SOCCER

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

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.

Slate Overview

Newcastle (+270) at Leeds (-105)
Over 2.5 Goals: -146 | Most Likely to Score: Bamford (+115)

West Ham (+290) at Manchester United (-105)
Over 2.5 Goals: -156 | Most Likely to Score: Ronaldo (-115)

Wolves (+150) at Brentford (+210)
Over 2.5 Goals: +146 | Most Likely to Score: Jimenez (+145)

Manchester City (-380) at Southampton (+950)
Over 2.5 Goals: -205 | Most Likely to Score: Sterling (+120)

Matchweek 23 features two big-six sides on a four-game slate, with Manchester United and Manchester City both in action. Manchester City (-380 to win) is the largest favorite on the slate, and Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo ($21) has the best odds to score (-115) but could be sidelined due to a neck injury.

Manchester United and Leeds (-105) are tied for the second-biggest favorite, while Wolves round out the slate as slight (+150) home favorites.

This slate is all about Manchester City. They enter Saturday on an eight-match winning streak, with just one loss in their last 16 fixtures. They are averaging an absurd 3.5 goals per match over their last six games and are facing a Southampton side that hasn't kept a clean sheet since November 5th. As City near escape velocity on securing another league title, fading them is a risky proposition.

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

Manuel Lanzini, FWD/MID, West Ham

FanDuel Salary: $13

The presence of City's stars and a matchup with Manchester United should be enough to suppress Lanzini's draft percentage. United ended their two-match winless streak with a two-goal victory over Brentford during the week, but they remain a side in flux and have failed to keep a clean sheet for five consecutive matches.

West Ham, on the other hand, have been offensive juggernauts, with 13 goals scored over their last five fixtures. Netting at least two goals in each of those contests. Their defense has been a major problem, with 11 goals conceded during that span, but they should be able to ask plenty of questions of a United backline that has been short of answers for most of the season. Consider including a striker from both sides in this one.

Lanzini has been consistent over his last six appearances, notching at least double-digit FanDuel points in each and averaging 17.8 points per match. His lack of explosive performances should see his draft percentage lag behind that of a few of his teammates, which makes him an intriguing option for large-field tournaments.

Chris Wood, FWD/MID, Newcastle

FanDuel Salary: $15

Wood's Newcastle debut against Watford last weekend was a dud, resulting in 0.0 FanDuel points in 90 minutes played. That performance, combined with a meeting with a Leeds side coming off back-to-back wins, should see Wood fly completely under the radar on Saturday.

Wood is as goal-dependent as they come, but on a four-game slate, he may need only one to justify his inclusion in a lineup. He's struggled recently but has been a consistent goal-scorer in the EPL since 2017, with double-digit goals in each campaign. While Leeds are looking for their third win in a row, they have conceded an astonishing 19 goals over their last six fixtures. That total includes seven to Manchester City, four to Arsenal, and three to Chelsea, but they also allowed two apiece to West Ham and Brentford as well as one to Burnley.

Newcastle are winless in their last five matches but have started to turn things around with consecutive draws against Manchester United and Watford after a string of three defeats to Leicester City, Liverpool, and Manchester City. They are road underdogs on Saturday, but Leeds' defensive struggles should provide Wood with opportunities to get back on the score sheet. He has the second-best odds to score (+490) of anyone in this fixture.