Football

FANTEAM GAMEWEEK 32 FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE MONSTER

Gameweek 32 EPL Monster – €30k Prize pool

We have a full schedule gameweek 32 ahead of us, which can mean only one thing… The EPL Monster is of course back!

This week’s Monster contest features two buy-ins, €2 and €20. The difference in the contests is of course the prize pool at stake. In the low entry, the prize pool sits at €7,000. A massive €30,000 is aup for grabs in the high entry, with €3,000 awarded to first place!

THE RULES

If this is your first time playing in an EPL Monster contest, allow me to break down some of the key details you need to know. This week’s contest features 9 fixtures, starting with the 3pm kick offs on Saturday and concluding with Monday night football, as Spurs take on Everton at 8pm.

The rules are simple to follow. You will be required to pick 11 players to fill out your squad whilst staying within a budget of 103.0m. For each team you enter, you must select a captain and a vice captain. Your captain will score 2x points. However, in the event that your captain does not play, your vice captain will then score 2x points.

You can select a maximum of 3 players from the same team. It is worth noting that if you select two or more defensive players from the same team (GK and DEF), and the team keeps a clean sheet, a stacking penalty will apply. For example, if you select Edouard Mendy from Chelsea and he keeps a clean sheet, no penalty will apply. However, if you also start Reece James, you will be deducted 1 point. If you were to stack Mendy, James and Rüdiger, you will be deducted 2 points.

No bench required in this contest. Instead, you have the innovative safety net feature to fall back on! This means if you have a player who does not start, your player will be replaced at the beginning of the match. This is dependent on a player being available from the same team, at the same price or less. The closest price to your player value will be automatically selected. 

This is a great tool to use, as it allows you to start a player with confidence. If your player doesn’t start, his replacement is already determined. Teams that rotate heavily like Manchester City are a prime example of how the safety net feature can benefit you in your selection process.

Standard scoring applies to this contest.

With the rules covered, let’s take a look at this weeks’ fixtures.

THE GAMES

Southampton vs Chelsea (09/04 – 3pm KO)

I’m a little surprised to see Mason Mount (11.5m) priced higher here than the in form Kai Havertz (11.2m), though there isn’t much in it. Since he has been playing in a more central role, Havertz has been red hot. He’s scored 4 in his last 4 appearances and is seeing the volume (13 shots). He’s missed 3 big chances, too! 

Southampton are in poor form. They’ve scored 4 goals in their last 5 games, and haven’t scored more than a goal in a game during that period. I like the Chelsea defense once again this week. I think once again, Reece James (9.7m) is the man to own, but Antonio Rüdiger (8.9m) is once again great value at his price. He scored in his last game, and if you read my article last week, I did predict that this kind of return could be coming due to the volume of opportunities Rüdiger has had. If you want to try the double up again, I won’t talk you out of it.

Watford vs Leeds (09/04 – 3pm KO)

I think some value will present itself in this game. I really like the pricing of Cucho Hernandez (8.8m), who’s had 3 goals in his last 3 starts. Leeds’ form has picked up of late, but Watford are reaching desperation point and that alone can lead to inflated returns. They gave a good account of themselves against Liverpool last week, too.

I also feel the pricing of Rodrigo (8.7m) is generous, here. He comes in cheaper than Raphinha (9.9m) and Dan James (9.1m), despite having scored more goals and taken more shots in his past 5 appearances. I do quite like the pricing of Jack Harrison (9.0m) who is in a good run of form scoring a goal in each of his last two games. He’s also made 9 key passes and created 2 key chances in his last 5 appearances. Raphinha will likely be the highly owned Leeds asset, so a pivot to Rodrigo or Harrison is a good leverage play.

Arsenal vs Brighton (09/04 – 3pm KO)

The Gunners will be bitterly disappointed with their showing against Crystal Palace, and I fully expect a bounce back from them this week. The pricing suggests the same. They’re the highest priced players across the board this week. Bukayo Saka (12.2m) tops the list, but I think if i were to pay up for an Arsenal asset this week, it would likely be Alexander Lacazette (11.6m). He hasn’t scored in his last 3 starts, but it isn’t through lack of trying! The Shot volume has been there for him, I think it is coming down more to quality of opportunity. Brighton haven’t exactly been resolute in defense recently though, conceding 13 since their last win way back in February.

