20 Teams: 20 Players looks at the best fantasy football options from each team, each week. From the must starts to the best of a bad bunch, here are this week’s picks for Gameweek 12 of the 2016/17 season.
Arsenal (Manchester United A)
Alexis Sanchez: The Chilean dynamo carried his superb form over to international duty by claiming a brace against Uruguay. Sanchez is arguably in the form of his career and the 27 year old, looks a likely candidate to put United’s dysfunctional defence to the sword in Gameweek 12.
Bournemouth (Stoke City A)
Harry Arter: The 26 year old made his competitive international debut for the Republic of Ireland midweek and looked right at home. It was yet another sign of his rapid improvement under Eddie Howe. He’s established himself as the heartbeat of Bournemouth’s midfield this season and with two assists he’s even morphing into a creative force.
Burnley (West Bromwich Albion A)
Johann Berg Gudmundusson: The Icelander was Burnley’s man of the match in Gameweek 11. A relative unknown to most Premier League fans, he drove his side to a 3-2 victory against Palace, contributing with a goal and assist in the process.
Chelsea (Middlesbrough A)
Eden Hazard: The Belgian is back to his very best. At this point last season, he’d turned in a lacklustre return of a goal and two assists. His record this year, stands at seven goals and one assist. His performance in the 5-0 rout of Everton should have convinced many to secure his services. Without him you run a major risk of lagging behind the fantasy pack.
Crystal Palace (Manchester City H)
Christian Benteke: The Belgian is quickly recapturing the potency that made him such an asset to Aston Villa and now has four league goals to his tally this term. Facing a Manchester City side have kept just two clean sheets domestically, Benteke’s chances of adding to that look promising.
Everton (Swansea H)
Romelu Lukaku: He may have turned in one of the most abject centre-forward displays of the season last time out, but the Belgian remains easily Everton’s top player this season. If anyone can capitalise on this ailing Swansea backline, it’s him.
Hull City (Sunderland A)
Robert Snodgrass: Once again, the Scot was the Tigers’ saviour in Gameweek 11 as he claimed a goal and assists to bring down Southampton to the tune of 2-1. There’s few better budget midfielders to choose from than this man.
Leicester City (Watford A)
Jamie Vardy: The Englishman looked back to his old combative self on international duty winning a penalty and scoring in a 2-2 draw with Spain. Can he carry that across to his domestic form? Playing a Watford team that leaked six goals to Liverpool in their last outing, Vardy may have the ideal opportunity to bag his first goal in since Gameweek 10.
Liverpool (Southampton A)
Roberto Firmino: Once again, there appears to be few better options in fantasy football that this Brazilian rocket. Firmino was the outstanding performer in Gameweek 11 and played a starring role in Liverpool’s 6-1 thrashing of Watford. With five goals and three assists this season so far, he is arguably the best all-round fantasy option.
Manchester City (Crystal Palace A)
Kevin De Bruyne: Out of several outstanding candidates, Kevin De Bruyne has probably been City’s top performer this season. The Belgian has two goals and six assists thus far and in their last game – a 1-1 draw with Middlesbrough – the 25 year old teed up Sergio Aguero. Given Aguero’s long distance travels for international duty and the fatigue associated with that, De Bruyne could be the ideal choice in Gameweek 12.
Manchester United (Arsenal H)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The big Swede broke his goal drought in a 3-1 beat down of Swansea last time out and his combinations with the likes of Pogba and Mata appear to be bearing fruit. Arsenal’s defence will be a sterner test this weekend, but a renewed Ibrahimovic looks the likely option to make a breakthrough.
Middlesbrough (Chelsea H)
Gaston Ramirez: The Boro playmaker returns from suspension this weekend and Aitor Karanka needs him to recapture the kind of ability that saw him score a pitch running wondergoal in Gameweek 10. Middlesbrough were impressive in holding City to a draw before the international break and they’ll need the same breaks if they’re to get anything out of a streamlined Chelsea.
Southampton (Liverpool H)
Charlie Austin: The ex-QPR man has been one of the Saints’ outstanding players this season and as their top goalscorer and designated penalty taker, he appears to have a knack for scoring whether they win or lose. Despite sitting top of the Premier League pile, their opponents this week, Liverpool, have managed just one clean sheet this term.
Stoke City (Bournemouth H)
Joe Allen: For more in depth coverage of the Stoke talisman, see our player profile for Gameweek 12.
Sunderland (Hull City H)
Victor Anichebe: Not the most naturally gifted footballer around, but give Anichebe a clear role in your side and he can get results. This battering ram of player was arguably Sunderland’s top performer in Gameweek 11, scoring a decisive goal and likewise winning Jermaine Defoe a penalty to hand the Black Cats their first win of the season.
Swansea City (Everton A)
Gylfi Sigurdsson: There are few players that you’d currently opt for out of the Swansea set-up. Their last performance against Manchester United was heralded as one of the worst of the season, by any team, and a trip away to Everton looks no more promising. If you have to choose someone, make it Gylfi Sigurdsson. The midfield talisman continues to grind out goals and assists – two and three respectively this season.
Tottenham Hotspur (West Ham United H)
Harry Kane: Spurs’ golden boy is back and fully fit to face bitter rival West Ham in Gameweek 12. They’ve badly missed his contribution up top this season, with the likes of Janssen and Son failing to consistently find the net in his absence. He scored on his immediate return against Arsenal to make it three goals in six appearances and you wouldn’t bet against him this weekend either.
Watford (Leicester City H)
Troy Deeney: Watford may require a change of tact in Gameweek 12, having been severely burnt by Liverpool in Gameweek 11. That said, whatever Mazzarri decides to change, Troy Deeney will maintain pride of place as the focal point of the Hornets attack.
West Bromwich Albion (Burnley H)
Matt Phillips: It’s taken him sometime to reintroduce himself on the English top flight, but the ex-QPR winger did just that in Gameweek 11. The wideman claimed a goal and assist as the Baggies sealed a 2-1 victory over Leicester.
West Ham United (Tottenham Hotspur A)
Dmitri Payet: Although he hasn’t quite been at his scintillating best this term, the Frenchman remains West Ham’s most dangerous outlet. Four assists and a goal is his current tally, but his creativity could be higher if not for the Hammers’ injury ravaged striking options this season. Perhaps the remerging Andre Ayew is the man to convert those chances.