SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 9/18/21

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

Crystal Palace (+1300) at Liverpool (-550)
Over 2.5 Goals: -205 | Most Likely to Score: Salah (-210)

Arsenal (+100) at Burnley (+280)
Over 2.5 Goals: +102 | Most Likely to Score: Aubameyang/Lacazette (+150)

Southampton (+1900) at Manchester City (-800)
Over 2.5 Goals: -280 | Most Likely to Score: Jesus (-125)

Watford (+240) at Norwich (+120)
Over 2.5 Goals: +118 | Most Likely to Score: Pukki (+125)

Everton (+200) at Aston Villa (+140)
Over 2.5 Goals: -106 | Most Likely to Score: Ings (+105)

Positional Breakdown

Forwards/Midfielders

This slate revolves around Manchester City and Liverpool -- both of whom are huge favorites and are plenty stackable. You can make a case for dedicating all four of your attacking slots to Reds and Sky Blues.

City are -800 to win at home versus Southampton. The Citizens are -550 to score at least twice and -165 to net at least three goals -- which are a pair of slate-best marks. City have a whopping eight players with anytime goal odds of at least +185, and anyone who starts for them Saturday in an attacking spot has to be on our radar. We can be a lot more flexible when loading up on City than we can with Liverpool stacks because the Reds' attack mostly funnels through their front three.

Gabriel Jesus ($21; -125 to score) has the best goal odds on City, and Ferran Torres ($19; -110) has started the season well in a number-nine position. We all know what Kevin De Bruyne ($23; +160) brings to the table in DFS, and he should create a ton of chances if he starts. Raheem Sterling ($18; -105) and Riyad Mahrez ($18; -105) carry nice goal odds. Ilkay Gundogan ($14; +185) is awfully enticing at his salary, and I also really like Jack Grealish ($20; +160) and Phil Foden ($16; +130) if they're in the starting XI.

With the Reds, there aren't as many superb DFS plays, but their attackers are in a great matchup with Crystal Palace. Liverpool are -550 to win, -390 to score at least two and -155 to bang home three-plus goals.

Mohamed Salah ($23; -210) is the obvious top play, and he may wind up as the slate's most popular player. He's got three goals and two assists in four outings in EPL play and scored midweek in UCL action. The goal odds speak for themselves, and he's taken 15 shots in the EPL this campaign. Oh, and he'll be on penalties. There's really no box he doesn't check.

While Salah can break this slate, I'll be tempted to fade the chalk and stack Sadio Mane ($21; -105) and Diogo Jota ($20; +125). By no means will these guys go overlooked, but they aren't likely to see the sky-high draft percentage that Salah will. Mane and Jota have two goals apiece this year in four and three starts, respectively. With Roberto Firmino injured, Jota should be a lock to be in the lineup.

Outside of Liverpool and City, the top goal odds belong to Danny Ings ($19; +105) and Teemu Pukki ($18; +125).

Ings is at home against Everton -- not an easy matchup. He's been really good this year with two goals and an assist to his name, and he's on penalties. Pukki is at home versus Watford, and I prefer him to Ings. Watford have conceded two goals in three of their four league matches, and while Norwich have a mere one goal through four matchweeks, the Canaries have faced Liverpool, City, Arsenal and Leicester. This is by far their easiest matchup yet.

Speaking of Arsenal, the Gunners are +105 to score two-plus goals, which is the best number on the slate outside of the two huge favorites. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($20; +150) and Alexandre Lacazette ($16; +150) share team-high goal odds for Arsenal. While it's very hard to trust the Gunners, I like the idea of using one of Auba, Laca or Nicolas Pepe ($19; +220) because Burnley have shipped eight goals through four matches, and Arsenal's poor form -- coupled with how appealing City and Liverpool are -- will probably scare off most people.

