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Gameweek 17 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 17

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

Key Injuries and Suspensions

Yves Bissouma (TOT, MID)

Prospects: Bissouma was shown his 2nd red card of the season, and has already accumulated 5 yellow cards as well in just 15 starts. Legend. Bissouma's lack of discipline is going to cause Spurs problems. Despite his poor fantasy output recently he is a key cog in their play and with the team already missing Van de Ven and Maddsion, 4 games without Bissouma will seem like an eternity for Ange.

Replacement: Hojberg is the most likely to see his minutes increased here as he is an almost like for like swap. Hojberg can put in a shift but hasn't been the best this season.

Verdict: Bissouma is an instant drop if you were unlucky to still roster him, and I am not rushing to stream Hojberg in any sort of matchup.

Tom Lockyer (LUT, DEF)

Prospects: Lockyer suffered cardiac arrest during the match vs. Bournemouth. Thankfully he is responsive and under proper care right now, with the hope that he will make a full and healthy recovery. While we don't really want to speculate on a return or fantasy prospects here, we can assume the Hatters will be without their captain for the forseeable future while he gets the attention he needs.

Replacement: Mengi, Bell, and Osho will make up the back three for now, with Kabore and Doughty in the wing back roles.

Verdict: Luton defence has improved but I am reluctant to stream them until we see the impact this has on their team.

Joelinton + Fabian Schar (NEW)

Prospects: Schar and Joelinton both suffered hamstring injuries in the win to Fulham. Howe described them as short term problems, so it remains to be seen if they will miss any time at all.

Replacement: Newcastle really do not need more injuries, but in the back line you would expect Trippier to come in for Schar and Burn to shift to CB with Livramento playing at LB. Joelinton's replacement will most likely be Miley.

Verdict: In a friendly fixture vs. Luton all Newcastle assets are worth a stream.

Bryan Mbeumo (BRE, FWD)

Prospects: Mbeumo will undergo ankle surgery and be out for 3 months. This is a huge loss to Brentford who are already without Toney for the next handful of games.

Replacement: The likes of Lewis-Potter will see a massive uptick in minutes.

Verdict: Mbeumo is a drop unless you are comfortably in a playoff position in your playoff leagues.

Destiny Udogie (TOT, DEF)

Prospects: Udogie will miss the game vs. Everton due to accumulating 5 yellow cards. Udogie is a mainstay in the XI and missing him and Bissouma vs. an in form Everton will be a huge loss.

Replacement: Royal will get a start at LB potentially, or we could see Davies shift to LB with Dier coming in at CB.

Verdict: Everton probably nick a goal or more here, so I am not rushing out to make Dier a top waiver claim.

Boubacar Kamara (AVL, MID)

Prospects: Kamara will miss the next three matches, which could be a blow for a Villa side that is ticking with their best XI.

Replacement: Luiz is back and Ramsey should see an uptick in his minutes as well.

Verdict: Ramsey is worth picking up and starting wherever he is available.

Raul Jimenez (FUL, FWD)

Prospects: Jimenez got a red card and will miss at least one game but most likely three.

Replacement: Vinicius has the best chance of starting up top for Fulham vs. Burnley but Muniz is also in with a shout.

Verdict: Both players would offer solid FWD3 value vs. a bottom table Burnley but are nothing more than streamers.

Ben Mee (BRE, DEF)

Prospects: Mee was shown a red card and will miss the next match vs. Wolves. Mee has struggled for game time and form this season and this will not help his case.

Replacement: With Collins fit again he will replace Mee and probably will continue to partner Pinnock in the XI assumming he shows good form.

Verdict: Mee is very droppable and Collins offers DEF4 value, but BRF blank and there are better streamers this weekend.

Diogo Dalot (MUN, DEF)

Prospects: Dalot was shown two yellows within seconds in the draw vs. Liverpool. It was a crazy few seconds for Dalot having received a yellow for a poor tackle and then a second for his emotional reaction.

Replacement: Wan-Bissaka will start vs West Ham, but I expect Dalot to come right back in post suspension.

