For my gameweek 35 fantasy Premier League tips post I’m asking the question “Is Fabregas finished?” Cesc Fabregas has been one of the lynchpins of Chelsea’s dominance this season providing a league high 17 assists so far this season. For most of the year he has been a player providing consistent point for FPL managers. Now that the season is winding down and Chelsea have all but sealed the title, it is quite possible that Fabregas’ season will tail off.
There was already a lull in his fantasy points earlier on between gameweeks 20-29, albeit three were over an injury period for him. Since gameweek 30 he has had only one double digit weekend coming in week 32 with their 1-0 win over QPR in which he scored the lone, game winning goal.
Perhaps we are expecting too much from him? After all, he does only have four weekends with double digit point tallies and there are plenty of 2 or 3 point gameweeks as well. The difference with Fabregas is that there have been so many consistent weeks of scoring 6, 7, 8, or 9 points. That is what has gotten him to become the third most selected player in the official game at 33.4% ownership. That is also what has gotten him 160 points from his 2676 minutes played.
The problem is that he has become a streaky player whose consistency is rapidly fading. If you combine that with Chelsea’s impending title win it looks more and more likely that he will be a player that fantasy mangers will want to start replacing.
My expectations for Fabregas is that he will put in at least one final display required to win the Premier League then will drop off. He is already, more or less, guaranteed to finish the season top of the league in assists. His 17 assists is 7 more than the next closest two players, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Angel Di Maria who both have 10.
After playing a very grueling Premier League season for Chelsea I am expecting Mourinho to begin resting Fabregas in the final three matches of the season, once these matches no longer matter for the title. It is entirely possible that he will continue to play in Mourinho’s bid to amass a record points tally in the EPL.
Regardless of what happens this might be the time to look at replacing Fabregas, currently costing £9.4 and here are a few options within a similar price range. I will be focusing on players that are in the middle to lower tier of ownership in that they are under 20% owned based on current ownership at the official FPL page. This leaves out players like Hazard, Sanchez, Eriksen, Sterling, and Henderson. I will also be leaving out the likes of Downing and Sigurdsson, although they are viable candidates for lower cost replacements.
Santi Cazorla £8.2 and Aaron Ramsey £8.6 from Arsenal
Arsenal has a relatively easy set of matches to end the season (other than the gameweek 37 match against Manchester United). In addition they have a double game week for week 37 which could get you some big points.
Ramsey may be the better choice of the two considering his ability to score and assist to net fantasy points. He’s had some big weeks lately going back to his 14 points in week 29. This was followed by 2 points, 9, 11, and 2.
Santi Cazorla has been similar to Fabregas in that he has been consistent for stretches at a time, but then followed up by periods of dormancy. His last big week came with 10 points back in week 26 against Crystal Palace, but he is Arsenal’s set piece and penalty kick taker, giving him additional opportunities to score points.
The final fixtures for Arsenal include Hull, Swansea City, Manchester United and Sunderland in week 37, and ending with West Brom.
Jesus Navas £7.2
Navas has generally been a disappointing player for Man C. He has not scored a goal for them this season, but then again, that’s not really his job. Instead, he is expected to keep the ball wide and get it in for their attacking players to score. In that, he has generally done well with his 8 assists. He has quietly amassed 98 fantasy points including 11 against West Ham United two weeks ago.
Man City face Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea, and Southampton in their last four matches and there are plenty of chances for Navas to add to his points tally. He is a risk to take, considering how infrequent he plays well, but this is the time of the season that Pellegrini is looking for his players to really step up.
Nacer Chadli £6.2
Chadli has had a rollercoaster of a season, but in the last two matches has picked up 10 and 8 points respectively with a goal in each match (bringing his season tally to 10). With Tottenham finishing the season against Man C, Stoke City, Hull City, and Everton, there are plenty more chances for him to get goals. At just £6.2 he is also a bargain buy that could allow you bolster your squad with other higher priced players.
Ander Herrera £7.2
Herrera is not the flashiest of players and hasn’t fared all that well in the last two losses for United, but he is the kind of player that tends to pop up when you least expect it. His best match of the season came against Aston Villa in gameweek 31 in which he scored two goals to give him 15 fantasy points.
Manchester United have a rather favorable run-in to the end of the season with West Brom at home, Crystal Palace away, Arsenal at home, and ending with Hull away. There are plenty of good chances for Herrera to pick up points through goals, assists, and clean sheets as well as bonus points.
Herrera is certainly the most risker of these picks, but if United can play well, then I expect Herrera to be at the center of it all. Additionally you can look at picking up Juan Mata (£8.5) or Angel Di Maria (£9.5).
Out of all of these picks I am personally leaning towards picking up Aaron Ramsey. He is a bit risky, but has a lot of upside with his ability to score goals and provide assists. He and Chadli are probably the most attacking of the five.