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Gameweek 16 Takeaways: Fantrax EPL

Every new Gameweek brings to light new information about teams and players that can influence our Fantasy decisions. Injuries, new signings, tactical shifts, new roles, and young players emerging are all essential parts of the decision-making process when a fantasy manager evaluates trades, waiver wire pickups or drops. In this new article, we aim to list everything that happened during the weekend and our takeaways through fantasy-tinted glasses.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Fantrax Takeaways Gameweek 16

Here we outline our Fantasy EPL Takeaways from the previous gameweek and how to interpret them for draft fantasy.

Key Injuries and Suspensions

Bruno Fernandes (MUN, MID)

Prospects: Bruno will be suspended for the game vs. Liverpool due to getting 5 yellow cards. United will miss their only real creative player in what could be an ugly matchup. It remains to be seen how Ten Hag will set up, with the potential for a very defensive approach with obvious replacements Mount and Eriksen still out hurt.

Replacement: We will most likely see a very defensive midfield three of Mainoo, Amrabat, and McTominay vs. Liverpool with McTominay the furthest forward. Luke Shaw (depending on the severity of the midweek injury against Bayern Munich) or Reguillon should see an uptick in set pieces depending who starts at LB.

Verdict: United were already going to struggle but the loss of Bruno will make this game that much more difficult.

Lucas Digne (AVL, DEF)

Prospects: Digne is suspended for the game against Brentford due to getting 5 yellow cards. Digne has been incredible this season and will be missed.

Replacement: Moreno is in line for a rare start here, and will need to have a big game to have any chance of winning more starts over Digne.

Verdict: Moreno is a more than capable deputy and a great streaming option this weekend.

Reece James (CHE, DEF)

Prospects: James lasted just 20 minutes before suffering another injury to his hamstring this time. Early rumours are stating he will be out for about 3 months. A huge blow for Chelsea who really haven't had James available for at all this year.

Replacement: Colwill or Disasi could get the nod at RB, but Gusto back in full training bodes well for his longer term future.

Verdict: Any Chelsea defender vs. Sheffield United is a good streaming option despite their leaky defence in recent games. Gusto is a must pickup with him almost guarenteed a role for the next few months. Reece James has to be considered a drop in leagues of all sizes unless you have room to hold and are comfortably in a playoff position.

Erling Haaland (MCI, FWD)

Prospects: Haaland has "stress on his bone" on his foot, but his foot is not broken. Haaland will probably miss GW17 based on Pep's quotes but should be back after the blank in GW18. City missed their top scorer against Luton and you can tell without a direct presence up top this attack does struggle.

Replacement: Alvarez will get another start up top despite his poor form recently.

Verdict: With Doku most likely out again I would expect the same City attack that started the game vs. Luton this past weekend.

Kieran Trippier (NEW, DEF)

Prospects: Trippier is suspended for the weekend fixture vs. Fulham due to yellow card accumulation. As one of the most creative players on Newcastle this will be a huge loss to a team already struggling for form.

Replacement: Hall should get a rare start with the injuries really piling up.

Verdict: Hall is a good one week streamer but don't expect him to lock down any sort of a role.

Jarrad Branthwaite (EVE, DEF)

Prospects: Branthwaite will be suspended for the game vs. Burnley. He will be missed at the heart of that Everton defence that has looked revived in the last few weeks.

Replacement: Keane or Godfrey will be competing for the spot beside Tarkowski.

Verdict: Both Keane and Godfrey will offer decent DEF3 value, but be warned of potential half-time subs as both are prone to costly errors.

Douglas Luiz (AVL, MID)

Prospects: Luiz will be suspended due to getting 5 yellow cards. One of the standout performers of the season will be a huge blow to Villa. I believe they still have enough to get a win vs. Brentford though.

Replacement: Could we see a change of shape this weekend? Diaby could come in to give Villa a more attacking approach with McGinn dropping deeper. Ramsey is another choice to slot into the XI this weekend.

Verdict: If there is a spot start from a surprise Villa attacker they are more than worth a stream.

Jordan Ayew (CRY, FWD)

Prospects: Ayew will miss the match vs. Manchester City after getting sent off in the loss to Liverpool. Ayew has been a mainstay in the XI and will be missed given all the injuries.

Replacement: It really remains to be seen how Palace set up with so many injuries and suspensions this weekend, but Olise will for sure be back in the XI.

Verdict: It is not worth streaming any Palace waiver wire asset this weekend.

Odsonne Edourad (CRY, FWD)

Prospects: Edouard came off with a knee injury and it remains to be seen if he will be ready to go vs. Manchester City. Palace really can't afford his absence given their injury list right now.

Replacement: Edourad missing could see Mateta go up top flanked by Olise and Schlupp or Rak-Saki.

Verdict: Mateta, Schlupp, and Rak-Saki are not worth streaming this weekend vs. City.

Willian (FUL, FWD)

Prospects: Willian came off at half-time with a knock but there was no real further updates. Willian and Fulham as a whole have been in great form and Silva will not want to have to tinker with a winning formula.

Replacement: If Willian does miss any time, expect an uptick in minutes for Harry Wilson. Wilson has proved he can make an impact for Fulham but could get his time in the XI.

Verdict: Wilson is a great MID4 streatmer if he is in the XI.

Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw (MUN, DEF)

Prospects: Both Maguire and Shaw were subbed off with apparent injuries in the UCL loss to Munich. I would expect both to miss the Liverpool game, and that will seriously hurt any slim chance United had of getting a result.

