3 months ago
Welcome to your 30’s! In terms of Gameweeks, obviously. Our 20's were full of late night double gameweeks and blank hangovers as a consequence, so it seems apt after the big three-oh we have our biggest blank Gameweek. It is a hard one to discuss as each player has a different meaning for each team.
This gameweek, whether it is a FanTeam or FPL transfer matter a bit more. Do you have a wildcard? If you do, when do you plan to wildcard? If you plan to wildcard soon you can transfer in any donkey with a game this week and hope for a return. It is also blank gameweeks where I feel FanTeam differs most to FPL. If your attacker is guaranteed to play 90mins, you are starting with 3 points. Making a hit to get in an extra player officially a -1. To me it makes complete sense to take such a gamble and take hits, more so than FPL. Particularly if you double or triple down, if you have to take 3 hits to get 11 players and they all play 90mins, that’s an effective -3 and 1 assist across 270mins means you break even. It is a no brainer to me.
So let me discuss the players I like and in which scenario I favour them. I will break this down into those with a wildcard (so you can take a punt and get rid of them sooner rather than later) and those without a wildcard (because getting rid of a punt is always that bit harder).
Prices are FPL and FanTeam respectively
I will start off with Raphinha (£6.5m, £7.4m) who barely makes my Wildcarders list, as he is so good you could happily keep him in your team long-term. Leeds face Wolves, Southampton and Watford in their next 3 games which are great fixtures. Raphinha is their talisman and has been electric of late. He hit the post twice against Norwich, had an xGI of 2.1 and only came away with an assist. I would gleefully have him for these 3 games then wildcard him out. Particularly as they have no games in hand to play and are likely to blank in Gameweek 33 after this kind fixture run. Oh, and they have City, Chelsea and Arsenal in their last 6 matches.
If your favourite flavour of ice-cream is vanilla, then load up on Wolves. I still think Jimenez (£7.6m, £7.2m) is their best attacker. He is their talisman and is most likely to score. Albeit he won’t haul and he seems to be getting benched of late as Lage tinkers with his team.
Hwang (£5.4m, £6.0m) is great value if you are after a cheapie. Their defence is solid, but not as solid as we thought. So you could do worse then invest in their backline. Their fixtures are OK, but I wouldn’t want to see them in my team long-term. Hence why they are one for the wildcarders in my book.
Villa do have a game in hand to play and have slightly reversed their recent poor form, but they’re next 5 games is Arsenal, Wolves, Spurs, Liverpool and Leicester. A nasty run. So if I was buying them now, I would want to be wildcarding them out immediately. Coutinho (£7.5m, £6.7m) is a good punt. In his last 4 games, he has scored twice and assisted twice. As has Cash (£5.2m, £5.2m), but I don’t fancy him against Arsenal.
Similarly, Ings (£7.7m, £7.6m) has scored and assisted twice in his last 4 and he’d be my differential punt. But to be honest, I wouldn’t be transferring any of them in. I prefer the other options.
Even Toney (£6.6m, £6.3m) is a better punt in my books. The penalty maestro has 5 goals in his last 2 games. Although 3 were penalties, he still faces a terrible Leicester defence so he is capable of scoring. But after this he faces Chelsea away and he is still Toney, so I expect his returns to dry up.
Spurs attack is my first point of call for all managers. If you have 7 players this week and two of them are Son (£10.9m, £10.2m) and Kane (£12.4m, £11.5m), then you are safe in my opinion. They are near essential, with Kane being the best captaincy pick this week. Spurs have one additional game to reschedule and with Kulusevski (£6.2m, £6.7m) providing so much value, a triple up is not to be sniffed at, but he can be somewhat of a stopgap for those cannot stretch all the way to Son. He has started six games for Spurs and amassed six attacking returns (2 goals and 4 assists) and thus represents great value.
Speaking of great value, the same can be said for Arsenal. Saka (£6.6m, £6.9m) is a priority, he has been playing out of his skin of late, while Martinelli (£5.3m, £5.7m) also provides exceptional value. I prefer the Brazilian to the brilliant Odegaard (£5.5m, £6.4m) giving his higher goal threat and Odegaard’s tendency to assist the assister. A fine player which doesn’t always translate to fantasy points.
Arsenal’s defence is solid and most will have someone from their defensive line but if not, Lacazette (£8.4m, £7.8m) is a great pick. Since Aubameyang’s departure, he has led the line with class. In the last 11 games, he has only blanked twice, while scoring 3 goals and assisting a massive 8 times! With penalties in his locker and Arsenal having an additional two games to reschedule, I’d happily keep him from now until the end of the season.
Last and you could argue least is Leicester. They make this list based on the fact they have three games to reschedule. It is definitely not based on form. But with an additional three games you will have plenty of double gameweeks down the line so you may as well invest now while they play in a blank gameweek. I was excited to see Vardy back, but with his latest injury we are back wondering if Daka (£7.1m, £7.1m) or Iheanacho (£6.9m, £7.2m) leads the line. We can’t be sure and I wouldn’t waste a transfer on either of them.
Barnes (£6.5m, £7.1m) is a good punt. Since coming back from injury, he has had 5 starts and came off the bench twice, where he amassed 1 goal and 4 assists. However, the concern with Barnes is rotation. When Vardy gets back to full fitness Rodgers will tinker his attacking shape, which will see Barnes miss the odd game. Maddison (£6.7m, £6.8m) is a good alternative to this and although a lot of his goals are long-rangers and low xG he still ticks along nicely. That is what you want for an asset you will keep until the end of the season. The only question is if he will stay injury free.
The only team I have failed to mention here is West Ham. They are a good team but they are out of form a bit of late and have no extra fixtures. They may also be without their two key players in Bowen and Antonio through injury, so keep an eye on the pressers. It is a case if you have them, keep them, but don’t transfer them in. For example, I have Bowen (£6.8m, £7.0m), if he gets even a cameo from the bench, great, every point helps. But if he is out so be it, I will be glad to have him in Gameweek 31 for Everton at home!
As you may have noticed, I have mainly focussed on attackers in this article. This is because I am not confident of many clean sheets this gameweek and I cannot suggest who to target. Leicester have the highest odds of keeping a clean sheet this week with 45%, but Leicester cannot defend! Next up is Wolves with 40%, who are against a feisty Leeds battling for survival. Followed by Spurs 36% and Arsenal 30%. Funnily they’d be my preferred teams defensively, which shows how much of an unknown it is. So my advice is to focus on attack.
I hope this is helpful and will help you deal with your 30s!
Sports fan and FPL addict from Ireland (still has not forgiven Thierry Henry). Loves numbers in both studies & profession and has incorporated this into FPL in recent seasons. Has played FPL for 8 seasons, finishing in the top 40k 5 times, with the best finish of 8k. Find on Twitter @FplPup if you have any questions