Premier League Previews & Projections: Matchday Eighteen (Boxing Day)
Watford v Crystal Palace
Watford kicks off Boxing Day against a Crystal Palace squad under the new management of Sam Allardyce (an experienced Premier League manager) off of his leave from the England national team. With the unknown conditions of Palace, best to stay away from them until the new management’s strategy going forward becomes clearer. The four wide players from Watford – Jose Holebas ($5,400); Daryl Janmaat ($4,700); Juan Zuniga ($4,400); Nordin Amrabat ($6,300) – are all to be considered, but on the whole, you’re better off waiting for the main slate of games.
Week 18 Projections are linked below:
Arsenal v West Brom
At home, Arsenal is expected to get the win here, but West Brom is not an opponent to be underestimated on the defensive end sitting at eighth place in the table. Alexis Sanchez ($9,600 DK, $13,500 FD) is once again the top option from the Gunners, but given the price tag, it may be best to save your funds for some of the later options. Theo Walcott ($9,500 FD) is a cheaper goal option.
Burnley v Middlesbrough
I’d expect a low-scoring affair here, confirmed by the extremely low over/under. Assuming Gudmundsson is still out, Scott Arfield ($5,200 DK) is a cheap option given his recent duties over penalty kicks. Gaston Ramirez ($7,200 DK) takes penalties and free kicks on the Middlesbrough side and stands as a mid-priced option. All-in-all, this is another game mostly to forget.
Chelsea v Middlesbrough
The still Costa-less Chelsea side will look to lengthen their win streak. Marcos Alonso ($6,300 DK, $5,800 FD) is the top defensive option of the day. Thibaut Courtois ($5,600 DK) is the chalk option in goal, given a discount from the likes of De Gea and his league lead in clean sheets – though without N’golo Kante, we’ll get to see if that continues. Cesc Fabregas ($6,800 FD) could be an excellent value if given the start after scoring in his last start.
Leicester v Everton
A near toss-up on the odds board. Ben Chilwell ($3,000 DK, $3,000 FD) is the most likely candidate for taking over for the suspended Christian Fuchs. There’s no precedent to go off for him, but he could be a cheap option at the back. Kasper Schmeichel ($5,000 DK, $6,900 FD) ranks among the very best goalkeepers given both being at home and Everton’s relative inefficiency in front of goal. Joel Robles ($5,000 FD) is discounted on FanDuel and usable because of it.
Manchester United v Sunderland
Load up on Manchester United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($9,000 DK, $13,400 FD) has found his form scoring three times in two and ten goals across all competitions since the start of November. Paul Pogba ($7,500 DK, $10,100) had a goal and an assist two-back and ranks extremely high in FanDuel’s scoring formal. Wayne Rooney ($7,300 DK) still stands just one goal back from tying the all-time record for the Reds, his role on corners has given him a more diverse scoring palette under DraftKing’s format. Antonio Valencia ($5,100 DK) hasn’t been as prominent since his return from injury but in such a great matchup its a good spot to expect him to reinvigorate the cross numbers.
Swansea v West Ham
The over/under isn’t all that high, but given the defensive struggles of both teams this season I wouldn’t count on that being the case. On DK cue up both Dimitri Payet ($9,300 DK) and Gylfi Sigurdsson ($9,300 DK). Andy Carroll ($6,500 DK) still hasn’t vindicated my high thoughts on him, but he’s been getting shots and getting on the scoresheet is eminent.
Hull v Manchester City
Hull is in the last place of the table, a good indication of Manchester City’s chances. That said, while Aguero is out I’m tempering overall expectations. Kevin De Bruyne ($10,100 DK, $11,300 FD) is always an option, and given the matchup, he’s pushed near the top of my projections, but I’m still more inclined to focus on Manchester United players. Curtis Davies ($5,800 FD) will be in a good spot to pick up blocked shots and clearances, which pay pretty big dividends on FanDuel. On the extreme discount, David Marshall ($3,600 DK) is certainly an option trying to fade the City attack.