FanDuel Premier League Matches to Target in Matchweek 19
It is the halfway matchweek for the Premier League season, and it's also the start of the busy Boxing Day week. The games start on Friday and there are nine matches on Saturday, so the teams can get a little time to recover before the full slate next, which is on Tuesday. FanDuel will feature seven of the Saturday matches on their main slate.
|Saturday, December 23th|
|Tottenham at Burnley|
|West Brom at Stoke|
|Newcastle at West Ham|
|Watford at Brighton|
|Huddersfield at Southampton|
|Crystal Palace at Swansea City|
|Bournemouth at Manchester City|
Most of the over/under totals are at 2.5 goals or less for Saturday. The Manchester City match has an over/under of 4.0 goals with City coming in as the biggest favorite of the entire season thus far. Southampton and Tottenham are the only other favorites, with the lines sure to move before the holiday weekend.
There will be many people targeting the City match, but very few Bournemouth players will make teams. However, that game will not be a target here. Let's look at two matches to zero in on this weekend.
Burnley vs. Tottenham
Not many predicted that Burnley would be ahead of Tottenham at this point in the season, or that they'd do so by scoring just 16 goals in 18 outings. Burnley have been successful defensively, allowing only 12 goals, a number matched only by the top two teams in the league. Will their bend-but-not-break defending hold up against a Spurs team that is tied for fifth in the league in goals scored?
Burnley still prefers to play on the counter, having only 44.5% possession per game, so their defenders will be active. Ben Mee ($7,000) and James Tarkowski ($6,500) still lead all Burnley players in FanDuel points per game. Tarkowski is second among all defenders in clearances and continues to play consistently at the back. Mee has been credited with six total interceptions across his last three matches.
JUST THE GOALS | Ben Mee gives the Clarets the lead against Hannover 96. pic.twitter.com/4WSLeAmqbQ
â€” Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) August 5, 2017
The question becomes can Burnley withstand the Tottenham attack. Tottenham have the third-highest possession rate and fourth-most shots per game in the league, while Burnley still gives up the most shots per game.
Tottenham also had a chance to make a statement last week against Manchester City and fell flat. Christian Eriksen ($10,500) added a late consolation goal, and he is up to 24.1 FanDuel points per game with two goals and two assists in his last four matches.
Eriksen is $1,500 cheaper than Harry Kane ($12,000), who still leads the line for Spurs. Kane is coming off one of his worst games of the season, and he will likely be desperate to get back to his goal-scoring ways.
This game is an interesting clash between teams that excel through different methods. Burnley is confident in their defense and will rely on it against a Spurs team that will want to go forward.
Swansea City vs. Crystal Palace
This match is more about two teams going in different directions. Swansea sit in last place, a spot that Palace occupied for several weeks of the season. Palace have won their last two while Swansea have lost their last two.
Palace have moved up to the 14th spot, but they are still only two points above the relegation zone. They have scored seven goals in their last three matches. Wilfried Zaha ($9,500) continues to be catalyst for the Palace offense, and he's now averaging 18.7 points per match. He is coming off his best game of the year, roaming near the front of the Palace attack. He scored 38.25 points against Leicester, getting a goal and drawing three fouls.
Yohan Cabaye ($8,000) has quietly been effective playing as the pivot midfielder. He is averaging close to 20 FanDuel points per match and has 11 interceptions over the last three contests. He also has a block, an assist, and four chances created over that time frame.
Palace may find it tough to beat Swansea's Lukasz Fabianski ($5,000), who leads the league in saves. He now averages 15.6 points per match, the third-most for all keepers on this slate.
@Welsh_Gooner I'm still saying this Fabianski save is the best I've ever seen in the flesh #Heroic pic.twitter.com/3vmb1XwsMm
â€” Woz (@wozthegooner) May 15, 2015
While Palace's form has been improving, they have still allowed three more goals than Swansea this season. Two teams, Chelsea and Manchester City, have shut out Swansea in the past five weeks, but the Swans have been able to score against teams in the lower half of the table.
Swansea's attack has been inconsistent, but there was a good sign last week as Leroy Fer ($6,500) got back on the score sheet. He already puts in work on the defensive side, so any attack points are a bonus. The 27.5-FanDuel-point match last week was his best performance of the year, and it was aided by three fouls drawn.
Both teams have scored in this match in three of the last four contests between the two, including a 5-4 Swansea win in 2016. Given the lack of organization on defense for both teams this season, we may be in store for another shootout.
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.