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Weekly Picks

Fuzzy Logic: Week 37 Rankings

by Steve Rothgeb
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Get your popcorn ready. This fantasy season is coming to its crescendo.

 

We all have seen enough movies to know how the formula works. A story builds gradually. The drama unfolds. Then there is the payoff. The scene where the struggle of the main character is decided in an outcome, be it good or bad. That is what Week 37 represents in fantasy Premier League. Week 38 will be like that epilogue scene where characters part ways. It has nowhere near the amount of intensity as the previous scene but offers the audience a chance for closure before the credits begin to roll. For this week though, our emotions will be at their peak. For most fantasy managers, in addition to squeezing in as many double gameweek options as possible, this is a week where one of two FPL "chips", Triple Captain and Bench Boost, will be activated to maximize on the potential that a double gameweek has to offer. In Week 34, Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez led the way to many a triple digit score for managers. Neither will play twice this week, in fact they play each other, so it remains to be seen if the average score for this coming round can match the production we saw three weeks earlier. Heurelho Gomes and Antonio Valencia proved then that big scores can come from unlikely sources, so there is reason for optimism.

 

Last week was a bit of a dud for the average fantasy manager. Alexis Sanchez seems to have lost his form and Arsenal's only goal was a joint effort between their two strikers, whom most managers do not own because of the typically divided minutes between the pair. Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne were missing in action against Southampton, causing many headaches around the fantasy universe while Sadio Mane exploded with a hat trick in the same match, giving me my own personal migraine. I took Mane in an auction draft of an expert's league this season and that league came to its conclusion two weeks ago. Mane's lack of production, erratic starts and red card nonsense was a thorn in my side all season and then, when it counts for nothing, he decides to have a field day. Well, at least I didn't pay for Eden Hazard in that same league.

 

Speaking of Hazard, let us examine reality for a moment. It was his goal from off the bench that drew Chelsea level with Spurs and sealed the title for Leicester City. He has three goals in a game and a half after having scored only once previously all season. It was a wild derby between the two sides and Tottenham were not able to maintain their composure. The title is deservedly Leicester's in what may turn out to be the most incredible feat in sports any one of us will see in our lifetimes. It is a great story for the league and certainly provided an unexpected twist to our fantasy seasons. It will be interesting to see how players like Mahrez and Vardy, assuming they stay with the club, will be priced for the start of next season. When this season started, the pair cost a combined 11.5m, the same as Eden Hazard alone. Currently, Mahrez and Vardy have combined for 435 points to Hazard's 90, and that is with Hazard gaining ground the past two weeks. Truthfully, this does not even give the Leicester duo enough credit in fantasy, because one would have to spend at least 4.5m to fill a second slot alongside Hazard. What this did, the rise of Leicester, was free up cash in our budgets and our season was defined by how we spent our extra money. Imagine where you might be in the rankings if you resisted spending extra cash on a Leighton Baines, a Branislav Ivanovic or a Wayne Rooney near the beginning of the season. If you waited too long for the league to "normalize" rather than accept the fact that Dele Alli was as valuable as anyone twice his price, you now have a strong indication of why you may be at a lower rank than expected. Does Christian Fuchs deserve a higher price tag next season than Baines? It will be a highly-anticipated price list coming this summer from the FPL game.

 

Before we lose our focus too much on what may be in store for next season, we need to get down to the business of this vital Week 37 ahead. First, let us take a look at the fixtures on tap...

 

 

 

 

Week 37 Fixtures


Norwich City v Manchester United

Aston Villa v Newcastle United

AFC Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion

Crystal Palace v Stoke City

Sunderland v Chelsea

West Ham United v Swansea City

Leicester City v Everton

Tottenham v Southampton

Liverpool v Watford

Manchester City v Arsenal


Additional Double Gameweek Fixtures


West Ham United v Manchester United

Norwich City v Watford

Sunderland v Everton

Liverpool v Chelsea


 

Among the clubs that have a double gameweek, West Ham looks the most lucrative for investment, especially in the attacking areas. They have two fixtures at home, one against a pretty soft opponent, and they have consistently been scoring multiple goals per game for several weeks. Sunderland and Norwich are both doubling up at home as well, but I prefer their defensive options more, as they both continue their relegation battle. Then there is the enigma of Liverpool. The Reds play at Anfield twice but the persistent rotation of players by Jurgen Klopp may only leave a couple of prospects that start both matches. For those playing on the road twice, it is hard not to believe most in Chelsea attacking players. Guus Hiddink has reason to rotate as well, but there are a few names that look safe to at least start one game and feature in the other. Many will be turned off by the prospects of Everton, having disappointed, not once but twice, in double gameweek scenarios already this season, but I feel there will be some pleasant surprises there. Watford was looking a bad place for double gameweek options until Troy Deeney exploded at the end of last weekend's match. He and Heurelho Gomes look like valuable weapons for this round, but not much beyond that from the Hornets. It looks to be a mixed bag from Manchester United for me. I think defensive players can get a haul in their first match and the attacking players find more luck in their second.

