clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantrax Game Week 33 EPL Player Picks: April Fools Edition

New, comments

It’s April Fools Day, but there’s no time for horsing around. A new (Fantrax) game week starts tomorrow.

Gabriel Jesus - Manchester City - Premier League
Sergio Aguero is a doubt for City’s match against Cardiff this week, so now could be the time to come to Jesus.
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

What a wild weekend it was in the English Premier League! Liverpool and Manchester City kept the pressure on each other in the league title race, with ‘Pool only salvaging a win through a miraculous last-second Spurs own-goal.

Arsenal is playing as we write, but at the time of publication only a single point separated the four sides jostling for third and fourth place (Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea).

And while a handful of teams are still firmly entangled in the struggle to stay up, Huddersfield was mathematically relegated on Saturday (with Fulham all but sure to follow).

But there’s no time to dwell on the past. A new game-week starts tomorrow, with two clubs scheduled for a double, and that’s no April Fools joke.

Note: Confirmed lineups should be available for both of Tuesday’s matches in the countdown hour before our Fantrax deadline.

Caveats: Prices reflect the regular 11-man NMA league with the GW-32 barn door still open. Those prices will recalculate when the barn door closes at midnight PDT. Arsenal and Newcastle are at half-time as this article publishes. Be sure to follow news from that match as well as pressers ahead of the midweek matches to learn what new developments may affect your GW-33 lineups for the teams involved.

Also come back tomorrow for our Midweek Live Chat!

~

Tuesday 02 April

Wednesday 03 April

Friday 05 April

Saturday 06 April

Sunday 07 April

Monday 08 April

~

The biggest mismatch would appear to be Manchester City’s home tilt with drop-zone dwellers Cardiff. City are a juggernaut, and a furious Neil Warnock is threatening to field a youth side against them after Cardiff’s loss to Chelsea was marred by questionable officiating. Normally a scenario like that would have fantasy managers salivating, right?

Well, tread carefully my friends. After Wednesday’s match with the Bluebirds, City play an FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, followed by Leg 1 of their Champions League Quarterfinal next Wednesday. Having already won the Carabao Cup in February, Pep Guardiola is on record stating that he intends to mount serious a serious challenge for all three of those remaining trophies. With almost his whole squad fit and available, Pep’s Wonderful Wheel of Rotation will be particularly difficult to predict this week.

~

Let’s begin our look at GW 33 with the two teams slated for a double: Chelsea and Crystal Palace.

Chelsea

(Wed home vs Brighton, Mon home vs West Ham; next game is Leg 1 of Europe League Quarterfinal 3 days later)

Eden Hazard ($23.04): The Belgian was rested to the bench for the Cardiff match after playing over 180 mins for Belgium, but Chelsea were unable to mount a serious threat until he came on in the second half to energize a comeback win. He ended up posting 6 points in just 37 mins despite no goals or assists, and it’s unlikely Sarri will make the mistake of benching him again. He’s expensive, but Chelsea’s double-game week justifies his high price.

Gonzalo Higauîn ($3.66): Higgy got a two-week rest over the international break, so Maurizio Sarri’s first-choice striker shouldn’t be too threatened by rotation this week. He disappointed over the weekend, but won’t need to do much over the upcoming two games to justify his low price.

Willian ($13.53): Willian has put up double digits in each of last three games, and against Cardiff he was pretty much the only spark Chelsea could muster until Hazard came on. His case for starts this week could be helped by Pedro appearing to have picked up a knock against the Bluebirds.

César Azpilicueta ($13.41): Azpi has a goal plus two assists in his last 5 games, and seems to be much less susceptible to rotation than Alonso and Emerson. Since Chelsea’s central defenders are not reliable Fantrax performers, Azpi is my choice among the Blues’ defenders for the double-game week.

Kepa Arrizabalaga ($9.67): Brighton ranks 15th in the league for goals scored, and West Ham has scored only one away goal in league play since the New Year. If there were ever a week to own Kepa, surely this is it.

