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Fantrax EPL GW-17 Player Picks — Tuesday Deadline!

But we might see SIX confirmed lineups first!

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David De Gea - Manchester United - Premier League
David de Gea is back in top form again, and with Manchester United’s favorable run of upcoming fixtures, now could be the time to bring him in.
Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

With only one day separating GW-16 from GW-17, there’s not much time for small talk, so let’s dive right in.

First, a note on the EPL’s COVID situation. You’ll recall that Leicester had an outbreak ahead of GW-16, and then an even larger one at Tottenham forced the postponement of Spurs’ match with Brighton. Isolation protocols now mean that Tottenham’s match against Leicester on Thursday is also under serious threat, so consequently, no Spurs or Foxes will feature in this article. (If that match goes ahead, then I’d look at Son Heung-Min, Luke Thomas, James Maddison, and Jamie Vardy)

Worse, we are now learning that due to COVID outbreaks at their facilities, Aston Villa canceled training yesterday, and Man United held a modified session. Currently the scope of the problem at these two clubs is thought to be limited, but information is still relatively scarce and the scale could expand over the next few days. We could also see positive test results pop up at other teams that had recent contact with any of the afflicted clubs as well.

Fortunately, we should have confirmed lineups for both United and Villa (plus their opponents Brentford and Norwich) ahead of the Fantrax transfer deadline. It gets better: Because Tuesday’s three matches are staggered at 15-minute intervals (19:30, 19:45 & 20:00 GMT), we might also see confirmed lineups for Man City vs Leeds in the last 15 minutes of the countdown hour, so be sure to log in then to our Pre-Deadline & Live Chat article for team news, injury reports, COVID updates and rapid-fire discussion thereof!


Goalkeepers

Emiliano Martinez (NOR vs AVL, $11.89): The Canaries have scored just eight goals in 16 Premier League games this season, weakest in the top flight. And although Norwich has shown signs of improvement under new management, Martinez & Co. held freewheeling Liverpool to a single goal on Saturday. Prospects for a Villa win and clean sheet therefore look good for Thursday’s trip to Carrow Road.

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David de Gea (BRF vs MUN, $12.83): United is undefeated over the last four matches, and DDG has put up double-digits in every one of those games despite keeping clean sheets in only two (notably, those are the two he’s played under Ralf Rangnick). And this week he faces a Brentford attack that could still be without Ivan Toney. With DDG in renewed form and the Red Devils facing a favorable slate of fixtures that lasts until GW-23, the Spanish netminder is a great buy-and-hold.

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Daniel Bachmann (BUR vs WAT, $2.97): I like to provide at least one budget GK option in every Player Picks piece I write, and this week that guy is Bachmann. Only the Canaries have scored fewer goals than Burnley, so Bachmann isn’t likely to get blown out even if the Hornets lose. That should be enough to keep him from going negative, and at his price that kind of floor is good enough.


Defenders

Tariq Lamptey (BHA vs WOL, $3.76): The postponement of Brighton’s GW-16 match due to a COVID outbreak at Spurs was a blow to owners of Lamptey, as it forced many of them to drop a value-for-money Fantrax asset that they held at discount. But he’s still inexpensive, and this week he welcomes a Wolves side that will be missing Raúl Jiménez through suspension. Plus, Brighton’s blank GW-16 means that there’s no need for Graham Potter to rest/rotate Lamptey for GW-17.

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Maxwell Cornet (BUR vs WAT, $7.67): Fantrax managers can field Cornet in any position except GK, but in real life Sean Dyche lines him up as a forward — he’s actually Burnley’s leading scorer. The Clarets failed to score in his absence on Sunday, so if he recovers from his thigh injury he’s a lock to return to the S-11 for the visit of Wolves. (D/M/F)

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Marcos Alonso (CHE vs EVE, $11.41): It seems that Chelsea can’t be trusted to keep clean sheets anymore, so it’s their attacking wing-backs who appeal for the home tie with Everton. Alonso has averaged nine ppg since returning to the starting lineup, while Reece James has gone quiet over that period. The Spaniard is therefore my choice this week. (D/M)

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Andrew Robertson (LIV vs NEW, $11.60): Liverpool’s marauding wing-backs should have a field day when Newcastle visits Fortress Anfield, but this one costs half as much as the other. That’s why I’m recommending the Scot over his English teammate.

