Happy Halloween! I’m hoping that I already endured all of the tricks last week, and that this week will bring only treats.
I had a devil of a Game Week 10. Sergio Aguero, Lucas Digne, André Schurrle, and Jonjo Shelvey each put up 5 points or less. Benjamin Mendy was held to just 6, and Eden Hazard failed to even feature. Even worse, Bernd Leno ended up negative against Crystal Palace! You know your week is cursed when that happens.
Bruno, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Mo Salah were my only gems. Kind of like three king-sized Snickers bars in a Halloween sack otherwise filled with Twizzlers and candy corn.
So I’m hoping Game Week 11 works out better for me, with my players netting plenty of ghouls.
Here’s the fixture list for the weekend, followed by my picks. Please note that Bournemouth vs. Manchester United is this week’s early game, so we should have starting lineups for that fixture in time to make last-minute squad changes before the GW 11 transfer deadline closes.
[Also note that the time-slip between the US daylight-savings and UK standard time continues until the wee hours of Sunday morning in the US. Don’t miss a deadline or match broadcast because you’re off by an hour!]
- Bournemouth vs. Man Utd
- Cardiff vs. Leicester
- Everton vs. Brighton
- Newcastle vs. Watford
- West Ham vs. Burnley
- Arsenal vs. Liverpool
- Wolves vs. Tottenham
Sergio Rico (HUD v FUL, $2.00): I can hear you now — “Fulham’s goalkeeper?” I know, I know. But Huddersfield have the league’s most anemic offense [ Ed. note: because Cardiff played Fulham and scored 4], and if Rico is trusted with a second start after the 3-0 drubbing he suffered at the hands of Bournemouth, he could be a decent value play for just two bucks (esp. with cover in the NMA+Bench league).
Ederson (MCI v SOU, $14.14): Southampton have managed only two more goals than Huddersfield, while City now boast the best defense in the Prem. But then again, that’s why Ederson costs seven times Rico.
Ben Foster (NEW v WAT, $7.21): Newcastle are winless and have scored only 6 goals this season — same as Southampton.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE v CRY, $10.92): Fourteenth-place Crystal Palace have scored just one goal more than Southampton.
Callum Paterson (CAR v LEI, $8.35): Here’s an interesting play. Paterson started his career as a right back, but has played mostly in midfield since moving to Cardiff from Hearts. He has also occasionally lined up as a striker, and that’s where Neil Warnock has stationed him lately. It has paid off — the Scot has scored in both of his last two games. He won’t be eligible for CS points if he leads the line, but if you fancy the chance to smuggle an extra striker into your squad, here he is. (Dual eligibility as defender or forward in NMA league)
Antonio Rudiger (CHE v CRY, 9.58): The best value for money in the Chelsea back line. Did you know he has more SOTs than any other Blues defender, including Marcos Alonso?
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (CHE v CRY, $10.66): Obi-Wan is not only a Jedi master, but he is also a Fantrax points machine. He put up 11 against Arsenal over the weekend, and all of them were phantoms. Maybe we should start calling him “The Phantom Menace?” (Dual eligibility as defender or midfielder)
Bruno (EVE v BRI, $6.00): A clean sheet and an assist brought him 12 points in the victory over Wolves — his second double-digit return in a row. You missed all that if you weren’t an early adopter, but at $6.00 it’s not too late to get on board for Brighton’s nice run of upcoming fixtures.
Lucas Digne (EVE v BRI, $9.79): After 5 consecutive double-digit returns, Digne suffered a let-down at Old Trafford. He should get back on track when the Toffees host Brighton.
Benjamin Mendy (MCI v SOU, $13.30): The barnstorming left back should have a field day when the Saints come marching in.
Adam Masina (NEW v WAT, $4.43): He burned me over the weekend by keeping the left back position despite the return of José Holebas from suspension. He earned 12 points in that performance, and 10 the week prior. Since Watford won and kept clean sheets in both games, Javi Gracia may continue to roll with the Moroccan.
