The Fantasy Football transfer window for game week 27 is now closed. Join me in our virtual Fantasy Football world while we watch the games and hope our points rack up. Sit back, relax, enjoy the football and hang-out here with your fellow Fantasy Football managers and chat in real time as the action unfolds. Perhaps everyone else is experiencing the same “Aggghhhh” player difficulties you are, or the same “Yeahhhh” moment as your captain puts the ball into the back of the net? Talking Points is simply a chat area for us Fantasy Football First managers. Tell us about your highs and lows, and get into the match day atmosphere. Get involved.
To help you with your early transfer, these are the expected talking points for this weekend
Watford comfortably sit 13th in the league and the Hornets have every chance of improving this position in the next five games as they face Palace (A), Sunderland (H), West Brom (H), Spurs (A) and Swansea (H).
Watford have kept only four clean sheets all season, only Hull have less (3), so picking up a Hornets defender is a bit risky. If you do wish to gamble, then Holebas is a good shout as the wingback has scored two goals and delivered four assists this season.
There are no clear options in midfield, but up front Troy Deeney has been putting in a set of consistent performances. He has scored five goals in his last six as, just like last season, he picked up form in the second half of the season. Deeney is a solid choice for the upcoming period and since he’s only selected by 6% of teams could be a good differential.
Leicester City wrote another chapter in their remarkable story as they overturned a first-leg deficit to beat Sevilla and reach the Champions League quarter-finals where they will face Athletico Madrid. The focus now turns to the Premier League. The Foxes sit 15th in the League, 3 points off the relegation zone. They’ll be looking to keep the momentum going and ensure safety in games against West Ham (A), Stoke (H), Sunderland (H), Everton (A) and Palace (A).
The Leicester defence has looked exposed without Kante’s trademark protection. They have not kept a clean sheet since a 0-0 against Middlesbrough in GW20. Fuchs has been picking up some form, he has scored one and assisted one in his last two games and is a good replacement for the faltering West Brom defenders.
In midfield Mahrez also started to resemble the player he was last year, but the main embodiment of the turnaround has been Jamie Vardy. The England international looks like an unstoppable scoring machine again, bagged two goals and an assist in his last two Premier League games. With Kane set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, bringing in Vardy instead could be a good solution.
Bournemouth boosted their Premier League survival hopes by beating West Ham to secure their first win in 2017. The fixtures gradually go downhill from here though, as the Cherries play against Swansea (H), Southampton (A), Liverpool (A), Chelsea (H) and Spurs (A).
The only player to consider through this difficult run of fixtures is Joshua King. The Norwegian has netted seven goals in his last five top-flight games and has been typical of the way Bournemouth have been playing lately. He showed great character to recover from an awful penalty miss to put in a brilliant performance and bag a hat-trick. Excellent value for money in the short term.
Manchester City are out of the Champions League after failing to overcome Monaco, and can now concentrate on the league. The next three fixtures will define City’s season as they play Liverpool (H), Arsenal (A) and Chelsea (A).
City’s defensive frailties have been well documented but they improved in the league lately, keeping four clean sheets in the last five. Given the schedule, this is not the right time to bet on the City defence but in attack it’s worth hanging onto them. Aguero has stepped up since the injury to Jesus, although most of his goals have come outside the Premier League. The Argentinian is enjoying the linkup with Sterling and Sane, as their pace and creativity can tear up any defence. The young German in particular has been impressing lately, scoring two goals and delivering two assists in the last six Premier League starts.
Since West Brom reached the 40-point mark, they lost to Crystal Palace and Everton scoring none and conceding five. This will definitely worry Pulis, as the Baggies have a horrible schedule in the next five as they face Arsenal (H), Man Utd (A). Watford (A), Southampton (H) and Liverpool (H).
The West Brom defence has not been as solid as previous years and the likes of McAuley and Brunt have scored well in the FPL because of their offensive outputs rather than their defensive ones. This looks like a good exit point for both unless you can bench and use them as part of a rotation. In attack the biggest problem in the last couple of weeks has been the lack of quality in the final pass or shot or cross. This combined with the injury to Matt Phillips and if he’s not back there’s no reason to hold onto your Baggies midfielders and attackers.
Other Talking Points
- Michail Antonio has netted more Premier League goals than any other West Ham player since his debut in September 2015 (17). The forward’s turn of pace and strength was an effective outlet for much of the game against Bournemouth and his overall performance was hugely impressive. As West Ham has a decent schedule, Antonio is a good transfer going forward.
- Romelu Lukaku produced another action-packed performance as he was involved in the first two goals before heading in the third. Big Rom has been involved in 24 Premier League goals this season (19 goals, 5 assists) – only Alexis Sanchez has been involved in more (26). Despite concerns over his contract renewal, we back the Belgian to go and better his best return in a single Premier League campaign.
- Ross Barkley was used in a free role by Ronald Koeman and had six shots during the game – one more than the whole West Brom side. If you can’t fit in Lukaku then Barkley offers a cheaper Everton alternative.
- Hull struggled to find that clear-cut finish until Niasse replaced N’Diaye on 63 minutes. His two goals were both decent finishes under pressure – and might have given parent club Everton something to think about. Hull has a good schedule and Niasse could prove an interesting differential if he can regain his place in the starting line-up.
- Gylfi Sigurdsson has provided more assists than any other Premier League player this season (11). Get the Icelandic for the rest of the season.
- Boro have failed to score in 14 games this season, with seven of those coming since the turn of the year. Don’t consider any attacking options, despite their kind run of fixtures.
- Alexis Sanchez has had a hand in 35 goals this season (21 goals, 14 assists), more than any other PL player in all comps. In his last 20 games in all competitions, Sanchez has either scored or assisted 22 goals (13 goals, nine assists). The Chilean remains Arsenal’s main player and a great fantasy option despite the concerns over his contract.
- Mesut Ozil was brought on just before the half hour and he played a significant role in Arsenal taking control of the game after a spirited start by Lincoln. Mesut Ozil registered his first assist for Arsenal in any competition since January 22nd (vs Burnley), after a run of five games without one. Get the German if you think Alexis’ head is not in the right place.
- Son Heung-min scored a hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup with an easy win over League One Millwall, but lost striker Harry Kane with an ankle injury. Monitor if Son can take Harry’s place during his absence.
- Christian Eriksen has scored nine goals in all competitions this season, surpassing his tally from 2015/16 (8). Both he and Dele Alli should step up during Kane’s injury and are great options for your team.