It’s been a very somber week in the lives of the fantasy premier league manager. Let me offer my sincerest sympathy to those of you who had to say goodbye to Harry Kane, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Heung-Min Son.
Week 23 will be a hopeful one, with managers aspiring to recoup points hits. As an owner of both Kane and Son, a -4 hit beckons. Previously planned transfers have to be shelved for now.
And if you planned all along to use a wildcard in the January transfer window, you may gloat in the comments this week.
Here are the players I am anticipating to be key in this game-week:
David De Gea (£5.7, Manchester United v. Brighton)
A few weeks ago I told you the clean sheets would return, but I did not expect 11 saves to go along with one. It’s safe to choose United defensive assets once again.
Martin Dubravka (£5.0, Newcastle v. Cardiff)
One of the better keepers outside the top six. For Rafa Benitez, everything begins with a solid defense, and he will want a clean sheet here.
John Stones (£5.2, Manchester City at Huddersfield)
Like their neighbors, City have not done well defensively this season. Brighter days should be ahead in Manchester, and Stones who does not have a goal or assist all season should get on the board soon.
Kieran Trippier (£6.1, Tottenham at Fulham)
Playing “away” should not be a problem for Spurs since they will still be in London. Someone has to get a goal, and with Harry Kane injured, England teammate Trippier can get one from a set-piece.
Andrew Robertson (£6.7, Liverpool v. Crystal Palace)
New contract in hand, the expensive Scot will be in great spirits going into this game.
Kiko Femenia (£4.2, Watford v. Burnley)
Burnley are on a good run at the moment, so it will be difficult for Watford. Femenia is a good budget option this week because he should be able to get forward.
Matt Doherty (£5.2, Wolves v. Leicester)
Owned by 23% of managers, he needs to produce this week before those ownership numbers dwindle.
Samir Nasri (£5.5, West Ham at Bournemouth)
If you’ve been reading my articles regularly, you know I love to gamble on a player who could be a real differential. The previously exiled Frenchman has the talent to be a great addition to your team.
Mo Salah (£13.4, Liverpool v. Crystal Palace)
There’s two type of fantasy managers in this world, those with Salah and those who don’t sleep peacefully at night. Captain him!
Nathan Redmond (£5.2, Southampton v. Everton)
A new man since the arrival of Ralph Hassenhuttl, Redmond will be a great budget option if he can continue providing points.
Leroy Sane (£9.6, Manchester City at Huddersfield)
Things could get ugly in this one: David Wagner is gone, and the team will almost certainly follow at the end of the season. The German should see a lot of the ball as City will have 75% possession or more.
Christian Eriksen (£9.3, Tottenham at Fulham)
Dele Alli is also an option; these two will have the pressure on them to provide the scoring while Kane and Son are away.
Marcus Rashford (£7.5, Manchester United v. Brighton)
Talk of going on loan or having to leave United to get game time has ceased. Nobody will be happier to have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in town than Rashford. He is absolutely enjoying his football, and the goals look like they will be flowing.
Troy Deeney (£5.9, Watford v. Burnley)
This is a player I don’t fancy much, but he can be very effective at times. I think teammates love to play with Deeney, he is a very unselfish striker which is almost unheard of. He can score or assist; Tom Heaton beware!
Raul Jimenez (£6.4, Wolves v. Leicester)
This has to be the lowest cost group of strikers ever in the picks. What this means is that there is value to be had folks. Don’t be afraid to invest your dollars in these players; you can load up the midfield.
I only have one question this week: How heavy was your points hit? Let me know if the players in the picks were brought in as replacements. Good luck this week.