Verdict: If Wan-Bissaka is on your waiver wire, he could offer solid DEF2 value but don't expect a clean sheet.

Levi Colwill (CHE, DEF)

Prospects: Colwill was taken off at half-time in the midweek cup fixture. He could miss the weekend game against Wolves.

Replacement: Gusto is almost guaranteed a start now and should see a massive increase in minutes with Reece and Cucurella also out. I expect Gusto to eventually take over for Disasi at RB once he regains fitness.

Verdict: If Gusto is still available in your league, pick him up!

Tactical Discussions

Nuno to Forest?

Observation: It's now confirmed that Cooper is on his way out with Nuno ready to take the helm at Forest. One win in their last 13 games didn't bode well for Cooper, and Forest know they are in a serious relegation battle this year. Despite Nuno's very poor stint at Spurs he has proven he can do exceptional things in the EPL back when he managed Wolves. He might be more comfortable with a team that doesn't have any "superstars" that he will need to rely on but Forest has a lot of talented pieces that should be enough to avoid relegation. I expect Nuno to give the classic back 5 formation a shot with Toffolo and Aurier/Neco Williams the most likely wingbacks, but the likes of Hudson-Odoi and Aina can also perform well there. I do think Nuno will improve the defence, but the attack might need some work especially with Awoniyi still out. There is no really out and out goal threat without him but the likes of Elanga and Gibbs-White will need to carry the weight. I expect Nuno to improve their fantasy output, especially Gibbs-White who really cannot get much worse. Should you buy into Forest assets? Not yet, I'm not rushing to trade in any of their assets until I see exactly how Nuno plans to set up Forest tactically, and who are his focal point players.

Verdict: Forest are still strong relegation contendors, so I am not rushing to grab any of their assets.

Manchester City Woes

Observation: City shockingly have only one win in their last six games. They have quite a few draws but really haven't been that convincing. Offensively they have still dominated the ball and scored plenty of goals, but do not look like their former selves. With KDB, Doku, and Haaland back within the next few games this should be a good sign for City. I think we are all forgetting just how important KDB is to this roster, and having him fit and firing for the 2nd half of the season will be key to a proper title charge. Defensively they have been very poor, conceding a lot more than expected especially with nearly their strongest back line. They have given up leads at the end of games when you would expect that championship experience to come into play. The Club World Cup will offer a much needed confidence boost, and I have no worries at all about City going forward. I expect them to challenge for the title all the way throughout the season. Their assets are definitely worth trading in especially ahead of this blank gameweek where managers may be slightly undervaluing them. While the likes of De Bruyne, Doku, Grealish, Alvarez, Foden, and possibly Silva all pose significant rotatation risks with everyone fit, their upside alone is worth the punt.

Verdict: City's "poor" form is nothing to worry about and this week could be the perfect time to try and trade in some of their assets, especially the underperforming/injured ones.

Don't Sleep on West Ham

Observation: That 5-0 loss to Fulham will have a lot of fantasy managers a bit cautious about West Ham, but after that 3-0 demolition of Wolves those fears are hopefully gone. With the exception of that Fulham loss, West Ham have been in decent form this season and sit 8th in the table. Despite the inconsistent output of Kudus, Ward-Prowse, Bowen, and Paqueta all of them offer high end fantasy value and are worth targeting. Ward-Prowse might be the best buy low target out there. I still believe he is a top 15 player and should offer lower end MID1 value over the rest of the season. He is on a highly offensive team, plays 90 minutes, and has a set-piece monopoly...what's not to like? Kudus, Bowen, and Paqueta will all have their moments in the spotlight and are worth trading in as well for their high ceilings. You might struggle to bring them in this week, but after the next game or so managers will be more open to entertaining reasonable offers. Defensively I'm not sold on rostering their defenders other than for streaming purposes, they just aren't trustworthy to score enough ghost points to offset the potential goals conceded.

Verdict: Trade in West Ham attackers, but look elsewhere defensively.

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