Kiko Femenía (NEW v WAT, $6.17): Kiko put up double-digits again over the weekend, and this week he travels to face a floundering Newcastle side that has taken only 3 points from 10 games. (Dual eligibility as defender or midfielder)
Timothy Fosu-Mensah (HUD v FUL, $2.65): TFM was out for a month with a dislocated shoulder, but he returned on Saturday and tendered a 90-minute, 10-point performance sans clean sheet against Bournemouth. An excellent enabler, especially for your Fantrax NMA + Bench squad, you almost can’t lose.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (WHU v BUR, $14.25): JBG suffered a fantasy hiccup against Chelsea. But West Ham are no Chelsea, and the Icelandic middie should get right back to his customary double-digit production when he squares off with them.
Josh Murphy (CAR v LEI, $10.44): Murphy seems to excel when he’s not playing top 6 opposition. This week it’s #12 Leicester, who’ve conceded 16 goals in this campaign.
Ross Barkley (CHE v CRY, $7.05): With three goals and three assists in his last three games, he has made it very hard for Maurizio Sarri to rotate him out of Chelsea’s starting lineup. I know he’s in mine, anyway.
Gylfi Sigurdsson ($16.90), Richarlison ($16.29 ), Theo Walcott ($12.18), (EVE v BRI): I like any of these Toffees at home versus Brighton this week. They’ve all performed well recently, and they all have similar price/ppg ratios. (Richarlison and Walcott have dual eligibility as midfielders or forwards)
André Schurrle (HUD v FUL, $11.87): He plays Huddersfield this weekend. ‘Nuff said. (Dual elibiliity as midfielder or forward)
David Silva (MCI v SOU, $13.46): Kevin De Bruyne still hasn’t put in more than a cameo since his return from injury (though risk takers may jump on his resultant bargain price-tag). I’ll barn-door him as soon as he puts up a decent number, but until then my pick among the City middies is D. Silva, especially when City play opposition of Southampton’s caliber at home.
Anthony Martial (BOU v MUN, $9.59): With four goals in three games, there is no hotter midfielder in the EPL right now. (Dual eligibility as midfielder or forward)
Marc Albrighton (CAR v LEI, $7.72): In what could signal a new tactic from Claude Puel, Albrighton was handed his first full game of the season, and the attack was run through him down both flanks. The result was a massive Fantrax haul — 2 SOTs, 5 ACs, and 4 CFs for a total of 17 points. If Puel continues with this approach, Albrighton will quickly become Fantrax gold.
Robert Snodgrass (WHU v BUR, $4.33): He’s cheap and has started the last two games as a #10. He’s an excellent FK taker, and with Mark Noble suspended, Snoddy may get a chance to stand over some set pieces this weekend. A cheeky pick, his payoff could multiply depending on which Burnley defense shows up at London Stadium.
Eden Hazard (CHE v CRY, $22.87): Hazard could run wild here if he recovers from his back injury. If not, then I guess you could consider Álvaro Morata ($11.15) instead.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (HUD v FUL, $12.55): All he has to show for his last 4 games is one assist and one SOT. But it’s Huddersfield this week, so...
Jamie Vardy (CAR v LEI, $11.65): Vardy is another who has been quiet lately, but part of the issue was recent recovery from illness that kept him out of GW-10 training and the first half of the West Ham match. He should be 100% now, so I like his chances against Cardiff.
Mo Salah (ARS v LIV, $24.15): He’s expensive, but if you can fit him in, then you’re buying a player who has rediscovered last year’s sparkling form: 5 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 matches across all competitions. If 24 bucks is too much, then Sadio Mané ($16.54), fresh from his two-goal performance against Cardiff, could be your Liverpool man.
Sergio Aguero (MCI v SOU, $20.33): Tottenham shut him down pretty effectively at Wembley, but Kun should have much more room to operate when City host Southampton this weekend.
Harry Kane (WOL v TOT, $20.97): It has been four games since Kane put up double-digits, which means he’s probably due.
Marko Arnautovic (WHU v BUR, $13.33): Arnie missed out against Leicester due to illness, but he should be fit for the visit of Burnley. He averages nearly 10 ppg, and Burnley have shipped 21 goals so far.
Gerard Deulofeu (NEW v WAT, $4.61): Healthy again after a prolonged absence, Deulofeu put in an excellent 65 minute shift against Huddersfield that included a goal. He should start in the #10 slot again this weekend, and the match up is good.
That’s this week’s list! Who’s there who shouldn’t be? Whom have I overlooked? Is there an “anyone facing Fulham” pick you’d buy from the Huddersfield “attack”? Please let us know in the comments below!