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Fantasy Premier League Transfers 2013: Stars to Buy Now Ahead of New Year

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium  on December 14, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2013

We're approaching the halfway mark of the Premier League season, which means many points have been won and lost on Fantasy Football.

It also means there's plenty left to play for, but as we enter the new year, it can be difficult to decide which stars deserve a place in your squad.

Those playing Barclays' Fantasy Premier League setup have to deal with daily price fluctuations depending on popularity, so it's vital to get the right players in just before they become hot. Who should you be looking to add ahead of 2014 and for the duration of January?

Using stats provided by the aforementioned game, let's take a look.

Stars to Buy Now Ahead of New Year

Tim Howard, Everton

Everton players are generally popular on Fantasy Football this season, largely due to the fact Roberto Martinez's men have lost just one match heading into the busy Christmas schedule.

Tim Howard's performances have been noteworthy for a Toffees side that can mix it with anyone in the division. While many already have Seamus Coleman in their squads, it's a wise choice to invest in all things blue and double up on Everton defenders.

Howard has eight clean sheets from 16 matches so far, meaning he's accumulated bonus points across 50 percent of all fixtures. He made six saves in the recent win over Manchester United and, right now, sits atop the goalkeepers' points chart at the measly price of £5.8.

Looking ahead to Everton's fixtures throughout January, expect the American to rack up further points without a problem.

Tim Howard, Fantasy Football Stats
AppearancesPointsAverage Points per GameJan. 2014 Fixtures
16794.94Stoke (A), Norwich (H), West Brom (A), Liverpool (A)
fantasy.premierleague.com

Mamadou Sakho, Liverpool

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Mamadou Sakho of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on December 7, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive B
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Luis Suarez may be ripping through anyone put in front of him, but Liverpool's increased stability at the back is helping Brendan Rodgers' side maintain pace with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.

Mamadou Sakho has come back into the side after missing four consecutive games and, it must be said, the powerful defender has upped his game considerably. He netted during the Reds' 4-1 win over West Ham and looks to have regained the faith of Rodgers, who has slowed down on constantly rotating his centre-backs.

Consistency is key for Sakho, but don't put him in just yet. Wait until Liverpool have completed away trips to Manchester City and Chelsea by the end of December, then give him the nod.

Mamadou Sakho, Liverpool
AppearancesPointsAverage Points per GameJan. 2014 Fixtures
9343.78Hull (H), Stoke (A), Aston Villa (H), Everton (H)
fantasy.premierleague.com

 Theo Walcott, Arsenal

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium  on December 14, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Cli
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It was rather easy to forget about Theo Walcott during the England international's recent injury spell.

The lightning-quick winger thrust himself back into the consciousness of Fantasy Football players when he netted two excellent goals in Arsenal's 6-3 defeat to Manchester City, suggesting he is ready to help Olivier Giroud when it comes to scoring for the Gunners.

Walcott is currently priced £0.4 lower than his starting total at £9.1, meaning you should select him quickly if you wish to make a profit. Arsene Wenger is sure to give the former Southampton star opportunities in the new year, especially when he gets a run of games under his belt across Christmas.

Experienced players will realise Walcott usually performs well in bursts, so monitor his form and react instinctively to how long he should stay in.

Theo Walcott, Fantasy Football Stats
AppearancesPointsAverage Points per GameJan. 2014 Fixtures
9384.22Cardiff (H), Aston Villa (A), Fulham (H), Southampton (A)
fantasy.premierleague.com

Yoan Gouffran, Newcastle

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:   Yoan Gouffran of Newcastle United controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St James' Park on December 14, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (P
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Many Fantasy Football players will have enjoyed having Loic Remy in their sides over recent weeks, but Yoan Gouffran's ascension to regular Newcastle goalscorer should have many sniffing around the forward.

The Frenchman has worked hard to improve his game in England and appears to be taking up a greater amount of dangerous positions in and around the box. He's scored important goals in four of the Magpies' last seven games and looks to be gaining greater confidence as the weeks progress.

Considering he is currently priced £0.1 lower than his starting mark of £6.5, it seems Gouffran will provide excellent value for money and the chance of profit throughout January.

Yoan Gouffran, Fantasy Football Stats
AppearancesPointsAverage Points per GameJan. 2014 Fixtures
16623.86West Brom (A), Man. City (H), West Ham (A), Norwich (A)
fantasy.premierleague.com

Which Premier League players are you looking to add to your Fantasy Football team for 2014? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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