Fantasy Spotlight – Gameweek 36
The standout performers from Gameweek 36
Leicester City confirmed their incredible Premier League title triumph after their draw at Old Trafford was followed by Tottenham losing a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 36.
Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City were well beaten at Southampton, Liverpool lost at Swansea City, and West Ham United kept their top-four dreams alive.
Let’s take a look at the players who shone and scored the most fantasy football points in GW36.
Karl Darlow was not expected to play much football for Newcastle United this season, but he has got his chance due to injuries to fellow goalkeepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliot.
Darlow, who has been valued at $4,300 on DraftKings for Newcastle’s must-win game against Aston Villa, has an unusual style in between the posts but he was exceptional in their 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Saturday, saving a poor penalty from former Magpie Yohan Cabaye, a moment that could well be decisive in their battle to avoid relegation.
Leicester captain Wes Morgan has been a regular fixture in Fantasy Spotlight recently and he was at it again during GW36 with his equaliser against Manchester United proving key in the title race.
Morgan’s goal ensured Tottenham had to win at Chelsea on Monday to keep their championship hopes alive and Eden Hazard’s late wonderstrike at Stamford Bridge ensured the trophy will be heading to the King Power Stadium. Morgan’s two goals this season have been absolutely vital.
Leighton Baines’ first Premier League goal from open play since January 2013 helped Everton secure a 2-1 home win against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Baines timed his run into the box perfectly to slam Aaron Lennon’s low cross into the top corner, sealing only a fifth home win of the season for Everton’s beleaguered boss Roberto Martínez.
Arsenal toiled in their 1-0 victory over Norwich City in Saturday’s early Premier League game, but one shining light was man of the match Nacho Monreal, who starred in a strong defensive display.
The Gunners’ win was overshadowed by fan protests against manager Arsène Wenger, but three points takes Arsenal one step closer to securing Champions League qualification yet again.
It has been a strange season for Sadio Mané, but the winger was terrific in GW36, scoring a superb hat-trick against Manchester City, in a performanace that earned him a 10 out of 10 WhoScored rating, to keep Southampton’s Europa League hopes alive.
Mané now has 10 goals in the Premier League this season despite falling out of favour with Ronald Koeman at times, one short of his tally for the previous campaign.
The Senegal international has been linked with a move from St Mary’s at the end of the current Premier League season, but for now at least he remains a Saints player. He was the top-scoring fantasy player in GW36.
Roy Hodgson has played down Mark Noble’s chances of being selected for Euro 2016, but the West Ham midfielder is doing all he can to force his way into England contention.
Noble scored a brace for the second Premier League game in a row on GW36, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory at West Brom, moving to seven goals for the season.
André Ayew did not score a Premier League goal in February, March or April, but his brace against Europa League semi-finalists Liverpool on Sunday helped Swansea to a 3-1 victory.
The Swans have turned their season around since the appointment of Francesco Guidolin and now look set for a mid-table finish, with a final spot as high up as 11th still possible for the Swans.
Noble took the headlines after his double, but Cheikhou Kouyaté was also in fine form for West Ham in GW36, providing an assist for his captain and scoring a goal of his own.
Kouyaté has been one of the Premier League’s most underrated performers this season, but his form does not always translate well into fantasy points despite his fine display this weekend.
Tom Cleverley’s lovely finish got Everton up and running this weekend, with his second Premier League goal of the season setting up their win.
Cleverley’s highest fantasy points score of the campaign is unlikely to be enough to force his way back into Hodgson’s plans for Euro 2016, however.
Watford manager Quique Sánchez Flores’ future may be in doubt, but the club’s captain Troy Deeney eased the pressure on his coach with a late brace to seal a win against Aston Villa.
Deeney, a boyhood Birmingham City fan, struck twice in the last few minutes to complete a remarkable turnaround, with rock bottom Villa having looked on course for a rare victory.
It has been a disappointing Premier League season for City, but one bright spot has been the breakthrough of young striker Kelechi Iheanacho.
The teenager scored both of City’s goals in a 4-2 loss at Southampton on Sunday, with his second goal particularly well taken, and he now has 13 goals in all competitions this season.
Pep Guardiola is known for his careful nurturing of young talent and it will be exciting to watch how Iheanacho develops under his studious leadership next year.
Karl Darlow is $4,300 on DraftKings UK (vs Aston Villa, $50K Budget) in the Saturday’s EPL contests