Summary

  • Schalke kick off the Rückrunde at home to Frankfurt on Friday.
  • Wolfsburg looking to continue their winning streak against Augsburg.
  • Köln and Hertha gunning for victories on the road.

Last weekend was a great weekend. The Bundesliga returned after the winter break, I hit triple digits with my Official Fantasy Bundesliga side, and my favourable fixtures recommendations almost all worked out – if only Raphael Guerreiro had featured from the start!

Sandro Wagner and Andre Schürrle both got on the scoresheet, Mats Hummels notched double digits and the six players racked up a combined 56 points between them. To maintain that momentum heading into Matchday 18 here are three fixtures to consider when tinkering with your line-ups.

VfL Wolfsburg vs FC Augsburg

Wolfsburg appear to have found their groove either side of Christmas after clinching a third straight win in their narrow victory over Hamburger SV last weekend. The Wolves now find themselves 10 points adrift of the top six and will be confident of closing the gap further at home to an Augsburg side who are struggling in front of goal. Only Darmstadt have scored less often than Die Fuggerstädter so I'm confident Wolfsburg will pick up clean sheet points.

Watch: Paul-Georges Ntep impressed on his Wolfsburg debut

Player recommendations

Ricardo Rodriguez (DF, 81pts, 12.05M): Rodriguez has been a bit hit-and-miss this season, but with set-pieces in his back pocket he can score big if you're willing to take the risk.

Paul-Georges Ntep (FW, 9pts, 10.6M): Ntep made a real impact on his debut and, unlike Mario Gomez, will pick up points even if he doesn't score due to the challenges he wins.

SV Darmstadt 98 vs 1. FC Köln

Both Darmstadt and Köln ground out goalless draws on Matchday 17, but the odds of that happening again this weekend are slim. The Billy Goats, who beat the Lilies 2-0 on Matchday 1, have to be considered the favourites to clinch a league double despite being away from home. The question for me is whether Köln will feel more settled in the 3-4-3 formation they used against Mainz or whether Darmstadt can capitalise on any uncertainty.

Köln forward Anthony Modeste will be looking to add to his 13 Bundesliga goals against Darmstadt.

Player recommendations

Pawel Olkowski (DF, 45pts, 5.25M): Olkowski was the big winner in the system swap, picking up 17 points in his role as a wing-back. He provides a great budget option at the back.

Anthony Modeste (FW, 166pts, 15.7M): Only Robert Lewandowski has more points amongst Fantasy forwards and I'd back Modeste to add to the goal he scored against Darmstadt on Matchday 1.

SC Freiburg vs Hertha Berlin

Freiburg impressed and deserved to take points in their loss to Bayern last weekend, while Hertha struggled and can have no complaints about their defeat to Leverkusen. Nevertheless, my gut tells me that the capital city side will bounce back and so far this season, my gut has proven well worth following. If Hertha are to secure European qualification then they'll need to improve their away form and Sunday is a perfect chance to take the first step. 

Hertha captain Vedad Ibisevic can be relied upon to rack up Fantasy points even if he doesn't score any goals.

Player recommendations

Niklas Stark (DF, 110pts, 9.65M): Having notched up four double-digit hauls this season, an out-of-position Stark has demonstrated a propensity for scoring big when playing in midfield.

Vedad Ibisevic (FW, 143pts, 11.3M): Wins over 11 challenges a game on average, so even if he doesn't add to his season tally of 8 goals, he'll still score you Fantasy points.

There aren't unlimited transfers anymore, but you still have three chances to tinker with your teams. Good luck making your decisions, I'll catch you next week!

Never tactics bored,

JT

Watch: The Fantasy surprise packages of Matchday 17: