Fantasy Premier League 2013: Projecting Optimal Lineup for Week 16

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium on December 1, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

As you look upon your fantasy Premier League team this week, just be thankful you're not David Moyes. If your team's struggling, you don't have supporters calling into phone-in shows every week calling for your sacking.

That doesn't mean you can take any week off.

Although the season is 15 games old, the longer you wait to overhaul your fantasy team means valuable weeks lost that you can't get back.

Considering the nature of many fantasy leagues, you have to make changes every week if you want to be successful. Sure, you can rely on a few key guys, but the trick is determining which of the cheaper options are primed for big showings.

Listed below are what should be this week's star performers, based on reputation and matchups.

Note: All fantasy values are courtesy of ESPN FC.


G: Tim Howard (6.8)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08:  Tim Howard of Everton points during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on December 8, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Fulham can be hit-or-miss every weekend. Considering their players and how Rene Meulensteen continues to put his imprint on the club, maybe the Cottagers can surprise Everton.

Don't count on it, though, as the strength of Everton's attack will likely mean Fulham have to play a defensive style. The Cottagers will have few opportunities in the 18-yard box, so Tim Howard should earn a clean sheet.


D: Seamus Coleman (7.1), Steven Caulker (5.7), John Terry (7.5)

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Chelsea captain John Terry leads out his players for the pre match warm up priior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Stoke
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Seamus Coleman has been a great fantasy performer this season, and when you take into account Fulham's problems up front, it should be a banner day for another Everton player.

West Brom have scored seven goals in seven matches on the road. Cardiff City have also been a better team at home than they have been away from Cardiff City Stadium. If the Bluebirds defense can remain organized and shackle Shane Long, it will be a good day for Steven Caulker.

Although Chelsea have struggled against set pieces this year, you'd expect a swift response against Crystal Palace this weekend after the Blues' loss to Stoke City. Palace have played better under Tony Pulis, but that direct style won't do them any favors against Chelsea. John Terry and the Blues defense should keep a clean sheet, and Terry may snag a goal on a set piece.


M: Yaya Toure (10.1), Eden Hazard (9.2), Leroy Fer (6.6), Ravel Morrison (6.1)

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Yaya Toure of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City at The Hawthorns on December 4, 2013 in West Bromwich, England.
David Rogers/Getty Images

Yaya Toure always shows up in Manchester City's biggest matches. He had a goal in the 4-1 win over Manchester United and had an assist in the 6-0 drubbing of Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal will be tough competition, but playing at home, City get the edge this weekend. And if they win, Toure will be at the engine in midfield.

Against a tough Crystal Palace defense, it's individual brilliance like that of Eden Hazard that can be the difference. It takes just one run from the Belgian winger, and the entire game opens up for Chelsea. Hazard has been one of the most consistent performers in the Blues midfield, and expect more of the same against Palace.

Norwich City have been a much better side at home. Also working in their favor is Swansea's midweek fixture against St. Gallen in the Europa League. Leroy Fer has been one of the Canaries' best players this season, and should Norwich grab any points against the Swans, Fer will be one of the biggest reasons.

Not having Kevin Nolan is a hindrance for the West Ham midfield, and it also puts more importance on Ravel Morrison. His performance has been inconsistent at best this season. You don't want to consider Morrison a lock this weekend, but playing Sunderland could mean the Hammers grab some opportunities in front of goal.


F: Sergio Aguero (9.6), Luis Suarez (10.8), Romelu Lukaku (8.1)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on December 4, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Much like Toure, Sergio Aguero has a knack for coming up big for Manchester City in the club's toughest matches. Goals won't come easy against that stingy Arsenal back four, but Aguero should still manage to have a strong performance.

Luis Suarez is one of the most in-form players on the planet right now. He can't stop scoring. With Daniel Sturridge still out with an injury, Suarez will continue carrying the majority of the attacking burden.

In his last three games, Romelu Lukaku has three goals and an assist. Fulham's back line has been porous all season, so Lukaku should get plenty of chances in front of goal on Saturday.


Follow @JosephZucker on Twitter.