FanDuel Premier League Matches to Target in Matchweek 18
|Saturday, December 16th|
|Burnley at Brighton|
|West Ham at Stoke|
|Newcastle at Arsenal|
|Southampton at Chelsea|
|Huddersfield at Watford|
|Tottenham at Manchester City|
Some injuries and general squad rotation brought some quirks to the midweek matches and led to six of seven ending in a clean sheet. There should be fewer clean sheets this weekend despite only two matches having an over/under of more than 2.5 goals. The favorites are not as clear as they were in the middle of the week. There are four favorites on the board, including Manchester City as they go for 16 straight wins in the Premier League.
The City match with Tottenham is the marquee fixture on the slate, but it will not be featured here. Let's get to it.
Watford vs. Huddersfield
Watford was very close to securing three points on Tuesday, but Crystal Palace scored two goals in the last four minutes to stun the Hornets. Watford remained in ninth place after the loss, but they have now lost three of their last four.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield is reeling. They have lost four of their last five and been blanked in three of those matches. Needless to say, both of these teams are desperate for a win, increasing the chances of an open affair.
Huddersfield look like they may get a break as Watford's best player, Richarlison, had to be subbed off in the final moments on the match against Palace. However, in a match that has an unpredictable feel, that may create another value play on a Watford attack that is already without the suspended duo of Marvin Zeegelaar and Tom Cleverley.
Andre Carrillo and Roberto Pereyra become great options as they are expected to line up behind the lone striker. Carrillo is $5,500 while Pereyra is $5,000. Watford does average just over 50% of possession, and Huddersfield allow slightly more than 11 shots per match. Huddersfield's -17-goal differential is among the bottom five in the league, so Watford is in a good spot here, even with a depleted lineup.
Daryl Janmaat is another value option, and he scored in the midweek action. He was a bit of a defensive liability but was credited with eight defensive actions and now averages over 22 FanDuel points per match.
Defense has been an issue for Watford as of late. They give up more shots on goal than Huddersfield and have allowed eight goals over the last four matches. Huddersfield have scored at least two goals in their last three matches against Watford in all competitions.
Huddersfield's Elias Kachunga is currently in form and is priced at an affordable $6,000. He has created one chance in each of his last four appearances, which is much needed for a struggling Huddersfield side.
Both teams need this game. Watford have Brighton, another promoted side, next week and want to stay in the top half of the table. Huddersfield next play Southampton, another team in the middle of the table, with every match becoming about survival for the Terriers.
Chelsea vs. Southampton
An injury to Alvaro Morata may have sparked some life into the Chelsea attack as Antonio Conte decided to leave a true striker out of his lineup in midweek action. The lineup switch and the fact that Morata is the highest-priced player in this match improves the value of the Chelsea squad.
Eden Hazard, Willian, and Pedro formed the triangle at the top of the Chelsea attack. None of them are necessarily cheap on this slate, but they give some flexibility with Hazard and Willian listed as midfielders. Willian's first start in four matches yielded a 46-FanDuel-point performance.
MIchy Batshuayi did enter the match in the second half and could be considered for inclusion this weekend given the tight schedule. Conte has not shown confidence in the Belgian striker, but the Blues have to use players wisely during the EPL's hectic December schedule.
The advantage goes to Chelsea with this match being at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea earned a 4-2 victory the last time out against Southampton. The Saints had more touches in that game, but Chelsea had five more shots and three more on target.
The Southampton defense should be in for the same onslaught this weekend. Maya Yoshida is now the points per game leader for the Southampton back line -- just ahead of Virgil van Dijk -- and is priced at $6,000.
The Chelsea defense will still have work to do. Southampton won the possession battle last season at Stamford Bridge, and Charlie Austin has been on fire. He has three goals in his last five games. He had two shots on goal in Southampton's midweek loss to Leicester as he continutes to be a threat in front of goal.
Southampton have scored at least one goal in each of the last three Premier League games at Stamford Bridge. They still have games against Manchester United and Tottenham this holiday season and need to return to form after going without a win in their last four. They are another team that needs a good result and will be pushing for points.
Douglas Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Douglas Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username aquemini03. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.