Wayne Rooney In Demand Ahead Of Fantasy Premier League Festive Period

21 December 2017

Could Wayne Rooney be the man to bring Christmas cheer to your Fantasy Premier League team?

The Everton striker has enjoyed a resurgence since Sam Allardyce's appointment as manager, with a hat-trick during his new boss' watching brief against West Ham and six goals in his last five games.

Throw in three assists and that is 49 fantasy points in those five games, including ranking first or second in the FPL bonus-point index in four of them, making the former England captain a tempting £7.6million signing.

Toffee selection

Rooney tops Press Association Sport's heat index, which uses players' selection percentage and changing popularity over time to produce a score between 100 and -100.

He scores 39.9 and is not the only Everton player making waves - strike partner Dominic Calvert-Lewin, fourth on 17.8, is cheaper at £5.4m, has 24 points in the last four games and could be an effective replacement for the stalling Tammy Abraham, Mame Biram Diouf or Andre Gray.

Gylfi Sigurdsson is also improving, though he remains somewhat goal-dependant and there are more tempting midfielders around his £8m price tag, while goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has three clean sheets in his last five and is still racking up saves.

Manchester City continue to be well represented in the hot list, with Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Otamendi and Kevin De Bruyne joining Everton's front pair in the top five.

Burnley defender James Tarkowski's rise to sixth will presumably be curtailed by his three-match suspension. Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata will miss just one game but, coupled with his recent benching, it sees him as our coldest player at -37.6.

A drop of Claret

Tarkowski's presence in the hot list is doubly surprising given Burnley's upcoming schedule - over their four Christmas fixtures, our projections based on an aggregation of bookmakers' odds has them picking up just 3.04 points on average.

That is lower than any Premier League team other than rock-bottom Swansea and sees previously popular full-back Stephen Ward closest to Morata in the cold list at -24.5.

Abraham is also among the 10 coldest and the points projections offer a note of caution to those jumping on the Everton bandwagon - their 3.88-point total is fourth-lowest.

City continue to dominate and are tipped for at least 10 points from the four games but Leroy Sane and, shockingly at this time of year, Gabriel Jesus are on the cold list.

Christmas centrepiece

Midfield is the place to concentrate your resources - FPL's top scorer Mohamed Salah is classified in that position along with the other three members of the 100-point club.

City trio De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and David Silva are the other centurions - Silva is narrowly the cheapest at £8.2m but a recent absence for personal reasons casts doubt on his participation against Bournemouth, meaning the £8.5m Sterling could be the value pick.

Tottenham's Christian Eriksen is a point away from his ton, as is Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea. Harry Kane (97) and Antonio Valencia (94) are the top-scoring striker and defender respectively.