Fantasy Premier League Rankings: Gameweek 16
Fantasy Premier League Rankings: Gameweek 16

This article is part of our Fantasy Premier League Rankings series.

The Premier League's official fantasy game is played over time, which seemingly makes these rankings, which are done only for the upcoming gameweek, a bit odd on the surface. However, I've always viewed these as more helpful to those looking to make certain roster decisions, like whether to start someone like Robert Snodgrass in a midfield spot versus Aleksandar Mitrovic as a third forward or Sean Morrison as a fifth defender. More practically, since these are positional based, it's helpful to see if you want to use your fourth midfielder spot on Lucas Torreira or Ryan Fraser.

But again, fantasy Premier League isn't played in single weeks, which is why we prioritize the far(ish) future while sacrificing the near future. For example, in the wake of Sergio Aguero's adductor injury, which could hold him out for two weeks, a timeframe that could potentially mean four missed Premier League matches, I decided to transfer in Harry Kane because of Tottenham's favorable holiday schedule. However, I didn't have enough money in the bank for single one-for-one transfer, which means I had to take a minus-four hit while transferring someone else out to facilitate bringing Kane in. I decided that because of his inconsistent playing time, I was willing to part ways with Alexandre Lacazette while keeping Marko Arnautovic in my squad. Looking at the pool of available forwards in the price range I needed, I focused my attention on two players: Callum Wilson and Wilfried Zaha. I was very much interested in Wilson's Gameweek 15 matchup at home against Huddersfield (though looking back, my no. 8 ranking for him was way too low), but his upcoming schedule didn't seem to be as favorable as Zaha's:

Wilson: v. Huddersfield, v. Liverpool, at Wolverhampton, v. Brighton, at Tottenham, at Manchester United, v. Watford
Zaha: at Brighton, at West Ham, v. Leicester, at Manchester City, v. Cardiff, v. Chelsea, at Wolverhampton

They weren't drastically different, but Wilson having to play against Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United seemed worse to me than Zaha playing Manchester City and Chelsea, in terms of tougher matchups (the others all kind of feel the same to me in the sense that I wouldn't hesitate starting either guy in those matchups). So, I viewed them both pretty similarly, but with Zaha, at least in my mind, having an ever-so-slightly easier schedule, I went with him.

Of course, Zaha blanked in Gameweek 15 despite creating four chances while Wilson had a goal and an assist and three bonus points, and we now head into Gameweek 16 with Wilson as the second-highest scoring forward in the Premier League's official game, trailing only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by a single point. Oh, and Arnautovic came off early with a hamstring injury that could keep him out for the entire holiday period.

Obviously there's still time for Zaha to pass Wilson (it's not a one-week season, after all), but it sure burns that he's already in a decent deficit after one game. It's just another reminder that while we can do our best to plan for the future, three goals today is worth more than one goal this week and one goal the next.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew M. Laird
Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is also a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Football Writer of the Year Award.
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