Football

FANTEAM GAMEWEEK 36 FANTASY PREMIER LEAGUE MONSTER

Gameweek 36 EPL Weekly Monster – €30k Prize pool

The EPL Weekly Monster is back once again for Gameweek 36, it’s the first time in a while we have had a full fixture list with 10 games!

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 a Monster contest, allow me to break down some of the key details you need to know. This week’s contest features 10 fixtures, starting with the 3pm kick offs on Saturday and concluding with the final game on Sunday between Manchester City and Newcastle.

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 109.0m. 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 Alonso, 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.

This contest can be multi-entered, with a maximum entry limit of 100 entries per user.

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

THE GAMES

Brentford vs Southampton (07/05 – 15:00 BST)

Despite Brentford’s lacklustre showing against Manchester United, I’m not deterred from them this week. There is a bit of a price increase we have to deal with this week however, due to the quality of their opposition, or lack thereof. 

The obvious choices for me still remain Ivan Toney (10.6m) and Bryan Mbeumo (10.2m), though I do still feel that Christian Eriksen (9.1m) holds the most value amidst their ranks. His crossing numbers are crazy high when compared with his team mates, and he has produced more key passes (13) and big chances created (3) than any other Brentford player over the past 5 gameweeks. There definitely feels like there is value to be had here, even within the Brentford defence or in their goalkeeper David Raya (8.2m). My pick of the defenders would be Rico Henry (7.8m) or Mads Rasmussen (7.7m), Given Brentford tend to operate with wingbacks, there’s always a chance for an assist in a system like that.

For Southampton, James Ward-Prowse (8.8m) who I often mention on this write up, is my pick of a bad bunch. The Southampton defence is cheap this week, Kyle Walker-Peters (6.5m) can be attacking and is capable of providing an assist every now and then. I just don’t fancy the saints this week, though.

Burnley vs Aston Villa (07/05 – 15:00 BST)

I was pleasantly surprised to see Burnley priced as cheap as they are this week. They just can’t stop winning! They have a tough game this week, but it’s another good opportunity for them to pick up 3 points and attempt to distance themselves from the relegation battle.

If you fancy Burnley to continue their recent strong defensive showings, then look no further than Nick Pope (7.2m) for your starting goalkeeper this week. With that said, for slightly less, you can own the likes of Charlie Taylor (6.5m) or Connor Roberts (6.4m), so your decision there could be a budget based one. I quite like the pricing of the Burnley attackers this week, given the defensive frailties of Aston Villa prior to their most recent win against Norwich. Wout Weghorst (8.1m) is due a goal having not scored since gameweek 33. Josh Brownhill (7.7m) has been really active too in recent weeks. He has taken the joint most shots (8) and leads Burnley in key passes made (5) in his last 5 appearances.

Aston Villa are a bit of a funny one this week. Their pricing feels about right, I suppose? I’m just not really willing to pay them I don’t think. They’re a little too inconsistent for me, and Burnley have been resurgent since Sean Dyche was shockingly relieved of his post. Ollie Watkins (9.5m) would be my pick of the Villa players, who has 2 goals in his last 4 starts. This could be a good game to stack on both sides, to be fair. There could well be goals, and I don’t think many will own players from one, let alone both teams!

Chelsea vs Wolves (07/05 – 15:00 BST)

Chelsea find themselves cheaper than the City, Liverpool and Arsenal assets this week, and it’s a good spot for them i think. Given that they are a little bit cheaper than some of the other top sides, I definitely have interest this week! Wolves have lost their last 3 games without scoring, so naturally the Chelsea defence is of great interest. Reece James (11.1m) has started the last 2 games and played the full 90 minutes. It feels like James could have a double figure scoring week at any time now, it feels imminent. So he is very much in my thoughts. Marcus Alonso (10.5m) doesn’t really have any competition for his place at the minute, and has been producing the goods. He has a goal and an assist in his last 4 games, and leads his team mates in key passes (11) and big chances created (3) over the same span of games. 

Timo Werner (11.8m) is quite a bit cheaper than his teammates Mason Mount (12.8m) and Kai Havertz (12.4m), despite matching them in goals in the last 4 games. He has taken more shots than both (15) and actually, he’s been a little bit unlucky of late. He’s managed to hit the woodwork 3 times, so his goal tally could well have been higher had he got the rub of the green. He won’t stay that unlucky forever, and I see more goals ahead for Werner.

The Wolves’ Defence and Jose Sa (6.0m) are both normally quite safe picks, and Raul Jiménez (6.5m) is usually a stable choice up front for them, with a consistent flow of goals in previous seasons. This season though, and more so in recent weeks, neither look all that impressive. Wolves are an avoid for me this week. 

Crystal Palace vs Watford (07/05 – 15:00 BST)

Their prices are high, but Crystal Palace are definitely of interest to me this week! I think given their price, a lot of people will likely gravitate to teams like Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal instead. And that’s fine! They’re all great options. But I don’t really want to ignore Palace here either, because they will be lower owned. That does potentially give you a bit of leverage with your player selection, especially if Palace do a job on Watford.

