Goal’s handy Fantasy Premier League guide aims to assist your team selections over the course of the 2020-21 campaign
The holiday season is upon us but there’s no time for festive spirit in Fantasy Premier League – there are points to be won and tables to be climbed.
Last gameweek saw plenty of hapless managers let down by the likes of Mohamed Salah, Kevin de Bruyne and Harry Kane, all of who only managed to garner four points as captaincy picks. However, there are some intriguing fixtures this time around.
Out-of-form Chelsea play host to high-flying Aston Villa, Everton welcome Manchester City to Goodison Park for a top-of-the-table clash, Manchester United face Wolves and pace-setters Liverpool will be looking to rack up the goals away at Newcastle after a disappointing draw against West Brom.
As we head into gameweek 16, Goal is on hand to help with team selection advice, possible captain picks and more as you look to turn those arrows green and climb your league tables.
Team selection advice
A fourth consecutive clean sheet from Emiliano Martinez (£4.9m) saw the Aston Villa goalkeeper extend his lead over Burnley’s Nick Pope (£5.4m) at the top of this season’s goalkeeper rankings.
Villa must now travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea, who are licking their wounds after their 3-1 humbling at Arsenal. Chelsea have only failed to score in two home games this term, but if they don’t raise their game signifcantly against Villa, Martinez could be a good bet for another shut-out.
Pope has kept five clean sheets himself, and will fancy his chances of another when Burnley come up against Sheffield United at Turf Moor.
The Blades struggled to create anything during their 1-0 home defeat to Everton last time out, while the Clarets were somewhat unlucky to go down 1-0 at Leeds, with Pope providing good value once again heading into the new year.
Hugo Lloris (£5.6m) and Alisson (£5.9) could be safer bets this week though, with Tottenham playing a Fulham side struggling for goals and Liverpool tackling a Newcastle outfit with a dismal record against the top six.
If you brought in Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) or Andy Robertson (£7.3m) for GW15, you would have been left disappointed as both men turned in a collective total of just four points during Liverpool’s dismal draw against West Brom at Anfield.
However, keeping faith in one or both of the Reds defenders could pay off at Newcastle, who currently boast the second worst defensive record in the top 13.
Robertson already has 68 points to his name in 2020-21, while Alexander-Arnold will fancy his chances of increasing his modest total of 35 against the Magpies after overcoming early season fitness issues.
Tottenham have may produced another uninspired display against Wolves, but they still boast the third best defensive record in the league and will be expecting to improve on it as they take on Scott Parker’s Fulham, who still find themselves down in 18th.
Eric Dier (£5.0m) is Spurs’ top scoring defender so far this season and he comes at a bargain price, while Sergio Reguilon (£5.7) is a far more expensive asset but potentially represents better value for money given his potential for assists – although he has only recorded two in the top-flight to date for the club.
Burnley’s Charlie Taylor (£4.5m) is probably the strongest budget option of GW16, with the 27-year-old having amassed an impressive 20 points from his last four fixtures.
The Clarets will hope to keep rock bottom Sheffield United at bay with relative ease as they seek to bounce back from the narrow defeat at Leeds, and James Tarkowski (£5.3m) may also be a smart pick for those with slightly more money in the bank.
Jan Bednarek (£4.7m) or James Justin (£4.9m) also represent solid picks, with Southampton slight favourites heading into their home fixture against an out-of-form West Ham and second-placed Leicester due to face a Crystal Palace side that has conceded 10 and scored none in their last two fixtures.
Bednarek racked up nine points during the Saints’ draw with Fulham, which brought him up to fifth in the standings for this season’s highest scoring defenders on 62 points, while Justin is only four points back having been ever-present for the Foxes.
Despite their last performance, it is hard to look beyond Liverpool again this week – if you have the money to spend.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Sadio Mane (£11.9m) are the obvious picks, particularly with Diogo Jota still injured.
Salah is still in the top 20 for the most transferred-in strikers heading into gameweek 16, despite blanking against West Brom, with a whopping 45.4 per cent of managers having now made room in their team for him.
