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Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 18

Whether you’re a hardcore fan or a casual one, you can’t miss these picks!

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

The Premier League is arguably the most entertaining footballing competition in the world and its virtual counterpart, the Fantasy Premier League (FPL), doesn’t lag behind either.

FPL managers are known to dilly and dally over the near-endless permutations and combinations each week and with the festive fixture list in full swing, one wrong choice could do irreparable damage to one’s team.

To ensure you don’t get tempted into making those impulsive decisions which you’ll regret later, The Statesman has your back with a overarching article on the best players for each position ahead of every gameweek.

The indicators are:

Teams in BOLD are top 4 contenders.

Prices (in £ million) marked in Green indicates a rise in Base Price.
Prices (in £ million) marked in Red indicates fall in Base Price.

Goalkeeper

David de Gea

Team: Manchester United
Fixtures: West Brom (A), Leicester (A), Burnley (H), Southampton (H) and Everton (A)
Price: 5.8
Score: 96
Ownership: 43.2%

Why yes: De Gea’s points tally is more than all forwards, barring Harry Kane. That’s reason enough to have the clean-sheet machine, especially with the routine games the Red Devils have lined up. Picking him even if you have a United defender makes sense at this point.

Why no: The most expensive goalkeeper in FPL and not much of a differential.

David de Gea, Manchester United F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
De Gea (C) makes plenty of saves in every game as well! (Photo: AFP)

 

 

Defenders

Sead Kolasinac

Team: Arsenal
Fixtures: Newcastle (H), Liverpool (H), Crystal Palace (A), West Brom (A) and Chelsea (H)
Price: 6.2
Score: 76
Ownership: 15.5%

Why yes: After being rested in mid-week against West Ham, Kolasinac is set to get restored to the Gunners lineup. Newcastle are winless in forever and don’t expect them to get back to winning ways against the Gunners at the Emirates. The burly Bosnian is likely to be involved in action on both ends of the pitch as his tally of a goal and four assists attests.

Why no: Gunners have been in a bit of a rut as well, and Kolasinac is an expensive option, with Man United defenders offering better value from a clean-sheet perspective at least.

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, Arsenal F.C., Sead Kolasinac
Kolasinac (R) is not only tough to beat one-on-one, the Bosnian is quite handy on the overlap as well! (Photo: AFP)

 

Victor Moses

Team: Chelsea
Fixtures: Southampton (H), Everton (A), Brighton (H), Stoke (H) and Arsenal (A)
Price: 6.4
Score: 35
Ownership: 0.9%

Why yes: Moses has been in fine fettle since returning from injury and while he’s still expensive, considering the fact that he plays as a wing-back, the Nigerian is good value. A massive differential as majority of FPL managers are flocking towards the more expensive Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.9m) or Marcos Alonso (£6.9).

Why no: Chelsea haven’t really been keeping clean-sheets this season and games against Southampton and Everton won’t be easy.

Victor Moses, Chelsea F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Moses (R) has been flying on the right flank for the Blues! (Photo: AFP)

 

Midfielders

Willian

Team: Chelsea
Fixtures: Southampton (H), Everton (A), Brighton (H), Stoke (H) and Arsenal (A)
Price: 6.6
Score: 56
Ownership: 6.3%

Why yes: Willian was on fire against Huddersfield, and against Southampton, expect more of the same. Considering he’s at the same price or even cheaper than most Blues defenders, the Brazilian is an excellent third/fourth choice midfield option.

Why no: Those who already have Eden Hazard (£10.9m) or Alvaro Morata (£10.7m) need not pick Willian as well as the max quota of three Chelsea players may get exhausted.

Willian, Chelsea F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Willian had a double-figure haul in Gameweek 17! (Photo: AFP)

 

Demarai Gray

Team: Leicester City
Fixtures: Crystal Palace (H), Man United (H), Watford (A), Liverpool (A) and Huddersfield Town (H)
Price: 5.3
Score: 44
Ownership: 1.5%

Why yes:  This week’s first wildcard pick, Gray’s been impressive of late and while the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy are hogging the headlines, the young winger is an excellent FPL option.  Was benched in mid-week, so is bound to start against Crystal Palace and considering the Foxes’ rampant form, it’s time to accommodate as many Leicester players as you can.

Why no: Still not a confirmed starter, while the likes of Mahrez (£8.5m) and Vardy (£8.6m) are in arguably better form. The Foxes have middling games ahead, with ties against United and Liverpool likely to be tough encounters.

Demarai Gray, Leicester City F.C., Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Gray’s exploits have not gone unnoticed! (Photo: Leicester City F.C.)

 

Forwards

Alexandre Lacazette

Team: Arsenal
Fixtures: Newcastle (H), Liverpool (H), Crystal Palace (A), West Brom (A) and Chelsea (H)
Price: 10.3
Score: 67
Ownership: 10.3%

Why yes: Lacazette didn’t start against West Ham in mid-week and to nobody’s surprise, the Gunners lacked penetration up top as they were held to a scoreless draw. The speedy forward is a lethal striker and his home record this season (six goals and one assist at the Emirate) has been excellent. This week’s opponents, Newcastle, are in free-fall at the moment.

Why no: Quite expensive and considering Arsenal’s recent form, Southampton’s Charlie Austin (£6.2m) or Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (£8.6m) are more cost-effective alternatives.

Premier League, Fantasy Premier League, FPL, Arsenal FC, Alexandre Lacazette
Lacazette clearly loves playing at the Emirates Stadium! (Photo: AFP)

 

Jermain Defoe

Team: Bournemouth
Fixtures: Liverpool (H), Man City (A), West Ham (H), Everton (H) and Brighton (A)
Price: 7.6
Score: 39
Ownership: 1.6%

Why yes: The second wildcard pick, Defoe was rested (played only 19 minutes) in mid-week and against a shaky Liverpool defence, should find some joy at home.

Why no: Joshua King is a confirmed starter while Defoe, who turned 35 in October, is likely to be rotated heavily in the coming weeks. The Cherries haven’t been able to win of late and with tough games ahead, look unlikely to change that anytime soon.

Jermain Defoe, A.F.C. Bournemouth, Premier League, Fantasy Premier League
Defoe may be getting on in years, but he’s been banging in the goals! (Photo: Twitter)

 

PS: The Gameweek deadline is 11.30 am GMT/5 pm IST.

Previous articles in the series:

Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 17

Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 16

Fantasy Premier League Pundit Picks: Gameweek 15