- Bayern kick off the Rückrunde in Freiburg on Friday.
- Unbeaten Hoffenheim face Augsburg.
- Dortmund not short of options in the absence of Aubameyang.
Following a one-month hiatus is anyone else ready to remedy their Bundesliga withdrawal symptoms? I know I am! Matchday 17 is almost upon us and I have no doubt I'm not the only one looking forward to the second half of the 2016/17 campaign.
With 18 rounds of fixtures still to be played, I need to pick up an average of four points per Matchday more than Flo 'The Scout', whilst fending off the efforts of Matt 'The Expert', if I'm going to take the experts' title in the inaugural season of Official Fantasy Bundesliga.
With unlimited transfers at our disposal there's no excuse for you or I not getting off on the right foot, and I've got three fixtures that I'm confident will help us do just that.
Watch: The Official Fantasy Bundesliga top five:
Bayern looked to have found their groove as they reclaimed top spot in the Bundesliga before the winter break, and will be keen to maintain the momentum they generated with a five-game winning streak when they travel to Freiburg. Die Breisgauer came out on top when these sides last met in 2015 – their first win since 1996 – but Christian Streich's men won't have it easy on Friday, even if they have picked up 15 of a possible 21 points on home soil this season.
Mats Hummels (DF, 115pts, 15.7M): Bayern's highest-scoring defender is worth the investment, considering he's picked up 54 points in his last five appearances.
Now the only unbeaten team in Europe's top five leagues this season, Hoffenheim will be confident of stretching their streak to 17 in Augsburg. 1899 have won four of the last five encounters between these two sides, but will need to take their hosts seriously on Saturday considering they’re yet to suffer defeat since Manuel Baum took over from Dirk Schuster. A win against Borussia Mönchengladbach and a draw with Borussia Dortmund should serve as fair warning to Julian Nagelsmann's charges.
Kerem Demirbay (MF, 83pts, 3.4M): Averaging over 11 challenges won a game and having had a hand in seven goals, a fit-again Demirbay should not be ignored, given his value.
Sandro Wagner (ST, 150pts, 14.7M): Wagner is top of my list as an 'Aubameyang alternative'. He already has nine goals to his name, but more importantly guarantees points due to the challenges he wins.
Bremen may be on a run of a five games without a loss, but sitting precariously above the drop zone, they now face the unenviable task of hosting a Dortmund side desperate to return to winning ways. BVB dropped points against 1. FC Köln, Hoffenheim and Augsburg in the run up to the winter break, but will take heart from the fact that they haven't lost their opening game of a calendar year since 2004. Even without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Tuchel has plenty of options at his disposal that will cause Werder problems.
Raphael Guerreiro (DF, 84pts, 10.55M): Guerreiro has dropped in price since bursting onto the Fantasy scene at the start of the season. Now that he's fit again, I'm expecting big things – just like Flo!
Andre Schürrle (MF, 97pts, 12.35M): With Aubameyang on AFCON duty, Schürrle has been fielded as the lone striker in recent friendlies which could provide big returns for Fantasy managers.
Much like before the season started I’ve been playing around with my fantasy team a lot in the hopes of finding the perfect blend of 15 players. Make sure to make use of the unlimited transfers and good luck this weekend!
Never tactics bored,