Holy price swings, Batman! After putting a smorgasbord of high-quality, low-cost player options on offer for GW 1, Fantrax inflated some GW 2 prices at rates rivaled only by the Venezuelan bolívare. For example, Benjamin Mendy shot from $4.00 to $14.05 and Richarlison spiked from $8.01 to $16.92. And somehow, inexplicably, the fourth most expensive player in the Fantrax NMA league is now none other than Fred, who is priced at $15.66 despite a GW 1 points total of precisely zero. Say what? Maybe Fantrax imported prior-season data from another league.
On the other hand, the prices of some of the EPL’s biggest stars fell back to earth (or at least re-entering atmo from orbit). Mo Salah is now down to $21.69 (despite a 20 point return against West Ham), Harry Kane dropped to $15.92, Kevin De Bruyne fell to $13.43, and Sergio Aguero retreated to $13.67. And not all productive new-boys skyrocketed: ‘Pool’s Alisson earned 14 points in his GK debut, but his introductory default price was shaved down to $6.63.
On the whole the adjustments have been positive, since many of the top fantasy assets in the game are now affordable again. In fact, this week Fantrax is holding a fire sale on some of the league’s best players. Let’s explore them, as well as the other names I think you should be considering this week. But first, the fixtures:
Manchester City vs Huddersfield
The plum fixtures belong to Tottenham, Manchester City, and Liverpool, but as always, there is fantasy potential throughout the entire slate of games.
Jordan Pickford (EVE, $4.06): England’s World Cup goalkeeper is a good value for the visit of Southampton this week.
Alisson (LIV, $6.63): Another clean sheet could be in the cards when the Reds travel to Selhurst Park this weekend, and this world-class keeper on a top-tier team may never be this cheap again.
David De Gea (MUN, $8.68): Last season’s stingiest goalkeeper faces Brighton on Sunday. Last week he was robbed of a shutout at the death, so on Sunday he’ll be determined to collect his first clean sheet of this year’s campaign.
Martin Dubravka (NEW, $3.93): The Slovakian suffered a tough loss to Tottenham last weekend, but his prospects against Cardiff look much brighter.
Ciaran Clark (NEW, $5.01): Collected 6 points despite losing to Tottenham, and this week he’ll face Cardiff’s toothless attack. Clean sheet points could be in the cards.
Toby Alderweireld (TOT, $3.80), Kieran Trippier (TOT, $4.00): They were granted rest in GW 1 and did not appear against Newcastle. If they look set to start on Saturday, then one of them should be in your team. Or even both: They’re comically cheap at these prices.
Seamus Coleman (EVE, $7.52): With the threat of Lucas Digne looming over Leighton Baines’ status as starter, going forward Seamus Coleman will be your best bet among Everton’s back line. This week Southampton come to call, so the Irish fullback may be able to tack on a clean sheet to his attacking points.
Héctor Bellerín (ARS, $7.93): I doubt Arsenal will keep a clean sheet against Chelsea, but they didn’t keep one against Manchester City, and the fleet-footed Spaniard still finished with 13 points.
Benjamin Mendy (MCI, $14.06): He was the first player I put in my Fantrax squads this year, and the Frenchman rewarded my confidence with a monster 25 points against Arsenal. That performance has caused his price to spike, but at home to Huddersfield he’s still worth it.
However, if you need a cheaper route to City’s probable clean sheet, consider Aymeric Laporte (MCI, $6.09). He was outstanding against Arsenal and may have won himself another chance this week.
José Holebas (Watford, $9.49): Holebas picked up a clean sheet in the victory over Brighton on Saturday, but he makes this list because of his contributions to the attack. He assisted both of his team’s goals, forced two corners, and sent in a whopping five accurate crosses. Even though he also picked up a yellow card, he still finished on 19 points.
Luke Shaw (MUN, $8.81): I wouldn’t bet on him scoring again this week. But even if you subtract last week’s goal points from his total, no United defender was a better Fantrax performer than Shaw. And this week the Red Devils face Brighton, where they will have a decent shot at a cleanie.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (CRY, $7.38): 18 points last week. It is highly unlikely that Palace will be able to hold Liverpool scoreless, but AWB proved to us last year that he doesn’t need clean sheets to return value.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV, $9.94): No goals, no assists, and a yellow card in GW 1. Sounds terrible, right? Wrong — he still managed a 14 point Fantrax haul. Against Crystal Palace this week, there will again be potential for points at both ends of the pitch.
