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Draft Premier League: Gameweek 17 Start and Sit

Getting your team selection correct in Draft Premier League is just as essential as your pre-season draft or your weekly waiver wire claims. And that’s exactly why we’re here to help with our Gameweek 17 Start and Sit article! We’re here to help you with some of the big Fantasy EPL decisions you may need to make for the upcoming fixtures.

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Gameweek 17 Start and Sit

Whether you’re an obsessed EPL fan like our Fantrax HQ team, or a casual player new to the world of Fantasy EPL, you know to start your attacking players against relegation-threatened sides. We’re not going to waste your time dealing with the obvious! The goal of this article is to delve into notable players across each Fantrax position and let you know if you should be starting or sitting those players.

Our format is as follows: We will be choosing 2 different teams. One will be our starts of the week, made up of non-obvious, low-rostered players. The other will be our sits of the week, made up of highly rostered, normally started players.

Now let’s see the Gameweek 17 Start and Sit contenders!


We’re baaaaaack! After a seemingly endless break, EPL play resumes on Boxing Day. Let’s dust off the Fantrax rosters and get back to business. GW17, inherently, is going to be a tricky one given the unique circumstances of a mid-season World Cup. Some players will not have enough time to recover from just playing in Qatar while others will be raring to go after a long hiatus. It will be important, even more than usual, to be flexible and adapt this GW & throughout the festive season. With that in mind, let’s have it!

Starts of the Week XI

PlayerPos.TeamOpponent% Rostered
Kepa ArrizabalagaGCHE@BOU26%
Levi ColwillDBRI@SOU3%
Kieran TierneyDARSWHU37%
Tyrell MalaciaDMUNNOT38%
Hugo BuenoDWOL@EVE5%
Douglas LuizMAVLLIV27%
Joao MoutinhoMWOL@EVE30%
Mikel DamsgaardMBRFTOT5%
Dwight McNeilMEVEWOL43%
Eddie NketiahFARSWHU18%
Goncalo GuedesFWOL@EVE24%

Average % Rostered: 23%

At Goalkeeper, we’re going with Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK; Chelsea). The oft-ridiculed Spaniard had an amazing run before the World Cup but went down with a knock. It’s still unknown if he’ll be back in time for this kind fixture – on paper at least – against Bournemouth. If so, slot him in. He also has the advantage of a nice upcoming schedule.

The stalwarts at the back consist of Levi Colwill (DEF; Brighton), Kieran Tierney (DEF; Arsenal), Tyrell Malacia (DEF; Man Utd), & Hugo Bueno (DEF; Wolves). Colwill, a former Chelsea academy player that unsurprisingly had to leave to get playing time, came in for his season debut against Aston Villa before the WC break. And he put in a shift, dropping 11.5 ghost points. If he keeps his place v Southampton, he’s a top defensive streamer and potential long hold. Tierney is finally fit (supposedly) while Zinchenko is nursing a knock (when is he not?), which means he has a good chance to start at LB at home to West Ham, a nice matchup. Meanwhile, up north, Malacia will likely come in for Diogo Dalot, who was missing from training this week, and is up against lowly Nottingham Forest. Lastly, new manager Julen Lopetegui will be looking to utilize his fullbacks against goal-shy Everton. Either Hugo Bueno or Rayan Ait-Nouri will get the nod at LB and both have bagged goals recently – act accordingly.

In the engine room, we’re going with Douglas Luiz (MID; Aston Villa), Joao Moutinho (MID; Wolves), Mikel Damsgaard (MID; Brentford), & Dwight McNeil (MID; Everton). Luiz has the potential to become a solid MID3 under Unai Emery and his set pieces provide a nice floor against a still suspect (until proven otherwise) Liverpool defense at home. Moutinho may or may not feature in the Loptegui system – if he does, he’s always streamable, especially against Everton. Oh, Damsgaard. We’ve stopped saying “last chance saloon” because of all the erstwhile heartbreak he’s caused. Having said all that, if he gets a start, he’s worth a shout (his fellow ‘gaard, Christian Norgaard, is a decent alternative). Finally, Dwight McNeil has been underwhelming but still has it in his locker to put up some fantasy points and has Wolves at home. We prefer Joe Willock here, but he’s more heavily rostered, and we don’t always get what we want.

