AM's Week 35 Fantasy Player Picks

Mike Hewitt

A detailed look at who you should be considering for your Yahoo fantasy line-up ahead of the Week 35 deadline as another terrific season nears its end.

This is likely to be my penultimate Player Picks post of the season, as I travel to the Maldives on Monday for my much-delayed honeymoon. Whisper it quietly, but I'm hoping I'll be able to catch some of the games on TV whilst my wife is sunbathing / asleep, so any readers from that part of the world who could provide any info on watching live Premier League football (e.g. channels and times), please feel free to add a comment below this post and thanks in advance.

Now Manchester United may have sealed a 20th league title on Monday night (and congratulations to them), but there is still plenty for many clubs to play for, such as points records, Champions League football, (avoiding?) Europa League qualification, Top 10 finishes and the ultimate battle - avoiding relegation.

All teams play once in Week 35, and the pick of the fixtures (at least on paper) appear to be Manchester City at home to West Ham, Everton at home to Fulham, Tottenham away at Wigan and Chelsea at home to Swansea.

Stoke City and Southampton will also fancy their chances of picking up 3 points at home to West Brom and Norwich respectively, while I have a sneaky feeling Aston Villa might bring an end to Paulo Di Canio's wonderful start as Sunderland manager. The desperation of Villa's situation should lead the players to find an extra 10% and I think that may just be enough to take a vital victory.

Elsewhere I feel Arsenal v Manchester United is too tough to call so I'll mostly be avoiding it from a fantasy perspective, while Reading v QPR is likely to be too rubbish to watch, so I'll mostly be avoiding it from a fantasy and viewing perspective. I'm not particularly excited by Newcastle v Liverpool either, with all-round entertainer Luis Suarez likely to be absent due to a lengthy ban (unspecified at time of writing), but if I was a betting man (and I am) I'd say the Reds will shade it.

With that in mind, these are the players on my fantasy football shaped radar for Week 35:

KEEPERS
Lloris - After a brief absence I've brought Hugo back in to my Yahoo side. When you look at the balance of price vs match-up I feel he's the best Keeper choice for Week 35.
Guzan - As mentioned above I have a hunch that Villa will scrape a win against Sunderland, which means Brad Guzan could provide terrific value.
Elliot - With Tim Krul out for the season he'll start against a Suarez-less Liverpool, but Newcastle have been a mess defensively. Priced @ 1.00 he's the very, very risky choice for the fantasy manager looking to save money.

DEFENDERS
Nastasic - Unlucky not to gain a PFA Young Player of the Year nomination, Nastasic is my pick of the Man City defenders with Vincent Kompany woefully out of form.
Bertrand - I believe Ashley Cole is still struggling with his hamstring injury, so Ryan Bertrand should continue at left-back for a very winnable game against a Swansea side already on holiday.
Dawson - Tottenham's captain has dropped below 5.00 so represents good value for their trip to Wigan.
Samba - Don't expect a clean sheet, but he's dangerous at set-pieces and Reading are very poor at the back.
Carragher - A cheap way to cover a possible Liverpool clean sheet at Newcastle.
Wilkinson - With Marc Wilson carried off on Saturday it seems likely that Andy Wilkinson will start for Stoke against Norwich, and he's cheap.
Haidara - Should continue at left-back for Newcastle with Santon injured, and he's a bona fide bargain, costing less than 2.

MIDFIELDERS
Bale - He's back. No further explanation needed.
Fellaini - The fluffy-haired one has had a couple of quiet games after being deployed in a deeper role, but Fulham at home is the sort of match-up he could grab a brace in.
Nasri - I thought he'd retired but apparently not and he's even shown signs of his old form in the past few games. Despite his goal against Spurs he's still well priced for a home game against West Ham.
Oscar - Growing in stature and becoming more of a goal threat as each game passes. I really regret missing him on the barndoor but I haven't completely ruled out picking him up @ 11.
Coutinho - Strangely subdued on Sunday and this has assisted in his price dropping below 9. Well worth a look for Liverpool's trip to Newcastle.
Sessegnon - Always a streaky player but Di Canio seems to be getting the very best out of him already. He'll cause Villa problems this weekend in a free role behind Danny Graham.
Lallana - He's not been the same since his long term injury but showing signs of full match sharpness and I have a bit of a hunch he'll pop up with a goal against West Brom.
Emanuelson - The tiny speed-merchant was Very impressive against Arsenal and should start again at Everton. An ideal enabler costing less than 6.00.
Guthrie - Another cheap option getting his fair share of set-pieces for Reading.

STRIKERS
van Persie - Not picking him up for Week 34 in YFF, nor the Official FPL game when I had my wildcard, could prove to be my biggest mistake of the season. You just know he'll score at the Emirates.
Hazard - Is making a late case for the PFA award with some of his best performances of the season and is also on penalty duty. He could tear Swansea a new one.
Sturridge - He'll lead the line in Suarez's absence and even if he doesn't score, we know he's a very greedy player so expect lots of shots on target.
Aguero - Missed out at Spurs with an ankle injury but should recover for the visit of West Ham and his goal at Old Trafford two weeks ago suggests he's somewhere near his top form.
Defoe - Like Sturridge, he'll start and he's greedy, making him a terrific pick for the trip to Wigan. He has a great goals scoring record against them.
Anichebe - The obvious pick is Kevin Mirallas, but I actually prefer Victor Anichebe this week and I expect him to cause Fulham all sorts of problems.
Benteke - Perhaps a touch expensive, but the guy oozes quality and will be a nightmare for John O'Shea and Carlos Cueller to deal with in this must-win game for Villa.
Dempsey - Your classic "right place, right time" man, Deuce is quietly having a very effective season at Spurs, with 11 goals to his name already. His performance against City should ensure another start in Week 35.
Remy - The one shining light for QPR in the past couple of months and definitely capable of a goal at Reading.
Walters - Designated penalty taker playing at home to a poor Norwich side.

I currently have this on my team page...

Lloris, Haidara, Wilkinson, Dawson, Emanuelson, Nasri, Cazorla, Bale, Dempsey, Aguero, Hazard

I'm sure you'll all agree it's looking pretty weak at the moment. Missing the barndoor after Liverpool v Chelsea has hurt my team; paying full price for the likes of Hazard (and Sturridge, who I also want to bring in). To be honest I may reassess whether I keep Bale because (without him) this looks a lot better ...

Lloris, Wilkinson, Dawson, Bertrand, Cazorla, Lallana, Nasri, Fellani, Defoe, Hazard, Sturridge

Thoughts? Can I afford not to have Bale, nor RvP?

How's your team looking?

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