SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: EPL DFS Helper for 1/16/21

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

Slate Overview

Fixture Favorite Over 2.5 Goals Most Likely
to Score
Burnley at West Ham West Ham (-125) +112 Antonio (+120)
Brighton at Leeds Leeds (+105) -158 Bamford (+100)
Chelsea at Fulham Chelsea (-210) -142 Werner (-120)
Southampton at Leicester Leicester (-130) -110 Vardy (-145)


Positional Breakdown

Forwards/Midfielders

This is a really fun slate, and there are so many paths we can take. Chelsea (-210) are the biggest favorite, per FanDuel Sportsbook, but Leicester (-130) and West Ham (-125) are decent-sized favorites, as well. And in the Leeds-Brighton clash, we should get goals as it's the fixture with the best odds of going over 2.5 goals (-158).

Let's start with Chelsea. While they don't quite meet the threshold for stacking, the Blues are a slate best -188 to go over 1.5 goals, and my simulations hand them a 16.3% chance to get three goals, which is another slate-high mark. Chelsea are taking on their London neighbor, Fulham, and Frank Lampard's side has options at various price points.

I like Timo Werner ($20; -120) a lot on this slate, especially if he's deployed in a number-nine role, because I think he may slip through the cracks a bit as the public perception around him is pretty low at the moment. But we know Werner is good (28 goals in 33 league starts last year in Germany), and there's a good chance he's on penalties. Despite not scoring a goal across the Blues' last nine EPL matches, Werner has tallied games of 41.2 and 21.3 FanDuel points in that span, so he's not a goal-or-nothing dude. Werner -- owner of the second-best goal odds on the slate -- is going to explode at some point.

Also on Chelsea, Christian Pulisic ($13; +140) and Hakim Ziyech ($14; +210) are under-salaried for their roles and the goal odds. The American has started five straight league matches and fired off nine total shots in that span. Ziyech was coming on a few weeks ago prior to getting hurt and should be a key figure in attack. Both guys are among the best point-per-dollar plays on the slate.

You're going to need exposure to each sides of the Leeds-Brighton match. Leeds have been a fantasy dream this season, and they have the second-best odds (-128) to go over 1.5 goals. Going by FBRef's expected goals, they have the second-best attack and the second-worst defense. That makes both them and their opposition attractive in pretty much every match Leeds play. By my simulations, this match has a slate-best 25.4% chance to feature three goals.

Patrick Bamford ($21; +100) has this match's best goal odds and has scored 10 times in 17 EPL starts. While he's a little too goal-reliant for my liking (just two assists) and doesn't take penalties, Bamford is firmly in play. However, Leeds have so many viable options at friendlier salaries, that I'll probably opt for one of Raphinha ($14; +240) or Mateusz Klich ($15; +250). Those two are averaging 15.2 and 16.0 FanDuel points per game, respectively, for the campaign, and Klich has been the first-choice penalty taker.

My simulations really, really like Brighton, a side that has been very unlucky this year going by expected goals. My numbers give Brighton a slate-leading 34.0% chance to score two goals, which narrowly edges the odds for Leeds (33.2%) and Chelsea (33.3%). Nailing the right Brighton attacker could be big on this slate as I expect most lineups to center around Chelsea, Leeds and Leicester, the latter of whom we'll get to in a minute.

Neal Maupay ($16; +155) has a goal in each of his last two EPL starts for Brighton and is a fine point-per-dollar play. Alexis Mac Allister ($8; +400) is a leap of faith, but with Brighton dealing with a lot of absences, he could be thrust into another start after getting the nod midweek at Manchester City. You can do worse than taking a shot on a low-salary attack-minded player in what should be an open game.

Jamie Vardy ($22; -145) is likely the chalk guy on this slate with Leicester a -130 favorite, but I will probably tread lightly here as my sims give Leicester just a 20.2% chance of scoring two goals, a number that is a distant fifth behind the clips for Chelsea, Leeds, West Ham and Brighton. With that said, Vardy -- who is expected to be fit for this one -- has been immense this season, totaling 11 goals and five assists in 14 starts, though six of his tallies have come from the spot. He's put at least one shot on target in nine of his last 11 league starts.

