Fantasy Football Fixtures Gameweek 36
Just the three weeks left now and things are starting to hot up in many a mini-league with narrow margins and little room for any more errors. GW35 left many scratching their heads and contacting FPL HQ to see if they could sub in Myhill for a striker and play two keepers… Glyn Oliver (Boaz), the American born, Welsh / English keeper was the star of the show in a surprising performance that saw him not only keep a clean-sheet but also notch a penalty save and in the process grab all 3 bonus points for a total haul of 17 points… Away at Man United… Ok, ok, we’ll stop picking at scabs. Nobody saw that coming and the only beneficiaries were either ‘ghost teams’ or anyone with no better second keeper to play in the first place. If you got ‘megged’ by a rival with him you just have to shrug it off. These things happen and it’s pure luck as nobody intentionally picked him with that outcome in mind this week! So who do we need to be ‘intentionally’ picking this week with a view to the fixtures ahead? Well let’s go take a look at which teams have the best and worst fixtures ahead and the players to keep an eye on…
Let’s begin with a very straightforward fixture tracker…
We have colour coded the fixtures in a simple fashion to allow you to judge your transfer and team selection plans accordingly:
[highlight_blue]Blue[/highlight_blue] – These teams have either a double or a blank game-week to consider.
[highlight_green]Green[/highlight_green] – We deem these to be winnable fixtures for the given team and should, in theory at least (!), harvest good fantasy points for you in the opening games. Aim to have a good nucleus of these players in your squad.
[highlight_yellow]Yellow[/highlight_yellow] – These are the fixtures that could go either way and do not stand out as being either particularly good or poor. If you have a player from a team in this category then do not be afraid to play them but take a considered view that it may or may not not be an explosive week for them.
[highlight_red]Red[/highlight_red]- These are the teams that we consider to have a difficult fixture and as such may be best avoided from a fantasy perspective.
Dates for your diary
GW37 – Just the one DGW left and it’s next week as Arsenal and Sunderland go into the penultimate gameweek of the season with a double –
Arsenal play Man United (a) and Sunderland (h)
Sunderland play Leicester (h) and Arsenal (a)
Arsenal – Swansea (h), Man United (a) & Sunderland (h), West Brom (h)
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[/three_fourth]Arsenal will be the focus of most managers attentions over the next couple of weeks ahead of their impending double gameweek in 37 and the Hull result will only have fanned those flames as Alexis grabbed a couple more goals and Ramsey weighed in with a goal and an assist and even Cazorla got in on the act with an assist of his own. The biggest disappointments were of course Giroud with nothing to show for himself other than an early hook and the Arsenal defence which were breached by the joint 5th worst attack in the league.
Ahead of the double it’s Swansea at home this week so many managers will be seeing this as an opportunity to pre-load up on Arsenal assets. Swansea have managed just 18 goals away from home – the same as QPR. In truth they are rank average at most things and so whilst it won’t be a walk over we expect an Arsenal win given the form they are in. The double itself is mixed with an away trip to Old Trafford first but United have lapsed somewhat of late with a few poor results and then it’s Sunderland at home which should in theory be a walk over. Sunderland will be desperate by this stage so who knows but they probably won’t be able to afford just a point and may have to go for it. Here’s hoping anyway as that sounds like a recipe for disaster for them and an open invite for Arsenal.
Exiting any double gameweek that you have loaded up on is often a problem, as Liverpool are proving as we speak! There’s no such issue for Arsenal though as they land on a decent home game against West Brom who should be well and truly on their holidays by then, in theory, having already reached the sacred 40 point mark. A final day fling with the shackles off is usually the way to go out and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Arsenal put a few past the Baggies to sign off in style.
Players to watch
We would be more inclined to grab their attacking talents at this stage but if you have a defender already then roll with it but we imagine most transfers in will be focusing on the below players rather than the defenders but it’s also worth noting that they have the 3rd best defensive record in the league and as 3 of the next 4 are at home they have only conceded 12 at the Emirates – only Chelsea have conceded fewer at home.
