Gameweek 23 was a bit of a bust for many Premier League Fantasy Football managers as the majority of the big names blanked so scores were low across most formats, Draft Fantasy included. But amongst the lows there was a return to form of Man City which brings newcomer Gabriel Jesus firmly onto our fantasy radar. His potential value will be discussed amongst the usual team news as we look at this weekend's matchups.
Chelsea v Arsenal
Gameweek 24 starts with a bang with a big matchup featuring a bunch of fantasy stalwarts. Conte could make a couple of changes with Pedro in for Willian and possibly Fabregas for Matic. Chelsea are at home so continue to start your players, maybe just don't expect the usual output. Arsenal are coming off of a disappointing home loss to Watford and I think it may be the end of the road for Giroud. I think we will see the Gunners revert to Sánchez up front with Walcott back starting on the right. Iwobi scored and should keep his spot for now. After Gabriel struggled last game we should see Bellerín back in the first choice defense...at least he wasn't subbed in late this time for a 1-pointer.
Hull v Liverpool
Mané is back and there is no reason why he should not start this one. Liverpool will be hoping he can kickstart the offense back to their early season form which would raise the values of Firmino, Coutinho and Lallana once again. The Reds have clean sheet potential here but Hull are showing some improvement under their new manager. Hernández and Niasse are the goal threats for Hull and keep an eye on Markovic going forward, but keep in mind he is ineligible for this one due to the loan agreement. Huddlestone could be viable if he remains on pks.
Watford v Burnley
Watford are coming off that big upset over Arsenal in which we were reminded that Deeney holds value still, especially as Ighalo has moved to China. A home matchup with Burnley is a decent matchup so if you own Watford players it is as good a time as any to start them. Note that Holebas returns from his most recent suspension. Burnley have been a revelation at home this season but on the road it has been a different story. Gray and Vokes bring a goal threat and Heaton in net has been outstanding. The bad news is that just as Defour was beginning to find his form, he is out injured again. New signing Brady could be a nice pickup as he should step into this lineup and provide some good service.
West Brom v Stoke
Fantasy managers are beginning to feel uneasy about the lack of recent production from Róndon, Chadli and Phillips and rightly so. A home game with Stoke is no guarantee to get them going again but not bad. The fantasy points have been coming from guys like Brunt and McAuley but they can't rely on that long term, time for the big names to step up. Stoke have not had that problem at all lately as Crouch has turned back the clock, scoring for fun, including his 100th PL goal which caused him to dust off his patented robot celebration. Arnautovic is back to his dangerous self and you better believe that Berahino would love to get on the scoresheet versus his old club. This game feels like a tight low scoring battle.
Crystal Palace v Sunderland
Ok Palace players, I hope you are listening as I am going to back you for a big game here. Zaha is back and that had an instant impact so expect more from the attack now, including Benteke primarily and possibly Puncheon and Cabaye to a lesser degree. Hennessey and the backline have a good shot at a clean sheet with Dann and new signing van Aanholt bringing an added offensive upside, you can just see him scoring against his old team. Sunderland held Spurs last game but I don't like their chances on the road. It is a huge bottom of the table battle but really Defoe is the only one who holds value. Khazri had an good AFCON, if that gets him a more regular role he could have some value in the last third of the season unless Moyes is set on only playing guys who he coached before...
Everton v Bournemouth
A home matchup with a struggling Bournemouth has me backing Everton's offense to break out of the shadow of Coleman, who has been carrying them. Lukaku is due a big day plus Mirallas and Barkley could help out. Robles has taken over in net and is a strong play with Coleman, Baines, etc. Bournemouth are going to be without Wilson for the rest of the season due to an training ground knee injury and will be missing Daniels on defense too. Wilson's loss is Stanislas' gain going forward as he should be firmly on pk duties and Afobe will also benefit from less rotation, but I don't like the Cherries so much this weekend.
Southampton v West Ham
Southampton have found out the full extent of Van Dijk's injury and it is not good as he is ruled out long term. New signing Gabbiadini could be worth your waiver if you are in need of some help up front. Boufal is back to add to the offense that has Redmond and Tadic too. West Ham did not look good against City but there is promise there with Antonio, Carroll and Snodgrass leading the attack. I have a gut feeling this game will have goals in it despite my brain saying otherwise.
Tottenham v Middlesbrough
The Spurs attack can let us forget last week's blank by producing at home to Middlesbrough, and I think they will come through with the goods. Kane, Alli and Eriksen are all prime choices this week and Son could be added to that too although there is the risk he does not start. Rose is out with a minor injury so Davies becomes a good spot start. Alderweireld and Walker are obviously solid picks and Lloris should be over his illness. Middlesbrough players are not advised to be used here but Negredo is on pks and a lock to start if you feel you have no choice.
Man City v Swansea
Let's just start by saying that if you have the top waiver priority this is the spot to use it...Gabriel Jesus, click. While there is always going to be some rotation issues attached to him, he showed enough last game to warrant investing, plus when the Champion's League begins Agüero is likely to get those games leaving Jesus the PL. He also can play the wing so his versality can allow for both to start. At home to Swansea brings all of the City attack into our thoughts, with Agüero, Jesus and Sané at the most risk for starting from the bench. Swansea are playing better but this is a tough one, Sigurdsson is your best bet as usual.
Leicester v Man Utd
Leicester's fall from grace has been quite a surprise, while nobody expected another title, a relegation battle was not really a thought either. With Utd visiting it does not get any easier. Vardy and Mahrez are going to have to turn things around if they are going to salvage something from this season. Slimani gives them another dimension and he is sorely missed. For Utd you can expect to see Martial back on the left side of the attack with Pogba and Ibrahimovic the others seemingly guaranteed spots. Jones is dealing with a minor injury so Smalling will take over. If Leicester opens up this game could have goals.
That about wraps up what to expect from Gameweek 24, let's hope scores are up this weekend for all our sakes. As usual, check the teams news leading up to the games for any surprise announcements and good luck with your choices.
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