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 7 of the 2016/17 season.
Arsenal (Burnley A)
Theo Walcott: The wideman has been quick to put his recent surge in form on a training regimen that has turned him into an all-round more physical and robust player.
Whatever the cause, Walcott is stringing together some of his best performances in years, scoring four in his last three games across the Premier League and Champions League. Arsenal face the Clarets this weekend and if Wenger persists with his effective balance of Sanchez up top with Iwobi and Walcott on the flanks, the Gunners could rack up a big score.
Bournemouth (Watford A)
Harry Arter: “He is definitely up there with some of the midfielders I’ve played with”, no this isn’t Thierry Henry reminiscing on his glory days spent playing with Zinedine Zidane.
These are the words of Jack Wilshere waxing lyrical about the performance of Harry Arter, who dominated events at the Vitality Stadium, grabbing an assist and rattling the post in a superlative display. Can he do the same at Watford? Eddie Howe certainly hopes so.
Burnley (Arsenal H)
Stephen Defour: The Belgian appears to be at the heart of everything positive for Burnley these days and nowhere was this more apparent than their Gameweek 4 with Hull. Defour put the Clarets a goal up before it was cancelled out by Robert Snodgrass’s equaliser. Their meeting with Leicester wasn’t as productive but Defour could play a key role against an Watford – even after their recent scalp.
Chelsea (Hull City A)
Cesc Fabregas: His showings at Leicester in the League Cup and Arsenal, in the league, were diametrically opposed – the first being a accomplished match winning performance, while the latter was one of crippling anonymity. Antonio Conte needs more of former, if Cesc Fabregas is going to nail down a place in his first team plans. An away trip to Hull might just set both the midfielder and his ailing side back on the right track.
Crystal Palace (Everton A)
Christian Benteke: The Belgian appears to be enjoying his football again, following an indifferent and difficult spell at Liverpool. Scoring two goals in his last four games, he’s getting back in the goalscoring groove, and Everton – fresh of a defat to Bournemouth – could be next to suffer the consequences.
Everton (Crystal Palace H)
Idrissa Gueye: Statistically, the Senegalese was one of the most consistent defensive midfielders in the Premier League last season, often ranking second only to N’Golo Kante in terms of interceptions. In this regard, Gueye makes a relatively cheap daily fantasy points bolster, at a cost of just £7m with PlayON.
Hull City (Chelsea H)
Robert Snodgrass: The Scot remains Hull’s most viable fantasy option through his playmaking responsibilities as well as his set-piece duties. A result against a Chelsea, who’ve now lost two big Premier League games on the bounce, perhaps seems a stretch however.
Leicester City (Southampton H)
Demarai Gray: The Foxes’ winger scored an impressive consolation against Manchester United in Gameweek 6 and rattled the woodwork for good measure as well. Leicester lost the game 4-1 but Gray’s performance was at such a level that it may well have sealed his starting line-up place at home to Southampton.
Liverpool (Swansea City A)
Phillipe Coutinho: Liverpool’s chief playmaker and talisman was back on song in their 5-1 rout of Hull and could impact some real damage on the Swans come Saturday. Coutinho has clocked three goals and two assists so far this season and could finally rise as the player to inherit Luis Suarez’s long-missed mantle at the club.
Manchester City (Tottenham Hotspur A)
Sergio Aguero: Three games out. Two goals scored. Sergio Aguero returned to win back fantasy hearts and minds with a consummate performance against Swansea, as City cruised to a 3-1 victory. Against Spurs, he may face his toughest test of the season so far, but would you bet against him?
Manchester United (Stoke City H)
Marcus Rashford: The youngster is challenging the long held suspicion that Jose Mourinho doesn’t trust in youth, but realistically with three goals from just two starts, is he in a position to leave him out? Stoke City’s ragtag defence could be next in Rashford’s goalscoring sights.
Middlesbrough (West Ham H)
Ben Gibson: Providing leadership from the back and chipping in with a goal against Tottenham Hotpsur in their Gameweek 6 fixture, Ben Gibson looks a solid option as Boro host a wayward mess of team: West Ham United.
Southampton (Leicester City A)
Ryan Bertrand: The full-back looked back to his best over the weekend, leading the charge – both defensively and offensively – in the Saints’ impressive win over West Ham.
Defensive solidity is something this side were noted for under Ronald Koeman and appear to be finding their way once more under Puel. While a clean sheet could be a tall order against Leicester under normal circumstances, the champions have been some way off their best domestically.
Stoke City (Manchester United A)
Xherdan Shaqiri: Stoke were greatly improved last time out but were unable to put three points on the board, drawing 1-1 with West Brom.
One clear reason for their improvement was the return of the dynamic Xherdan Shaqiri, who was a constant menace and looks the most likely to make an impact at Old Trafford in Gameweek 7. With 15 goals conceded so far this season, putting faith in any of their defenders is not really an option.
Sunderland (West Bromwich Albion H)
Jermain Defoe: Sunderland are staring down the barrel of relegation if they fail to turn the tide on a shocking run of form. Winless and losers in their last three Premier League games there is little to be positive about at the Stadium of Light. That is apart from Jermain Defoe who continues to score – four this season – despite any discernible input from his teammates.
Swansea City (Liverpool H)
Fernando Llorente: The ex-Bilbao and Juventus striker broke his Premier League duck against Manchester City and fantasy managers should now take note of the potential of this Llorente as an option. He was sharp to capitalise on a City error and convert his goal and against Liverpool – for all their good performances of late – he’ll face a defence that will undoubtedly present opportunities.
Tottenham Hotspur (Manchester City H)
Son Heung-Min: For the second week in a row, we’ve stumped for this absolute gem of a player. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s the Premier or Champions League, Son has now won three games on the trot, effectively on his own. With Kane out the picture for the time being, you could do worse than put your faith in this wideman.
Watford (Bournemouth A)
Isaac Success: The Hornets turned in their worst display of the season so far on Monday, slumping to a 2-0 defeat at Burnley. One bright spark however was Nigerian winger/forward Isaac Success who put in a threatening cameo in the place of countryman, Odio Ighalo. As such, the 20 year old could get the nod away to Bournemouth this weekend.
West Brom (Sunderland A)
Craig Dawson: Mr. Unsung/dependable/hard-working. Whatever tag you want to put on Craig Dawson, he’s unquestionably effective at what he does and been an ever-present part of a West Brom backline that ranks as the fourth tightest in the league.
West Ham (Middlesbrough H)
Manuel Lanzini: The Hammers desperately need victory in Gameweek 7 to kickstart their season after four straight defeats. Their defence is a no-go zone at present, but the likes of Lanzini is still threatening despite the best efforts of his teammates to sabotage themselves at every turn.