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Week 16 Player Picks

One of those weeks where I can make a case for and against too many people. Some thoughts on the options ahead.

Put your hands up if you are picking me this week.
Put your hands up if you are picking me this week.
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Hands up who scored a monster 130+pts or over in week 15.  It was one of those weeks wasn't it and to show the point take a quick look at the top 5 points scorers.

5th      Santi Cazorla/John Walters/Joel Ward                 19pts

3rd      Alan Mcgregor                                                               22pts

2nd     Papiss Cisse                                                                 23pts

1st       Andy Carroll 25pts

Not the names we talked about in the build up to the round.  Will Week 16 be the same or will there be further players few have leading the top weekly scores?

  • Thibaut Courtois

He may have gone negative last weekend but you couldn't hope for a better fixture to return to green box around his name.  Very strong chance of the clean sheet and certain victory should be enough to tempt you this week.   Only word of warning is that this is one of those games where he will only face the odd, possibly single shot against him.  Hull however were hopeless against WBA last weekend and if they cannot pierce that porous defence they shouldn't beat the league top home version.

  • Gerhard Tremmel

1m keeper at home facing a spurs side where you do not know what you will get.  You have to think he gets more saves than Courtois but can he keep the clean sheet and get the win?  I say no and yes to those questions.

  • Branislav Ivanovic

As Chelsea surely have the best chance of a clean sheet we can look to a little more devil in attack when selecting one of their defenders.  For that point it is old favourite Ivanovic.  The right back is often getting into positions ahead of even Mr Costa himself so it seems a matter of time before he gets that overdue goal. In recent home matches the games have been so one sided Ivanovic hasn't come up with many phantoms  often giving a fantasy total that matches the price you paid.  Now over 11m you will want more than just the clean sheet but that 20+pt game is coming soon.

  • Aleksander Kolarov

Should Gael Clichy keep his first team spot in the must win Champions League tie against Roma then our man Kolarov may well get a run out.  I thought he may have done so against Everton in round 15 but Manchester City took not chances with captain Vincent Kompany out.  Surely Kolarov starts at Leicester and he should have the freedom of the left wing if he does.

  • Aaron Cresswell

Most of us still have him at 1m or a little more.  Playing a Sunderland side lacking much goal threat he could put up a decent score here.  I'm hoping but not expecting the clean sheet this week.  With Sunderland players giving the ball away plenty and no attacker with pace to cause him troubles he could rack up the PI, TW and SC to make him worthwhile.

  • Jores Okore

Doing a fine job giving back 6-8 phantom points per week the Astone Villa CB is finding his match sharpness now.  WBA can be relied on to attack at home so the phantom should continue and on the road a Villa clean sheet is not impossible.

  • Mathieu Debuchy

Callum Chambers is a bright prospect but being a prospect every now and then you get exposed.  That happened in bogey fixture Stoke away and lead to him not only playing below par but getting a red card putting out of this week game.  Old favourite Debuchy has only just started back in training so it is possible he doesn't start here.  Wenger is under pressure though and should midweek also not go as planned for him he may decide to go with ex Newcastle right back Debuchy against his old club.  Risky pick but interesting.

  • Leighton Baines

Queens Park Rangers arrive without star forward Charlie Austin.  You want to know why Mr Austin isn't here?  Well despite having no reputation for it, he got sent off against Burnley when 2 nil up (can anyone tell that I picked him this week).  In theory that should mean a more comfortable game for Everton this week.  Word of caution, a poor Hull attack scored past them in round 14 with their only shot of the game.  Assuming concentration levels are better Everton will again have a great chance of a clean sheet.  QPR are poor away from home with or without Austin.  Free kicks may get fought over with Miralles with penalties are safely in his locker.  Expensive pick but he is due one of those twice a season 30pt games.

  • Seamus Coleman

Cheaper than Baines but yet to find his form since return from injury.  The raiding right back should enjoy himself in this fixture and may even get and effort or two on goal against an opponent who will likely be pushed back.

  • Martin Kelly

Picked up a surprise clean sheet at Tottenham and Palace under Neil Warnock don't seem the sort to go back to back so don't expect a second in a row.

  • Dusan Tadic

Tricky one this.  On one hand Tadic has been one of the seasons bright sparks. On the other like his team has hit the wall somewhat in the last few fixtures.  You often see new players to the league struggle once the weather changes and the games become more of a slog.  We could be seeing that with Tadic but we also know he is a pretty good fantasy player against the weaker opponents.  Away to Burnley will be both a slog (weather forecasts are of stormy/cold conditions) but one where he may get a little more space to play.  A slight concern was him being subbed against Utd.  Maybe that was because he had played 3 games in a week and was a little flat.  I think the Saints stop the rot this weekend and If so Tadic is the most likely to be involved.

  • Oscar

Home to Hull with Chelsea dominant form at Stamford Bridge you probably want more than just Costa this week.  With Cesc Fabregas out the question is who is on the kicks?  Chelsea will win plenty of corners and freekicks in this match and Oscar is our first nomination.  He has been up and down at times regarding fantasy production but in his role behind power forward Costa he stands to pick up some shots on goal.  Should he add corners and free kicks a few SC and the odd assist could also come his way.  Be warned though, Jose often takes him off after 60-70 minutes.

  • Willian

If Oscar isn't on kicks then maybe it will be the unsung hero Willian.  He rarely catches the eye despite being Brazilian but he is consistent, fast and has an outstanding engine.  I picked him up cheap on the BD in the hope he plays this one.  Will he be the one on kicks?

