Who should you turn to for your Fantasy Premier League lineups with midweek fixtures starting to clutter the schedule?
The following Fantasy Premier League advice is tailored toward players of Togga's Perfect XI. It's a weekly game in which every Premier League player is eligible to be selected into a 4-4-2 formation. There is no salary cap, no squad restrictions and you pick a fresh XI every week.
Midweek Premier League fixtures kick off on Tuesday, with Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 16 comprising the Tuesday and Wednesday matches. Since the crowded fixture calendar can make it difficult for all FPL managers to pick a fresh 11 each week, the players selected this week should benefit your squad in Gameweek 16 (Tuesday-Wednesday) and 17 (Saturday-Sunday-Monday).
Selecting the Perfect XI each week isn't an easy task and even the best-laid plans can use a Plan B, so we've provided alternatives for each position. Those designated (d) are differentials–players we expect will be owned by fewer than 5% of FPL managers this weekend.
David de Gea (d; at Crystal Palace)
Key Stats: De Gea hasn't featured in our ranks often, as he doesn't make many saves. Manchester United has allowed just 50 shots on target this season, but that figure has seen an uptick in the last two fixtures. De Gea recorded five saves against Everton and four, with a clean sheet, against Tottenham. Though he has recorded more than two saves only five times in total, Palace is in the top-half of the league in shots and average 4.5 shots on target per home match. In Gameweek 17 de Gea has another strong fantasy matchup at West Brom.
Plan B: Lee Grant (d; vs Southampton); Thibaut Courtois (at Sunderland); Kasper Schmeichel (d; at Bournemouth)
Keep an eye on Stoke City's selection. Jack Butland is due to return from a long-term ankle injury in the coming weeks and will compete with the on-loan Grant for the No. 1 shirt. Butland could be a second-half sleeper this season. In 31 matches last season, Butland kept 10 clean sheets and posted an impressive 102 saves.
Marcos Alonso (at Sunderland); Virgil van Dijk (at Stoke City); Danny Rose (d; vs. Hull City); Hector Bellerin (at Everton)
Key Stats: Hector Bellerin returned from injury, replacing the injured Shkodran Mustafi just 24 minutes into the Gunners' win against Stoke. Bellerin notched his third assist of the season and created three other chances in the match. He has created 14 chances in 11 matches and is on pace to surpass his career high of six assists, set last season.
Plan B: Gareth McAuley (vs. Swansea City); Christian Fuchs (d; at Bournemouth); Winston Reid (d; vs. Burnley); Jose Fonte (d; vs. Stoke City)
Fonte is an underrated fantasy player. The Southampton defender contributes little offensively, just two goals with three assists over the last two seasons, combined. Without a goal or assist this season, he has provided points through interceptions, tackles won, aerial duels and clearances. He has scored double-figures twice in the last four weeks, and he notched 9.75 points this weekend vs. Middlesbrough as well. The Saints play at Bournemouth Gameweek 17.
Eden Hazard (at Sunderland); Dimitri Payet (vs. Burnley); Christian Eriksen (vs. Hull City); Gylfi Sigurdsson (at West Brom)
Key Stats: In both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons Hazard posted 14-goal, 10-assist returns. After suffering a down year last term, the Belgian has rebounded to record eight goals and three assists in Chelsea's opening 15 matches. Against the Baggies he failed to create a chance or record a shot on goal for the first time this season, but he found other ways to fill up the stat sheet including seven successful take-ons.
Plan B: Riyad Mahrez (at Bournemouth); Dele Alli (vs. Hull City); Son Heung-Ming (d; vs. Hull City); Matt Phillips (d; vs. Swansea City)
A Spurs stack against Hull City might be a popular choice by Wednesday. Two weeks ago, stacking any combination of Kyle Walker, Son (24.5 points), Alli (24.5), Eriksen (47.5) and Kane resulted in a massive points haul. With a number of top midfielders boasting high ownership, there may be an opportunity to stack with Spurs and still benefit from one or both of Alli and Son being differential plays in your midfield.
Harry Kane (vs. Hull City); Diego Costa (at Sunderland)
Key Stats: Five of Kane's seven goals this season have come at White Hart Lane. Not coincidentally, Tottenham is markedly better at recording shots on target at home–51 there against 42 away, despite playing an additional road fixture. He remains on pace for a third consecutive 20-goal season. The England international is in elite scoring company as only he and Sergio Aguero have managed to break 20 goals in each of the past two seasons. Furthermore, Spurs host Burnley in Gameweek 17.
Plan B: Jamie Vardy (at Bournemouth); Raheem Sterling (d; at Watford); Divock Origi (d; at Middlesbrough); Salomon Rondon (d; vs. Swansea City)
Vardy fired a hat trick past Manchester City, breaking a 10-match barren spell which stretched back to his Gameweek 4 goal against Liverpool. Origi has scored in three straight EPL fixtures, and four straight for LFC overall. Both players should receive strong consideration from EPL managers for midweek selection. They're quality picks for the weekend as well, with Vardy facing Stoke and Origi likely starting in the Merseyside derby at Everton.