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 seven matches. All betting lines come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and they may change after the article is published.
West Ham (+490) at Chelsea (-185)
Over 2.5 Goals: -126 | Most Likely to Score: Havertz (+170)
Crystal Palace (+270) at Newcastle (+105)
Over 2.5 Goals: +106 | Most Likely to Score: Isak (+170)
Leeds (+230) at Brentford (+115)
Over 2.5 Goals: -138 | Most Likely to Score: Toney (+120)
Bournemouth (+290) at Nottingham Forest (+100)
Over 2.5 Goals: +112 | Most Likely to Score: Dennis (+180)
Southampton (+230) at Wolves (+120)
Over 2.5 Goals: +106 | Most Likely to Score: Jimenez (+145)
Fulham (+550) at Tottenham (-210)
Over 2.5 Goals: -162 | Most Likely to Score: Son and Kane (-120)
Manchester City (-320) at Aston Villa (+800)
Over 2.5 Goals: -220 | Most Likely to Score: Haaland (-175)
Matchweek 6 features three big-six sides, with Chelsea, Tottenham, and Manchester City all in action.
Manchester City (-320 to win) are the largest favorite on the slate, and Erling Haaland ($24) has the best odds to score (-175) of anyone expected to be active on Saturday.
Tottenham (-210 to win) are the second-biggest favorite, followed by Chelsea (-185 to win). Nottingham Forest (+100 to win), Newcastle (+105 to win), Brentford (+115 to win), and Wolves (+120 to win) round out the slate.
All eyes will be on Manchester City this weekend as Haaland attempts to record his third consecutive hat-trick. Haaland could approach record levels of draft percentage versus an Aston Villa side that has allowed a goal in each of their five league matches so far this season. Haaland is likely to be so popular that simply opting for Harry Kane ($22) over him could create decent leverage in large-field tournaments, even if Kane sees his usually elevated draft percentage.
With that in mind, here are three players to consider -- especially for tournament formats -- who may fly under the radar.
James Ward-Prowse, FWD/MID, Southampton
FanDuel Salary: $17
There are plenty of compelling options at the top of the FWD/MID player pool this weekend. The seven-game slate, combined with the expected popularity of Haaland and Kane, could suppress the draft percentages of players in the second tier of the salary ladder, such as Ward-Prowse.
Coming off a game in which he scored just 5.6 FanDuel points against Chelsea, Ward-Prowse has a good chance to rebound facing a winless Wolves side. Before struggling against Chelsea, he recorded FanDuel point totals of 21.1, 22.9, 5.2, and 35.9 in his first four games this season.
Ward-Prowse has a monopoly on Southampton's set-pieces, taking every dead-ball opportunity so far this campaign. His 2.6 chances created per game is sixth-best in the league, and he is averaging 8.2 crosses per match. Despite this, he has managed only one assist so far.
On a busy slate and coming off a poor performance, Ward-Prowse will surely fly under the radar despite his usual impressive involvement in Southampton's attack.
Marcus Tavernier, FWD/MID, Bournemouth
FanDuel Salary: $14
Bournemouth are likely to be largely ignored on a seven-game slate after recording a -14 goal differential -- 2 scored to 16 conceded -- through five games this season. Things are far from great at Bournemouth, but their record and goal differential are harsh considering all 16 of their allowed goals came against either Arsenal, Manchester City, or Liverpool. In their two games against non-elite opposition, they defeated Aston Villa and tied Wolves.
Tavernier has been at the center of Bournemouth's lackluster attack, creating eight chances with three shots taken through five games. He is the main set-piece taker and has played the full 90 minutes in each of his last three matches.
His overall numbers are diminished due to the quality of the opposition Bournemouth has faced thus far, but he should get a chance to produce this weekend. In his two games against non-big-six opponents, Tavernier has totaled 14.7 and 10.3 FanDuel points.
Facing a Nottingham Forest side allowing an average of 2.2 goals per match, Tavernier's involvement in Bournemouth's attack could finally lead to production.
Aaron Cresswell, DEF, West Ham
FanDuel Salary: $10
Cresswell's availability is up in the air due to a groin injury, but he played 72 minutes on Wednesday and could be available. If he starts, he is in an excellent position to produce on both ends of the pitch against a Chelsea side that has struggled defensively to open the season.
Chelsea has allowed a goal in each of their last four matches, surrendering an average of 2.0 goals per game during that stretch. Cresswell's role on set-pieces will provide him with the opportunity to capitalize on Chelsea's issues at the back, and his salary of $10 fits well in almost any lineup build. Through five games this season, Cresswell has produced FanDuel point totals of 10.4, 11.5, 9.9, 15, and 12.1 -- only once failing to reach double-digits.
After opening the campaign with three straight games without a goal, West Ham has scored in their last two and have picked up four points in the process, including a draw against Tottenham. Chelsea will be a difficult test, but Cresswell benefits from both the pressure Chelsea will put on West Ham's defense and the opportunities the Blues will provide the Hammers' attack.