~

Crystal Palace

(Wed away vs Tottenham, Saturday away vs Newcastle; next game is EPL 8 days later)

Luka Milivojevic ($17.25): I love penalty-takers in double-game weeks, and Milo is the league-leader with nine this year, including one in each of his last two games. He has put up double-digits in four of his last seven games, has an overall average of almost 10 ppg, and is Palace’s #1 Fantrax asset. His price is steep, but playing twice mitigates your risk.

Wilfried Zaha ($14.81): Like Milo, Zaha averages almost 10 ppg. Palace’s danger man should be value for money over two games.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka ($13.41): Yay! Palace’s double-game week means I can recommend AWB this week. The right-back has blossomed this year and is rumored to be a Manchester United transfer target. You should be looking at him this week too.

MIchy Batshuayi ($2.62): The Batsman has posted double-digits in three of the seven matches he has played since joining the Eagles from Chelsea. At $2.62, he’s a low-risk, high-upside enabler for the DGW.

Scott Dann ($1.00): Dann put up 12 points in the shut-out of Huddersfield, and he is available for $1 in a week when he’s likely to play twice. What’s stopping you?

Jeffrey Schlupp ($6.89): Schlupp has now started seven games straight, with double-digits in three of them. He’ll get two bites of the apple this week.

~

The Rest

Goalkeepers

Artur Boruc ($2.68, BOU vs BRN): Asmir Begovic was handed a surprise start last time out, but lost 0-2 to Leicester. Boruc may get his job back for the home match against 17th-place Burnley, and he’s cheap.

Kasper Schmeichel ($5.00, HUD vs LEI): Though on the road, it’s a match against Huddersfield. Need I say more?

Ederson ($12.62, MCI vs CAR): With Claudio Bravo unavailable and goalkeepers not really susceptible to fatigue in the first place, Ederson is one Citizen who is fairly immune from rotation this week. City have kept five clean sheets in their last six games, and there’s no reason not to expect another on Wednesday.

~

Defenders

Kurt Zouma ($6.22, EVE vs ARS): Last time out he notched a goal and a clean sheet, and since Yerry Mina is still injured, Zouma is virtually assured of another start. If you want him, grab him today before that 20 point haul against West Ham bumps his price.

Joe Bryan ($6.58, WAT vs FUL): Fulham may be doomed, but Bryan is averaging over 8 ppg over his last four matches. And that’s without any clean sheets (it’s Fulham, remember?).

Wes Morgan ($5.18, HUD vs LEI): He has put up two goals, a clean sheet, and 35 points in his last two games. And this week the Foxes play already-relegated Huddersfield. Yes please.

Dejan Lovren ($4.02, SOU vs LIV): Virgil van Dijk was seen icing his ankle yesterday after Liverpool’s dramatic win over Tottenham. Follow team news; if VVD looks set to miss out on Friday, then a spot could open up for the Croatian.

Oleksandr Zinchenko ($3.78, MCI vs CAR): Fabian Delph is out injured, and although Benjamin Mendy has returned to fitness after a long absence, it’s likely he’ll be worked in gradually. That means Zinchenko will probably get another start at left back on Wednesday (but may not see the full 90 if Pep decides to give Mendy some minutes). His price is right, and so is the fixture.

Danilo ($3.54, MCI vs CAR): With Danilo available, Pep may take the opportunity to rest Kyle Walker ahead of the upcoming tournament matches.

Kiko Femenía ($5.61, WAT vs FUL): Daryl Janmaat was subbed off with a knock against Manchester United on Saturday, so Femenía looks set to start at right back when the Hornets welcome the woeful Cottagers to Vicarage Road tomorrow.

~

Midfielders

Dwight McNeil ($6.40, BOU vs BRN): Two goals on the trot and an average ppg that exceeds his price. A promising young player who gets better every week.

