FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 11/20/21
Brentford (+170) at Newcastle (+160)
Over 2.5 Goals: -102 | Most Likely to Score: Wilson (+135)
Brighton (+195) at Aston Villa (+145)
Over 2.5 Goals: +104 | Most Likely to Score: Ings (+140)
Crystal Palace (+160) at Burnley (+180)
Over 2.5 Goals: +116 | Most Likely to Score: Wood (+160)
Manchester United (-210) at Watford (+450)
Over 2.5 Goals: -152 | Most Likely to Score: Ronaldo (-145)
West Ham (+145) at Wolves (+200)
Over 2.5 Goals: +108 | Most Likely to Score: Jimenez (+150)
Southampton (+105) at Norwich (+250)
Over 2.5 Goals: -108 | Most Likely to Score: Pukki (+160)
Arsenal (+550) at Liverpool (-210)
Over 2.5 Goals: -198 | Most Likely to Score: Salah (-140)
This is a pretty weird slate. Liverpool and Manchester United are big favorites and will be popular, but outside of them, I have no idea how the rest of the slate will shake out.
Despite having seven matches from which to choose, not many games profile as fantasy-friendly environments as just three of the fixtures are -102 or better to go over 2.5 goals -- two of which are the matches featuring United and Liverpool. All signs point to the masses flocking to the Reds and Red Devils.
Personally, I will shy away from stacking either of this slate's big two. As -210 favorites, they don't quite meet the threshold we're looking for, and on a slate this big, there's a lot of opportunity cost to loading up on one side.
Let's start with Liverpool, who hosts Arsenal. The Gunners have been in solid form lately, but Anfield has been a house of horrors for them in recent years, as they have conceded 18 goals across their last five away league matches at Liverpool. The Reds have scored at least twice in every home match but one this season. Needless to say, Arsenal's uptick in form will be put to the test.
Jurgen Klopp's side is tied for the biggest favorite on the slate (-210). This match is a slate-best -198 to go over 2.5 goals, and the Reds are a slate-leading -250 to score at least twice.
Whenever Liverpool are going to be popular, which is the case nearly every time they're on a slate, Mohamed Salah ($22; -140) will be chalky, and that will ring true Saturday even on a larger-than-usual slate. Salah has been the EPL's -- and possibly Europe's -- standout player through the early portion of the campaign, totaling a whopping 10 goals and 7 assists in 11 league matches. He's tallied 1.55 goals plus assists per 90 minutes. Yowza.
Sadio Mane ($19; +125) and Diogo Jota ($18; +130) will likely start alongside Salah with Roberto Firmino out. Both are enticing pivots off the Salah chalk. You can make a fine case for either. Jota has four goals and an assist in eight starts. Mane boasts six goals and no assists in 10 starts. I lean Jota.
One thing to note with the Reds is that the Arsenal-Liverpool match is the lone late kickoff on the slate, so we won't know their starting lineups when the other six matches lock. Liverpool's starting XI is usually fairly predictable, but we could see some rotation given that several of their players were active over the recent international break.
As for United, they're in a superb spot, as well, as they hit the road to face Watford. The Red Devils are -210 to score at least two goals and are -210 favorites.
You don't need me to tell you this, but Cristiano Ronaldo ($23; -145) will be very popular. The goal odds are a slate-best clip, and Ronaldo has pretty much been exactly what United could have hoped for when they brought him back, amassing four goals with an assist in seven EPL starts.
If you have the cap space for just one of Ronaldo or Salah, the Egyptian is the better play due to his penalty duties and not being as reliant on goals for fantasy points.
Edinson Cavani ($17; +110) is a fitness question mark but would be a solid option if he starts. Otherwise, Mason Greenwood ($19; +140) and Bruno Fernandes ($21; +240) are the logical ways to get United exposure if you're fading CR7.
As I said at the jump, after United and Liverpool, this slate is a huge shrug emoji. No other matches look like super appealing clashes from a fantasy perspective, and no side is better than +145 to win. There are a ton of ways to skin this cat, and the best goal odds outside of United and Liverpool belong to Callum Wilson ($17; +135), Danny Ings ($18; +140), Ivan Toney ($17; +150), Raul Jimenez ($18; +150), Chris Wood ($15; +160) and Teemu Pukki ($15; +160).
