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English Premier League Fantrax Player Picks: Game Week 8

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Step inside for guidance on shaping your GW 8 Fantrax squads.

Andriy Yarmolenko - West Ham United - Premier League
Andriy Yarmolenko has burst onto our fantasy radars over the last two weeks. Can he maintain his rich vein of form?
Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Game Week 7 is in the rearview mirror; how did you do? I’ve already detailed my GW 7 FPL performance here, but I’ll go ahead and lay out my Fantrax results for you too. In the NMA-11 league I scored a dismal 55 points, continuing my steady fall from the top spot a few weeks ago. Fantrax black-belt Stall more than doubled my score, coming in at 5th for the week with 111 (Ken was right behind him with 109). The week was won by 1Arsenal, who registered a whopping 123 points.

I was similarly poor in the NMA-17 league, where I failed to crack the 100 point mark despite the benefit of 6 extra players working for me. I landed in 39th place with 98 points. Team minhtruong took the honors for the week with 137 points.

Finally, in the NMA-Sub league, I finished in 24th with 76 points, dropping me to 4th place overall. Torrie Wilson was the week’s champ with 119.

On the European tournament front, last night Manchester City defeated Dinamo Zagreb 2-0 and Tottenham were blown out 2-7 by Bayern Munich. Neither EPL side has reported any injuries resulting from those matches. Tonight Liverpool play Red Bull Salzburg and Chelsea face off with Lille OSC. Tomorrow Wolves play Besiktas, Arsenal play Standard Liége, and Manchester United play AZ Alkmar. Be sure to follow lineups and injury reports from these games to help guide your management decisions for the league ties this weekend.

Okay, let’s dive in to Game Week 8. Please remember that Brighton vs Spurs is the week’s early match, so we should have confirmed lineups for these sides ahead of the Fantrax deadline. Tune in to our Pre-Deadline chat to make sure your players from these sides are in their teams’ S11s, or to grab a surprise differential!

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Saturday 5 October 2019

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Sunday 6 October 2019

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Goalkeepers

Kepa Arrizabalaga (SOU vs CHE, $5.35): Chelsea’s defense has been steadily improving since the Blues were blown out 4-0 by Manchester United in Week 1. On Saturday, they even kept their first clean sheet of the season against Brighton. Admittedly the Seagulls aren’t exactly the league’s most dangerous side, but hey, neither is Southampton.

Dean Henderson (WAT vs SHU, $6.92): Watford still haven’t won a league game, and the league’s basement-dwellers have given us no indication that their first victory is imminent. Henderson should pick up win points, and also has an excellent shot at a clean sheet against the league’s joint-worst offense.

Roberto Jiménez (WHU vs CRY, $2.60): Backup keeper Jiménez was pressed into service last weekend, replacing an injured Lukasz Fabianski in the 34th minute. The Hammers defense is fairly solid, and Palace have only scored six goals this season. At $2.60, Jiménez makes a solid GK enabler option for Game Week 8.

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Defenders

Diego Rico (ARS vs BOU, $5.26): In his three starts since he began his current run in Bournemouth’s S11, Rico has hit double-digits twice. His highest return came on the road, so don’t let his date at the Emirates this weekend deter you.

Joseph Gomez (LIV vs LEI, $2.60): Joel Matip is an early injury doubt; if he is ruled out then Gomez could be in line to deputize.

Nícolas Otamendi (MCI vs WOL, $7.36): Virtually guaranteed to start, and has a good chance at a clean sheet. Capable of popping up with a goal, too.

Kyle Walker-Peters (BHA vs TOT, $3.66): On Saturday, Serge Aurier did what Serge Aurier does and got himself red-carded for two first-half yellows that came only four minutes apart. Given that Juan Foyth has yet to play a single minute in any competition this season, the path should be clear for KWP to start at right back this weekend. He costs $3.66 and faces one of the league’s worst offenses. Including him in your squad should be an easy decision.

Aaron Cresswell (WHU vs CRY, $7.27): Cresswell is enjoying a purple patch right now, scoring a goal in each of his last two games and amassing 33 points over that period. A home match against Palace sounds like a pretty good time to hitch your wagon to his horse.

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Midfielders

Matteo Guendouzi (ARS vs BOU, $9.89): Doozie’s fantasy pattern is pretty clear: double digit returns in every home game so far. His real-life play has grown steadily more impressive too. I like him for the visit of Bournemouth this week.

John McGinn (NOR vs AVL, $15.80): With eleven SOTs and four goals so far, McGinn is establishing himself as a bona fide fantasy stud. He’s expensive, but his average return nearly equals his price. He faces a Norwich side that doesn’t place much of a premium on defending.

