SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 2/26/22

As always, we're covering FanDuel's main slate, and that kicks off at 10 a.m. EST on Saturday. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.

Slate Overview

Newcastle (+200) at Brentford (+145)
Over 2.5 Goals: +134 | Most Likely to Score: Toney (+160)

Burnley (+310) at Crystal Palace (-110)
Over 2.5 Goals: +128 | Most Likely to Score: Edouard (+160)

Watford (+800) at Manchester United (-320)
Over 2.5 Goals: -154 | Most Likely to Score: Ronaldo (-154)

Aston Villa (+250) at Brighton (+120)
Over 2.5 Goals: +114 | Most Likely to Score: Maupay (+155)

Manchester City (-380) at Everton (+1000)
Over 2.5 Goals: -182 | Most Likely to Score: Mahrez (+105)

Positional Breakdown
Forwards/Midfielders

This slate centers on the two Manchester clubs, as both are lopsided favorites. With City at Everton and United home against Watford, I was assuming the numbers would point to the Red Devils as the more appealing side, but that's not the case. City are -320 to score at least two goals and +105 to net three-plus while United are -260 to score twice and +135 to get at least three. Both sides are stackable.

Let's start with Man City (-380 to win), who all of the sudden find themselves in a heated title race after looking like they were running away from the pack. Playing at Goodison isn't easy, but City have owned Everton in recent matchups, beating the Toffees by a combined 10-0 score in their last three meetings across all competitions, including a 3-0 league win earlier this campaign.

Per usual, City have several top-notch options, as they boast eight players with anytime goal odds of +230 or better. Riyad Mahrez ($19; +105) leads the pack. His salary is inching upwards, but it still doesn't reflect that he's now City's best DFS option -- a shift that has happened in part due to Mahrez taking over penalty duties. That change has dinged the outlook of Kevin De Bruyne ($20; +195) and makes KDB harder to stomach at his team-high salary, although the Belgian wizard is still capable of huge outputs.

Raheem Sterling ($19; +115), Phil Foden ($18; +165), Bernardo Silva ($18; +190), Jack Grealish ($17; +195) and Ilkay Gundogan ($16; +230) are all fine options if they start. Grealish is of interest to me as he likely won't see a high draft percentage due to his lessened role of late.

As for United (-320), this should be a smash spot at Old Trafford against a Watford side that has allowed the third-most expected goals (xG), per FBRef. I like the Red Devils more than oddsmakers do. While United haven't been pouring in goals -- far from it outside of the last league game at Leeds -- they have posted at least 1.8 xG in six consecutive EPL fixtures. The goals should come if they keep creating good chances.

Cristiano Ronaldo ($21; -165) hasn't been doing much of late, but that's not going to scare many people away from him -- and it shouldn't. He's got the slate's best goal odds by a mile and will handle penalties. You can make a case for fading him to dodge chalk as he's been very goal-reliant in DFS, but he's capable of a slate-breaking output.

Whether you're fading CR7 or looking for a stacking partner, Bruno Fernandes ($20; +120) is a superb play. He's created multiple chances in six straight EPL matches, notching at least four chances created four times in that stretch. He's also scored in two league games in a row, so the floor/ceiling combination is excellent. Fernandes should be on the ball plenty versus Watford.

Jadon Sancho ($16; +190), Anthony Elanga ($15; +175), Paul Pogba ($17; +310) and Marcus Rashford ($18; +165) are quality secondary pieces from United. Sancho is starting to round into form, with his two best single-game FanDuel totals coming across the past three games. Elanga has been an impact sub lately and is very appealing at his salary if he gets into the starting lineup. Rashford could slip through the cracks a bit due to his poor form and high salary, and the goal odds are there.

After those two sides, things are pretty open. Palace (-110), Brighton (+120) and Brentford (+145) are slim favorites. There are pros and cons for all three.

Going by the numbers, Palace stand out as the one to get a piece of. The Eagles are playing some good stuff this season under Patrick Viera and sit a respectable 11th in xG. They're +110 to score at least twice, although the matchup with Burnley looks tougher now than it did a couple of weeks ago, as the Clarets are on the upswing.

Palace's Conor Gallagher ($18; +210) and Wilfried Zaha ($18; +230) will attract attention, especially after both had a big day midweek against Watford. I prefer to take a shot on one of Jean-Philippe Mateta ($14; +250) or Odsonne Edouard ($15; +160). Edouard has the team's best goal odds but hasn't started in two straight while Mateta started -- and bagged a goal -- midweek. Michael Olise ($13; +400) is also worth a look.