Added time -- Thiago ($15; +550) and Curtis Jones ($9; +320) profile as contrarian ways to get a piece of Liverpool. Jones flashed at times last season and offers a lot of cap relief. Thiago can rack up chances created if he starts. ... Chris Wood ($18; +180) is a way to get decent goal odds at a low draft percentage. With a salary up among the slate's stars, Wood isn't going to be popular. ... I like Watford more than oddsmakers do. I'm not sure I'll use them, but I'm intrigued by Ismaila Sarr ($18; +330) and Emmanuel Dennis ($17; +340).

Defenders

As was the case with the attackers, the best high-salary plays at defender are on City and Liverpool.

The Reds' full-back duo of Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15) and Andrew Robertson ($14) should have a field day against Palace. They'll be able to bomb forward early and often. Both are +500 to score, and Trent already owns two assists this season. He's Liverpool's main creative force and also handles a majority of their corners. Robertson chips in on corner duty, as well.

Joao Cancelo ($13) has the same +500 goal odds at a little lower salary. Cancelo often drifts into an attacking midfield role when City are dominating possession, which will almost surely be the case against the Saints. He's scored between 13.9 and 15.8 FanDuel points in every EPL match this year and hasn't yet notched an assist. The ceiling outing is coming.

Also on City, center-back John Stones ($8) has the best goal odds (+470) among the slate's defenders if he's able to start. If he scores, it'll probably come from a set-piece, so him having this kind of goal odds tells us just how much oddsmakers are expecting City to dominate Southampton.

The problem with all of the aforementioned dudes other than Stones is that it's not easy to find the salary for them with so many appealing high-salary attackers. That pushes me toward the lower-salary defenders on Southampton and Palace since both of those backlines should be extremely busy.

Valentino Livarmento ($10) and Romain Perraud ($8) are listed as probable starters for the Saints while Joachim Andersen ($9), Marc Guehl ($11), Joel Ward ($10) and Tyrick Mitchell ($9) are expected to start for the Eagles.

Added time -- Kieran Tierney ($12) is worth a long look as he should be able to get forward against a Burnley side that is usually content to allow crosses. ... Fellow Arsenal defender Ben White ($8) created three chances in the Gunners' last EPL fixture and can be a valuable source of cap relief. ... City's Kyle Walker ($7) would likely need the clean-sheet bonus to pay off, but the salary is helpful.

Goalies

Were you expecting anything other than City and Liverpool players to be the top plays?

City's Ederson ($13) has the best win odds (-800) as well as the top clean-sheet odds (-128). He offers very little save volume but can get 17 FanDuel points via a clean-sheet win. Liverpool's Alisson ($12) is -550 to win and -116 to keep a clean sheet. Save volume will also be an issue for him, but he ticks off the other boxes. They're both fantastic plays and getting one will be a priority for me.

After those two, it's a big shrug emoji.

Arsenal (+172) and Norwich (+170) boast the top clean-sheet chances among the rest of the squads. But those odds aren't that good, and neither defense has been very impressive so far this year. Arsenal are +100 to win, while Norwich are +120 to take all three points. I don't love either Tim Krul ($10) or Aaron Ramsdale ($11) -- or Bernd Leno ($11) if he starts for Arsenal -- but I had to pick one, Ramsdale (or Leno) would be it.

You can make an argument for Vicente Guaita ($7) or Alex McCarthy ($6). The salary savings are very useful, and both keepers will get called into action quite a bit. While they'll surely concede -- likely multiple times -- they can still post a solid FanDuel output if they record a bunch of saves and keep the damage to two or three goals. An outing of, say, three goals allowed and seven saves amounts to 13.5 FanDuel points. That may not be far off what Alisson and Ederson do if those two don't make any saves.

Added time -- Nick Pope ($8) is a bet-on-talent play, and it won't shock anyone if they beat Arsenal. If you find yourself with no Arsenal attackers, Pope makes a lot of sense, although his +320 clean-sheet odds are scary. ... Villa are +220 to keep a clean sheet versus an Everton side that won't have Dominic Calvert-Lewin, so Emiliano Martinez ($10) isn't a bad shout.