Game week 20 rounds of our festive fun and provides the final game week before the FA Cup starts.
With many of the games following so quickly off week 19 there is expected to be much rotation. Let’s see if we can help pick out the players who will likely start game week 20 and provide the fantasy points to go with it.
Master Mo (Egypt) always pointed out his focus on getting starters on the pitch, often with initially unusual looking teams that then went on to score so well compared to our on paper better choices.
Fantrax this week may be one of those weeks where 100 points is a big one.
To start I will point out this is very much just a guessing game. Normally I view central defenders as safer from rotation but after Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo found themselves benched in week 19 that goes out the window.
Those who missed week 19
Like a right dickhead I tipped him for a game he couldn't play in 19 due to a ban. Well he is back this time and I feel it is written in the stars he scores as I won’t pick him. Price is great in Fantrax to risk it.
Tough match but rested and in form. The barn door price of 7.69m in Fantrax is great for a player who has shown he can provide those huge points hauls.
Nathan Redmond/Fonte/JWP/Ryan Bertrand/Yoshida and Hot Rod
After his Spurs red card the speedy winger Redmond returns. Some players produce their best form when they feel wronged and we will find out if Redmond is one of those. He has the movement and pace to exploit the slow ageing Everton defenders.
Hot Rod has looked sharp to on his return and like Redmond has the pace to trouble the Everton back line.
Yoshida will start again and under 2m in Fantrax is a filler option.
You assume they come back into the starting 11 and they are cheap. The fixture doesn't tempt however.
The fans and manager have been very supportive of him and he has matured since arriving at Stoke. The suspension came at a time where Stoke were really kicking on and they could have used Marko’s skill. There won’t be many players looking forward to week 20 as much as the Stoke attacker and he owes the fans and manager a performance. A great one week pick up for me against a side that cannot defend.
Hard to tip any defence against Chelsea both both will be back and give you certain starters.
No other options picks
Robert Snodgrass/Michael Dawson/Jake Livermore
Hull City have a tiny squad and sit in the relegation zone little with choice but to play their starting 11.
Snoddy is expensive in Fantrax but against a side that may even set themselves up to defend against Hull, Snodgrass should see plenty of the ball. He is also the great 5th midfield choice in FPL.
A Dawson clean sheet would be amazing but he will keep picking up the phantom points and remains a set piece danger.
Livermore has produced 17 shots over his last 5 games telling us he is playing the box to box role that suits him best under Phelan. Perhaps a little too pricey considering the fixture but he returns his value in Fantrax.
Martin Kelly/Scott Dann/Hennessey
All will start and while I think Sam will sort their defending out long term I think we may see him having the same issue he faced when he joined Sunderland last season. Some of the thought processes are so ingrained into the players and their confidence so low it may take time. If that is the case the perfect opponent right now would be Swansea and just look who they play.
Kelly is your bargain way in if you think the defensive returns and is a great filler Fantrax
Dann meanwhile is a typical a Big Sam defender. Bold, aggressive and a wonderful danger in the opposition penalty area. 10m in Fantrax is more than many players will pay for a defender but he will be close to returning value without a clean sheet or goal. I think Palace will get joy in this game and Dann will get one or two chances to score. I want him in week 20 but trying to fit him in my side will be tough.
Hennessey faces a side looking shot of any belief right now. He also faces Siggy who can equally give us a couple nice soft saves but also produce magic braces. You have to fancy the win at least but even in Swansea’s form a clean sheet for Palace is never certain.
The they could come in for rotation picks
Daniel Sturridge/Divock Origi
Sturridge has been scoring off the bench is due a start. With Origi subbed early on Boxing day and benched against City the pair can start at Sunderland. They face a home side who can be tricky on their home patch but at the pool forwards prices in Fantrax are amazing value if you agree they start.
With Henderson going off injured it suggests the Reds will go with Can once again in midfield and he is also a cheap price.
The some logic to it or they are undroppable picks
Andros Townsend/Jason Puncheon/Wilfried Zaha/Yohan Cabaye
Swansea have little fight and no sign of closing down or defensive shape. Cabaye appears the blogs chosen selection but any of them could go big. Rotation seems unlikely despite the short gap between games.
Tony Pulis won’t see him team safe for a further season until they get to that 40 point mark. Home to Hull should be a game they target 3 points towards that total. I’m thinking they play their best 11.
In FPL he is a brilliant pick for this week as he has been all winter. A defender playing in midfield against a side that score few and on set pieces.
Nacer Chadli/Matt Phillips/Rondon
Record signings at WBA are bought for games like these more than any game against the big boys. Its Chadli’s quality that can separate them and while he remains a bench risk/early sub risk he is a the perfect price in the fantasy games to risk him.
Maybe a slightly safer pick Phillips golden run looked to have cooled until his goal at the Saints and possibly will offer more minutes.
Finally the big man Rondon got a rest against the Saints and you would expect him back for this one. He can be frustrating in fantasy but is a real handful in the the real world, plus Hull have had problems against anyone so far.
Foster is my keeper tip of the week with a great chance of clean sheet and win points. Nyon is a cheap way into a WBA clean sheet and racks up phantoms on top.
Leighton Baines/Ross Barkley/Kevin MIrallas/Romelu Lukaku
Everton have a 3 day rest, home fixture and face a Saints side playing their 3rd game in 6 days. The Saints will also be missing star defender.
Baines is an old blog favourite who while not the force of days past is still a potential choice. Kevin Mirallas stole corners from him at Hull which is a shame but he may have penalties.
At the start of the season I tipped Ross as a breakthrough star for 2016/17. I thought under Koemann we would see a talented player add consistency and better in game decisions. Unfortunately that has yet to happen despite Koeman trying both the arm around the shoulder and wooden stick bench treatment. Barkley did deliver in the Hull playing the full game, scoring the late equalizer and firing in 5 shots. It is a dangerous game using stats from matches against Hull but I think he starts again and has some form. In FPL there are better options at his price unless you want to run with someone different. In Fantrax he is the right balance of risk/reward.
Lukaku almost had put the Troll King title to bed but returning a blank against Hull has put him firming back in that role. Next up he faces one of the league's better defences so he is not a pick many will like. In typical King style expect him to perform against the Saints and cause much bad language in the comments sections when he does so.
City are now 10 points off Chelsea which isn’t an amount they cannot overcome but it is a massive ask. With the league leaders 1 win from equalling Arsenal’s record Premier League 14 straight wins you figure they have to drop points soon. City can only win and hope.
Home to Burnley looks to be a game for Pep to rotate and any selection from their team bar Bravo is high risk. The injury to David Silva may help KDB’s cause to start while Kun has been well rested coming into the Liverpool game. They surely score well should they get chosen but as we know Pep will always do things his way. HIgh risk - high reward,
He starts again but the fixture is tough. United are in great form but West Ham raise their game in this fixture. I wouldn’t consider selling him in FPL but I may leave him alone in Fantrax.
If he hasn't got the flu, he plays. The likelihood of an early substitution will depend on the scoreline and Sanchez has been his best in away games.
Diego Costa/Eden Hazard/Christian Eriksen/Harry Kane
All start if fit and all are potential match winners. Chelsea normally get the better of spurs but took a beating here last season. The young Spurs side are showing signs of form once again and I like them to end Chelsea’s winning run in this one.
A massive game with Palace hosting Swansea. The Eagles can put daylight between them and the big man will be the focal point of all the Palace attacks. A great price in both FPL and Fantrax. As always with him you he needs to score to return decent points but in facing Swansea he has the perfect opponent to do so.
Who are the other players you are certain start? Will you risk any of the big names?