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Week 33 Fantrax Player Picks: Calm Before the Storm

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We’re in pacific waters with a normal 10-game slate before things again become choppy in GW34. So you can sail easy for the most part, but you’ll surely want to keep a weather eye out toward the horizon and make a few changes to your fantasy crew.

Arsenal v Stoke City - Premier League
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has navigated the winds well, enjoying a fast start with Arsenal
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Unlimited trading means there’s no klaxon call to overhaul Fantrax rosters just yet to load up on DGW-34 players . However, you do want to be mindful of them: You won’t want to drop such you already have at discount, and if a barn door opportunity knocks, you’d do well to gravitate toward players you’ll want in the DGW. So while it’s not time for a complete turnover, you’ll want to bias your trades toward DGW candidates. With that in mind, who looks prosperous for Week 34?

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KEEPERS

Hugo Lloris ($10.23, Tottenham at Stoke City)

In the premium keeper department, I prefer Lloris this weekend to the likes of Ederson, David De Gea or Nick Pope. While this one’s on the road, Lloris has scored 7, 5, 16, -3, 12 and 15 points in his past six away games, and Stoke is simply awful. It’s easy to envision a clean sheet victory, and even if that fails to happen, it’s tough to imagine the Potters nicking more than a goal.

Kasper Schmeichel ($7.99, Leicester v. Newcastle)

Schmeichel and Leicester have been hit or miss, so from that perspective, this one seems like a coin toss. But Newcastle hasn’t scored more than one goal in five out of its past seven games, and the Foxes are at King Power Stadium, so from that vantage point, it’s looking much more like heads than tails.

Mat Ryan ($5.45, Brighton v. Huddersfield)

If you’re impartial observer, you’re not going to watch the game — or even the “highlights” — but that doesn’t mean you have to stay away from it in fantasy. Ryan is averaging 5.38 ppg in the comfy confines of Kirklees Stadium, Huddersfield has been shut out in four of its past five away games, and you don’t have to pay much for a guy who is so confident that he doesn’t even spell his name with two T’s.

Orestis Kornezis ($1.63, Watford v. Burnley)

Watford has certainly been a strange, unpredictable team this season, so I’m not saying I have great faith that the Hornets are going to handle Burnley. But in Kornezis’ four home games since replacing Heurelho Gomes, he has returned 3, 14, 15 and 5 points, and the Clarets’ offense is far from explosive. What more could you ask for from a budget keeper?

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DEFENDERS

Cesar Azpillicueta ($11.23, Chelsea v. West Ham)

Despite Chelsea’s recent struggles, Azpi has averaged 9.8 ppg in his past five games, with no goals, no assists and only one clean sheet. At home against West Ham, the Spaniard should have a very good chance of beating that average.

Chris Smalling ($9.51, Manchester United at Manchester City)

Sure, it’ll be a smashing derby match away from Old Trafford and with the season title on the line, but sometimes you just have to keep rolling the dice. After all, Smalling has scored double digit points in eight of his past nine games.

Nacho Monreal ($9.99, Arsenal v. Southampton)

I’m a little worried that concentrating on trying to win the Europa League means Gunner rotation in the back. But if the Nacho Nacho Man starts in this one, he should return value and then some. Be sure to check team news closer to the deadline to see if Wenger is leaning toward giving Monreal some rest over the weekend.

Ben Chilwell ($6.30, Leicester v. Newcastle)

Chilwell has turned things up a notch with an assist in each of his past two games. He is averaging a robust 8.5 ppg in his past four.

Terence Kongolo ($2.48, Huddersfield at Brighton)

Kongolo scored 9 points at Newcastle after returning to the starting line-up, and has averaged 6.29 ppg this season, so assuming he keeps his spot in the XI, he’s great value.

Seamus Coleman ($2.19, Everton v. Liverpool)

In a derby hosting the Reds, Coleman might not be able to get forward as much as he usually does. But then again, Pool will be sandwiched between midweek CL ties against Man City. Regardless, he’s still another good budget option if you’re looking to save funds.

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MIDFIELDERS

Christian Eriksen ($17.61, Tottenham at Stoke)

It’s difficult to find a safer bet than the Danish playmaker who has double digit points in nine of his past 10 games and now faces lowly Stoke.

Riyad Mahrez ($17.27, Leicester v. Newcastle)

Leicester’s magician disappointed a bit with “only” nine points last week following a fiery run of form, but he returns home where he’s averaged 11.5 ppg this season. It would be no shock to see a return to glory.

David Silva ($13.05, Manchester City v. Manchester United)

City’s main Silva has three goals and three assists in his past four games, so if you’re looking for a form horse, browse no further. Do be sure to keep an eye on team news, as Pep Guardiola could rest key stars in this game sandwiched between a pair of big Liverpool Champions League fixtures.

Dele Alli ($13.16, Tottenham at Stoke)

After putting up 23 and 18 points in his past pair of away games, Alli now averages more points on the road than at Wembley. (By comparison, Son Heung-Min’s home mark is nearly three times that of his road average.) Now Spurs head to Stoke, which is quite inviting.

Victor Moses ($6.75, Chelsea v. West Ham)

Moses is averaging 7.5 ppg at home, and he has two goals plus an assist in his past six games. Oh, and the Saints’ match notwithstanding, West Ham isn’t very good. You knew that, right?

Aaron Wan-Bissaka ($2.42, Crystal Palace at Bournemouth)

The Eagles’ youngster was a disappointment with only three points against Liverpool, but Bournemouth is not Liverpool, so there’s a good chance he’ll get back to his higher scoring fantasy ways.

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FORWARDS

Harry Kane ($21.12, Tottenham at Stoke)

Before his injury exit against Bournemouth, the Spurs talisman had returned double digit points in eight straight games. Now back to health, he should be able to terrorize the Potters. Check the late news for any hints that his minutes will be limited either this week or during the DGW.

Raheem Sterling ($16.09, Man City v. Man Utd)

Sterling didn’t start against Liverpool mid-week, so he’ll be raring to go in this one. Most importantly, he’s scored double digits in each of his past six appearances, with two goals and three assists in that span.

Alvaro Morata ($11.93, Chelsea v. West Ham)

After scoring upon his long-awaited return to the starting XI, Morata could be a cheeky play going forward.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($10.35, Arsenal v. Southampton)

One good thing about PEA is that he is cup-tied for Europa League, so Wenger has no need to rotate him out of any Premier League games. Another is that he’s coming straight off an impressive brace and has five goals with an assist in his six games so far. Oh, and have I mentioned that the Gunners host the miserable Saints who looked bad even against West Ham?

Salomon Rondon ($9.00, West Brom v. Swansea)

Rondon is in the thick of a purple patch, with double digit returns in each of his past four games. This fixture is fairly likely to make fifth.

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NEWS: Mo Salah was subbed off for injury at 53 minutes in Wednesday’s CL match. With a 2nd leg coming shortly, Salah is at best a doubt for this weekend.

NOTE: Player prices shown above are for the Never Manage Alone Fantrax league. Fantrax prices vary by league, so if you are playing in a different league, your player prices will likely be different.

How many changes are you making this week? Who are you targeting to make the biggest impact for your fantasy team? Let us know in the comments!