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Player Picks: Week 8

The hardest week yet in 2016/17 to predict the starting players may need you to make some tough decisions. Lets look at some of the options.

I'm predicting this man scores this week.  Now its just a case of backing up my words and who I can drop for him!
I'm predicting this man scores this week. Now its just a case of backing up my words and who I can drop for him!
Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Week 8 isn't going to be one of those straightford weeks to pick your fantasy teams.  Injuries minor or otherwise, european adventures and troublesome international late returns could make it a trap week.  Let's take a look at some of your options.

First up I know some of you prefer we just list our best 11 but I will be listing a pool of players that take my liking and we can clear up the best of them (and those I miss) in the comments section.

Petr Cech

Arsenal have kept 3 clean sheets in all competitions on the spin and the arrival of Shkodran Mustafi looks to have helped them produce a more solidified team.  Swansea have the often awkward new manager issue to deal with so seem sure to be a little more stubborn than they have been so far this season, they also won at Arsenal last season with a pretty much back up side.  Still Arsenals and Swansea's form lines are hard to ignore and the home win with a good chance of clean sheet makes him the week's top premium pick.

Fraser Forster

Also holding a clean sheets in a row run and one longer than the Gunners, Forster faces a Burnley side that have not taken well to away days.  So far this season their away form shows no goals and two 3-0 defeats against albeit strong home sides.  The may be playing for a point here but for Forster the clean sheet win duo is very possible.

Lee Grant

The surprise point at Old Trafford moved Stoke off the bottom of the table and the team that took their spot Sunderland travel to the Potters.  My tendency when two teams so out of form face each other is to lean towards the away side.  Home fans tend to get on the backs of their side in such games and the players tend to make some ABC mistakes when it happens.  Having said that I think the Stoke support is a little thicker skinned than others.  If Stoke can get ahead I think they can hold onto the win.  It's a low price but you are betting on the side with the worst goal difference in the league.  Low risk but could be high reward.

Shkodran Mustafi

The cheap way into the Gunners attack in Fantrax.

Patrick Van Aanholt

Rumours that he may play a midfield role has a few fantasy players excited.  Too expensive in Fantrax he is a nice differential in FPL.

Matt Targett/Virgil Van Dijk

Matthew has been a reliable cover for the Saints when Ryan Bertrand was injury previously and a good fantasy scorer to boot.  Should Bertrand be out he is a sure starter and great price.

VVD has the perfect match up.  Strong clean sheet chance and facing a side that give up so much possession he surely will have a chance or two from a set play.  He can open his account this week.

Ryan Shawcross

A little pricey for the risk but Stoke need players to stand up and Shawcross is just that man.  He is also way overdue a set piece goal.

Jose Holebas

No worry that he is sat one yellow away from a ban and his clean sheet chance doesn't seem that high.   Holebas is a sure starter and racks up the phantom points.  Even at his retail prices he is a great pick up.

Marcos Alonso

Alonso was a real fantasy find for me a couple seasons back and I have been waiting to pick him up this time aorund.  Conte started him last time and a clean sheet suggests he will stick to the same defensive system this time.  The Champions have the pace and movement to expose Chelsea but they already seem to be saving their performances for the Champions League.

Michael Antonio/Dimitri Payet

Antonio is a great fantasy player in the Fantrax rules but even he has been effected by his team's results in recent weeks.  Palace are in form and tough at home.  I have him at 10m in Fantrax and with Sunderland to follow I may run with him in week 8.  I'd let him go at a higher price.

Payet looks like he has found his mojo for club and country.  There may be players with better fixtures but few offer you his consistent points return in Fantarx.  In FPL he remains too pricey for me just yet.

Nathan Redmond/Dusan Tadic

Redmonds fantasy scores have disappointed since the opening weekend but his performances have suggested potential.  The price is good for the week ahead and with his combination of pace and direct commitment to the opposition I can see him hit double digits.  A real gut pick for me this week.

Tadic has also scored inconsistently but holds penalty duties, set pieces duties and was in great for Serbia.  Expensive but tempting.


4 double digit weeks in a row in Fantrax he finally looks the player Spurs hoped.  Livewires often return fantasy hauls and I have him under 9m.  WBA is never an easy opponent but Son's form is white hot and after the penalty mess last time he may hold spot duties.

Paul Pogba

He isn't ripping up trees and faces one of the toughest games possible, Anfield under the lights.  With Wayne Rooney warming the bench, Pogba has looked a much better player with Rooney and him no longer treading on each other's toes.  These are the games he was bought for and with Wijnaldum missing to protect the back four I think he will find chances to double his value.  One thing is for sure if you are going to advertise your new haircut you need to back it up with a performance.

Andros Townsend

I don't see much protection from Payet to his left back and Townsend well rested should enjoy this game.  Probably too expensive in Fantrax for many but a great one week play in FPL.

Eden Hazard

After the first few weeks he looked a season keeper didn't he.  In FPL he has been a huge disappointment, in Fantrax it's a different story with 5 double digit scores in 7.

Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott

I'm saying Alexis starts as Wenger looks to take full advantage of Arsenals rivals facing tougher tests.  Walcott is so frustrating but so consistent in fantasy.  Doubling up in either game could be a great move.


United have found clever players and movement a real problem so far this season.  Firmino so often just does the right things and with attention Coutinho's shooting from distance, Manes pace on the break and Sturridge's natural finishing eyes get taken of Firmino.  In FPL I will play him while in Fantrax he is one that could be a dark horse at a higher price.

Diego Costa

Bang in form, perhaps back to his very best.  Huth and Morgan do seem more suited to playing him than many other central defensive pairing but the Foxes have been giving up chances galore away from home so far.

Callum Wilson

The last couple weeks have seen a return to the Wilson we saw early season in 15/16.  Hull meanwhile are starting to give up the chances we expected at the start of the season.  I think Wilson will score this week.


So up in the air.  By all accounts played not fully fit midweek and travels to Barcelona next week.  Had City won at Tottenham I think he may have been rested.  Unless he comes home fully fit it's a risk City need not take with Iheanacho such a decent back up.  That defeat needs correcting though and I assume he starts against Everton.  In FPL I will take the risk in Fantrax I'm undecided.  As a rule Kun punishes me when I bet against him which may help me in my thoughts.

Charlie Austin

Charlie has many fans on NMA having given us some great fantasy days in the last couple seasons.  Priced to tempt you.


Due a goal and still racking up the attempts.  Under the floodlights tempers and emotion can take over and that leads to penalties.

Marko A/Wilfred Bony

Marko was in form for his country last week and he faces a Black Cat's side that keeping taking shots to the belly.

Bony's move hasn't returned the goals Stoke hoped for just yet but has the best of fixtures. His Fantrax price would free up your choices.

One of the Stokie boys scores this week, maybe both.

Christian Benteke

Tekkers is in fine form and faces a West Ham side that just cannot defend right now.  Great price and hard to see him not scoring this week.

Clearly the team news will be crucial this week.  Any news that Kun and or Sanchez isn't 100% will set the cat among the pigeons and bugger up my FPL side.