Hey guys, we have a Friday deadline this week — don’t miss it, and be sure to join us in the Pre-Deadline chat for confirmed lineups in the countdown hour before Southampton and Bournemouth kickoff. Also, be sure to follow team news for Champions League lineups and injuries.
For instance, Emerson didn’t make the midweek Chelsea squad, Mason Mount suffered an ankle injury against Valencia, and neither Kyle Walker-Peters nor Serge Aurier started against Olympiacos (so for now I’m avoiding both until we have further clarity at Spurs’ right back position). Note also that Daniel James picked up a knock against Leicester.
Note: If I left out your favorite player, it could be because his current retail price is too rich for adding in now, but if you hold in-form assets at discounts, then by all means keep them. It should go without saying that these recommendations are for filling holes in your Fantrax teams where you’ve already identified under-performers, injury/suspension losses or difficult match-ups in need of replacement.
OK, it’s a busy work week for me, so no more time for small talk; let’s get to it:
Friday 20 September 2019
- Southampton vs Bournemouth
Saturday 21 September 2019
- Leicester vs Tottenham
- Burnley vs Norwich
- Everton vs Sheffield United
- Manchester City vs Watford
- Newcastle vs Brighton
Sunday 22 September 2019
Ederson ($11.32, MCI vs WAT): In what some have called one of the biggest upsets in EPL history, the league champs suffered a shock defeat at Norwich on Saturday. Ederson ended that game on -11 due to the loss and three goals shipped, but that hit has dropped his price just in time for a juicy home match welcoming the league’s worst team. The Hornets haven’t managed even a single win yet, and only one team has scored fewer goals than they have. If you can swing the funds, Ederson’s value this week is probably as good as it will ever be.
Rui Patricio ($4.35, CPL vs WOL): Patricio is another keeper who got spanked over the weekend, his 2-5 loss to Chelsea resulting in a return of -15. But that has plummeted his price to less than $5, and this week he faces the league’s most impotent offense. Willy Boly will be back from suspension to shore up the back line for this one, too.
Diego Rico ($3.63, SOU vs BOU): Bournemouth’s squad is riddled with injuries, and that means Rico will likely continue to start at left back, especially since he chipped in with an assist in the 3-1 victory over Everton on Sunday. He’s a cheap enabler with a decent fixture; the downside risk is pretty low here.
Yerry Mina ($6.19, EVE vs SHU): The Toffees have a good match-up this week, and Mina is their least expensive defensive asset. He’s also terrific value, with an average ppg that is higher than his price.
Trent Alexander-Arnold ($16.95, CHE vs LIV), Andrew Robertson ($14.46, CHE vs LIV): These two are expensive, but Chelsea’s defense is the second-worst in the league and ‘Pool’s wing-backs will rampage down the flanks, sending in cross after cross. Get one of them in if you can.
Nicolás Otamendi ($5.51, MCI vs WAT): City have a good shot at a clean sheet against Watford’s impotent attack, and Otamendi is the cheapest way in now that John Stones has joined Aymeric Laporte on the long-term absentee list due to an injury suffered in training yesterday.
Sam Byrum ($4.42, BUR vs NOR): Byrum put in his first full shift of the season against Manchester City on Saturday, and his defensive efforts helped keep Norwich in the lead till the final whistle. If not for a yellow card, he’d have finished on 13 points (he still came away with 10). Daniel Farke will probably want to reward the S11 that gave him such an epic win, so I think Byrum will get another start this weekend.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles ($8.35, ARS vs AVL): AMN picked up his second assist of the season against Watford, and he’s averaging returns that just about equal his price. The home match with the Villans will be another good opportunity for him to deliver.
Jack Grealish ($8.98, ARS vs AVL): Win or lose, strong opposition or weak, Grealish gets points. A yellow card was the only reason he didn’t reach double-digits last time out, but I’m backing him to get there this time.
