Hold on to your hats as this round’s midweek fixtures come just one day after the prior game week and one day before the next — Whiplash!
But let’s take a quick look at the leader boards before we dive into the picks. In the NMA-11 league, I put up a very tidy 123 points for the week, good enough for fourth best. Magnificent 11 won the round with 133, followed by Team lifo with 128 and Whithy Dragons with 126. On the season, Team tampatonz continues to dominate, sitting atop the pile with 1425 points. Sparta FC is runner-up with 1379, and Whithy Dragons sits third with 1355. I’m in seventh with 1322.
I also had a nice week in NMA-17, where I put up 149 points — tied with our editor Jeff (Alehouse WAGs) for third place. Nastolen hurjat put up 162 to win the round, while KMFC Padawan came in second with 158. My good performance was only enough to lift me into 27th place overall, though. Team minhtruong leads the pack with 1703, while Team c44si is in second with 1684. KMFC Padawan is in third, where he is actually ahead of his master, KMFC, by 18 points.
Finally, in the NMA-Sub league I managed 118 points — good enough for seventh place on the week. 1Arsenal won the round with 146, while Liverlona was second with 133 and Curious Jorginho was third with 128. I’m still leading on the season though, with 1472 points overall (and yet somehow, I see no Team DavidBrian Padawans in any of the leagues?). OKIES is hot on my heels with 1456, followed by Team Captaingerrard with 1448.
With the leader board update out of the way, we’d best get to the picks: The deadline is tomorrow!
Tuesday 3 December 2019
Wednesday 4 December 2019
- Chelsea vs Aston Villa
- Leicester vs Watford
- Man United vs Tottenham
- Southampton vs Norwich
- Wolves vs West Ham
- Liverpool vs Everton
Thursday 5 December 2019
[Prices are from the NMA-11 league. Other leagues will be slightly less expensive.]
Adrian ($5.66, LIV vs EVE): Adrian will be wearing the #1 jersey on Wednesday as Alisson serves out a one-match red card suspension. Priced under $6 and facing Everton’s anemic offense at Fortress Anfield, he’s a perfect one-game play.
Alex McCarthy ($1.20, SOU vs NOR): The Canaries seem to have rediscovered their scoring boots, but if you need a bargain-basement GK this week, McCarthy is your man.
Paulo Gazzaniga ($3.87, MUN vs TOT): Away to United is not a terrific fixture, but José Mourinho will really, really not want to lose this one. Expect him to set up his squad and tactics accordingly.
Hector Bellerin ($1.59, ARS vs BHA): The Spaniard was rested against Norwich, and Callum Chambers didn’t impress in his stead. I’d bank on Freddy Ljungberg restoring Bellerin to the S11 on Thursday.
Diego Rico ($12.13, CRY vs BOU): He costs more than I typically like to pay for defenders. But he averages nearly 10 ppg and faces Palace’s feeble attack.
Reece James ($3.67, CHE vs AVL): James has started each of Chelsea’s last two home matches, returning 8 and 10 points. If the pattern holds, he’s great value for money when the Villans visit Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Martin Kelly ($5.16, CRY vs BOU): Joel Ward is out for the next few weeks with a knock, and in Kelly’s first shift as his deputy he returned 9 points against Burnley. Bournemouth’s offense isn’t particularly explosive, and Palace’s defense is among the league’s best: Kelly could be worth a shot this week.
Dejan Lovren ($3.81, LIV vs EVE): ‘Pool have made it quite apparent that we can’t count on clean sheets from them regardless of the opponent (and cross-town derbies can be upsetting in any case). But nobody is better on their home turf than the Reds, and Everton are a shambles. Lovren is the cheapest route into that defense, and his average return exceeds his price.
Ryan Bertrand ($4.57, SOU vs NOR): Chris named Bertrand to his picks last time out, and I’m doing it again this round. The game against Norwich will be open, and that could spell some nice returns for Soton’s English left back.
