GW28 - Blanks Galore - Draft Fantasy Football

Lallana: "6 Blanks? Nooooooooooooo!"
Coutinho: "Adam, relax, we play Burnley at home"

It is true, there are only 4 games for Premier League Fantasy Football managers to try to create a team from this GW28...no that is not a typo, just 4 games 😱. As usual I will preview these matchups, going a little deeper this time around, plus talk about the two main strategic options that Draft Fantasy managers could employ to deal with this interesting predicament. Let's start with those now.

Strategy #1 - Stick to your Guns:

This is the most popular option for sure, just try to ignore the low score that is inevitable for this Gameweek and remember that you will get it back in the DGWs later on. While others may be freaking out, adding and dropping, stay patient and you will have a nice smug look on your face down the line.

Strategy #2 - Making Moves:

By far the riskier of the two strategies, you may still decide that this is a spot in the fantasy season where you could narrow the gap on the leaders in your group by dropping some of your fringe players that are blanking. Just make sure you are picking up guaranteed starters otherwise this could backfire. Also you need to remember you may not get your guy back and he most likely has a DGW in the future. For this to work out there have to be some decent options with a nice potential upside available so let's check out the matchups now.

Bournemouth v West Ham

Bournemouth will be without Mings and Surman due to suspensions and Stanislas has also been ruled out due to injury. Daniels and A. Smith are the attack-minded defenders but don't expect a clean sheet here as Boruc will realize it is not at Old Trafford against Man Utd and let in a stinker at some point, sorry, couldn't resist. King is a popular choice this Gameweek in most formats as he is on pks and seems to be the focal point of the offense along with Afobe. Others who could pop up with a goal are Fraser and Arter. With Wilshere and Ibe waiting in the wings, Gosling and Pugh are risky picks. West Ham will welcome back Antonio to the lineup and he should slot right back in. Others who could bring you fantasy joy are Snodgrass, Carroll, Lanzini, Noble and Feghouli but not all may start with Antonio back and Ayew making a case for a start too. On defense Cresswell has not put up the numbers he has in the past but is a decent option regardless. Fonte and Reid are your other choices if you choose to back the Hammers.

Everton v West Brom

Everton have a nice home matchup which brings a variety of players onto our fantasy radar. Robles should continue in net but Stekelenburg is waiting in the wings, plus Spurs did put 3 past them last game. The defense is pretty settled with Baines, Coleman, Williams and Funes Mori. Baines continues to carry the pk threat and Coleman has been heavily involved offensively this season. Lukaku and Barkley are the safest bets in attack but both Mirallas and Valencia could be in line for starts after getting an assist and goal off the bench respectively last match, both bring risk/reward. Gueye is a lock to start and could surprise also. For West Brom, they are coming off a disappointing loss at home to Palace and are sorely missing the early season form of Phillips, who is a doubt again due to injury. Brunt has been moved up to aid Róndon and Chadli and gets his fair share of set pieces. The defense has been fairly productive with McAuley leading the way and now with Evans back in the centre defense, Dawson is back in his more familiar role. Foster has been solid in net and could be in line for some saves in this one.

Hull v Swansea

Another big game at the bottom of the table for both teams...but aren't they all at this point. I am not sold on who is favored here, Hull are at home but Swansea have found their offense recently, 2-2 would be nice considering I am about to mention a bunch of offensive options. Hull have a bit more gusto going forward now with Grosicki and Markovic on the wings but there is a bit of competition going on up front between Niasse, Hernandez and Diomande, but Niasse seems to be preferred right now. Clucas and Huddlestone bring some value from midfield with the latter on pk duty. The defense are led by Maguire, Rannochia and Robertson, plus Jakupovic has been a bright spot too. Swansea have a very productive pair in Sigurdsson and Llorente but are also getting some help from a couple of defenders in Olsson and Mawson. If you think a clean sheet is possible here then go with Fernandez, and likely Rangel will fill in for the injured Naughton. Who else could get you some points here? Fer and Carroll hold promise and Narsingh got his first start last game, though he faces competition from Routledge.

Liverpool v Burnley

This looks like the matchup to jump all over as Liverpool have looked good at Anfield while Burnley's away struggles are well documented. It would be a surprise if there are many changes from their recent victory over Arsenal. Mignolet should continue in net with Matip, Clyne and Milner in the backline. The final spot is tougher to choose as Lovren is back and will be pushing Klavan. The midfield will have Mané, Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana, Wijnaldum and Can if Henderson is still out. All are good choices in this diluted Gameweek. Burnley's chances lie with their two forwards Gray and Vokes, with the former being to best option as he is on pks and hot right now. They will be backed up by Brady who brings a set piece threat. Outside of these players there is not a great deal of value in this tough road matchup. Heaton could possibly get some saves point if he recovers from his illness that caused him to miss their last match.

Moving forward we will return to some sense of normalcy for a few weeks before the Double Gameweeks will start to pop up during the final quarter of the Premier League Fantasy Football season, wow, time flies 😢. Whichever strategy you choose this GW28 I hope it is kind to you and your team.

Simon Wardle

Draft Fantasy Football 2015/16 Global Champion