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Fantrax EPL Player Picks: GW-34

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The run-up to GW-34 means it’s time for NMA’s weekly shopping guides. Read on to see which players make the Fantrax list.

Kelechi Iheanacho - Leicester City - Premier League
Has Kelechi Iheanacho usurped Jamie Vardy as Leicester’s premier forward?
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

GW-33 was another mediocre affair for me. Kelechi Iheanacho and Mo Salah both notched goals, but none of my other nine NMA-11 players managed double figures. I ended on 86 points to finish 60th for the week. Overall I’m in 44th place on 3720 points.

I hold I-Nacho and Salah in NMA-17 as well, where I also added nice returns from Dean Henderson, Luke Shaw, and Timothy Castagne. For the week I finished 21st with 114.5, and on the season I sit 38th with 4558.5.

By the way, Ken won GW-33 in both leagues with 144 in NMA-11 and 160 in NMA-17. That guy is psychic (or do I mean psychotic?). Somebody should invite him to write player-picks articles or something.

Now it’s time to turn our attention to GW-34. There’s not enough time left in the campaign for me to place among the elites, but I’m still going to push to finish as high as I can.

As always, quoted prices reflect our NMA-11 league. And keep in mind that Southampton vs Leicester is the weekend’s opening match, and we should therefore have confirmed lineups for those clubs ahead our Friday deadline.


Goalkeepers

Edouard Mendy (CHE v FUL, $12.21): The Cottagers pipped Liverpool 1-0 on March 7, but they haven’t won a game since. This match pits the league’s second worst offense against its second best defense, so Mendy (and his owners) should reap the benefits — unless there’s only one shot on target and it goes in.

Dean Henderson (MUN v LIV, $5.28): Normally I’d avoid a GK who was set to face the Reds, but lately goals have become scarce for ‘Pool’s formerly high-flying offense. Consequently Henderson is my choice if you can’t fit in a premium-priced netminder with a more favorable matchup.


Defenders

Marcos Alonso (CHE v FUL, $4.69): With Chelsea still involved in three competitions, many of the Blues have been subject to rest and rotation. But Alonso has recently become a consistent starter in the league. He has racked up double-digits in three of his last five matches but he’s still cheap. Caveat: Though you may select him as a defender, his points may be calculated for a midfielder (D, M)

Andreas Christensen (CHE v FUL, $5.23): Another Chelsea defender who has become a reliable starter in the league (since recovering from an earlier injury). He lines up in the center of defense and is therefore eligible for full clean sheet points. That could be important against the impotent Cottagers.

Ben Godfrey (EVE vs AVL, $11.01): His teammate Lucas Digne tends to get more love from fantasy managers, but Godfrey has put up double-digits in each of his last three matches. (Digne is also a good choice this week if you can afford him)

Diego Llorente (BHA v LEE, $5.04): Managers who hopped on his train early have been handsomely rewarded, but it’s not too late. Five dollars for a guy who put up 43.5 points over his last three matches is still a bargain.

Timothy Castagne (SOU v LEI, $9.09): Leicester’s right wing-back has been on fire lately with a goal plus an assist for 28 points across his last two games. He should be worth the spend against a 15th-place Saints side in poor form.

Caglar Soyuncu (SOU v LEI, $5.97): The Turk provides a cheaper route into Leicester’s defense than Castagne, but he’s still good value: 17 points over his last two matches.

Aymeric Laporte (CRY v MCI, $3.81): This weekend’s league match is sandwiched between the two legs of City’s Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain. That, plus the fact that John Stones is suspended domestically, means that Laporte is likely to get a run-out against Crystal Palace. At $3.81 he’s a good play against an Eagles side that has scored only five goals across its last seven games.

Mohammed Salisu (SOU v LEI, $1.23): The Ghanaian doesn’t offer a tremendous amount of fantasy value, but he’s a starter with a cut-rate price that could enable you to spend elsewhere.

