The Premier League is a long old season. It’s a struggle to keep fantasy owners engrossed whilst drowning in the sea of fixtures that comprises the Premier League schedule. At least this week we may be encountering the calm before the January deadline storm. Whilst some managers may lose faith while lost in this sea, the fantasy sharks feast. Be a shark, feast on this weeks list of Premier League waiver wire pickups.
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Week 22 Premier League Waiver Wire
The FPL Draft waiver wire deals with players owned in 65% or less of Fantrax Leagues.
1. Fernando Llorente – Forward – Tottenham – 65% Owned
Sometimes you don’t have to be the most attractive man at the party, you just have to be the last. The perfect storm of injuries to Harry Kane and Delle Alli along with Son’s departure for the Asian cup mean that Llorente is likely to be leading the line for Spurs for the foreseeable future. At 33, Llorente will be a big step down from Kane or Son but he has been an elite player in the past. Before signing with Spurs in 2017 Llorente netted 15 goals for Swansea. At 6’4”, Llorente is an imposing aerial threat and before this weekend was a deft finisher. Spurs really have no options so Llorente will start games and that kind of opportunity will return fantasy value. Barring a transfer window signing Llorente should be considered a priority Premier League waiver wire pick up.
2. Javier Hernandez – Forward – West Ham – 65% Owned
You might not know it but there was also a game of football at Upton Park this weekend when everyone lost their minds over the presence of a retired porn star. West Ham lost 2-0 and Arnautovic’s absence may well be indicative of a move to China. The Hammers started Andy Carrol up front in this one to little effect, before bringing on Chicarito with 24 minutes to play. Hernandez has had a stop-start season due mostly to injuries and being the second choice behind Arnie. If he can stay healthy now, you would expect him to play the lions share of the minutes for the rest of the season. Hernandez has quality and he will always score fantasy points as a striker. The only reason to pick up Llorente over Hernandez from the Premier League waiver wire is that Tottenham is a much better team than West Ham, but Hernandez is a fine pick up nonetheless.
3. James Ward Prowse – Midfielder – Southampton – 58% Owned
Could we finally be seeing the James Ward-Prowse that was once meant o be ‘England’s saviour’? At 24 Ward Prowse still has time to make good on his potential and has found some form of late. Prowse scored a cracking long-range effort to give the Saints the lead on Saturday, meaning he has scored in back to back games. Prowse takes corners and took a penalty last week, suggesting his fantasy stock may be about to sharply rise. Southampton has been greatly re-energised under Hasenhüttl and has an appetising run of fixtures coming up. Teams needing a midfielder can feel confident about riding Ward-Prowse’s good run of form after picking him up from the Premier League waiver wire.
4. Oumar Niasse – Forward – Cardiff – 17% Owned
For the deep dive, Oumar Niasse makes an interesting Premier League waiver wire option. Cardiff has been in desperate need of a striker for most of their season and now they get Niasse on loan from Everton. Niasse is a replacement level Premier League player with a relatively low ceiling, but he did show he could do a job for a team battling relegation when he went on loan to Hull. Niasse started straight away for Cardiff which is encouraging, and Cardiff has shown occasional signs of life this season. It has to be pretty dire straits to be considering Niasse but sometimes in deep leagues, it’s a necessary risk.
5. No One – No Position – Nowhereshampton Wanderers – 0% Owned
I know, this jokes getting old fast, but the advice is sound. Fantasy leagues genuinely are won in the January transfer window and big 6 teams do seem to be showing significant interest in some potentially league shattering players. The top of that list is a 31-year-old Argentinian in Italy who would likely be selected as a first round pick if he was playing in the Premier League at the start of the season. Hold out one more week and be in prime position to pick up these game-changers from the Premier League waiver wire.
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