FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 2/26/22
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 EPL DFS. 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. ET and features five matches. All betting lines come from EPL odds, and they may change after the article is published.
Newcastle (+200) at Brentford (+145)
Over 2.5 Goals: +134 | Most Likely to Score: Toney (+160)
Burnley (+300) 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)
Matchweek 27 features a pair of big-six sides in Manchester City and Manchester United. City (-380 to win) are the largest favorite on the slate, and United's Cristiano Ronaldo ($21) has the best odds to score (-154) of anyone expected to be active on Saturday.
Manchester United (-320 to win) are the second-biggest favorite, followed by Crystal Palace (-110 to win), while Brighton (+120 to win) and Brentford (+145 to win) round out the slate.
City's unbeaten streak came crashing to an end with their dramatic defeat to Tottenham last weekend, but they are in an excellent position to bounce right back facing an Everton side conceding an average of 1.73 goals per match this season, seventh-worst in the Premier League. United are undefeated in their last seven Premier League fixtures, with just one loss in their last fourteen, but their performances haven't been as inspiring as the results. City's stars will likely remain the most popular players on the slate, except for Ronaldo, and possibly Bruno Fernandes ($20).
With that in mind, here are two players to consider on this slate -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Chris Wood, FWD/MID, Newcastle
FanDuel Salary: $15
Despite being separated by just two points on the league table, Newcastle and Brentford's seasons are heading in opposite directions heading into Saturday's clash. Brentford has lost six of their last seven league fixtures, with an average of two goals conceded per match over their last six. After a dismal start to the season, Newcastle has started to turn things around and enter Saturday on a five-match unbeaten streak, with three wins in their last four.
Wood has struggled to produce much of anything since his arrival from Burnley in the January transfer window but remains a constant presence in Newcastle's starting 11, notching 90 minutes in each of his five games. Except for last week's tie with West Ham, Wood has produced at least two shots in each of his appearances for Newcastle with five chances created. He is as goal dependent as a forward can be but should have plenty of chances against a struggling Brentford side.
Wood's odds to score (+170) are better than Jadon Sancho ($16) (+190) and Kevin De Bruyne ($20) (+195) and only slightly worse than Marcus Rashford ($18) (+165) and Phil Foden ($18) +(165). While all eyes are on the star-studded squads from Manchester, consider Wood for large-field tournaments this weekend.
Danny Ings, FWD/MID, Aston Villa
FanDuel Salary: $15
After an excellent start to their campaign, Brighton's season has taken a turn for the worse recently, with three losses in their last four fixtures across all competitions and just one win since the middle of January. A difficult run of fixtures is partially to blame, but their three-goal loss to Burnley last Saturday showed that their problems aren't just the strength of their opposition. They have been outscored five goals to zero goals over their two most recent fixtures and have kept just one clean sheet since boxing day.
Enter Ings, who has had his struggles recently but has a proven goal-scoring record in the league and has produced 20-plus FanDuel points in 4 of his 14 starts so far this season. He should go completely overlooked at his salary, but his goal-scoring odds (+260) are similar to several players that will likely be more popular, including Palace's Wilfried Zaha ($16) (+230 to score) and City's Ilkay Gundogan ($16) (+230 to score). Facing a Brighton side in poor form, Ings could make an impact at an extremely low draft percentage.
If Ollie Watkins ($16) returns to the starting lineup in place of Ings, he would be in a similar position. Watkins would likely be slightly more popular than Ings, but a seven-match goal-scoring drought should keep him off the radar despite his impressive production earlier this season. Whoever leads the attack for Villa on Saturday, they're worth consideration against Brighton.