ($21) and Bruno Fernandes ($19) still high-salaried and numerous other options available at the top end of the salary range. Mata offers exposure to United for cheap, making the risk easier to stomach. Mason Greenwood ($17) is also worth a look for large-field tournaments this weekend.

Danny Ings, FWD/MID, Southampton

FanDuel Salary: $17

On a slate filled with stars, Ings is likely going to be half as popular as he should be. At first glance, Chelsea looks to be the big-name side in the best spot this weekend, which should dampen the popularity of all of Southampton's attackers despite their recent run of form. Ings has been excellent this year, notching double-digit FanDuel points in all four of his matches and producing three goals thus far.

While Chelsea has had a better start to the season than United has, the Blues have demonstrated weak points, as well -- most notably falling behind by three goals to West Brom before battling back for a draw. They have managed to keep only a single clean sheet through four games and could certainly concede in this one. After a tough start to this season, Southampton turned things around and recorded back-to-back clean-sheet victories before the international break. They may be a tougher out than many think.

Southampton's win odds (+500) are the same as Arsenal's this weekend, but the Gunners' stars will likely be more popular, especially with City's injury woes. Ings' salary should leave him the odd man out at the top end of the forward/midfielder pool despite an outlook that is similar to his higher-salaried peers.