The Foxes' James Maddison ($18; +280) checks some boxes, too. Maddison has created 14 chances across his past four EPL outings, and he usually handles a lot of work on corners and set pieces. I'll pivot here in a lot of lineups rather than swallowing what I think may wind up being bad chalk with Vardy.

Among the high-salaried choices, Michail Antonio ($20; +120) is the one I'm least into, but I suspect it'll be that way for most people, which makes Antonio a fun pivot. And my simulations actually give West Ham a 29.4% chance to net two goals despite the meh matchup with Burnley. After finishing the 2019-20 season on fire, Antonio has struggled with injuries and started only seven league games this campaign. But he's got three goals on the year and played 89 minutes this past Monday in his first start since November 30th. The Hammers are -125 to win at home versus Burnley, and Antonio can be a GPP swing play.

Added time -- Fulham have picked it up of late, and Ademola Lookman ($15; :410) has been a pivotal figure for them, sitting second on the team in goals (two) and leading Fulham in assists (three). He's got double-digit FanDuel points in all but one of his starts this campaign. He won't be in many lineups. ... Rodrigo ($17; +170) is a pivot off the likely Bamford chalk. The goal odds are solid, and he's created 12 chances over Leeds' last five EPL matches. ... Jarrod Bowen ($17; +220) gets some set-piece work for West Ham. ... Burnley have been miserable in attack, but Ashley Barnes ($11; +200) has decent goal odds, a low salary and might be on pens.

Defenders

Chelsea full-back Ben Chilwell ($11) has seen his salary slashed due to a poor run of form, but this is a ceiling spot for him. Chelsea should have a lot of the ball, allowing him to get forward, and Chilwell's +550 goal odds are superb for a defender. He's going to be a priority for me, though I suspect his reduced salary will catch the eye of a lot of people.

Leeds' defenders are money in DFS. All three of their expected starters -- Stuart Dallas ($15), Liam Cooper ($13) and Luka Aiyling ($12) -- are averaging between 13.0 and 17.0 FanDuel points. If Diego Llorente ($7) starts, he'd be a quality value option.

On the low-salary side, Brighton's Dan Burn ($8) and Joël Veltman ($9) should be active in the date with Leeds, and Fulham's Ola Aina ($9) will be busy against Chelsea.

Added time -- Aaron Cresswell ($11) makes a lot of sense with West Ham in an advantageous spot. Cresswell should send in plenty of crosses and will handle his usual corner tasks, too. Burnley allow the fifth-most crosses per game, per WhoScored. ... Ricardo Pereira ($10) could make his return from injury for Leicester. There's risk of him not playing the full 90 and thus missing out on a clean-sheet bonus, but Pereira is a top talent whose salary will be up among the elites in no time.

Goalies

The best clean-sheet odds belong to Chelsea's Edouard Mendy ($14), and my simulations fall in line with that, giving Fulham a slate-high 41.1% chance of being blanked. The win odds are there, too. Mendy is $2 more than any other keeper, but stacking him with Pulisic or Ziyech is a cost-efficient way to load up on the slate's big favorite. It isn't that hard to get to Mendy's salary.

Burnley's style of play makes the West Ham-Burnley match one to go to for a clean sheet. In 16 EPL matches this season, the Clarets have netted a mere nine goals while conceding just 21. West Ham have also shipped just 21 goals all year, so Lukasz Fabianski ($12) and Nick Pope ($8) are both in play. There's also a chance Fabianski can't go, which would put Darren Rudolph ($12) in goal for the Hammers.

Whoever starts for West Ham will be in a dope spot as my simulations have the Hammers getting a clean sheet 40.3% of the time, the second-highest mark on the slate. I expect Pope to be the chalk value keeper, and he's not a bad play given the game environment. He does worry me some, though, because my simulations are higher on West Ham than I expected they would be.

Added time -- Due to Leeds' style, Illan Meslier ($11) is called into action a lot. He's made at least four saves in six of his last eight games, including five games of six-plus stops in that time. Despite conceding plenty of goals, he's produced fewer than eight FanDuel points only once in that span. ... Kasper Schmeichel ($12) is a solid midrange play. Leicester are favored, and Schmeichel is +150 to keep a clean sheet. My numbers have the Saints getting shut out 38.1% of the time, the third-highest mark on the slate.