Wilfried Zaha (11.7m) is arguably a captain candidate this week! He has 3 goals in his last 5 games, and has made the joint most key passes (7) in that time. He is the catalyst for Crystal Palace, often their returns either go through him or come from him. He gets the added bonus of penalties as well. I do think there is a case to be made for Conor Gallagher (11.6m), but he hasn’t been as productive in recent weeks. Eberechi Eze (10.1m) always looks lively when he gets a start, so if he is in the starting XI, he could be worth a punt. 

Watford are all but down, other than the mathematics. As has been the case in previous weeks, still no interest for me here. 

Brighton vs Manchester United (07/05 – 17:30 BST)

The pricing in this one suggests it could be a close game, and I do tend to agree. However, the fact United still have plenty to play for makes me think they may push just that bit more for it. 

For that reason, I absolutely love how cheaply you can acquire the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo (9.7m) and Bruno Fernandes (9.6m) this week, both tend to be over 11.0m normally. Ronaldo is in fine goal scoring form currently, with 6 goals in his last 4 games. Alex Telles (7.7m) has been providing some steady returns recently, too. The left back has 2 assists in his last 4 appearances, and leads United in crosses over the same span of games. Though I am expecting goals in this game, I like the potential for attacking returns from him, and there is always the chance of a clean sheet if the United defence turns up.

Brighton are in decent form, they’ve only lost 1 of their last 5 games, picking up 3 wins and a draw in the other 4. They’re coming off a clean sheet 3-0 win away at Wolves. If you want to go against the grain, then the Brighton defence could be worth a play. I suspect because of the pricing, many will flock to United this week, so if you fancy Brighton to grind out a 0-0 or a win to nil, you are a step up on your competition. You don’t tend to see many attacking returns from Brighton’s defence, however Lewis Dunk (6.7m) does pop up with a set piece goal every now and then. Robert Sánchez (7.4m) is nice a cheap between the sticks this week as well.

Liverpool vs Spurs (07/05 – 19:45 BST)

This is arguably the best fixture on the slate, and in recent times, this contest has produced goals galore. In fact, over the last 5 premier league meetings between these sides, there have been 15 goals, so an average of 3 goals per game. Tottenham have only failed to score in one of those games, whereas Liverpool have scored in them all. 

Spurs don’t have a great record against Liverpool over the past few years. However, I cannot ignore their attacking assets this week! Heung-Min Son (7.6m) is arguably the most on form player in the League currently. He’s produced 6 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 appearances. Harry Kane (7.3m), what more is there to say? When did we last see Harry Kane at that price?! I can’t even recall! I appreciate this is Liverpool that Spurs are playing, but you simply can’t ignore the value here! Spurs should be nice and fresh heading into this game as well, with no European distractions, and they’re still fighting for 4th spot. I think Dejan Kulusevski (6.9m) is worth your consideration, too. For all of their attacking ability, Liverpool’s fullbacks do not fill me with a huge amount of confidence when defending. I think this is an area Spurs will target and could potentially exploit with their attacking wing forwards.

Liverpool are understandably priced much higher, you would have to favour them to come out on top in the game. I think it’ll be a close one though, closer than the pricing suggests. Liverpool had a tough time against Villareal. It sort of puts me off them this week. Mohamed Salah (13.9m) will always be a popular play on any slate, and if we knew that Luis Diaz (12.3m) was guaranteed the start, then he could well make a mockery of his price tag. I think he will get the start, but at the price, I think i’d rather play City or Chelsea players this week. They have much better match ups on paper than Liverpool have, I honestly think it could be a tough game for them. They need the win to keep pace with City, but Spurs need one just as much. 

Norwich vs West Ham (08/05 – 14:00 BST)

West Ham battled against Frankfurt, but were eliminated on Thursday evening from the Europa League by Frankfurt. Their focus now switches solely to the League, where they find themselves clinging to 7th, 3 points clear of Wolves in 8th. Wolves have a game in hand, so it’s pivotal that West Ham pick up their League form and put points on the board.

Norwich presents the ideal opposition to do this. Especially now that they are confirmed as relegated, they simply have nothing left to fight or play for other than their pride. Jarrod Bowen (12.1m) is the pick of the bunch, as is the case most weeks, he has 2 goals in his last 5 League games. I think there is a case for Pablo Fornals (10.8m) who has the kind of underlying stats that suggest at least an assist is on the horizon for the creative West Ham midfielder. Michail Antonio (11.4m) recently scored in Europe, but he is still searching for his first League goal since New Year’s Day.

With Norwich now being relegated, I have zero interest in their players. Despite Teemu Pukki (8.0m) finding some goalscoring form recently, teams with nothing to play for at this stage in the season just don’t appeal to me like the teams that are still fighting.

Leicester vs Everton (08/05 – 14:00 BST)

Leicester, much like West Ham, also find themselves out of European competition following their loss on Thursday evening against Roma. They have nothing really to play for in the League, currently sitting in 11th, 10 points behind West Ham in 7th. Though they could still make it to Europe in theory, it is completely out of their hands at this stage, and it’s highly unlikely they’ll make up that ground.

