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Week 36 Fantasy Premier League Player Picks

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Only three weeks remain in the 2014-2015 Premier League campaign, and the fantasy season alongside it. Let's take a look around the league to determine who you should be thinking about for your Week 36 teams.

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We've arrived at the point in the season where not too many teams still have something to play for, particularly those sides in the middle of the table. Chelsea have the title wrapped up at the top, as well, but there's still a lot of jostling for positions in the Top 4, as well as in the relegation battle at the opposite end of the table.

It's generally a good rule to invest in players from teams with something substantial at stake at this point in the season, so there should be a little extra consideration given to players from Aston Villa, Sunderland, Leicester City and Hull City in the relegation fight, as well as Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal in the battle for spots in the Champions League places for next season.

Of that group, things look most promising for City at home to Queens Park Rangers, Arsenal hosting Swansea City, Aston Villa taking on West Ham United at Villa Park and potentially Hull welcoming Burnley to the KC Stadium, as well. United have a potentially challenging trip away to Crystal Palace and Liverpool will take on champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but investment could still be warranted from both clubs given their need to pick up points this week.

Unless you hold them at discount from last week, it may be wise to hold off on fresh investment in Sunderland players until the barn door opens for their double in week 37 given a tricky away trip to face Everton. Burnley and QPR aren't down yet, but things are looking increasingly bleak for them and they may be consigned to spending next season in the Championship.

Player Picks

Goalkeepers

Boaz Myhill - a massive 36-point haul in Week 35 has resulted in a huge price jump, but if you managed to pick up Myhill before his value jumped into double figures, he's an excellent option this week against a very poor Newcastle side. The return of Papiss Cisse could boost the Magpies' chances in front of goal, but Myhill has been an able deputy for West Brom in the absence of Ben Foster and should continue his excellent for this weekend.

Joe Hart - The England #1 is another player whose value spiked after a 20-point return last weekend, but is still good value for money at retail for a home match against soon-to-be-relegated QPR. City's defensive woes have subsided of late, so Hart should have a good chance at a clean sheet at home against the league's worst travelers.

Kasper Schmeichel - If you have him at 1m, you have to consider starting him this week against a Southampton side missing many of their best attacking players. At retail, there are probably better options, but Schmeichel has delivered positive points on numerous occasions even without a clean sheet this season and could be poised to do so again.

Hugo Lloris - After an extended spell on the sidelines through injury, Spurs' #1 is back in action at a bargain price under 5m. Tottenham don't have too much to play for at this point in the season, but neither do their opponents in Stoke. The Frenchman could be a nice alternative this week if you're looking for differentials.

Defenders

Jores Okore - Villa have been in inspired form since Tim Sherwood took over from Paul Lambert, and when he's been in the side, Okore has been a strong fantasy performer. Injuries to his fellow defenders should see him get the nod in the center of defense again, and a home tie against vacationing West Ham should afford plenty of opportunities for the youngster to pick up solid points.

Jan Vertonghen - The Belgian defender was much a more effective fantasy performer when deployed at fullback, but still has the potential to provide strong returns from the center of the pitch. Subpar returns in recent weeks have resulted in a cut-price valuation for the Spurs man, and I think he's a strong bet to return his value this weekend.

Hector Bellerin - With Mathieu Debuchy not even making the squad for Arsenal's match on Monday night, the prognosis is promising for Bellerin's continued selection in the Gunners' starting eleven. Swansea are finding scoring difficult given their dearth of fit strikers, and we've seen that the young Spaniard can deliver solid points even without a clean sheet, so he's well worth picking up as the cheapest starting option from the Arsenal defensive line.

Pablo Zabaleta - If you've missed the Kolarov train (as I have), he's far too expensive to pick up at retail for this weekend, but is an excellent hold at any sort of discount. If you don't have the Serbian, though, his fullback counterpart is much more affordably priced and is due a big week.

Jonas Olsson - Another player who was available for a pittance before a breakout performance in Week 35, Olsson should keep hold of his starting place in the heart of the Baggies defense for this week. He's worth a look even at retail given Newcastle's form in 2015.

Ryan Taylor - Despite the aforementioned form from the Magpies, Taylor has rediscovered the fantasy form that made him a blog favorite years ago. Suspension issues in the squad may see him moved to a deeper role, which could reduce his fantasy contributions, but he's averaged double digit returns across his last four matches, which would at least match his current value.

Seamus Coleman - Roberto Martinez has righted the ship in recent weeks, with Everton looking much more like a solid mid-table side than a potential relegation candidate. Coleman has the ability and potential to be a top fantasy performer, but hasn't been as consistent this campaign as he has been in seasons past. A home match against the Black Cats could be an opportunity for him to show us what we've been missing out on.

Midfielders

David Silva - The little magician hasn't been a fantasy star on a week-to-week basis, and has often frustrated with his lack of impact in games City have won, but he should have too much quality for QPR this weekend, and is bargain priced at the moment under 10m.