Sadio Mané ($21.64, CHE vs LIV): Very pricey, but we know what he’s capable of, and Chelsea can’t defend. Liverpool are top of the table and Klopp will not be taking his foot off the gas pedal; Mané could go big again this weekend.
Kevin de Bruyne ($13.57, MCI vs WAT): Five assists and a goal so far, he plays Watford at home this week, and all Citizens will be out for redemption in front of the faithful. You probably hold him at half his current price, but if you still don’t have him, what are you waiting for?
Todd Cantwell ($9.14, BRN vs NOR), Emiliano Buendía ($9.60, BRN vs NOR): These guys line up on either side of the league’s second-leading scorer in an offensive unit that has proven it can score against anybody, anywhere. I like Buendía a bit better because he takes set pieces, but their average returns are pretty much the same. Take your pick.
Moussa Djenepo ($7.12, SOU vs BOU):
Djenepo was handed his first start of this season over the weekend, and thanked his manager by scoring for his second game in a row (he did not play in GW 4). This is a young up-and-comer who’s playing like he wants to make a name for himself, and I like him for the home match against the Cherries. Update: Djenepo has been ruled out through injury.
Christian Eriksen ($12.91, LEI vs TOT): He’s staying (at least for now), and Spurs are a different team now that he’s committed his (near) future to the club. Away to Leicester is a tricky fixture, but he is Tottenham’s field marshal and takes set pieces. For under $13 he’s excellent value.
Mark Noble ($6.99, WHU vs MUN): Just because he takes pens, and there always seems to be one anytime Man U is playing. Noble makes his too, by the way, which is more than the United pen takers can say.
Manuel Lanzini ($7.94, WHU vs MUN): Lanzini stumbled a bit last time out, registering only two points. But he’d gone double-digits in all three of the games before that. I think normal service will resume for him this week.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($21.92, ARS vs AVL): Pricey, but with Alexandre Lacazette sidelined, PEA will be the focus of the Arsenal attack. (I can hear you all shouting out for Nicolas Pepe, but he just hasn’t materialized as a compelling fantasy asset yet; leave him on your barn door watch-list until he produces.)
Callum Wilson ($15.49, SOU vs BOU): Three goals in his last two games. For my money his individual quality is only a hair behind that of the league’s most elite strikers, and he’s finally starting to wake up and realize that the season has started.
Ashley Barnes ($15.65, BRN vs NOR): Barnes pumped out four goals in three games, and then went quiet. Could there be a better opportunity for him to get back on track than the visit of the league’s worst defense?
Roberto Firmino ($15.06. LIV vs CHE): Firmino has missed double-digits only once this season, and with Chelsea coming to Anfield this weekend, I don’t think this will be a week he falls short again. If you can’t afford Salah or Mane, Firmino’s your guy.
Mo Salah ($24.12, LIV vs Chelsea): He’s the most expensive player in the game, but he’s also arguably the most explosive. He could easily blow up for multiple goals when the league’s joint second-worst defense comes to Fortress Anfield.
Sergio Aguero ($22.78, MCI vs WAT): This guy has scored in every game so far. And now he’s facing bottom-dwelling Watford... at home. See notes on KDB. Go without him at your own risk. Many will be eyeing Raheem Sterling too, but for the same price Aguero’s form is irresistible.
Teemu Pukki ($18.38, BRN vs NOR): Fantrax’s overall points leader has already scored against Liverpool and Manchester City, and the Canaries will be flying high after their historic win. The trip to Turf Moor won’t scare him a bit.
Harry Kane ($16.22, LEI vs TOT): Son Heung-Min has been in better form recently and can best Kane’s fantasy production on any given day. But Kane at the end of the season will always be the scoring leader on this team, and he takes pens. For just a little extra spend, the Englishman is my preference if paying retail.
Have midweek Champions League developments forced you to change your Fantrax plans? Which of the high-price assets are you rolling with? Which are you rolling without, and how do you feel about it? Please share your thoughts on GW 6 in the comments below.