It's me, Chuck, back for a guest appearance filling in for Nik on this week's edition of AM's Players to Watch. It's the first blank game week of the season as Chelsea, Brighton, Everton and Manchester City won't feature and the aim is to assist you with navigating those waters.
Gameweek 26 feels like it was an eternity ago so we're not going to recap it but I would like to moan and complain about losing 10 points due to Sead Kolasinac’s own goal that has now been credited to Karlan Grant to open his premier league account. I understand that stat corrections don't pertain to FPL but it doesn't make me any less salty about not getting those points for a slightly bigger green arrow. End rant.
Let's get to the Gameweek 27 schedule…
Fri 22 February
Cardiff v Watford
West Ham v Fulham
Sat 23 February
Burnley v Tottenham
Bournemouth v Wolves
Newcastle v Huddersfield
Leicester v Crystal Palace
Sun 24 February
Arsenal v Southampton
Manchester United v Liverpool
United taking on Liverpool may be the match of the weekend but it’s the bottom of the table where things will really take shape this weekend. Newcastle versus Huddersfield and Leicester versus Crystal Palace are a few to watch while the most open game should be Bournemouth and Wolverhampton. But who are we watching this week?
Raúl Jiménez FWD Wolves @ Bournemouth: Wile Jota has been stealing the plaudits recently, it’s still Jimenez’s attack in Wolverhampton. Facing a rollercoaster Bournemouth defense, this is a good week for him to get back on track with a goal and an assist, which would also make him a viable captaincy pick on a weekend short on good choices. Jimenez plays better in the front three that Wolves employ when they’re behind or when Jota is out so Jimenez owners will hope that Jota’s not ready for the upcoming weekend.
Jamaal Lascelles DEF Newcastle v Huddersfield: While Newcastle hasn’t kept a clean sheet since facing Cardiff about a month ago, the Magpies have also only allowed multiple goals in that timespan once to Watford. This is a defense on the rise and they should have no issues shutting out a punchless Huddersfield side. In draft leagues, I’d recommend Fabian Schär but there’s no guarantee that Rafa Benitez will feel the need to play three center backs against a team that has one attacking threat. Another plus behind Lascelles is that all he needs is one good chance in the box and a six-point clean sheet performance can become a 12 point FPL bonanza. Give Newcastle a set piece and they’ll make you pay.
Alex Iwobi MID Arsenal v Southampton: The right attacking midfield role seems to more or less belong to Iwobi at this point and he has become Arsenal’s third-highest scoring FPL asset for what it’s worth. Southampton are good at attacking but their defense still leaves much to be desired. This is where Iwobi steps in to tee up Aubameyang and Lacazette en route to a comfortable Arsenal win at home.
Jeffrey Schlupp DEF Crystal Palace @ Leicester: We love a defender playing out of position and few are getting higher up the pitch than Schlupp who’s a defender by classification only. Starting more and only priced at 4.4 m, Schlupp can be a massive differential coming up. While he blanks in game week 31, Crystal Palace has one of the more favorable runs which could see him net some more points in the run in for the remainder of the season. Schlupp may not be a flashy pick, but he’s a good one week play to medium term hold.
Michail Antonio MID West Ham v Fulham: The Hammers face the worst defense in the Premier League and I still can’t bring myself to recommend Marco Arnautovic. But that doesn’t mean that we’re going Hammerless as Antonio has been the man in form recently. Registering a goal and an assist in his last two games, smart money is on him adding to his tally going up against Fulham. With West Ham not blanking and Manuel Lanzini on the mend, their assets are among the more ownable in the league as well. At 6.8 M, Antonio can easily be fit into teams.
Captiancy Pick: Heung-Min Son MID Tottenham @ Burnley: In a week with few good captaincy options, we’re going with the most in-form player in the premier league. Son needs no explanation of his own so I’ll say that I don’t trust Aubameyang to bag a brace and Salah and Pogba facing each other nullifies them. If I had to pick someone else, it would be the aforementioned Raúl Jiménez