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Fantasy Premier League preview for Gameweek 27

Frustrated with your Fantasy Premier League team? You're not alone. The average FPL team score last week was just 43 points.

That equals the second-lowest average score of the season -- bettering only Gameweek 8, when the average score was 41.

A lot has changed since Gameweek 8, when the members of the Dream Team included Joe Hart, Per Mertesacker, Nacer Chadli and Manolo Gabbiadini. No wonder that week stunk!

Here are some better suggestions, heading into Gameweek 27 this coming weekend:

Fresh air: Who would have thought that the top three added players this week would all come from Arsenal -- sixth in the table, and very much in danger of missing out on the Champions League for the second year in a row.

What a difference a week can make ... or a couple of new players. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (one goal) and especially Henrikh Mkhitaryan (three assists) looked excellent in the Gunners' 5-1 demolition of Everton last Saturday, and Aaron Ramsey (hat trick) certainly looked rejuvenated as well.

I'm not surprised that people are rushing to pick up these players, but here's the problem. Arsenal play at Spurs in the early kickoff this Saturday (7:30 a.m. ET), and then host Manchester City in Gameweek 28. I'd hold off and let these fixtures play out if possible. After that, Arsenal have seven straight games against non-"Big Six" clubs.

But if you're among the 7.4 percent of FPL players who still have Alexandre Lacazette in your squad, go ahead and abandon ship. Lacazette was an unused substitute against Everton, which doesn't bode well for the rest of the season. Swap him for Aubameyang if you can find the extra 300,000 pounds.

Tottenham talk: Premier League fans are still buzzing about Spurs' wild 2-2 draw with Liverpool last week, because of all the late drama, including two controversial penalty calls. Harry Kane missed his first penalty kick, but converted the second for his league-leading 22nd goal of the season.

I can't say I'm particularly excited about any Spurs players right now, other than Kane. I don't think there are any must-sells, like Lacazette, but I wouldn't rush to add any players either. Dele Alli hasn't scored a goal in the past five weeks, and Heung-Min Son has gone goal-less in three straight. But after Arsenal, Spurs' next four opponents are Crystal Palace (away), Huddersfield (home), Bournemouth (away) and Newcastle (home) -- big opportunities for points.

Big miss: If you captained Raheem Sterling last week, as I nearly did, I feel for you. Sterling had a game-high five shots and an xG (expected goals) total of 1.04 -- including a wide-open chance that he flubbed in the second half -- in Manchester City's 1-1 draw at Burnley.

I wouldn't lose faith in Sterling, though. He's been great this season with 14 league goals and 10 assists. Man City host Leicester City in the late kickoff on Saturday (12:30 p.m. ET), who will be without Riyad Mahrez again, by the way.

David Silva is still on 7.1 percent of FPL rosters, but he missed the Burnley game with an abdominal injury and should be dropped anyway as he hasn't had a goal or an assist since Gameweek 17. And hopefully you heeded last week's warning about new defender Aymeric Laporte -- he was on the bench against Burnley, after starting his first game, and it appears likely Pep Guardiola will be rotating his central defenders.

Big decision: Jose Mourinho dropped Paul Pogba from his starting lineup for Manchester United's 2-0 home victory over Huddersfield last Saturday, disappointing a good chunk of FPL players. Pogba is currently on 15 percent of rosters.

I don't expect that to happen again when they play at Newcastle on Sunday (9:15 a.m. ET), but I'd drop Pogba anyway -- he hasn't scored a goal since Gameweek 12. Mkhitaryan costs less than Pogba and David Silva at 7.8 million pounds.

Jesse Lingard is on 15.6 percent of rosters, and I'm worried about him too ... he's gone without a goal or an assist in four straight games. At least he started in all four (and he did fire off four shots against Huddersfield), but Lingard was substituted in each of those games, playing barely more than 60 minutes in each of the past two weeks. It's a favorable matchup this week against the Magpies, but two of Man United's next three games are against Chelsea and Liverpool. I'm holding onto Lingard this week, but probably not for much longer.

Gimme Mo! Mohamed Salah continues to delight FPL players. He scored both goals in Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Spurs last week, including a brilliant individual strike in stoppage time that many called Messi-esque (and it was). Salah now has 204 FPL points, 39 ahead of Sterling in second place. If only Salah wasn't on a whopping 57.0 percent of rosters!

Liverpool play at Southampton on Sunday (11:30 a.m. ET), and believe it or not, it's worth considering adding a Liverpool defender to your squad. Only two of their final 12 league games are against other "Big Six" clubs. They're still in the Champions League, but they're out of the FA Cup, which minimizes rotation risk somewhat.

I currently have Andrew Robertson, who's started 11 of their past 12 league games and would only cost you 4.7 million pounds. But I'm a little worried that Robertson could lose his spot or rotate with Alberto Moreno, who has returned from injury and made the bench last week. Virgil van Dijk will probably be the team's most reliable starter on defense the rest of the way, but he'll cost a little more at 5.5 million. I advised folks to steer clear of van Dijk last week, but I've thought better of that after a closer look at Liverpool's remaining schedule. I'd rather have him than Laporte at the same price.

Doom and gloom: It's hard to believe, but Chelsea are coming off back-to-back three-goal losses to Bournemouth and Watford. Antonio Conte's job is under serious threat, and naturally you won't be inclined to add any Chelsea players this week despite them hosting bottom-of-the-table West Brom (Monday, 3 p.m. ET).

