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 26 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.
Gameweek 26 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 26 Start and Sit contenders!
Starts of the Week XI
Player Pos. Team Opponent % Rostered
Keylor Navas G NOT EVE 43%
Alex Moreno D AVL CRY 21%
Harry Souttar D LEI @SOU 8%
Joel Veltman D BHA WHU 26%
Neco Williams D NOT EVE 57%
Emiliano Buendia M AVL CRY 61%
Christian Norgaard M BRF FUL 64%
Thomas Partey M ARS BOU 62%
Hamed Traore M BOU @ARS 35%
Paul Onuachu F SOU LEI 21%
Tete F LEI @SOU 46%
Average % Rostered: 40%
Starting between the posts in this rare single gameweek is Keylor Navas. Going on trends since his arrival, Forest is brilliant at home and dreadful on the road. A home match against Everton should bode well for the Costa Rican.
The same logic applies for Neco Williams, who should continue at right back with the injury-enforced absence of Serge Aurier. Speaking of right backs and injuries, Joel Veltman should continue in the role that typically sees him put up a solid floor of counting stats while the left back role will be an interesting choice with Pervis Estupinan looking likely to miss out again. While it was Lucas Digne who got the nod from the start for Villa last week, I think we’ll see Alex Moreno return to the starting lineup for the fixture against goal-shy Crystal Palace. Expect him to be heavily involved in the attack and offer the promise of a clean sheet bonus. Rounding out the back line is Harry Souttar, the Aussie giant. Leicester has been poor of late, but Southampton has been worse. I like his chances to rack up points from aerial duels against his fellow giant in the Saints’ attack even if the Foxes fail to keep a clean sheet again.
A midfield base of the ever-reliable Christian Norgaard and the fit-again Thomas Partey may not offer huge upside potential, but you should feel confident rolling these guys out for a solid floor of 7-8 points and a small hope of double digits. It’s further up the pitch where the upside exists, with Emi Buendia potentially in line for a return to the starting lineup at the expense of either Jacob Ramsey or Leon Bailey for the favorable fixture against Palace. And while Hamed Traore may face the most difficult matchup of all against league leaders Arsenal, he’s proven to be fixture-proof, with double-digit returns against Newcastle and Man City. Don’t be afraid to put him in your lineup.
Up top, I’m tipping Tete to return to some semblance of form against Southampton after a few dreadful displays in the past few weeks. The winger looks like he’ll be pretty goal-dependent for his points, so there’s always the risk of another 0-2 points, but if he’s going to get back on track you have to like his chances against one of the league’s struggling teams. As I mentioned with Harry Souttar, I think we’re in for a clash of the titans between him and Paul Onuachu. The 6’7″ striker is an aerial duel magnet and if he can add a goal to his name he’s set to deliver a haul of points as big as he is.
Sits of the Week XI
Player Pos. Team Opponent % Rostered
Nick Pope G NEW @MCI 92%
Dan Burn D NEW @MCI 92%
Lisandro Martinez D MUN @LIV 79%
Vitalii Mykolenko D EVE @NOT 71%
Virgil van Dijk D LIV MUN 99%
Pascal Gross M BHA WHU 98%
Jack Harrison M LEE @CHE 90%
Joelinton M NEW @MCI 95%
Tomas Soucek M WHU @BHA 75%
Antony F MUN @LIV 70%
Alexander Isak F NEW @MCI 77%
Average % Rostered: 85%
After three straight weeks, we’ll give Ederson a break (though you still shouldn’t be rostering him). Instead, we’ll recommend sitting his opposite number in GW26, Nick Pope. Newcastle have shown some cracks in their armor recently and a match at the Etihad may be arriving at the wrong time from their perspective.
It’s not only in goal where I am suggesting you fade your Magpies. Dan Burn, along with his non-Trippier teammates in defense, don’t look set to deliver the goods this time around, though you’d be well-advised to keep hold for their upcoming DGW. The crushing 4-0 defeat for Everton in midweek may dent the confidence of Everton players as they head into a difficult fixture away to Nottingham Forest, so I’d steer clear of Vitalii Mykolenko, who may be a tempting option to keep hold of for anyone who rostered him for Everton’s DGW last time around. The Liverpool-United match could be a crucial one for both sides as the season heads into the critical period for determining teams’ fates next campaign. This fixture has brought plenty of goals and controversy in the past, and I don’t see a clean sheet for either side in this one. I’m not feeling confident in either Lisandro Martinez or Virgil van Dijk.
While I like Brighton’s match-up against West Ham, I can’t help but think Pascal Gross may be in for a sub-par performance by his high standards. There’s a chance the German utility player could be deployed in an unfamiliar left-back role, or utilized in a more holding role in central midfield. He hasn’t been the same fantasy star under Roberto de Zerbi as he was when Graham Potter was still viewed as a good manager, either. On the opposite side of the fixture, I think Tomas Soucek‘s days back in the starting lineup could be numbered with Lucas Paqueta returning to fitness. Even if the Czech does get the start, it’s a tough match and I could see him being replaced early. The Leeds attacking positions are very crowded and, similarly to Soucek’s situation, I could see Jack Harrison either back on the bench for the trip to Chelsea or a candidate for an early shower. Avoid. Returning to the Newcastle match, I think if you have the option to bench them this week, you probably should. Yes, even Joelinton.
Up top, Antony has proven to be very goal-dependent for his points and could see his starting role challenged by the return of Jadon Sancho. Finally, I’ve got one more Newcastle player to call out (sorry, Geordies). Alexander Isak may or may not displace Callum Wilson from the starting lineup, but in any event strikers across the league have had the most difficult time on average against Manchester City than any other team this season.
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!