Forget your turkey sandwiches, you need to be getting your fantasy football team ready for a huge set of fixtures
As you reach over to crack open that box of Quality Street for breakfast on Stephen's Day morning, don't forget that you have a big fantasy football weekend ahead of you.
Stephen’s Day. If you think you’ll be tasting just gorgeous turkey sandwiches today, you had better get used to the bitter taste of rotation. 16 teams are back on the pitch within 48 hours of today’s games, so brace yourself for some massively-owned players getting a big slice of bench action.
There’s not much we can do to prepare ourselves for this inevitability, except to make sure that we have 15 players in our squads that are healthy, not suspended and, ordinarily, a fixture of their side’s first XI.
It’s a shame, because we all should be focusing on our Sergio Aguero (13.1) re-entry tactics right now. He’s an excellent prospect at home to Sunderland today where an explosion means he automatically becomes the biggest threat to that template forward line so far this season. He’s obviously armband material today, if you own him.
The same goes for team-mate Kevin de Bruyne (10.8) although that’s largely to do with the plum fixture, rather than any semblance of consistent form.
If that’s a deterrent for you, then fix your crosshairs on Riyad Mahrez (7.1). Bizarrely, the fact that today’s clash with Liverpool is at Anfield makes him an even more attractive prospect, given his absurd numbers on the road. If he truly is as fixture-proof as we all think he is, then Mahrez should warrant strong consideration to be your captain today.
If you’re looking to free up some Kun cash, Dele Alli (5.2) is almost certainly the most attractive option in the cheap midfield bracket now. Norwich at home this afternoon on the back of his 12-point haul last week is a delightful-looking cocktail.
Similarly, Philippe Coutinho (8.5) comes up against a relatively porous Leicester defence after tricky tests with Watford and West Brom in the last two. His mega-hauls against Chelsea, City and Palace seem a lifetime ago at this point and, admittedly, his owners will probably view today as a last-chance saloon of sorts.
Swansea have got their act together at the back, just in time for the visit of West Brom later. Ashley Williams (4.8) has been an ever-present in their rearguard which racked up their first clean sheet in ages last weekend and looks the obvious candidate for selection.
Image: Nigel French / PA Archive/PA Images
Finally, those feeling insanely brave might consider Jordan Ayew (5.5). Villa’s excellent run of fixtures has a few more games to go and Ayew has been pretty instrumental in putting the ball in the back of the net for them this season, with four of the club’s last six league goals. However, there is an argument that the fact he would occupy one of those valuable front-three slots, is the biggest reason not to invest here. As always, caps off to anyone who does go down this high risk – high reward route.