GW-13 was a mixed bag for me. My NMA team put up 76 points, which ranked me 82nd for the week. I had nice returns from Fabian Delph, Lucas Digne, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, David Silva, and Mo Salah. Unfortunately their production was offset by disappointing performances from Robby Brady, Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard, and Arrggh, Joe Hart, Arrrrgggh.
I did better in the NMA + Bench League, with Alisson, Harry Kane, and Aleksandar Mitrovic adding to the good performances of Delph et al. I finished with 130 points there, good enough for 4th place for the week.
But with a Friday deadline bearing down on us, there’s little time to dwell on the past. Let’s turn our attention to GW-14. Here are the fixtures in store for us, followed by my recommended players.
- Crystal Palace vs Burnley
- Huddersfield vs Brighton
- Leicester vs Watford
- Manchester City vs Bournemouth
- Newcastle vs West Ham
- Southampton vs Manchester United
Joe Hart (CRY v BUR, $4.98): Yep, I’m going there again. The thumping he took over the weekend has now dropped his price below $5, and Palace sport the joint-worst offense in the Premier League. Let’s all say it together: 1...2...3... Arrrggh!
David De Gea (SOU v MUN, $8.49): I’d like DDG even more if I had confidence in the 10 guys playing in front of him. Nevertheless, he’s one of the best GKs in the world, and this week he squares off against one of the league’s worst offenses.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (CHE v FUL, $10.98): His price makes him a little risky, but only two teams have allowed fewer goals than the Blues, and Fulham sit at the very bottom of the table.
Sead Kolasinac (ARS v TOT, $3.32): He was brilliant at Bournemouth, and he should continue to start since Nacho Monreal remains hamstrung. I’m not expecting a clean sheet against Tottenham, but he didn’t get one against the Cherries either and still raked in 13 points. (Eligible as D or M)
Lewis Dunk (HUD v BRI, $10.61): Among the Seagulls’ stable of defenders, Dunk sits in the sweet spot between price and potential. He has two goals in his last three games, and against Huddersfield a clean sheet could be in the cards too.
Kevin Long (CRY v BUR, $3.46): He returned 5 points in GW-13 as James Tarkowski’s understudy. Tarkowski remains a doubt for this week, which makes Long a great option to face Palace’s feeble offense.
Marcos Alonso (CHE v FUL, $16.15): He’s pricey, but home to Fulham seems like the perfect time for him to reward investment by delivering points at both ends of the pitch. (Eligible as D or M)
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (CRY v BUR, $12.14): The Phantom Menace returns points home or away, clean sheet or no. So at home to Burnley’s weak attack, he shouldn’t need to use The Force to prosper this week. (Eligible as D or M)
Andrew Robertson (LIV v EVE, $12.63): Robertson is my favorite among the Reds defenders for the home tie with Everton. He is CS-eligible and has notched 3 helpers in league matches so far.
Fabian Delph (MCI v BOU, $3.78): If you passed on him last week, you missed out on 8 points for the small investment of just $3.11. The good news is he’s still available for under $4, and he should continue to deputize for Benjamin Mendy on the left side of the league’s joint-best defense for another 10+ weeks. (Eligible as D or M)
Rúben Vinagre (CAR v WOL, $1.40): He’s filling in for Jonny on the left side of midfield, racking up 7 points over the weekend without a clean sheet. Despite that nice return, his price actually fell. Cardiff don’t exactly boast a swashbuckling attack, so this week Vinagre could add CS points. For $1.40 this one’s a no-brainer. (Props to Chris Manfredi for the early tip).
Pascal Gross (HUD v BRI, $6.70): He’s back! Gross put in an 82-minute shift against Leicester after having been sidelined through injury since September 1. His return wasn’t exactly electric (he only registered a single point), but he’s still finding his feet after the long absence, and this week it’s Huddersfield. At $6.70 he’s a good gamble. (Eligible as M or F)
Willian (CHE v FUL, $12.70): Of all the affordable Chelsea middies, he’s the one who’s start seems the safest. And we’ve all seen what he can do on his day. Fit in Eden Hazard ($21.96) if you can, but if not, I think Willian is your guy for the tilt versus leaky Fulham. (Eligible as M or F)
Kelechi Iheanacho (LEI v WAT, $6.02): James Maddison went and got himself suspended, and if Nacho looks like the one who will fill the breach in the lineup, then the Nigerian looks like a good play this week. (Eligible as M or F)
Raheem Sterling (MCI v BOU, $21.70) Pricey, but he’s averaging almost 17 ppg over his last 4 games. (Eligible as M or F)
Leroy Sané (MCI v BOU, $14.89) is your cheaper alternative to Sterling, and he’s averaging 16 ppg over his last three. (Eligible as M or F)
Jonjo Shelvey (NEW v WHU, $6.72): Jonjo should be fit for this weekend, his average nearly equals his price, and the opponent is West Ham. Conditions look good for a nice Fantrax return.
Roberto Pereyra (LEI v WAT, $12.21): He’s got 5 goals this season and could be due for another one against Leicester.
Christian Eriksen (ARS v TOT, $12.41): A North-London derby visiting Highbury isn’t the most auspicious match, but Christian Eriksen is fully-fit again, and you can own him for just $12.41. If you can’t pull the trigger this week, at least keep him in your barn door thoughts before his price changes.
David Silva (MCI v BOU, $15.66): Silva is a stud when he plays at the Etihad, and his starting status is the most certain of all the City middies.
Alvaro Morata (CHE v FUL, $12.06): I’m no fan of Alvaro Morata. In plain terms, I don’t think he’s good enough to lead the line at a club like Chelsea. But he’s probably going to line up as the Blues’ #9 against a Fulham defense that has conceded 33 goals in 13 games. If there was ever a week to put your faith in the Spaniard, this must surely be it.
Wilifried Zaha (CRY vs BUR, $13.24): Palace’s run of bad fixtures is over (ARS, CHE, TOT, MUN), and Zaha is healthy again. It could be time for the Ivorian to return to glory.
Steve Mounie (HUD v BRI, $6.60): He has 14 points in each of his last two games, all without any goals or assists. That’s pretty nice production at his price point.
Mo Salah (LIV v EVE, $23.38): He costs a pretty penny, but he has bagged 4 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 games. If you just don’t have the funds for the Egyptian Magician, then Sadio Mané ($16.83) costs almost $7 less and earned the same as Salah last time out.
Sergio Aguero (MCI v BOU, $20.33): Another expensive marquee name, but like virtually all the City attackers, he performs best at home.
Harry Kane (ARS v TOT, $23.16): He’s expensive, and on first glance the fixture doesn’t seem great. But Kane’s record against Arsenal is actually pretty excellent.
Marko Arnautovic (NEW v WHU, $14.30): He’s a bit of an injury worry (as usual, right?), but if he looks set to start he’s a great choice this weekend.
Who is in your thoughts this week? Are you shelling out big money for some of the top drawer players, or are you more interested in the value plays?
Keep in mind that the transfer deadline is Friday! Don’t miss it! Also, we’ll have lineups for the Cardiff-Wolves match in advance, so be sure to tune in if you’re considering players from those teams.