GW-35 continues with Fantrax affording its managers a chance to reconfigure ahead of Man United’s mini-double and a half-raft of blanks. Helping us (maybe) will be a peek at the confirmed lineups for Tuesday’s Man United vs Leicester match.
Then again, the Red Devils will be rotating heavily, so picking doubles will be difficult, but some one-time bargains could be on offer. The greatest benefit will be avoiding as many blanks as possible. With only three game-weeks after this one, holding a discount through a blank week becomes ever less likely to become profitable.
Because we Fantrax managers have our own private deadline on Tuesday, this article’s comment section can serve as our pre-deadline chat as we scramble to process the Fantrax implications of Tuesday’s confirmed lineups (extra chatter that FPL managers may not care to see). But after the deadline passes, we should rejoin the larger GW-35 crowd to discuss the matches.
Finally, if you’re looking further ahead, GW-36 hits us with another Friday deadline and even more blanks. You’ve been warned.
GW-35b Blanks (drop most players from these teams):
- Man City
- West Ham
- West Brom
- Sheffield United
- (Tu) Man United vs Leicester
- (Tu) Southampton vs Crystal Palace
- (W) Chelsea vs Arsenal
- (Th) Aston Villa vs Everton
- (Th) Man United vs Liverpool
I assume everyone is holding onto a variety of players from various teams for various reasons. So I offer you a few uncommon picks who could be worth adding. Therefore I have leaned toward the confirmed lineups and possible rotation of a tired Man United hosting a recently skidding Leicester.
[ All prices come from NMA-11 league inside the barn door. Prices will recalculate four hours after Monday’s match ends, so YMMV. ]
Dean Henderson ($5.20, MUN vs LEI & MUN vs LIV)
He has two potential games, and he’s still underpriced. However, even a keeper might be rotated this week. We’ll know more when we see OGS’s Tuesday lineup.
Fraser Forster ($2.49 , SOU vs CRY)
He’s supposed to start again, and he faces an inconsistent Crystal Palace side. Betting on the Saints’ defense is always risky, but nobody else is affordable. If you can’t keep the keeper you already own, then maybe look at Hendo again (and hope the over-priced DDG doesn’t get a run-out).
Edouard Mendy ($12.97, CHE vs ARS)
I told you that further options weren’t cheap, but if you saved a pile of cash on attractive bargains elsewhere, then maybe you can splurge on your keeper this week.
Luke Shaw ($11.77 , MUN vs LEI & MUN vs LIV)
If he’s confirmed to start Tuesday, then you get at least one game from him, and he might get another on Thursday. If he isn’t confirmed, then consider any “regular” Man United defender (e.g. Obi Wan) instead. If you’re lucky then you get a double (or maybe a one-and-a-half). Note: Maguire went out injured on Sunday, so a less-expensive deputy could be shown to us. Stay tuned.
Ben Chilwell ($11.82, CHE vs ARS)
Rested against Man City on the weekend, Chilwell should be ready to reclaim his starting slot on Wednesday.
Alex Telles ($2.84, MUN vs LEI & MUN vs LIV)
If you go this route, then you definitely want to see the confirmed Tuesday lineup to make sure you get it right. Even if confirmed, he’s probably a single-gamer anyway, but he’s a single-gamer with decent ppg average who is cheap as dirt so you can spend elsewhere. If he is not confirmed, then switch to somebody just like him (e.g. Eric Bailly, $2.78) who gets the rare start.
Juan Mata ($1.79, MUN vs LEI & MUN vs LIV)
Like Telles, Mata is a placeholder for star-who-gets-rare-start (make sure you’re tuned in for the confirmed lineups so you get the right one). And as above, he’s not here for the double but as a cheap-as-dirt enabler if you can use the cash elsewhere. Both Mata and Donny van de Beek were good enough for the bench but not minutes on Sunday.
Paul Pogba ($8.11, MUN vs LEI & MUN vs LIV)
If confirmed Tuesday, he actually has a chance at minutes on Thursday as well. And if Bruno finally gets a rest, then Pogba could shine. However, Pogba played the full 90’ on Sunday, so the Tuesday / Thursday calculus could be inverted. That’s not a risk I want to take, but YMMV.
Marc Albrighton ($7.96, MUN vs LEI)
Jonny Evens’ warm-up injury gave Albrighton a rare start, playing on the wing against Newcastle as defenders filled in the middle. The rearranged defense was shambolic, but in attack Albrighton pumped in eight accurate crosses and scored a late goal on his way to 19 points in the loss. Since his barn-door price above is likely to bump up, consider grabbing him sooner rather than later if you have room. Then be here Tuesday to see if he is confirmed to start again.
Kalechi Iheanacho ($7.69, MUN vs LEI)
He has double-digit points in eight of nine matches, scratching only against the presumptive league champions. Facing a tired and likely rotated Man United, he is a buy at twice the price, and you should already have him at a discount anyway. And we see his confirmed lineup just in case. What’s not to love?
Edinson Cavani ($6.25, MUN vs LEI & MUN vs LIV)
After playing just the last 25’ on Sunday (and scoring a goal), he could get the start in the middle of a congested week. He will probably get some bonus minutes in the Liverpool match as well. If confirmed, he’s a worthwhile punt at $6.25.
Mo Salah ($18.17, MUN vs LIV)
He wants the golden boot, and Liverpool is now 100% focused on clawing back into the top-4, and Man United will be dog tired and partly rotated. If you raised cash elsewhere, then you can afford nice things. Go ahead and treat yourself.
Fantrax Home Stretch
Going forward, in the few places where Fantrax screens display game-week numbers, they’ll be off by one (too high), but NMA articles and chat will generally use FPL’s canonical GW. So when you want to see your Fantrax scores for GW-36, you might get there by picking GW-37 from a drop-box (or just look for the date-range). It’s only for a few weeks here at the end of the season, so let’s grin and bear it.
On Finale Sunday (GW-38, which will be Fantrax-week 39), Fantrax managers get to enjoy a very special treat: As has been the EPL custom for many years, all twenty clubs will play in ten simultaneous matches, and for Fantrax that means all twenty lineups will be confirmed before the deadline.
That much information in the face of rotation risk always means a big turnout during the deadline hour. Besides, it’s the end of a long season together, so even those of us in America’s Pacific time zone will set our alarms to join in the mad scramble on May 23rd. Don’t miss it!
So what changes do your Fantrax teams need so you can make the most of this turbulent patch of schedule? At whom are you looking? Do you think you can exploit the Man United mini-double? Please share your thoughts in the comments!