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Week 37 Alternative Picks

With the Manchester sides likely to fill a hefty portion of most managers' teams for the double week, there are a whole host of players potentially being overlooked. Let's take a look around to see who might outperform the usual suspects this week.

Big names in the background. Which alternative pick will come into focus for Week 37?
Big names in the background. Which alternative pick will come into focus for Week 37?
Alex Livesey

Obviously, there is a reason so many managers will be loading up on the likes of Wayne Rooney, Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and David De Gea. Both Manchester clubs have the best matches of the teams playing twice this week, and two bites at the cherry is better than one (logically and historically speaking, at least). Still, the poor returns from many of the big name double game options in Week 34 should teach us that the logical option isn't necessarily the best option.

If you're looking for a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, whether in the overall standings or in your private league, the following players may just be the answer:

Double Gamer Alternate XI (3-4-3)

Stall covered a few of these choices in his excellent Player Picks article, but I think they'll be among the less popular choices, so they're reinforced here.

Vito Mannone - Who would have predicted a season ago that Arsenal's third-string keeper would become one of the league's best shot-stoppers? Mannone's capable of massive numbers, with multiple 20+ point performances this season, and with Sunderland's survival on the line, he may come up big yet again.

Curtis Davies - Hull arguably have the worst of the double week matches, but Davies has consistently returned big numbers with phantom points and the odd goal. With a potential clean sheet against Villa and plenty of opportunities to rack up blocked shots from United attackers, I like his chances for a big points haul.

Marcos Alonso - Like Stall mentioned in his post, Alonso came up with a rare blank in terms of phantom points last weekend, but I have a feeling he'll be back to his usual self against more attacking opponents. He could even pop up with a goal with how often he gets into the opposition penalty area.

Ryan Bertrand - Yes, each of my defender selections is also mentioned in the main Player Picks post, but I've seen very few draft teams with Bertrand in the starting lineup. A 9-point return without a clean sheet last time out underscores the Chelsea loanee's potential, and his discout price at 1 shouldn't mean he is strictly a bench option.

Fabian Delph - A similar sort of player to Steve Sidwell, Delph tends to pull in the majority of his points from the defensive aspect of the game, but does contribute with shots, assists and the occasional wonder-goal.

Morgan Amalfitano - West Brom also have a horrible set of matches and will likely be overlooked, but we've seen a bit of a resurgence of the Frenchman's early-season form of late, and his solid contributions from the wing could continue even if he doesn't add to his goal tally.

Marc Albrighton - The young winger has worked his way into Paul Lambert's end-of-season plans, and has taken over many of the set-piece duties for his club. His pace and the accuracy of his delivery makes him a tempting choice.

Fernandinho - Often overlooked in favor of more attack-minded players like Yaya Toure and David Silva, the Brazilian surprises us every so often by reminding us of his own goalscoring capabilities. Javi Garcia got the start over him in Week 36, but I'd expect the Spaniard to drop back to the bench for the rest of the season.

Shane Long - Scored a vital goal against Fulham to secure a point for his side in Week 36, and could go on a bit of a run. Jelavic has been making good runs to open up the space for him, and I expect him to be involved in the best of Hull's attacking play.

Fabio Borini - It's a rare occasion that a loan player is voted player of the season for his club, but Borini has earned the title at Sunderland with his vital contributions. If the Black Cats are going to stay up, he and Connor Wickham will almost certainly be involved. The fact that the Liverpool player is available for selection in the Yahoo game, coupled with his penalty-taker status, earns him the nod over Wickham.

Gabriel Agbonlahor - Another player who scored last weekend, Gabby is prone to going on streaks. I have a feeling Villa will make it difficult on both their opponents as they scrap for survival. It's certainly a big ask to use a striker slot on a Villa player, but I wouldn't bet against a double-digit return over the course of the two games.

Single Gamer Alternate XI (4-3-3)

The advice we typically give--to load up on double gamers--is likely still the best route to take this week, but like Christian Eriksen and Adam Lallana proved in Week 31, single gamers can outscore many of those playing twice when the match-up is right. Here are a few worth considering:

Mark Schwarzer - Obviously this choice is dependent upon a couple factors: 1) You got Schwarzer on the BD for less than £4m, and 2) We get confirmation that Petr Cech will remain out. If both of these factors are met, there's not a better single game option, particularly because you'll have more funds to spread across the rest of your team.

Mathieu Debuchy - Newcastle have been in dire form of late, but Cardiff might be bad enough to make the Magpies look good. Debuchy should be well worth it even if Cardiff do manage to get on the scoresheet.

Gary Cahill - With the title still (marginally) available to them and no Champions League action to focus on, Jose Mourinho should be fielding his strongest Chelsea side against Norwich, and Cahill seems the best value for the money considering John Terry's questionable fitness.

Mamadou Sakho - Liverpool haven't done well enough defensively this season, something that has contributed to being 8 goals behind Man City on goal differential. With it looking increasingly likely that goal differential will be the title decider, the Reds will need to tighten up at the back. Sakho is a real bargain if you think Liverpool can keep Palace quiet.

John Heitinga - With Stoke's safety secured and Fulham's survival hopes hanging in the balance, a clean sheet could be on the cards for the London side. The Dutch defender has solidified his place in the team and has been getting into good positions on set pieces.

Aaron Ramsey - The Welshman disappointed everyone who had him last week (myself included), but if you still hold him at a discount he could be back at the heart of the action at home against West Brom.

Steve Sidwell - Fulham need some help if they are going to survive to play another season in the Premier League, but they also need to get all 6 of the remaining available points. Sidwell seems likely to play 90 minutes as long as he is fit, and may still be on penalty duty despite his recent miss against Spurs.

Jordon Mutch - As mentioned above, Newcastle have been absolutely awful of late. Cardiff still have everything to play for and Mutch has been their best player this season. Expect him to be doing everything possible to secure survival for his team, or at least a move to another Premier League club next season.

Eden Hazard - Back from injury and at home to Norwich with a shot at the title seems like a winning combination for the Belgian. Should be on penalty duty unless Lampard gets another league start.

Loic Remy - The Newcastle striker is returning to fitness in time to make a late case for his inclusion as the third striker in the French World Cup squad. Cardiff should afford him plenty of opportunities to add to his goal tally and potentially book a plane ticket to Brazil.

Luis Suarez - The biggest debate this week is about whether to keep or drop this season's top fantasy scorer. The case can easily be made on either side. You either decide you take the chance of the potential for two games worth of coverage from another forward, or you hope Suarez can outscore any of the options you were considering. As mentioned above, the title may come down to goal differential, so you can bet the Uruguayan will be giving his all to help Liverpool to their first Premier League title. I'm still torn on this decision myself, and I'm not sure there's a definitive argument to help settle what will almost certainly be a gut decision.


What are your thoughts? Will any of these players make your team for Week 37, or are you more likely to go with the grain? Is there anyone I missed that you think will have a big week? Let's chat!