SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 4/3/21

As always, we're covering FanDuel's main slate, and that kicks off at 10 a.m. EST. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

Slate Overview

Fixture Favorite Over 2.5 Goals Most Likely
to Score
Sheffield United at Leeds United Leeds (-200) -126 Bamford (-125)
Manchester City at Leicester City Man City (-185) -122 Aguero (+100)
Liverpool at Arsenal Liverpool (+120) -142 Salah -120


Positional Breakdown

Forwards/Midfielders

Manchester City and Leeds are the go-to attacks on this slate. Both are sizable favorites and offer several quality options, so they're going to be fun to build lineups around.

Let's start with City. The matchup at Leicester is a tough one, so we shouldn't be going over the top with how many City attackers we roster. While it feels like forever ago, Leicester whipped City 5-2 at the Etihad back in September. This match is a slate-low -122 to go over 2.5 goals. But City still put five shots on target in the reverse fixture, and Pep Guardiola's machine are a better side now, sitting at -154 to go over 1.5 goals, the second-best mark on the slate.

City have seven players with anytime goals odds of at least +240. Sergio Aguero ($19; +100) leads the way. He's started just four EPL matches this season, but his goal odds speak for themselves. Raheem Sterling ($20; +140) and Kevin De Bruyne ($22; +175) are top-shelf options like usual. KDB has scored 30.3 and 48.0 FanDuel points in his past two starts and offers a floor/ceiling combination that no one else on the slate can touch. Phil Foden ($16; +190) and Ilkay Gundogan ($15; +240) have appealing salaries with solid goal odds if they get into the starting lineup. With City taking on Dortmund midweek in the Champions League, Guardiola could opt to rotate the squad.

The side with the best over 1.5 goals odds isn't City -- it's Leeds. The Whites are -166 to score two-plus goals against Sheffield United. Patrick Bamford ($21; -125) and Raphinha ($19; +210) are the main threats for Leeds.

Bamford owns the slate's top goal odds and looks to be the first-choice penalty taker. The downside is that he tends to dud if he doesn't get a goal, scoring fewer than 5.0 FanDuel points in each of the last four games in which he didn't make the net bulge. But he's gone for 39.1, 31.9, 31.3, and 51.9 FanDuel points in his past four games when he has scored a goal. Raphinha definitely has the better floor -- scoring at least 14.3 fantasy points in 11 straight -- but the goal odds aren't nearly as good as Bamford's.

The place on this slate where my simulations differ most from the betting lines is the Liverpool-Arsenal clash. This match may get overlooked a tad simply because it's hard to know which side we should be on, but my numbers forecast a lot of goals and are high on Liverpool.

This game is a slate-high -142 to go over 2.5 goals, and my sims think that line should be way up at -225, as my model projects this match to see three-plus goals a whopping 69.2% of the time. By expected goals (xG) allowed, these defenses are just 9th and 10th in the EPL, per FBRef, while the attacks are 2nd (Liverpool) and 7th in xG scored.

Liverpool are slim +120 road favorites, and since they're only five points out of fourth, they should be going for it Saturday even with a Champions League date versus Real Madrid coming up midweek. Going by my model, the Reds get two-plus goals in this game 63.1% of the time, and their stars may not come with their usual high draft percentages if the masses flock to City's and Leeds' high-salary studs. Liverpool are a team to be overweight on.

Mohamed Salah ($25; -125) has the second-best goal odds and will be on penalties. He hasn't scored a goal in five straight league outings, putting only four shots on target in that span while creating five chances. But the goal odds are good, and Arsenal's defense is fairly inviting. Sadio Mane ($18; +150) and Diogo Jota ($17; +155) are well worth a look, as well. Jota has arguably been Liverpool's best attacker this season, totaling a team-best 0.77 non-penalty goals per 90 minutes. That's nearly double the clip of anyone else on the Reds.

The Gunners are +146 to score two-plus goals, although my sims think that line should be +211. Alexandre Lacazette ($17; +150) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($18; +150) share the top goal odds for Arsenal. Auba is having a down season, registering only nine goals and one assist in 21 EPL starts, but his pace could come in handy against Liverpool's high line. Lacazette is the Gunners' leading scorer with 11 goals.

