FanDuel Premier League Matches to Target in Matchweek 16
Aside from those in European play, the teams in the Premier League received normal rest ahead of Matchweek 16. Only one of the teams involved in European play will be featured on the six-game FanDuel slate dominated by teams in the bottom of the table.
|Saturday, December 9th|
|Watford at Burnley|
|Bournemouth at Crystal Palace|
|West Brom at Swansea City|
|Stoke at Tottenham|
|Leicester City at Newcastle|
|Brighton at Huddersfield|
As may be expected with games that include struggling teams, the early totals are down -- half the matches have an over/under totals at two goals. Three of the teams on the slate have yet to score double-digit goals, while only two have a positive goal differential.
Despite the lack of firepower, there are good matches to target.
Burnley vs. Watford
Both of these teams have surprised. With both in the top eight, this is the best combined positioning this late in the season.
Watford have been the more prolific team while Burnley have relied on their defense, keeping four clean sheets at home. Watford are winless in their last nine trips to Turf Moor, so history and recent form is on Burnley's side.
As expected, Burnley's top points per game players are their center back pairing of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski. They both average 19.5 points per game and should be challenged at home this weekend.
Watford does average over 50% possession and nearly 12 shots per match. The possession numbers are significantly higher than Burnley, so the home team will continue absorbing pressure and work on the counter attack.
Richarlison continues to be the danger man for Watford, having been involved in seven goals in seven away games. He still averages over 20 points per game, but his poor recent form could sway some away from him.
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Abdoulaye Doucore is Watford's points per game leader and he hit the post in last week's 1-1 draw with Tottenham. Roberto Pererya earned a recall just in front of Doucore in the last match and is a budget option in their attack. However, the sneaky pick in Watford's attack is Andre Gray -- this is his first match against his former team.
Burnley's attacking options are limited with Robbie Brady dealing with a serious knee injury. Scott Arfield will likely take his place as a budget option, but the pressure falls more on Johann Berg Gudmundsson to pitch into the attack.
Watford will be allowed to pressure Burnley in this match. They have some injuries and a revenge game factor with Gray that gives good options at lower prices. Burnley's defense has shown to be stout, though, and the deep-lying midfielders and back line will continue to rack up defensive action points. If it goes Burnley's way, the game will be low scoring, which will make picking out the right scorer huge for your FanDuel squad.
Swansea vs. West Brom
Of all the matches with teams in the bottom half of the table, this may be the most important. Swansea fell into last place after Matchweek 15 while West Brom sits just outside of the bottom three. Both teams desperately need the three points from a win and there have been goals on both sides the last three times they've faced off. This looks like it could be a battle.
Alan Pardew will oversee his second match as West Brom manager. Last weekend, the team shared possession for the first time all season, managed 20 shots, and put six on target. There were plenty of positives despite coming out with only a draw.
Pardew employed an attacking formation with Jay Rodriguez, Salomon Rondon, and Hal Robson-Kanu in a front three. With Swansea giving up over 14 shots a game and ranking as one of the league's worst defensive teams, there is no reason to think Pardew will change out of the aggressive game plan. None of those three attackers are priced over $8,000.
The value play for West Brom will be Claudio Yacob at $4,500 as he starts for the injured Gareth Barry. He will likely start in central midfield and have duties on both sides of the ball. Yacob finished with 16 points last week, providing plenty of defensive assistance and transitioning the team into offense.
Swansea got off to an early lead last week thanks to their own attacking formation. They employed Wilfried Bony, Andre Ayew, and Tammy Abraham together, who were able to draw fouls, generate four shots off of set pieces, and total 10 shots. With this being virtually a must-win game for Swansea, the attacking formation should be employed against West Brom.
They attacked mainly down the right side against Stoke last week, but they may have a new starter involved in the build up. Tom Carroll could be the value play, replacing Leroy Fer. An error by Fer led to one of Stoke's goals last week and the game eventually slipped away from the Swans.
There is an emotional side to this game, as well. Federico Fernandez is expected to return after missing the last two games due to the death of his father. If one buys into narratives, it would be good to back Fernandez, who will likely have much more inspiration when he steps on the field Saturday.
Both teams desperately need to win this match. It should be an action-packed bottom of the table six-point battle.
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.