I think the Arsenal defense may be worth the pay up. My pick would be Cedric Soares (9.4m). His 20 crosses and 3 key passes in the past 5 games he’s appeared in suggest returns could be on the horizon. He’s also taken 3 shots in that time. Though we don’t tend to see huge potential for returns from Arsenal’s full backs due to their structure, I would be happy to play an Arsenal Defender this week, as I think there is clean sheet potential there. Brighton have scored once in their last 7 games. Yes, you read that right, once.

Aston Villa vs Spurs (09/04 – 5.30pm KO)

Spurs might present themselves as the kindest pricing this week when the gameweek is all said and done. Spurs have 17 goals in their past 5 games. If you can afford to balance your team out, I would play both Harry Kane (10.1m) and Heung-Min Son (10.3m) this week. Kane is playing a very creative role at the moment, dropping deep to pick up the ball and be as involved as possible. Not only has he scored 4 goals in his past 5 starts, he’s had 4 assists in that time, too. His 6 big chances created are the most among his team mates over that time period.

Heung-Min Son is also great value for what you are paying. He’s scored 5 goals in his last 5 games. What is most impressive about Son currently is his efficiency. He’s taken 15 shots (one less than Kane) but has had 10 on target. He’s missed 4 big chances, too! Son is one of the league’s form players and is relishing in his role currently, playing in behind when Kane drops deeper.

I’m not opposed to playing a Villa player here, but I just don’t know who I’d really want to play. That’s the truth of it. They’re proving to be a little bit inconsistent form wise. Ollie Watkins (8.3m) has been the goal scorer of late, but i think i’d still rather own the creative Philippe Coutinho (8.0m). He has higher involvement in the attack, and actually comes in cheaper, so he’s the more suitable play for me.

Leicester vs Crystal Palace (10/04 – 2pm KO)

Say it quietly, but Crystal Palace are in great form! Leicester aren’t in bad form either, so this is an interesting one. I think this could be a high scoring game and some game stacking could turn out to be optimal. 

Kelechi Iheanacho (9.2m) is definitely in my thoughts this week. With Vardy out, he is primed for another start. If for whatever reason he doesn’t start, Patson Daka (9.1m) is his safety net. Not a bad outcome! I mentioned last week that Harvey Barnes (9.4m) was taking a high volume of shots, as was once again the case last week against Manchester United (he took 6!). I can see James Maddison (9.7m) being a popular play, rightly so. But I am going to try and cover bases elsewhere and target likely lower ownership. You could do a lot worse than Kasper Schmeichel (8.5m) between the sticks as well, especially for his consistent flow of save points.

Wilfried Zaha (8.4m) will likely be the highest owned Palace asset following his goal against Arsenal. However, Jean-Philippe Mateta (7.6m) is the play for me. He’s scored twice in his last 3 starts, and has averaged 3 shots per game during that spell. Given some of the balance in pricing through defense this week in some games, if you’re looking for a cheaper forward, I think you could do a lot worse than Mateta.

Brentford vs West Ham (10/04 – 2pm KO)

Ivan Toney (9.2m) is one of the form strikers in the Premier League at present, so he has to be in consideration. I also have my eyes firmly set on Bryan Mbuemo (8.6m) and Christian Eriksen (7.9m), the latter who has looked involved since returning to action. I think if you are playing Toney this week, then at the price you have to play one of the creative minds behind Brentford’s attack to give yourself a nice stack there. Especially given West Ham have only kept 7 clean sheets this season. I suspect Brentford players may be lower owned than they maybe should be this week, simply because it’s West Ham. So you could get a good leg up on the field if Brentford continue their recent form.

It seems everyone but Michail Antonio (9.3m) is scoring for West Ham at the minute! Jarrod Bowen (9.6m) being back may help, but his lack of return in front of goal does concern me. Last week, I tipped Aaron Cresswell (7.6m) due to his activity on corners and free kicks, and he went and scored. He’s cheap enough again this week that I think you can justify playing him, even if you are playing Brentford players. Simply because of his potential for an assist or even a goal, again. Now that Jarrod Bowen is back again, he’d be my pick here. He marked his return with a goal against Everton and looked involved in everything West Ham did. 

Pricing is very balanced in this one, which is a testament to Brentford’s form. Certainly not their league position. Could be a close game, could be goals.

Norwich vs Burnley (10/04 – 2pm KO)

I don’t really have much of an interest in anyone here. With that said, if you want to go different, this’ll likely be the game with lowest ownership throughout. 

