Premier League Fantasy Football tips: Transfer and wildcard advice – Gameweek 22
It’s understandable if you forgot all about your Premier League fantasy football team amid a couple of Christmas food comas or the frantic flurry of FA Cup fixtures.
But England’s top tier is set to be back with a bang this weekend and bragging rights are still very much up for grabs in all the mini-leagues out there.
Sure, your title challenge may have faltered over the festive season, but now it’s time to inject a new lease of life into your precious selection.
Whether you’re on a salvage mission or simply trying to stay ahead of the chasing pack, we’ve put together a guide to the transfers you need to make for gameweek 22.
And don’t forget that your all important second wildcard of the season has come into play…
Why? Everton’s progressed stalled somewhat during a difficult run of games towards the end of 2018.
Richarlison is set to lead Marco Silva’s line in all three and – for those of you feeling brave – could even be an outside captaincy shout for the visit of the Cherries.
Eddie Howe’s side have shipped 12 goals in three games and the Brazilian is in prime position to take advantage.
Why? It’s time to get back on the Manchester City bandwagon.
Almost every single Fantasy Football player had their fingers burned over the holidays as Pep Guardiola’s men fell to a couple of surprise defeats.
But they’re back in the saddle after taking Burton Albion to the cleaners in midweek and will be in the mood to continue their free-scoring form against Wolves.
Sane got the winner against Liverpool and will surely deliver a handsome return in January as City face Huddersfield, Burnley and Newcastle after Nuno Espírito Santo’s men.
Why? The 20-year-old was dropped by Jurgen Klopp prior to Christmas, which saw plenty of fantasy managers ship him out.
But the full-back is firmly back in the Liverpool side, having started three Premier League games on the bounce.
Such a small fee for a regular starter in the leaders’ defence is not to be sniffed at. There’s only one way his price is going to go as the season wears on – and that’s up.
Why? The Crystal Palace talisman initially appeared to be an attractive proposition when Roy Hodgson began to run out of options up front.
But Zaha has failed to find the net in his last 16 top-flight appearances and, despite Palace’s surprise victory over Wolves last time out, patience is wearing thin.
There are plenty of other relatively cheap forward options in better form than the Ivorian so if Zaha is still in your side – bite the bullet and ditch him.
Palace’s next game after Watford is Liverpool (a).
Why? The Austria international is a key member of Manuel Pellegrini’s attack and marked his most recent top-fight appearance with a brace.
So why is it time to give Arnautović the chop, you ask?
Well, he certainly seems to have been unsettled by the transfer rumours regarding a potential big-money move to China and a classic case of “I’m refusing to train” may soon be on the cards.
Has the 29-year-old’s head been turned? West Ham can’t afford any passengers at such a key stage of the season and neither can you.
Why? The Frenchman found the back of the net against Fulham last time out, but he can’t convince Unai Emery that’s he worth 90 minutes.
Lacazette has not completed a full Premier League game since mid-November and, with Chelsea and Man City to come in the Gunners’ next four games, money may be better spent elsewhere.
If you’re going to have an Arsenal striker in your side then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the man you want.
A Wildcard allows you to make an unlimited number of transfers in a single gameweek without the incurable fear of incurring transfer penalties.
So, if your team is in desperate need of an entire revamp – or plagued by injuries – it can get you out of a pickle.
However, although it is tempting to use your Wildcard in the early stages of January, don’t jump the gun.
The transfer window means that players will be changing allegiances throughout the month and you could be caught short if a couple of your favourite charges head off to pastures new.
The second Wildcard of the season can be used anytime between 29th December and the end of the campaign, so hanging on for a couple of gameweeks is advisable.
A lot can happen during the final week of the transfer window and you don’t want to be stuck with only one transfer in the bank when two new must-have players turn up on deadline day. Patience pays.