The 16th Man: Gameweek 18

A good Fantrax manager successfully builds a starting XI to be feared. A winning Fantrax manager builds a fearsome squad of 16 to be reckoned with!

The aim of this feature is to provide you with several options with which to fill that 16th roster spot ahead of a match day. If it doesn’t work out, you can simply dump them back on to the Waiver Wire.

For one reason or another, the players who feature in this article every week won’t be one to use a waiver on and will certainly be too much of a risk to start in our Differential XI, whether that be due to the fact they’re coming back from injury or working at earning a recall.

Here are your 16th man contenders for Gameweek 18!

Leighton Baines | Everton | Defender | 18% Owned

This week sees the return of a Fantasy Premier League legend! With Lucas Digne all but ruled out, Leighton Baines will almost certainly get the nod against Arsenal this weekend. We tipped him in our Waiver Wire article this week but Baines is still available in 82% of Fantrax leagues.

Jack Stacey | Bournemouth | Defender | 2% Owned

Quite simply, Jack Stacey is one of Bournemouth’s few fit defenders. The Cherries have a decent run of fixtures coming up so investing in the assets that aren’t injured may be a good shout. The 17.5 points scored by Stacey against Chelsea in Gameweek 17 suggests he may be a valuable player in his own right.

Naby Keita | Liverpool | Midfielder | 58% owned

Liverpool don’t have a fixture this week, meaning a lot of impatient may be forced to dump some of their assets to make way for some starters. The likes of in form Naby Keita as well as useful assets Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri may be finding themselves back in the free agent pool this week. If you have the space, pick them up.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson | Burnley | 57% Owned

Sean Dyche’s latest update on the injury plagued Johann Berg Gudmundsson was a more promising one. The Icelandic midfielder took part in an under 23s match as part of his recovery, meaning the next stage is a place back in the matchday squad. Now is the time to pick him up if you can.

Phil Foden | Manchester City | Midfielder | 38% Owned

See last week! Phil Foden took his chance in David Silva’s absence against Arsenal and with the Spanish magician set to miss out once again this week, Foden should get his chance again this week.

Bernard | Everton | Midfielder | 36% Owned

Bernard returned to the starting lineup against Manchester United last week, scoring 6.5 points. His stock will rise again if favoured by Carlo Ancelotti when he inevitably takes charge.

Junior Stanislas | Bournemouth | Midfielder | 2% Owned

The latest return to fitness by Junior Stanislas is finally here! The Bournemouth man is finally back in contention which will be a relief to Eddie Howe who has seen his squad decimated by injuries recently. Stanislas might miss out this week due to a family bereavement but is one for the future. For some reason he is already owned in 2% of Fantrax leagues, largely down to the fact that our friend @tottiandor probably owns him in every team he has!

Moise Kean | Everton | Forward | 31% Owned

Yep, him again. We’re waiting for the “new manager bounce” to take effect for the supremely talented Moise Kean. The inevitable appointment of fellow countryman Ancelotti can only help his cause.

Leroy Sane | Manchester City | Forward | 52% Owned

Our tweet about Manchester City star Leroy Sane certainly caused plenty of debate within the FPL Draft Community this week!

Pep Guardiola confirmed that Sane has returned to light training this week and isn’t far from rejoining the team, meaning a return to action may only be a month or so a way. The German’s place in the team is by no means guaranteed and he may even be on the move in January, but remember that we are talking about your 16th roster spot here!

This is the definition of low risk, high reward. If he leaves then nothing is lost. If he breaks into the team and plays to his potential, you’ve got yourself a 2nd round pick for virtually nothing. At the very least, should Sane stay you’ve got a bargaining tool for a trade with the owners of Raheem Sterling/Bernardo Silva who will almost certainly see their minutes hit.

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