Football is back! Whilst we’re all excited for Southampton’s first game after the restart, Fantasy Premier League is here to help us pass the time. The deadline for “Gameweek 30+” is 5pm TONIGHT, featuring free wildcards for all! Here are our top tips for the run-in...
PICK OF THE SAINTS
Alex McCarthy (£4.5m)
There’s no starting goalkeeper in the division that offers better value for money than McCarthy, who was in the most recent Dream Team after a 12-point haul against Newcastle in Gameweek 29.
His heroics that day included a penalty save – one of 20 saves for the Saints stopper over the past five gameweeks, proving he can still post strong returns even if he doesn’t keep a clean sheet. With three shutouts in his last six, he should be full of confidence.
Jack Stephens (£4.4m)
Arguably Saints’ most improved player in 2019/20, Stephens has visibly grown in self-belief and is maturing into a leader at the heart of the Saints backline.
His ability to bring the ball out of defence mark him out as an assist threat – an unusual quality in a centre-back, but Stephens has three to his name this season, all from open play.
James Ward-Prowse (£5.7m)
The cheaper of Saints’ two marquee midfielders, Ward-Prowse pips Nathan Redmond (£6.2m) to our shortlist due to his more inviting price tag.
What’s more, JWP has four goals this season – all coming against teams Saints still have to play, and he’s quite likely to add to his four assists with those wicked set-piece deliveries.
Stuart Armstrong (£5.2m)
Owned by just 0.2% of teams, Armstrong could be the differential you need to climb your mini-leagues.
The Scot was one of Saints’ form players before the shutdown, with three goals in his last six appearances, and he picked up where he left off with a brace against Bristol City in last week’s friendly at St Mary’s.
Danny Ings (£7.1m)
Ings’s scoring exploits are less of a secret – Saints’ leading marksman stands on 15 goals in the Premier League and 18 in all competitions.
Like Armstrong, he was on target on his return, and scored against Saints’ first three opponents – Norwich, Arsenal and Watford – in consecutive games earlier in the campaign.
THE DOUBLE GAMEWEEKERS
Dean Henderson (£5.3m)
There are four teams who play twice in Gameweek 30+: Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Man City and Arsenal.
Whilst Ederson (£6m) looks a little pricey and Pepe Reina (£4.5m) was struggling for form before the lockdown, we think Henderson pips Bernd Leno (£5m) as the number one choice, with Villa and Newcastle looking like opponents with clean sheet potential.
Enda Stevens (£5.2m)
John Lundstram (£4.9m) has been a favourite for many Fantasy Football managers this season, but is no longer a guaranteed starter since the January arrival of Sander Berge (£4.8m).
That’s why we think it’s worth paying the extra for Stevens – statistically one of Blades’ most creative players, even from left wing-back. There are cheaper routes into Chris Wilder’s defence if needed, such as John Egan (£4.6m), and doubling up on United clean sheet assets looks a sensible tactic.
Kevin De Bruyne (£10.6m)
Not much originality here, but midfield maestro De Bruyne is impossible to ignore, and represents a strong contender for this week's captaincy.
Less susceptible to “Pep roulette” than many of his teammates, the Belgian has been benched just once all season, and is just two away from equalling Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20 assists in a season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m)
Unlike the more expensive Sergio Agüero (£11.8m), Aubameyang should be guaranteed to start both matches, as Arsenal face away trips to Man City and Brighton.
Five of the Gunners’ last 10 games are against teams currently in the bottom seven, making the Golden Boot contender far more than just a one-week punt.
BEST OF THE REST
Nick Pope (£4.9m)
A trip to Man City is not the most alluring fixture for potential Pope owners, but look past that first match and there looks to be serious clean sheet potential for Burnley.
Pope is the Premier League leader with 11 shutouts this season, and second to none among his peers in fantasy points. At less than £5m, he looks a steal for the run-in.
Jamaal Lascelles (£4.3m)
We all love a super cheap defender who is guaranteed to play every week, and Lascelles offers more than just minutes on the pitch.
The Newcastle skipper has led his side to four clean sheets in seven games since returning from injury, and three of their first four games after the restart are at home.
Bruno Fernandes (£8.6m)
Few players have lit up Old Trafford quite like Bruno Fernandes in recent years, with the Portuguese playmaker clearly loving life at Man United.
He’s already risen from £8m to £8.6m in only five appearances – scoring or assisting in four of those – and United are chasing a place in the top four with a favourable run-in.
Raúl Jiménez (£8.1m)
A recurring theme of these picks is the fact that, on paper, you would expect these teams to be picking up points based on who they have left to play.
Wolves are another side who will be licking their lips at the fixture list, and Jiménez has already matched his 13-goal haul from his debut season in England.