Replacement: Reguilon should see an increase in minutes at LB, but Wan-Bissaka also offers an option there. Varane really is one of the few options left in CB to most likely partner Evans.

Verdict: A back line of Dalot-Varane-Evans-Reguilon is not one to be excited about vs. Liverpool.

Tactical Discussions

Fulham Attack Cannot be Stopped

Observation: Fulham have scored at least 3 goals in each of their last 4 games. An attack that Manchester United need to take notes from! Fulham have seemingly decided to play the "I can outscore you" game going all in on attack each week, and it is working. To make matters even more impressive, they have kept back to back clean sheets. The real question everyone is wondering is can this continue? While it is very unlikely that they will continue to score 3+ goals a game there is no question of the upside this team has. Fulham will come down to Earth at some point, but they still have a friendly run of fixtures coming up. Games in festive period include: Newcastle, Burnley, Bournemouth, and Arsenal which should see them score at least a goal a game. All these teams have shown they can leak goals - Arsenal to a much lesser extent. The likes of Jimenez, Willian, Andreas, Iwobi and now Cairney are fantasy stars. I strongly recommend trying to sell high on these guys within the next gameweek or two. You most likely scooped the majority of these guys off your league's waiver wire in recent weeks, and being able to use them in deals to get an asset on a better team, with similar upside is a move worth making. Players such as: Nunez and Bernardo Silva are worth considering in package deals involving something like Andreas Pereira + a MID3.

Verdict: Fulham are ticking but it is worth testing the waters on their high performing assets.

Bournemouth Have Found a Winning Formula

Observation: Undefeated in the last 5 games and a convincing win over Manchester United will give Bournemouth fans much to be happy about. Delaying the sacking of Iraola has paid off more than anyone could have imagined. This attack looks revived and defensively they look to be a much stronger team. Bournemouth will be hoping to avoid the drop comfortably this season, and they currently sit 10 points ahead of the relegation zone. While we shouldn't expect Bournemouth to finish in the top 8, I wouldn't be surprised if they finished in and around the 10th slot if their performances keep to this rate. Their intensity in matches has seemingly increased and they have finally found a somewhat set attacking lineup. Semenyo has been outstanding since locking down a spot in the XI. Every time he picks up the ball he is looking to make things happen, drawing defenders out and helping Solanke have more room to work with. Even Genie favourite Christie has seemingly found a new lease of life with his work ethic being used in a more central role as opposed to out wide. I expect Iraola to stick with this kind of setup even if Bournemouth suffer a few losses. All of their assets on the waiver wire should be considered decent streamers, and the more "high-end" ones might start becoming matchup proof after the wins we saw vs. Newcastle and Manchester United.

Verdict: Bournemouth assets are worth rostering and starting in nearly every fixture until this purple patch comes to an end.

Chelsea Entering a Must-Win Time

Observation: To say Chelsea have been poor this season is a massive understatement. They currently sit 12th in the table with only 1 win in their last 8 EPL games. Pochettino should be fearing for his job given the manager roulette at that club. There are glaring issues all over the pitch with issues in attack, midfield, and defence. The injury list including Nkunku, Chilwell, and Reece surely doesn't help but it is still no excuse for the performances so far. A game vs. Sheffield United has to be considered a must win for Poch and Chelsea as a whole. Sheffield United are going to be full of confidence after a win vs. Brentford, but the Chelsea attack should offer enough to get the win here.

Verdict: Chelsea players are worth a stream here.

Clean Sheet Streaming Seemingly Impossible

Observation: So far we have had the fewest clean sheets, and most goals since the 2011-12 season. Clean sheet hunting seemingly is not the way to go anymore. Playing three defenders (unless you roster more premium ones) has to be the strategy going forward. Every team seems able to score , and there are no more sure fire clean sheets as we have seen in the last few weeks. Streaming those low ghost point defenders for a 10 point haul with a clean sheet will surely do you more harm than good. It may be better to punt on those "floor" midfielders and hope they can chip in with an attacking return given all the goals we are seeing. Stacking, a favourite strategy of mine, is probably an avoid right now even against the likes of Burnley, Luton and Sheffield United. All three of these teams look like they can score at least a goal every week even against top opposition. It is a weird season, but one that calls for playing as many attacking assets as you can to get the win. I strongly recommend against going with a back 5 anytime soon, especially over the rotational chaos in the festive period.

Verdict: Stream floor midfielders instead of clean sheet defenders, and look to stick to a 3 defender strategy for the festive period.

Everton - 4 Wins in the Last 5

Observation: Everton have shown the EPL they won't be defeated even with that 10 point deduction. Everton look better than ever, and are a team to fear each week. Their defence has improved greatly and their attack is finally clicking even if the goals are coming from all over the pitch. After the Burnley fixture Everton will face two tough tests vs. Spurs and Manchester City where Dyche will be looking to show just how much better Everton are. There is no reason Everton should be relegated this season, and if it wasn't for that deduction they would be seriously competing for a top 8 finish. Everton assets will be hard to get, but the likes of Calvert-Lewin, McNeil, Doucoure, Harrison, and Tarkowski are all players worth trying to trade in. Everton streamers are still not ones to get excited about but Pickford could be a great option even in the tougher games for a potential high volume of saves and low goals conceded. Players like Onana, Gueye, Young etc. are worth streaming potentially vs. Burnley but not after that.

Verdict: Streamers from Everton seem to be hit or miss but their top assets are worth rostering given their good form.

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