This week’s European fixtures have seen to a potentially season-ending injury for Sir Harold of Kane, Manchester United fans are back to hating Luis Suarez, and Arsenal once again proved their incredible Jekyll and Hyde approach to home and away games.
But anyway: on to the fantasy football. GW34 is a double gameweek, but don’t get too excited: it’s only for Brighton and Cardiff. The Seagulls face Bournemouth and Cardiff, both at home, while the Bluebirds are up against Burnley and then the south coast club, both away.
Brighton look like a decent shout for clean sheets in at least one of their match-ups; Cardiff… well, perhaps not so much. But on we go with this week’s three player picks with 5% ownership or less…
Lewis Dunk, Brighton (DF, £4.4m)
Owned by: 3.7%
Shane Duffy goes into Brighton’s DGW with an impressive five goals and two assists in the league so far this season. To put that into perspective, Duffy is the top-scoring defender in the league this season.
There is a slight issue here in that he is currently owned by 9.7% of managers, however, therefore making him ineligible for the column this week. Instead, we’ve put Lewis Dunk in the headline: a thinly veiled attempt to cover our tracks as we cheat our way towards the finish line.
Realistically, both Dunk and Duffy offer fairly steady options at the back with great clean sheet potential this week. At £4.4m (Dunk) and £4.8m (Duffy) respectively, they also fall into the budget category. Dunk has chipped in with two goals this season, so expect both centre-backs to get up for more this week.
Youri Tielemans, Leicester (MF, £6.1m)
Owned by: 2.6%
We’ve wanted to include a Leicester player every week since the return of Brendan Rodgers to these shores, simply because of @FantasyYIRMA’s everlasting love for the Northern Irishman.
How could you not enjoy a man whose classics include: “My biggest mentor is myself because I’ve had to study, and that’s been my biggest influence”?
He’s made a fine start to life back in the Premier League, though, and Leicester come into GW34 off the back of four consecutive victories. Jamie Vardy has apparently switched blue WKD for a pre-match Berocca and the move is paying dividends.
Much has been made about James Maddison’s form this season, and rightly so, but it’s Monaco loanee Tielemans who has piqued our interest this week. The young Belgian has been involved in one goal for Leicester’s last six matches, scoring twice and picking up four assists. At £6.1m he’s affordable, and 2.6% is a decent differential.
ANALYSIS 5 ways that Brendan Rodgers has changed Leicester City so far (by Daniel Storey)
Fernando Llorente, Tottenham (FW, £5.1m)
Owned by: 0.7%
It feels so wrong, so must be right?
No, actually it feels even more wrong than that if we’re being honest. With Harry Kane injured (again) and Spurs facing off against already-relegated Huddersfield, it’s conceivable that forgotten man Llorente may be asked to relocate his backside from bench to pitch this week.
Without Kane there is an expectancy for Son Heung-min to step up as talisman, but at least having Huddersfield sandwiched between Champions League legs should be something of a rare comfort to Mauricio Pochettino.
In addition, Dele Alli has fractured his left hand and is now doubtful for this game. While he may be able to play a part in the match, the Englishman is surely restricted from playing Fortnite or orchestrating a dressing room rendition of the Macarena for a while.
With all of this going on, Llorente could actually get a game. One goal and three assists in 400 minutes of action is actually a decent return this season, although it’s worth noting that many of those minutes were off the bench. A more telling reflection would be one goal and two assists from his three starts this season, which only builds his case.
Are we sure he’ll start? Not at all. Could he score against Huddersfield – absolutely.
FantasyYIRMA started in 2012 focused primarily on news and previews for the Fantasy Premier League, and has now managed consecutive fantasy coverage across 262 gameweeks. Losers.