Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 17 tips: Jamie Vardy expected to score again; Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane good picks for captain
Get all the tips, predictions and updates you need to whip your fantasy team into shape ahead of Gameweek 17 of the Premier League in our weekly FPL round up.
Mohamed Salah was the victim of squad rotation in Gameweek 15, but returned to the starting XI last time around to score and assist for Liverpool
Jamie Vardy has been exceeding all possible expectations, and with over half the season left to play, and finds himself just six goals shy of last year's Golden Boot-winning total
Despite Southampton having a mixed bag of results since Ralph Hasenhuttl tweaked their system to a traditional 4-4-2, Danny Ings has hit a rich vein of form
After months of disappointing returns, Gameweek 16 saw an average points total of 54, the highest FPL average since August. You'd think that would be enough to appease the masses, but as television's favourite family loves to say, 'Winter is Coming,' and much like grizzly bears and hedgehogs, FPL managers will be looking to load up on points to get them through some difficult times. With that in mind, here's everything you need to whip your team into shape ahead of Game Week 17 of Fantasy Premier League:
Top picks for GW 17:
Mohamed Salah (£12.2m): Mohamed Salah's back, and he's back in style. The Egyptian attacker was the victim of squad rotation in Gameweek 15, but returned to the starting XI last time around to score and assist for Liverpool. The Reds find themselves up against bottom-ranked Watford, whose practically non-existent defence has already let in 30 goals this season.
Jamie Vardy (£10.1m): Has Jamie Vardy heard about the 'law of averages,' because if he hasn't, for God's sake, no one tell him. The English striker has been exceeding all possible expectations, and with over half the season left to play, finds himself just six goals shy of last year's Golden Boot-winning total of 22. In his price range he's one of the best around, and Leicester are up against newly-promoted Norwich, who are bound to ship at least a couple of goals.
Marcus Rashford (£8.9m): Oh, how the tables have turned for Marcus Rashford in the last month or so. After scoring just three goals in his first nine matches of the season, the young striker has found the back of the net seven times since, striking up a lethal partnership with the fit-again Anthony Martial (£7.6m). Manchester United next face Everton, who could prove to be a difficult test under new caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson, but the Toffees are more than likely to concede a goal or two.
Danny Ings (£6.4m): Even though Southampton have had a mixed bag of results since Ralph Hasenhuttl tweaked their system to a traditional 4-4-2, Danny Ings has hit a rich vein of form, scoring in each of his last five appearances for the club. The striker has endured more than his fair share of difficult times in past years, but the worst of it truly appears to be behind him. At the rate he's going, a goal against West Ham United on Saturday seems like a decent bet.
Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m): Ah Wilfried Zaha, why must you play with our emotions every single year? The Crystal Palace winger promised huge returns after scoring back-to-back against Liverpool and Burnley a couple of weeks ago, but in spite of Palace having a very favourable run of games, he's yet to come good on the expectations of FPL bosses. However, with home games against Brighton, Norwich and Southampton on the horizon, don't lose faith in him just yet.
George Baldock (£4.8m): Sheffield United have surprised everyone with their performances since being promoted to the Premier League, and a certain John Lundstram has been at the centre of all the hype. Unfortunately, Lundstram's been going through a bit of a dry spell in recent weeks, but Sheffield have continued to grind out good results, thanks to the admirable endeavour shown by full-backs George Baldock and Enda Stevens. The pair are equally likely to come up with either a goal or an assist in any given game, and at £4.8m and £5.1m respectively, are an absolute bargain. We've gone with Baldock here, since he's a shade cheaper, but Stevens is also an excellent pick.
If you're one of the brave souls still persevering with Arsenal players, now's the time to wake up and smell the disappointment. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is one of the only Arsenal players worth having in your team, but with fixtures against Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United coming up in quick succession, even he may not perform up to the mark. One of their most realistic hopes of picking up three points is in a couple of weeks against Bournemouth, who also face Chelsea on Saturday. A lot of people have Bournemouth defenders in their squad, since they're so affordable, but with Nathan Ake ruled out till February and Diego Rico struggling, you could opt for players from Palace or Aston Villa instead.
O Captain, my Captain!
The Liverpool duo of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane offer up an attractive proposition for the captain's armband, considering they're up against Watford. Tammy Abraham (£7.8m) is also a very good alternative against Bournemouth, having scored in Chelsea's midweek Champions League fixture. If you weren't already spoiled for choice, the United duo of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are also very viable picks, as is Harry Kane (£10.9m) against Wolves. Yet somehow, over all these amazing options, the heart still fondly whispers the name of Leicester's spiky-haired speed-demon. Sure, people will tell you that Jamie Vardy's good days are done, that he can't keep scoring like this, that it's impossible — but don't you dare listen.
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