Monday Night Football is a big one this week as Manchester City visit Arsenal in what may well be a clash of this season’s top two sides. In addition, there are two other games on Sunday and we’ve picked out the best players at both ends of the market to kick off your lineup in the best way.
Petr Cech – ($4,300) – Arsenal – Cech remains the top goalkeeper across all of our fantasy soccer games right now and a matchup against a dangerous Man City side doesn’t change that. Since arriving in the summer, he has consistently won Arsenal points and fantasy managers have seen double-digit returns on the last three occasions Cech has taken to the field. Saying that, games between the top sides often fail to get the juices going and a 0-0 is always a possibility.
Heurelho Gomes – ($3,400) – Watford – Brazilian stopper Gomes has been the surprise of the season where ‘keepers are concerned and a home game against Liverpool is hardly the most daunting of prospects. Watford have conceded just six goals at home, which is only bettered by Man Utd and Arsenal. Throw into the mix the opportunity for a glut of saves against Liverpool and the likelihood of a double-digit day becomes nailed on.
Adrian – ($3,700) – West Ham – With just six teams playing and two of them in the top four, there is little value to be had at goalkeeper…apart from Adrian. An away game at Swansea looks tasty right now and the hosts have scored just eight goals in eight games at the Liberty Stadium. Whilst the worry here is that Adrian doesn’t get a third clean sheet in a row, West Ham should beat a very poor Swansea team and that’s worth five points in itself. Factor in the saves and Adrian as solid a value choice as you will get.
Alberto Moreno – ($4,700) – Liverpool – Moreno has benefited more than any other player from the arrival of Jurgen Klopp on Merseyside. Since the German manager took charge, Moreno has been an almost ever present and contributes extensively to the offensive side of things – something illustrated by the 2.3 key passes per game that is the most by any Premier League defender. It has meant double digit points every week since Klopp took charge and he’s a no brainer pick against Watford.
Aleksandar Kolarov – ($5,400) – Man City – One defender sits alone above the $5,000 line and that man is Kolarov. When point production comes so easily to a player it’s no surprise this is the case and, even though they face a tough Arsenal side, expect Kolarov to get forward at every opportunity. Two of his last three league starts have seen him score over 20 points and a rest last time out against Swansea almost guarantees he will start against Arsenal.
Nathan Ake – ($2,800) – Watford – Ake is another Chelsea loanee plying his trade elsewhere and is part of a defence at Watford that rarely concedes. The promoted team has been breached just six times in eight home games, as mentioned earlier, and Ake is one of those full backs that gets forward enough to justify picking him at what is a low price point.
Mesut Özil – ($7,800) – Arsenal – Özil made it a baker’s dozen of 13 assists on the season last time out against Aston Villa and there’s nothing to suggest he can’t make it 14 against a City side that flatters to deceive. Four of his last five games have seen double digit returns for that rather large outlay and Özil remains out in front in the key passes department with 4.3 per game. City’s defence simply won’t cope with that kind of chance creation.
Kevin de Bruyne – ($7,500) – Man City – On the other side of the pitch is the most expensive buy in Premier League history and City’s fulcrum, de Bruyne. The Belgian was benched against Swansea and his point production dropped off as a result. He will return to the side and slot in alongside Raheem Sterling and David Silva behind striker Sergio Aguero in a lineup that is made to score points. de Bruyne has 3.1 key passes per game, good enough for third in the league, and usually scores highly in all the offensive categories as a result.
Jordan Henderson – ($3,600) – Liverpool – Henderson returns to a side that is almost unrecognisable from his days as Brendan Rodgers’ favourite son. The England international is another of those central midfielders that loves nothing more than to bound forwards and join the attack. For fantasy soccer players that means crosses, shots on goal and more importantly a smattering of goals and assists. For $3,600 he’s a compelling choice.
Michail Antonio – ($3,100) – West Ham – Antonio has taken advantage of an injury crisis of epic proportions at Upton Park. He started his first game of the season last week, picking up a respectable 14 points and the winger could easily better than that this time around against Swansea. For the next few games, at least, he has one of the two wide positions locked down and is a legitimate threat. Especially if Andy Carroll is fit enough to start at centre forward.
Olivier Giroud – ($7,100) – Arsenal – With big question marks as to the fitness of Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez, Giroud is the best option among the high priced forwards. He has scored five goals in his last three games in all competitions and is relishing the responsibility that comes with a run in the side. Add to this the expected absence of Vincent Kompany at the back for City and Giroud looks good to hit double figures.
Odion Ighalo – ($6,500) – Watford – Ighalo’s value has been rocketing in recent weeks and when you score points at this rate it’s no surprise. Only Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Romelu Lukaku have scored more than Ighalo’s 10 goals this season and his partnership with Troy Deeney is one of the best two-man forward combinations in the Premier League. Ighalo manages 3.4 shots per game and Simon Mignolet’s performances in the Liverpool net are erratic enough to suggest goals are on the way.
Mauro Zarate – ($4,400) – West Ham – Zarate is another West Ham player to benefit from the injury problems at the club and has scored double figures for three weeks running. The creative midfielder was incredibly unlucky not to score against Stoke last weekend and his 13 crosses contributed to a hefty 18 points. That paled into insignificance compared to his 33-point performance against West Brom at the end of November and at just $4,400, he is undervalued.
Bafetimbi Gomis – ($5,700) – Swansea City – There are few strikers as streaky as young Bafetimbi and his goal last weekend means a scoring run is on the cards. Gomis scored in four straight games earlier this season and back on his home patch against an erratic West Ham back line is a great opportunity for him to net for the second week running.