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Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 15 Preview

We are back with our weekly dose of tips and hints for all budding Fantasy Managers. In this article we provide a lowdown on Gameweek 15 of the Fantasy Premier League – who’s hot and who’s not in the statistics riddled world of Fantasy Football.

The Picks

Luis Suarez (Forward, Liverpool)

The top scorer in the Premier league after 14 weeks of action with 10 goals, the Uruguay international is a must-have in your Fantasy side. He is owned by 30.4% of Fantasy managers, so he isn’t much of a differential. But with an upcoming home game against lowly Southampton who have shipped in the most number of goals this season and a slew of decent fixtures lined up, he should be vying for the armband in your Fantasy League side.

Upcoming Fixtures: SOU, whu, AVL, FUL, stk, qpr

Theo Walcott (Midfielder, Arsenal)

A sticking point in his contract negotiations has been his insistence on getting assurances for a central attacking role. The England international has vindicated his stand by his returns of 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 3 starts. A bumper haul of 28 points in his last three matches makes him one of the in-form midfielders for your side. Owned by only 2.2% of all Fantasy managers, it makes him a differential as well. With four home games in the next six fixtures punctuated by trips to Wigan and Reading, jump on to the Walcott bandwagon before his price rises.

Upcoming Fixtures: SWA, WBA, rdg, wig, WHU, NEW

Gareth Bale (Midfielder, Tottenham Hotspur)

With three goals in his last three matches Gareth Bale looks set to recreate the form which saw him amass 195 fantasy points and become many-a-manager’s favourite pick. He has brought loads of energy into the attack and is matchwinning performances are one of the primary reason for Tottenham’s change in fortune over the course of the last two gameweeks. A decent run of fixtures during the Christmas period, he is someone you should bring into your fantasy team – in case you haven’t done so already.

Upcoming Fixtures: ful, eve, SWA, STK, avl, sun, RDG

Stephane Sessegnon (Midfielder, Sunderland)

With 7 goals and 12 assists, Sessegnon was one of the stars of Sunderland last season. This season, he has looked at best a pale shadow of his former self with just 2 goals and a solitary assist to show for his exertion in a side which has routinely struggled to hit the back of the net on a consistent basis. However the double game week coming up next week will force Fantasy managers to sit up and take notice. With 23 points in his last 3 games and with home games against Reading and Chelsea, you may well choose to draft him into your team.

Upcoming Fixtures: nor, CHE+RDG , mun, sou

Jose Enrique (Defender, Liverpool)

After being sidelined for the first few gameweeks, Jose Enrique seems to have reinvented himself under Brendan Rodgers. Over the last few weeks he has been playing as a winger on the left side of the midfield. FPL’s categorisation of Enrique as a defender makes him a must-pick. Along with the four points for a clean sheet, he would probably offer some attacking returns as well.

Upcoming Fixtures: SOU, whu, AVL, FUL, stk, qpr

Matija Nastasi? (Defender, Manchester City)

Roberto Mancini seems to have finally hit upon a stable centre-back pairing. Nastasi? and Kompany have started 5 of the last 6 matches for Manchester City with Joleon Lescott slipping down the pecking order. The interesting stat is that all five of those matches have resulted in clean sheets for City. He looks nailed on the start in the upcoming matches and at a price of £5.5, he sure looks like a bargain buy compared to his fellow centre-back.

Upcoming Fixtures: EVE, MUN, new, RDG, sun, nor, STK

Mark Bunn (Goalkeeper, Norwich City)

For every door that closes, there is always one that opens up. This adage is certainly true for Bunn. The thigh injury to John Ruddy, who was impressive between the sticks for Norwich City this season, looks to have sidelined him for the next three months. With four clean sheets in their last five home games, Chris Hughton’s appointment to the Norwich hot seat has brought a lot of defensive stability to the side. Priced at £4.0 and with a couple of home fixtures against Sunderland and Wigan in the next 3 matches lined up, regular goalkeepers do not come any cheaper.

