FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 12/11/21
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 four matches. All betting lines come from EPL odds, and they may change after the article is published.
Leeds (+950) at Chelsea (-360)
Over 2.5 Goals: -156 | Most Likely to Score: Lukaku (-140)
Southampton (+450) at Arsenal (-160)
Over 2.5 Goals: -124 | Most Likely to Score: Lacazette/Aubameyang (+115)
Aston Villa (+1100) at Liverpool (-450)
Over 2.5 Goals: -260 | Most Likely to Score: Salah (-185)
Manchester United (-230) at Norwich (+600)
Over 2.5 Goals: -148 | Most Likely to Score: Ronaldo (-145)
Matchweek 16 features four big-six sides on a short slate, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United all in action. Liverpool (-450 to win) is the largest favorite on the slate, and star striker Mohamed Salah ($22) has the best odds to score (-185) of any player expected to be active on Saturday.
Chelsea (-360) is the second-biggest favorite, followed by Manchester United (-230) and Arsenal (-160).
This slate is one of the more unique ones we have had this season. We have four big-six sides in action, four favorites, three at home and one on the road -- all on a four-game slate. Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United all played in mid-week Champion's League fixtures, while Arsenal come into Saturday with a bit more rest, having lost to Everton on Monday. The Holiday fixture congestion will be in full swing starting this weekend, so keep an eye out for value to open up as teams rotate their starting lineups.
With so many elite options available at the top end of the salary pool, draft percentages should be relatively spread out. All four big-six sides should generate interest, with Arsenal likely to be the least popular. With so many options available at the top, players with salaries in the mid-range could go overlooked.
With that in mind, here are two players to consider on this slate -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Martin Odegaard, FWD/MID, Arsenal
FanDuel Salary: $15
Odegaard's salary of $15 falls firmly in the midrange, which could see him go overlooked in lineups that opt for a stars-and-scrubs strategy. He has been a bright spot in Arsenal's recent two-game losing streak, performing exceptionally against both Manchester United and Everton, netting two goals on four shots with eight chances created.
After a string of appearances as a substitute from October to late November, Odegaard returned to the starting 11 and has started in Arsenal's last three fixtures, resulting in FanDuel point totals of 14.9, 32.0, and 34.6. Southampton is winless in their last four matches, with nine goals conceded over that stretch, including four to Liverpool. Arsenal are coming off back-to-back losses but have been excellent at home this season, notching five wins and just one defeat in seven matches, with 12 goals scored and only six conceded.
Odegaard's outlook is further supported by his role on free kicks for the Gunners. Since returning to the starting lineup three matches ago, he has taken 11 of Arsenal's 21 set pieces. At a decent salary on the big-six side that is expected to be the least popular favorite, Odegaard is an intriguing option for large-field tournaments.
Jordan Henderson, FWD/MID, Liverpool
FanDuel Salary: $13
The sheer number of options available from big-six sides on Saturday could cause some well-known players to go overlooked. Henderson has been a consistent contributor for Liverpool this season, with double-digit FanDuel points in six of his last seven starts. Liverpool's attacking trio of Salah, Sadio Mane ($19), and Diogo Jota ($20) -- if Jota is fit to start -- should be among the most popular options this weekend, and Henderson provides decent leverage against the expected draft percentages of his teammates.
Henderson has been more involved in the final third for Liverpool this season than he was during the entire 2020 campaign. Across the Premier League and Champions League, he has a combined three goals and four assists in 19 appearances, already surpassing last year's totals of one goal and one assist in 27 appearances.
Liverpool fought through a difficult fixture against Wolves last weekend, gutting out a 1-0 victory with a goal in the closing minutes of the game. It was their first game with fewer than two goals since a 1-1 draw with Chelsea back in August. They are averaging an absolutely absurd 2.9 goals per match this season and are on pace to break Manchester City's record for most goals in a Premier League campaign (106 in 2017-18).
Henderson, of course, isn't the most likely to score, but gaining any exposure to that level of team production is worth serious consideration, especially on a slate with so many good options.