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Draft Premier League: Gameweek 20 Start and Sit

Getting your team selection correct in Draft Premier League is just as essential as your pre-season draft or your weekly waiver wire claims. And that’s exactly why we’re here to help with our Gameweek 20 Start and Sit article! We’re here to help you with some of the big Fantasy EPL decisions you may need to make for the upcoming fixtures.

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Gameweek 20 Start and Sit

Whether you’re an obsessed EPL fan like our Fantrax HQ team, or a casual player new to the world of Fantasy EPL, you know to start your attacking players against relegation-threatened sides. We’re not going to waste your time dealing with the obvious! The goal of this article is to delve into notable players across each Fantrax position and let you know if you should be starting or sitting those players.

Our format is as follows: We will be choosing 2 different teams. One will be our starts of the week, made up of non-obvious, low-rostered players. The other will be our sits of the week, made up of highly rostered, normally started players.

Now let’s see the Gameweek 20 Start and Sit contenders!

First things first, it’s important to know that Gameweek 20 is a double game week (DGW) for four teams: Crystal Palace, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Generally speaking, two opportunities for points instead of one means you should be prioritizing bringing in and starting players from these teams over those with only a single match. However, that’s not always the case, particularly when rotation could see your players only start one of the games (inevitably the more difficult of the two) or when negative points are factored into the equation. Beware the dreaded double negative! With that out of the way, let’s get to it.

Starts of the Week XI

PlayerPos.TeamOpponent% Rostered
Illan MeslierGLEE@AVL19%
Cesar AzpilicuetaDCHECRY63%
Rico LewisDMCI@MUN/TOT10%
Mohammed SalisuDSOU@EVE21%
Luke ThomasDLEI@NOT7%
Mohamed ElyounoussiMSOU@EVE18%
Morgan Gibbs-WhiteMNOTLEI66%
Mathias JensenMBRFBOU60%
Kaoru MitomaMBRILIV58%
Danny IngsFAVLLEE52%
Yoane WissaFBREBOU15%

Average % Rostered: 35%

Starting between the posts, Illan Meslier is a bit of a risky proposition given that he didn’t make a single save in the 2-2 draw against West Ham last time out, but that’s a rarity for the young Frenchman, who has also managed to rack up 9 saves in a single match this season. He typically falls somewhere in the middle. Leeds have shown they’re capable of solid defensive outings, as evidenced in their 0-0 draw with Newcastle a few weeks ago, so there is hope for a potential clean sheet against Aston Villa as well.

Across the back line, Cesar Azpilicueta should continue as a regular starter given Chelsea’s injury crisis and faces a Crystal Palace side that has only managed to score 17 goals across their opening 17 fixtures. Given Manchester City’s dreadful performance against Southampton in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, there should be plenty of changes heading into their double week. Rico Lewis may not start both matches but should get the call for the first and potentially make his case as the preferred right back moving forward. Jump on board now before your league mates wise up. Mohammed Salisu will be hoping for a repeat of his side’s performance from midweek when they take on a dreadfully out-of-form Everton team and will relish the opportunity to clash with Dominic Calvert-Lewin for those precious aerial duel points. Luke Thomas has stepped back into the first-team picture for Leicester after James Justin’s injury and, despite the Foxes reverting to their goal-conceding ways after a run of 4 clean sheets in 5 games before the World Cup, he’s scored pretty well. A trip to an invigorated but likely fatigued Nottingham Forest side may afford the youngster and his teammates the opportunity to return to winning ways.

One of the players who was given a breather in midweek, Mohamed Elyounoussi should return to the starting lineup for the tasty fixture against Everton. Last week’s 1.5-pointer aside, the Norwegian winger has put up some very respectable points for a low-rostered player in recent weeks. Morgan Gibbs-White was influential in Nottingham Forest’s victory over Wolves to put them into the league cup semi-finals and held his monopoly on set pieces even with Gustavo Scarpa in the starting lineup. This bodes well for MGW’s prospects, especially with the kind upcoming run of fixtures for Forest. Brentford is heading into their own run of favorable matches and Mathias Jensen could stand to benefit. His assist in the win over Liverpool was his first double-digit fantasy outing since October, but Bournemouth are among the most forgiving teams in the league when it comes to opposing midfield scoring. Completing the midfield is the ever more impressive Kaoru Mitoma. The Brighton man broke into the first team at the end of October and hasn’t looked back, averaging nearly 14 fantasy points per start. A match against Liverpool may seem daunting, but this isn’t the Liverpool defense of seasons past and Roberto De Zerbi has the Seagulls firing on all cylinders.

