GW25 - Guess Who's Back - Draft Fantasy Football

The big star of Gameweek 24 was undoubtedly Lukaku as the big Belgian knocked four past a poor Bournemouth backline helping many Premier League Fantasy Football managers to a victory of their own. It was a weekend with plenty of intrigue from Hazard's brilliant goal to Gabriel Jesus's match winning brace. But it is now time to examine what Gameweek 25 will have to offer with tips on how to maximize the potential of your Draft Fantasy lineup. Let's get to it.

Arsenal v Hull

The Gameweek begins with a matchup that many would have earmarked as a spot where you could expect some big fantasy numbers from your Gunners, but Hull's recent improvement could put a dent in those hopes. I still feel the potential is there but Arsenal's lineup is in a little bit of a state of flux. After reverting to Sánchez up front for the loss to Chelsea, Wenger could go right back to Giroud up top as a big body will likely be needed to break Hull down. With Walcott back on the right, this could move Sánchez to the left so Iwobi's place would be at risk. On defense, Bellerín's situation is the only thing to monitor, Gabriel will cover if he does not recover in time. While Hull are playing better, this is probably not the week to expect offensive returns but maybe next week at home to Burnley.

Stoke v Crystal Palace

Oh Palace, I don't know what to think about this team right now, coming off a road win they got blitzed at home to lowly Sunderland. Logic says to avoid their players as they visit Stoke but if you made me choose I would say Zaha still holds value...maybe Benteke. After getting blanked at West Brom this could just be the right tonic for Stoke to get back on track with the likes of Arnautovic and Crouch being the most consistent recently. Berahino has not had an impact yet but it could be here that he returns to our fantasy thoughts. It also goes without saying that Grant and the Potters' backline are a decent play.

Man Utd v Watford

Utd's offense got their groove back, albeit it was against Leicester, but it was spurred by a change in position that could effect the fantasy impact of a few big names. Pogba was dropped back into a deeper role which allowed the Mkhitaryan/Mata link to flourish. I will be surprised if a similar lineup is not played and both stocks rise while Pogba's decreases a bit. Rashford has started two in a row but Martial could be given another chance at any time. Zlatan is Zlatan, period. De Gea and the defense have a good chance at a clean sheet with Valencia looking good going forward too. Bailly is back and looked solid with Smalling so Rojo was pushed to left back, but he picked up a minor injury so Blind is likely to cover. For Watford, Deeney is turning things around a little and Niang looks promising for future weeks.

Middlesbrough v Everton

Lukaku was the darling of the last fantasy weekend as his 4-goal performance led the way for Everton. Middlesbrough are decent at home but the big man is hot, he should keep it going. Lost in the hype is that Barkley is amidst a nice stretch too. As usual, Baines and Coleman are weekly starts due to their offensive upside but clean sheets are no guarantee, especially after giving up 3 at home to Bournemouth. Middlesbrough are not lighting the fantasy world on fire by any means, Negredo is a solid player on pks and the defense have a chance at home but would you bet against Lukaku right now?

West Ham v West Brom

As long as the Hammers aren't playing Man City then things are ok. Carroll is scoring but was withdrawn early with a minor injury so keep a watchful eye on his situation. If the big man can't play then Antonio will benefit and be Snodgrass' main target. West Ham's defense are a decent shout at home but West Brom do have the means to score goals. The Baggies have been using balanced scoring to lead them so picking the right one has not been easy. Róndon, Phillips and Chadli are the big names but Morrison and Fletcher have become serviceable it seems.

Sunderland v Southampton

We all know the goal poacher that Defoe is but few would have foreseen the first half outburst at Palace for the Black Cats. Southampton are not the stalwart defense they once were so Defoe is a good start at home. He more than doubles his closet teammate in fantasy terms so who else could you rely on? Januzaj looked lively and could be the guy. I wouldn't bet on a second consecutive clean sheet against the Saints and new signing Gabbiadini who opened his account with a stunning strike. Tadic missed out last game and Redmond only played a half so there is some flux here, Rodriguez and Ward-Prowse are probably the safest with Gabbiadini.

Liverpool v Tottenham

Ok, me and my Draft Fantasy friends are meeting up for the first time in a while at a pub so this better be a good one. I figure goals for both sides here so neither defense is a great pick but Walker is a menace in attack. The usual suspects are expected to feature, Kane, Alli, Eriksen, Mané, Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana. If Spurs are going to mount a serious title challenge they will need this win, they certainly have form in their favor over Liverpool but you can't count out Klopp's men at home.

Burnley v Chelsea

If you don't already know by now, Burnley have a shockingly different home and away record, 28 pts to 1 pt. But I just find it too hard to go against this Chelsea team so I will back them as I usually do. Could Burnley find a way to craft a goal on this formidable defense? Maybe. The only change I could see Conte making is Willian coming in for Pedro as there is a bit of rotation going on between those two currently. Broken record time...Back the Blues.

Swansea v Leicester

A rare opportunity to look to Swansea players for some fantasy scoring as they host a leaky Leicester squad. Sigurdsson has showed he is becoming fixture proof and his stock is high for this home game. Llorente endured a frustrating game v Man City but should find some joy here too. The defense has a chance at clean sheet but I sense Leicester are going to rally behind Ranieri so don't bank on it. Ranieri has claimed he will stop tinkering so once you see this lineup, expect it to stay the same going forward. They really need Slimani's presence up front to help Vardy and Mahrez and he returned midweek so a start is very possible.

Bournemouth v Man City

Two teams going in very opposite directions here as Bournemouth are in a tailspin while City have a new swagger thanks to their saving grace Gabriel Jesus. Agüero has been on the bench for the last couple with Jesus, De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling and Sané in attack, but he could be recalled as Guardiola has said that both he and Jesus can play together, this would likely put Sané or Sterling's starting spot at risk. This game promises to have goals so leave the defenders alone. For the Cherries, King has emerged with Wilson out. Stanislas was a strange omission last game but I feel he will return, they will need him to compete in this one.

Enjoy this full Gameweek of Premier League Fantasy Football action as the blank weeks are on the horizon and a new set of headaches will begin, more on that in next week's article.

Simon Wardle

Draft Fantasy Football 2015/16 Global Champion

Visit my website at: simonsayssoccer.com

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