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Week 31: Fantasy EPL Pre Deadline Chat

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Ten matches, implications at both ends of the table, and a huge rivalry match--Matchday 31 has it all! It's an interesting week of matchups for BPL fantasy, so let's discuss those final changes to our lineups.

Juan Mata will have to come up big for Manchester United to beat their crosstown rivals
Juan Mata will have to come up big for Manchester United to beat their crosstown rivals
Clive Rose/Getty Images

It's a full Premier League schedule! Oh bless us, bless us all!!!

Sure, it's only been two weeks since we had all ten teams in action, but it seems like it's been longer. We have a few crucial relegation matchups, a few matchups that will impact who gets spots in Europe next season, and a good old derby in the north. But more importantly, we have some very intriguing fantasy matchups to look at.

As we head into the final hours before the 8:45 am EST kickoff (am I the only one who is happy about Daylight Savings Time?!), we have a few things to consider:

  • Is there a more important match this weekend than the battle between Newcastle and Sunderland? A win for either side would be crucial in the relegation fight; a loss would be a brutal blow. Which begs the question--will this be an open, back-and-forth match between the two (which is great for fantasy managers), or will it be a cagey affair where each team focuses more on making sure they take a point and not losing?
  • After knocking Manchester United out of the Europa League on Thursday, will Liverpool be able to continue their streak and take down Southampton on Sunday? The winner stays in the running for the final Champions League spot, while the loser is all but eliminated. A draw might actually knock them both out of contention.
  • After playing keep-away in the Champions League midweek, will Manchester City be able to take out Manchester United in the Manchester Derby on Sunday? Sergio Aguero must be salivating at the thought of facing a United side that is struggling to defend lately, and has only one once away from Old Trafford in the last eight BPL matches.
  • With Arsenal (at Everton), Leicester City (at Crystal Palace), and West Ham (at Chelsea) being road teams with decent chances of winning, do you go with the big-budget players, or do you look at teams like Stoke City (at Watford), Swansea City (facing Aston Villa), and West Bromwich Albion (facing Norwich City) and try to stack cheaper talent with very favorable matchups?
After some difficult decisions (like dropping Yohan Cabaye and his hugely discounted $5,000 salary on Fantrax) and last-minute tinkering, here are my final teams for Matchday 31

Official BPL: Jack Butland; Bacary Sagna, Toby Alderweireld, Christian Fuchs; Alexis Sanchez, Gylfi Sigurdsson (C), Deli Alli, Riyad Mahrez, Dimitri Payet (A); Romelu Lukaku, Jamie Vardy

Fantrax: Fraser Forster; Christian Fuchs, Phil Bardsley, Leighton Baines; Osar, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Dimitri Payet, David Silva; Sergio Aguero, Romelu Lukaku, Jamie Vardy

Who are you rolling with this weekend?