Each week Fantasy Friday will bring tips for Premier League fantasy leagues including matchups to watch out for, players to pick, and players out injured.
My apologies for not being able to put out a post last week, but I got very busy with work and did not have the time. In this weekend’s week 17 matches there are some good matchups and games to watch out for. There are several injuries to some key fantasy players as well as some up and coming players to look out for.
Liverpool are at home to Cardiff City and coming off of a massive 5-0 smashing at Tottenham. Jon Flanagan and Jordan Henderson have both been picking up some playing time recently and got on the score sheet last week.
Newcastle United travel to Crystal Palace and with their current form should be able to get a win and, most likely, a clean sheet with it.
Tottenham and Southampton is one match that is going to be rather iffy. Both teams have some key injuries and inconsistent form of late, so this might be one to look at as a risk in terms of possibly subbing out some of these players.
Everton face Swansea City and have been in flying form lately. Ross Barkley continues to impress along with Romelu Lukaku. However, they have really shone defensively with players like Tim Howard, Seamus Coleman, and Phil Jagielka compiling points.
Luis Suarez is one player that every team should have. His brace last weekend was his fifth EPL match this season with two or more goals.
Romelu Lukaku has continued to impress this season with Everton. While he has not scored in the past three matches, he does have an assist in each of those matches and is always dangerous, plus, he’s still a relatively cheap buy as far as forwards go.
Alvaro Negredo will be given his chance to really prove his value up front now that Sergio Aguero will be out for a few weeks. His season long form has been spotty, but he did score against Arsenal last week and Manchester City is playing Fulham this weekend. Fulham has allowed 30 goals already this season.
Jay Rodriguez could be an often missed forward at a low price along with Marouane Chamakh. They have both put in good performances recently, although, Rodriguez and Southampton are playing Tottenham this weekend in what could be a shaky affair for the Spurs.
Mesut Ozil may have been almost non-existent in Arsenal’s 6-3 loss last weekend, but he still managed to get an assist to add to his fantasy point tally.
Fernandinho scored two goals in Manchester City’s win over Arsenal in week 16 and has been getting more and more playing time recently. He has been a driving force in City’s goal scoring this season and a worthy pickup for any midfield.
Jordan Henderson is another player who has been getting more playing time recently, especially now that Steven Gerrard is out injured. In last Sunday’s 5-0 away win against Spurs he scored one and had an assist, along with picking up points for a clean sheet. Liverpool should be able to beat Cardiff this weekend with Henderson leading their midfield.
Theo Walcott made an impressive return to full match football with Arsenal in their loss to Man City. If he is able to continue to play the full 90 minutes, he will be a valuable addition. His two goals over the weekend was a strong fantasy point output. The question is whether he can keep it up. The previous week he did get an assist in only 23 minutes and I would expect him to start against Chelsea on Monday, especially with Jack Wilshire out.
Jon Flanagan has made himself a worthy replacement for Luis Enrique, including scoring a goal against Spurs to go along with his clean sheet. He is also a very cheap pickup, but won’t always get you a lot of points.
Seamus Coleman has continually put in solid displays for Everton this season along with the odd goal, including one last weekend.
Patrice Evra is one of the few Manchester United defenders doing well this fantasy season. Most of his points last week came from the clean sheet, but he has been getting more involved in the United attack and got a goal in their midweek League Cup match. This could translate into further points in the Premier League, especially with United playing a struggling West Ham United.
John O’Shea, Geoff Cameron and Marc Wilson have been more impressively recently in the Stoke defense. I would add Ryan Shawcross as well, but he is unlikely to play this weekend. The Potters defense pulled out a clean sheet against West Ham and could do the same against Aston Villa this weekend.
Tim Howard remains the top fantasy keeper this season.
Asmir Begovic got his sixth clean sheet in last weekend’s 0-0 against West Ham and could get another this weekend playing against Aston Villa.
Believe it or not, Crystal Palace’s Julian Speroni has been in good form recently. He has kept four clean sheets this season, but has also racked up the points with his saves including five against Chelsea last week preceded by five straight matches of two.
The biggest blow for fantasy teams this week is the injury to Sergio Aguero. He is likely to be out until the middle of January. Some other players of note:
Laurent Koscielny – out for another week or so
Jack Wilshire – two match ban
Gabriel Agbonlahor – one match ban
Gerard Deulofeu – pulled hamstring; out till at least mid January
Fernando Amorebieta – may be back for Saturday
Pablo Zabaleta – subbed off in midweek League Cup match with hamstring injury; listed as questionable
Wayne Rooney – missed midweek League Cup match with groin injury; probable for Saturday
Ryan Shawcross – listed as questionable after groin injury in midweek League Cup match
Angel Rangel – One match ban
Paulinho – Three match ban
Andros Townsend – doubtful after hamstring injury in League Cup
Kevin Nolan – Three match ban
Follow up on injury updates through PhysioRoom.com.
Put in your comments below if you have a great fantasy tip for the Premier League. Do you agree with my tips or have some injury updates to add? Please leave your EPL fantasy comments here.