Jack Grealish (NOR vs AVL, $10.66): While his game doesn’t feature the offensive fireworks of his Scottish teammate, Grealish is something of a Phantom Menace. I think he’ll quietly accrue double-digits when the Villans visit Carrow Road, and he could even punctuate his performance with a goal or assist.

Mason Mount (SOU vs CHE, $12.28): The most likely Chelsea midfielder to score from open play, and two of his three goals this year have come on the road.

Bernardo Silva (MCI vs WOL, $13.49): Riyad Mahrez went the distance in last night’s Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb, but Pep subbed B. Silva off in the 56th minute. That could indicate that the Portugal star is in Pep’s plans for the weekend. If you want to roll the dice on Pep’s Wonderful Wheel of Rotation, B. Silva could come up aces for you. He returned 33 points in his last match at the Etihad.

Todd Cantwell (NOR vs AVL, $9.03): Here’s what you need to know about Todd Cantwell: two goals and two assists at home, and zero goals and zero assists on the road. He’ll be at Carrow Road this weekend, and the Canaries will be pressing for full points from this fixture.

Emiliano Buendía (NOR vs AVL, $9.57): Buendía also performs better at home, and takes set pieces. He’s in my squad this week.

Christian Eriksen (BHA vs TOT, $11.86): I’m not sure what to expect from Tottenham these days. Sometimes they play like Champions League finalists, and other times they play like a team that could lose to Newcastle. Sometimes they play both ways in the same game. Christian Eriksen hasn’t been himself lately either. But this week Spurs play Brighton, and Eriksen costs less than $12. He was not even named to He was a second-half sub in the squad that got demolished by Bayern last night, so he should be fresh for the weekend.

Manuel Lanzini (WHU vs CRY, $6.84: Over the weekend, Lanzini returned from injury to make a 23-minute cameo that netted him zero points. The result? His price is now lower than his average ppg. Facing Palace at the London Stadium, the Argentine play-maker should be a strong contender for your S11 this week. (Also, if you can swing his $15.60 price tag, Felipe Anderson is averaging 12.6 ppg over his last five games.)

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Forwards

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (ARS vs BOU, $21.92): PEA has scored 7 in 7, blanking in only one match so far. I’m usually reluctant to recommend players with prices as astronomical as his, but he’s sizzling hot, and only four teams have conceded more goals than the Cherries. If you can find a way to fit him in, you probably won’t regret it.

Bukayo Saka (ARS vs BOU, $4.90): If PEA is too rich for your blood, then maybe think about his 18 year-old teammate. Saka looked bright against Manchester United and collected a tidy 11 points. With Alexandre Lacazette still sidelined by a hamstring issue, that performance should earn Saka another start against Bournemouth.

Callum Wilson (BOU vs ARS, $17.02): Five goals and 57 points over his last four games. Like PEA, he’s pricey but firing on all cylinders.

Chris Wood (BUR vs EVE, $9.43): I don’t think I’ve ever recommended Chris Wood before. I kind of thought of him as a Championship phenom who failed to materialize when he jumped up to the Prem. But perhaps the missing ingredient has been confidence. That deficit may be remedied now that he has scored three goals over his last two games. Given his price, his form, and the fact that Everton haven’t won a league game in over a month, this might be a good week to give the Kiwi a go.

Tammy Abraham (SOU vs CHE, $14.76): Chelsea’s hitman failed to score for the second week in a row last time out, but he still managed 15 points. Five of his seven goals have come on the road, and when he scores he seems to do it in batches. He’s due, and if he blows up for a brace or a hatty, you won’t want to miss out.

Teemu Pukki (NOR vs AVL, $17.02): Pukki has blanked in his last two, but a home match against a fellow newly-promoted side seems like a ripe opportunity for the Finn to get back on the scoreboard.

Son Heung-Min (BHA vs TOT, $13.98): It has been two games since Son scored a league goal, and he was at home when he did. But he scored in the Champions League defeat to Bayern last night, and for a price tag under $14 he’s a good value against 16th-place Brighton.

Harry Kane (BHA vs TOT, $18.64): Three goals, an assist, and 60 points over his last 4 games. He also tucked away a penalty kick in the Champions League match yesterday. He’s in fine form, his opposition is weak, and his price is reasonable compared to the league’s other elite strikers.

Andriy Yarmolenko (WHU vs CRY, $7.14): It was about this time last year that the 29 year-old Russian tore his Achilles and missed the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign. But he’s fit now and seems determined to make up for lost time, scoring in two games on the trot and collecting 33 points. Yet his price is still affordable, and he has a great fixture for this round of play. In a week where there aren’t a ton of enticing budget-friendly forward options, Yarmolenko is a notable exception.

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Which of these players will be in your squads? Which will not? Anyone you think I’ve neglected to mention? Please let us know in the Comments below.

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