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Fantrax EPL GW-5 Player Picks

The season is starting to settle in, and the top teams (and players) are standing out already. This could be a great season.

Alisson Becker - Liverpool - Premier League
Liverpool has conceded only once this year (same with Chelsea and Man City), and three of the top six Fantrax scorers are keepers.
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

A look at the EPL table’s goal differentials shows a real gap emerging between four hot teams and the rest. These four all have at least +8 GD thus far, and three of them have conceded only once. Each of the four had major additions/returns this summer who are making a difference. Everton feels like an outsider at 4th in the top-5.

I think it’s going to be a great season.

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Man City and Liverpool have good home matchups. Both played in Champions League, so there may be some rotation. Be careful... but bold! At the same time, Tottenham hosts Chelsea in a London derby that should be a cracker to watch but a minefield to invest in (at retail anyway).

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Remember the Friday kickoff, Newcastle vs Leeds. This could be fun and a good game to get in on. Each team is conceding goals... lots of goals. Check their confirmed lineups before finalizing your Fantrax lineups.


Goalkeepers

  • Note: I’m averse to spending money on a keeper, and even an average keeper is starting at $7.00. If you’ve got one on the cheap, keep him.

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Dean Henderson (WHU vs MAN, $3.40) I’m really hoping Henderson finally comes back for United, although David DeGea has done well to start the year. Henderson is cheap, United have been strong in the back, and West Ham doesn’t have Michael Antonio this weekend. If he’s back, I’m picking him up and holding on tight. If you wait and see, then be ready to grab him before the barn door slams shut — at $3.40, the #1 on a top team would be a “season keeper”.

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Daniel Bachmann (NOR vs WAT, $6.42) Norwich has scored just once year, and Bachman is under $7.00. He has 12 saves too, but there is risk here.

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Tim Krul (NOR vs WAT, $3.40) Speaking of risk, picking the keeper of the last place team with the worst defensive record it risky. But to be fair to the Canaries, they have had a tough set of fixtures. Watford has only three goals this year, plus Norwich is at home. It’s not a terrible punt.


Defenders

Virgil van Dijk (LIV vs CRY, $5.69) If you don’t have VvD yet, you should get him soon, as his price is rising. The center-back was rested in midweek’s Champions League match, so we can be pretty sure he’s going to start. Crystal Palace is mid-table but has been shutout twice too. If you can afford Trent Alexander-Arnold, do so. He’s absolutely crushing it this year. But you’re paying for it at over $20, and that’s going to seem cheap soon. Joel Matip is an option too.

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Kyle Walker (MCI vs SOU, $6.30) The England defender is the cheapest way into the Citizen defense, and it’s a good bet on the Pep roulette, as he didn’t play on Wednesday. City has looked great in the back (domestically anyway), so there’s little chance of many goals against.

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Marçal (WOL vs BRE, $3.81) Marcal has been playing in the midfield, and he’s a cheap option with a good matchup. He has two yellows already this year, but also two fantasy assists and a lot other stats. He’s a player who can cover his pricetag and more.

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Raphael Varane (WHU vs MAN, $6.03) The new center-back has settled in well at United. Like VvD, Varane is still cheap enough to buy and hold. He passes the ball well, is good in the air, and I see him popping up with a goal or two on set pieces as the season goes.


Midfielders

Kevin De Bruyne (MCI vs SOU, $10.13) He’s back. The Citizens ran riot midweek. They’ve won each of their two EPL home games 5-0. There is always a risk of rotation, so pay attention to team news. I’d like at least one attacking player from City, preferably in the midfield. KDB is cheaper than Grealish, who is always a good option.

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Allan Saint-Maximin (NEW vs LEE, $8.34) Two assists and a goal in his four games is a really good start. Leeds has conceded 11 and hasn’t kept a clean sheet. This could be a VERY open game, and that would suit ASM just fine.

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Raphinha (NEW vs LEE, $14.73) Raphinha hasn’t started off like many hoped, but that has been with Leeds playing three teams in the top five, so let’s not be too concerned. Newcastle has the worst defensive record in the league. I’m working very hard to fit him into my lineup.

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Daniel James (NEW vs LEE, $3.60) If you’re looking for a player with a good upside and a cheap price, James (or another attacking mid from Leeds) might be a good value against Newcastle. Since you get to see confirmed lineups, you can see how Leeds set up before making this final.

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Dwight McNeil (BUR vs ARS, $13.89) The Burnley midfielder doesn’t need goals or assists to earn back his value, but he does put up fantasy points. He is on the ball a lot and takes set pieces. He’s a bit pricey, but he won’t be in too many lineups and (this hurts) Arsenal is a favorable matchup.


Forwards

Cristiano Ronaldo (WHU vs MAN, $6.44) He has doubled in price already, and rightly so with two goals in his debut. He looked dangerous, and there felt a good connection with the team already. You should already have him (on last week’s barn door if not before), but if you don’t, then get him. Simple.

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Diogo Jota (LIV vs CRY, $9.45) I would recommend Mo Salah if you have money. But if Jota’s lower price (about half of Mo’s) allows you to get TAA or upgrade elsewhere, it might be worth that. He has two goals already this year. Palace has conceded on the road, making Jota or Salah extra attractive.

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Demarai Gray (AST vs EVE, $6.09) Gray has scored in three straight games. DCL is most likely still out, which means Gray will have a place in the lineup again and will be relied on more. Everton sits fourth in a competitive upper table. The Toffees have scored two in each of their away games. He’s an interesting differential pick for those needing to replace Antonio.


Do you have Lukaku and CR7 on the cheap already? Still gambling on Pep roulette? What’s your keeper situation looking like? What matchups are you investing in? Please join the chat in the comments section!

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