Last week saw the start of elimination stages of European competitions, with Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United resuming their UEFA Champions League campaign. Meanwhile, Arsenal have advanced to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League after overcoming Ostersunds on Thursday.
As the ‘big teams’, it’s fair to say that rotation will be a key factor in the six teams’ starting line-up selection. Even if key players do start for their matches, it’s very likely that they’ll be taken off early to ensure they’ll be ready for their following fixtures, especially if the team is winning comfortably, which will cut off the players’ potential even more.
Bearing this in mind, here’s a look at five strong picks from teams other than those mentioned above, and their potential to push on and bring in the points for the next five fixtures.
Riyad Mahrez (8.6m)
After his unsuccessful attempt to join Manchester City and several AWOLs, Mahrez finally returned to Leicester City’s starting line-up in their FA Cup win against Sheffield United, and we once again saw his fruitful partnership with Jamie Vardy bear dividends. Having shown he can put aside any transfer disappointment and put in the effort to help his team win (while continuing to audition), it is an easy decision to include the Algeria star in your fantasy team. Besides that, the Foxes will have a favourable run of upcoming fixtures as they will come up against Stoke City, Bournemouth Brighton and West Brom, while their Premier League tie against Arsenal has been postponed to an undecided date due to their FA Cup match against Chelsea.
Junior Stanislas (5.9m)
Callum Wilson may be the man-of-the-moment at Bournemouth, but Stanislas has the momentum and form, having returned from injury to bag 24 FPL points from four appearances. The Cherries have a strong set of winnable matches to come, playing Newcastle, Leicester City, Tottenham, West Brom, Watford and Crystal Palace. And if you think that Tottenham are a significant obstacle, bear in mind that the match will be right after what promises to be an incredible match between Spurs and Juventus to secure a Champions League quarter-final spot. Furthermore, Bournemouth have a track record in beating 'Big Six' members this season, defeating Arsenal and Chelsea in January.
Lukasz Fabianski (4.6m)
Want a high-scoring goalkeeper but don’t have the funds? Well, Fabianski is your man, especially if you feel that David De Gea isn’t worth the terrible set of fixtures Manchester United are facing (Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City among their next five games). Swansea have been having an upturn of fortune since the appointment of new manager Carlos Carvalhal. They have found some defensive solidity and their short-term fixtures see them facing West Ham, Brighton and Huddersfield. Also, Fabianski is currently the top keeper in terms of saves, totalling 100, a full dozen than the nearest competitor, Jack Butland at 88. As such, he can be counted on for points from saves. He is also third in total points, behind De Gea and Nick Pope, but at a much cheaper price.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (8.0m)
Although he’s been blowing hot and cold this season, Sigurdsson has remained a key member of Everton. With the Toffees having a nice run of upcoming matches, playing Watford, Burnley, Brighton and Stoke, the Icelandic will have plenty of opportunities to showcase his skills, especially from set-piece situations. Burnley are arguably the toughest of the lot, especially at home, but they have yet to keep a clean sheet in 2018, and their last win was against Stoke in December. The only downside is Sigurdsson does not come cheap, but the potential is there, especially with the likes of Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney working together in search of goals.
Steve Mounie (5.7m)
Huddersfield Town will be embarking on a set of fixtures that can help them in their Premier League survival, facing only one current top ten team (Chelsea) in their next seven matches, and Mounie could be playing a big role. Although he has struggled for consistency throughout the season, the Benin international scored one and assisted two in Huddersfield’s surprise thrashing of Bournemouth to help his side win their first Premier League game since December. And to continue his form, he couldn’t ask for a better, next opponents than West Brom, who have been dogged by a taxi-stealing incident
and managed only one win in 15 league matches.