FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for Saturday 9/11/21
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 separate you 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 seven matches.
West Ham (+145) at Southampton (+185)
Over 2.5 Goals: -138 | Most Likely to Score: Antonio (+145)
Brighton (+170) at Brentford (+180)
Over 2.5 Goals: +146 | Most Likely to Score: Toney (+175)
Manchester City (-175) at Leicester City (+490)
Over 2.5 Goals: -144 | Most Likely to Score: Torres (+155)
Norwich (+550) at Arsenal (-210)
Over 2.5 Goals: -140 | Most Likely to Score: Lacazette/Aubameyang (+100)
Newcastle (+1300) at Manchester United (-550)
Over 2.5 Goals: -230 | Most Likely to Score: Ronaldo (-200)
Wolves (+130) at Watford (+240)
Over 2.5 Goals: +132 | Most Likely to Score: Silva (+210)
Aston Villa (+1000) at Chelsea (-350)
Over 2.5 Goals: -128 | Most Likely to Score: Lukaku (-150)
Matchweek 4 features several interesting storylines, highlighted by Cristiano Ronaldo's ($23) return to Manchester United. Other storylines worth monitoring this weekend include the following questions. Can Arsenal secure their first points of the season? Can West Ham keep rolling? Can Leicester City deliver Manchester City their second loss of the season?
At -550 to win, Manchester United is the largest favorite on the slate. Ronaldo (-200) has the best odds to score on the entire slate and will surely be one of the most popular players to roster.
Chelsea (-350 to win) trail behind United, followed by Arsenal (-210), and Manchester City (-175). Wolves (+130 to win), Brighton (+170 to win), and West Ham (+175 to win) round things out as slight favorites in ties that are projected to be very close.
The slate starts with making a lineup decision on Ronaldo. On one hand, he's in great form after the international break, and it's a storybook homecoming against an opponent that has allowed the third-most goals in the Premier League this far. On the other hand, it's his first game with the team, and there are several other excellent players in good positions, such as Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku ($22).
With that in mind, here are three players to consider on this slate -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Alexandre Lacazette, FWD/MID, Arsenal
FanDuel Salary: $18
The talent and production available at the top end of the salary pool this weekend is absurd. Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes ($22) are in a great spot, Lukaku is in a great spot, and Michail Antonio ($21) is averaging an absurd 46.97 FanDuel points per game so far and is facing Southampton. All three options are likely to be popular despite their high salaries, which could leave Lacazette overlooked after Arsenal's horrible start to the season.
If Arsenal can reset after the international break, they have an excellent chance to get their first points on the season on Saturday against a Norwich side that leads the league in goals conceded with 10. Lacazette missed the majority of August due to COVID-19 but should be fully available following the break. Arsenal has been horrific, but they are still large home favorites against an equally horrific Norwich defense, and Lacazette is likely to go overlooked relative to his outlook this weekend.
In 39 appearances for Arsenal last season, Lacazette scored 16 goals and produced 2 assists. He has double-digit goals in all four of his seasons in the Premier League and could be the catalyst this Arsenal side needs to kickstart their campaign. This is a unique opportunity to roster someone of his skill in an excellent matchup, while the overarching narrative surrounding the team and the other elite players in action this weekend keep the spotlight off of him.
Adam Armstrong, FWD/MID, Southampton
FanDuel Salary: $17
West Ham's electric start to the season has been driven by their finishing, which has them tied for at the top of the Premier League in goals scored with 10. Their goals are masking a defense that has conceded five goals in three games, including two goals each to Newcastle and Crystal Palace. Southampton started the season with a loss to Everton before managing back-to-back draws against Manchester United and Newcastle heading into the break. They have scored in every Premier League game this season and are only slight underdogs at home on Saturday despite their contrasting start compared to West Ham.
Adams has played the full 90 in all three of Southampton's matches so far this season, producing 10 shots, 3 on target, and 1 goal. He arrived at Southampton this summer after scoring 28 goals in 40 starts for Blackburn Rovers in 2020, with 16 goals in 46 starts in 2019. With Danny Ings gone to Aston Villa, Armstrong's minutes indicate that he has the inside track to locking down the main striker role for Southampton, playing alongside Che Adams ($17).
At a salary of $17 and with the spotlight on West Ham following their hot start, Armstrong is likely to fly under the radar this weekend despite the Hammers' defensive shortcomings so far this season. Consider rostering players from both sides in this one, as neither has managed to keep a clean sheet or be held off the scoresheet yet this season.
Adama Traore, FWD/MID, Wolves
FanDuel Salary: $16
Wolves have been on the wrong end of schedule luck to start the season, opening with matches against Leicester City, Tottenham, and Manchester United. They lost all three by the same score -- zero goals to one goal -- and currently sit 18th on the league table as a result. Their play in those matches, especially the final one against United before the break, deserved more than the results gave them. On Saturday, they will face a Watford side that has lost back-to-back fixtures to Brighton and Tottenham and has conceded in each of their first three matches.
Traore looked like the best player on the pitch for a good portion of Wolves' clash with United. Despite not registering a goal or an assist so far this season, he has produced FanDuel point totals of 11.9, 18.3, and 18.3 in his first three matches. He has a combined 12 shots, 3 on target, with an impressive 9 chances created. All of the supporting indicators are there for Traore. He just needs to find the back of the net, and he should have an excellent chance to do so against Watford this weekend.
Traore's 12 shots through three games are tied for third-most in the Premier League with his teammate Raul Jimenez ($19) and Liverpool's Sadio Mane. Traore and Jimenez are the only players inside the top 20 in shots taken who haven't scored a goal yet this season. They are due for an explosive performance and should fly under the radar this weekend on a busy seven-game main slate.