Added time -- It would be foolish to dismiss Leicester's attackers even in the brutal matchup with City. As we mentioned, the Foxes put five past City earlier this year. Jamie Vardy ($19; +185) has the pace to hurt City on the counter, and key playmaker James Maddison ($18; +370) is expected back for this one. ... Tyler Roberts ($7; +175) has excellent goal odds at a bargain-bin salary if he winds up in Leeds' starting XI. ... If Roberts doesn't start, that likely means Rodrigo ($16; +150) is in the lineup. The Spaniard will probably slip through the cracks on this slate and is an intriguing way to get unique exposure to Leeds.

Defenders

City's Joao Cancelo ($15) and Liverpool full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold ($14) and Andrew Robertson ($12) give us three good choices at the high end of the defender pool.

Cancelo has +650 goal odds, a slate-best clip for the position. He's been superb this campaign and is averaging 17.5 FanDuel points per game, with his DFS outlook benefitting from the way he's asked to tuck into midfield and push forward when City have the ball. He's created five chances across his past three EPL starts. As for the Liverpool duo, Trent is the better play on paper and holds +750 goal odds. His DFS prospects are always boosted by free-kick duties, while Robertson and TAA usually split corners.

While those three check some boxes, I'll likely opt to save salary at defender. That leads me to Sheffield United. Not only should the Blades' back line be busy against Leeds' frenetic attack, Sheffield United's injury situation could open up some value plays. Jayden Bogle ($5) is listed as an expected starter, and John Egan ($5) is shaping up to be a game-time call. Enda Stevens ($9) and Kean Bryan ($8) also come with modest salaries.

Leeds' Robin Koch ($5) is listed as a probable starter and would be a fantastic low-salary option if he's in the lineup. His starting gig may hinge on whether or not Liam Cooper ($14) is deemed fit enough to start. Ezgjan Alioski ($10) is +700 to score for Leeds.

Added time -- Center-backs facing Man City are always worth checking out. Caglar Soyuncu ($11), Wesley Fofana ($10) and Jonny Evans ($8) could all start if the Foxes go with three at the back. Evans would be easy to like as a guy with a decent floor and low salary. ... Calum Chambers ($6) may have earned another start at right-back for the Gunners with his performance versus West Ham last time out. He's another low-salary pick who will be on my radar.

Goalies

This is a tough goalie slate as no team is better than +108 to keep a clean sheet. It's hard to feel all that good about any of the keeper options. When that's the case, I typically embrace the volatility and take a risk at the position.

The side with +108 clean-sheet odds is Leeds, and they also boast the top win odds (-200), which is why Illan Mesler ($14) has a slate-high salary by $2. Ederson ($12) and Alisson ($11) beat Mesler for ability, but Mesler's win and clean-sheet chances are what they are. My hesitation with Mesler has to do with Leeds' defense, which has allowed the second-most expected goals (48.0) through 29 matchweeks. He's more of a GPP play in my eyes, but he could be perfect for tourneys as the masses probably won't want to drop $14 on him.

Alisson and Ederson both intrigue me. Ederson (-185) has the much better win odds, and City are +118 to keep a clean sheet. I could be wrong, but I think Ederson will wind up being the slate's most popular keeper despite the difficult matchup with Leicester. That pushes me to Alisson. He's just +120 to win in the match with the highest odds to go over 2.5 goals, so there's ample risk with him. But I think he'll see a low draft percentage, and with no surefire goalies on this slate, I'm willing to roll the dice on Alisson.

Added time -- Kasper Schmeichel ($8) offers save volume at a lower salary, but his win (+500) and clean-sheet (+450) odds are rough. ... If you think Liverpool rotate and put all their eggs in the UCL basket, Bernd Leno ($9) could work as a dart throw. In the Reds' last EPL match right before a UCL game, Liverpool lost 1-0 at home in a dull performance versus Fulham.