He is currently the leading scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals to his name from his last 14 games, including a brace off the bench in a 7-0 thrashing of Palace on December 19, and will be expected to rediscover his scoring touch against a struggling Newcastle side.
If you are looking for a cheaper option, Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka (£4.4m) may be the strongest pick this week. The 19-year-old has 42 points to his name already this season despite the Gunners’ poor form, including 13 during their impressive win over Chelsea.
Saka recorded a goal and an assist against the Blues, and will likely be at the heart of Arsenal’s best attacks once again when they travel to Brighton, who have shipped eight goals in their last five matches.
Bruno Fernandes (£11.1m) is proving to be the most popular midfield pick this week, with the Manchester United talisman having taken his tally of points to 114 after scoring a goal and setting up another during the thrilling draw with Leicester at the weekend.
More than 193,000 managers have drafted the Portuguese playmaker into their teams this week, and he will be expected to pick up another signifcant haul when the free-scoring Red Devils clash with Wolves, who haven’t kept a clean sheet since October.
Marcus Rashford (£9.5) is a good alternative pick from United given his slightly cheaper price tag and the fact he has racked up 23 points in his last three appearances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, including seven against the Foxes – although he is carrying a shoulder injury and is only being given a 75 per cent chance of featuring in the clash with Wolves at the moment.
Leicester star James Maddison (£7.2) also looks a tidy investment ahead of Leicester’s trip to Palace, with the England international currently boasting 55 points for the season, 24 of which have been recorded in his last four appearances.
Finally, Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse (£6.3m) may represent a bargain source of points this week, with the set-piece specialist nailed on to start once again when Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side play host to West Ham, who limped to an unconvincing 2-2 draw against Brighton at the London Stadium last time out.
Leicester talisman Jamie Vardy (£10.1) has been purchased more than any other forward ahead of GW16, with over 126,000 managers deciding to bring in a man who already has 106 points to his name this term.
Vardy grabbed his seventh assist against United, and is currently joint second in the race for the Golden Boot on 11 goals. The 33-year-old will be rubbing his hands at the prospect of increasing that number when he comes up against an error-prone Palace defence on Monday.
Elsewhere, Leeds United frontman Patrick Bamford (£6.4m) grabbed his 10th goal of the season from the penalty spot as Leeds beat Burnley on Sunday, and the 27-year-old will be expected to deliver the goods in the final third once again away at West Brom.
Southampton’s Che Adams (£6m) also still represents great value, despite the fact he was unable to score or assist in a draw draw with Fulham. Adams will likely continue to lead the line for the Saints against West Ham in the absence of Danny Ings, who has been sidelined through injury again, and he will be looking to add to his current haul of 69 points.
For those who still have faith in Tottenham, Harry Kane (£11m) could prove to be a smart investment when Jose Mourinho’s side play Fulham in a London derby encounter on Wednesday.
Kane has drawn blanks in each of his last three fixtures, but still currenty boasts more points than any other striker in the top-flight and will be determined to get back among the goals when the Cottagers arrive at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Who is the best captain pick for Gameweek 15?
Bruno Fernandes (£11.1m) was at his brilliant best once again at Leicester, and will likely continue to be the man who makes the difference in the final third when United host Wolves.
Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) also remains a smart choice, but he was overshadowed by his Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane (£11.9) against West Brom, and the Senegalese winger could take centre stage once again against Newcastle.
Harry Kane (£11.0) and Jamie Vardy (£10.1) are the final big-hitters worth captaining this week, as the former currently has nine goals and 10 assists to his name, with Tottenham in need of a big result against Fulham after failing to win any of thier last three games.
Vardy will also be expected to get back on the scoresheet away at Palace as Leicester bid to stay within touch of current league leaders Liverpool, who they currently trail by just four points in the table.
Our alternative pick this week goes to Ollie Watkins (£6.1m) . The 24-year-old set up all three of Aston Villa’s goals as they made light work of Palace, and also hit the woodwork. He has racked up 65 points already this term, and could get plenty of chances to add to that tally against a Chelsea side which looked very vulnerable at the back during their abject defeat to Arsenal.
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