The league matchups plus the games in Europe earlier this week make planning a little more interesting for the weekend.
Chelsea has just named Graham Potter as the immediate replacement for Thomas Tuchel. The disrupted Blues play a West London derby a half mile away at a surprisingly solid Fulham. Arsenal and Liverpool play in-form defenses, and the Seagulls travel to Bournemouth absent their stolen gaffer.
All of this means there are some opportunities out there, but there could also be some sad Fantrax mangers when lineups are announced. The big names are the obvious choices even with some tough matchups, but I’ll be looking at a few differential options this week too.
NOTE: Player picks were made prior to the announcement of Brighton’s Graham Potter moving to Chelsea. Your guess is as good as mine as to how this affects players on both teams!
DOUBLE NOTE: Queen Elizabeth II has passed away at the age of 96. Our condolences go out to all who loved her. Various schedules, including EPL, may be disrupted by a nation in mourning.
This weekend’s one early kickoff is the 12:30 game between Fulham and Chelsea. Confirmed lineups should be available about 45 minutes before our Fantrax deadline, so come back to NMA Pre-Deadline Chat in the countdown hour to see them!
David de Gea – $6.65 (CRY v MAN)
After United’s struggles in its first two games, its keeper has since made 13 saves, only conceded twice, and kept two clean sheets over his last four games (including games against Arsenal and Liverpool).
Alisson - $6.77 (LIV vs WOL)
Alisson tallied four saves against Everton in the shut out effort. Wolves have only three goals to their name this year, and have been shut out three times. ‘Pool did give up four to Napoli in the mid-week UCL fixture, but surely something like that can’t happen again, right?
David Raya - $9.87 (SOU vs BRF)
Raya sits third in scoring for Fantrax keepers (and third in saves), despite only have one clean sheet to his name. He gets a decent matchup against Southampton this weekend.
Adam Webster – $11.59 (BOU v BHA)
I like this matchup for BHA. Bournemouth scored three of their five goals last game, the first goals scored since their win to open the season. The other four games were shutouts. Webster has been consistent, and interim managers tend to coach conservatively. Andrew Crofts’ first priority will probably be to not lose, rather than to attempt a barnstorming win.
Neco Williams - $12.47 (LEE vs NOT)
He’s slightly cheaper than other premium backs such as TAA and Cancelo, but we expect him to start every week. He’s putting up consistent numbers even when Forest bleeds goals. He’s going to find points regardless.
Tyrell Malacia - $6.13 (CRY vs MAN)
Malacia is affordable and active. He has found his way into the starting-XI, and he’s fighting to keep his spot. United continue sto play well, but I’ll be checking lineups and team news from their Europa league game before going for Malacia.
Luke Ayling - $5.35 (LEE vs NOT)
Leeds has been up and down this year. Ayling made his season debut last weekend after missing due to injury. He made 12 points despite playing only 19 minutes. He’s worth monitoring if he’s going to start, as he did much of last year.
Bruno Fernandes – $13.55 (CRY vs MAN)
Bruno’s form has improved along with his team’s overall renaissance. He now has a goal plus an assist on the season. He isn’t widely selected, so he offers differential value.
Pascal Gross - $15.53 (BOU vs BHA)
I thought Brighton would be a tough team this year, but I didn’t think they’d also pose a consistent offensive threat. Gross has been a major part of that, with three goals plus two assists. He’s currently the top scoring midfielder in Fantrax, AND he plays lowly Bournemouth who have conceded 18 goals already. Solly March and Alexis MacAllister are also solid options, but Gross is the rain-maker here. It’s hard not to have him in any lineup.
Gabriel Martinelli - $12.55 (ARS vs EVE)
Martinelli had his single single-digit fantasy scoring game against United. He checks all the boxes for a player you want on your side. Attacking midfielder... Aggressive... On set-pieces... Not afraid to shoot (seven shots vs Fulham, five vs Villa!). He has scored three times already.
Morgan Gibbs-White - $5.09 (LEE vs NOT)
Gibbs-White looked strong last weekend. He has quickly become the attacking lead for Forest. He’s taking some set pieces, and he notched his first assist against Bournemouth. He’s a budget option if you’re looking to spend more money elsewhere.
Lucas Paquetá - $3.85 (WHU vs NEW)
New signing Paquetá put in a strong fantasy performance in his first start for West Ham. He picked up points on both sides of the ball. The Hammers get a tough home match, but at his low price he needs only a few points to make him worth picking.
Alexander Isak – $5.35 (WHU v NEW)
He didn’t score in his second game, but he did have chances, and he still returned some fantasy points. West Ham sits in the bottom three, so Newcastle must hope for a result here. He’s still cheap too.
Antony - $4.80 (CRY vs MAN)
Not a bad opener for Antony. He scored and then came off before 60’, which makes sense since he just arrived. He was active and confident, as are United as a whole right now.
Luis Sinisterra - $4.79 (LEE vs NOT)
The new attacker has two goals in his last two starts, though he’s barely reaching the 60’ mark. Rodrigo is still out (dislocated shoulder), so Sinesterra should maintain his attacking spot. He’s not scoring much outside of his goals, but he is home to a Nottingham Forest defense that has conceded 14 (3rd most in the league), 11 of which have come in the last three games. That splatting sound you hear is thousands of fantasy EPL managers throwing keeper Henderson out the window... the Tricky Trees need a result.
What do you see as key matchups? What big names are you keeping and dropping? Who else do you recommend? Please log in and post your comments below!