I want to touch on Brighton, as well. Playing at home against Aston Villa, the Seagulls' odds of scoring two-plus goals (+125) aren't that much worse than Palace's, and I think Palace's attackers will be a lot more popular. The Villa defense has shipped two goals to Brentford, three to Leeds, one to Newcastle and one to Watford in recent matches, so they're there for the taking. Neal Maupay ($16; +115) has Brighton's top goal odds while Alex Mac Allister ($13; +220) offers decent goal odds at a low salary.

Added time -- The Brentford-Newcastle clash is a slate-worst +134 to go over 2.5 goals. Both sides are safe from the relegation zone right now, but a loss would be a big blow for either team. As such, this could be a cagey affair. Ivan Toney ($16; +160) carries team-best goal odds for the Bees while Chris Wood ($15; +170) holds that mantle for the Magpies. ... Villa's Ollie Watkins ($16; +270) and Danny Ings ($15; +260) won't such much of a draft percentage but have serviceable goal odds.

Defenders

Joao Cancelo ($15) is in his own tier as far as high-upside full-backs. He's generated at least 11.2 FanDuel points in each of his last four starts, with games of 15.8 and 25.4 in his two most recent appearances. His +650 goal odds are a little lower than usual, but it's still a good number for a defender. He'll likely get forward a lot at Everton.

Two of Alex Telles ($11), Luke Shaw ($10), Diogo Dalot ($10) and Aaron Wan-Bissaka ($9) will start at full-back for United, and they come in at lovely salaries. Telles boasts juicy +430 goal odds, and he and Shaw usually share corner duties with the aforementioned Fernandes when they play. AWB has the least attacking upside of the four but should send in some crosses if he starts. They make for great stacking partners with Ronaldo.

Tyrick Mitchell ($11) is up in salary, but it's a deserved increase as he has scored at least 13.0 FanDuel points in six of Palace's last eight games. Facing a Burnley side that's typically content to let other teams fire in crosses, Mitchell is an enticing option.

Tariq Lamptey ($8) gets you some attacking juice at a low salary. The Brighton full-back/wing-back has produced 17.7 and 22.8 FanDuel points in two of his last three outings.

Added time -- Samir ($13) and Craig Cathcart ($10) are probable starters at center-back for Watford. Both profile as high-floor plays in a game in which the Hornets should get bombarded. ... You can say the same for Everton's Michael Keane ($14) and Mason Holgate ($11) against City. ... Matt Targett ($11) has totaled at least 9.1 FanDuel points in six straight appearances, dating back to his time at Villa.

Goalies

The two Manchester keepers -- Ederson ($14) and David de Gea ($13) -- are the top options.

Ederson (-380) has better win odds than de Gea (-320) does, but they both are listed at -102 to keep a clean sheet. Either is a strong play in my eyes, and I'd expect most of those who are getting a high-salary goalie to take the $1 in savings and use de Gea.

It's hard to feel great about anyone outside of those two. With that said, Jack Butland ($12) has by far the best clean sheet odds (+130) of the remaining goalies and is also -110 to win. He's at home versus a Burnley side that check in second-worst in xG, tallying just 21.4 in 23 matches. Palace, meanwhile, have been really sturdy defensively, allowing 31.4 xG in 26 matches.

I also like Brighton's Robert Sanchez ($11). The Seagulls continue to be one of the league's best defenses in terms of xG allowed, rating fifth-best by that metric after permitting the third-fewest xG a campaign ago. On paper, Villa have good attacking talent, but it's resulted in only the fifth-fewest xG. Sanchez is +120 to win and +174 to record a clean sheet.

Added time -- At +134 to go over 2.5 goals, the Brentford-Newcastle fixture is a fine place to go clean-sheet hunting. You can take a stab at David Raya ($10) or Martin Dubravka ($9). Raya is +185 to blank Newcastle while Dubravka is +215 to keep a clean sheet. ... Emiliano Martinez ($9) has just one clean sheet across his last seven matches but should be fairly busy at Brighton. ... Jordan Pickford ($6) isn't a bad shot in the dark. He'll see save volume, for sure, and can post a decent FanDuel output as long as Man City don't score a handful.