Sergio Reguilon (TOT v SHU, $8.16), Serge Aurier (TOT v SHU, $7.84): Tottenham’s fullbacks should find joy on both sides of the ball when Spurs host the league’s worst team this weekend. Of course, we said similar their last time out, so YMMV.


Midfielders

Ross Barkley (EVE vs AVL, $6.85): Barkley reclaimed his position as a starter in Villa’s engine room against West Brom. The 27 year-old looked excellent, putting up 12 points without any goals or assists. Next up is his former club, and he’ll look to put a stamp on that match.

Richarlison (EVE v AVL, $13.55): The 23-year-old Brazilian has been the Toffees’ most consistent attacker lately, and Villa’s open style of play should afford him lots of room to do damage.

Raheem Sterling (CRY v MCI, $12.75): Sterling never came off the bench for City’s Champions League match against PSG yesterday, while KDB, Gundogan, Foden, Mahrez, and Rodri all started. That should mean it’s Sterling’s turn against the Eagles on Saturday. Caveat: He hasn’t started many league matches recently either (his last action was 90’ in the EFL Cup final, though you wouldn’t know it from watching the highlights).

Mason Greenwood (MUN v LIV, $7.55): Liverpool has conceded goals to Leeds and Newcastle in its last two league outings, so can we expect the Reds to keep a clean sheet against United? Probably not, and with three assists and two goals over his last four games, Greenwood should find himself back in the points again this weekend.

Allan Saint-Maximin (NEW vs ARS, $7.28): When he’s healthy ASM is Newcastle’s most dangerous player, so I expect him to slice Arsenal open again and again.

Matt Ritchie (NEW v ARS, $4.11): While ASM will hurt Arsenal with his pace and incisive dribbling, Ritchie’s threat will come through crossing: In the past 30 days he’s had 8 accurate crosses. He’s also priced to sell.

Lucas Moura (TOT v SHU, $7.73): Moura makes a nicely-priced alternative to King Kane and Sultan Son for the plum home tie with the already-relegated Blades. So would Gareth Bale ($6.37) if the Welshman starts.

Matheus Pereira (WBA v WOL, $15.41): Except for the recent stumble against Leicester, this guy has been shooting out the lights: 41 points against Chelsea, 23 against Southampton, and 21 against Villa. He’ll set you back a bit of coin, but if you pass on him and he blows up yet again, you’ll wish you had spent the money. Hint: Wolves just shipped four goals to Burnley.

Jesse Lingard (BUR v WHU, $8.43): His last match was the first time in eight games that he failed to record an attacking return. I can’t believe he’s still available at this price. Buy him if you haven’t already.


Forwards

Alexandre Lacazette (NEW vs ARS, $12.93): Arsenal’s danger man prior to a hamstring injury, Laca is in contention for tonight’s Europa League match against Villareal. Follow team news; if he looks poised for a start against Newcastle, then he’s a bargain at this price.

Neal Maupay (BHA v LEE, $10.77): Leeds’ go-for-broke playing style should present Maupay with opportunities to ripple the net this weekend, and the 24 year-old Frenchman does enjoy a chance to shoot.

Chris Wood (BUR v WHU, $10.75): He posted a hattrick for a stunning 45.5 points last time out, but that was no flash in the pan. The 29 year-old Kiwi has now scored six goals in his last eight games.

Olivier Giroud (CHE v FUL, $3.47): Giroud was an unused sub in Chelsea’s UCL match against Real Madrid on Tuesday, and with Leg 2 of that tie coming up early next week, Thomas Tuchel could have Giroud slotted for the league match this weekend. At $3.47 against woeful Fulham, he is a lock to return value if he starts (and probably even if he only subs in).

Kelechi Iheanacho (LEI v SOU, $7.07): Amazingly, Nacho has failed to score in only one game since the beginning of March (that’s seven games). I just don’t see how you can go without him right now, especially at his still-low price.

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How many of these picks do you already own? Whom did you buy on the barn door last weekend? What holes do you still need to fill (and who is creating them)? Do you have any Fantrax questions? Please post all your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

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