SOCCER

DraftKings EPL Daily Fantasy Soccer Helper for 12/29/20

James Ward-Prowse is a floor play that we have been able to rely on over the past few seasons. Who else can we target for Tuesday's slate?

The last big EPL slate of 2020 takes place on Tuesday at 1:00 Eastern, with four games on it. None of the real powerhouse clubs are playing, and the games are all expected to be tightly-contested affairs. Note that with the games coming thick and fast at this time of year, lots of squad rotation could take place, so be sure to check your lineups an hour before kickoff. Let's take a look at the games, with odds from FanDuel Sportsbook:

HomeDrawAway
Brighton (+220)+230Arsenal (+125)
West Brom (+260)+280Leeds (-105)
Burnley (+140)+210Sheff Utd (+220)
Southampton (+125)+240West Ham (+210)


Forwards to Target

Patrick Bamford ($9,100): One of six players to reach the 10-goal mark so far this season, Bamford is dispelling the myth that he can't score goals in the Premier League. He had shined in the Championship before, but only scored once ever in the top flight. Like his Leeds side in general, he has come up from the Championship and impressed everyone. Leeds are not your typical newly-promoted team, they are very attacking and have translated manager Marcelo Biesla's style well into their new league. They have the fourth-highest possession rate in the league and average the fourth-most shots on goal per game, according to WhoScored.com

In this match, they will face fellow newcomers West Bromwich Albion, who haven't had nearly the same success in the Premier League. No team has allowed more goals than West Brom, and they also allow the most shots per game. This bodes well for Bamford, who is second in the league in shots, behind Harry Kane by only one. Bamford is even money to score at any time, and with not many reliable goal-scorers on this slate, is a player that you can roster in tournaments for his goal-scoring potential.

Dwight McNeil ($7,500): If McNeil is able to play for Burnley in this game, he'll be a great play. Burnley have very rarely been on the main slate this season, so that could be keeping McNeil's salary down. He's sixth in the league in crosses with 87. This is not a new thing for him, as he finished fifth in crosses last season. This matchup against Sheffield United is perfect for him, as the Blades have the worst possession rate in the league, and allow the fifth-most crosses per game. Burnley are rarely in a position to be the team taking it to the other team, but that is the case against Sheffield United, who are bottom of the league. McNeil always makes for a good floor play because of his crossing.

Nicolas Pépé ($6,200): With Willian out for this match, Pépé could come in and take more set pieces. He already has taken the second-most corners for Arsenal in the Premier League this season. The last match he started, Pépé also took a penalty for Arsenal. Arsenal have famously struggled this season, but could somewhat right the ship after a win against Chelsea and now a game against a below-average Brighton side. For a player with set pieces and potentially penalties that plays for a favored team, Pépé's $6,200 salary is a significant discount to where his salary could be.

Shane Long ($4,100): If Long starts again for Southampton, he could be in play as a total punt forward playing for a favored team that could pay off with a goal.

Midfielders to Target

James Ward-Prowse ($8,600): Ward-Prowse is doing what we expect from him this season. He's second in the league with 94 crosses and has scored three goals from direct free kicks. He's a dead ball specialist like Kevin De Bruyne, but plays on a worse team and doesn't get forward as much. Since there is no De Bruyne or Bruno Fernandes on the slate, Ward-Prowse is the highest floor play at midfield. With his ability to add goals from free kicks and assists from corners, he also has a ceiling. He'll face a West Ham United team that are doing better than expected, but still are in the bottom-five in possession rate and allow the eighth-most crosses. JWP had over 10 crosses in three straight games before Saturday, including 11 against Manchester City, so the last game where he only had three crosses can be somewhat written off. Ward-Prowse is an essential building block for cash games on Tuesday.

Jack Harrison ($8,000): Harrison is another Leeds player we can target on this slate. He leads the club in crosses by a wide margin, with 80. That is very useful in this matchup, which sets up perfectly for him. Leeds average the second-most crosses per game in the league, while West Brom allow the most per game. He occasionally gets set pieces for Leeds, but he doesn't rely on them to get his crosses, as he hasn't gotten a majority of the corner kicks for his team all season long. Leeds are a side that you want to get a piece of since they are the only odds-on favorite on the slate, and Harrison is a great way to do that.

Oliver Norwood ($4,800): Norwood would be the punt midfielder on this slate. Sheffield United have been the worst team in the league this season, but they have a few things going for them. They haven't been getting blown away in most games. In this game against Burnley, they shouldn't be overmatched. Norwood averages nearly six crosses per 90 minutes, according to Rotowire. If he isn't in the lineup, you could also play Ben Osborne ($4,000) on Sheffield United, who would be a fine punt play as well.

Defenders to Target

Aaron Cresswell ($6,400): Cresswell's crosses have shot up this season. He's fourth in the league with 91, more than the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Cresswell has been the main corner kick taker for West Ham of late and is basically the only defender who takes set pieces on the slate. He also has four assists this season and scored three goals last season, so he does add some upside to his game. If you have the salary to spend, Cresswell clearly stands out above all the other defenders on the slate, and the salary gap between him and the rest of the defenders isn't as big as it should be.

Kieran Tierney ($4,700): Tierney is one of the better attacking full backs on the slate. He has sometimes played as a center back in a back three for Arsenal, but when he plays on the left side, he tends to get a good amount of crosses. We saw this for a three-game stretch a few weeks ago, in which Tierney had 22 crosses playing as a left back. This is a match that Arsenal should not struggle in as much as they have this season, which should allow Tierney to get forward. This makes him a fine defender play in all formats.

Goalkeepers to Target

Nick Pope ($4,900): Pope will be between the sticks for Burnley, facing Sheffield United. The Blades have scored just eight goals all season, the fewest in the league. Burnley have a reputation for being a solid defensive team, especially at home. You can pay down at goalkeeper to get Pope against a soft opponent, especially since there aren't a lot of big favorite keepers in great spots in these four matches.

Aaron Ramsdale ($4,400): On the other side of Pope, Ramsdale is also in play. That's because Burnley have also scored only eight goals in the league this season. It's unlikely that Ramsdale will concede a lot of goals against this opponent, which is really what you hope for if you are rostering a lower salary goalkeeper.


Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.