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Staff Picks: Star to Avoid in Week 8

Which star should you consider benching or dropping due to poor form or a tough match-up this upcoming weekend?

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Is the Troll King back this week?
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Sure, they’re stars for a reason, but they can’t come good every week. Sometimes even the top players hit a rough patch or face an insurmountable foe, leaving it better to look elsewhere for fantasy spoils. With that in mind, which of our favorite studs look eminently avoidable this weekend?

Gabriel Jesus (Alexey)

Right after GW7 concluded, Everton was doomed and depressed by the 0-1 loss to gutsy Burnley, and I was sure that Gylfi Sigurdsson would be my pick. No spark, slow, misunderstanding his partners... everything against him. But then I watched the game highlights and realized he should have scored one for sure and two if being a bit lucky.

So instead of Siggy, I will pick Gabriel Jesus. Manchester City had a blank draw with Stoke City in the same fixture in March, Jesus plays for Brazil late on Oct. 10 and has a transatlantic flight back, I didn't like his movement against Chelsea, and he is usually the first to be subbed if things start to go south. So at his cost of £10.5 you can find more attractive options even at City midfield or just upgrade your defense with guaranteed clean sheet keepers.

Philippe Coutinho (Chris)

Cou finds himself in a rich vein of form with two goals and an assist across the past pair of Premier League games as well as another strike in the Champions League clash against Spartak Moscow. However, it’s unrealistic to expect another big performance from the Brazilian magician this weekend, as the odds are supremely stacked against him:

  • In the past six league games between Manchester United and Liverpool, the Red Devils have won four, drawn twice and kept three clean sheets in outscoring the Reds by a combined tally of 10-3.
  • Coutinho has played six games against Manchester United, covering the past four seasons. In those affairs, he has failed to score a single goal or even provide an assist, leaving him with a paltry average of 4.5 ppg in Fantrax.
  • Liverpool scored eight goals in its first three games, but has come plummeting back down to earth with only five scores in its past four fixtures.
  • Meanwhile, Manchester United strides into Anfield having kept a clean sheet in all but one of its seven tilts so far.

Alexandre Lacazette (Darryl)

Arsenal have had three wins and a draw since the last international break, they surely would not have wanted their momentum interuppted.

Lacazette is a player who does not yet look fully comfortable and in sync with his teammates. Time away attempting to get France qualified for the World Cup suggests there will still be some disconnect apparent when GW8 rolls around. Watford have done well thus far and I believe Lacazette will not enjoy success this week.

Romelu Lukaku (David)

I'm going to go with Lukaku for my GW8 letdown player. He's averaging a goal per game and has scored in his last four, but he's struggling with an ankle injury and is not good at accumulating phantoms. He'll probably need a brace to return his Fantrax sticker price. Plus, he is the ultimate NMA fantasy troll.

Dele Alli (Jeff)

Neg-1 at Hud while his teammates were rolling up a 4-0 victory... something is going on with the 3rd most expensive (but certainly not 3rd most productive!) midfielder in the Fantrax game. Maybe it’s a changing role, maybe some opponents key on him, or maybe it’s his off-field worries. Unless you know what it is and how to pick around it, you should avoid him. Only goalies are allowed to go negative at his price, and we all know how popular they are! In Fantrax, Hazard is $4 cheaper and facing CP. Take the money and run.

Do our recommendations of players to avoid have you panicked and ready to make moves, or are you not too worried about them? Which star or stars are you expecting a letdown from this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!