FPL Barometer: No More Mata
FPL Barometer: No More Mata

This article is part of our FPL Barometer series.

This late in the season, it is important for fantasy Premier League owners to consider what each club has to play for and how that might affect playing time decisions. Some clubs are battling for position in the table and will need all hands on deck, some are safe and have prioritized other competitions ahead of league play, while others simply have nothing to fight for and could use the opportunity to give playing time to less experienced players. Injuries and form also carry more weight for some clubs than others because of everything there is to play for, adding to what is already a tricky time of year for FPL owners to navigate. This week's FPL Barometer will discuss some of these scenarios and what implications they can have for your roster.

RISING

Dusan Tadic (MID)
Tadic has a strong history of production on a per-start basis since moving to England, but he has been in and out of the starting XI because of his streaky nature. The Serbian recorded a brace versus Aston Villa in his last appearance, and he has now played a part in five goals over his last five starts. He should have the chance to keep it rolling versus a Manchester City side that could field a weakened side, as they will be playing their fourth match in 10 days.

Raheem Sterling (MID)
Sterling recently returned from a month-long injury absence, and his presence could be crucial this weekend versus Southampton, as Manchester City will be playing their fourth match in 10 days and will likely be without Yaya Toure (calf) and David Silva (hamstring). With City's main priority lying in their European affairs, they could once again rest the injured duo this weekend versus Southampton, allowing Kevin De Bruyne to play through the middle and open up a spot for Sterling to operate on the flank, where the Saints have proven vulnerable this season.

Alberto Moreno (DEF)
Moreno has a goal and four assists on the season, a respectable total for a defender, but nearly all of that production has come in his last three league starts. The Spaniard has been given more freedom to roam forward because of the three-man midfield screen Liverpool have used, and the possibility of a clean sheet this weekend versus the 18th-ranked Swansea attack makes him a very enticing option for solid, multi-faceted FPL production.

FALLING

Juan Mata (MID)
Manchester United have enjoyed the emergence of Marcus Rashford, the return of Wayne Rooney and the return to form of Anthony Martial in recent weeks, all but squeezing Mata out of the lineup, as was the case for last week's crucial FA Cup match versus Everton. With the Red Devils' new-look attack leading them to four consecutive wins in all competitions, it seems likely that Mata will once again begin this weekend's match versus Leicester on the bench.

Aaron Lennon (MID)
Lennon reestablished his fantasy value with goals in four of five league matches leading into March, but he has failed to factor into a goal in his last seven. The winger's dip in form has coincided with a terrible string of results for Everton, who have just four goals as a team during that span. Squad rotations could be in order as the Toffees look to snap out of their slump, and with so many options on the outside, Lennon could be the odd man out this weekend and beyond.

Bacary Sagna (DEF)
Sagna appeared to have the right fullback spot all to his own after stepping in for Pablo Zabaleta earlier this season, but he has not started a league match in over a month and has been used primarily in European competition. The 33-year-old started Tuesday's Champions League draw with Real Madrid, and the current trend seems set to continue with Zabaleta reentering the side for this weekend's match versus Southampton, freeing up Sagna for next week's pivotal second leg.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tate McIntyre
Tate is a soccer writer for RotoWire who focuses primarily on the Barclays Premier League and La Liga. He also contributes to NFL, MLB & NBA coverage. He is a former college soccer player as well as an avid supporter of Arsenal, FC Dallas and America's team: The Dallas Cowboys.
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