Aaron Ramsey / Santi Cazorla - Since returning from injury, we've seen a steady uptick in form for Arsenal's Welsh midfielder. Ramsey is slowly rediscovering the form that made him a massive hit last season, and with a double week on the horizon you may want to buy in before his price rises any further. Cazorla is also rediscovering his form from earlier in the season, and both are priced reasonably enough that you should be able to squeeze both in without damaging the balance of the rest of your team.

Philippe Coutinho - Hot on the heels of being named to the PFA Team of the Year, Liverpool's creative spark has been called up to the Brazil squad for this summer's Copa America, while compatriot Oscar was left out. Coutinho has been a big game performer and has thrived on confidence this season, so he should be raring to go in a vital match against Chelsea, where the Reds will need maximum points to keep their Top 4 hopes alive.

Jack Grealish - I've been hugely impressed with Aston Villa's teenage attacking midfielder since he broke through into the first team. Pushed into an advanced role in support of Benteke recently, he has shown a knack for carving out chances, and I think he'll finally deliver with a goal and/or assist against West Ham this weekend.

Juan Mata - With Angel Di Maria disappointing from the bench last time out, Mata should retain his starting role for United's trip to Selhurst Park. The former Chelsea man has been woefully underused since his move to Manchester, but has been one of the Red Devils' best performers since Louis van Gaal restored him to the starting lineup.

Craig Gardner - Gardner is one of those under-the-radar type players who is good for the occasional goal. Prior to a disappointing 1-point return in Week 35, Gardner had put up scores of 9, 13 and 12. Safety is all but confirmed for the Baggies, but they'll be eager to make it a guarantee this weekend, and Gardner will be at the heart of the attacking play.

Mile Jedinak - How the mighty have fallen! The phantom menace hasn't been at his best since returning from suspension, but a home match against Manchester United is just the type of game he tends to shine brightest in. Palace have enough quality to pile on the pressure for the Red Devils, who will be low on confidence following their recent run of defeats, and if Jedinak can win the midfield battle the Eagles may come away with another surprising victory.

Forwards

Sergio Aguero - Just how the Argentine didn't make the Team of the Year is completely beyond me. For my money, Kun has been the league's best striker this season without a shadow of a doubt. He added to his league-leading goal tally against Tottenham last week, and you would be crazy to bet against him scoring again in front of the home crowd against QPR. Should be worth the investment, even at retail.

Alexis Sanchez / Olivier Giroud - I picked the wrong Arsenal striker for their match against Hull, and was treated to a 32-point deficit. After a temporary dip in form, Alexis appears to be back to his best in time for the end of the season. Hopefully you were able to grab him on the barn door before his price jumped over the 20m mark, but if you missed out, Giroud has been much more effective at home, so he should at the very least exceed his 1-point haul from last weekend.

Christian Benteke - 10 goals in 9 games is a terrifying statistic, and one that has perhaps saved Villa from certain relegation. The second-city club still have plenty to do to secure survival, but their escape from the bottom three has been led by the big Belgian striker, who seems to be loving life with Tim Sherwood at the helm. I like his chances of getting on the score sheet yet again.

Jamie Vardy - An inspirational figure for Leicester over the course of the past couple months, Vardy has won over the hearts of many fantasy managers for his all-action displays in Leicester's unexpected climb out of the relegation places. Southampton are a strong defensive outfit, but Vardy's workrate, combined with the confidence of Nigel Pearson's side, should afford the striker plenty of opportunities to claim points.

Saido Berahino - Back-to-back negative weeks for the West Brom youngster have made him a tempting option to start at striker this week against Newcastle. With a makeshift back line, it's not hard to see a penalty being conceded, or a hole opening up for Berahino to slot home. If he can take his chances, he could be one of the week's top performers.

Dame N'Doye - Hull are hovering dangerously close to the bottom three, and will be desperate to get a result against Burnley this weekend. N'Doye has proven to be a great piece of business for the Tigers, who haven't been able to get the same attacking returns from their more expensive attacking signings. Expect the 30-year-old to be involved if Steve Bruce's side are able to pick up points against the Clarets.

Connor Wickham - I know I mentioned it probably isn't worth investing in Sunderland players until next week, but Wickham has turned it on at the end of the season yet again, and could be a strong pick as the Black Cats look to jump out of the relegation places against Everton this weekend. The England striker is still priced under 10m despite returns of 14, 13 and 9 in his last three appearances.

I've yet to consider any changes to my barn door team from Week 35, so my squad is currently set to the following:

Myhill, Bellerin, Okore, Cresswell, Silva, Ramsey, Cazorla, Grealish, Vardy, Sanchez, Benteke

I actually rather like it, but am worried I don't have enough coverage from City. I'd also like to find a place for another West Brom player, but haven't figured out what I would do to make that happen just yet.

What are you thinking for your team this week? Have I missed anyone? Share your thoughts in the comments!