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Fantrax EPL DGW-36 Player Picks

This might be the juiciest double of the season, and I’m all in.

Eddie Nketiah - Arsenal FC - Premier League
Eddie Nketiah could be GW-36’s best Fantrax value.
Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

GW-36 presents us with one of the season’s best opportunities to plunder the fixtures for Fantrax glory: It’s a double game-week for twelve clubs, with seven of those twelve enjoying cherry matchups in both fixtures and a few even doubling again in GW-37.

Below are the DGW teams, listed in order of fixture favorability (IMO):

Despite the attractiveness of Leicester’s GW-36 fixtures, I’m mostly lukewarm on their fantasy assets. They were put to the sword in Leg 2 of the Europa Conference League today (by a goal from former Chelsea man Tammy Abraham), meaning they do not have any more cup distractions. But they sit tenth in the league, safe on 42 points with nothing much above them to grasp for (league position itself is worth a few pounds but no silverware or tournament invites). Brendan Rodgers may therefore use the remaining games as an opportunity to blood youngsters and reward hard-working squad players. That makes investing in their marquee assets somewhat risky.

Liverpool and Man City also played European tournament matches this week. City crashed out of the Champions League in a spectacular late collapse leading to an overtime loss at Real Madrid, while ‘Pool progressed to the finals by comprehensively defeating Villareal yet again. But since those two clubs are still jousting for the EPL crown, we can expect their managers to continue to field full-strength squads for their league matches. They’re also close on goal-difference, and Man City is a wounded bear I would especially not want to face this weekend, so it could rain goals this week.

DGW-36 kicks off with simultaneous matches for eight (!) clubs, so be sure the check in to our Pre-Deadline and Live Chat for confirmed lineups for Brentford, Southampton, Burnley, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Wolves, Crystal Palace, and Watford ahead of the Fantrax transfer deadline.


Goalkeepers

Edouard Mendy ($13.66, CHE v WOL, LEE v CHE): Chelsea’s loss to Everton leaves the Blues only five points clear of fifth place, so they must beat back Arsenal and Tottenham to cement a Champions League berth for next season. That means that Thomas Tuchel will want full points from here out. Wolves are scoreless in their last three, and Leeds has netted only 38 times all season, so I expect win points from both matches and a clean sheet from at least one of them.

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Jordan Pickford ($12.22, LEI v EVE, WAT v EVE): Everton’s away form has been horrid: Pickford’s cumulative points total across his last four road games is -7. But anyone who saw his MOTM performance in the Chelsea game will understand why it may be worth backing him against the Foxes and the Hornets. The Toffees are playing with renewed vigor as they fight the drop, and their GW-36 fixtures are favorable.

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Ederson ($17.57, MCI v NEW, WOL v MCI): He’s expensive, but he minds the net for a juggernaut that crushes lesser opposition underfoot. We should be able to count on him to return value over the two matches.

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Ben Foster ($5.94, CPL v WAT, WAT v EVE): At this point Watford is probably doomed to the Championship for next year, but Foster’s low price and two decent fixtures for the GW-36 double makes him your man if you can’t stretch your budget to accommodate any of the other three GKs I’m recommending.


Defenders

Ben White ($12.35, ARS v LEE, TOT v ARS): He missed the WHU game due to a tight hamstring, but if he can recover for Leeds he’s sure to reclaim his status as a nailed-on starter in the center of defense. Averaging over 7 ppg, he should come good over the two matches. The same can be said of Gabriel ($13.45), who is the slightly pricier alternative if it doesn’t look like White will be fit to feature twice.

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Marcos Alonso ($11.99, CHE v WOL, LEE v CHE), Reece James ($9.90, CHE v WOL, LEE v CHE): Points should be available for these men at both ends of the pitch. Take your pick, or pick both.

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Yerry Mina ($3.57, LEI v EVE, WAT v EVE): He’s played twice since his return from injury, registering nine points against Leicester and 15 against Chelsea. His performances combined with Ben Godfrey’s injury mean he should be a lock for the GW36 double, and at his low price it’s almost inconceivable that he won’t return value.

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Andrew Robertson ($14.88, LIV v TOT, AVL v LIV): Both of Liverpool’s marauding fullbacks have the potential for serious damage in a DGW, but Robertson costs at least $5 less than his English teammate.

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João Cancelo ($18.64, MCI v NEW, WOL v MCI): His price gives me pause, but I still think that over two games Cancelo will repay your investment. City’s gut-wrenching loss to Real Madrid in Leg 2 of their Champions League tie means that the Premier League title is now the only trophy left for them to contest, so we can expect Pep to play to win and field his best 11. The Citizens may also feel they owe payback to their home fans for the way they let victory slip away in Spain, and with goal-difference a possible factor in the title race, Newcastle may pay the price.

