After such a long pause for the World Cup, the Premier League dives directly into festive-period fixture congestion, with GW-18 separated from the preceding GW by only one day. Due to the compressed time frame, we’re publishing our GW-18 Fantrax Player Picks as a “Barn Door Edition.” Take advantage of our early recommendations to make your GW-18 purchases before prices adjust later tonight!
Here is a preliminary list of new injuries and suspensions. Be sure to tune in to our GW-18 Pre-Deadline and Live Chat for a final, comprehensive round-up of team news, as well as confirmed lineups for the WHU/BRE and LIV/LEI fixtures about 45 and 30 minutes ahead of the GW-18 transfer buzzer.
- James Tomkins ( Defender, Crystal Palace) - Suspension
- Tyrick Mitchell ( Defender, Crystal Palace) - Suspension
- Moises Caicedo ( Midfielder, Brighton) - Suspension
- Yerry Mina ( Defender, Everton) - Injury
- Dennis Praet ( Midfielder, Leicester) - Injury
- Daniel Podence ( Midfielder/ Forward, Wolves) - Injury
- Reece James ( Defender, Chelsea) - Injury
Fantrax scheduling note:
While FPL has a couple mini-DGWs coming in GW-19 and GW-20, Fantrax has a normal GW-19 followed by both bonus games in DGW-20.
That gives Fantrax managers a couple weeks to look over (or overlook) Fulham and Chelsea assets, and then we will have those plus Man City vs Spurs doubling in the Jan 12-19 time frame.
Kepa Arrizabalaga ($8.03, Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea)
Kepa is definitely a bargain at this price! He has the highest average points-per-game among all Fantrax goalkeepers that have played at least five matches. Barn door him before his 21.5 points against Bournemouth hikes his price!
Nick Pope ($15.87, Newcastle vs Leeds)
Nick Pope is one of the most expensive goalkeepers in Fantrax but he is definitely worth it. His 17 points against Leicester was his seventh straight double-digit return. A win, clean sheet, and multiple saves in the home match against Leeds United could see him haul in more points than many marquee attackers.
David de Gea ($10.43, Wolves vs Man United)
David de Gea is performing very well this season and with United’s improved defense, we can expect a clean sheet from him when he faces the league’s most impotent attack.
Issa Diop ($5.36, Fulham vs Southampton)
Here’s one I bet you haven’t considered. Issa Diop has quietly had some good runs of points stretching back into October. He managed to continue his good form after the World Cup break, registering 17 points in GW-17. At his price, it is worth giving him a chance in your Fantrax squad as Fulham plays Southampton at home this week, and then has a double on the horizon.
Lloyd Kelly ($5.50, Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace)
Lloyd Kelly recovered from an ankle injury that sidelined him for three months to feature against Chelsea in GW-17. With his relatively low price and favorable fixture, we can expect some solid points from Kelly, who has a pretty high floor even when the Cherries concede. With a clean sheet he could easily hit double-digits.
Joel Ward ($7.09, Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace)
Tomkins and Mitchell were both shown red last time out, so Ward seems a lock to start against 14th-place Bournemouth. Marc Guehi ($9.73) will return from suspension and could also be considered, but he’s a bit more expensive.
Ethan Pinnock ($7.81, West Ham United vs Brentford)
Ethan Pinnock has one of the highest points-per-game averages among Fantrax defenders. Away against West Ham might not be an easy matchup, but he seems to be virtually fixture-proof and his price is still reasonable for the production he offers.
Honorable mentions: Kieran Trippier ( $21.17, Newcastle vs Leeds United), Andrew Robertson ( $9.68, Liverpool vs Leicester), Raphael Varane ($6.12, Wolves vs Man United)
Saïd Benrahma ($6.06, West Ham vs Brentford)
Six weeks without a competitive match did not cool Saïd Benrahma’s scoring form. Although West Ham lost to Arsenal in GW-17, he scored a goal and recorded two SOT in the match. He has been a valuable asset in Fantrax since October, and his low price will allow you to splurge funds elsewhere.
Kevin De Bruyne ($19.29, Man City vs Everton)
Playing at home against an Everton side in poor form makes all Man City attacking players good candidates this week. As always though, the question is which players will Pep roulette smile upon? I’m going with Kevin De Bruyne, as the Belgian has featured in every league match so far (13 starts, 1 sub).
Bruno Fernandes ($11.71, Wolves vs Man United)
The Bruno of old was a Fantrax monster, but the arrival of CR7 seemed to be like kryptonite for him. Ronaldo is gone now, and with the return of attacking partner Anthony Martial, we can expect Bruno to be back in the points again. He returned 9.5 yesterday even without any goal contributions.
Martin Ødegaard ( $12.01, Brighton vs Arsenal)
With Jesus out injured, Arsenal needed someone to step up and provide creativity and the final pass. Against West Ham on Monday, Ødegaard was that man. Arsenal’s skipper registered two assists in the come-from-behind win, and he will be expected to carry Arsenal’s offence once again when the Gunners travel to the Amex on Saturday.
Honorable mentions: Miguel Almirón ( $13.89, Newcastle vs Leeds United), Antony ($6.22, Wolves vs Man United), Willian ($5.55, Fulham vs Southampton)
Anthony Martial ( $4.29, Wolves vs Man United)
Anthony Martial was not included in France’s World Cup squad due to a back injury sustained in October, and the break allowed him time to recover. Now fit again, he immediately brought a positive impact to the team with a goal scored in yesterday’s defeat of Forest. At his low barn-door price you should consider adding him to your lineup for United’s trip to the Molineux.
Mohamed Salah ( $12.49, Liverpool vs Leicester)
After a slow start in the league, Salah has finally begun to heat up. In past seasons, his price tag was always among the highest in the league, but now he is not even the most expensive player on his own team. His price, his role as penalty-taker, and the juicy fixture against Leicester City are all good reasons to include him in your squad.
Erling Haaland ( $23.22, Man City vs Everton)
Nothing more really needs to be said about Haaland. At the time of writing, his tally stands at 18 goals scored in 13 games (plus three assists), and he is averaging a colossal 19 ppg. Well rested after a World Cup tournament that did not include Norway, Haaland has developed into a dilemma for all Fantrax managers who don’t already hold him at discount. Even at a retail price that constitutes about a quarter of your team’s entire budget, you have to sweat over whether you should purchase him anyway. And if you’re in that camp, just wait until City’s upcoming double....
Honorable mentions: Eddie Nketiah ( $1.32, Brighton vs Arsenal), Marcus Rashford ( $10.27, Wolves vs Man United), Kai Havertz ( $7.43, Nottingham Forest vs Chelsea)
Which players do you think will shine on GW-18? Please share with us what other players you think are worth considering in the line up! Please log in and leave your comments below!
Stats and info for this article were sourced from premierleague.com