Most of those guys are listed at pretty fair salaries. Of the lot, Wilson intrigues me the most. Newcastle host Brentford and in a match that has the third-best odds to go over 2.5 goals (-102). Wilson's four goals are a team-best mark, and he's bagged them in just seven starts. The Bees started well but have shown some cracks recently, allowing expected goal (xG) totals of 1.4 and 2.2, respectively, to Norwich and Burnley, per FBRef.
Added time -- Liverpool are just +162 to keep a clean sheet, so you can take a shot on Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($19; +230) or Alexandre Lacazette ($17; +230). Their salaries and the difficult matchup should make them contrarian picks. ... Michail Antonio ($20; +170) will likely slip through the cracks in a tough matchup at Wolves. But his goal odds are decent, and West Ham have been really good this year. ... I have my eyes on Palace's Odsonne Edouard ($16; +185) and Wilfried Zaha ($17; +185) for their date at Burnley. Palace have been in good form while the Clarets are struggling, permitting the fourth-most xG.
The top high-salary defenders are Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15), Andrew Robertson ($12) and Luke Shaw ($12) -- the two Reds full-backs and United's left-back. They should be able to get forward early and often in their advantageous matchups. TAA is +600 to score, handles some free-kick duties and has taken more than twice as many corners as anyone else on Liverpool. He's a unicorn at defender.
Don't sleep on Tyrick Mitchell ($12). He has been fantastic of late, producing at least 13.4 FanDuel points in four straight. Playing against a Burnley side that usually lets in a good amount of crosses, Mitchell shapes up as a quality pick.
Valentino Livramento ($12) is a strong option, too. He's generated 19.3, 14.1, 36.8 and 15.8 FanDuel points over his past four outings. He scored a goal in the 36.8-point explosion, but he doesn't have any assists, so a lot of his production from the other three matches is sustainable.
Bumping down in salary, Watford's Craig Cathcart ($10) and Nicolas Nkoulu ($7) are probable starters and should be a safe bet for double-digit FanDuel points. They're up against a Manchester United side that has struggled this campaign, but it certainly projects as a match in which the Hornets will spend plenty of time defending.
Nkoulu is going to be a core play for me. He racked up 16.0 FanDuel points in a similar type of match last time out at Arsenal, which was his first start of the season.
Added time -- Conor Coady ($7) has no ceiling to speak of but is averaging 10.0 FanDuel points per game for the season and continues to be a viable punt-and-hope as one of the lowest-salaried expected starters at defender. ... If Shaw can't go due to his head injury, Alex Telles ($9) has a lot of appeal at his salary. ... Matt Targett ($8) is easy to like at his salary. He's averaging 10.3 FanDuel points per game for the season and has gone for at least 11.2 in four of his last five contests.
Normally I fork over the necessary salary to get a keeper who is a big favorite and has really good clean-sheet odds. No goalie checks both of those boxes on this slate, so I think we have a lot of flexibility at keeper this week. I'll prioritize getting guys I want elsewhere in my lineup and will see what I can make work at goalie.
The only keepers who are better than +196 to keep a clean sheet are the two big favorites -- Alisson ($13) and David de Gea ($14). Both are -210 to win. United are +142 to blank Watford, and Liverpool are +162 to keep a clean sheet against Arsenal. United have just two clean sheets in all competitions this year. I prefer Alisson between these two.
Emiliano Martinez ($11) is my favorite play at the position. He's a top talent and hosts a Brighton side that is a really nice matchup for goalies. Brighton have only 12 goals in 11 games, but they usually create a decent amount of chances (19.64 shot-creating actions per match; ninth-most) and keep a lot of possession (55.8%; fifth-best), which keeps opposing goalies busy.
Added time -- Norwich are always a fine team to pick on in hopes of a clean sheet as they have five goals in 11 league outings. That makes Alex McCarthy ($12) a worthwhile target. ... Karl Darlow ($10) is +235 to keep a shutout at home against Brentford. While it's still early in the year, Newcastle need to take points from games like this if they want to avoid the drop. ... Lukasz Fabianski ($12) is a respectable (for this slate) +205 to keep Wolves off the scoresheet. West Ham have surrendered more than 1.0 xG just once in their last four EPL fixtures, and that was to Liverpool.