The first Premier League round of 2021 starts on New Years Day, a short turnaround from the midweek action. With COVID hitting fixtures and changes needed, we’ve got the best transfer tips and bench options for your squad.
With the top-flight’s hectic Christmas schedule set to wrap up over this weekend, we’re taking a glance at gameweek 17’s round of fixtures. We’ll pick out the best fixtures to target and top captaincy options now that a new wildcard is available.
Don’t forget that you can get a more in-depth look at each match this weekend in our Premier League predictions.
Fantasy Football GW17 Fixture List
Friday, January 1
Everton vs West Ham (BT Sport)
Man United vs Aston Villa (Sky Sports)
Saturday, January 2
Spurs vs Leeds (BT Sport)
Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United (Sky Sports)
Brighton vs Wolves (Sky Sports)
West Brom vs Arsenal (BT Sport)
Sunday, January 3
Brighton vs Fulham (Sky Sports)
Newcastle vs Leicester (Sky Sports)
Chelsea vs Man City (Sky Sports)
Monday, January 4
Southampton vs Liverpool (Sky Sports)
Fantasy Football Fixtures to Target
West Brom vs Arsenal
With the Gunners improving and West Brom fresh from a pummelling, the visitors have some value assets for you to pick up.
Burnley vs Fulham
While there’s an opportunity for points here, the fact that the game comes just three days after Fulham’s last was called off means this is a risk.
Best Fantasy Football Team for GW17
Fantasy Football Transfer Tips this Week
Defences on top
One big takeaway from the midweek games that were actually played is that defenders are delivering. West Brom may have shipped five, but just seven goals were scored across the other seven games.
Ahead of the last round we mentioned the temptation to field five defenders given how the league is playing out. The gameweek 16 Dream Team went that way, lining up in a 5-2-3 system. That has us putting an emphasis on the backline this weekend.
James Justin (£5million) should bank more clean sheet points against a Newcastle side who lack creativity. Meanwhile, Ruben Dias (£5.7m) or John Stones (£4.9m) should be considered against a Chelsea side who have struggled to score against top teams.
Gamble on Gunners
With West Brom reeling from their thumping against Leeds Arsenal should look to record a third win on the spin this weekend. The Gunners have returned to form with a spine that includes some cut-price FPL talents.
With West Brom struggling in attack, we think Rob Holding (£4.4m) is a good option. He scored nine points at Brighton last time out and Arteta seems to trust him at the heart of the backline. Meanwhile, Emile Smith-Rowe (£4.4m) is charged with playing just off the striker and he should get chances against the Baggies.
Anwar El Ghazi (£5.8m) came good from our bench this week with a goal at Stamford Bridge. He’s among some good value options for this gameweek, as is Michail Antonio (£6.2m). The Hammers forward posted 27 points in his first six games and he’s set to feature at Everton with David Moyes desperate for some attacking quality.
Who to Captain in GW17
With Salah drawing a blank at Newcastle, De Bruyne facing Chelsea and Spurs going off the boil we think Bruno Fernandes (£11.1m) is the obvious premium captain. Fernandes as posted double figures seven times this season and he’s blanked just twice in the last nine gameweeks.
While I tend to keep it simple with captaincy picks week to week, there are plenty of players who like to mix it up and plump for a differential pick to try and trump their rivals. Our captaincy punt is the best outside option for the armband this week.
Wilfried Zaha (£7.4m) scored against Leicester on Monday and he’s someone to watch this weekend. Zaha’s points totals have admittedly come in big bursts – 15 at Man United, 13 at Fulham and 18 against West Brom. However, facing Sheffield United looks like another chance for Zaha to hit double figures.
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