James Tomkins ($4.37, CRY vs BOU): Another tipped by Chris for GW 14, he returned 12 points in the shutout victory over Burnley. He looks primed for another handsome harvest when the Cherries visit.
Mesut Ozil ($4.84, ARS vs BHA): With returns of 12 and 17 over his last two, Ozil seems to be returning to fantasy relevance under new management. He looks a bargain for the home match against the Seagulls.
Jack Grealish ($17.01, CHE vs AVL): Expensive, but as Lee Dixon said after the United game yesterday, “He’s playing out of his skin.” Averaging a ridiculous 15.4 ppg over his last seven games, he has missed double digits only once over that stretch. Chelsea’s open style and dicey defense will offer him plenty of opportunities to shine yet again.
Christian Pulisic ($12.76, CHE vs AVL): He’s come off the boil a bit after his streak of five goals in three games, but a home tie with the Villans offers him a nice chance to get back on track.
James Ward-Prowse ($15.68, SOU vs NOR): Raise your hand if you realized that JWP’s 13-point performance against Watford was his sixth double-digit return in a row? Well, now you know. And with a home match against Norwich’s permissive defense next on his agenda, I see no reason to think that streak will end on Wednesday.
Moussa Djenepo ($5.59, SOU vs NOR): Djenepo put up 17 points in the September 14th match with Sheffield United, but was forced off by an injury that caused him to miss the following five matches. On Saturday he was handed his second start since returning to fitness, and he registered 9 points that included an assist (and the whole Southampton team looks better when he is on the field). His low price belies his potential for the Norwich match.
Son Heung-Min ($16.05, MUN vs TOT): Four assists and two goals in his last four games, and averaging over 19 points over his last three. He’s not cheap, but his form has been white-hot ever since his temporary red-card shook off many fantasy managers who once had him at a huge discount (Grrrr...).
Dele Alli ($8.88, MUN vs TOT): Almost half the cost of his Korean teammate and also in fine form, Alli is undergoing a rebirth under the newfound freedom that Mourinho is allowing him.
Alexandre Lacazette ($11.35, ARS vs BHA): Brighton’s defense is solid, but Lacazette has put up double-digits in each of his last three home fixtures and costs almost half as much as his blue-chip French strike partner.
Willian ($12.52, CHE vs AVL): Willian was rested to the bench on Saturday and was limited to just a 27-minute sub appearance. Chelsea lacked a sharp edge against West Ham, so I expect Willian to be reinstalled to the S11 Wednesday. He could do plenty of damage against Villa.
Jamie Vardy ($22.85, LEI vs WAT): As reluctant as I am to recommend a player who costs almost $23, Vardy is actually averaging almost 22 ppg over his last five matches. And this week he is at home to an absolutely terrible Watford side who will enter the King Power under their third manager since the season began.
Gabriel Jesus ($10.22, BRN vs MCI): He failed to find the net against Newcastle, but still registered 3 SOTs and 12 points. With Sergio Aguero still crocked, Jesus should get another start tomorrow, and this time the goal(s) may come.
Lys Mousset ($7.37, SHU vs NEW): Four goals in his last six games, and he faces Newcastle at home this week. Priced under $8, he’s a terrific value.
Danny Ings ($13.99, SOU vs NOR): Six goals in his last 8 games, and he faces Norwich at home this week. He costs almost twice as much as Mousset, but like the Frenchman he’s good value this week.
Harry Kane ($14.99, MUN vs TOT): Kane hasn’t yet flourished under Mourinho the way that guys like Son and Alli have, but Mou plays him higher on the pitch than Mauricio Pochettino did. The goals will come, and his price is a bargain for a striker of his pedigree.
Raul Jimenez ($16.24, WOL vs WHU): The Mexican has four goals in his last six matches, and has registered double-digits in each of his last four.
The early match with confirmed lineups before our deadline will be Crystal Palace vs Bournemouth (if anyone cares).
In what positions are you shopping? Who else are you considering? Who is on your watch list? Are you worried about congestion rotation anywhere? Which matches look best for fantasy investment, and which do you want to watch as a fan? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!