Sunday, December 9, 2018

Best Picks for Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 22

Dan Steeden in Editorial, English Premier League 31 Dec 2017

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Gameweek 22 presents perhaps the most intriguing prospect of this FPL season so far, with both Tottenham and West Ham setting up for a double game week. I’ll go over what that means in the bonus tips section, but if there has ever been a week where effective management of your fantasy team is vital, this is it.


Budget Option: Adrian (4.3m)

West Ham have conceded a whopping 38 goals so far this season, but their form has improved slightly under new manager David Moyes, with three clean sheets in their last five games. This is more of a double gameweek pick than anything else, because the Hammers do get a tough game against Tottenham, but only after a juicy clash with struggling West Brom. The Baggies have scored just 14 times in this campaign, so Adrian has a decent chance of grabbing at least one clean sheet this week, and you never know what might happen against Spurs.

Premium Option: Hugo Lloris (5.5m) 

This pick is the same principle as Adrian, apart from the fact that Tottenham’s defence is far better than that of West Ham. Matches against struggling Swansea and the Hammers provide two great shots at clean sheets, as well as any save points and bonus points that Lloris may rack up along the way. You get a top class keeper playing two games in a week, what’s not to love? Spurs have the fifth best defensive record in the league, and their opponents have had their struggles in front of goal.


Budget Option: Maya Yoshida (4.8m) 

Southampton haven’t been as reliable as usual for FPL owners of their defensive players, especially given that both of their first choice defenders are out injured. They do however head into their clash with Crystal Palace this week off the back of a clean sheet against Manchester United, so the Saints should be relatively confident. The Eagles came so close to handing Manchester City their first loss of the season at the weekend, but they haven’t been scoring many goals in general. A 0-0 draw in this game is not unlikely at all, and Yoshida represents the most reliable starter for the Saints right now.

Premium Option: Nicolas Otamendi (6.4m)

No matter what they do, Manchester City cannot seem to lose. With that ability comes the other great ability to grind out clean sheets, making Otamendi one of the top options in FPL every week. The centre half also gets a favourable matchup at home to Watford, who have lost a lot of their early season momentum and attacking threat. City meanwhile have the best defensive record in the Premier League, and it is important to remember the importance of an unbeaten streak. The Cityzens haven’t lost this season, and they certainly won’t want to lose any time soon, which makes clean sheets that little bit more likely on a weekly basis.


Budget Option: Marko Arnautovic (6.9m) 

The Austrian midfielder has been a revelation since David Moyes took over as manager of West Ham, and he has bagged five goals in his last five league games, having previously failed to find the back of the net at all. As another player who gets to play twice in this game week, Arnautovic should be in everyone’s team, especially given his insane recent form. Even if he blanks against Tottenham he will still get the points for playing, and he certainly has a great chance to bag another brace against West Brom on Tuesday.

Premium Option: Riyad Mahrez (8.5m) 

it is getting difficult to ignore Leicester as they have climbed to eighth in the table, scoring 31 times in the process. Mahrez has an astonishing six goals and nine assists already this season, and he gets another great matchup this week against newly promoted side Huddersfield. The Terriers have leaked 32 goals during this campaign, and are a team than can allow a big score line every so often. The Algerian maestro is an elite fantasy option at this point, and cheaper than some of the bigger names who have underperformed this season.


Budget Option: Marcus Rashford (7.6m)

I love Rashford as an option going forward, mainly due to the injuries to Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Manchester United are running out of players who can convert the chances, and Rahsford looks like the best option to lead the line. I believe the Red Devils will turn their form around soon, and they always have the ability to score big in any given week. A big clash with Everton could be the opportunity to do just that, especially as Jose Mourinho will want to get one over on defensively minded Toffees manager Sam Allardyce.

Premium Option: Harry Kane (12.8m)

If Harry Kane plays both games this week, he is the more important player to have in your team by a country mile. Not only is the England striker capable of bagging a hat-trick in any game, as proved by his recent form, but he is also one of the most reliable starters amongst the top teams. With games against Swansea and West Ham, Kane has two great chances to bag another handful of goals, and he is the ultimate captain option. You might want to continue reading below to see whether using your Triple Captain chip is worth it for you however.

Bonus Tips 

As mentioned in the introduction, Tottenham and West Ham have two games in the up coming gameweek. What that means is that now is as good a time as any to use one of your chips. Free Hit and Triple Captain both look like good options here, but depend on how you operate.

Using your Free Hit this week would allow you to load your team up with Spurs and Hammers players, capitalising on the situation through a maximum of six players from those two teams. This option is probably safer than Triple Captain as you’re not solely relying on one player to perform, but it will involve a lot of changes both this week and next, and perhaps a wildcard soon.

The Triple Captain option on the other hand looks brilliant with Harry Kane getting two great fixtures. Unfortunately the striker is a doubt for the first game against Swansea, and if he doesn’t feature in that fixture then there is little point wasting the chip. Keep an eye on the team news, and don’t risk it if you’re not sure.


Dan Steeden

Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.



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