The bottom line for Christmas fixtures is that these games come so quickly that the results you achieve can really make or break your entire season. It’s therefore crucial to get it right. Below are my three top tips:
Make sure you take a good look at the fixtures! Some teams may have a more favourable run than others over the Christmas break so it’s important you capitalise on this by having enough players in your team with a decent run of games.
It’s vital too that you try and work out in advance a rough strategy over what the optimum captaincy choice might look like each Gameweek so that you can plan accordingly with strong armband picks.
This can require some clever transfer dealings so make sure you pay attention to possible price changes and don’t be afraid to make a transfer early, particularly if matches are closer together therefore reducing that chances of a player picking up an injury between games.
Watch out for rotation risks
Rotation is unavoidable and largely unpredictable during the festive period.
You can offer yourself the greatest probability of avoiding rotation by selecting players who have little competition for their place in the starting XI – this may be due to injuries, a lack of squad depth or due to a player having a key status in their team’s respective starting XI.
Pick players who are likely to play
It’s critical that over the Christmas fixtures you have a full range of players who are starting regularly for their respective sides.
It is no good having ‘squad’ players or players who are currently in the team but likely to lose their space once a more senior teammate returns from injury for example.
This requires some careful planning and in some instances some squad restructuring as it is often the budget level players who come with this problem (their low price often reflects this).
On the other hand, if you can find base-priced players who are likely to start most matches then these can be very useful as the value saved in their price can be used elsewhere among your squad.
Starting 11 is a new Daily Fantasy Premier League football game and app, which has become extremely popular amongst the FPL community since August 2017, as managers get to pick a brand new fantasy team each week, without the headache of managing a season-long team.
As always, this week’s picks are suitable for all fantasy football game formats and will suit most scoring systems, so we hope you find good use for them, whether you’re playing Fantasy Premier League, or daily fantasy games over at Starting 11.
If you’d like to get involved this week by challenging us, simply create your lineups for Gameweek 16 today via the FREE Apple or Android apps.
Safe Pick – Alvaro Morata vs West Ham (A)
With 9 goals and 4 assists to his name this season, Morata is the 3rd highest goal scorer so far this season.
This week is the ideal fixture for Morata owners, as Chelsea take on West Ham.
The worst defence in the league having conceded 32 goals and without a win since September, Morata will surely be one of the first players in Fantasy manager’s line-ups this weekend.
Differential Pick – Glenn Murray vs Huddersfield (A)
The veteran striker Murray has been a surprise for me this season, since being given his chance in Gameweek 8 he has scored 5 goals in 8 games.
This week Brighton travel to struggling Huddersfield Town who have lost all 4 of their last 4 games, conceding 13 goals in the process.
With summer signing Pascal Gross proving to be a revelation in that number 10 position, the opportunities are there for Murray to continue his goal scoring form.
Safe Pick – Riyad Mahrez vs Newcastle (A)
Leicester City are settling into the new regime under Claud Puel nicely, undefeated in the last 3 games.
Mahrez may not be displaying his scintillating form of 2015/16, however the signs are there that confidence is growning, a goal and assist in his last 2 games making it 3 goals and 7 assists for the season.
What better way to continue that form than against a Newcastle side that have lost 5 of their last 6 games, conceding 14 goals in the process?
Differential Pick – Xherdan Shaqiri vs Tottenham Hotspur (A)
Shaqiri’s form on the other hand is impressive, providing fantasy managers with Fantasy returns in 5 of his last 6 games.
Stoke may still be leaking goals at the back but continue provide a goal threat when going forward, this weekend I expect Shaqiri to take advantage of that weakend Spurs defence.
Safe Pick – Cesar Azpilicueta vs West Ham (A)
Chelsea are popular picks again this week and will be for the forcible future, one of the inform teams at the moment and definitely kindest fixture schedule over the Christmas period.
With both Andy Carroll and Chicharito out injured, this weekend’s opponents West Ham will struggle to provide any significant goal threat on Saturday.
Not shy from chipping in with attacking returns of his own, Azpillicueta should reward his Fantasy managers with clean sheet points this week, as well as offering the potential for attacking returns.
Differential Pick – Marvin Zeegelaar vs Burnley (A)
A change in formation meant a change in personnel for Watford over the last 4 games, Marvin Zeegelaar the main benefactor, ousting Holebas from his starting position.
Watford have gone on to keep 2 clean sheets during those 4 games and with trip to Burnley up next for the Hornets, I expect Zeegelaar to notch up another clean sheet on Saturday.
As Richarlison cuts inside from the left, Zeegelaar overlaps to provide the width, potentially adding to the 2 assists he has provided since breaking into the first team.
Safe Pick – Kasper Schmeichel vs Newcastle (A)
Since defensively minded Claude Puel’s appointment at Leicester I have kept my eye on their defensive assets.
Their recent good form includes a clean sheet last weekend vs Burnley, something I think we will see more of over the next few weeks.
As mentioned earlier, Newcastle have lost 5 of their last 6 games and during that period only managed to score 4 goals. They won’t provide much of a goal threat to Leicester.
Differential Pick – Julian Speroni vs Bournemouth (H)
Things are slowly starting to click into place for Roy Hodgeson’s Crystal Palace and a key factor in that improvement is down to tightening up that defence.
Their opponents Bournemouth have only score 2 goals in their last 3 games and striker Callum Wilson has looked poor since his hattrick vs Huddersfield.
Speroni made 7 saves last weekend to earn Palace their 2nd clean sheet in 2 games, a brilliant individual performance which means I expect him to keep his place over Wayne Hennessey vs Bournemouth.
When I am looking at fixture lists at the moment, the team I am looking for are West Ham. Why? So I can take advantage of their poor form.
With Chelsea playing the Hammers this week it’s a Chelsea captain and I think their target man would be a great option.
A threat in the air as well as fantastic link up play with Eden Hazard, Morata is likely to find himself hitting the back of the net again on Saturday.
Here's another update from Chief's My Little Nuts League. Have you heard about MLN - My Little Nuts yet? It's a draft style Premier League game and it's the number 1 game in France (with 600k players). They can't all be wrong! There's a completely new scoring system and the leagues are all head-to-head with the winner of each tie taking 3 points. Lets have a look at the 8th week of results:
A couple of draws in there and a big win for Fear Minority Report, looks like Power Drinkers forgot to set his team. Chief still searching for his 2nd win picked up a 2-2 draw this week.
A bit of an unlucky result for Chief here. He got 2 standard goals but was pegged back by Martial's virtual goal (scored based on player ratings). Chief tried to use one of the game's bonuses to get his own virtual goal but it didn't work out this time.
Here's how the table stands:
Chief is currently rock bottom. It was an unlucky week for him and he's still only got just the 1 win. Hopefully he can turn it around and avoid finishing in last place.
ONE LAST THING:If you haven't given MLN a try yet please do here, HERE.
There’s 3 key differences to standard fantasy: 1. Unique teams (draft style) 2. Head-to-head leagues 3. Goals win games.