FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for Thursday 5/19/22
As always, we're covering FanDuel's main slate, and that kicks off at 2:45 p.m. EST on Thursday.
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This time of the year, it can help to zero in on teams that have a lot to play for. On this slate, Everton and Burnley are those sides as they're firmly in a relegation scrap. Of course, neither side offers that much attacking firepower. Of the two, Everton have more high-upside options, so let's lock in on them.
The Toffees are at home against Palace, and a win will secure their spot in the top flight for next year. Considering they're at Arsenal on the final day, Everton can do themselves a big favor by taking care of business on Thursday. I will limit any Everton attacking exposure to just one player, though, as Palace have been tough on the road, permitting just 17 goals in 18 matches away from home.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($16) and Richarlison ($18) are the top attacking plays for Everton. Both started last weekend. With DCL missing a lot of time, Richarlison paces Everton in goals (nine) and assists (five) in league play. DCL has been good in his limited action, notching a team-leading 0.53 expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes, according to FBRef.
The closest thing to a standout side on this three-match slate is Chelsea, but it's far from a smash spot as the Blues are at home against a Leicester side that's been playing well. With that said, Chelsea topped the Foxes, 3-0, in the reverse fixture earlier this season at the King Power Stadium, so they're capable of breaking the slate if they're on. Neither team has anything to play for the rest of the way, though, so we could see some funky starting XIs.
While it hasn't always come off this campaign, Chelsea have as many good attacking options as any side in the league. Kai Havertz ($19) and Mason Mount ($21) will be top-notch plays if they're in the lineup. Mount has quietly had an extremely productive season, totaling 11 goals and 10 assists -- both of which lead the Blues. His set-piece work boosts both his floor and ceiling in DFS. If Havertz, who is dealing with a hamstring ailment, is out, Romelu Lukaku ($20) will likely start at striker.
Aston Villa are home to Burnley, and on most slates, this would be a nice spot to load up on Villa, who are undoubtedly the more talented of the two squads. The Villans may wind up winning, but with Villa having nothing to play for and Burnley desperately needing a win or tie as they fight to stay up, it's hard to know what we'll get from Villa. The longer the match goes with Burnley ahead or tied, the uglier it'll be for DFS as Burley will try to muck it up. On the flip side, if the Clarets fall behind, they'll have to open up and try to get back in the match, which could lead to an open second half.
Villa's Emi Buendia ($11) is one of the slate's premier point-per-dollar plays if he starts. Ollie Watkins ($18), Danny Ings ($16) and Phillipe Coutinho ($19) are high-upside options. Ings is Villa's co-leader in assists (six) despite making just 22 starts. Watkins is finishing the campaign on a high note, scoring five goals across his past eight appearances.
We shouldn't overlook Leicester. The matchup at Stamford Bridge is a rough one, but Chelsea have been fairly vulnerable defensively over the back half of the season. The Foxes are in great form, too, netting eight goals across their last two matches, although those came against Watford and Norwich. Jamie Vardy ($17) and James Maddison ($16) are great leverage plays, assuming Leicester aren't popular. Harvey Barnes ($14) has two goals and three assists over the past two matches, and he's easy to like at this salary.
Chelsea's Reece James ($15) and Marcos Alonso ($15) are elite options at defender. Both should have chances to get forward and have been quality DFS plays for most of the year. James has seven assists, the second-most on the team, and he's added five goals. Alonso has tallied three goals and four assists.
Lucas Digne ($12) is another high-upside full-back, and he comes in at a nice salary discount from the Chelsea options. The Villa left-back has been immense since returning from injury, and he's recorded three assists in just 14 league starts this season -- two of which have come across the last three games. He's racked up an impressive 20 shot-creating actions over the last five outings.
Leicester's Daniel Amartey ($7) is listed as the lowest-salaried expected starter for the Foxes, and he offers a decent floor in a match at Chelsea in which he should be busy.
In that same vein, Burnley's Kevin Long ($7) and Connor Roberts ($9) can be solid floor plays versus Villa.
You can talk yourself into and out of each keeper on this slate, which should keep draft percentages pretty spread out.
On name value, Edouard Mendy ($13) might be the most popular play, and playing at home for the best side on the side, he's a solid choice. The negatives with him are his high salary, Chelsea's lack of motivation -- which could lead to a weaker-than-usual starting defense in front of him -- and the Blues keeping only one clean sheet in their past four EPL matches.
Emiliano Martinez ($10) has a delightful home matchup with Burnley, but it sounds like he may miss Thursday's fixture. If he does, it'll probably be Robin Olsen ($10) in Martinez's stead. The Clarets have produced the third-fewest xG overall and the fewest away from home, amassing just 16.2 xG in 18 away matches. So even though Olsen doesn't offer a super low salary like some backups do, he'd still be a fine play if he's in there.
Motivation won't be an issue at all for Jordan Pickford ($11), and his salary has risen after some superb showings of late. Save volume should be there, too. Outside of a match with lowly Watford, Pickford has made at least four saves in three straight matches. At home against Palace, Everton can give themselves a stress-free final day with a win.
Danny Ward ($5) started in place of Kasper Schmeichel ($7) in Leicester's last league game. The matchup at Chelsea is really tough, but Ward is at least worth thinking about as a low-salary punt if he starts again. If it's Schmeichel in net, he's a viable value play, too.