Week 9 marks the midway point of the first half of the season, and it's time to focus on building your fantasy team for the upcoming month. This weekend sees some very intriguing fantasy matchups, but the upcoming weeks have the ability to really turn people's seasons around. This is also a time where some people will begin to use their Wild Card option.
With that in mind, here are some players to target in for your team this week!
It has been an odd season for the Arsenal netminder, but he has two clean sheets in his last three matches. Now, he gets two easy matchups in a row, with Middlesbrough visiting town this weekend, followed by a visit to Sunderland the week after. It could easily be a pair of clean sheets for Cech, and I would be somewhat surprised if it wasn't.
West Ham finally got their second win last weekend, and now the Hammers host the worst scoring offense in Sunderland. They also host Stoke in two weeks, before a streak of four difficult fixtures, so Adrian is a short-term solution, but he's one that won't have high ownership.
Coming off a huge 17 point outing on the official FPL game, the Everton keeper has a terrific run of matches and a solid price. The next four matches for the Toffees are away to Burnley, hosting West Ham, away to Chelsea, and then a visit from Swansea. His price should increase during this stretch, so now is the time to get him and reap the benefits.
The Dutch defender is on a roll at the moment, and while this weekend sees a tough matchup at Chelsea coming his way, it's the following matches that look tasty. Burnley visits Old Trafford next weekend, and then a trip to Swansea looms after that. Combine the easy matches and his affordable cost, and you have a win-win situation. He also takes corners for Manchester United quite often, giving him an additional shot at assists.
Last weekend's match against United saw Lovren get his first clean sheet bonus of the season, but very few defenses have the upcoming friendly stretch that Liverpool does. Liverpool will host West Bromwich Albion, Watford, and Sunderland in the next five weeks, along with trips to Crystal Palace and Southampton. In fact, they will not face a difficult matchup until a trip to Everton in Week 17. When you consider that Lovren costs a paltry 4.9m in FPL, it's a no-brainer to get him into your lineup at a lower cost than a Nathaniel Clyne who costs 0.6m more.
Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, and Nacho Monreal
Arsenal defenders will cost you a bit, but they are worth it this weekend. As stated earlier, they have matches with Middlesbrough and Sunderland, which are two likely clean sheets. I would recommend having at least one of them in your side. All four will cost you at least 6.0m however, so the savings from grabbing Lovren come in handy here.
I know he takes on Spurs this weekend, which isn't an easy matchup, but Stanislas is in top form right now. His last three matches have seen him score 36 points in FPL, and he should be able to give Tottenham some trouble this weekend. Add to that fact the upcoming fixtures against Middlesbrough, Sunderland, and Stoke City, his cost of 5.5m is quite intriguing.
Speaking of form, the winger is in some of the best of his career for the Gunners. His 55 points in FPL lead all midfielders, and he costs nearly 3.5m less than Alexis Sanchez. He has scored or assisted in six of his eight matches this season, including each of the last four. With the two porous defenses he will face the next two matchdays, it's a no-brainer to have him in your squad--and possibly even captained.
Ok, I'm finally hopping aboard the Allen train. Four goals in three matches is worth taking notice of, especially when you realize he will face Hull, Swansea, West Ham United, Bournemouth, Watford, and Burnley over the next six matchdays. Somehow, despite his terrific form, he still costs only 4.9m in FPL, and is affordable in Fantrax as well. I expect his ownership to go way up this week, and at that cost he's worth grabbing.
Few sides have been as poor as Sunderland's, and Payet should have a field day against David Moyes' squad. The French midfielder has struggled a bit this season, but this looks like a great chance for him to snag his second goal of the season. His cost is a bit difficult to swallow, but with Everton and Stoke coming up before a difficult four-week stretch, this is the time to get what you can from him before he no longer is worth the cost.
Remember that schedule that Lovren will enjoy over the next month or so? Well, Firmino's going to enjoy it just as much. His price has dipped a bit, so now is the time to grab him.
Kevin De Bruyne
Back from injury, he must be salivating at the schedule upcoming. A visit from Southampton this weekend is followed by matches against West Brom, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, and Burnley. He should earn every bit of his cost over this stretch.
See Kevin De Bruyne. Aguero should get back to his scoring ways with the upcoming fixtures, after back to back shutouts to the hands of Spurs and Everton.
Has there been a defense worse this year at stopping physical strikers than Chelsea's? Alberto Conte has now moved to a three-man back line, which will make things difficult for a defense trying to stop the Swedish forward while Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, and Marcus Rashford attack along with him. This is a high risk, high reward selection, but I expect Ibrahimovic to get back on the scoresheet this weekend, before matches against Burnley and Swansea offer more chances for him to score.
It's difficult to find good strikers at a low cost in FPL. Luckily, Wilson fits that bill. Two goals in his last two matches have not raised his price beyond a reasonable 6.5m in FPL, and he will be going against a Spurs defense that will be without Toby Alderweireld for a few weeks.
Goals in four of his last five matches have helped Lukaku shed the label of "troll". Matches against Burnley, West Ham, Chelsea, and Swansea in his next four give him a label of "must own".
There you have it, a bunch of options to look at as you build your team for Week 9 and beyond. Here is the lineup I will be rolling with for FPL Week 9. Agree with these selections? Have some players of your own that you're targeting? Discuss in the comments section below!