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Fantrax Fantasy EPL Player Picks for Game Week 20: No Rest for the Weary

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The turnaround time for Game Week 20 is only a matter of hours — make sure you are ready!

Roulette wheel
Be careful this week! Along with holiday fixture congestion comes the very real threat of rotation roulette.
Photo by Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images

Game-week 19 concludes today with Wolves hosting Manchester City, so we’ve now reached the halfway point in the 2019-20 English Premier League campaign. But there’s no time to stop and smell the roses — game-week 20 kicks off in less than 24 hours. [The Fantrax salary recalc will be quicker too, so make your barn-door trades within two hours of the end of today’s match!]

And as if a 15 hour turnover between game weeks wasn’t bad enough, game-week 21 opens Wednesday, followed by FA Cup matches next weekend. After that, United, Aston Villa, Manchester City, and Leicester play mid-week Carabao Cup matches before the EPL picks up again on January 10th. So over the next 2 weeks, most EPL teams will play four matches and some will play five. (And all this after they’ve just played 3 matches over the last 12 days.)

That means injuries and rotation almost certainly WILL wreak havoc on your fantasy squads, so be sure to follow team news in order to minimize the potential disruption to your lineups. And remember, confirmed S11s for each week’s first game are usually posted prior to the Fantrax transfer deadline, so if you’re online with us for the Pre-Deadline Chat you’ll receive that information in time to act on it. In periods like this when the fixtures are more congested than a kindergartener’s nose, that kind of intel can be pure gold. (This week it’s BRI vs BOU, for what it’s worth.)

Note: because this article will publish before the salary recalc, quoted prices reflect barn-door pricing.

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Saturday 28 December 2019

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Sunday 29 December 2019

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Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford ($3.86, NEW vs EVE): He’s averaging 10 ppg since the shelling he suffered at Anfield on December 4, and tomorrow he’ll face one of the league’s weakest attacks.

Alisson ($5.44, LIV vs WOL): Three clean sheets in a row now. Wolves can be a tough opponent, but this game is at Fortress Anfield, and Liverpool just blew out the #2 team in the league yesterday.

Claudio Bravo ($1.00, MCI vs SHU): Ederson was shown red against Wolves, so Bravo is set to start between the sticks on Sunday. Sheffield United have an excellent road record, but their offense isn’t exactly prolific. A City clean sheet is very possible.

Paulo Gazzaniga ($4.85, NOR vs TOT): Norwich are in last place and are averaging just 1 goal per game. Gazza should make enough saves to return value even if Spurs let one slip by him.

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Defenders

Kortney Hause ($1.00, WAT vs AVL): With Tyrone Mings injured, Hause has started each of Villa’s last three. He makes a solid enabler for the trip to face the league’s 19th-place team.

Jack Stacey ($4.06, BHA vs BOU): Not exactly a household name, but Stacey is averaging 9 ppg over his last three games. He’s got a good fixture this week, and I bet your fantasy rival won’t have him.

Mamadou Sakho ($1.00, SOU vs CRY): Another nice enabler for this round. He should pick up some defensive points, and central defenders are probably least vulnerable to rotation.

Djibril Sidibe ($6.24, NEW vs EVE): I like this guy a lot. With double-digits in each of his last three games, he’s become a budget-friendly version of his big-ticket teammate, Lucas Digne.

Joseph Gomez ($1.98, LIV vs WOL): He has put up 18 points over his last two matches, and he should continue to start in the center of defense at Fortress Anfield this weekend.

Cedric Soares ($3.86, SOU vs CRY): The cheapest route into Soton’s potential clean sheet against the Eagles.

Florian Lejeune ($1.38, NEW vs EVE): Anther enabler with a decent fixture this week.

Jan Vertonghen ($8.02, NOR vs TOT), Serge Aurier ($9.30, NOR vs TOT): Yesterday’s loss to Aston Villa dropped Norwich to the bottom of the table, and only two teams have scored fewer goals than the Canaries. Vertonghen and Aurier add attacking threat to the Spurs clean sheet potential. That said, rotation could instead hand opportunities to Juan Foyth ($1.00) and Danny Rose ($4.06), and both would both make good one-game plays if they are named to the S11.

