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EPL GW3 Fantrax Player Picks

There are big games for teams at both ends of the table already, and players that are beginning to stand out.

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FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-ARSENAL
So far it’s been thumbs up for only one of these two managers, whose teams kick off the inaugural match of Round Three.
Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Eight teams were shut out in week two, but we had a few goal-fests too. There are points to be had; as always it’s just about finding the right matchups and picking the right players. But then again... that’s just the game, isn’t it?

This week Liverpool and Chelsea have an early season clash that should be fun. Both teams have started the season with 2 wins, 5 goals, and none against. Newcastle, Norwich, and Leeds have given up the most goals so far, so I’m considering attacking players against their defenses. And Wolves, Norwich, and Arsenal have failed to score at all yet, so I’m looking at opposing defenses.

(All prices are from the NMA-11 league; NMA-17 prices tend to run about 25% lower so you can buy extra players.)

We will get confirmed lineups for City (and Arsenal!) ahead of the Fantrax deadline, which means I’ll be poised to make changes as soon as lineups are released. Arsenal have yet to score and have given up 2 goals both games, so as much as it pains this Gunners fan to say, I’m looking heavily at City.


Goalkeepers

David de Gea (WOL vs MAN, $8.23) DDG still has the starting role for United, as Dean Henderson continues his recovery from long COVID. Henderson is approaching a return, so keep your eyes on the news. Wolves haven’t scored yet this year. DDG is one of the only reasonably priced decent options at keeper, and United have given up just a single goal in each of their first two matches. The Spaniard is also making a few saves, making him a safe bet for positive points this weekend.

Alex McCarthy (NEW vs SOU, $5.85) This is for those looking for a true budget option between the sticks. Newcastle scored two at home in their opening game, and Southampton gave up three on the road. There’s a lot risk in this choice, so be warned.

Emiliano Martinez (AST vs BRF, $15.58) He’s the premium keeper choice for me on the week, so you’re going to be paying a little more for him. Villa are home to Brentford, who failed to score last week. And after a rocky opening match, Villa shut out Newcastle in week two.


Defenders

Virgil van Dijk (LIV vs CHE, $4.40) VVD makes all the difference defensively for Liverpool. Two games back. Two clean sheets. Chelsea will be a different test, but at this price, even with a less than great matchup, VVD is still on my list. I am tempted to go with Trent Alexander-Arnold, but his astronomical price tag is keeping me away for this matchup.

Japhet Tanganga (TOT vs WAT, $4.48) The Spurs back is an excellent cheap option. Tottenham hasn’t conceded yet this year, and Watford was shut out on the road last weekend.

Aymeric Laporte (MCI vs ARS, $5.68) I’m looking for ways to get some City players in, since the Gunners have yet to score. We will know lineups in advance, so this is about understanding your options. Laporte scored last week, but John Stones scored last week. Benjamin Mendy did too, but he is suspended now.

Luke Shaw (WOL vs MAN, $8.30) He hasn’t been the points machine we hoped he’d be... yet. But I just keep thinking I don’t want to miss out when he does go big. Wolves have lost both games 0-1, so there’s clean sheet and attacking points potential here.


Midfielders

Kevin De Bruyne (MCI vs ARS, $10.90) He’s my top choice from City players if he’s healthy. That’s a serious “if” these days. He comes at a very affordable price, so if — again if — he’s in Pep’s lineup, he will be in mine.

Jared Bowen (WHU vs CRY, $12.45) I like the home matchup against Crystal Palace for West Ham, and the Hammers are scoring goals. There are lots of options here if you like the matchup too. My preference though is Bowen. He’s put up slightly fewer points than Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals, but he’s not solely dependent on goals and assists for his returns. Consequently, a goal or assist could push him into big points.

Youri Tielemans (NOR vs LEI, $15.07) Leicester get lowly Norwich, who are struggling at both ends of the field. The Belgian has taken over the responsibility for many set pieces, which has greatly increased his value. He has looked confident, been active, and scored last week.

James Ward-Prowse (NEW vs SOU, $14.93) He is almost matchup-proof for at least a decent amount of points, and this week’s matchup is a decent one, even though it’s on the road. He’s on all kicks. Everything runs through him. He scores fantasy points in every way possible, and there’s always the potential for goals or assists.

Joseph Willock (NEW vs SOU, $5.14) Willock didn’t have the triumphant return that many had hoped. I’m not worried: He hasn’t had much time to train with the team. He’s a solid filler with good potential, and Newcastle are generally better at home.


Forwards

Michail Antonio (WHU vs CRY, 15.58) Three goals in two games, including some late ones to end week two. That changed the fortunes of a lot of fantasy managers.

Jamie Vardy (NOR vs LEI, $13.60) This is a good matchup for Vardy. He’s always a threat to score, and score again.

Adam Armstrong (NEW vs SOU, $7.32) He’s a little cheaper than some of the other options out there. He has had chances and looks ready for a solid season. But he’s also not Danny Ings.

Danny Ings (AST vs BRF, $10.56) Two games, two goals, and the one last week was spectacular. Brentford have yet to give up a goal. Ings has yet to be held scoreless. Something has to give! My money would be on Ings scoring at home.

Gabriel Jesus (MCI vs ARS, $7.52) This is a nod to any of the City forwards who get the start. Jesus had two assists last game. Not sure that’s enough to keep the starting spot, especially since Mahrez and Sterling scored as substitutes. I’m getting at least one them. Jesus is the cheapest.


How’s your team shaping up this week? Do you have any players you think may be season keepers? Where are you looking for value?