  • Eden Hazard

The current trend is he is brilliant in every real world game game.  From a fantasy point of view though he scores at home then flops away.  He will be in many of your sides this week and holds those precious penalty duties.  Maybe he can't keep his goal scoring run going but he won't lack the chances.  At 16m he is expensive in this year's format for a midfield player.  A goal on its own won't be enough for me so I ask, could he be the one on the corners and free kicks for the blues?

  • Yannick Bolasie

This is a pick I really like.  He has been consistently hitting the base scores to take him over 20pts with a goal.  To go with that he has been a real handful for the opposition in the last few weeks so his real world form is there.  Stoke achieved their second big win of the season over big name opponents but a look back in history shows there was an after the lord mayors show follow up after winning against Man City.  After that fixture they lost 1-0 at home to Leicester.   Under mark Hughes they are playing some very nice football with the ball but the Tony Pulis stubborn defence is no more.  I like Palace to at least once and Bolasie is one more of those due players.

  • Miles Jedinak

Phantom point machine, on direct free kicks and penalties he has been a top performer this season.  Even his normal FC and yellow/red cards seems to have reduced.  Interestingly rarely picked I assume as he in not one of those fancy players.   Stokes passing skills may be improving but they hardly have any pass masters in midfield meaning there could be plenty more PI to come this week.

  • Samir Nasri

Starting to find his form after back from injury he has been given the Silva role.  Last week finally saw his fantasy returns equal his performances.  With news David Silva is on his way back competition for places is back on the agenda.  He could ask for a better opponent to open his goal account for the season.

  • Yaya Toure

Back in form, back on direct freekicks and back on penalties.  Not quite a Kun replacement but must be in your thoughts this week.

  • Frank Lampard

Christmas may be the time to have the Lampard gamble but with star goal getter Kun out Franks ability to score against lower opposition will be useful.

  • Raheem Sterling

While Man Utd are getting the results their back line has looked far from solid.  Sterling has been off form for a while but his pace on the counter attack will be Liverpools key weapon on Sunday.   Utd will press and Sterling will get space and chances.

  • Santi Cazorla

In excellent form Ozils role behind the forward is Santi's to lose.  An expensive pick up and against a stubborn opponent but Santi's form will bring the goals soon.

  • Aaron Ramsey

Back in the goals at Stoke but one more general below par performance,  Maybe he will go on a run and with Newcastle sitting deep his late runs will be needed.

  • Kevin Mirallas

Back from injury and playing very well.  He will snatch a direct free kick or two off Mr Baines and I can see his pace and direct running causing rangers problems.

  • Ross Barkley

Back from injury and off the boil form wise.  He makes the list due to his current price.  If you are looking to switch Tadic out of add a cheap middie making room for others Barkley gives you low risk/high reward chance.

  • Gylfi Sigurdsson

I always like a pick against his old club.   Siggy has a point to prove and has produced 3 double digit fantasy returns at home in a row.

  • Diego Costa

Home to Hull so at 5m or current price it matters not, he is a must.

  • Edin Dzeko

The obvious second pick.  City have a bunch of nice fixtures to come but they will be wise not to try and force Dzeko on the comeback from injury into two games a week too often while Kun is out.  I don't think you will get much more than 60-70 minutes per game from him too often but Leicester should offer him chances in that time.

  • Wayne Rooney

Had one of those games against Southampton.  At 29 he no longer has the pace to get away from players and is in the phase where his movement and decision making will need to balance the pace issue out.  At his best with players running off and around him giving him options and creating space he will be missing Di Maria.  Prior to his injury he was flying and will face a Liverpool team lacking any confidence this week.  If it was RVP's weekend last week then it can be Rooneys this.

  • Robin Van Persie

Of course some of you barned RVP after his Monday night brace at 11m and why not.  We have yet to see evidence he can go big back to back at this stage of his career but if he is as sharp on Sunday he will get chances.  Still holds penalty duties.

  • Papiss Cisse

Is he back I wonder.  He certainly is better than last years version and faces a gunners side who are disorganised and lacking belief at the back.  A real gamble pick but in form.

  • Romelu Lukaku

Usual question with him.  You look at the fixture and fancy he can do well, you pick him and he flops.  What do you think this week?  Im staying away, ummmmmm I think.

  • Samuel Eto'o

Eto'o strikes me a player who is enjoying playing under Roberto Martinez and is having an indian summer.  Few people will pick him in this weeks side but I think he offers equal value to Lukaku.  I like him for a goal this week.

  • Wilfried Bony

It is only a matter of time until one of the big boys pick him up and I see the spurs backline being made for him this week.  Very much in my thoughts.

  • Christian Benteke

The big man is back and I thought looked sharp against Leicester.  Does that mean he is back of was it just because he faced Leicester's back line?  Opponents WBA may find him awkward to handle on the break and if you have him at 6m like I do you may want to give him one more week.

  • Andy Carroll

As I said last weeks top player.  Andy doesn't have a reputation for doing 20+ back to back and I don't like the fixture.  But those holding him at 5m have little risk to the pick.

  • Olivier Giroud

Arsenal tend to beat up on Newcastle's defence in this fixture and while this Newcastle side visit on a high they will still have issues away from home.  I really like Giroud in home games and see him getting back in the goals in this one.

  • Alexis Sanchez

You hold him at 8m and he is the most consistent points scorer.  Rested midweek he will be fresh and can go double digits in any game with or without a goal.  I'm just not keen on him playing a wide role off Giroud.

  • Danny Welbeck

Same issue for Danny boy in playing wide off Giroud.  Also rested midweek so will be a starter.

There are lots of questions out there.

  • Who takes the Chelsea kicks?
  • Which of the gunner front three is the right pick?
  • Considering the defending going on at Utd and Pool do we like RVP, Rooney or Sterling?
  • Will Dzeko start again after playing Saturday/Wednesday and if so for how many minutes?

What do we all think?