Fantasy Preview – Match Week 26
The Premier League returns this weekend after a short break to make way for the FA Cup. Some of my tips for your teams below may or may not have been influenced by performances in the cup last weekend, but there are a few that are worth taking a serious note of.
Harry Kane – Forward, Tottenham Hotspur, 11.1
Kane finally looks back on form following his hat-trick against Fulham in the FA Cup. Tottenham have only managed four goals in the previous five matches, but Stoke should serve as a cure all for their attacking woes. Spurs are averaging 2+ goals per match against Stoke over the last five matches and Kane himself has three goals in the last two match-ups between these clubs.
Sadio Mane – Midfielder, Liverpool, 9.3
Not exactly out on a limb with this one as Mane has been the most transferred in player this week (190,000+ at the time of writing). I personally have not brought him in but you certainly have to be impressed by his two goal performance against the league’s best defence last match week. The next five matches really aren’t that kind, but the fact he plays in MW26 and MW28 while other big names are blanking makes him an attractive option in the short term.
Romelu Lukaku – Forward, Everton, 9.9
I’ve been more excited about doing my taxes and getting a root canal than I am when I have to bring in Lukaku. That having been said, Everton are obviously trending upward and, like their crosstown rivals, play in both MW26 and MW28. A lot of his statistics are skewed ever since his massive performance against Bournemouth but his shot accuracy is now about 10% higher than his career average. It’s up to you to decide if you think this is a career year for Lukaku or if he will regress to the mean.
Robert Snodgrass – Midfielder, West Ham United, 5.8
He’s finally found his way into West Ham’s starting line up and now it’s time to put him back into yours. He’s still a top 15 midfielder and is actually top five in successful crosses despite having played two full matches fewer than those in front of him (188 minutes). The next five matches look promising for Snodgrass as he will face just one top ten defence.
Alfie Mawson – Defender, Swansea City, 4.5
You probably shouldn’t bring him in this week against Chelsea but he is definitely worth keeping an eye on. Mawson now has two goals in his last three matches and the Swansea defence has improved on the whole conceding 46% fewer goals per match since the appoint of Paul Clement.
Manolo Gabbiadini – Forward, Southampton, 6.5
Gabbiadini has had a near perfect start to his Southampton career with three goals in his first two matches. That level of performance and his low price tag has caused him to be the second most transferred in player this week! The only problem with that, of course, being that he doesn’t play this week.
Andre Gray – Forward, Burnley, 8.8
I still like him as a player, but his home/road splits are just too severe. He has just one away goal this season and, with four consecutive away matches on the horizon, has lost the form and confidence he was showing in December. I realise you may be stuck with him through MW28 depending on how many of your players will blank, just don’t expect much from Gray in the immediate future.
Matt Phillips – Midfielder, West Brom, 5.8
He has been limited by a formational shift that has seen Nacer Chadli move more centrally and take more control of the attack. The fantasy impact has been severe as Phillips has not contributed towards a goal in the last five matches. If you want to keep a Baggie in your fantasy pocket consider shifting to either Chadli or the incredibly cheap James Morrison
Wilfried Zaha – Midfielder, Crystal Palace, 5.6
I promise I’m not trying to pile on any extra misery for Palace fans, but things are just as bad in fantasy as they are off the pitch. Sam Allardyce’s men have managed just two goals over the last five matches and Zaha has managed to score just once in his last 10 matches played. “At least things will get better, right?” Probably not as they will face four top ten attacks in their next five matches and will blank in MW28.
Charlie Daniels – Defender, Bournemouth, 5.1
I know he, and Adam Smith, both have a lot of attacking potential, but that just doesn’t matter when you’re conceding three goals every time you step on the pitch. They have the worst defence in the league since the departure of Nathan Ake and it seems no one at the club is capable of picking up that mantle.
Heading into MW26, Craig Perry leads the way with an 18 point advantage over second placed Steve Larden. Another 15 points behind in third is Jesse Boyce followed by John Bridge and Wayne Byrne making up the top five positions. Less than 100 points separate the top ten at the moment so the is plenty still to play for.
|Rank||Team & Manager||Round Score||Total Points|
|1||Pepsi Guardicola – Craig Perry||65||1393|
|2||waddon_massive – Steve Larden||57||1375|
|3||Head Down Studs Up ⚽ – Jesse Boyce||53||1360|
|4||ROD’S ROCKETS – john bridge||41||1338|
|5||Dad all over again – Wayne Byrne||57||1331|
|6||Sik United – Sir Wayne Nizamovic||53||1327|
|7||Soper’s No Hopers – Mike Soper||62||1322|
|8||Abra-Mandanda Matthew Freeman||59||1319|
|9||Remarkable Ones – Mark Saunders||57||1319|
|10||himanshu_utd – HIMANSHU SAJWAN||46||1319|