‘He’s tired’. ‘Off the boil’. ‘Long season’. ‘Diminished returns’. Ermmmm, yeah ok! Monday’s brace means he has 5 goals in his last 5 games in all competitions and he’s second only in fantasy points to Hazard for the season. His 15 point haul against Hull sent many a fantasy manager scrambling to see how they can fit him in ahead of DGW37 but his price tag of £11.3m may mean a few tough choices need to be made elsewhere to accommodate him. But the question is – dare you not?
Since returning to the team back in GW29 the Welshman has 3 goals, 4 assists and 8 bonus points with three of those games seeing him into double figures for the week. He was deployed further forward against Hull as well, playing as one of the three in behind Giroud. We’ve mentioned before that his big downside is his propensity to pick up injuries and sure enough he went off against Hull and is currently flagged at 75% on the FPL site but at the time of writing it’s not expected to be serious and the early indications are that he should make next Monday. It is a cautionary tale with him though and we feel that he is maybe one to be left until DGW37 itself once you know he is through GW36 unscathed.
Santi is without a goal in 8 games now but he’s had 3 assists in that spell to keep his points tally ticking along and he is in fact 2nd only to Sanchez in Arsenal’s list of highest scoring fantasy players with 151 points for the season. Whilst Ramsey was deployed further forward it was Santi who dropped deeper against Hull but the truth is that Arsene does tinker with this regularly so perhaps don’t let that put you off. On current form we would probably prefer Ramsey but don’t forget that Santi is still on penalties and Arsenal are due one or two!
Monday wasn’t his finest of games but then he wasn’t exactly given much to work with! In fact that’s three games now without a goal but we wouldn’t discount him from your thoughts just on the basis of that as he scored 9 in 10 games prior to that along with 3 assists and 13 bonus points. if money’s no object he, along with Sanchez, would be our ‘go-to’ guys for the next few weeks and in particular for DGW37.
Leicester – Southampton (h), Sunderland (a), QPR (h)
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[/three_fourth]Who’d have thought a few weeks back that little old ‘already relegated’ Leicester with their angry old manager would be headline news in the ‘favourable fixtures’ section?! Not us. But they are. But why? Well because they refuse to give up the ghost and are clearly fighting like their lives depend on it. Which they do. Such has been their form and fight of late that the fixtures themselves are almost irrelevant as we know they are going for it big time and credit to them for doing so. Any end of season run that shows 4 wins in 5 games would normally see a team clear of trouble but for all their efforts so far they are still only a solitary point from safety. That’s an achievement in itself though given that they were nailed on to go down a few weeks ago until something changed… Nigel got angry. With the press. How angry? Very. To the point that he’s now simultaneously issuing apologies for last weeks incidents and causing incidents that will need apologising for next week in the same press conference! Quite how all this translates to success on the pitch we aren’t entirely sure but it seems to be having the desired effect.
Two of their next three are against direct relegation opponents although QPR may be gone already come GW38, which probably just makes things even better for Leicester. This week sees a home game against Southampton which a month or two ago may have been an away win for the Saints, no questions asked, but they are showing signs of having perhaps clocked off already with no wins and two defeats in their last three. This could be a case of who wants it more more in which case the answer will be Leicester.
Players to watch
Big Wes has become a goal machine! Well ok, we wouldn’t go that far but he’s got a couple lately. We say lately. They’re his only goals this season but he does also boast an assist in-between those goals. And yep you guessed it – that’s his only assist of the season. Ok so we can’t really sell him as a modern day Steve Bruce but Leicester do boast 3 clean-sheets in their last 4 games and the fixtures look ok for maybe a couple more. If you need to free up funds he’s perhaps not the worst shout at just £4.5m.
