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Kevin De Bruyne, MCI v. ARS ($22): There was a time when Sergio Aguero ($21) was more expensive than everyone else on Man City. Now, that title belongs to De Bruyne and that's how it should be. He has eight goals and 16 assists this season, averaging more than four chances created per 90 minutes, which usually leads to a floor of around 15 fantasy points. There's a reasonable build in which you can get both De Bruyne and Aguero, though they'll also be the two most popular players on the two-game slate. As the bigger favorite with chances to score three or more goals, you should have at least two Man City players in your squad. Sure, a GPP lineup is possible with Arsenal or a team from the other match, but good luck with that. That said, it won't be easy picking players because Man City are deep and the five substitutes will likely lead to a lot of their attacking options getting subbed off. Anyone on their team can be considered, but I'd definitely look to Bernardo Silva ($15) or David Silva ($14), who are two of the cheaper options and both can make the score-sheet. The downside to City is that there's a path to a 3-0 win where Raheem Sterling ($19) scores and then a couple players who come off the bench add two more in the second half. Not to mention the possibility that Phil Foden ($8) starts and wins all of the GPPs.
Jack Grealish, AVL v. SHU ($17): If you're completely off Arsenal, Grealish is the way to go in the first match. Oddly, his biggest boost may be the return of John McGinn ($13), who was injured in December. In 16 starts with McGinn, Grealish has five goals and four assists, and prior to the injury, he was on a run of at least 25 fantasy points in six of nine starts. Without McGinn, Grealish has two goals and two assists in 10 starts, failing to surpass seven fantasy points in half of those. On the downside, Sheffield United have had one of the better defenses in the league and limited Villa to no shots on goal and two corners in the first meeting. If you don't have the money to reach for Grealish, McGinn is also a viable option, assuming he starts. Otherwise, the Villa options are limited unless you want to bank on a goal from Mbwana Samatta ($16) or hope for defensive stats from someone like Marvelous Nakamba ($7).
Bukayo Saka, ARS at MCI ($12): There are flashier plays for Arsenal, but spending up on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($18) or Nicolas Pepe ($15) will likely end in disappointment. In that situation, you're hoping Arsenal stay competitive and can grab a couple goals while still losing. They're definitely a GPP option, but keep in mind the Gunners have scored one goal in the last five meetings in this matchup. That's not good. Saka may play more forward because Arsenal return a lot of defenders from injury, but position shouldn't matter. He's cheap, young and can play multiple positions, which should help his chances of staying on the pitch for a full 90. Edward Nketiah ($13) is also possible in this range, but he's not as likely to go the entire way. Saka at least supplies some upside on the wing compared to Man City options like Rodri ($12) and Ilkay Gundogan ($11).
John Fleck, SHU at AVL ($9): The problem with Sheffield United is that they have four-plus forwards they switch between, and none of them have much of a floor. And while they could score two or three goals against Villa, their goals have come from all over this season which is why Fleck and John Lundstram ($15) are two of their leading scorers. However, I can't answer why they're so different in price. Even Oliver Norwood is a few bucks more than Fleck, which is why I'm backing the latter. Fleck bagged a brace in the first meeting with Villa, and while his numbers dipped before the pandemic, it shows in his price. I'm not saying he's going to score twice again, but his price allows you to go big on Man City or spend up at defender. Maybe he'll only hit five points, but he could guarantee you capture Man City's best three players in your other forward/midfield positions.
Kieran Tierney, ARS at MCI ($8): It's a toss up as to who will start on Arsenal's back line, but whoever it is should rack up defensive stats. Man City force the second-most clearances and second-most blocks in the league and should be in attack-mode the majority of this contest. I'm betting on Tierney to start after Mikel Arteta said he was "something special" in an interview during quarantine. Tierney's best trait is that he loves getting forward, but in this matchup, he should also supply a decent amount of defensive stats. If someone like Pablo Mari ($6) starts at center-back, I'd probably grab him instead only because he'll be set for a better floor at a cheaper price. Shkodran Mustafi ($13) has had a solid floor when in the squad, but he's a tad expensive, especially if Mari starts alongside him. As for City, I wouldn't play games with their guys because their center-backs aren't worth it and you'll have to wait for the later match to find out who starts at the full-back spots. The same goes for Tierney, but there are a lot of Arsenal defenders in the same price range so it shouldn't be a problem.
Ezri Konsa, AVL v. SHU ($9): If, for some reason, you have $15 sitting around, Tyrone Mings is the way to go. He's a monster on the back line, accruing a variety of stats with a floor around 15 points most matches. The only reason I'd be tentative on Villa is if they use three center-backs because that'll spread out the numbers. They've switched between a four-man and five-man back line throughout the season, so definitely keep an eye out. I'm going Konsa over Bjorn Engels ($9) because he's gotten more starts after Mings' return from injury in January. The other part is that Sheffield United force the fourth-most clearances per game in the league and forced 43 clearances out of Villa the first meeting, 23 going to two center-backs.
Dean Henderson, SHU at AVL ($11): If you use Fleck or stick with the cheaper defenders, you should be able to get Henderson into the squad. He's finished in the negative just once this season (first game) and Villa have been near the bottom of the table the majority of the campaign. While you could spend up on Ederson ($14) to get better odds to win, there's also a higher chance he makes one save and allows a goal against a better attack. Taking Pepe Reina ($9) is also a viable method assuming you don't use one of Sheffield United's forwards. He made 21 saves in his last four starts and that could lead to a solid performance even if he allows a goal or two in a loss.