Oleksandr Zinchenko ($2.35, MCI vs SHU), Angelino ($2.02, MCI vs SHU): Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker started today, so Pep may be earmarking Sunday for the Ukrainian or the Spaniard. They’re both nicely-priced for the home match against Sheffield.

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Midfielders

Dwight McNeil ($13.46, BUR vs MUN): McNeil’s home/away pattern is uncanny: double-digits in every one of his last five games played at Turf Moor, and a total of just 9 points accumulated from his last five games on the road.

James Maddison ($19.89, WHU vs LEI): City pretty much owned Leicester when the two teams met at the Etihad on December 21, but Maddison’s four road games prior to that produced Fantrax returns of 17, 19, 10, and 20. And he was subbed off early yesterday, suggesting that me might be in Brendan Rodgers’ plans for tomorrow. Is he expensive? Yes. Is he worth it for a match against the Hammers? Probably.

Sadio Mané ($18.11, LIV vs WOL): Four goals and five assists across his last seven games, while failing to register one or the other just once. And ‘Pool don’t play again until Sunday, so Mané could be ready for the Wolves even though he put in a full shift yesterday. But if you’re worried about that, you might consider Xherdan Shaqiri ($1.39) instead. If rotation hands the Swiss a start, he could be a great play this weekend.

Paul Pogba ($2.18, BUR vs MUN): Pogba put up 8 points in 45 minutes yesterday, after collecting 6 in 25 minutes in the game prior. As he builds fitness his pitch time is only going to increase, and so will his price. Grab him now if you haven’t already.

Christian Eriksen ($5.34, NOR vs TOT): The Great Dane hasn’t started a game since November 3. But yesterday Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks were shown yellow for the fifth time this season, so they’ll now serve one-game suspensions. With Son Heung-Min also in the middle of a 3-match ban, José Mourinho’s options are increasingly limited, and that could be good news for Eriksen.

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Forwards

Mo Salah ($18.11, LIV vs WOL): It has been over two months since Mo has gone two starts without scoring. He blanked against Leicester yesterday, so if the pattern holds he should find the net against Wolves. And he was pulled early from the Leicester game, which suggests that Jurgen Klopp wanted to preserve him for Sunday.

Anthony Martial ($8.91, BUR vs MUN): His brace yesterday reminded us how dangerous he can be. Priced under $9, he’s a good play this weekend.

Danny Ings ($16.03, SOU vs CRY): We knew a rest was coming sooner or later, and yesterday it finally arrived. The super-sub appearance was a hard pill for his owners to swallow, but now that it’s out of the way, we can be nearly certain he’ll start the home match against the Eagles.

Harry Kane ($14.85, NOR vs TOT): The Canaries are really, really bad, and Kane is one of the best strikers in the league. And you can still buy him for under $15.

Sergio Aguero (12.37, MCI vs SHU): Aguero started over Jesus today, but Kun’s afternoon was cut short when he was sacrificed to bring on Claudio Bravo after Ederson was shown red in the 11th minute. I think Pep will give Aguero another chance on Sunday, and you can pick up one of the world’s most clinical strikers for just over $12.

Kelechi Iheanacho ($3.07, WHU vs LEI): Megawatt star Jamie Vardy is due for a breather, and an away game against the struggling Hammers presents the perfect opportunity. That means Nacho could feature for the just fourth time this season. The other three appearances brought two goals and two assists from just 131 minutes of pitch time, so just think about what he could do if he gets a full shift.

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Who are your rotation worries? Who are your stalwarts? Which matches will you be watching? And who’s on your watch list for the next barn door as the new year approaches? Please let us know in the comments below!

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Poll

Which Premier League superstar is most vulnerable to rotation this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Jamie Vardy
    (26 votes)
  • 10%
    Mo Salah
    (7 votes)
  • 15%
    Sadio Mané
    (11 votes)
  • 2%
    Harry Kane
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Marcus Rashford
    (2 votes)
  • 2%
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    Tammy Abraham
    (7 votes)
  • 15%
    Kevin De Bruyne
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    James Madisson
    (1 vote)
69 votes total Vote Now