Norwich look all but relegated. If they are to turn their fortune around though, this is a must win game for them, a 6-pointer as it’s referred to. The obvious stack here is to partner Teemu Pukki (8.6m) with either Milot Rashica (8.1m) or Kenny Mclean (7.2m). The latter comes in much cheaper so he may appeal more if you are looking for budget to spread throughout your line up. There isn’t a great deal to speak of in terms of attacking statistics with Norwich players, because they simply don’t score often!

For that reason, I have more faith in the Burnley defense. Though not as stout with Ben Mee out injured, I think at the price, I’d double down on Burnley here and bank on the clean sheet. Connor Roberts (7.3m) should get the start again, and James Tarkowski (7.6m) always has the potential to grab a goal on a set piece. Attacking players are always more sought after, so a pivot to Burnley’s defense I suspect would be a bit contrarian this week. If you are going to do this though, I would advise multi entering. Just so that you don’t pin all of your hopes on a clan sheet that may not come!

Manchester City vs Liverpool (10/04 – 4.30pm KO)

Oh yes, the pricing here is a thing of beauty!!! Understandably, this is a big game with a lot riding on it. Naturally when this happens with two top teams, their pricing will decrease as they’re more evenly matched throughout the line ups.

How do you want to play this? Who do you think will come out on top? I’m going with the reds. Their form is slightly better, momentum feels like it is with them. If you are following suit, you will love what you see on the price table. Trent Alexander-Arnold (6.5m) has created more big chances, had more crosses, more accurate crosses and more key passes than anyone that will take the field in this game. In most of those stat metrics, he is top across the whole league, James Ward Prowse pips him on crossing, but there isn’t much in it! He is a phenomenal price this week, and if you watched Liverpool midweek, he once again displayed just how good that right foot of his is.

It’s hard to predict who will start in the front 3 of Liverpool, as they have all been firing. What we do know is, Mohamed Salah (9.2m) will start, i think that’s a given. The question is, do you gamble that Diogo Jota (8.6m) will start through the middle ahead of Roberto Firmino (7.8m)? If you want to play Jota, His safety net is Sadio Mane (8.5m), who is a great option in his own right. For me, you just play Salah at his price. If you need the extra budget, I won’t talk you off of any of the other plays. But you will not get Mo Salah at this price again. It just doesn’t happen.

I think for the price, I’d rather take the punt on Liverpool full backs, rather than the higher priced City options. But I do have interest in Kevin De Bruyne (10.7m) once more. I don’t think you have to worry about him playing, he is absolutely going to start this one with a clean bill of health. He’s had 3 goals in his last 4 appearances, taken 11 shots in that time of which 9 have been on target. His creativity has once again shone through, in that same time span he has created 2 big chances and made 15 key passes. His involvement eclipses anything else in a City shirt. The goal scoring opportunities on the day may well fall to the likes of Raheem Sterling (11.0m) or Riyad Mahrez (10.8m) or maybe even Phil Foden (10.4m), but I just don’t have the same confidence in them as i do in Kevin De Bruyne.

TEAM REVEAL

With this being a multi entry contest, this is just an example of one of the number of line ups I will enter.

The pricing balance across the teams is just phenomenal this week. I don’t think there’s ever been a week I recall where I have been able to assemble a team as good as this, on paper at least!

I mentioned Kasper Schmeichel briefly in the write up. With the budget we had left, he felt like the best pick between the sticks. He’s been really good with his save points of late, even when Leicester have conceded.

Alexander-Arnold cannot be ignored at his price, and I once again go back to the Chelsea double up. Reece James offers attacking potential, and Rudiger has shown he can nip in with a goal here and there. Real dual threat defense!

Mo Salah, Son, Havertz, De Bruyne, in midfield. Pinch me, I am in dream land! How is this possible?! The pricing. I think there is a case to multi enter this team around 8 times with different captains. That’s exactly what I’ll be doing. There is simply too much productivity scattered throughout, especially in the midfield. Three of the above mentioned are also giving me some stacks throughout my team, with De Bruyne thrown in for a game stack.

Kane feels under priced, and I’m banking on Ivan Toney to continue his rich scoring form against a leaky West Ham team. 

Best of luck for the Gameweek 32 EPL Monster contest, I hope to see you on that leaderboard!

Nick Owen 

@nickofwigan (Twitter)

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

If you’re new to FanTeam then you’ll need to create a new account here – alternatively, head on over to fanteam.com and click the green ‘Register’ button in the top right corner.

Existing users can click the graphic below for direct access to the weekly monster or head on over to the GW31 lobby.

Best of luck for the Gameweek 32 EPL Monster contest!

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