FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 2/13/21

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 24
Saturday, February 13th
Burnley at Crystal Palace
Tottenham at Manchester City
Aston Villa at Brighton

Matchweek 24 returns us to a short, three-game slate, and it features two big-six sides in Tottenham and Manchester City. The slate is highlighted by the clash between those two teams, with City (-305) the largest favorites on the slate, followed by Crystal Palace (+140) and Aston Villa (+155).

From an odds perspective, this is another Manchester City slate. With only six teams in action, their outlook is head and shoulders above the rest. Tottenham's 22 goals conceded this season is the second-fewest in the Premier League, but they have conceded an average of 1.2 goals per match over their last six fixtures. There are reasons to consider a City fade as Spurs held them off the scoresheet in the reverse fixture back in November and have been solid on the road this season, conceding just 9 times in 10 matches. That said, with City coming off a three-goal victory over Liverpool, which extended their win streak to 15, fade them at your own risk.

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

Ross Barkley, FWD/MID, Aston Villa

FanDuel Salary: $14

Some of the shine has worn off Brighton following their back-to-back shock upsets over Tottenham and Liverpool, but they should command enough respect to make Aston Villa's stars less appealing than Manchester City's this weekend. Ollie Watkins ($21) and Jack Grealish ($19) will, deservingly, be the most popular options on Villa on Saturday, but Barkley deserves consideration on this short slate.

Barkley has started every match for Villa that he was healthy and available for since early October, including their last six. After playing four matches in 11 days from late January to early February, Villa will enter this weekend coming off a full seven days of rest. That's excellent news for Barkley, who may be able to make it the full 90 for the first time since early November.

Barkley has been relatively quiet since returning from a hamstring injury, averaging 10.15 FanDuel points per match in that time. However, he flashed upside and consistency prior to his injury, with FanDuel points totals of 26.3, 28.2, 20.9, 12.0, and 30.0 in the five contests before he went down on November 21st. As a key cog in the attack of the second-largest favorite on a three-game slate, Barkley is worth considering this weekend. All eyes will be on Watkins and Grealish, but the salary discount Barkley offers allows him to fit in alongside lineups centered on Manchester City's studs.

Dwight McNeil, FWD/MID, Burnley

FanDuel Salary: $12

Both Burnley and Crystal Palace will enter this weekend in bad shape. Palace saw their two-game win streak come to an end with a two-goal defeat to Leeds and will likely be without their best player, Wilfried Zaha. Burnley have three losses and a draw in their last four and were knocked out of the FA Cup during the week by Championship side Bournemouth. Thankfully for both of these teams, they get to face each other on Saturday.

McNeil has shown upside in Brighton's last two Premier League fixtures against non-big-six opposition, recording FanDuel point totals of 22.9 against Brighton and 33.0 against Aston Villa. Burnley has struggled -- to put it nicely -- to score this season, averaging just 0.64 goals per game, but a meeting with a defensively dysfunctional Palace side increases their usually dreadful outlook. Palace has conceded 39 goals in 23 matches this season, an average of 1.7 per match, the second-worst mark in the league behind only West Brom's (2.35 goals per match).

McNeil was very involved in the final third in Burnley's draw against Brighton last weekend. He recorded 3 shots (2 on goal) while creating 3 chances and sending in 10 crosses. He should continue to split free-kick opportunities with Ashley Westwood ($8), increasing his floor this weekend. His salary, his role on free kicks and his recent performances against non-elite opposition make him well worth consideration in large-field tournaments on Saturday.