EPL Targets: March 4th

The Premier League moves into its eighth month of the season, and there is still so much to be decided at both ends of the table. With seven games taking place on Saturday, this Targets article focuses on the six matches taking place from 10 AM onwards. Let’s get to it!


GOALKEEPER

STUDS

Lee Grant – ($5,400) – Stoke City – Grant can likely expect to enjoy a quiet afternoon against Middlesbrough, the Premier League’s lowest scoring side with just 19 goals. Even if Boro do get some shots on his goal, Grant’s 3.3 saves per game shows just how reliable he can be between the sticks.

Kasper Schmeichel – ($5,300) – Leicester City – Schmeichel followed up his excellent performance in Sevilla (five saves and nine points) by making six saves on the way to 15 fantasy points against Liverpool. It was the third time in four games that he has made five or more saves, and Hull will find it very hard to get past the big Dane this Saturday afternoon.

VALUES

Lukasz Fabianski – ($5,100) – Swansea City – Fabianski has a good look at a second straight double digit fantasy point return on home soil, against a Burnley side that has just two away points all season. Swansea have only lost one home game under recently appointed manager Paul Clement, and there’s enough here to make a strong case for picking the Polish stopper.


DEFENDER

STUDS

Cedric Soares – ($5,300) – Southampton – Cedric is a dangerous attacking weapon for manager Claude Puel, hitting eight crosses in two of the last three league games. At the other end, Soares averages 2.8 tackles per game (fifth among all defenders), and, given this will likely be a tight game, his consistent performance on both sides of the game could be very useful for fantasy managers.

VALUES

Patrick van Aanholt – ($4,800) – Crystal Palace – van Aanholt converted his first goal in a Palace shirt last week against Middlesbrough, and it was his fourth strike of the season. Alongside it, he also had six crosses on the way to an impressive 20 fantasy points. The full back has started to link up well with Wilfried Zaha on the left, and with the two working in tandem it would be no surprise to see van Aanholt in the points once more.

Christian Fuchs – ($4,700) – Leicester City – The departure of Claudio Ranieri had an immediate effect on Fuchs, the full back providing the assist for one of Leicester’s three goals on Monday night. It was part of a 16 fantasy point night for the Austrian, and his performance in other categories, which included five tackles won and a couple of shots, is back to what made him so good last year.


MIDFIELDER

STUDS

Philippe Coutinho – ($9,400) – Liverpool – Coutinho’s return to the Liverpool line-up in January did not provide the anticipated boost to the rest of the team. For fantasy managers, it has been a entirely different story. The Brazilian posted a huge 28 fantasy points in the 3-1 loss to Leicester and only 12pts came from the goal he scored. It was his third successive double digit fantasy point outing, and he is averaging six points per game from shots across those fixtures. Coutinho was borderline unplayable against Arsenal back in August, and a wounded Gunners side presents an excellent opportunity for Coutinho to continue his excellent recent form.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – ($9,300) – Swansea City – Swansea have had three permanent managers this season, and the only constant across all three has been Sigurdsson’s devastating form. The Icelandic playmaker tallied his ninth assist of the season last weekend and only Christian Eriksen boasts more. He has a goal or an assist in each of the last five matches and averages 19.4 fantasy points per game (FPPG) in that run.

VALUES

Andros Townsend – ($6,700) – Crystal Palace – An early season favourite of this column, Townsend is returning to something like his best fantasy football form. It’s now five successive double digit point days in a row for the England international, and he is averaging over 10 crosses per game over the last three.

Chris Brunt – ($6,100) – West Brom – Brunt, who shares set piece duty with Matt Phillips, has hit at least nine crosses in three of the last four games and has 10 FPPG for the season so far. The winger turned full back should have plenty of opportunities to cross against a Palace team that is still in the bottom three.


FORWARD

STUDS

Alexis Sanchez – ($10,400) – Arsenal – Sanchez has amassed a beastly 17 goals and eight assists to lead the Premier League scoring charts and shows no signs of slowing any time soon. The Chilean averages 3.6 shots per game, which is the fourth best of any player, and was one of the few Gunners to emerge with any credit following the 5-1 drubbing in Munich. Put simply, Sanchez should have little trouble scoring points against Liverpool’s haphazard defence.

Manolo Gabbiadini – ($8,100) – Southampton – Watford have not kept a clean sheet in five games, and Walter Mazzarri’s tinkering at the back is just the ticket for Gabbiadini to keep up his scoring run. The Italian forward now has five goals in just three games for Southampton and is also averaging 4.25 shots per game.

VALUES

Jamie Vardy – ($5,900) – Leicester City – Vardy’s long goal drought ended in Sevilla last midweek, and he followed it up by scoring a brace against Liverpool on Monday night. It means he has posted double figures for fantasy points in two straight games, and it would be no surprise to me were he to score again this weekend.

Troy Deeney – ($5,400) – Watford – Deeney made it eight goals for the season by converting the Hornets’ only goal against West Ham last weekend and looks primed to continue that run this week. Why? Well, Southampton have conceded three or more goals in three of the last five games and still have the same inexperienced defence in place that played in all those fixtures.