Quiet Before the Fantasy Storm - Draft Fantasy Football

Premier League Fantasy Football is back in full swing and Draft Fantasy managers will need to begin to mold a strong bench with the busy holiday schedule approaching. Gameweek 12 brought its share of big name blanks as Lukaku, Sánchez, Aguero and Hazard were quiet along with the high flying Liverpool midfield. But there were points to be had if you made the right moves and Gameweek 13 will feature some of these players again, so let's look at how things are shaping up.

Burnley v Man City

Coming off of a 2 goal performance you would think that Touré will be given another PL start, especially after not featuring in their midweek Champion's League game. The usual suspects are also favored again, so Agüero and De Bruyne are your prime options. Nolito could also get another start too. The chance of a clean sheet is there if you own City defenders but Burnley do generally play better at home, so don't be surprised if they sneak a goal, most likely from Vokes. I expect their defense will be breached by City so they are not a good play but Heaton could get some save points if he limits the goals against.

Hull v West Brom

West Brom are fresh off a 4-0 thumping of Burnley so there will be some expectations of some more fantasy points when they visit Hull. Rondón, Phillips and Morrison were the stars and if Chadli is deemed ready to return he could also have an impact. Despite it being an away game, Foster is a solid play in net, and the defense are led by McAuley, Dawson, Evans and now Nyom can be added to the mix. If Hull are to do any damage at home then the onus will likely fall on Snodgrass and Mbokani.

Leicester v Middlesbrough

This is obviously a week to back Leicester players. Mahrez is still on pks so he is a must start along with Vardy. If Slimani can shrug off an injury then he is also an excellent play. Zieler can be used in net, along with Morgan, Huth and Fuchs on defense. I do expect Middlesbrough to play a little more open than they do against the big clubs so Ramírez and Traoré are the top weapons. Traoré has been explosive recently but it has not turned into fantasy points yet.

Liverpool v Sunderland

Premier League Fantasy Football managers in all formats will be licking their lips at the possibilities of a Liverpool home game to a bottom three club. Sunderland have been playing better lately but you can still fully expect Coutinho, Firmino and Mané to produce. Lallana has been ruled out again so look for Wijnaldum to start as it looks like he has the slight advantage over Sturridge right now. The defense looked good last game so you can confidently deploy Clyne, Lovren and Matip, along with Karius in goal. Sunderland do have the in-form striking partnership of Defoe and Anichebe but they will have to take advantage of the few chances they will get.

Swansea v Crystal Palace

Both teams will look at this as a chance to get 3 pts which hopefully leads to a more open game. If so, Sigurdsson is your clear top Swansea player as he is involved in all set pieces on top of playing in an advanced position. Routledge, Barrow and Fer are borderline choices this week due to the positive home matchup. For Palace, you have to wonder how long it will be before Wickham gets a start as he has been productive off the bench when called upon. Benteke should continue up front and Zaha has been the creative force recently. Townsend is slumping and was subbed at the half last game so be wary there. This game could be 0-0 or 2-2 so a range of players are usable, depends which way your gut takes you, I am leaning towards the latter.

Chelsea v Tottenham

What else can you say about Chelsea right now, confidently roll with whoever you own despite a solid Spurs coming to town. Chelsea are looking great defensively and going forward at home they have been devastating. Expect no changes so you should know by now who is starting. Spurs have looked more vulnerable with Alderweireld out and he has been ruled out again, plus Walker is a question mark, and Rose is suspended. This does not bode well for Spurs chances. While Kane is back and joined by Son, Eriksen and Alli in attack, you just can't expect much against this Chelsea team right now.

Watford v Stoke

Watford are playing a new system which seems to have Ighalo on the outside looking in. Deeney has always been my first pick but Pereyra has closed that gap considerably. Capoue is still a fantasy factor offensively along with the returning Holebas on defense. The rest of the defense is an average play, 50:50 chance at a clean sheet here. For Stoke, Bardsley is out for awhile so Johnson comes back at full back but I expect Watford to score at home. Allen is suspended, which is a big miss for Stoke, so the scoring will fall to the likes of Arnautovic, Bony and Shaqiri.

Arsenal v Bournemouth

With Giroud coming off the bench and scoring, then getting the start in the game v. PSG (scored again, plus it was a pk), the question will be whether he will continue in that role. A home game with Bournemouth is a good matchup for the majority of the Gunners so it is a matter of figuring out who will start. I have thought for awhile that the return of Giroud would specifically hurt Walcott's playing time as Sánchez can play on the right too. But after not starting in the Champion's League he should be back in on the weekend, if not, you will need to devalue him accordingly. The regular back line should remain in tact with Jenkinson filling in for the still injured Bellerín. This is not a good matchup for Bournemouth, specifically their defense, but Arsenal have looked sloppy at home defensively on occasion so Stanislas and Wilson are your best bets. Wilshere is unavailable due to Arsenal being his parent team in his loan deal.

Man Utd v West Ham

Ibrahimovic returns from suspension and should be re-inserted into the starting lineup despite Rashford's positive display against Arsenal. A home matchup with West Ham could yield immediate goals for Zlatan but his return puts Martial's spot on the left at risk as Rashford could start there. Pogba and Mata remain the top midfield options. De Gea is a solid start in net, and Valencia is the top offensive option of the defense. I expect Jones and Rojo to continue as the central defensive pairing while Darmian and Blind will fight for the left back position. The Hammers looked decent against Spurs with Payet and Antonio leading the way but they will be without the suspended Reid on defense.

Southampton v Everton

This should be another tight low scoring game so both defenses are serviceable here with Coleman and Van Dijk being the best options for their respective teams due to their goal threat. Lukaku was was quiet last game but he is the kind of player you just have to roll with as he scores in bunches when on. Tadic should return which should help the service to Austin and Redmond. I like the home team in this one if you made me choose one way.

So that is how it looks for Premier League Fantasy Football enthusiasts for Gameweek 13. Be sure you check the Friday team news as usual and get those Draft Fantasy lineups set. Until next week.

Simon Wardle

Draft Fantasy Football 2015/16 Global Champion

Visit my website at: simonsayssoccer.com

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