Everton, I must admit, do peak my interest a little here. Nothing statistically leaps off the page at me if I’m honest. But in terms of the “eye test”, Everton are fighting. They need to continue their recent form if they are to survive this season and remain in the Premier League. Richarlison (8.7m) has 4 goals in his last 5 games and Anthony Gordon (8.0m) has pitched in with some important plays for Everton in recent weeks. As I said, statistically Everton don’t look that impressive. But their recent form and the fact they absolutely need to continue picking up points is enough to at least make me consider them this week.

Leicester are priced as you’d expect given they’re playing lowly Everton. But I think given the choice of playing the likes of James Maddison (10.1m), or a Leicester forward like Jamie Vardy (9.8m) – now back from injury, or Kelechi Iheanacho (9.3m) for example… I think I’d rather be owning some of the other options I’ve mentioned in the blog like Son, Kane, and Ronaldo.

Arsenal vs Leeds (08/05 – 14:00 BST)

Arsenal did have a recent dip in form, but they’ve managed to dust themselves off and have strung together 3 consecutive wins. They need to continue this form, especially with Spurs breathing down their necks in 5th. 

I have mentioned his name a number of times in this blog over the weeks, but he continues to be the most attacking Arsenal player both statistically and in production. That player is Bukayo Saka (13.5m). He has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 starts, and as has previously been the case, nobody in an Arsenal shirt takes more shots or makes more key passes than Saka. He is easily the safest bet if you are picking an arsenal player. Eddie Nketiah (12.0m) has seemingly won the arm wrestle of who will start up top for Arsenal. He recently scored 2 goals in Arsenal’s 4-2 win against Chelsea, and given he’s priced less than most of Arsenal’s midfield that are likely to start, he’s definitely worth a start this week in an Arsenal stack.

Leeds are blowing hot and cold currently, so I have little interest in them here. With that said, I don’t think a goal is out of the question. The returns are fairly variable with Leeds, so picking one of Raphinha (7.2m), Rodrigo (6.2m), Daniel James (6.5m) or Jack Harrison (6.4m) and hoping you hit on the right one is your best bet! Or, do what I will be doing and just avoid them for this week!

Manchester City vs Newcastle (08/05 – 16:30 BST)

With City now out of the Champions League once again (sorry City fans) they can switch their focus solely to seeing the job through and once again retaining the Premier League title. I fear for Newcastle here, as I think there could be a bit of a backlash and they’re sadly the team in the firing line. 

Starting at the back, Joao Cancelo (11.8m) is an obvious pick this week. I think City will grab a clean sheet in this one, and given how attacking Cancelo is, there is always the opportunity for an assist from him. In terms of points per million, he could easily hit his price this week. 

Gabriel Jesus (13.6m) didn’t play the full 90 for City in the Champions League, so he could well get the start here. I do always worry when starting Jesus, as he has no safety net within his position. I think there are better options up front this week as well with more guaranteed starts/minutes. Instead, my advice would be to divert your attention to City’s midfield. Riyad Mahrez (14.0m) scored City’s only goal in the Champions League midweek, and he was brought off around 85 minutes. I think he will start again here despite his lack of minutes in the League in recent weeks. If he doesn’t start, Phil Foden (13.7m) is about as good as you could ask for from the safety net feature really! There is of course always a case to start Kevin De Bruyne (14.2m), he boasts 2 goals and 2 assists in his last 4 starts. Again, if you do fall foul of Pep’s squad rotation, Raheem Sterling (14.1m) is his safety net. Not bad, hey? 

Stock up on City this week. With only the League in their sights, it should be strong line ups and strong performances from here on out. As for Newcastle, I think it’s probably best to avoid them this week. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this. If however you do want to play any of their assets, you’re braver than I am, that’s for sure!

This week, you are either paying up or paying down. Brentford, much like several other teams this week, do definitely help us in that regard.

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.

There we have it, footy fans! Arguably the strongest team I have built all season, on paper at least. Let’s run it down.

David Raya was the strongest option available at the price, I fancy Brentford to keep Southampton scoreless. At least that’s what I am hoping for!

Double Chelsea defence returns! I want to cover both bases, as I think Reece James has a double point haul brewing. Alonso has been providing attacking returns in recent weeks, so I am banking on that continuing against Wolves. Cancelo is an auto include for me this week, and Telles is a good option for the price you are paying.

Son is just too cheap not to play this week, even if it is Liverpool he faces. Likewise with Harry Kane. Ronaldo and Fernandes also find themselves discounted, though I’m not sure why. Brighton away can be a tough place to go, but I am targeting the ceiling for these players. It could well backfire on me, but I’ll take the chance. United do still need to win to guarantee European football next season, so there is some game theory behind the picks. 

Mahrez is my pick of the City players. I do have the budget to go to Sterling, but my best advice would be to multi-enter and switch up your City players so you cover bases. Likewise with the Chelsea players. In this build, I have opted for Werner. However, you could switch things around and easily slot in Mason Mount if you want some exposure.

I have zero exposure to Arsenal or Liverpool in this line up, so again, multi entry is key if you want to cover bases.

Best of luck for the Gameweek 36 EPL Weekly 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 GW36 lobby.

Best of luck for the Gameweek 36 Monster contest!

 

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