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Gameweek 21 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 21

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

Key Injuries and Suspensions

AFCON & Asian Cup Contingent

Prospects: A chunk of players will continue to be missing over the next few weeks due to major international cup competitions. For a full list of those players and their potential replacements check out our article here. It is worth nothing both these competitions are approaching the knockout rounds, which means it is worth monitoring right now to see who gets knocked out early and could be a sneaky Free Agent pickup.

Joelinton (NEW, MID)

Prospects: Joelinton will miss the rest of the season after having thigh surgery this week.

Replacement: The likes of Miley and Longstaff should see more consistent starts in the midfield three. When Barnes returns he should see more minutes on the wing with the likes of Almiron and Gordon locked in for now.

Verdict: Joelinton is an easy drop.

Mohammed Salah (LIV, FWD)

Prospects: Salah suffered an injury at Afcon and will apparently be out for about 3 weeks. This puts his return in line for the AFCON final if Egypt make it.

Replacement: Liverpool have already been coping without Salah so expect the trio of of Diaz, Jota, and Nunez to continue to be the main starters with Gakpo offering rotational depth.

Verdict: Salah is a hold for sure, he will be back after AFCON and is a top asset.

Malo Gusto (CHE, DEF)

Prospects: Gusto is out with an undisclosed injury, and it remains to be seen if he misses any significant time.

Replacement: If Gusto misses more time, Chilwell, and Disasi will continue to see more minutes at full-back.

Verdict: If Gusto is out for more than 3-4 games, he is a definite drop.

Vladmir Coufal (WHU, DEF)

Prospects: Coufal got 2 yellow cards in the match vs. Sheffield United and will be suspended for the next gameweek.

Replacement: Johnson should slot in at RB.

Verdict: Coufal is droppable if you need the space but is worth a hold if not.

Abdoulaye Doucoure (EVE, MID)

Prospects: Doucoure will miss about a month with a hamstring injury. This will be a huge loss to Everton and their already struggling attack in some tough upcoming fixtures.

Replacement: Expect Andre Gomes and even Danjuma to see more starts in Doucoure's absence.

Verdict: Doucoure is a solid fantasy asset and worth a hold during this stretch.

Tactical Discussions

That Scoreline Doesn't Tell the Whole Story

Observation: Liverpool beat Bournemouth 4-0, but the scoreline doesn't reflect the actual match. Bournemouth held strong, keeping it nil nil until the 49th minute when Nunez broke the tie. Bournemouth created their fair share of chances as well with 11 shots, but just the one on target. Bournemouth were severely punished on the counter attack, largely thanks to Jota having his best game of the season.

This is very positive for Liverpool who are really trying to push City for the EPL title, showing even without heavy-hitters Salah, Trent, Robertson, and Szobo, they can get the job done. On the flip side, there is no need to panic about Bournemouth's performance and I have no worry about them at least in the short term. The only worry here is the fact that Christie + Cook was the preferred pivot - putting Scott in doubt. If Scott fails to start the next 2 games, he is a definite drop. Semenyo will also be back from Afcon soon, further clogging up the Bournemouth attack. Regardless of who starts, all Bournemouth assets are worth starting over the next few weeks.

Verdict: Don't panic on the Bournemouth defeat, and trust they will turn it around.

Everton Attacking Struggles

Observation: Everton have scored just 3 goals in their last 6 games across all competitions. You would think Everton would be playing a little more urgently given how close they are to the relegation zone. Luton Town are starting to turn a corner and are just 1 point behind them with a game in hand and Burnley sit just 5 points back. Simply, Everton will need to start scoring more or they will not be in the EPL next year. Relying on a mediocre at best defence can't be the move going forward. The back 4 and Pickford all have their nightmare moments, and look like they may concede at any point. The issue also lies in having a starting striker with just 4 goals to his name in Calvert-Lewin. For fantasy purposes he has to be considered borderline droppable. Anything less than 8ish points vs. Fulham and he becomes a drop for me in every size league.

After Fulham, Everton come up against both City and Spurs, so you really have to consider this Fulham game a must win. McNeil is back healthy, but Doucoure looks set for a spell on the sidelines for about a month. That will be a huge miss for their attack, but Everton will need to figure out another route to goals. I am starting to worry about Everton assets being nothing more than streamers. They are worth trying to ship out for even 75% of your perceived value ahead of a tougher stretch of fixtures.

Verdict: The attack is looking poor, and it is time to consider shipping their assets.

Toney is Back, Brentford Still Unconvincing

Observation: Ivan Toney is back after a long ban. Toney was welcomed back like a hero....for some weird reason. Apparently coming back from a betting scandal is more emotional than returning after suffering a near-death experience or a life-changing disease....a topic for another day. Anyways, Toney looked sharp and ready to help Brentford push for a top 10 finish this year. Scoring on his return and getting very patient managers 18 Fantrax points was more than just a welcome return. His impact was enough to help Brentford squeak out a 3-2 win over Forest.

Despite Toney looking like he hasn't missed a beat, Brentford still showed their defensive struggles. This is something you cannot expect your striker to change. While Brentford have been a very inconsistent and unpredictable team all season, Toney should improve their attack significantly. This doesn't make me overly excited about all their fantasy assets but it does start to make some of their rotational attackers/mids more useable streamers with a proper striker to start feeding. Even with the DGW in GW25, I am not rushing to add any Brentford assets ahead of a tough run of Spurs, City, Liverpool, City again, Chelsea, Arsenal, and United all within the next 10 fixtures. There are really only 3 friendly fixtures during that stretch. If anything, I am steering clear of all their assets and hoping Toney has a few off games where you can bring him in a bit cheaper near the latter end of this run. On the flip side if you roster Toney and are not confident about his performances vs. the bigger teams look to use him and his 18 PPS to get a more reliable FWD or even in a larger deal for a proper FWD1 before the shiny new toy hype dies down.

Verdict: Avoid Brentford assets ahead of a tough run, and see what kind of value Toney can get you.

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