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EPL Game Week 38 Fantrax Player Picks: Down to the Wire

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It all comes down to Sunday, as the EPL season draws to a close with simultaneous kickoffs across the league. Here’s my final list of Player Picks to help you finish strong.

Lucas Moura celebrates hattrick - Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg
Lucas Moura’s stunning hat trick yesterday lifted Tottenham over Ajax and into the Champions League final. Can he continue this searing form on Sunday, and will he be in your squad?
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Well, this is it. We’ve come to the end of the road for the 2018-19 EPL campaign. It was a remarkable season, but there is still plenty of excitement in store. Although the three teams who will be relegated have already been determined, we go into the final game day with the title still undecided: Manchester City and Liverpool have taken the race right down to the wire. Pop some corn — this is going to be good.

In our own Fantrax NMA league title race, Team stallexpress still sits atop the leaderboard — a position he has occupied for a large chunk of the season. He enjoys a 30-point lead over second-place, so it will take a big performance from JenJen11 to dethrone him. I’m parked in 21st place with no realistic shot at catching Team Chris_Manfredi (13th), but if I can stay ahead of Team KenM (29th) I’ll consider the season a success!

In the 17-man league, Team c444si is in first place with a 30-point lead over Sir Boy United FC. I’m in 12th, but again, if I can manage to stay above KMFC I’ll finish the campaign with a smile!

We’ll publish a full treatment of the final standings for the NMA leagues next week, but for now let’s get into the picks. Keep in mind that we should have confirmed lineups for every team ahead of the Fantrax deadline — so tune in to our Pre-Deadline Chat for the last-minute tinkering mayhem!

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Sunday

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Goalkeepers

Vicente Guaita ($6.61, CRY vs BOU): Double digits in five of his last seven outings. Bournemouth have shown that they can score goals, and I’m not counting on Guaita to keep a clean sheet here. But he makes saves — 34 over his last 7 — and that should keep your investment safe.

Ederson ($14.53, BRI vs MCI): Clean sheets in six of his last seven league games, and this week he faces the toothless offense (3rd-worst in the EPL) of a team that now knows it is safe from relegation.

Fraser Forster ($1.00, SOU) or Angus Gunn ($2.52, SOU): The Terriers have won only three games this season and scored only 21 goals, so one of these two keepers will be my value play this week. We just need to discover which of them will don the gloves against Huddersfield on Sunday. Log in to our Pre-Deadline Chat to find out!

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Defenders

Scott Dann ($2.27, CRY vs BOU): 43 points across his last five starts, and you can still have him for well under $3.

Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15.14, LIV vs WOL): TAA has double-digits in five of his last six league matches, and on Tuesday he pulled of this cheeky trick that lifted Liverpool over Barcelona and into the Champions League final:

After the miracle comeback against Barca, ‘Pool now surely believe that nothing is beyond their grasp. They’ll throw themselves at Wolves on Sunday, and as it has all season, their attack will flow down the flanks. That means their right back could be set for another big return.

Oleksandr Zinchenko ($5.55, BRI vs MCI): Zinchenko has started each of City’s last four games, and each of those matches ended in a clean-sheet victory. City need a result on Sunday to make the title a certainty, so I’d expect Pep to stick with what’s been working. As far as his fantasy production is concerned, the Ukranian has piled up 42 points over those four matches. Not too shabby for $5.55.

Matt Targett ($5.65, SOU vs HUD): Double-digits in four of his last six games, and scored after subbing in to the Saints’ last match. He’s good value this week at home against Huddersfield.

Ryan Fredericks ($3.94, WAT vs WHU): A whopping 39 points over his last two matches, he produces points on both sides of the ball, and he’ll set you back less than $4. He’ll be in my squad this week.

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Midfielders

Eden Hazard ($24.73, LEI vs CHE): Hazard has put up at least 20 points four times over his last nine games. Based on what I saw from Leicester last weekend, I expect this game to be wide open. Hazard should have plenty of chances then, and if this does turn out to be his final EPL performance in a Chelsea shirt, he’ll want to put a stamp on his legacy (and his contract negotiations). Fit him in if you can.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek ($5.96, LEI vs CHE): Leicester’s aggression should also provide chances for RLC. With three goals and two assists over his last seven games, he has been one of the few Blues besides Hazard who has shined lately. And N’golo Kante’s injury makes it even more likely that he’ll continue to find his name in the starting lineup.

Luka Milivojevic ($18.42, CRY vs BOU): Like Hazard, Milo will cost you a pretty penny. But he has notched double-digits in six of his last eight games. compiling 101 points over that stretch. I like him a lot this week, and he’ll probably be in my squad.

Sadio Mané ($19.43, LIV vs WOL): Mané has accumulated 87 points over his last five home games, and Liverpool will be on their front foot when they welcome Wolves to a rockin’ Anfield on Sunday.

Scott McTominay ($3.38, MUN vs CAR): McTominay has been a beacon of light in the midst of the gloom enveloping Old Trafford lately. He looked hungry against Huddersfield last week while the remainder of the squad was generally languid. He’s cheap, he hosts Cardiff, and right now he seems to be the only United outfielder who’s interested in honoring the shirt.

Nathan Redmond ($11.15, SOU vs HUD): Redmond has been posting very solid numbers lately, and this week he welcomes the league’s worst team to St. Mary’s. He’s a great mid-priced option if you can’t stretch to a premium name.

Lucas Moura ($10.65, TOT vs EVE): In case you haven’t heard, Liverpool’s comeback at Anfield wasn’t this week’s only Champions League semifinal miracle. Having already lost the first leg 0-1 in London, Tottenham overcame an additional 1st-half 2-0 deficit in Leg 2 on the strength of a 2nd-half Lucas Moura hat trick — and with 5 minutes added, the winner came in the 6th minute of extra time. If you’ve got a moment, check this video to see just how imperious Moura was in this game:

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Forwards

Callum Wilson ($13.78, CRY vs BOU): Wilson has notched three goals and 54 points from his last two away games. And like I said in my blurb on Vicente Guaita, I do not expect a Palace clean sheet this week.

Divock Origi ($2.52, LIV vs WOL): Origi followed his crucial game-winning goal against Newcastle with a Champions League brace that punched his team’s ticket to the final. Roberto Firmino remains a doubt with a groin issue, and Daniel Sturridge has been poor, so follow team news (and the Pre-Deadline Chat). If the in-form Origi looks set to start, he could generate big rewards for a small investment.

Mo Salah ($24.38, LIV vs WOL): Five goals over his last five games, plus an assist to boot. Forced to rest midweek after a concussion last Saturday, he’ll now have to clear the concussion protocol before he can be passed fit to play on Sunday. But Jurgen Klopp is optimistic that he’ll recover, and if he does you’ll be nervous if he’s not in your team. Check in to the Pre-Deadline Chat for Liverpool’s confirmed lineup ahead of the buzzer.

Sergio Aguero ($17.82, BRI vs MCI): I generally avoid City’s attackers when they play on the road, but their narrow one-point lead over Liverpool means that only a win can guarantee the league trophy. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero are City’s stud forwards, and between the two I’ll choose Aguero since he’s cheaper and takes PKs.

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Are you playing it safe to preserve a lead over your rivals this week, or are you throwing caution to the wind in a last-ditch effort to make up ground? How much money are you putting into Manchester City and Liverpool players as they take the title race to the season’s final day? Are you worried about rotation from teams that have nothing on the line? Come on in and let us know your plans for the campaign’s final slate of games!

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