The January transfer window wasn’t as dramatic as those in recent years, with Manchester United spending the highest transfer fee for Chelsea’s Juan Mata. Despite that signing, Chelsea were the only other club to have spent a significant amount, signing winger Mohammed Salah and midfielder Nemanja Matic.
Strugglers Fulham and Crystal Palace were among the clubs to entirely reshape their squad's personnel in the space of 24 hours, reports The Telegraph.
But despite the new signings, fantasy managers should rely on some of the league's consistent and ever-present performers who are really shining and will continue to do so for your fantasy football teams.
February will see some of the biggest clashes at the top and bottom of the table and could be a crucial period to rack up the points.
But which players will have the biggest impact?
Here we review the players you should have in your squads for the next gameweek.
Big Games, Big Players
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez is the leading points taker and could break the 200 mark, the first player to do so, when Arsenal come to Anfield on Saturday. Suarez has already scored 23 goals in 19 league games, per ESPN stats. But it isn’t only his goals that will count, as the Uruguayan has amassed seven assists, too.
The Liverpool striker could become the first player to go through the 200-point barrier if he can score in the game against Arsenal or provide an assist.
However Suarez’s price might put first-time buyers off—he's currently valued at £13.4 million—so how about another Liverpool striker on good form?
Alongside Suarez is Daniel Sturridge, who has scored six goals (including one in the FA Cup) since returning from injury, per ESPN. He even managed a brace at home against rivals Everton and proves great value at £9.7 million.
But even with Liverpool’s forwards scoring, they face a tough test against league leaders Arsenal, who have one of the best defences in the Premiership and seem to be able to get goals from all parts of the team, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s brace on the weekend showed.
In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Arsenal’s defence practically had Suarez and Sturridge in their pocket, and the partnership of German Per Mertesacker and Frenchman Laurent Koscielny has matured over the last 18 months.
Mertesacker will again provide great defensive cover for the Gunners and is a steal at £6.6 million. Koscielny, who ran Suarez ragged in the game at the Emirates, is cheaper at £5.7 million and provides a great alternative.
Another Arsenal player who could set your fantasy team on fire is Jack Wilshere. The England midfielder, reports Jeremy Wilson in The Telegraph, is poised to return to the Arsenal first-team setup and could feature against Liverpool.
Wilshere, priced at only £6.7 million, got three assists and a goal in three games before injury forced him out of Arsenal’s last two fixtures.
Arsenal's Santi Cazorla has notched up 29 points in his last three games, including three goals. Because Arsenal have relied on goalscoring from midfield, the Spaniard offers good value at £9.7 million.
Sunday will see another North London-Merseyside clash as Tottenham welcome Everton to White Hart Lane.
Spurs welcome back midfielder Paulinho for his first home game since returning from injury. Priced at just £6.6 million, the Brazilian racked up 10 points against Hull, which included a goal. That represents good value for the Spurs midfielder, who is the club's highest-scoring midfielder in the fantasy stakes.
Everton will be no pushover, and despite having a strong defence for much of the season, the side have had to depend on the younger, inexperienced John Stones, which has seen them shift six goals in their last three games.
But Roberto Martinez’s Toffees welcome back Seamus Coleman, who provides a goalscoring threat and is amongst the leaders in assists by defencemen. The Irishman is the club's highest-scoring player in the fantasy stakes, with 120 points, and provides good value at £6.5 million.
Relegation Battles: Resurgent Black Cats
Sunderland have been on fine form, with Gus Poyet’s men achieving 10 points from their last 12. Key to that resurgence has been winger Adam Johnson and goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
Johnson, formerly of Manchester City, has notched up 51 points from the last four gameweeks and will look to add to his latest exploits when Sunderland welcome Hull City and former manager Steve Bruce to the Stadium of Light.
Meanwhile, Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone provides a great bargain at £4.4 million after he earned a couple of bonus points after making nine saves and 21 recoveries as the Black Cats kept a clean sheet against rivals Newcastle.
Another key battle in the relegation stakes sees Crystal Palace take on West Brom. Despite the 2-0 loss to Arsenal, Palace has looked good defensively under Tony Pulis, and at £4.2 million, veteran centre-back Danny Gabbidon is a steal. Winger Jason Puncheon, priced at £5.0 million, has also impressed for Palace and has amassed 34 points in the last four gameweeks, nearly half his total for the whole season thus far.
Alternatives to Aguero
With Sergio Aguero injured, hundreds of thousands of fantasy managers have been wondering which striker could fill the void.
Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from their home defeat to rivals Chelsea and have consecutive gameweeks against relegation-threatened teams to get back amongst the goals.
With an away match at struggling Norwich and a home game against Sunderland the following week, now might be the time to cash in on Steven Jovetic. Priced at £8.8 million, the former Fiorentina striker has only played in five games this season. Yet a goal from the substitutes' bench against Tottenham and a small cameo against Chelsea on Monday night showed that he can possibly fill the void left by Aguero.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, Swansea’s Wilfried Bony will be a shrewd signing, and there is no doubt he’ll be up for the derby against Cardiff City on Saturday night. Bony, priced at just £7.7 million, has scored seven goals this season, per ESPN, and will spearhead Michael Laudrup’s attack in a game the Swans must win.
Playing it Safe
Fantasy managers have a tendency to play it safe, so if you have some cash, bring in Robin van Persie.
The Manchester United striker has scored in each of his last two appearances for the club and has nine goals in 13 league games, per ESPN.
Despite reports by The Telegraph’s Mark Ogden that van Persie chooses which matches he plays in for United, David Moyes will most certainly pick him as United need all the quality in their team as they try to bounce back from defeat to Stoke City in this week's fixture against Fulham.
Chelsea, looking to build from their win at Man City, face a struggling Newcastle side at Stamford Bridge. With the Magpies leaking goals, Samuel Eto'o will be on the prowl as he looks to keep Demba Ba out of the team again, but the player to watch out for is Oscar.
The midfielder was dropped for the game at the Etihad, but with Chelsea at home, Mourinho will go for three attacking midfielders behind the striker, which means the Brazilian playmaker will return and may play a key role in this game.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!