Fantasy football tips, Gameweek 35: Three players you NEED to pick this weekTheres another double gameweek only this time, eight teams get the honour. Mike Phillips aka @BangAverageMike steers you through with his expert advice
Sometimes the fantasy football gods are too kind to mere mortal managers like us, what with another double gameweek coming up.
You may not remember, but there were two teams with multiple fixtures last week. In fact, Brighton had a cracking pair, especially enticing for their budget defenders. Oh, you do remember that? One of the most catastrophic doubles in recent memory for the likes of Shane Duffy, Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray? Yes, that one.
But don’t allow getting burned last week to turn you off the doubles this time – there are far more choices with eight teams playing twice, so you won’t have to rely on the sorry Seagulls again.
Even with Chelsea and Liverpool facing favourable single matches this week, leaning towards those with twice as many fixtures makes obvious sense. While ditching Eden Hazard and Mo Salah isn’t necessary, you can’t ignore that some teams have 25% more games to play than others.
Let’s assume you already know that investing in Sergio Aguero is a good idea and look at some players with less than 5% ownership...
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City (MF, £9.7m)
Selected by: 4.4%
We know: that’s a big wedge of cash – but Manchester City’s star midfielder started the season at £10m for a reason. Back to his best might be a slight stretch, but he’s certainly back to being himself – an elite fantasy option.
The Belgian has played 90 minutes in back-to-back Premier League games, breaking double-digit points in each and snaffling bonus points like a Hungry Hippo. You also might have noticed him bagging a hat-trick of assists in that ridiculous Champions League game against Tottenham in midweek.
Speaking of playing Spurs at the Etihad, Manchester City face the same fixture again on Saturday. While chasing midweek points is a fool’s errand, it’s tough to see either side making enough adjustments in a few days to prevent there being plenty of chaos again.
The midweek Manchester derby is far from an easy fixture, but United weren’t solid defensively even during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s incredible early days – something which hasn’t changed even as their overall form has.
Gerard Deulofeu, Watford (MF, £5.6m)
Selected by: 4.9%
It’s tough to know what to make of Watford at this point. History is strewn with examples of teams making it to cup finals and tanking their other fixtures, or just seeing out a mid-table season in mediocrity.
Last week’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal was far from embarrassing considering that talisman Troy Deeney was dismissed so early he barely even need a bath. Fixtures against two of the bottom five certainly look good on paper, and while Deeney is the talisman, Deulofeu is the talent.
The enigmatic forward is far from reliable, but will find his path to the starting lineup much clearer with Deeney suspended. He’ll be flying high after his brace led the Hornets to the FA Cup final in his last match.
Deulofeu missed the Arsenal game with an ankle injury, but should be back to face a Huddersfield side that have conceded four goals in three of their last four games. Southampton’s impressive recent form shouldn’t be enough to put you off investing in the 25-year-old replacing Deeney’s goal threat – if not his leadership and presence.
Danny Ings, Southampton (FW, £5.6m)
Selected by: 2.7%
Having won four of their last six league games, Southampton have given themselves an excellent chance of avoiding the drop. And with Watford and Newcastle coming in GW35, their players are certainly worthy of consideration.
While it’s Shane Long who scored in each of their last two games, that seems like a streak which is destined to end quickly. Danny Ings has certainly proven to be the more reliable scoring striker this season, and having started two of the Saints’ last three games he should get a minimum of 120 minutes across the gameweek.
While two away fixtures isn’t ideal, Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side have scored on their travels in four of the last five, and only blanked at the Emirates. Ings makes for a solid budget option who won’t have to face a top 10 side in the final three fixtures, so you won’t be desperate to drop him afterwards either.
FantasyYIRMA started in 2012 focused primarily on news and previews for the Fantasy Premier League, and has now managed consecutive fantasy coverage across 263 gameweeks. Losers.