The question is, should you drop anyone? Particularly defender Marcos Alonso, who missed his first league game of the season against Watford with what's been dubbed a minor hamstring injury. Alonso's status for West Brom is still up in the air, and you'll have to make a decision by early Saturday morning when lineups lock ... tough call.

Given the matchup, I'd probably keep Alonso for at least one more week. But I certainly wouldn't add any Chelsea players right now, especially considering their upcoming schedule. After West Brom, they face back-to-back away games against Manchester United and Manchester City.

Good Deul! He was overshadowed by Arsenal's newcomers, but Watford's Gerard Deulofeu made a big splash in his second game since joining the club on loan from Barcelona. He scored a goal and earned an assist by drawing a penalty in their 4-1 win over Chelsea on Monday. He also handled four of Watford's six corner kicks in the game and collected three bonus points -- pretty good for 6 million pounds. However, it is worth remembering that Chelsea played much of that game with 10 men after Tiemoue Bakayoko's 30th-minute red card.

If you have Deulofeu's teammate Richarlison, you could swap the two and save 200,000 pounds. Richarlison continues to frustrate -- he did take four more shots against Chelsea, and remains fourth in the league in shots overall with 78. Of more concern is that he's been taken off after 67 and 64 minutes in the past two games. Watford play at West Ham on Saturday (10 a.m. ET), who have given up 46 goals this season -- tied for second-worst in the league. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if either Richarlison or Deloufeu -- or both -- score this weekend.

Fellow Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure continues to be one of the biggest surprises of the season. He's up to 109 FPL points -- five more than Alexis Sanchez, for cryin' out loud! -- after his two assists last week. But I still like Richarlison and Deulofeu more (even though they're more expensive). Doucoure doesn't shoot nearly as often ... he has seven goals but his xG total is only 3.34, making him the second luckiest goal-scorer in the league statistically.

Back on the wagon: I haven't had a Burnley defender in my FPL squad for a while, but I'm seriously considering picking one back up this week. They haven't posted a clean sheet in five straight games, but the upcoming schedule is kind. They play at Swansea City on Saturday (10 a.m. ET), followed by games against Southampton (home), Everton (home) and West Ham (away). And 10 of their final 12 games are against non-"Big Six" clubs.

In the past five games, Burnley have only conceded six goals, and that included games against Liverpool (2-1 loss), Manchester United (1-0 loss) and Manchester City (1-1 draw). They've still only given up 23 goals in 26 games, level with Chelsea and behind only Man United (18) and Man City (19).

Who would I grab? Well, center back James Tarkowski has missed the past two games due to injury, left back Stephen Ward may or may not return from injury this week, and right back Phil Bardsley had started 13 straight league games but had to come off at halftime of the Man City game due to injury. The safest bet is Ben Mee, who costs a little more than the others but is still relatively cheap at 4.9 million pounds.

Hail, Carlos! Swansea City is coming off an 8-1 victory ... but that was in an FA Cup replay against League Two side Notts County on Tuesday. Nevertheless, scoring eight goals in any game is impressive, and Swansea are definitely playing much better under new manager Carlos Carvalhal. They've won three and drawn two of his first six league games in charge, including victories over Liverpool and Arsenal.

Going up against Burnley's defense this week won't be easy, but Swansea's next four fixtures are against Brighton (away), West Ham (home), Huddersfield (away) and Southampton (home).

Jordan Ayew continues to look like the best budget striker out there at 5.3 million pounds. He's started the past seven league games, has four goals in the past eight weeks, and should continue to play heavy minutes -- especially now that Wilfried Bony is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Ayew was rested for the Notts County game, and they obviously didn't need him.

Palace intrigue: In case you missed it, Wilfried Zaha played the full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle last week but suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for at least a month.

Zaha hadn't scored a goal since Gameweek 18, anyway. It was time to move on, if you had him.

You could do a lot worse than Zaha's Crystal Palace teammate Luka Milivojevic, who is significantly cheaper at 4.7 million pounds and has outperformed Zaha this season. Milivojevic scored his sixth goal of the season last week, and five of the six have come since Gameweek 16. Four of those goals are via penalty kicks, but so what? He's dirt cheap.

Here's the catch: After playing at Everton on Saturday (10 a.m. ET), four of Crystal Palace's next five games are against Spurs, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. I'd consider Milivojevic again in a few weeks.

Other options: In the meantime, new Newcastle winger Kenedy is more attractive at the same price. He had an assist in his first game two weeks ago, and really should have had another last week -- his corner kick led to Mohamed Diame's goal, but Ayoze Perez was credited with the assist. Unfortunately Kenedy was taken off pretty early in both games, but perhaps Rafa Benitez is just managing his minutes early on.

Newcastle host Manchester United this week, and also play Liverpool and Spurs in the next five weeks -- that's a tough schedule, too. But I'd lean toward Kenedy right now because of his pedigree (he's a Chelsea loanee), and because he looks more dangerous in open play. If you're looking for a very cheap fifth midfielder, he'd be my choice.

If you have a little more money to spend, Southampton's James Ward-Prowse (5.1 million) has three goals, two assists and eight bonus points in the past four weeks, and takes set pieces. Southampton play Liverpool this week, but their next five games are against non-"Big Six" clubs.