Things have gotten hot and heavy with loads of midweek Champions League and Carabao Cup action, but the bread and butter is always Premier League on the weekend! The big news last weekend was Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, ending the Reds’ perfect season to that point and leaving no side unblemished. Most of us can relate in fantasy, as it’s difficult to craft teams that feel anything close to flawless!
The undisputed must-watch game-week 8 fixture is Liverpool v. Manchester City, but when the two top teams face each other, it’s often better to look elsewhere regarding fantasy investment. With that in mind, which players do you need to consider adding to your Fantrax teams for the upcoming Week 8 fixtures if you don’t have them already?
NOTE: Week 8 starts early, the first match coming on Friday, so be sure to keep that in mind as you tinker with your teams!
Rui Patricio ($9.87, Wolves at Crystal Palace)
There is no keeper more on fire than Rui Patricio. The Portuguese international has kept three clean sheets and allowed only one goal over the past four games, making 16 saves and averaging 15 ppg in that frame. The game is at Selhurst Park, but sometimes you have to keep rolling with the hot hand... or pair of hands, in this case.
Wayne Hennessey ($9.45, Crystal Palace v. Wolves)
One of the best defenses (and keepers) in the league, at home, facing a mediocre offense. Done and done.
Kepa Arrizabalaga ($8.38, Chelsea at Southampton)
Only four teams have scored fewer goals than Southampton. And while Chelsea travels to St. Mary’s, Kepa is actually averaging better returns on the road (8 ppg) than at home (6.75 ppg).
Speaking of anemic offenses, look no further than Brighton. West Ham has conceded a lot of goals this season, but the defense has actually been much improved of late, allowing only three scores in the past four games as Fabianski has collected 17 saves in that time.
Joe Hart ($7.08, Burnley v. Huddersfield)
What the heck is happening? Has the Apocalypse arrived? Clearly the answer is yes, as we’ve recommended Joe Hart two weeks in a row. There comes a time when reality reveals itself, and perception needs to shift accordingly. It may be ugly, but it is nonetheless true. Joe Hart is — gulp — a worthwhile fantasy asset. Not just at Turf Moor against Huddersfield, but especially at Turf Moor against Huddersfield.
If you’re looking for a cut rate keeper, Leno’s your man! He earned 6 points from three saves after replacing injured Petr Cech at halftime in the 2-0 victory over Watford, and Fulham is coming off a 3-0 loss to Everton. No, I’m not expecting a clean sheet, but if saving money is your goal, you’re going to have to take a risk. Just be sure to check team news later in the week in order to make sure Cech is still out.
James Tarkowski ($13.77, Burnley v. Huddersfield)
Unlike talk, Tark isn’t cheap, but he’s averaging 11.5 ppg this season, and he should be able to better that, assuming a clean sheet with Huddersfield traveling to town. (Note: Tarkowski was withdrawn early with injury from the Cardiff game last weekend, so keep an eye on team news as the deadline approaches. If Tarkowski is out again, then cheap-as-chips Kevin Long would be a nice plug-in at only $3.61.)
Kieran Trippier ($10.41, Tottenham v. Cardiff)
Trips has scored at least 8 points in every game this season bar one. Chances are mighty fine that he goes for double digits in this one. (Note: Trippier is also eligible at MF.)
Aaron Wan-Bissaka ($9.04, Crystal Palace v. Wolves)
Aaron “Obi” Wan-Bissaka has averaged 9.83 ppg despite the -3 stinker against Liverpool when he got the red card. All he does is rack up points. AWB should already be in your team, but if he isn’t, what are you waiting for? (Note: Wan-Bissaka is also eligible at MF.)
Lucas Digne ($7.99, Everton at Leicester)
Digne in his past three games: 13, 13, and 12 points. Pretty consistent, and awfully rewarding for the price, huh?
Issa Diop ($5.19, West Ham at Brighton)
Starting the past five games following his transfer from Toulouse, Diop has averaged 6.2 ppg. And the upcoming competition isn’t exactly scary, is it? The even cheaper Declan Rice is also a nice budget option in defense for West Ham, but Diop has provided a better return.
Jonjoe Kenny ($4.50, Everton at Leicester City)
Kenny has averaged 7.33 ppg in starting the past three games and can be had for a song, but is more of a short-term add compared to teammate Digne as he is filling in for the injured Seamus Coleman.
Richarlison ($14.88, Everton at Leicester)
I know that Gylfi Sigurdsson is coming off a brace, but I’m going against type — or hype — and picking Richarlison instead from the Everton midfield. After all, the Brazilian has averaged 13 ppg on his return from suspension, and that’s without benefit of a goal or assist. Just think how many points he’ll tally if he actually takes part in the scoring! (Note: Richarlison is also eligible at FW.)
Johann Berg Gudmundsson ($14.34, Burnley v. Huddersfield)
Santi’s favorite Icelandic midfielder is not somebody you would usually be willing to pay such a hefty price on. But Gudmundsson has scored 16+ points in three games this season and the game is at Turf Moor with meek Huddersfield coming to town, so you have an excellent chance of recouping your investment and then some.
James Maddison ($14.06, Leicester v. Everton)
Eden Hazard. Sergio Aguero. Raheem Sterling. Those are the only players in Fantrax who have scored more points than James Maddison this season. And it’s not like he’s tailing off, but rather he’s scored 56 points in his past three games. So yeah, that’s why his price has gone so high. Hopefully you grabbed him on the barn door, but even if not, the Madd Man is not a bad option at retail.
Felipe Anderson ($9.48, West Ham at Brighton)
Anderson just scored his first goal of the season while earning 20 points, so you’re buying high rather than buying low if you didn’t get him on the barn door at two clams less. Even so, he averaged 6 ppg before the Manchester United game, and the competition is nothing to fear.
Mesut Ozil ($8.51, Arsenal at Fulham FC)
If Siggy just torched Fulham for a brace, then silky smooth Ozil will surely have designs on doing some damage himself, especially since the former German international has already scored twice in the past three games despite usually being the assist provider instead. (Note: Ozil is also eligible at FW.)
Harry Kane ($23.42, Tottenham v. Cardiff)
The Tottenham talisman has scored three times from seven SOT in the past two games, tallying 54 points. Now Spurs welcome Cardiff. If you’re paying premium, that’s why.
Eden Hazard ($23.16, Chelsea at Southampton)
Hopefully you have him at a cheaper price, but even if you don’t, you can feel good about the Belgian superstar. He has failed to reach 17 points in only one of his five starts this season, and the level of opposition is not exactly steep.
Alexandre Lacazette ($15.80, Arsenal at Fulham)
Fulham’s leaky defense sure looks ripe for the plunder! If you’re going with an Arsenal forward, it’s simple math: Alexandre Lacazette has scored 48 points in just the past four games, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has returned 47 points across all seven matches.
Marko Arnautovic ($13.24, West Ham at Brighton)
Arno has scored 12+ points in four of his half-dozen games. You have to think he has a much better chance of hitting that mark than falling short against the sorry Seagulls.
Jamie Vardy ($12.92, Leicester v. Everton)
Vardy has been easy money this season, cracking double digit points in every game in which he wasn’t red carded. Everton kept its first clean sheet of the season against Fulham last weekend, but the Cottagers really should have scored at least once or twice. Vardy should have no problem converting.
NOTE: Prices shown in the above article are standard NMA league costs. YMMV.
The early match is Brighton vs West Ham, so those are the lineups we will see just before the weird deadline.
Which players are you looking to star for your fantasy sides this weekend? Who else not mentioned above deserves consideration? Are you dumping your Manchester City and Liverpool players, or holding on for dear life? Let us know in the comments!