FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 12/5/20

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 11
Saturday, December 5th
Fulham at Manchester City
Manchester United at West Ham
Leeds at Chelsea

Matchweek 11 is one of the first main slates of the season to feature three big-six sides with none of them playing against each other. This provides a surprisingly deep player pool at the high end of the salary range for such a short slate. However, despite the presence of three big-six sides, there is one clear favorite from an odds perspective -- Manchester City. City (-950) is the largest favorite on the slate by a wide margin, with Chelsea (-195) coming in second and Manchester United (+100) barely favorites on the road against West Ham.

Normally, Manchester City at these odds would be incredibly popular, but the inclusion of United and Chelsea on the slate may draw some interest away from them. City's stars are still going to be the most popular players on the slate, but their popularity may not reach the levels it should for the odds they have. For lineups wishing to fade City, options are certainly there, but don't mistake those options for something they aren't. City's outlook this weekend is drastically better than United's or Chelsea's, especially after they rested several key players, including Kevin De Bruyne ($23), for their UCL match on Tuesday.

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

Aaron Cresswell, DEF, West Ham

FanDuel Salary: $14

Manchester United come into this fixture off a decent display against PSG on Tuesday that produced a horrible result. They will have one eye on next Tuesday's crucial match against RB Leipzig, while West Ham is in an excellent run of form and playing at home. Cresswell has been solid against top competition this season, producing 18.2 FanDuel points against Liverpool, 18.2 against Tottenham, 41.4 against Leicester City, and 16.4 against Arsenal. Of the big-six sides on Saturday's short slate, United seem the most likely to concede, and they're also the only side that has to worry about an upcoming meaningful UCL fixture.

Cresswell's role on set pieces combined with his classification as a defender creates excellent value. He splits set-piece opportunities with Jarrod Bowen ($15) and has started and played the full 90 minutes in all of West Ham's Premier League matches this season. One way to attack this slate is to center lineups around City and not include any Chelsea or United players, instead opting for options from West Ham and Leeds. Cresswell is an excellent pick in those type of lineups and could be used alongside City's Joao Cancelo ($15) to pay up at both defender spots to create a differentiated roster.

United has produced a mixed bag of results recently, with some strong showings and some poor performances. However, one constant has been their relatively weak defense, which has kept just one clean sheet over their last seven matches. They've conceded a combined five goals over their last two games versus PSG and Southampton while West Ham hasn't failed to score in a match since mid-September. As the odds indicate, this should be a close one.

Timo Werner, FWD/MID, Chelsea

FanDuel Salary: $21

From a popularity perspective, Werner is in an interesting place for this weekend's slate. He is a known star in a decent matchup, but he's surrounded at the top end of the salary range by two of the best options in EPL DFS -- Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes ($22) -- as well as Riyad Mahrez ($20), who netted a hat trick in his last EPL outing and is on the slate's big favorite. Add Werner's three-game (four with a six-minute substitute appearance) goal-scoring drought to the equation, and it's easy to see how he might fly slightly under the radar this weekend. Why spend $21 on Werner when you can get Mahrez, KDB or Bruno at a similar price?

That makes Werner an excellent option for large-field tournaments. While Werner has struggled a bit recently, he is not that far removed from a run of five goals over four games from late October to early November. He has seven goals and three assists across 15 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions this season, and both of his two-goal performances this season came in home fixtures.

Leeds come into this one off back-to-back clean sheets but are just two games removed from surrendering four goals to Crystal Palace and four more to Leicester City. Leeds will certainly be fired up for this one, and the odds indicate a close fixture. But this is a Chelsea side that is undefeated in their last 15 matches, with just one loss all season and seven wins in their last eight fixtures. Werner is certainly more volatile than his high-salaried counterparts, but for large-field tournaments, that higher-risk profile comes with less popularity, and the German could have a big game against Leeds.