FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Under-the-Radar Plays for 4/30/22
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. EST and features five matches. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.
Norwich (+750) at Aston Villa (-260)
Over 2.5 Goals: -148 | Most Likely to Score: Watkins (+115)
Burnley (+170) at Watford (+165)
Over 2.5 Goals: +102 | Most Likely to Score: Weghorst (+170)
Crystal Palace (+200) at Southampton (+140)
Over 2.5 Goals: -104 | Most Likely to Score: Edouard (+195)
Brighton (+180) at Wolves (+165)
Over 2.5 Goals: +148 | Most Likely to Score: Jimenez (+185)
Manchester City (-360) at Leeds (+950)
Over 2.5 Goals: -215 | Most Likely to Score: Mahrez (+100)
Matchweek 34 features one big-six side -- Manchester City -- in action on a five-game main slate. Manchester City (-360 to win) is the largest favorite on the slate, and Riyad Mahrez ($20) has the best odds to score (+100) of anyone expected to be active on Saturday.
Aston Villa (-260 to win) is the second-biggest favorite, with Southampton (+140 to win), Watford (+165 to win), and Wolves (+165 to win) rounding out the slate.
Saturday's slate is all about Manchester City. The defending champions are coming off a hectic one-goal win over Real Madrid on Tuesday and will certainly have their eyes set on the return fixture this coming Wednesday. They have just one Premier League loss since November, and have scored 16 goals over their last six fixtures, the most in the league over that stretch.
Their opponent, Leeds, has turned things around with three wins and two draws in their last five fixtures, but have struggled tremendously against big-six sides this season, most recently conceding four goals to Tottenham, six to Liverpool, and four to Manchester United. Fading City is a risky proposition this weekend.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
Wilfried Zaha, FWD/MID, Crystal Palace
FanDuel Salary: $18
With Manchester City's stars in an excellent spot, Zaha should go overlooked at the top end of the salary table. He is one of a trio of non-Manchester City players at the top end of the forward player pool, alongside Phillippe Coutinho ($20) and James Ward-Prowse ($19). Zaha has the lowest salary of the group, and, with Aston Villa a large favorite and Ward-Prowse coming off a two-goal performance, should have the lowest draft percentage as well.
Zaha has endured multiple goal droughts this season, including a slow start in August, but has really turned things around since February. He has six goals in his last eleven games, including two in his last four. He is coming off a remarkable 39.2 FanDuel point performance, during which he didn't record a goal or an assist but managed to place five shots on goal and create three chances.
Southampton has conceded thirteen goals over their last six matches, good for second-worst in the league during that stretch. In lineups that do fade City, consider including both Zaha and Ward-Prowse to take advantage of their low draft percentage and recent form.
Dwight McNeil, FWD/MID, Burnley
FanDuel Salary: $12
Burnley is slight road underdogs this weekend but has an excellent chance to produce goals facing a Watford side that has been anything but stingy in conceding them. Watford's 17 goals allowed over this last six fixtures is the most in the Premier League over that stretch and including multiple goals to Wolves, Brentford, and Leeds.
With City expected to be popular, some low-salary value players may also see high draft percentages as the lack of salary forces lineups to include them at a discount. Burnley forward Matej Vydra ($11) may be one of those options, coming off his game-winning goal against Wolves. Higher up the salary ladder, Burnley's other forward, Wout Weghorst ($16) may command some interest, as his odds to score of +115 are the second-best on the slate.
McNeil provides exposure to Watford's horrific defense, at a low salary, while avoiding Burnley's forwards, who may be popular options. He has yet to score a goal this season but has produced 16.2 and 17.1 FanDuel points over his last two matches, with a combined six shots, two on goal, and three chances created. Consider including him in lineups centered on popular stars from Manchester City.
Teemu Pukki, FWD/MID, Norwich
FanDuel Salary: $15
Assuming anything will go right for Norwich is a risky proposition these days. They are ten points away from safety and could be officially relegated depending on this weekend's results. Aston Villa is the second-largest favorite this weekend, but that has more to do with their opponent than their own form, which has seen them lose four of their last five.
Predictably, Pukki has been a small glimmer of a bright spot in Norwich's otherwise forgettable season. He has scored in two of his last three matches and has produced 16 plus FanDuel points in five of his last seven fixtures, including three performances with over 30 points. Always a threat for a goal, he could continue his good run of form facing a Villa side that has conceded nine goals over their last five matches.
While Pukki is a well-known name, his midrange salary makes him a difficult inclusion in lineups centered on City's high-salaried stars. With Norwich all but forgotten about as the curtain closes on their season, consider including Pukki in lineups for large-field tournaments on Saturday.