Fantasy Premier League 2013: Projecting Optimal Lineup for Week 19

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City applauds the fans as he is substituted during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on December 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Looking at the fixture list for this weekend's Premier League play, it's difficult weeding out the star performers from the rest of the crowd. That's why I'm here.

Each week, you can count on the big names to perform up to their reputation. The key when it comes to fantasy football is finding which players outside the elite are destined for big days. Sometimes, it's gonna be Scott Parker, Jay Rodriguez and Jonas Olsson who end up giving you a bunch of points.

Ahead is a lineup that could prove to be the dream team for Matchday 19 when using a 3-4-3 formation.

Note: Prices are courtesy of ESPN FC.


G: Joe Hart (6.3)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Joe Hart of Manchester City celebrates victory after the final whistle during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on December 26, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Joe Hart performed well enough against Liverpool. He may have let a goal in, but otherwise, he remained confident between the sticks, which is a major improvement from where he was a month or so ago.

The BBC's Phil McNulty singled the British goalkeeper out after the match:

Things get easier for Hart this weekend. Manchester City have a home match against Crystal Palace. It should be a win for City, and a clean sheet is a likely outcome.


D: Vincent Kompany (6.7), Patrice Evra (7.7), John Terry (7.3)

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

Vincent Kompany had a man-of-the-match performance against Liverpool on Thursday. He disrupted many of the Reds' chances in the final third and had the equalizer in the 31st minute. Kompany won't be asked to do as much against Crystal Palace, so it should be easier for the centre-back this weekend. Although expecting goals in back-to-back matches is unrealistic, he's a good bet for a clean sheet.

Against the inconsistent Norwich attack, Patrice Evra and the whole of the Manchester United back line shouldn't surrender any goals. With Evra, though, you get the bonus of his runs forward, which presents the chance for an assist. Maybe you hit the jackpot, and he even scores.

With Chelsea's defensive strength and Jose Mourinho's propensity for pragmatic football against top sides, John Terry should help to keep Liverpool off the board. The Blues are a much better side at home, and they'll blanket Luis Suarez for the entire match. Liverpool have struggled at times creating goals when the Uruguayan star is taken out of the picture.

With Terry, you also have his ability on set pieces.


M: Yaya Toure (10.4), Eden Hazard (9.3), Adam Lallana (6.7), Oussama Assaidi (6.1)

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 09:  Adam Lallana of Southampton celebrates after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Hull City at St Mary's Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/G
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Yaya Toure is a feast of famine player at times. There's rarely any in between. Either he adds virtually nothing to the game, or he is a colossus at both the defensive and offensive ends. As long as he doesn't fall asleep against Palace, Toure should have a great game and possibly sneak a goal.

Chelsea vs. Liverpool is unlikely to feature a lot of goals, as mentioned earlier. Mourinho will play a defensive style, rather than have his team sit on the ball and string passes together. That's why guys like Oscar and Frank Lampard aren't automatic starts.

Eden Hazard, though, has been fantastic this season. And his speed could rip Liverpool apart on the counter, much as Jesus Navas was able to do against the Reds on Thursday.

Without Tim Howard, Everton will likely struggle in defense. That means Southampton could have plenty of chances at goal, many of which will stem from the play of Adam Lallana. What's nice about Lallana is that he's reasonably priced. You could add a solid midfielder to the squad without breaking the bank.

Out of all these players, Oussama Assaidi is by far the biggest reach, so I deserve whatever skepticism you may have. He had that wonderful winner against Chelsea on Dec. 7 and then scored Stoke City's only goal against Newcastle on Boxing Day. The Potters likely won't beat Tottenham on Sunday, but Assaidi's quickness and flair make him a threat on the counter, so Stoke could end up stealing a consolation goal from nothing.


F: Alvaro Negredo (9.0), Wayne Rooney (10.5), Roberto Soldado (8.3)

HULL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Manchester United at KC Stadium on December 26, 2013 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Alvaro Negredo is on a robust run of form, and without Sergio Aguero, he'll continue to be the main man up front for Manchester City. Facing off against Crystal Palace means Negredo should be in for a good day. City are a steamroller at home, so even a Tony Pulis-led team will struggle to keep this match scoreless.

Throughout the morass at Old Trafford this season, Wayne Rooney has continuously shone through. Prior to Manchester United's win over Hull City, David Moyes praised the efforts of his star striker, via the BBC:

What Wayne is doing is making the others play well because he is playing well. He has turned himself into a real team player. With the assists for the team and the goals, his all-round contribution has been fantastic.

He's been United's most consistent presence on the pitch and shouldered the majority of the attacking burden. Norwich City are a better side at home, but United have begun to hit their stride under Moyes. The Red Devils, and Rooney in particular, should have a nice performance against the Canaries.

Tottenham Hotspur should play much better with Tim Sherwood as manager. He's far from a tactical genius, but his more laid-back approach could be the change of culture following Andre Villas-Boas' micro-managing. One of the players helped the most could be Roberto Soldado. His service should improve, which will give him more chances in front of goal.