All I can say about week 28 is that I picked Kelechi Iheanacho. Otherwise it was a week to forget.
Week 29 is a tricky one with only 4 games, but at least we should see confirmed Fulham and Leeds lineups from one match on Friday.
Friday 19 March
Saturday, 20 March
- Brighton v Newcastle
Sunday, 21 March
- West Ham v Arsenal
- Aston Villa v Tottenham
The first key question for the week is: What players are you holding at a discount? As the season winds down, how you answer this question matters. Holding someone without a game pays off less and less over time. You need those points now. At this time, I'm holding only Ederson and Bruno Fernandes. But with a few new cheap keeper options available after the weekend (Dean Henderson most notably — but David De Gea is back in training, so YMMV), it might be worth dropping a keeper at a discount. Like many of you, Bruno is undroppable at this point with his retail price tag and his consistent excellence. After that, everyone else seems to be on the chopping block.
The next question is: How are coaches going to rotate, and how are you planning for that? I'm going to look for sure things, but there are some riskier options that could pay off. Tottenham and Arsenal play today in the Europa League. What should we do about Bale with Son out? Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returns from a forced rest for disciplinary reasons; will he perform or pout? Will Jack Grealish finally come back to start?
The final question for me is: What do you think of the match ups? We have games with no obvious lopsided pairing, which just adds more questions. Leeds has what’s probably the best opportunity, but against Fulham’s strengthening defense are you still in? Which Arsenal team will we see against a solid West Ham fighting for a top-4 spot? Can Spurs bounce back in the 8 vs 9 battle to stay relevant? Whom do you favor in the big relegation battle as Brighton (16th) hosts Newcastle (17th)?
On to the picks.
Illan Meslier ($15.45, FUL vs LEE) I’m probably not spending this much on a keeper, but even when conceding he makes saves and earns points. Fulham has two goals over their last five matches, making this an interesting matchup.
Martin Dubravka ($2.32 , BHA vs NEW) He has 12 saves in his last 3 games while conceding twice over that stretch. He’s the very affordable option here. I can’t see Brighton running up the points, but you just never know with Newcastle.
Lewis Dunk ($10.96 , BHA vs NEW) Dunk is known to pop up for a goal here or there, but maybe he used up that pop last week. He can score points without a goal or clean sheet, and anything is possible against Newcastle.
Diego Llorente ( $2.70, FUL vs LEE) Llorente is a cheap way into a good match up and is putting up more points than other more expensive Leeds defenders. Fulham still has trouble scoring.
Aaron Cresswell ($16.66, WHU vs ARS) He’s a bit pricey, but you might have some extra cash depending on how you set up elsewhere. He’s the top scoring defender in the game for a reason, and if you have the money, he’s a safe bet. But I’m not moving things around to get him either. Ahmed El Mohamady is a much cheaper option if you’re looking, but Matty Cash was lurking on the bench last time out, so he might retake Elmo’s starting slot.
Matt Targett ($13.31, AST vs TOT) Another back who gets forward. You’re really buying safety with a chance for more here.
Kieran Tierney ($9.90, WHU vs ARS) Read above.
Jesse Lingard ($4.88, WHU vs ARS) Lingard was ineligible against United but will be back and rested this week. He was missed, now an integral part of West Ham's push for a top-4 spot. He has four goals and an assist in his six games with the Hammers. With one of the highest ppg numbers in all of Fantrax, he’s hard to pass up at $4.88.
Raphinha ($15.25, FUL vs LEE) He is the first player in my lineup. In 2021, he has only two games in single digits. He is doing it all for Leeds on the offensive end. We will see his lineup before the deadline, and Fulham is a promising opponent.
Martin Odegaard ($1.41, WHU vs ARS) He got his first goal last weekend against Spurs, and he looked more lively and involved as the game progressed, and he’s cheap as dirt.
Lucas Moura ($5.90 , AST vs TOT) I’ll wait to see what Jose does in the Europa game, but in Lucas’s last five starts, he has two goals and two assists. Yes, starts — he doesn’t always. Here’s why I’m hesitant on Bale in addition to watching him look lethargic at best against the Gunners. Bale’s last five road games: 0, 2, 11, 4, 4.5. Last two home games: 28.5, 27. Spurs are on the road. Bale still might be worth the punt though, especially if you hold him at a buck and change.
Michail Antonio ($9.22 , WHU vs ARS) After scoring in two straight, Antonio has two games without a goal. His squad around him continues to improve. Still West Ham’s key player up front, he should have some chances.
Harry Kane ($23.27, AST vs TOT) He’s the premium name on the list this week, and rightly so. With other cheap options available, even at retail there is a way to get him into your lineup. I missed his big week two games ago, and I’m not sure I can afford to miss again.
Ollie Watkins ($14.25, AST vs TOT) Here’s the other forward you can be pretty sure will start. He hasn’t had a goal in a bit, but he still has earned 8, 9, 11, 7 without a goal in his last four.
Alexandre Lacazette ($11.25, WHU vs ARS) I’m probably too nervous to actually make this happen. He has two goals in his last two starts, so I would think he keeps the starting spot, but I just can’t be certain.
Be sure you check injury reports as Matty Cash, Jack Grealish, Patrick Bamford and others could change your lineup if they are healthy.
Are you as gun(ners)-shy as I am about picking anyone upfront from Arsenal? Are you going with Bale? What blank players are you holding onto at discount? Whom else do you have your sights set on? Please share in the comments!