7 months ago
We are heading into the last international break of the year, a good time to take a breath and relax before the havoc that is the Christmas schedule, where Pep roulette hits another level and your brand new transfers are suddenly nowhere to be seen! Having taken my breath, I can now bring you the latest edition of Pup’s Market Watch.
It feels like every week now I am just writing about how disappointing Manchester Utd were. They were again schooled by a team they should apparently be challenging for the league with. City, like Liverpool, took the foot off the gas. Yet Manchester Utd didn’t even look like getting a shot off, let alone scoring. They do have good fixtures from gameweek 15, but now I am beginning to question are they worth the money regardless of the opposition.
It was then a case of the other big boys tripping up. Liverpool ended up on the wrong side of a 3-2 affair with West Ham (a game with only an xG of 2.4). While a dominant Chelsea conceded late on the give Burnley a draw. After 11 games, West Ham are joint 2nd and just 3 points behind leaders Chelsea. What a job Moyes is doing! Yet with 7 goals in the last 2 games, Antonio has no attacking return to show for it somehow! They face Chelsea and City in their next 4, but the way they are playing investors would be mad to sell him.
Palace beat Wolves 2-0 to make it two wins on the bounce. The new manager has settled well and after a hard set of opening fixtures, they sit plumply in 10th. With a set of good fixtures now, they are a team to put on your watchlist. While we ignored them and all got excited about Brentford ahead of their great fixture run, they have been nothing but a big disappointment, having given Norwich their first win of the season this weekend. They play Newcastle with new manager Howe at the helm. It is the last chance saloon for Toney and Mbeumo.
Arsenal are now ticking along nicely, while Leicester are stuttering. Leeds are counting the days to Bamford’s return. The last piece of advice to market investors is that although Chelsea are top of the league and their assets are extremely enticing, they will be playing in the Club World Cup in December. That means they will have one, if not two blank Gameweeks. That combined with Christmas rotation elsewhere, you may want to think twice before tripling up, or at least have a get-out plan!
Gallagher (£5.8m FPL, £5.8m FanTeam)
bur, AVL, lee
In FPL, Gallagher is the 5th highest scoring player. He represents fantastic value with Palace’s first proper good run of fixtures, which extends well into the New Year. In total he has 4 goals and 4 assists for the season with 2 goals and an assist in his last two fixtures against City and Wolves. Offering a combination of attacking and creative threat, he offers multiple avenues to points.
McCarthy (£4.6m, £4.5m)
nor, liv, LEI
5 clean sheets and 28 saves from 11 games, McCarthy and the Southampton defence have had a terrific start to the season. Their 36% clean sheet odds against Norwich this week is the 6th best in the league. And will have to splash out an additional £1mn to improve on that. So if you are looking at a Sanchez replacement, he would be my pick.
Raphinha (£6.6m, £7.5m)
tot, bha, CRY
The Brazilian has bagged 5 goals in 10 starts in a lacklustre Leeds side that are missing his usual partner in crime in Bamford. However, we may finally see his return after the international break. He is pivotal to this team and should help Leeds change their fortunes. Nevertheless, Raphinha has 35 shots this season which only Salah, Antonio and Mane can better. His 22 chances created is 5th best among midfielders this season, but I suspect this will improve on Bamford’s return. With 6 goals and 10 assists last season, it is only a matter of time before he starts collecting them assists.
Son (£10.3m FPL, £9.7m FanTeam)
LEE, bur, BRE, NOR, bha, lei, LIV, CRY, sou, wat
With 0 shots, touches in the box and only 1 chance created against Everton, you may be veering away from Son. Spurs failed to hit the target once all game, so it is harsh to single out Son. Nevertheless, Spurs have a beautiful fixture run that takes us to the New Year. I backed him last week and I will continue to do so. With Conte at the helms, I can only see major improvements at Spurs in the near future.
Jota (£7.5m, £4.6m)
ARS, SOU, eve
With 2 goals and no assists in his last 9 games, the gamble on Jota has not paid off lately. However, with Firminho set to miss four weeks through injury, we should see Jota enjoy a rotation-free spell and an opportunity to shine. The fixtures are good while so too is Liverpool’s form. So I wouldn’t be selling him yet, if anything I might take a gamble on him.
Sanchez (£4.6m, £4.6m)
Suspended, LEE, whu, sou
Ugh, nothing worse than a 93rd minute red card! Is it worth a transfer though? Well, definitely not if you have a back-up. I don’t however and I might just play without a keeper. If a transfer is worth 4 points, can you guarantee a keeper will hit this around the same price bracket? I might just hold him for his fixtures thereafter.
Saka (£6.3m, £6.5m)
liv, NEW, mnu
He adds greatly to Arsenal’s play but it doesn’t always come to fruition with points in fantasy football. Evidenced by his one assist in his last 5 starts, with Smith-Rowe stealing his limelight. The fixtures are also taking a tough turn. Smith-Rowe is a bit of a sideways move but the aforementioned Raphinha and Gallagher make for some great replacements.
Aside from that with the plethora of injuries and poor form of some teams (cough, Manchester Utd), the transfers out should make it an easier task to identify the weak links in your portfolio.
Having gone from 404k to 369k last week I am now right back to where I started. Having not had a bench all year, I finally added depth to it. Which gave me a headache this week which I got wrong, benching White and Cancelo’s combined 22 points. It hasn’t been a good month for me! With this week being a low-scoring week my FanTeam portfolio was again relatively static. My teams now sit at 3.9k, 6k, 10.6k and 12.8k.
I am happy with my FPL and FanTeam teams, although they do seem stuck in the mud of late. I still think I will hold onto all my wildcards until December, as there is no major issues in my sides apart from Sanchez. My question this week will be whether I sell him for McCarthy. I have no backup but as said, I may just play no goalkeeper, particularly if any injuries occur over the international break. I just have to wait and see for now.
Blue Chip Captaincy
Leeds at home is the best fixture for a blue chip player this week. But after their lacklustre performance is it worthwhile captaining Kane and Son? It is a bit risky, but may pay off. While Liverpool play Arsenal at home, a team middle of the league across a range of defensive statistics. Having learnt my lesson, I will be captaining the Egyptian, unless we get some injury news from Leeds, which will give rise to an attacking riot at White Hart Lane.
I hope that you found this helpful and as always, invest wisely!
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