 

Looking at the single gameweek options, Newcastle appears the most attractive. They have everything to play for and have a miserable opponent. Manchester City and Arsenal would normally provide options that can rival the double gameweek choices, but with those two sides playing each other, I do not have much confidence investing in either. There should be goals in the Spurs v Southampton match. Having attacking players in your XI from either of those sides is not a terrible situation this week. You are probably only going to see Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy on the pitch for an hour before Claudio Ranieri subs each off for a much-deserved standing ovation in front of the home crowd. One hour is enough for either or both to do damage but I ranked them lower than I would have if this were a typical week where one expects them to play the full 90.

 

 

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve | Ben | Rob | Matt | Andrew

 

 

What follows are my top picks at each position. It doesn't matter what format you play, these rankings will help you figure out how players at each position compare with one another, and can help you on transfer decisions in the FPL.com game, who to start or bench in draft leagues, and who is worth putting up the cash for in salary-based leagues. You will also see how I have begun to highlight prospects that are especially valuable in formats like Playtogga, Fantrax and DFS, so that they are given the credit they deserve. At the end of the day though, nothing gets the points flowing more than goals, assists and clean sheets. Keep in mind that extra weight has been given to Everton and Crystal Palace players because of their double gameweek. If you play in a league that only the originally scheduled fixture, then you need to drop them considerably farther down the rankings. So without further ado, let's get cracking...

 

 

GOALKEEPERS

 

1) Adrian - UPDATE: Adrian ruled out of Swansea match. Uncertain if he will miss Man United, but Slaven Bilic states that he "probably" will. I would rank Darren Randolph behind John Ruddy, making Randolph still a good option for the double gameweek, knowing he will definitely start the more attractive of the Hammers' two fixtures against Swansea City.

2) David de Gea 

3) John Ruddy

4) Vito Mannone

5) Heurelho Gomes 

6) Joel Robles - read more about him in this week's Bargain Hunter.

7) Karl Darlow

8) Artur Boruc

DEFENDERS


1) Aaron Cresswell

2) Patrick van Aanholt

3) Chris Smalling

4) Winston Reid 

5) Russell Martin

6) Dejan Lovren 

7) Leighton Baines

8) Branislav Ivanovic 

9) Antonio Valencia - read more about him in this week's Bargain Hunter.

10) DeAndre Yedlin

11) Cesar Azpilicueta

12) Craig Cathcart

13) Angelo Ogbonna

14) Nathaniel Clyne

15) Lamine Kone

16) Scott Dann

17) Charlie Daniels

18) Jamaal Lascelles

19) Eric Dier

20) Wes Morgan

 

 

 

MIDFIELDERS

 

1) Dmitri Payet 

2) Eden Hazard 

3) Cesc Fabregas 

4) Mark Noble - read more about him in this week's Bargain Hunter.

5) James Milner 

6) Ross Barkley  

7) Pedro 

8) Nathan Redmond 

9) Roberto Firmino 

10) Manuel Lanzini

11) Willian

12) Andros Townsend

13) Philippe Coutinho

14) Wahbi Khazri

15) Michail Antonio

16) Sadio Mane

17) Christian Eriksen

18) Aaron Lennon

19) Juan Mata

20) Riyad Mahrez

21) Alexis Sanchez

22) Dusan Tadic

 

Follow the RotoWorld_PL team on Twitter: Galin | Jeremy | Neal | Nik | Steve | Ben | Rob | Matt | Andrew

 

 

 

FORWARDS

 

1) Andy Carroll 

2) Jermain Defoe

3) Diego Costa 

4) Daniel Sturridge 

5) Troy Deeney

6) Anthony Martial

7) Romelu Lukaku 

8) Marcus Rashford 

9) Wayne Rooney 

10) Harry Kane

11) Odion Ighalo

12) Fabio Borini

13) Jamie Vardy

14) Callum Wilson

15) Sergio Aguero 

 

 

 
So there you have it. The best of the best to consider for Week 37. Keep in mind that Liverpool still have a Europa League match tonight to get out of the way, so there could be injuries or playing time to assess with Reds prospects heading into the weekend. Considering how poorly the outcome was against Swansea when Klopp rotated, I get the feeling there will be less rotating than we have seen recently. Check in with us here at Rotoworld over the next couple of days for any breaking news before this weekend's crucial deadline.
 
 
 
Good luck this week fellow managers, and may your arrows be green.

 

Steve Rothgeb
Steve Rothgeb is a contributor for Rotoworld.com and WorldSoccerTalk.com, a self-proclaimed fantasy sports oracle, and Tottenham Hotspur fanatic. He can be found on Twitter @FuzzyWarbles.