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Hassane Kamara ($7.51, CPL v WAT, WAT v EVE): I love this guy. He’s a Fantrax points magnet averaging over 9 ppg and is still probably undervalued even at full retail. I was an early adopter and would still hold him if DGWs hadn’t coaxed me to sacrifice him for a twofer. He’ll be money for Watford’s double.

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Jonny ($3.44, CHE v WOL, WOL v MCI): He started on the bench last time out, eventually coming on to register a measly -1. That’s good for Fantrax managers who are on the hunt for value, as that paltry return dropped his price even lower than it already was. Wolves’ GW-36 fixtures are tough, but over two matches it’s hard to see how Jonny wouldn’t repay your small investment. Use him to stretch your budget if needed for bigger names elsewhere.


Midfielders

Bukayo Saka ($16.71, ARS v LEE, TOT v ARS): With goal contributions in each of his last three games, Saka is the most dangerous and most nailed-on option in Mikel Arteta’s midfield. He also takes pens, which could come into play in a match like the North London derby.

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Christian Eriksen ($4.98, BRF v SOU): Brentford has only one match this week, but the under-priced Great Dane is on a six-game string of double-digit returns. A home tie with Southampton should make it seven.

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Mason Mount ($14.80, CHE v WOL, LEE v CHE): Mount’s returns have dried up lately, but his explosive potential is still there. With Chelsea trying to secure a place in next year’s Champions League tournament, we can expect Thomas Tuchel to pursue full points from Chelsea’s double, and that could mean nice returns for Mount.

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Anthony Gordon ($11.08, LEI v EVE, WAT v EVE): He’s the form figure in Frank Lampard’s midfield. With the Toffees battling for Premier League survival, we can expect Gordon to throw himself at the Foxes and Hornets.

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Kevin De Bruyne ($16.00, MCI v NEW, WOL v MCI): Ousted from the Champions League tournament by Real Madrid, a wounded City now turns its full focus to the Prem, looking not just for wins but goal-difference as well. It will be a brave Fantrax manager who enters DGW-36 without KDB, as Pep’s world-class middie has registered eight goal contributions over his last six league games.

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Dejan Kulusevski ($5.73, LIV v TOT, TOT v ARS): The Swede showed just how important he has become to Antonio Conte when he subbed on in the last 35 minutes to lift Spurs over Leicester with two assists. The fixtures are tough this week, but given his price and form you can hardly go wrong.


Forwards

Eddie Nketiah ($2.53, ARS v LEE, TOT v ARS): The 22 year-old seems to have cemented a place in Arteta’s XI, relegating Alexandre Lacazette to the bench over Arsenal’s last four games. Arsenal has won three straight and is chasing a Champions League berth, so it’s doubtful that Arteta will tamper with a winning formula. Still priced at a measly $2.53, he has stacked up 45.5 points over his four starts, so he’s almost a no-brainer for Arsenal’s double.

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Kai Havertz ($6.85, CHE v WOL, LEE v CHE) is a cheaper alternative if Mason Mount’s price puts you off. Havertz too has been quiet recently, but Tuchel favors him over Lukaku, and his price makes him a good risk over two matches.

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Richarlison ($9.90, LEI v EVE, WAT v EVE): With Dominic Calvert-Lewin struggling for fitness for pretty much all of 2022, Richarlison has stepped up to lead Everton’s line. The Brazilian has racked up four goals in his last five games, and he’s Lampard’s #1 pen taker.

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Kelechi Iheanacho ($4.82, LEI v EVE, LEI v NOR): Having just achieved full fitness, Jamie Vardy played the full 90 in today’s loss to Roma. So I expect Nacho to start against Everton, and he could get minutes against Norwich too. Both fixtures are plum, and he won’t need to do a whole lot to repay your $4.82 investment.

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Mo Salah ($22.86, LIV v TOT, AVL v LIV): He’s astronomically expensive, but ‘Pool is chasing City and, well, he’s Mo Salah. Even if he only returns his average over the double, your investment will net almost 28 points. But if Mo’s price gives you sticker shock, Red hot Sadio Mané ($13.79) is a less expensive alternative.

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Harry Kane ($17.28, LIV v TOT, TOT v ARS): Liverpool and Arsenal are both formidable opponents, and both still have tons to play for. But Kane takes pens and is also able to score against anyone from open play. Also, we’re all well-familiar with his track record in the North London derby.


How many double-gamers will you field this week? Are you reluctant to drop discounts on any of your single-game players? Which clubs do you think will be most prone to rotation? Any names I’ve overlooked? Please join us in the comments and share your thoughts!

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