Another round down and another change at the top, with Liverpool’s draw in the Merseyside derby dropping them to a point behind new leaders City. Is this the inevitable collapse? As we move into Gameweek 30, there’s just a few weeks left to find out.
Moving with the league is PlayON, who are back again for DFS offerings over the weekend. With just nine rounds left, your chances to take home the bacon are numbered.
To help with that, I’ve gone through the games on offer and picked out my best plays, from must-have guns to penny-pinching value plays, with the odd sneaky POD pick thrown in for good measure.
Cardiff v. West Ham
Kicking us off, Cardiff with three losses on the trot, host a Hammers side with one loss in five. The visitors sit just inside the top half, while the hosts are just inside the drop zone. Of the three down there however, the Bluebirds are the ones with realistic hopes of survival, so will be up for this.
Not good news on the history front though. All three of the top flight clashes have gone the way of the Hammers, including a 3-1 back in December.
Hard to look past form and stats, I have to back in the away side for the win and for PlayON purposes.
A second goal of the season for Declan Rice (£8.9m) last out to bag a 1950, moving his overall average to a tad under 1000.
The youngster looks like a star in the making, so why shouldn’t he continue his form in this one?
A second clean sheet of the season against Newcastle, Angelo Ogbonna (£6.5m) is only scoring at 750, but it still represents value for his price.
He also picked up a 1300 last out, which if he gets close again here with another shutout he shapes as great value.
A barren run has seen Robert Snodgrass (£9.1m)’s average drop to 690, which will ward off potential owners.
However, he has grabbed an assist in his last two starts and scored 1200 last out against Newcastle. If he goes three-from-three here, it could be a big score for not too many owners.
Huddersfield v. Bournemouth
A loss to Brighton means Huddersfield have to make up 14 points in nine games, a tough ask. Not a bad opponent to start that against, with Bournemouth picking up just one point from the last five, albeit with games against Arsenal, Liverpool and City.
Just the three games at this level between the sides. One massive win apiece last season before the Cherries took out a 2-1 in the reverse this season. All three have gone the way of the home side, so a chance for the Terriers here.
Two teams in poor form make this hard to pick. On the fence it is then, with players on both sides in DFS contention.
Back into the side after a few games out, and fresh off signing a long term contract, David Brooks (£12.8m) has the highest average on offer in this game, driven by six goals and four assists so far.
Playing against the basement side, he has every chance of going big again here.
Slightly higher priced than the usual value play, but Joshua King (£10.7m) also has a higher average, at over 1200.
Nine goals and three assists for the term, he is likely to find the net again here.
A quiet season for Dan Gosling (£7.4m) will see him miss out on selection in a few sides. But in his last start, two rounds ago against Arsenal, he picked up his second assist for the season and a PlayON score of 1500.
If he can hit that again here, it will be a good score not featuring in too many other sides.
Leicester v. Fulham
Pretty grim reading on both sides form-wise. In the last five rounds, Leicester’s 2-1 win over Brighton is the only points on show for either side. Makes sense then, that they both sit in the bottom half, and the Cottagers far from safety, almost too far…
As with Huddersfield above though, the form gives a chance here, as the Foxes have never won against this opponent in the top flight, losing two and drawing three of the five encounters.
A draw is probably the likely outcome, so I think I’ll be avoiding the defenders for this one.
Back-to-back goals, and a welcome return to form, for Jamie Vardy (£13m) who now has ten for the season after three in his last four.
You can’t argue with that form, lock him in for this against a leaky Fulham defence!
Two assists in his last two after a mid-season transfer, Youri Tielemans (£8.3m) has amassed a tidy 970 average in his four games for the Foxes.
If he keeps up with the attacking stats, he will score above his average and well above his pricing.
Newcastle v. Everton
A second Merseyside derby draw of the season see Everton go unbeaten in two, while a loss to West Ham ended an three game unbeaten run for Newcastle. The Toffees are safe, and in the top half, but the Magpies are still on the edge of relegation discussions.
Forty-seven previous clashes between the sides have been close, with Everton leading 20-17 in terms of wins (ten draws). All the way of the visitors of late though, they won four of the last five before the 1-1 draw in December.
With Newcastle on some form, and at home, I can’t rule out them scoring. But I can’t rule out Everton scoring either so it’s no defenders for me thanks.
Despite no goals or assists against West Ham, Salomón Rondón (£9.8m) still managed a 1450, suggesting a massive base scoring ability.
If he gets on the scoresheet here, the score could be massive. The Toffees do like to concede goals from set plays and headers are a speciality for the Venezuelan forward.
Back to back clean sheets, Lucas Digne (£7.3m)’s 1120 average is well above his price. If he finds himself the same attacking form he found earlier in the season, he will score very well in this one.
Nobody will pick him for the 400 average, but with the injury to Sean Longstaff, there is a good chance Jonjo Shelvey (£6.1m) returns to the starting side here.
He did pick up a goal when making a return for the U23s recently. Eyes on the lineups for this.
Southampton v. Tottenham
A comeback draw in the derby to stop a two-loss run, followed by a Champions League win midweek, Spurs will come here high in confidence. The Saints meanwhile have one win from five, and hover one place above the drop zone.
From the 39 previous matchups there have been 21 Spurs’ wins to 11 for Southampton. Spurs have also won four of the last five, and drawn the other. On that, I have to back the away side for the win and for PlayON squads.
A goal in the North London derby and a goal in Europe midweek, Harry Kane (£16.4m) is back!
Two in his last three in the league, he costs a lot, but you’re buying a premium gun with an 1875 average.
Two-in-two and five-in-eight, James Ward-Prowse (£9.6m) is in some form! Spurs will provide a test, but he did bag one against United last out so can do it against the big teams!
Man City v. Watford
Closing us out for the day, City have the chance to extend the lead at the top, for 24 hours at least, with Liverpool playing Sunday. Since the shock loss to Newcastle, they’ve gone on a wonder run of wins to reclaim the lead in the title race. The form for the Hornets of late hasn’t been too bad either, with three wins and a draw from five.
The only worry for Watford is their one loss was a 5-0 to Liverpool. Given they face a team here who they’ve never beaten at this level, and who have inflicted 6-0, 5-0 and 3-1 losses on them in recent years, you could see a similar scoreline in this.
Have to back the Citizens in for this.
You simply cannot look past 18 goals for the season, and eight in the last six games. He costs a bomb, but if you can fit him in you have to have Sergio Agüero (£17.3m).
With a couple of clean sheets against the Hornets in the last few clashes, there is a good chance of another for City here.
That opens up the doors for Ederson (£6.7m), who averages 850 so far, making his average to price ratio among the top five on offer.
The 570 average will put off a lot of players, but Riyad Mahrez (£10.8m) picked up the winner last out to score an 1825.
Keep your eye on the teamsheet. If he’s earned a start here, bring him in when others might not.
That’s Saturday down, at least once you’ve headed to the Games Lobby and entered your teams. Once you have, keep an eye out for Sunday’s preview.