FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 10/16/21

A slow start could have Manchester United's Jadon Sancho available at a low draft percentage. Which other players make for quality contrarian options?

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 six matches.

Slate Overview

Leeds (+190) at Southampton (+135)
Over 2.5 Goals: -138 | Most Likely to Score: Bamford (+160)

Brighton (+110) at Norwich (+260)
Over 2.5 Goals: +112 | Most Likely to Score: Maupay (+170)

Wolves (+240) at Aston Villa (+120)
Over 2.5 Goals: +108 | Most Likely to Score: Ings (+130)

Burnley (+2100) at Manchester City (-850)
Over 2.5 Goals: -245 | Most Likely to Score: Jesus (-120)

Manchester United (+110) at Leicester (+240)
Over 2.5 Goals: -136 | Most Likely to Score: Ronaldo (+110)

Chelsea (-170) at Brentford (+550)
Over 2.5 Goals: -102 | Most Likely to Score: Lukaku (-115)

Matchweek 8 features three big-six sides, with Chelsea, Manchester City, and Manchester United all in action.

At -850 to win, Manchester City are the largest favorite on the slate, while Romelu Lukaku ($23) has the best odds to score at -115 of any player expected to be active on Saturday.

Chelsea (-170 to win) are miles behind Manchester City but the only other team with a win probability above 47.6%. Manchester United (+110 to win), Brighton (+110 to win), Aston Villa (+120 to win), and Southampton (+135 to win) round out the slate.

Despite the presence of three other big-six sides, this slate centers on Manchester City, who stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of expected outcome. Chelsea and Manchester United offer plenty of alternative options at the high end of the player pool, but their outlooks lag severely behind City. The slate is highlighted by a clash between Manchester United and Leicester, with United looking to turn things around after recording a draw and a loss in their last two Premier League fixtures.

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

Jadon Sancho, FWD/MID, Manchester United

FanDuel Salary: $17

Sancho's start to life at Manchester United has been far from a dream. He's made eight appearances and doesn't have a goal or an assist to show for it. Given the other options available on the slate, he should go relatively overlooked despite a meeting with a Leicester side that has just one win in their last six matches. They also have conceded two goals in each of their last three matches.

While the modern era expects players to contribute immediately following their large-money transfers, the reality is for many young players, it takes some time to adjust. Timing when that adjustment has or will happen is a nearly impossible task, but as long as the playing time exists, Sancho is capable of producing. His two most recent appearances have been his most productive to date, resulting in two shots on goal, two chances created, and 23.6 FanDuel-point total over a combined 108 minutes against Villarreal and Everton.

Both sides in this one will be without key players following the international break, which could make for additional chances on both sides. Wilfred Ndidi (hamstring) will remain out for Leicester, while United is expected to be without both Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire. Goals haven't been a problem with either side so far this season, but their defenses have been. Consider including an attacking option from both sides in this one.

Marc Cucurella, DEF, Brighton

FanDuel Salary: $12

After a blazing hot start to their Premier League campaign, Brighton have cooled off recently with back-to-back draws against Crystal Palace and Arsenal. Those results, combined with the presence of three big-six sides, could keep them under the radar for a meeting with Norwich this weekend. Even if Brighton aren't the top-four side their early results have them positioned to be, they should still be able to exploit a fixture against a Norwich side that has taken just one point from their first six matches and leads the league in goals conceded with 16.

Cucurella has the defender tag, but he consistently operates as a left-sided midfielder in Brighton's three of the back formations. He has started and played the full 90 in each of their last three matches, with FanDuel point totals of 16.0, 11.7, and 23.5. In his last two fixtures, he took some of the set-piece duties from Pascal Gross ($14) -- a role that further enhances his outlook this weekend.

At a salary of just $12, Cucurella fits nicely into lineups that opt for several options from big-six sides and provides exposure to a Brighton squad that may go overlooked in a terrific matchup.

Emiliano Buendia, FWD/MID, Aston Villa

FanDuel Salary: $12

Quarantine, international duty in September, and a quad injury slightly derailed Buendia's start to the season, but after back-to-back substitute appearances, he may finally be ready to rejoin to starting XI this weekend. If he does, he offers solid value and upside at a salary of just $12 operating at the center of Aston Villa's midfield.

Following his big-money move from Norwich this summer, Buendia produced 2.6, 11.6, and 32.5 FanDuel points in his first three starts for Villa. The last time he was able to start for Villa, he was trending in the right direction and scored his first goal of the season -- adding two chances created.

Both Wolves and Aston Villa are in decent form at the moment, with Villa taking six points from their last three fixtures against Everton, Manchester United, and Tottenham. Wolves are winners of three of their last four as well. That said, Villa's opponents have been the far tougher of the two, and they are at home in this one slightly favored. Buendia's low salary allows him to slot into almost any lineup this weekend, and he should go overlooked relative to his production earlier in the season (and in past seasons).