In these “interesting times” that 2020 has brought us, I’m mindful there are many things to be thankful for today: family, friends, food, and health.
From a Fantrax EPL perspective, there are other (slightly less important) things we may be thankful for:
- First, there actually is season, which was in doubt for a while.
- Diego Maradona.
- International breaks are over for a bit.
- Chelsea has a real goal keeper (Chelsea fans’ answer to prayer).
- There’s a roiling title race with some unexpected teams near the top, which is going to make for a fun season.
- Penalties. Lots of penalties (okay, I’m not always thankful for this one).
- David Luiz hasn’t received a red card this year (We Arsenal fans need something to be thankful for!).
- Burnley finally got that elusive first win.
- I hold Bruno Fernandes at $7.08 and Jack Grealish at $5.55 in my Fantrax NMA-11 (and I’ve had Dominic Calvert-Lewin since GW1 in FPL).
- There’s a Friday game (so be sure to get your team saved in time).
- Which means we should see confirmed lineups for Crystal Palace hosting Newcastle (thanks, I guess).
- And there’s a great community of supporters here at NMA!
Now on to some thoughts on players!
Kaspar Schmeichel (LEI vs FUL, $14.48) Schmeichel has double-digit outputs in his last four games. He had nine saves last week against Liverpool. The Cottagers are hit and miss offensively, so there should be some saves and a chance at a clean sheet. Plus, the Foxes need a bounce-back win to stay in the top four.
Ederson (MCI vs BUR, $7.02) This may be the only time I say this all year, but either keeper from Manchester is an option this week. Ederson has a much better match-up for a little more salary. His two poor games were against top-4 teams, and Burnley ain’t no top-4 team.
Alex Telles (SOU vs MAN, $2.62) The new United left back is cheap and has potential to be a solid back who gets forward. He even took a set of corners last game. West Brom scored only one goal in the last six games, that means five shutouts.
João Cancelo (MCI vs BUR, $5.43) I know Manchester City has struggled, but so has Burnley, whose one win (while a good start) did not inspire confidence. Cancelo has more of an upside that some of the other City defenders, and Burnley still has only four goals all season.
Darnell Furlong (WBU vs SHU, $9.75) Need I remind you that Sheffield United has scored only four times this year. Furlong gets loads of points for lots of little things. He’s a differential pick again this week with the good match-up.
Andrew Robertson (BHA vs LIV, $13.15). With Lucas Digne out, the Liverpool defender is the only premium defender I’m looking at this weekend. He put in 11 crosses last weekend (four were successful) and has three assists on the season.
Harvey Barnes (LEI vs FUL, $10.69) Barnes should have scored last weekend; he was a bright spot for Leicester. He has been a little quiet thus far this season, but he has been dangerous even when that hasn’t translated into points. James Maddison is worth a look look too.
Kevin De Bruyne (MCI vs BUR, $14.00) City’s best player is still a reasonable price. Burnley has two straight clean sheets, but the Belgian doesn’t need to score goals to gobble up points.
Marcus Rashford (SOU vs MAN, $12.33) Like the rest of United, Rashford has not been in form, but he still is putting up points. He may be worth a punt if you’re looking for something a little different.
Hakim Ziyech (CHE vs TOT, $7.58) There weren’t a lot of affordable options in the midfield this week, and maybe you don’t need them. Ziyech has made a big difference in the Blues’ midfield and has points to show for it. Chelsea and Spurs is the match of the weekend.
Jamie Vardy (LEI vs FUL, $17.67) The English forward is my must-have of the week. Fulham ships goals by the super-tanker, so Vardy has a good chance at a big game. He may have been shutout by Liverpool last weekend, but he has scorched lower table teams this season.
Sergio Aguero (MCI vs BUR, $3.07) Aguero at $3.07? Against Burnley?? This may be one of those nostalgic “old habits die hard” picks when my eyes see an Aguero of old on a City team that isn’t this one. A super cheap price coupled with a good match-up intrigues me (and has more than one Fantrax manager drooling). Kun played for only 12 minutes in Wednesday’s CL victory, which has me thinking he’s healthy enough for a start. The Citizens have not been clicking, but a healthy Aguero can chew up defenses like Thanksgiving leftovers. There’s obviously a bit of a risk so soon after coming back from injury, just like those leftovers. At least keep him in your barn-door thoughts as the weekend develops.
Richarlison (EVE vs LEE, $9.47) His price dropped after the red card, which makes him even more attractive now. DCL is the more likely scorer, but Richarlson is on penalties. The Brazilian also earned double-digit points in four of the six games he has played (and one was the red card game), despite scoring only one goal thus far. For $10 less than DCL, he’s a good avenue into a potentially high scoring match-up.
Harry Kane (CHE vs TOT, $25.88) I’m not buying him at full price, but let’s just acknowledge how good of a season he’s really having. He has contributed a goal or an assist in his last eight games. Sure, some of those were against weaker competition, and he has a string of rough games coming. But he may be match-proof, and if you have him at a discount, I’m not sure I’d sell even with this upcoming run of games.
Game-week 10 is also the semifinal of the NMA-11 Blog Cup; good luck to you all!
So who are you selling? What kinds of holes must you patch? Whom else are you looking at? And did you (Americans) fall into a tryptophan coma after eating too much turkey on Thursday? Please let us know in the comments!