I’m not 100% confident Danny Ings will get a start against Leeds, but the good news is that it’s the early match (Friday deadline alert!) so you will have the rest of the matches to choose a replacement from if he’s on the bench. Ings may be in contention for most frustrating fantasy asset to roster. Case in point: His 28.5 points in GW13 followed by 1.5 in 9o minutes in GW14, a 10-minute cameo in GW15, and another 29 points in GW16. He’s the ultimate boom-or-bust player, which can pay off or come back to bite you. Just be aware of what you’re getting yourself into, but that potential makes him a mighty tempting stream if he starts. Another player that fits the boom-or-bust mold is Yoane Wissa, who was in inspired form against Liverpool in the absence of Ivan Toney and arguably should have had another goal or two. Has the striker taken up the mantle for his injured colleague, or was the match against the Reds an aberration? I think it’s worthwhile to pick him up and see how the next few weeks shake out given those favorable fixtures I mentioned.

Sits of the Week XI

PlayerPos.TeamOpponent% Rostered
Joachim AndersenDCRY@CHE/MUN73%
Ben DaviesDTOTARS/@MCI71%
Lisandro MartinezDMUNMCI/@CRY77%
Kyle WalkerDMCI@MUN/TOT77%
Oleksandr ZinchenkoDARS@TOT98%
Brendan AaronsonMLEE@AVL79%
Thiago AlcantaraMLIV@BHA78%
Declan RiceMWHU@WOL94%
Granit XhakaMARS@TOT83%
Julian AlvarezFMCI@MUN/TOT81%

Average % Rostered: 83%

As discussed above, this isn’t your title-winning Liverpool side from a few years ago, but Alisson still finds himself 99% rostered. Hope springs eternal for the Brazil #1, but his fantasy scores haven’t been anything to write home about since October. With Virgil van Dijk set for a spell on the sidelines and an in-form Brighton attack bearing down on him, don’t be surprised if his score dips into the negatives for the first time since opening day.

Defense is where my introductory word of caution comes into play. Joachim Andersen, Ben Davies, Lisandro Martinez, and Kyle Walker each have two fixtures this gameweek, but they either face two difficult fixtures (Andersen & Davies) or have question marks over whether they’ll start both (Martinez & Walker). These guys are highly rostered, so they’re included here, but I wouldn’t start any defenders from Crystal Palace, Spurs or United this week with the potential exception of Matt Doherty and Luke Shaw. While he doesn’t have a DGW, Oleksandr Zinchenko is far too highly rostered to get a pass in the North London Derby. Don’t believe me? Check out what my Draft Society colleague and resident Arsenal fan Ryan Barnes had to say about the Ukrainian in his most recent Ghost Point Hunters article.

Moving from weakness to weakness (for fantasy purposes at least), Brenden Aaronson has gone completely off the boil in recent weeks and is in danger of losing his starting spot for Leeds. Even if he does get the call from the start against Aston Villa, you’ll be much better served benching the American or better yet, dropping him and looking elsewhere. Thiago Alcantara is majestic to watch, but his fantasy output is so unpredictable. With him moving further and further away from the goal to build up play from the back, he’s finding fewer opportunities to be directly involved in attacking sequences that lead to fantasy points. Brighton’s possession-based style also screams yellow cards for Liverpool’s central midfielders. As West Ham’s struggles mount, Declan Rice is seeing a drop-off in the fantasy output that made him a set-and-forget, no-nonsense MID4 through the early stages of the season. He may return to the solid 6-8 points we’ve come to expect against a Wolves outfit in transition, but you may have better luck with central midfielders from the DGW teams instead. I don’t subscribe to the theory that Granit Xhaka is a red-card-in-waiting in hotly contested matches like the derby against Spurs, but I also don’t think this is the best match to capitalize on the attacking upside he’s delivered at times this season. I don’t hate running him out in a pinch, but if you have other options with more attacking potential and a favorable fixture I’d look to them instead.

I actually like most of the forward options that are more than 70% rostered this week, so the recommendation to sit Julian Alvarez is either somewhat obvious (assuming Erling Haaland earns a recall in the first match of the double) or somewhat mislabeled (he’s probably worth putting in your team if he does get an unlikely start against United). The key takeaway here is not to fall into the trap of hoping he gets some points from the bench in the first match and a start in the second fixture. That’s possible, but it’s altogether more likely the Argentine gets a couple minute cameo across both games.

Make sure you also check out our official EPL content partner, The Draft Society, for all the latest! Check out their Fantrax Weekly Player Projections page for more player evaluations for the upcoming week!

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