Fantasy Premier League Gameweek 37: Best options amid the many two-game slates
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.
Finding good players to start this week will be easy. Ten teams have a double gameweek (DGW), headlined by Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea. But fielding the perfect XI means identifying the unexpectedly great–goign against the grain to select differentials and players with only one match. Remember, a DGW doesn't guarantee success, and a handful of FPL stars will only play once this week. It's not about starting the player with the most matches, but the one you believe will bank the most fantasy points.
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 week. Togga has added "Own %" to its app so differentials are based on players' ownership percentage at the time of writing. You can check for updates when you set your squad.
Thibaut Courtois (at West Brom; vs. Watford)
Key Stats: Chelsea's Courtois has needed only four saves to preserve consecutive clean sheets over Everton and Middlesbrough. The Blues' No. 1 has missed only one match this season, the Blues 2-0 loss at Old Trafford. Expect Courtois to keep his place even if Chelsea clinches the title at West Brom and record at least one clean sheet from this pair of matches. He allowed just one goal between the two reverse fixtures.
Plan B: Fraser Forster (at Middlesbrough; vs. Manchester United); Petr Cech (at Stoke; vs. Sunderland); Willy Caballero (d; vs. Leicester; vs. West Brom)
Forster was impressive in the Saints' 0-0 draw with Liverpool a week ago. The giant shot-stopper famously towered over James Milner moments before making his diving save. With seven other saves against Liverpool, Forster was good for 32 points from that match alone. Middlesbrough is poor in attack and condemned to relegation, while United, as a squad, is fatigued from a daunting schedule and distracted by Europa League. It's a toss-up between Forster and Courtois for the top spot with the Chelsea man narrowly claiming it.
Laurent Koscielny (at Stoke; vs. Sunderland); Antonio Valencia (d; at Tottenham; at Southampton); Ryan Bertrand (d; at Middlesbrough; vs. Manchester United); Vincent Kompany (d; vs. Leicester; vs. West Brom)
Key Stats: Kompany has scored two goals in his last four matches, and even though the City defender has played 90 minutes in four straight, he has not come back on fantasy managers' radars just yet. With Kompany in the fold, City is playing better defense and has three clean sheets in the last four games, marking its best defensive stretch this season. Notably, two of those clean sheets were recorded at home, where Pep Guardiola's side will play both matches of the DGW.
Plan B: Nicolas Otamendi (vs. Leicester; vs. West Brom); Kieran Gibbs (d; at Stoke; vs. Sunderland); Jan Vertonghen (d; vs. Manchester United; at Leicester); Your favorite Chelsea defender (at West Brom; vs. Watford)
There is some concern in fantasy circles that Chelsea clinching the title against West Brom will mean rotation–particularly in defense where Blues legend John Terry makes his final few appearances. Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake could also get a nod from Antonio Conte, limiting the playing time for Alonso, Cahill and Luiz. Add Cesar Azpilicueta to the mix and you have seven defenders who, should they get both matches, are beyond qualified to make your squad. Tolerance for risk and personal preference means many will be available as differentials in a loaded DGW.
Eden Hazard (at West Brom; vs. Watford); Kevin De Bruyne (vs. Leicester; vs. West Brom); Dele Alli (d; vs. Manchester United; at Leicester); Dusan Tadic (d; at Middlesbrough; vs. Manchester United)
Key Stats: Despite scoring six goals, with four assists, over the last 10 matches for Spurs, Alli is trending early as a differential due to strength of schedule. The two-time Young Player of the Year failed to record a goal or an assist against either of his Gameweek 37 opponents in the reverse fixtures, but he has surpassed 20 points 12 times this season, against nine other opponents.
Plan B: Riyad Mahrez (d; at Manchester City; vs. Tottenham); Cesc Fabregas (d; at West Brom; vs. Watford); Mesut Ozil (at Stoke; vs. Sunderland); Ander Herrera (d; at Tottenham; at Southampton)
Risking Fabregas in a massive double gameweek like this is a play for someone paying attention on Friday. If the Spaniard does not get the start at West Brom he shouldn't find a place in your fantasy XI, and if that's the case, stacking De Bruyne with Leroy Sane, David Silva, or both will provide a high-upside play that could give you an insurmountable lead by the end of action on Tuesday. Herrera makes the list on strength of his performances against Chelsea and City in gameweeks 33 and 34.
Alexis Sanchez (at Stoke; vs. Sunderland); Gabriel Jesus (vs. Leicester; vs. West Brom)
Key Stats: When Alexis finally scored against Southampton he snapped his longest scoreless streak of the season: three matches. The Chilean has been a fantasy beast; now level with Diego Costa on both goals (20) and fantasy assists (11). No player has contributed to more goals this season. He has shown he can handle his Gameweek 37 opposition, hitting a brace in Gameweek 10 at Sunderland and notching an assist versus Stoke in Gameweek 15.
Plan B: Raheem Sterling (vs. Leicester; vs. West Brom); Harry Kane (vs. Manchester United; at Leicester); Diego Costa (at West Brom; vs. Watford); Joshua King (d; vs. Burnley)
With the number of massive names with a DGW, it would take serious resolve to fade the lot in favor of a non-DGW player, particularly at forward. But King is no ordinary player. The Cherries' talisman has four goals in his last six, and has scored or assisted on a goal in three straight. He only played 19 minutes against Burnley in Gameweek 15 and could get the full 90 against a Clarets back line missing Michael Keane and Ben Mee. This is a massive differential play, which requires fading a known quantity with a DGW. Go big or go home.