Predicting the outcome of each weekend is tough. So many factors go into fantasy lineup decisions, and hopefully this article helps to make some of those toss-ups easier. Below we will preview some of the marquee matchups of the weekend, and highlight some Fantrax players that you should look to pick up and stream as a one week punt.
Fantrax Preview Gameweek 17
Here we outline our Fantasy EPL Preview and how to plan ahead of this gameweek. After a busy week last week and European fixtures in the midweek expect some rotation as well as some tired legs. Take a look at specific matchup previews and some top streamers ahead of gameweek 17.
Manchester United vs. Liverpool
Prospects: United really have their work cut out this weekend. Losing their starting CB partnership to injury, and missing Bruno through suspension, this could get ugly. Liverpool attackers could have a field day here, with United attackers offering little to no threat to the pair of Konate and Van Dijk. When it comes to big matchups you never know what will happen, but I have never been so confident of a United loss in my life. I hope I am very wrong here, but it is hard to recommend starting any United assets here with confidence. Typically you would always look to start your studs even in a big fixture like this, but with Bruno and Shaw out, are there really any studs to start for United? McTominay seems like he will randomly pop up with a goal here and there and him being the most advanced midfielder makes me okay to start him as a MID5. With Shaw and Bruno out I expect Reguilon to get a near monopoly on set pieces, with Dalot getting a few as well. Both could be worth a shout as a DEF3 if you are deciding on them vs. say a random waiver wire defender, with the floor/upside that being on set pieces can bring. When it comes to Liverpool assets, start them all (except MacAllister/Endo), every other Liverpool asset is worth starting and could provide significant upside. The main warning here is the fact this is the last game of the gameweek, which means you will need a backup if you are unsure on starts for Nunez/Diaz.
Fulham vs. Newcastle United
Prospects: The tables have really turned the past few weeks where I am more confident in starting Fulham assets here over Newcastle ones. Fulham have been on a tear, and with the injury list, Newcastle having another midweek fixture, and Trippier suspended there is no reason Fulham can't get another win. Every Fulham attacker is a must start here. I am also okay starting Fulham defenders, even Bassey. St. James Park has been a fortress so far this season with 7 wins and just 1 loss, but given their issues and Fulham's free flowing attack, I would avoid their defenders in this fixture. They will probably concede one if not more goals and could be set for some very low or even negative scores. However, Newcastle attackers and midfielders are always worth a start, we don't quite know what we're going to get from them at the moment, but if they click they have a ton of upside. This game is one Newcastle needs to win, but a win for Fulham will boost their confidence even more as we enter this "festive" schedule.
Arsenal vs. Brighton
Prospects: I really don't know which way this game will go, but I do expect goals here - Brighton has both scored and conceded in every Premier League game so far this season! Both teams have looked shaky at the back in recent games, so we could be in for a shootout type game. Steer clear of the Brighton defence, I learned this the hard way against a "sure fire" clean sheet shout vs. Burnley. Arsenal defenders such as White and Zinchenko have enough upside to warrant starts, but I am not a fan of starting Arsenal CBs this weekend. All forwards and attacking mids from both teams are worth starting, but defensive mids such as Rice might be worth sitting out in what could be a very physical battle with lots of cards. This will be one of the games to watch this weekend, but I still would back Arsenal to get the three points and get back on track with their title charge.
Bournemouth vs. Luton Town
Prospects: Shockingly, this is one of the games I am most excited for this weekend. Two teams that have looked very good over the last few weeks will be looking to get the win for different reasons. Despite great performances vs. Arsenal and City, Luton have nothing to show for it in terms of points. This game vs. Bournemouth will be important for their relegation battle and they will need to finally start getting points for their "good efforts". Bournemouth on the other hand are in fantastic form and coming off a demolition of Manchester United, and another win will only do wonders for their confidence. A team written off very early in the season has seriously turned a corner, but this could be one of those "sneaky" matchups where their purple patch comes to a screeching off. It's easy to write off Luton but with their improved attack and a much stronger defensive line, especially with Giles surely benched, there is no reason they can't get the win. I am okay to start any attacker or defender in this matchup. Nakamba is really the one name I'm not keen to start he just isn't it for fantasy after his decent start. Look for potential surprise starts from Sinisterra and the recently out of favour Morris as good streamers if they have been dropped in your leagues.
Punts for the Week
Calvin Bassey (DEF, FUL)
Prospects: More recently Bassey has sneakily been a good ghost point scoring defender and after the way Romero and Davies racked up 6+ ghosts each vs. Newcastle last weekend, I like the idea of starting him vs. a depleted Newcastle. He should offer good DEF3 value, but has minimal upside.
Ben Davies (DEF, TOT)
Prospects: Davies has been decent in Van de Ven's spot and offered good ghost points in his start averaging around 6 per start. I wouldn't fully back Spurs for a clean sheet, as they just look shaky every match, but Davies could be a good DEF3 this weekend if you believe Spurs will carry their momentum from the Newcastle win.
Sergio Reguilon (DEF, MUN)
Prospects: The absolute only reason Reguilon is being recommended here is because Shaw and Bruno are out, and he will get the majority of sets. He could rack up a decent number of key passes and will have a ton of defensive work to do. If United can hold Liverpool to under 3 goals Reguilon could crack 10 points even without a clean sheet. Against Bournemouth he managed 14.25 ghost points, and in 45 minutes vs. Chelsea managed 8.25. His ghost points make him a worthy DEF3 candidate this weekend.
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