FanDuel Premier League Matches to Target in Matchweek 17

Arsenal travel to London Stadium to take on West Ham in an appealing fantasy matchup on both sides. Which other match should you zero in on for this large midweek slate?

December means a lot of fixtures for Premier League teams. Matchweek 17 takes place midweek with the focus of this FanDuel primer being the seven-game slate on Wednesday.

Matchweek 17
Wednesday, December 13th
Everton at Newcastle
Arsenal at West Ham
Manchester City at Swansea City
Brighton at Tottenham
Leicester City at Southampton
Bournemouth at Manchester United
West Brom at Liverpool

Five of the games have an over/under of three goals and a clear favorite. Many of the games are top of the table versus bottom of the table. Only two of the matches are being contested by teams with single-digit points between them in the standings.

The busy schedule always creates some quirks in player selection and tactics, so let's see which matches to target on Wednesday.

Newcastle vs. Everton

Three weeks ago this would have been a relegation battle, but two wins and a draw pushed Everton to the middle of the table. Sam Allardyce has helped Everton have appeal even though they just sat in two banks of four against rival Liverpool this past weekend.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin seems to have a regular place in the Everton starting lineup under Allardyce. He has two goals, two assists, and has won two penalties in his last six appearances. Calvert-Lewin has started the last four matches for Everton.

Wayne Rooney is also having a resurgence. Rooney has been playing just behind Calvert-Lewin and has four goals and an assist in the last three matches. He also has a good record against Newcastle over his lengthy career. He has been involved in 22 goals in 22 appearances against Newcastle. Rooney is the FanDuel-point-per-game leader in this match at 21.7.

Mikel Merino will be among the Newcastle players tasked with stopping the rejuvenated Everton squad. Merino has showed a tireless work effort of late. He is the highest-rated player -- per WhoScored's rating system -- among Newcastle's expected starters for Wednesday and is gaining many of his points defensively. He was credited with 13 defensive actions this past weekend against Leicester while also creating 3 chances. He has scored at least 24 points on FanDuel in each of his last three appearances.

Jamaal Lascelles should return Wednesday as well to help Merino fend off the Everton attack. Christian Atsu should also return to provide a spark into the Newcastle attack.

No player in this game is priced above $8,000. Neither team has shown the ability to keep the ball this year, so there should be chances on both sides to provide value across the pitch. Regardless, Everton holds the slight edge on form, but Newcastle provides value plays from defensive work rate.

West Ham vs. Arsenal

Of all the favorites on the board Wednesday, Arsenal have the worst odds, playing on the road against a team in the relegation zone. West Ham are looking to build momentum from an improbable win against Chelsea. Perhaps there is more intrigue here than at first glance.

Arsenal have had no problem scoring against West Ham, tallying 11 goals in their last three Premier League fixtures against the Hammers. However, the Gunners' recent form is not great, scoring only one goal in each of the last two matches, with Olivier Giroud salvaging a point for the Gunners on the weekend.

The quick turnaround means that Giroud -- who came on as a sub in that game -- could start in place of Alexandre Lacazette if Arsene Wenger opts for squad rotation during this busy time of the season. Giroud could be joined by Alex Iwobi or Danny Welbeck, which would provide you with a couple cheap options. Regular starters Lacazette, Mesut Ozil, and Alexis Sanchez are the highest-priced players in this match.

Regardless of who starts, it would be good to target Arsenal attackers as they are sure to hold most of the possession. Arsenal average close to 60% possession to West Ham's 48% clip. Arsenal's 30 goals are the fourth-most in the league.

David Moyes has West Ham playing defense again and many are singing his praises after their win over Chelsea. The defense will need to be on top of its game once more as Moyes will likely roll out a back three with Angelo Ogbonna leading the way. Ogbonna is stationed in the middle of the back three and has been credited with 33 defensive actions over the last three matches. He now averages 17.5 FanDuel points over 11 games.

Moyes is also getting much more out of Marko Arnautovic. Many West Ham fans have been disappointed in Arnautovic after his summer move, but his goal stood up over the weekend to build confidence for the player and team.

Arsenal have allowed 20 goals, tied with Liverpool for the most among the top seven teams. The combination of Arnautovic on the wing and Michail Antonio as the lead striker caused problems for Chelsea and can do the same with Arsenal.

West Ham may be the epitome of a contrarian play this Wednesday with so many top-tier sides in a good spot, and that could pay off big time in a large-field tourney.

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.