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Oleksandr Zinchenko (MCI vs LEE, $2.53): João Cancelo’s suspension for yellow-card accumulation means that Zinchenko is likely to deputize at left-back on Tuesday. Marcelo Bielsa tends to play open football regardless of the opponent, so Zinchenko could see some joy going forward. And we might even see him confirmed just before our deadline.

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Diogo Dalot (BRF vs MUN, $4.29): The Portuguese has now started three straight, averaging more than 10 ppg. And since Aaron Wan-Bisaka required a stretcher after clattering into the advertising boards during MUN’s midweek UCL match, Dalot looks set for another start against the Blades. Alex Telles has played well on the other side of the back line, but the short window between GW-16 and GW-17 could mean that it’s Luke Shaw’s turn — so tune in to see lineups in the countdown hour.

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Rayan Ait-Nouri (BHA vs WOL, $6.41): Averaging nearly nine ppg over his last five, the left wing-back generates points from both sides of the ball. (D/M)


Midfielders

Martin Odegaard (ARS vs WHU, $7.45): Averaging almost 10 ppg since securing a spot in Mikel Arteta’s S-11 last month, the Arsenal #10 has now scored in three consecutive matches.

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Mason Mount (CHE vs EVE, $15.23): Mount is Chelsea’s leading goal-scorer and is in blistering form, with five goal contributions over his last three games. Only three clubs have conceded more goals than Everton, and the Toffees have won just one of their last ten matches. (M/F)

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Phil Foden (MCI vs LEE, $10.67): He’s healthy again, and consequently he should be ready to reclaim his spot in the center of Pep’s forward line for the tie with Leeds. (M/F) Keep an eye on a live lineup feed, and you might even see him confirmed, or you could see some other juicy MCI midfielder starting (KDB for $7.53 maybe?)

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Emmanuel Dennis (BUR vs WAT, $13.61): What a revelation this man has been: He has now accumulated more 2021-22 Fantrax points than Son Heung-Min, Jamie Vardy, or Cristiano Ronaldo. With six goal contributions in his last four games, he’ll be looking to extend his purple patch when he squares up to the Clarets. (M/F)

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Daniel Podence (BHA vs WOL, $3.42): Sidelined since last month by a positive COVID test, Podence finally returned on Saturday to make a late cameo against the Sky Blues. With Wolves talisman Raúl Jiménez ineligible for the Brighton match through suspension, there should be space in the lineup for Podence to start on Wednesday, and Bruno Lage will rely on him to produce. (M/F)


Forwards

Ollie Watkins (NOR vs AVL, $8.80): Although Watkins has scored three goals over his last seven games, this pick has more to do with fixture than with form. And with Chelsea the only intimidating opponent the Villans will face until GW-22, he’s a solid medium-term hold too.

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Romelu Lukaku (CHE vs EVE, $5.92): A home match against a struggling Everton could be a perfect opportunity for Thomas Tuchel to restore Lukaku to form. And his price is friendly on your wallet.

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Diogo Jota (LIV vs NEW, $14.62): Congratulate yourself if you hold Mo Salah at discount for this tasty home fixture against 19th-place Newcastle. But if you don’t, then fret not. Jota looks set to fill the center forward role for this match, and unlike Salah, you can probably find a way to afford him.

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Cristiano Ronaldo (BRF vs MUN, $12.96): Cristiano has scored three goals over his last three matches. And with United’s upcoming run, if you still don’t own him then the time to get him in is now.


Has COVID blown holes in your lineups? What other injury or suspension problems do you need to address? Any hidden gems I’ve missed, or big-ticket studs you’re willing to pay up for? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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