Up front, we have some low-hanging fruit: Eddie Nketiah (FWD; Arsenal) & Goncalo Guedes (FWD; Wolves). It is criminal that Nketiah is still only 18% rostered. Come on, people, do better. Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just leading a normal, fantasy-less life over the past month, you’re aware that Gabriel Jesus went down at the World Cup & Nketiah will be taking over as the Arsenal #9 for the next few months. A tasty matchup against West Ham at home, following intense warm-weather training in Dubai, is a great opportunity for Eddie to step up. Meanwhile, we’re all waiting with bated breath to see the new Wolves manager’s first starting lineup – if it includes Guedes, giddy up.

Sits of the Week XI

PlayerPos.TeamOpponent% Rostered
Hugo LlorisGTOT@BRF95%
Kyle WalkerDMCI@LEE66%
Sven BotmanDNEW@LEI96%
Aaron CresswellDWHU@ARS98%
Matty CashDAVLLIV68%
Ivan Perisic MTOT@BRF97%
Brendan AaronsonMLEEMCI83%
Tomas SoucekMWHU@ARS95%
Granit XhakaMARSWHU83%
Gianluca ScamaccaFWHU@ARS74%

Average % Rostered: 86%

Here are those who get a lump of coal from Santa this GW. Between the sticks is Hugo Lloris (GK; Tottenham), fresh off World Cup final disappointment with France. He may not even make it in time for this match and even if he does, will he be in the right frame of mind? Add in the fact that it’s Spurs and all signs point to the bench.

Unlucky defenders include Kyle Walker (DEF; Manchester City); Sven Botman (DEF; Newcastle United); Aaron Cresswell (DEF; West Ham United); & Matty Cash (DEF; Aston Villa). Now that Walker is back fit, plenty of managers (too many) will be tempted to field him this week and every week. Us veterans know that he doesn’t score well and is very capable of a stinker, especially if City doesn’t bag a clean sheet. No thanks. Botman & the Newcastle defense have been solid this season but Leicester away is tricky and the projections don’t go in his favor – bench him if you have better options. It is a shame to include the fantasy legend that is Aaron Cresswell. But he is still recovering from injury and has a terrible matchup at the Emirates. Rest up, king. And Matty Cash has just been bad – whether for Villa or Poland – and he could ship a few goals against a dangerous Liverpool, especially without king shit-houser Emi Martinez in goal. Pass.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the park, we have Ivan Perisic (MID; Tottenham); Brendan Aaronson (MID; Leeds United); Tomas Soucek (MID; West Ham United); & Granit Xhaka (MID; Arsenal). Perisic is aging and just put on a lot of miles at the World Cup with Croatia. In the unlikely event that he goes against Brentford, he is very unlikely to see more than 60 minutes. It’s the early game; don’t count on starting him. Aaronson will be buzzing to get back to Leeds after not seeing any starts in Qatar with the red, white, and blue. But he shouldn’t be trusted against Man City. Former fantasy darling Tomas Soucek has not been himself this season and likely won’t see much of the ball against league leaders Arsenal (it never gets old pointing that out). Speaking of the Gunners, the midfield enforcer, Granit Xhaka, also clocked a lot of minutes (360 to be exact) at the World Cup with Switzerland & didn’t get much of a break. He could be too exhausted to put in much of a shift v West Ham.

And leading this unfortunate line is Rodrigo (FWD; Leeds United) & Gianluca Scamacca (FWD; West Ham United). The opposition usually has very few opportunities against Man City and we can’t rely on Rodrigo to put up many ghost points. He would need an attacking return and while it’s possible, a better alternative is surely available. The same goes for Scamacca, who is boom or bust and nursing an injury. If the lanky Italian recovers in time, he is still a no from me. He is unlikely to see much joy against league leaders Arsenal (last time).

Make sure you also check out our official EPL content partner, The Draft Society, for all the latest! Check out their Fantrax Weekly Player Projections page for more player evaluations for the upcoming week!

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