It may surprise many, given how much has been spoken about him lately, to find that Vardy has only actually scored 4 goals this season! That 3 of those have been since GW30 probably explains the sudden buzz and he’s also got 3 assists in the same spell. His assists have been more consistent though as he has 11 for the season in total. Like Wes he’s a cheap filler at £4.7m, if you need one, who has a combination of good fixtures and is playing for a team in form that very much needs to win.
Leicester’s top fantasy scorer (117 points) benefited from Nugent’s misfortune in GW33 to fill in as a last minute replacement and score in the win over Swansea. Two more goals this weekend against a hapless Newcastle should see him cement his place for now and he seems to be on penalties too.
Aston Villa – West Ham (h), Southampton (a), Burnley (h)
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[/three_fourth]Well if we didn’t think we’d be writing about Leicester we certainly didn’t think we’d be writing about Aston Villa! But we are. But why? Well because it turns out that Tim isn’t just nice but dim – he’s a bloody genius! Well ok let’s not get carried away but he’s revived a seemingly dead horse, got a few league wins to perhaps avoid near certain relegation and got them to the FA Cup final. And their fixtures are fairly decent.
West Ham and Burnley at home are certainly the key ones to their survival but both now feel winnable as Villa are now at least doing what they couldn’t under Paul Lambert – scoring. Kind of a key thing really in football and they have 20 in their last 10 games which includes 6 wins and a draw. Southampton away is tricky for any team of course but two goals away at Man City in their last trip suggests they will go and have a pop at anyone right now.
Player to watch
Just the one here as let’s face it nobody is really going to be buying in Tom Cleverley! Benteke is the man of the moment and the reason many are restructuring their strikers as we speak. 10 goals in his last 8 league games with scores of 12, 13, 17 and 13 along the way explains why and with some very favourable fixtures at home in particular it’s difficult to see that run not continuing and he may well be captaincy material this week against West Ham and if not then certainly against Burnley in GW38.
Crystal Palace – Man United (h), Liverpool (a), Swansea (h)
Palace have gone from must-haves to must-sells in a matter of weeks. After winning four on the spin and looking like world beaters they surprisingly lost to West Brom and Hull at home and really do now look like they have knocked off for the summer. With the momentum seemingly gone they close the season out with three difficult fixtures and if you have any of them left we would probably advise selling them if you need to or just benching them.
Newcastle – West Brom (h), QPR (a), West Ham (h)
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[/three_fourth]This could get very interesting! Having felt the job was done and dusted they duly began sending players off on holiday way back in February. 10 games later they have just the one win on the board since that fateful flight to Magaluf and find themselves just two points off the relegation zone with their nearest and dearest Sunderland occupying that spot with a game in hand. You won’t (shouldn’t) really own any Newcastle players so they’re fairly irrelevant in fantasy terms but it’ll be funny to watch their next few results at least, as the sorry story unfolds.
Sunderland – Everton (a), Leicester (h) & Arsenal (a), Chelsea (h)
If Newcastle are irrelevant in fantasy terms then Sunderland are anything but as they do indeed have a double gameweek coming up. That’s the good news over. The bad news is that as a group of fixtures these are not a pretty sight. An away trip to Everton doesn’t really entice you to buy early and hosting Chelsea in the final game says you probably wouldn’t want to be stuck with any of their players for that. The double itself is mixed to say the least as they host an in-form Leicester side and then have to travel to Arsenal. If you already have Sunderland defenders then play them in the double and see what happens but we certainly wouldn’t be going out buying any and hoping for much. Perhaps, just perhaps, the likes of Larsson (free-kicks) or Gomez (penalties) may be viable make-weights in the midfield for the double if you really need to free up funds for the premiums such as Sanchez. Up top Defoe has scored 1 in his last 10 games but maybe Wickham is staging a repeat of last seasons finale as he has 2 in 3 but with just 5 in total all season combined with the above fixtures we wouldn’t bet our house on it!
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixtures Gameweek 36 – Fantasy Premier League 2014-15. This article was written by inittowinit
Don’t forget to vote in this week’s Captain Poll