There was another full round of Premier League matches this weekend which saw Liverpool finally get their 2017 kickstarted in style with a comprehensive win over Tottenham. Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United also all won, which means only 4 points separate 2nd from 6th.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, Swansea’s win over Leicester pushed the Foxes closer to the drop zone and the bottom five teams are now only separated by 3 points. The Swans’ win means they are now 2 points clear of 16th and have Bournemouth in their sights in 14th.
But what did that all mean for Daily Fantasy?
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Liverpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Liverpool finally won in 2017 and they did it in style, comfortably dispatching Spurs at Anfield. Reds fans will be pleased to see Sadio Mane back, fit and firing. The midfielder topped the Daily Fantasy scoring charts with 29 points and was only picked by 3.80% of players – expect that to change for Gameweek 26! Simon Mignolet was only picked by 1 in 200 players but he was 2nd top scorer with 13, well ahead of popular selections Philippe Coutinho (6.20 points) and James Milner (3.10 points). No-one shined for Spurs as popular selections Son Heung-min, Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen scored 5.70, 2.80 and 2.20 respectively. Harry Kane had no service all night and as a result scored -0.10.
Manchester United 2 Watford 0
Manchester United players were heavy favourites among Fantasy players as Watford visited Old Trafford – except for top scorer Anthony Martial that is. His 20.40 points only benefited 4.50% of players. However the likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David De Gea, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan were all in more than 20% of teams each and all recorded double figure scores. It was only Antonio Valencia who was heavily selected that failed to fire – he only scored 4.50 points. Watford’s two most popular players were also their best performers on Saturday – Heurelho Gomes scored 9.50 and new signing Mauro Zarate was next with 7.90.
Arsenal 2 Hull City 0
Arsenal were playing the Saturday lunchtime kick off which meant they were only eligible for full weekend leagues, but that didn’t stop their top players getting selected. Top of that list unsurprisingly, was Alexis Sanchez and he responded with a barnstorming performance against the Tigers racking up 27.80 points. In second was goalkeeper Petr Cech. It was a mixed day for other popular selections, though. Defenders Shkodran Mustafi (8.80) Nacho Monreal (11.85) had strong games, but Mesut Ozil (3.20) and Theo Walcott (3.60) struggled. For Hull, winger Lazar Markovic had a fantastic game, scoring 10.95 points and new signing Andrea Ranocchia (£11) scored a solid 5.50 points but goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic couldn’t sustain his brilliant form, only scoring 0.50.
Bournemouth 0 Manchester City 2
One of the biggest stories to come out of Gameweek 25 was the injury to Gabriel Jesus. Jesus’ broken foot will see him out of action for several weeks – a bitter blow to the 55% of players who selected him against Bournemouth. In Jesus’ place, Sergio Aguero couldn’t quite take advantage of his extra game time, only managing 6.20 points but winger Raheem Sterling had a strong game, scoring 14.70 while goalkeeper Willy Cabellero continued his good Fantasy form with 11.50 points on the south coast. Junior Stanislas and Joshua King were both reasonably popular with players but could only manage low returns, while Jack Wilshere couldn’t back up GW 24’s 12.60 points, only managing 1.75 on Monday night.
Burnley 1 Chelsea 1
Sean Dyche’s Burnley managed to do what only a handful teams have managed to do this season – take points off Antonio Conte’s runaway leaders, and they did it largely thanks to one person: Robbie Brady. The midfielder was making his first start for the Clarets and his wonderful free kick saw him score 11.20 points, unfortunately fellow new signing Ashley Westwood didn’t quite have the same impact, scoring -0.95. AS for Chelsea, Pedro had another strong game. His goal helped him score 13.15 points but surprisingly, he was the only Blue to record double figures, as both Diego Costa and Eden Hazard could only manage 6.05 and 7.80 respectively – poor returns for their big costs. Defenders Marcos Alonso and Gary Cahill were popular selections, but could only manage 5.90 and 3.75 each.
Swansea City 2 Leicester City 0
Swansea’s revival under Paul Clement continued as they pushed Leicester closer to relegation, and the Swans had solid Fantasy contributions across the board. Defender Alfie Mawson was a popular selection and his goal saw him score 17.55 points. There were also strong contributions from defensive partners Federico Fernandez (12) and Martin Olsson (15.90) as well as goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with 11.50. The ever-popular Gylfi Sigurdsson also chipped in with 11.90 but striker Fernando Llorente had another poor game with only 2.50. As for the Foxes, Riyad Mahrez and Wilfried Ndidi were popular selections but could only score 3.40 and 6.70 points each, as was defender Christian Fuchs but he was even worse – only scoring 0.30.
Sunderland 0 Southampton 4
Sunderland backed up their 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace in GW 24, with a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Southampton. For the Black Cats only midfielder Dider Ndong had a strong return with 7.10 points, although defender Bryan Oviedo provided decent value for his 4.10. Jermain Defoe – selected in alomst 20% of teams – could only muster 2.20 points. It was a completely different story for Southampton however, as no less than 5 players made it to double figures, headed up by Manolo Gabbiadini’s 27.20-point haul. Fellow forward Shane Long also got in on the act with 13.30, as did Ryan Bertrand (15.30), Dusan Tadic (12.20) and Fraser Forster (11.50). James Ward-Prowse also continued his below-the-radar type of season with 8.60 points.
West Ham United 2 West Bromwich Albion 2
The Hammers and the Baggies thrashed out a thrilling draw at the London Stadium and Slaven Bilic can thank two unlikely players in particular for the point – Sofiane Feghouli and Manuel Lanzini. Both players were selected in less than 2% of teams, but between them they split a huge 40 points, far outshining the much more popular Robert Snodgrass who could only score 5.20. For West Brom, there was another major surprise Fantasy star – defender Gareth McAuley managed 11.90 points, second behind Nacer Chadli who scored 15.30. It wasn’t such a great night for Salomon Rondon however, the striker could only return a negative score of -1.30.
Middlesbrough 0 Everton 0
Middlesbrough slogged out another low-scoring defensive effort against Everton to secure a precious point against the high-flying Toffees. Unsurprisingly, their top 5 scorers all came from the back – goalkeeper Victor Valdes top scored with 12.50, while defenders Bernado (8.50), Fabio (8), Ben Gibson (7.90) and Calum Chambers (7.6) weren’t far behind. It was a mixed Fantasy bag for Everton, as popular selection Joel Robles repaid the faith with 12.50 while defender Seamus Coleman had a solid 7.80 return. However, Ross Barkley (4.30) and Romelu Lukaku (2.20) both had games well below their usual standard.
Stoke City 1 Crystal Palace 0
Joe Allen’s goal saw him continue his strong first season in the Potteries as he scored 13.60 points against Palace. Goalkeeper Lee Grant also had a strong return to form with 11.50 points, while Marko Arnautovic also broke double figures with 10 points. Ramadan Sobhi also had a strong game with 7.10 points while Bruno Martins Indi finally saw his on-pitch form translate into Fantasy points with 9.40. However, it was a different story for Palace as popular selections Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke both had nightmare matches, only scoring 0.80 and 0.50 points each. Defender Patrick van Aanholt was their top scorer with 6.10.