Fantasy Premier League 2014 Week 31: Defenders, Midfielders and Strikers to Sign

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard celebrates after scoring against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

With just a matter of weeks to go in the current Premier League season, there is no time like the present for fantasy football managers to bring in stunning last-minute signings to bolster their squads and achieve the points needed to win their respective leagues.

Week 31 sees the biggest programme of games this season, with 15 matches being played. It is a double gameweek for most of the top flight's clubs, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. 

With Chelsea only playing once, this might be the week to sell your contingent from the Blues and focus on others who can take advantage of the extra playing time. 

Here are some players you should be considering for your team this week.

All information is from Fantasy Premier League.

 

Strikers

Olivier Giroud and Romelu Lukaku

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08:  Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates with teammate Mesut Oezil after scoring his team's fourth goal during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on March 8, 2014 in London, England.  (P
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

If you do not have Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in your team, you more than likely will not be at the top of your league. The Liverpool pair have been this season's hottest strikers. Suarez has posted a magnificent 230 points this year, an outstanding total, with England forward Sturridge adding 158 points.

However, if you're operating on a budget, a number of players have the form to steal your attention.

At £8.6 million, Arsenal's Olivier Giroud is the fourth-best striker in terms of points accumulated this season, and he is a bargain at the price. With the Gunners having no discernible alternative in the centre-forward position, it is almost guaranteed the Frenchman will play the rest of Arsene Wenger's matches until the end of the season. 

With Arsenal playing twice in this gameweek, there is a huge opportunity for Giroud to grab a score.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08:  Romelu Lukaku of Everton celebrates after scoring a goal to level the scores at 1-1 during the FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Arsenal and Everton at Emirates Stadium on March 8, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gil
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

After missing three of the past five games for Everton, striker Romelu Lukaku also looks like a good value for this gameweek. With 10 goals and six assists, his value has skyrocketed over the course of the season from £7.4 million in Gameweek 5 to as high as £8.8 million over the Christmas period, but he is more affordable at £8.5 million as of this Monday. 

Lukaku has been hugely impressive for Everton this season and has the ability to put together a strong run of form in the final weeks of the season, which could see his value rise once again. Like Arsenal, Everton are involved in two matches this week, making Lukaku's purchase even more tempting.

 

Midfielders

Steven Gerrard and David Silva

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring the second goal by kissing the steadicam during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, Engl
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The midfield has been dominated in fantasy Premier League by Eden Hazard this season. The Chelsea wizard has amassed 188 points from his 13 goals and 10 assists.

However, with the Blues playing just the once this week, opportunities remain elsewhere. 

At £9.2 million, Steven Gerrard looks like an amazing value as we go into a double gameweek for Liverpool. Playing in a more withdrawn role for his club this season has not stopped him from scoring points in FPL. 

The legend has 10 goals and 10 assists this season, and the fact that he takes set pieces and penalties for the Reds really aids his cause.

Goal.com chief correspondent Wayne Veysey tweeted about the Liverpool captain's potency from the penalty spot:

Liverpool have been free scoring this term, and with games against Cardiff and Sunderland, their first team will be scoring points once again.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:   Stoke City keeper Asmir Begovic looks on as David Silva celebrates after team mate Yaya Toure has scored the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at the Etihad St
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

However, if you are at your full quota of Liverpool players, as many managers are at present, then the improving form of Manchester City's David Silva is something you should be considering. 

Silva scored a fantastic 14 points in City's last game against Hull, and the Spanish international was once again hugely influential.

His value has stayed consistent for most of the season, and at £9.1 million, he looks like an essential signing, especially if you cannot afford Yaya Toure at £1 million more.

 

Defenders

Martin Skrtel and Jon Flanagan

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Luis Suarez of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's third goal with Martin Skrtel (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, Eng
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Defensive picks really come into their own in FPL in the final weeks of the season. Teams are trying to tighten up to not concede in the race for European places and to avoid relegation.

John Terry, Seamus Coleman and Per Mertesacker have been the top three defenders this season, with their noses for a goal and regular bonus points.

Despite the question marks over Liverpool's defence, Martin Skrtel looks like a great value at only £5.6 million. The big centre-back has a goal in him and scored twice against Arsenal recently. He has 31 points in the last five gameweeks and deserves his spot in anchoring any FPL defence. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15:  Jon Flanagan of Liverpool celebrates scoring their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on December 15, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilh
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Despite Skrtel's form, it is his team-mate who is one of the budget defenders of the season. 

Jon Flanagan has had an outrageous fantasy Premier League year for a player of his value. At £4.3 million, he is the one of the true budget buys of 2013-14. A regular in a top-four side at that price is amazing. 

He has started Liverpool's last seven games and seems to very much be Brendan Rodgers' first choice now, and 11 points from his last two matches show his potential as we go into the run-in. 

He is the perfect signing to supplement more expensive signings, and he could be a real steal if the Anfield club push on and win the title.