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Premier League Fantasy Player Picks, Week 5

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The frenzied international week is over and now we joyously welcome the return of the Premier League. Which players are the best bets when picking your fantasy squads?

Will Alexis Sanchez finally give fantasy players something to celebrate?
Will Alexis Sanchez finally give fantasy players something to celebrate?
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Week 5 Fixture List:

Everton v. Chelsea

Arsenal vs. Stoke City

Manchester United v. Liverpool

Crystal Palace v. Manchester City

Norwich City v. AFC Bournemouth

Watford FC v. Swansea City

West Bromwich Albion v. Southampton

Sunderland v. Tottenham Hotspur

Leicester City v. Aston Villa

West Ham United v. Newcastle

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My Best Bets for 2+ Goals: West Ham, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Leicester City, Manchester City

My Best Bets for a Clean Sheet: Arsenal, Manchester United, West Ham, Liverpool

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Goalkeepers

Adrian (WHU) - If you were a top notch keeper like Adrian, would Newcastle scare you? Didn't think so. With Adrian still suspended, Darren Randolph will continue in goal for West Ham. Still, with Newcastle struggling to generate anything in the attack, a clean sheet looks likely for the Hammers.

Petr Cech (ARS) - After a horror show start, the Chelsea transplant has really shown his form with clean sheets in the past two games and shouldn't have as much work to do at the Emirates with a meek (three goals scored in four games) and depleted Stoke City visiting.

Sergio Romero / David De Gea (MUN) - Even without playing its #1 keeper yet, Manchester United has three clean sheets in four matches. Despite adding Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino, Liverpool has managed a meager two goals and has been shut out the past two games. This fixture is at Old Trafford. Whomever is in net is a strong play, you just may have to wait until the end of the week to see if Van Gaal will finally let De Gea at it.

Defenders

Hector Bellerin / Nacho Monreal (ARS) - A couple affordable ways to get in on a probable clean sheet, especially given Charlie Adam's suspension.

Craig Cathcart (WAT) - Consistent points churner and cheap to boot. Dangerous opponent in Swansea, but being at the home fortress always helps things.

Aaron Cresswell (WHU) - Great chance at a clean sheet combined with plenty of offensive forays. Done and done.

Jordan Amavi (AST) - Scored 31.75 points in Togga Perfect XI last game without the benefit of a clean sheet or a goal scored and he should be able to bomb forward a fair amount against a counterattacking Leicester City.

Matteo Darmian / Luke ShawChris Smalling (MUN) - Red Devils v. Reds has 0-0 or 1-0 written all over it to these green eyes, and it usually pays to favor the home team.

Midfielders

Ross Barkley (EVE) - Had two big games followed by a pair of duds. This fixture should feature a return to form.

Eden Hazard (CHE) - If you're stupid (although I prefer the term unlucky) like me, your fantasy squad(s) have been royally screwed by the reigning Player of the Year. Eventually Hazard has to get on track and hopefully his mind was set right by scoring two goals on international duty. Adding to that, the Blues haven't yet earned a penalty kick and it would be no surprise to see the Toffees oblige. Either that or I'm merely continuing to delude myself.

Riyad Mahrez (LEI) - If healthy, he should usually be in your team. When at King Power Stadium welcoming subpar competition, that's a no brainer. Obviously be sure to check on his health update before pulling the trigger.

Robbie Brady (NOR) - Many of you are on the Nathan Redmond bandwagon and for good reason, but don't sleep on his midfield partner who has actually scored more points in Fantrax for a fairer price and the two are almost even in Perfect XI, although Redmond looks to be a better play in official BPL. The home match-up taking on a fellow promoted side is certainly tempting.

Alexis Sanchez (ARS) - A la Hazard, Alexis has been a huge disappointment along with the rest of Arsenal's supposed offensive talent. At home to a weakened Stoke City, he's a good bet to finally break through. [Note: Sanchez is listed as a midfielder in Official BPL, but is a striker in Fantrax and Togga XI, so maybe I'm cheating a bit in listing him in this section.]

Strikers

Diego Costa / Pedro (CHE) - I'm expecting a high scoring game and this duo should pay off handsomely, though handsome should probably never be put in the same sentence as Costa. Meanwhile, Pedro's gotten off to a brilliant start and there's no reason to believe it will stop this weekend. [Note: Like Sanchez, Pedro is listed as a striker in Fantrax and Togga Perfect XI, but a midfielder in official BPL. Yes, I am playing both sides of the fence.]

Romelu Lukaku (EVE) - Looks to be the next beneficiary of his former squad's defensive shortcomings.

Diafra Sakho (WHU) - At home to Newcastle.  Need I say more?

Jamie Vardy (LEI) - Jason sagely pegged Shinji Okazaki as a nice choice for a Leicester striker with his recent post. You're better off with Okazaki in Fantrax due to his lower price, but Vardy's the avenue in official BPL where they have similar costs and in Perfect XI where money's not an issue. Why not spread the love, there's plenty to go around!

C. Wilson (BOU) - Sure, the chances of Wilson scoring another hat trick or bicycle kick goal are miniscule.  The fact remains that he's scored four goals in two games and Carrow Road is far from imposing.

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While there is still plenty of time for second-guessing and subsequent shifting, currently my teams are:

Hart / Kolarov / Azpillicueta /Darmian / Pedro / Sanchez / Mahrez / Hazard / Gomis / Wilson / Lukaku (Official BPL)

Cech / Cathcart / Monreal / Smalling / Ayew / Hazard / Mahrez / Sako / Aguero / Gomis / Pedro (Fantrax)

Cech / Kolarov / Shaw / Cresswell / Monreal / DeBruyne / Mahrez / Hazard / Tadic / Sanchez / Aguero (Togga Perfect XI)

So who are you putting into your line-ups?  Good luck everybody!