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Fantrax Player Picks: Game Week 27

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My shortlist of players to consider for your GW-27 Fantrax fantasy squads

Stoke - Premier League
Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri seems primed to prosper against Brighton this weekend.
Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

The Games:

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The Players:

Goalkeepers

Jack Butland (STK vs BRI, $3.26): Butland has returned 11, 16, 5, and 14 in his last four home games, and Brighton have scored just a single goal in their last seven road games.

Asmir Begovic (HUD vs BOU, $6.30): Bournemouth are on a 7-game undefeated streak. Huddersfield have lost their last 5, and have scored just one goal over that stretch.

David de Gea (NEW vs MUN, $15.02): Man United have registered six clean sheets in their last 6 league games. Newcastle have notched only 5 times over that same period, and have not won a match since New Year’s Day. DDG’s price makes him a risk at retail, but if you already have him, hold him.

Loris Karius (SOU vs LIV, $2.57): Southampton were winless in twelve prior to the weekend’s victory over last-place West Brom. Karius hasn’t yet convinced me that he is worthy of the #1 shirt at a club of Liverpool’s caliber, but this week he should be value for money against the struggling Saints.

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Defenders

Seamus Coleman (EVE vs CRY, $1.00): One of Everton’s best real-life and fantasy players before his leg break, he returned to the squad on January 31 after an 11-month absence. He put in a full shift and returned 7 points even without the benefit of a clean sheet. He was allowed time to recover over the weekend and now looks poised to start the home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Moritz Bauer (STK vs BRI, $2.10): In his four games since joining the squad, the Austrian right back has averaged 7.75 ppg. He is eligible for clean sheet points, and this week Stoke host Brighton’s anemic road offense. Hopefully you picked him up when he was still $1, but even at retail, Bauer is still terrific value for money this week.

Aymeric Laporte (MCI vs LEI, $1.00): The young Frenchman is considered to be one of the best center backs in the world. He better be, since his £57 transfer fee broke City’s club record for a defender. Laporte immediately slotted into the S11 and helped City keep a clean sheet against the Baggies. When he was rested for the next game, the Citizens conceded a tying goal to Burnley at the Etihad. I think he returns to the S11 this week, and the club’s most expensive defender will only cost you $1.

Terence Kongolo: (HUD vs BOU, $1.15): The Dutch international is on loan from Monaco and generates most of his fantasy points through defensive statistics like tackles won, blocked shots, and passes intercepted. A resurgent Bournemouth should provide him with ample opportunities to shine in those areas. And his price tag is only a hair over $1.

Chris Smalling (NEW vs MUN, $8.60): Since returning to the S11 on January 15, Smalling has started 4 straight games and posted double-digit returns in every one of them. Each of those games was a clean sheet, and another one seems probable when the Red Devils visit St. James Park.

Virgil van Dijk (SOU vs LIV, $4.01): Southampton have been spiraling downward despite the recent victory over woeful West Brom. VVD is a goal threat on any day, so would it be a shock to see him score against his struggling former club?

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Midfielders

Henrikh Mkhitaryan (TOT vs ARS, $7.18): Early indications suggest that Mkhitaryan will be a linchpin of Arsenal’s attack. I’m not overly bullish on the Gunners’ goal prospects against Spurs, but I think the Armenian will be involved in much of whatever they are able to accomplish.

Aaron Lennon (SWA vs BRN, $3.05): Since his loan to Burnley from Everton, he put in 30 minutes against Newcastle and 90 minutes against Man City, returning 6 and 9 points respectively. He travels to Swansea this week and represents excellent value for price.

Xherdan Shaqiri (STK vs BRI, $13.09): Stoke’s Swiss winger is averaging over 9 ppg. I’m predicting he cracks double-digits this weekend when Brighton come to call.

Jordon Ibe (HUD vs BOU, $10.84): The Englishman has been central to Bournemouth’s rebirth, tallying double-digit Fantrax returns in 5 of his last 7 appearances. And yet he’s still very affordable, presenting excellent value for a trip to Huddersfield, who have conceded 2 or more goals in each of their last 5 matches.

Jesse Lingard (NEW vs MUN, $9.82): Lingard has been United’s most dangerous midfielder lately: It’s been 5 games since Juan Mata or Paul Pogba have even had a shot on target, but Lingard has had 3 in his last 2. Lingard tends to have his minutes managed, but he should see enough of the pitch at Newcastle to generate good returns in the time he is given.

James Ward-Prowse (SOU vs LIV, $7.52): JWP played a role in 2 of his team’s 3 goals in the victory over West Brom, and has put up double-digit returns in 3 of his last 4 outings. Hosting Liverpool means his side will likely return to its losing ways this weekend, but that doesn’t mean JWP can’t prosper.

Eden Hazard (CHE vs WBA, $14.45): The Belgian virtuoso has been the only consistent fantasy performer throughout Chelsea’s recent woes. I back him to continue to shine at home to West Brom this week.

Cesc Fabregas (CHE vs WBA, $8.40): Chelsea have desperately missed his creative presence in the midfield. He should be ready to start this week, and I expect him to produce.

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Forwards

Harry Kane (TOT vs ARS, $22.34): He’s expensive at retail, but the league’s goal leader welcomes arch-rivals Arsenal to Wembley this week, and the visitors may be without Petr Cech. Kane will have his scoring boots on after being left on the bench for last night’s FA Cup action, and the North London derby match could easily generate spot kicks.

Theo Walcott (EVE vs CPL, $3.59): Theo followed his 39 point explosion against Leicester with a 4 point let-down against his former team. I think he’ll be back in double-digits again this week when the Toffees host Palace.

Gerard Deulofeu (WHU vs WAT, $2.22): The Spaniard slotted directly into the S11 and immediately showed his class. Now the primary source of his team’s creativity, Deulofeu showed that he can also finish, tucking one past Petr Cech in Watford’s dismantling of Chelsea on Monday.

Raheem Sterling (MCI vs LEI, $16.80), Sergio Aguero (MCI vs LEI, $18.42): Aguero has been the one rippling the net lately, but Sterling is cheaper and has been putting up solid fantasy numbers in spite of his goal drought. Take your pick; either is an excellent choice this week. (So is Kevin De Bruyne, but KDB’s retail price makes him more of a gamble.)

Callum Wilson (HUD vs BOU, $8.27): Wilson has 3 goals in his last 5 appearances and will be relishing the trip to Kirklees Stadium to take on Huddersfield’s permissive defense.

Alexis Sanchez (NEW vs MUN, $14.56): DeAndre Yedlin will be grossly overmatched against Alexis, whose new shirt has made the former Gunner hungrier than ever. Plus, it appears he has assumed PK duty. Benefits of the Chilean’s efforts could also accrue to Romelu Lukaku, but between the two, I’d place my Fantrax bet on Sanchez.

Mo Salah (SOU vs LIV, $24.80): He should be in your squad already.

Olivier Giroud (CHE vs WBA, $3.73): Alvaro Morata has struggled for form and fitness, and Giroud has now had time to settle into the squad. I think he gets his first start on Monday, and the big Frenchman’s presence at the tip of Chelsea’s spear could help turn their fortunes around.

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Almost half of the players on this list cost less than $5, so you should be able to assemble quite a formidable lineup this week! Are you looking at any of the dollar-store new-boys? Are you gambling on Chelsea to arrest their slide? Tell us about your favorite picks in the comments below.