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Harry Kane, Graziano Pelle and Max Gradel star in ESPN FC fantasy

Gameweek 30 of ESPN FC Premier Fantasy was a reduced affair due to clubs' FA Cup commitments, requiring managers to get creative if they wished to maximise points from the five matches on offer.

Investing in tried and tested players from Tottenham proved the winning ticket, as was tapping into Bournemouth's beautifully timed sprint for survival.

Here's how it all panned out.

Weekly wonders

Bournemouth's third win a row, a 3-2 thriller with Swansea, was spearheaded by midfielder Max Gradel (£5.5 million), who hit a goal and an assist for 12 points. A 35-point haul for the season looks poor until you realise he's only started seven matches due to injury. His 4.4 points per match average is a better indicator of a player with major fantasy potential.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle (£6.2m) was halfway out of the club during the transfer window, but injuries mean he's back in favour and, with both goals in the 2-1 win at Stoke, back in form. His 11-point Gameweek involved his first league goals since Nov. 1.

No such worries for Harry Kane (£9.2m), whose double for Spurs in a 2-0 win at Aston Villa gained him 11 points as he moved to 19 league goals for the season.

Both of Kane's strikes were set up by Dele Alli (£6.6m), who recorded 10 points. The England midfielder is having a superb 2016, with three goals and six assists to date.

Teamsheet talk

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini keeps us guessing. Former full-back favourite Aleksandar Kolarov (£5.5m) again missed out -- he hasn't started a league match since Feb. 6 -- as Gael Clichy (£6.7m) was given the nod at left-back for the third consecutive match, as City drew 0-0 with Norwich.

Raheem Sterling (£6.7m) came off the bench to score last week, but had to make do with a second match on the bench, while Wilfried Bony (£6.5m) was given another start in a 4-4-2 at Norwich.

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman was also up to his usual tricks, giving Matt Targett (£5.8m) his first start in three matches at the back in place of Maya Yoshida (£4.6m) at Stoke.

Dusan Tadic (£7.0m) started consecutive matches for the first time since early February in midfield and promptly delivered his second assist in a row.

In Norwich's draw Man City, with Alex Neil preferred Patrick Bamford (£4.9m) over Cameron Jerome (£5.7m) up front.

The return of defender Sebastien Bassong (£5.0m) to the bench after injury was also noteworthy. The Canaries have not been obvious ESPN FC Premier Fantasy choices over recent months, but they're about to embark on a run of fixtures -- West Brom and Crystal Palace away and home matches with Newcastle, Sunderland and Watford -- that offers the chance of good points returns from competitively priced players.

The numbers game

Bournemouth have three wins and a draw from their last four matches, a run that has seen them close to within just two points of the 40-point mark that generally ensures Premier League survival.

Cherries' players are proving valuable ESPN FC Premier Fantasy assets across the pitch -- the eight goals, five assists and two clean sheets they've produced are all league-leading figures.

Max Gradel has two Premier League assists to his name this season.

Gradel is in the top six for goal attempts (nine) and penalty area touches (13) among midfielders over the last four matches, while Matt Ritchie (£6.6m) tops the assists' chart with three and is in the top five for chances created (10).

Striker Josh King (£5.6m), who we tipped last week, has scored in his last two matches, while at the back, Steven Cook (£5.8m) has two clean sheets and two goals to his name and Charlie Daniels (£6.6m) has also been on the scoresheet.

The numbers make Bournemouth assets tempting, not least because of their relatively low prices.

But some caution needs to be exercised. However good their recent run has been, they have a tough set of fixtures to come.

The Cherries are away to Spurs for GW31 and things don't ease up after the international break. A trip to Villa looks fine, but they also have three home matches against City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Survival is tantalisingly close for Bournemouth now. But they might have to wait a little while longer to secure it.

By The Scout from Fantasy Football Scout -- the tips, news and views site for Premier League Fantasy Football managers. @FFScout on Twitter.


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