Bernard ($5.24, EVE vs ARS): He was excellent against West Ham and is available for a fraction of the price of his big-name teammates Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Youri Tielemans ($2.68, HUD vs LEI): He’s averaging over 10 ppg over his last three matches, and he faces a team that’ll be playing in the Championship next year. Like McNeil, this a gifted young player who improves with every match.

Roberto Firmino ($12.79, SOU vs LIV): Firmino has scored three goals in his last three games. If you’re looking for an asset from the Liverpool attack this week, save your money for double-gamers and go with Firmino instead of Sadio Mané or Mo Salah.

Leroy Sané ($13.47, MCI vs CAR); Riyad Mahrez ($9.63, MCI vs CAR): It could be their turn to start on Wednesday, and I shudder to think of the damage the wingers could do to Cardiff inside the Etihad.

Kevin De Bruyne ($4.51, MCI vs CAR): Brilliant value if he starts, but will he?

Miguel Almirón ($2.93, NEW vs CRY): He has averaged 8 ppm since joining the Geordies, and has yet to register a goal or assist. On offer for under $3, he’d make a great addition to your squad for the home tie with Palace.

Christian Eriksen ($13.10, TOT vs CRY): Eriksen is the engine that drives the Spurs’ attack, and Mauricio Pochettino can’t afford to rest him with Champions League qualification hanging in the balance.

~

Forwards

Alexandre Lacazette ($15.73, EVE vs ARS): He’s a bit expensive in a week when there are alternatives who will play two games. But he’s Arsenal’s form forward right now, and he got a two-week rest during the international break.

Josh King ($12.80, BOU vs BRN): I like Bournemouth’s penalty-taker for the home tilt against Burnley.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin ($5.97, EVE vs ARS): The youngster has started the last five games in a row, seeming to have demoted veteran Cenk Tosun to bench duty. DCL has averaged nearly 9 ppg over that period, and his low price tag can help you save funds to spend on double-gamers.

Jamie Vardy ($12.86, HUD vs LEI): Leicester’s hitman has piled up 60 points over his last four games, and this week he faces Huddersfield, who have already been relegated.

Gabriel Jesus ($8.53, MCI vs CAR): Sergio Aguero asked to be taken off in the 58th minute of Saturday’s match against Fulham. Given the importance of City’s upcoming tournament matches, I’m guessing Pep sits him on Wednesday, when the Argentinian’s world-class talent shouldn’t be required to dispatch lowly Cardiff (especially if Warnock makes good on his threat to play his reserves). City’s offense could run rampant, and Jesus is very likely to be at the tip of the spear.

Salomón Rondón ($11.22, NEW vs CRY): Rondón has been in fine form lately, and the visit of the Eagles will present him with another opportunity to shine.

Troy Deeney ($10.79, WAT vs FUL), Gerard Deulofeu ($8.41, WAT vs FUL): The visit of sure-to-be-relegated Fulham ought to present these two with the opportunity to tee off. But be careful; Watford have an FA Cup semi-final match against Wolves on Sunday, and Javi Gracia has previously rotated heavily under such circumstances.

[Note: Danny Ings will be ineligible to face his parent club.]

~

Poll

Who is your top choice from the two Fantrax double-game week teams?

This poll is closed

  • 48%
    Eden Hazard
    (19 votes)
  • 5%
    Gonzalo Higuaín
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Willian
    (0 votes)
  • 5%
    César Azpilicueta
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Kepa Arrizabalaga
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Luka Milivojevic
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Wilfried Zaha
    (2 votes)
  • 12%
    Aaron Wan-Bissaka
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Michy Batshuayi
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Scott Dann
    (0 votes)
  • 5%
    Jeffrey Schlupp
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Other (post name in comments)
    (2 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now

~

Are you loading up on double-gamers, or are you taking a more judicious approach to options from Chelsea and Palace? Who is your favorite single-game choice? With only six game weeks left, are you still holding onto any discounts? If so, whom and how deep? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

~