Upcoming Fixtures: SUN, swa, WIG, wba

The Dumps

Carlos Tevez (Forward, Manchester City)

Would you dare to drop the second highest scorer of this Fantasy season? I would say you should. As Roberto Mancini rotates his forward line, Tevez has found himself on the bench in the last two gameweeks. With Balotelli scoring on his return to the starting lineup and Dzeko also due for a few starts, Tevez could well find himself relegated to the bench again.  Owned by 40.1% of all managers, it does not make him much of a differential either.

Peter Crouch (Forward, Stoke City)

With 0 goals in his last 8 appearances in a Potters jersey, Peter Crouch is certainly not endearing himself to his Fantasy owners. With stiffening fixtures over the course of the next few gameweeks and Cameron Jerome scoring in his last outing, you may well choose to dump the lanky Englishman.

Wayne Rooney (Forward, Manchester United)

Now this is one game in which you should listen to your head and not your heart. You might be a Rooney fanboy but when it comes to Fantasy points, you will be hard pressed to find justification for his lofty price tag of £11.7.Rooney has found the net in only one Premier League match this season. Van Persie has relieved Rooney of his goalscoring responsibility and he of late Rooney’s contribution to Fantasy points have come mainly in form of assists. He does not even happen to be in the top-15 strikers of the league so far(strictly speaking from a Fantasy perspective).

Juan Mata (Midfielder, Chelsea)

Rafael Benitez’s appointment as the Chelsea manager has resulted in two dull goalless draws so far. The insistence on defensive solidity has resulted in points drying up for the Chelsea attackers. Mata started from the bench in his last outing. With a blank coming up in Gameweek 17(as a result of Chelsea’s participation in the Club World Cup), dump him before his price takes a nosedive.

Kevin Nolan (Midfielder, West Ham)

The West Ham skipper is one of the top 5 midfielders of FPL going by his ownership value among managers (22.7%). His popularity is a result of a run of easy fixtures for West Ham in the early part of the season. However his next fixtures are CHE, LIV, wba, EVE, ars – which represent a significant hurdle to picking up substantial FPL points. With a meagre 5 points in his last three matches against STK, tot, mun – he has struggled to stand out as fixture-proof quality.

Leighton Baines (Defender, Everton)

Easily one of the costliest defender at £7.6, the Everton left back has failed to yield decent returns over the course of the last few gameweeks. A shaky Everton defence has not kept a shut-out since gameweek 5, and it’s about time patience is beginning to run thin – since when was patience really a virtue of a Fantasy Manager. A hamstring injury in his last match makes his a doubtful starter for this week’s trip to the Etihad Stadium. With cheaper substitutes on the horizon, dump him and if required invest in other areas of the pitch.

The Punt

Shane Long (Forward, West Bromwich Albion)

In his second full season in the Premier League for West Brom – Shane Long has been a shining light for his side. Despite having never played the full 90 minutes in any league match, he has returned a very respectable haul of 5 goals and 5 assists. But what gets our attention is an eye-popping stat of either a goal or an assist in each of his 7 home matches. It is on the basis of their home form(6 wins and a solitary loss) that West Brom occupies one of the top 4 positions in the Premier League after 14 gameweeks. A hamstring niggle meant that he did not see any gametime in the Baggies last fixture at the Liberty stadium. But what soothes our nerve is Steve Clarke’s assurance that he has been rested for the match keeping the weekend derby versus Stoke City.

“I’ll make the changes from game to game as and when I think I should make the changes. If Shane has to play 90 minutes he can play 90 minutes no problem. He can play two in four days and three in a week if I need him but then I’d have to manage the training.”

An in-form budget striker for £6.4 up against Stoke’s poor away record in the league (four draws and 3 losses in seven matches) makes him our ‘Punt’ for this gameweek.

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