The Premier League is finally back, and we should get a full roster of games to boot. Some teams haven’t played for nearly a month due to the international break and postponements arising from the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The delay may have given underperforming teams a chance to regroup, and might mean that others will have lost momentum, so it’s a tricky week to predict. On top of that, some players have been away on international duty, and a few have come back injured.
We’re at that early season point in Fantrax where most of you will have bedded in a team of regulars who are now so heavily discounted that you’re not eager to make major changes. Not that discounts are everything, but while they stay fit you are unlikely to be looking to change out the likes of Haaland, Mitrovic, De Bruyne, Jesus, Trippier and any others you picked up a few weeks ago and who have been performing well.
So this week I will be trying to identify players who offer good potential for their price and who may be worth bringing in for those odd one or two spots you are probably looking to fill.
Looking at the fixture list, there are no stand-out fixtures where I expect a very one-sided game. In previous seasons, Liverpool at home to Brighton would have been one, but so far this season Brighton have collected four points more than Liverpool. However, in the weeks since they last played, Brighton have lost their manager to Chelsea, and it remains to be seen how that will affect them. I am looking at Liverpool players this week since many of them have dropped in price, and this may be the point where they pick up their performance. I’m avoiding Manchester players along with Arsenal and Spurs players due to the unpredictability of their derby games. I wouldn’t mind keeping players like Haaland and KDB, but I wouldn’t be rushing to bring them in this week.
We have games on Saturday, Sunday and one fixture on Monday. The early Saturday fixture is Arsenal at home to Spurs, which will mean you’ll get the chance to see the line-ups before the Fantrax deadline, so come back here and see what panic-buying or selling the line-ups have precipitated. It is worth noting though that if this had been the case in the last round, you’d almost certainly have dropped Son Heung-Min (or at least not picked him up) and so missed out on his second-half substitute hat-trick appearance.
Prices quoted are for F-11, those in F17 will be a little lower.
Allison – $6.42 (LIV v BHA)
This is the one position where there is a lot of good value to be found and last year’s top-scoring keeper can currently be picked up for a price that’s lower than his average scor (admittedly he’s only averaging 7.08 ppm this season thanks to Liverpool’s difficulty in keeping a clean sheet). Brighton are difficult to predict in this fixture, but surely Liverpool are going to improve soon.
Neto – $6.48 (BOU v BRE)
Am I seriously recommending a Bournemouth keeper for a higher cost than the Liverpool one? Yes; yes I am. Its not a terrible match up and he’s had two high-scoring games out of three so far. Neto could be a nice differential.
Honorable mentions: David Raya $9.82 (BOU v BRE), Gavin Bazunu $4.73 (SOU v EVE), and if you are really looking to gamble and are strapped for cash, Danny Ward $2.80 (LEI v NOT)
Konstantinos Tsimikas $5.13 (LIV v BHA)
It looks likely that Andrew Robertson will be unavailable, and his deputy has shown he can score well in Fantrax. At this price, if it looks like he’s starting then he’s a steal.
Seamus Coleman $2.80 (SOU v EVE)
Nathan Patterson is likely to be out, so the veteran Coleman looks set to deputize. At his bargain basement price he should be excellent value.
Reece James $12.54 (CRY v CHE)
James has been scoring consistently and hasn’t yet had that huge game that we know he’s capable of. He can be slotted in as a defender or midfielder, giving you some extra flexibility.
Armel Bella Kotchap $9.37 (SOU v EVE)
He’s been scoring consistently and a home game against Everton could be a further opportunity to continue.
Honorable mentions: Yerson Mosquera $2.80 (WHU v WOL), Wout Faes $3.18 (LEI v NOT)
James Maddison $13.74 (LEI v NOT)
Leicester has been poor this season, but Maddison has been scoring well anyway. A home game against Forest offers potential for more attacking returns.
Anthony Gordon $10.40 (SOU v EVE)
The brightest spark in Everton’s attack this season, and his best scores have come away from home. Can also be placed in a forward spot.
Mason Mount $9.30 (CRY v CHE)
He found his shooting boots for England on Monday, so perhaps this is where his comes back to form for his club too. The price is very tempting. He’s another who can also be placed in a forward spot.
Jack Harrison $10.97 (LEE v AVL)
He has scored much better at home than away, and Villa haven’t looked convincing.
Honorable mentions: Joe Willock $9.30 (FUL v NEW), Harvey Elliott $6.04 (LIV v BHA)
Darwin Nunez $5.41 (LIV v BHA)
Bargain-priced and surely excellent value this week.
Mohamed Salah $13.78 (LIV v BHA)
Maybe you don’t want to double-up on Liverpool attackers (and I wouldn’t blame you), but this is the player who used to be the most expensive asset in the game, and currently he’s only the 8th most expensive forward! It’s hard to see his slump in form continuing all season, so could this be the week he breaks out?
Ivan Toney $18.29 (BOU v BRE)
He’s much more expensive than Salah, but he’s scored more than twice as many points, and a game against Bournemouth makes him very tempting.
Honorable mentions: Jarrod Bowen $10.39 (WHU v WOL), Che Adams $10.12 (SOU v EVE), Callum Wilson $6.62 (FUL v NEW) - but keep an eye on team news.
With so many players available, surely I must have missed some gems. Please log in and let us know in the comments who you’re thinking of this week.