SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for Saturday 8/21/21

Manchester City are a laughable -1000 to win versus Norwich, making them the obvious focal point of the slate. Which other players should you roster?

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

Slate Overview

Norwich (+2300) at Manchester City (-1000)
Over 2.5 Goals: -320 | Most Likely to Score: Jesus (-135)

Brentford (+190) at Crystal Palace (+160)
Over 2.5 Goals: +140 | Most Likely to Score: Toney (+175)

Everton (+200) at Leeds (+135)
Over 2.5 Goals: -146 | Most Likely to Score: Bamford (+130)

Newcastle (+330) at Aston Villa (-125)
Over 2.5 Goals: -128 | Most Likely to Score: Ings (-135)

Watford (+470) at Brighton (-140)
Over 2.5 Goals: +126 | Most Likely to Score: Maupay (+150)

Positional Breakdown

Forwards/Midfielders

You're going to need exposure to Manchester City, who is -1000 to beat Norwich.

Pep Guardiola's bunch is -195 to score three-plus goals and +140 to get at least four. To put that into context, no other team is better than -140 to score at least two goals. Even in their 1-0 loss to Spurs last weekend, City generated 1.9 expected goals (xG), per FBRef. I'll be stacking City attackers, and anyone in their starting XI is viable.

City have a whopping eight players who are at least +175 to score, including four guys with better than -110 odds -- Gabriel Jesus ($21; -135), Ferran Torres ($18; -125), Raheem Sterling ($22; -115), and Riyad Mahrez ($22; -115). Superstar midfielder Kevin De Bruyne ($24; +150) looks like a fitness doubt, but he'll offer his usual elite floor/ceiling combination if he's in there. Jack Grealish ($17; +145) comes at a modest salary, and despite the blah goal odds, Rodri ($10; +650) is worth a shout as a low-salary inclusion to City stacks. Bernardo Silva ($12; +175) is easy to love at this salary if he starts.

After City, the two most appealing dudes -- in my eyes -- are Patrick Bamford ($18; +150) and Danny Ings ($20; -135).

Ings isn't easy to get to if you're loading up on City, but he'll be a priority for me. The goal odds are delicious, and Aston Villa are -140 to score at least two goals, which is the best non-City clip on the slate. The Villans are -125 favorites at home against Newcastle, a side that conceded four to West Ham last weekend. We got a big question answered last week when Ings took Villa's late penalty. That's big for his outlook. He checks a lot of boxes, and I like the idea of stacking him with goalie Emiliano Martinez.

As for Bamford, the Leeds-Everton match is -146 to go over 2.5 goals, and Leeds are -105 to net two-plus goals. We know Leeds' matches are always fantasy-friendly environments, and this clash should be no different. Bamford bagged 17 EPL goals with 7 assists last season and could open his 2021-22 account versus the Toffees. Raphinha ($16; +310) lacks stellar goal odds but can score fantasy points in other ways while Rodrigo ($15; +220) isn't a bad pivot away from Bamford.

Brighton are the slate's second-biggest favorite, sitting at -140 to win at home against a Watford side that was mighty impressive in its triumph over Villa last week. Brighton are +105 to score at least twice, and Neal Maupay ($18; +150) has team-best goal odds.

The Palace-Brentford match is tough to forecast. Brentford looked good last week in a win over Arsenal while Palace predictably offered very little (0.3 xG) at Chelsea, but it's the Eagles who are slight (+160) favorites. Despite that, Ivan Toney ($16; +175) has the match's best goal odds and will be on pens. At his salary, he's awfully enticing. On the other end, Wilfried Zaha ($16; +200) carries the top goal odds on Palace.

Everton need to be mentioned as Leeds permitted the second-most xG last year and were blitzed for five at Old Trafford last weekend. Everton isn't Manchester United, but the Toffees do have two players -- Richarlison ($19; +210) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($18; +165) -- who can thrive if this game is an open affair.

Added time -- Callum Wilson ($17; +175) scored last week and is facing a Villa defense that just shipped three goals to Watford. The goal odds are there, and Wilson will surely fly under the radar on this slate. ... Ings can be fairly goal-reliant in DFS. If you want to dodge the chalk but still get access to Villa, you can opt for Anwar El-Ghazi ($14; +165) or Emi Buendia ($15; +185). ... Leandro Trossard ($14; +500) and Pascal Gross ($14; +460) are lacking in goal odds but should be on the ball a lot against Watford.

Defenders

With Norwich likely to be bombarded for 90 minutes, their defenders offer high floors. We saw them in a similar spot last week against Liverpool, and each of their four starting defenders posted at least 12 FanDuel points. It should be the same song and dance on Saturday.

Ben Gibson ($12) totaled 23.2 FanDuel points last week via 12 clearances and a shot on goal. We can't count on him putting another shot on target, but he could push near 20 points from defensive actions once again. Dimitris Giannoulis ($8) is the Canaries lowest-salaried projected starter on the back line.

If you want attacking upside, Joao Cancelo ($15) is your dude. He's got +490 goal odds and should spend a lot of time in forward areas for City. He took three shots (none on target) in Matchweek 1 and has good chance to notch the clean-sheet bonus. If Oleksandr Zinchenko ($7) starts for the Sky Blues, he'd be very appealing at his salary.

Villa full-backs Matt Targett ($9) and Matty Cash ($13) have good ceilings against the Magpies. Both finished last season with a pair of assists and should create chances in this matchup.

Matt Ritchie ($11) took five of Newcastle's seven corners last week and gets a decent draw versus Villa.

Added time -- Mason Holgate ($9) can produce a good output against Leeds. The Whites were a sweet fantasy matchup for basically every position last campaign, and Holgate's salary is handy. ... Tyrick Mitchell ($10) has attacking upside versus Brentford, and we probably won't be able to say that often for him this season. He tallied a goal and an assist across his 19 EPL starts last season.

Goalies

The best clean-sheet chances and win odds belong to Ederson ($14), who is justifiably $2 more than any other keeper. The Brazilian can score 17 points via a clean-sheet win even if he doesn't make a save, and we could be looking at that kind of day from him. City are -144 to blank Norwich. The blemish here is that Ederson will have very little save volume to fall back on if the Canaries do get a goal. Still, he's a priority for me.

Emiliano Martinez ($12) and Robert Sanchez ($12) both make a lot of sense in the tier below Ederson. Sanchez has the edge between these two.

Brighton have really nice clean-sheet odds (+106) and win odds (-140) at home versus Watford. The Hornets looked great in their first match back in the league, but this is a side that had just the sixth-most goals last season in the second flight. Brighton allowed the third-fewest xG last year.

Villa are +178 to keep a clean sheet and -125 to win. Martinez and the Villans' defense had a rough opener, but Martinez has been a consistently good performer for most of the past year. A home match with Newcastle gives him a great chance to get back on track, and like I said earlier, the idea of stacking Martinez and Ings is something I'm into if I use Martinez.

Added time -- Vicente Guaita ($9) is a fine low-salary punt. At home versus promoted Brentford, the Eagles are +180 to keep a clean sheet. The win odds aren't there (+160), but for the salary, Guaita is viable. ... On the flip side, you can make a case for Brentford's David Raya ($10). The Bees are +205 to blank Palace. ... Tim Krul ($6) offers gobs of save volume at the Etihad. If he can keep the damage to a respectable amount, he could score double-digit FanDuel points. Of course, he could be in the red, too.