SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 1/15/22

While Manchester United attracts a lot of attention, Raul Jimenez could slip through the cracks. Who else could hit at a low draft percentage?

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 FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

Note: Leicester City at Burnley has been postponed. Players from that game will score 0 points.

Slate Overview

Watford (+250) at Newcastle (+105)
Over 2.5 Goals: -128 | Most Likely to Score: Wood (+105)

Everton (+100) at Norwich (+280)
Over 2.5 Goals: +112 | Most Likely to Score: Calvert-Lewin (+135)

Southampton (+240) at Wolves (+125)
Over 2.5 Goals: +142 | Most Likely to Score: Jimenez (+135)

Manchester United (+140) at Aston Villa (+190)
Over 2.5 Goals: -116 | Most Likely to Score: Ronaldo (+115)

Matchweek 22 features one big-six side on a four-game slate with Manchester United on the road against Aston Villa. Everton (+100 to win) is the largest favorite on the slate, and Newcastle's Chris Wood ($16) has the best odds to score (+105) of any player expected to be active on Saturday.

Newcastle (+105) is the second-biggest favorite, followed by Wolves (+125) and Manchester United (+140).

This slate is one of the more evenly contested ones we have had this season. No side has an implied win probability greater than 50%, and the only big-six side on the slate (Manchester United) has the lowest implied win probability (41.7%) of the four favorites.

As the only big-six side in action, United are likely to be popular this weekend despite their string of uninspiring results and match odds. Their stars are capable of producing slate-winning performances, but fading them is completely reasonable given their high salaries and form heading into Saturday.

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

Che Adams, FWD/MID, Southampton

FanDuel Salary: $17

Saturday's clash between Southampton and Wolves is arguably the most intriguing fixture on the slate. Southampton are undefeated in their last four matches and have been on fire in the final third, notching ten goals in those four matches. Wolves are undefeated in their last three and have been an immovable object on defense, conceding two goals in their last five matches -- one each to Liverpool and Manchester City.

On the road, Southampton should be the less popular side in this one, and Adams is likely to fly under the radar as he looks to make his first start since early December after missing time due to a hamstring injury and COVID-19. He returned to the pitch on Tuesday, notching a goal as a substitute in a victory over Brentford. Before his hamstring injury, Adams was on a good run of form with three goals scored over six matches and an average of 17.7 FanDuel points per match.

Armando Broja ($16) is dealing with a head injury but could force Adams to remain on the bench if he is available. If Broja does start, whichever striker starts upfront with him is worth consideration; Broja is likely to command a higher draft percentage due to this impressive efficiency so far this season.

Fred, FWD/MID, Manchester United

FanDuel Salary: $13

Fred's form this season has been a bright spot for United. He is averaging 13.2 FanDuel points per game and has been remarkably consistent since the end of November, with six straight starts with double-digit FanDuel points. That includes a 36.0-point performance against Crystal Palace. During that stretch, he has been consistently involved in the final third with a combined six shots and six chances created.

Scott McTominay will be unavailable on Saturday due to yellow card accumulation, which should cement Fred's position in the starting eleven and may afford him more time on the ball at the top of the box. McTominay has been heavily involved in the final third from that position recently, with seven shots and four chances created in his last four matches, and someone will need to fill that role against Aston Villa.

While Manchester United's stars may be more popular than their odds suggest they should, Fred will likely go overlooked despite a very reasonable salary compared to his teammates. He offers a way to gain exposure to the only big-six side on the slate while avoiding the potential pitfalls of a high salary combined with a high draft percentage. In lineups that fade United's stars, Fred is worth consideration.

Raul Jimenez, FWD/MID, Wolves

FanDuel Salary: $17

While Wolves' defense has been impressive recently, their strikers have been anything but with just two goals scored in their last six matches. Fixtures against Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester City may have something to do with that, but their lack of production should keep their popularity at reasonable levels for this weekend's four-game slate.

On the other side of field, Southampton's impressive production in front of goal is masking a defense that has conceded a goal in each of their last nine games across all competitions. Jimenez should have every opportunity to break Wolves out of their goal-scoring drought this weekend after facing a difficult run of opponents.

Jimenez hasn't produced double-digit FanDuel points since November 20th and is in a six-match goal-scoring slump. Before that slump began, he was on a run of seven consecutive starts with double-digit FanDuel points, including four matches with more than 20.0. He has the quality to produce and could do so at a low draft percentage on Saturday.