James Milner (LIV, $5.50): One of the few Liverpool attacking assets not classified as a forward this year, Milner picked up an assist, forced a corner, and pumped in 3 accurate crosses against West Ham last week. Jurgen Klopp’s stable of midfielders is crowded and the threat of rotation is always there, but Milner is a terrific value if he looks set to start at Crystal Palace.
In Fantrax, Milner, Wan-B, Bellerin and Holebas (among others) can be placed in either defense or midfield (and then moved as needed). Keep an eye out for these flexible fantasy assets with the “D, M” tag; that flexibility can help you deal with injuries and suspensions that are bound to hit your lineup during the season.
James Maddison (LEI, $6.00): Leicester’s number 10 almost reached double-digits against Manchester United despite playing only an hour and being shown yellow. He should do even better against Wolves.
Kevin De Bruyne (MCI, $13.43): KDB’s brief and unproductive cameo at Arsenal dropped his price like a rock, and this week he should start against Huddersfield at the Etihad. He’s on sale right now, and you should be buying. KDB has suffered a knee injury during training, is out for at least this weekend, and may not return until Christmas. Follow team news and the NMA blog (especially our Pre-Deadline Chat) for updates.
Kenedy (NEW, $7.57): Newcastle’s Chelsea loanee notched 12 points in the loss to Tottenham. At Cardiff, the good times should continue to roll.
Christian Eriksen (TOT, $15.07): He’s now cheaper than Dele Alli, and he’s a more reliable fantasy play than his English teammate. He’ll have plenty of room to operate when the Cottagers visit.
Jack Wilshere (WHU, $3.80): Scored 8 points despite getting “hammered” by Liverpool (see what I did there?). Home to Bournemouth this week, he makes a great enabler.
Rúben Neves (WOL, $11.29): In my piece on the promoted teams, I tipped Neves to be a revelation to EPL viewers who are unfamiliar with his talent. In the Preseason Staff Picks article, I named him as my Surprise Player of the Year. And sure enough, in his Premier League debut he bagged a goal plus an assist on his way to a 21-point Fantrax bonanza. Grab the Wolves’ talisman while his price is still a decent value.
Cenk Tosun (EVE, $6.41): The striker picked up an assist in the 2-2 draw at Wolves. When the Toffees host Southampton this week I bet he reaps an even richer rewards.
Jamie Vardy (LEI, $11.83): Only sent on to the pitch for the last third of the game, Vardy nonetheless was able to slip a consolation goal past DDG to kill United’s clean sheet in injury time. I think Vardy will be fit to start when the Foxes welcome Wolverhampton this weekend, so his fantasy owners should enjoy a full 90 minutes of production from him.
Mo Salah (LIV, $21.69): He scored a goal in amassing 20 points against West Ham, but that wasn’t enough to keep his price in orbit. The Egyptian Magician’s cost is now low enough for me to become interested again, especially against Crystal Palace.
Sergio Aguero (MCI, $13.67): Kun’s price has fallen too, and he’s got Huddersfield at home this week. But keep an eye on team news. If Pep Guardiola’s Wonderful Wheel of Rotation looks set to favor Jesus (MCI, $8.72) over Aguero, then the Brazilian becomes a great option this weekend.
Marcus Rashford (MUN, $7.65): Alexis Sanchez was terrible last weekend, and Lukaku trolled us too (we should have seen it coming, right?). So among United’s front three, Rashford looks like the sweet spot between price and potential when the Red Devils travel to Brighton.
Joselu (NEW, $6.60): His goal against Spurs should be enough to keep him ahead of Salomon Rondon in Rafael Benitez’s pecking order (for now anyway). And this week he’ll square off against Cardiff, whose defense should be easier to unlock than Tottenham’s.
Harry Kane (TOT, $15.92): Kane is another whose price has re-entered the atmosphere, so he makes the list this week. I don’t know if he’ll break the August curse and score, but at just under $16 he’s a good value in Fantrax’s point system.
Like the dual role defender / midfielders, there are some players (e.g. Richarlison) whom Fantrax allows you to play as either Midfield or Forward, and you can shift such between positions without dropping them. When shopping for a forward, the “M, F” label means you can buy him as a forward today with an option to move him back later to reopen that precious forward slot when someone else catches your eye.
That’s my menu of top Fantrax options for GW 2. Which players are in your thoughts? Whom did you grab on the barn door before the price swings? Do you see any other inexplicable prices this week? Please tell us in the comments below.
Who is your top Fantrax fantasy choice for GW 2?
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David De Gea
Kevin De Bruyne