Woohoo! Another international break is finally behind us! As is typical, some players sustained injuries while on international duty, while others used the break to recuperate. Be sure to follow us here at NMA for updated team news as Saturday’s deadline approaches.
OK, let’s dive right in. Here’s the menu of fixtures for Game Week 9:
- Chelsea v Manchester United
- Bournemouth v Southampton
- Cardiff v Fulham
- Manchester City v Burnley
- Newcastle v Brighton
- West Ham v Tottenham
- Wolverhampton v Watford
- Huddersfield v Liverpool
Ederson (MCI v BRN, $12.78): City have allowed only 3 goals all season. Points for a victory and a clean sheet should be in the cards when Burnley visit.
Rui Patricio (WOL v WAT, $11.20): The Wolves defense is one of the stingiest in the league, and Patricio makes saves too.
Alisson (HUD v LIV, $11.66): Like City, Liverpool have conceded only 3 goals this year. And Huddersfield have scored only 4.
Bernd Leno (ARS v LEI, $3.75): He may not keep a clean sheet, but for $3.75 he doesn’t need to.
Lucas Digne (EVE v CRY, $8.48): Four double-digit returns in a row for the Frenchman. And with goal-shy Palace visiting this weekend, Digne may very well make it five.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (HUD v LIV, $11.26): The league’s joint-best defense (LIV) travels to the home of the league’s joint-worst offense (HUD). Don’t overthink it — any starting defender for Liverpool is a good investment this week, but I like TAA the best. He should find plenty of attacking joy against the team who are also tied for the second-worst defense in the league.
Paul Dummett (NEW v BRI, $7.52): Dummet returned to training two weeks ago after recovering from a hamstring injury, so he should be set to start this weekend. Brighton have only scored two goals away from home, so the potential for a Newcastle clean sheet is definitely there.
Toby Alderweireld (WHU v TOT, $6.19): West Ham have scored only 8 goals this season, and Tottenham have allowed only 7. That makes Alderweireld a bargain for the trip to London Stadium.
Ryan Bennett (WOL vs WAT, $5.26): Bennett’s returns have met or exceeded his price every week since game-week 3. The Wolves’ defense is legit, and Bennett is a cheap route in.
Bruno (NEW v BRI, $4.12): Bruno suffered a hamstring injury in the season opener and did not feature again until Game Week 8. Then he put in a full shift and picked up a clean sheet in the 1-0 win over West Ham. Grab him on the cheap for Newcastle, and then hang on for Brighton’s rosy run of fixtures that lasts all the way into the middle of December.
Benjamin Mendy (MCI v BRN, $12.65): Did you hold him through his injury? If you did you were rewarded with a 10-point performance when he returned to the S11 for the Game Week 8 clash with Liverpool. He still lacked some speed and sharpness against the Reds, but he was not a part of the French squad over the international break, so he should be fully match-fit for the visit of Burnley. The only problem is, if you didn’t hold him, it’ll cost you some coin to bring him back in now. It’s probably still worth it.
Josh Murphy (CAR v FUL, $9.05): Fulham have the worst defense in the league, and Murphy is Cardiff’s most dangerous man. That makes him a top pick this week.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE v CRY, $15.58): Gylfi has put up 24 points in each of his last two games. I don’t expect him to go 20+ for a third straight game, but against the Eagles I think he’s still worthy of investment.
Richarlison (EVE, v CRY, $15.77): The young Brazilian has failed to return double-digits only once this year. And I think we’ll still be able to say that about him on Monday.
Xherdan Shaqiri (HUD v LIV, $5.12): With Sadio Mané and Mo Salah both doubtful for the tasty Terrier tilt, Shaq could be handed an opportunity to start. If he does make the S11, he’s a screaming bargain this week.
Raheem Sterling (MCI v BRN, $20.13): He’ll cost you a pretty penny, but he could be worth it. Sterling is averaging over 21 ppg when he plays at the Etihad.
David Silva (MCI v BRN, $12.96): If Sterling’s price is too dear, then consider his Spanish teammate. Silva has also excelled on his home turf, returning double-digits in every appearance at the Etihad this season.
Jonjo Shelvey (NEW v BRI, $6.22): Double-digits in each of his last two games. As long as he doesn’t pick up a rash red card, the good times could continue to roll for weeks — Newcastle’s fixture list looks attractive all the way into the festive period.
Lucas Moura (WHU v TOT, $8.24): Moura lined up alongside Harry Kane in a 4-4-2 for the Game Week 8 clash with Cardiff. He didn’t score or assist, but he still found 11 Fantrax points. He should provide excellent value for money when the Spurs travel to West Ham.
Note: Richarlison, Shaqiri, Sterling, and Moura have double-eligibility in Fantrax and can be played either as midfielders or forwards.
Alexandre Lacazette (ARS v LEI, $17.46): Since Game Week 4, Lacazette has played 440 out of 450 minutes, scoring or assisting in every game save one. By contrast, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang costs the same but has played just 332. Both players are good choices this week, but I’d go with the one who seems the best bet for maximum pitch time.
Callum Wilson (BOU v SOU, $13.42): After a bit of a quiet stretch, Wilson has gone back on the boil, registering a goal and two assists over his last two matches. With lowly Southampton coming to town this week, the odds look good for his fine form to continue. Teammate Josh King ($13.03) is also worth a look, but his returns tend to be more dependent on goals.
Glen Murray (NEW v BRI, $9.33): Murray tends to strike out against stiff competition and hit home runs against weaklings. Newcastle are in 19th place, so if the pattern holds, he will reward investors who put their faith in him.
Jamie Vardy (ARS v LEI, $12.69): Away to Arsenal is not a plum fixture, but Vardy tends to do just fine on the road. He’s also shooting on sight lately. He’s a decent play for Game Week 9.
Sergio Aguero (MCI v BRN, $19.82): City score for fun, and after blanking against Liverpool, Kun will be looking for some fun on Saturday.
Danny Ings (BOU v SOU, $9.08): He’s not a bargain-basement value anymore, but that’s because he’s averaging almost 10 ppg. And he shoots like crazy, so he should get you some SOT points even if he doesn’t find the back of the net.
Harry Kane (WHU v TOT, $22.99): No goals last time out, but I bet he rectifies that at London Stadium.
Raúl Jiménez (WOL v WAT): The Mexican striker has amassed 45 points in his last 4 games, and he’ll be looking to extend his purple patch of form when the Hornets visit on Saturday.
Daniel Sturridge (HUD v LIV, $6.27): LIV are completely capable of dispatching Huddersfield missing either or both of Mo Salah and Sadio Mané. Since both are nursing injuries, Jurgen Klopp may decide to rest one or both of them even if they are “available”. That could mean that Sturridge might see he first start of the season this weekend. If that looks to be the case, he’s a screaming deal.
Chelsea vs Man U is the early match this week — we should have confirmed lineups ahead of the Fantrax deadline. Be sure to join us for Friday’s Pre-Deadline article so you can watch all the last-minute fantasy roster shuffling chaos play out!
And of course, check in with us regularly throughout the week to stay on top of all the breaking team news that could affect your Game Week 9 fantasy squads.
So whom do you want to buy in Fantrax? Who is the weakest link on your Fantrax roster? Who is in your barn-door thoughts for later this weekend? What Fantrax questions do you have for the NMA staff? Please let us know in the comments...