With just 11 gameweeks left before the Premier League season concludes on Sunday 17th May, you’d be forgiven for thinking the fantasy football season is all but over.
Well, you’d be wrong. There’s plenty to play for and The Courier Sport is on hand to walk you through everything you need to know.
The story so far…
As Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool run rampant in the top flight, it’s the men in red who have led the fantasy football world too. Mo Salah leads the way for points in the game with a handsome 165*, before even kicking a ball against Norwich last weekend. Fellow midfield maestro Sadio Mané isn’t too far behind, continuing to offer a better value than the Egyptian too. The pick of the season, however, comes from the Kopites’ back line as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s two goals, 12 assists and 10 clean sheets have marked him out as an essential.
Away from the Merseyside leaders, Kevin De Bruyne has remained consistent despite manic Pep Guardiola rotation, Marcus Rashford has emerged as a silver lining in a stormy Ole Gunnar Solsjaer reign and Wolves’ Raul Jimenez has continued to prove himself a deadly talisman. Leicester’s Jamie Vary has blown hot and cold, with 14 goals in 11 gameweeks making jaws drop, before going seven without netting. Sheffield United’s Dean Henderson has been making non-stop saves between the sticks and Everton’s Richarlison has proved critics wrong with nine goals and five assists this term. Add Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson and you’ve got the Dream Team of 2019/20 as it stands.
For fantasy football managers languishing behind in their mini-leagues, there is still chance for a last-ditch comeback. But who are the players to be buying?
Owning all three possible Liverpool players is a no-brainer – Salah and Alexander-Arnold both essential. Picking from another defender, Mané or striker Roberto Firmino is the only thinking to do on that front.
What the future holds…
There are a few twists in the fantasy football tale left to bear in mind too. Gameweek 28 sees all of Arsenal, Aston Villa, Manchester City and Sheffield United without fixtures, so plan ahead to avoid wasting points re-jigging your team last minute.
More blank and double gameweeks are in the offing too. There’s a lot to understand but all of those teams without matches in Gameweek 28 will enjoy a double gameweek.
On top of those, the FA Cup fixtures in early March will cause havoc in Gameweek 31 with blanks galore… and consequential double gameweeks.
What does it all mean? For those managers who are yet to use their Triple Captain chip, there’s plenty of good opportunities to do so, with a potential triple Manchester City gameweek perhaps the pick of the lot. Other chips including the Free Hit and Wildcard, if played well, could be season changers too.
Three to watch
If you’ve got points to make up and are in need of some points others may not have, it’s important to shop the game’s lower owned players. How about considering the following?
DEF, Wolves, 6.1, 4.1%
Setting managers back 6.1, Wolves’ Matt Doherty is a big investment for a defender – perhaps why less than 5% of players have found the funds.
However, the attack-minded full-back could prove gold in coming weeks. Currently unaffected by fixture changes, meetings with the far-from-prolific Nrowich and Brighton in the near future look golden. Plus, with four goals and seven assists already this term, there’s potential for returns at both ends.
MID, Southampton, 6.2, 1.2%
A resurgent Southampton over the past few months have turned from relegation candidates into top-half competitors. That’s in no large part thanks to Danny Ings up front, who almost 30% of managers have already got in.
However, with a tasty run of fixtures including home clashes with Aston Villa and Newcastle, as well as trips to West Ham and Norwich before the end of March, why not invest elsewhere?
Redmond has a goal and assist in his last two, causing problems for oposition on the flank. With an in-form Danny Ings in front of him, the Englishman could benefit even more.
FWD, Aresenal, 4.6, 4.3%
Whether or not Gabriel Martinelli becomes a viable option depends on his ability to work alongside the returning Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.
Netting two goals in the last three weeks will help the promising striker’s cause. There is a blank Gameweek 28 to contest with, but the forward’s easy upcoming fixtures could outweigh that problem. Plus, at only 4.6, there are few cheaper options to free up money to bolster elsewhere.
The Courier Sport League
For all 31 players in The Courier Sport Section league, it’s still a tight affair at the top. At the time of writing, Corin Wright leads the way, four points ahead of Sports Editor Toby Bryant, Anna Woodberry sitting in third just 28 points behind. Fourth placed Sam Hansen has climbed the rankings in recent weeks, perhaps a dark horse to take the fantasy football crown?
Out of the rest of The Courier Sport team, Rory Ewart in 9th place, Tom Moorcroft in 11th and Stanley Gilyead in 13th battle it out in mid-table.
Languishing at the bottom, Rebecca Johnson hovers just five places from bottom place, which is occupied by Mohamed Khalid despite some strong recent showings.
*All statistics correct as of 13/02/2020.
Last modified: 13th February 2020