GW-24 has concluded, providing helpful hints at how some of the January transfers are going to fit in. Former standouts Philippe Coutinho and Kieran Trippier look to have settled right back in without skipping a beat in either the EPL or our fantasy hearts.
This week Man United and Brighton each play twice, their second game being midweek against each other. United stumbled against last-place Burnley on Wednesday, managing only a draw, so Rangnick and Co will now be working harder for points from their two home games.
We’ll get to see United’s first lineup before tomorrow’s Fantrax deadline, as the Southampton fixture is Saturday’s one early kickoff.
Meanwhile in Abu Dhabi, Chelsea has advanced to the finals of the FIFA Club World Cup tournament, which means the EPL match against Arsenal has been postponed.
This article was written on Thursday, so the prices are pre-update (NMA-11).
Fraser Forster (TOT vs SOU, $4.91) If you’re looking for cheap keeper options (which I always am), Forster offers decent value. He is going to be required to make saves. Oh and by the way, he made ten of them when he faced Tottenham earlier this season in a 1-1 draw.
David de Gea (MUN vs SOU, MUN vs BHA, $16.83) I really don’t like spending big on GKs, but if your 1-dollar men have left you holding a big pile of cash, then DDG’s DGW is a tempting place to park it. Even with only one clean sheet in a long stretch, his 5.5 points against Burnley was his lowest return since November 20th! Over two home games, there could be some value here, and I don’t think he’ll be on a lot of Fantrax rosters. But if you want him you’ll have to pay up... And you should line up a DGW-26 keeper on your barn-door watch-list ready to book-end this one-week buy.
Luke Shaw (MUN vs SOU, MUN vs BHA, $4.87) He seems to have pretty much locked down the left-back spot when he is healthy, which is mostly just recently. Two home games against teams that don’t score many goals makes him a fairly safe bet, even if he only gets one game. Raphael Varane looks like a solid choice as well.
Adam Webster (WAT vs BHA, MAN vs BHA, $4.87) If you’re looking for a way into BHA’s lineup, the center-back is priced well and will probably play both games. I’m not sure I’m willing to shell out double digit prices for Brighton’s other defenders (or anyone else’s either).
Hassane Kamara (WAT vs BHA, $2.39) He returned 16.5 and 20 points from his last two games, and the 16.5 didn’t include a clean sheet. His defensive stats add up quickly, and with Watford playing... less bad? ...his price point makes him attractive.
Kieran Trippier (NEW vs AST, $2.31) Newcastle has two wins and a tie since Trippier’s arrival, making Aston Villa a fair target. He’s had three straight double-digit games and notched his first goal. He came off injured on Wednesday and could be a doubt with a calf injury, so be sure to follow team news. But if he’s fit and if you don’t already have him in your team, now is the time. At least have him on your barn-door watch-list to buy before his price skyrockets.
Bruno Fernandes (MAN vs SOU, MAN vs BHA, $15.5) Getting Bruno into your team for a DGW would normally seem like a no-brainer, but he hasn’t been putting up the points consistently. Also, United has five matches coming up over the next two weeks, including a crucial Champions League tie with Atlético Madrid. With that kind of fixture congestion, I worry that he gets rest in one of this week’s league matches. But with a chance at minutes from two games, Bruno is a player who can pay off big. Not sure I can keep him out of my lineup.
Paul Pogba (MAN vs SOU, MAN vs BHA, $2.39) Pogba scored a goal on his return from injury, which is a good sign. What’s not good (from a fantasy point of view) is that he ended up with exactly 10 points, meaning that over a full 90 minute shift, the goal is the only fantasy return he produced. But priced dirt cheap with two bites at the apple this week, Ken M’s favorite player may be worth a punt.
Kevin De Bruyne (NOR vs MCI, $14.93) KDB is back. He has attacking returns in five of his last six games, he’s still reasonably priced, and he plays Norwich. The only problem, of course, is that there’s always some risk of Pep roulette.
Michael Olise (BRE vs CRY, $5.24) Olise is becoming a steady player for Palace. He’s listed as a midfielder but primarily plays as a forward, and his price is budget-friendly. The Bees have lost five straight matches, and eight of their last nine, and have conceded at least two goals in each of their last five games.
Dele Alli (EVE vs LEE, $4.00) The Everton signing came on for an injured Demari Gray in the midweek game, though it wasn’t enough to swing the tide for the Toffees. Alli will be fighting for a steady spot, and this is a good chance for him to shine against a Leeds team that continues to concede plenty of goals.
Diogo Jota (NOR vs LIV, 14.98) Jota will be glad to see Mo and Mané back as his creative partners. I’ll be watching for news to see if there are hints about who will start this weekend against Norwich. He scored twice for Liverpool on Thursday too.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (EVE vs LEE, $4.66) DCL was rested against Newcastle. That didn’t work out so well for Frank Lampard and company, so I expect we’ll see the England forward back in the starting lineup this week. He hasn’t scored since August 28th, so he’ll be itching to impress the new skipper. At his injury-depressed price, and knowing how productive he can be when fit, you should at least have him on your barn-door watch-list to grab when regular service is restored.
Marcus Rashford (MAN vs SOU, MAN vs BHA, $6.44) We’ll see Rangnick’s lineup ahead of tomorrow’s Fantrax deadline, and if Rashford is in it, I might make this gamble. I don’t think he plays a full 90 in both, but one start plus some time in the second game might make him a worthwhile investment.
So, how’s your team shaping up? How many double-game players will you have in your roster? Are you eying any transfer targets I’ve missed? Are you planning ahead for DGW-26? Please log in and share your thoughts in the comments below!