1 month ago
After an international break, which felt a year long, we finally have fantasy football back! This break resulted in many yellow flags from injuries and absences due to late arrivals. With this still lingering heading into Gameweek 9, I will delve into these in my latest round Pup’s Market Watch!
The market is buzzing with the sight of Harry Kane returning to last year's returns. With 0 returns this year before GW8, he finally bucked his trend with a goal and assist on the back of 2 shots (1 on target), 2 chances created and a xGI of 1.1. Before getting too excited, they should remind themselves that this was against Newcastle – one of the worst defences in the league. But with Lukaku and Ronaldo failing to impress of late, the excitement is easily understood.
Also starting to get a buzz, although the market has been slow to pick up on this, is Vardy. He has 8 returns (7 goals and 1 assist) in 8 games. Perhaps the market was wary of Leicester's saturate strike force with Daka and Iheanacho as well as Europa League commitments. But Vardy has shown no sign of petering off and now has a nice run of fixtures.
While the blue-chip token that is Salah has been a bull in this market since Gameweek 1. The way he is playing, if Liverpool or Egypt can back a trophy or two, he will be a Ballon d’Or contender.
His teammate Firminho is akin to a crypto asset, huge fluctuations! 3 goals and 1 assist this Gameweek, but rotation concerns and his goals tending to come in batches still means to market will likely take little interest.
In other non-news, Pep and Tuchel continue to rotate. Although their defences are still wise investments. West Ham continuously impress. Norwich, Watford and Newcastle are still the whipping boys. While Brentford move up to investment grade standards, I don’t think any game against the Bees can now be considered a handy fixture. The xG fans will be keen to note they racked up 1.5 against Chelsea who themselves only managed 0.3.
Mbeumo (£5.5m FPL, £5.6m FanTeam)
LEI, bur, NOR, new
At such a low price, this out of position striker is a bargain. With Wissa also out for a couple of weeks, he should still be starting as a striker for a while yet. Leicester have been extremely leaky at the back to date, which Brentford follow with 3 plump fixtures. Mbeumo has 2 goals, but has hit the post 6 times this season! He also has racked up an impressive 5 big chances. He should prove great value for money for investors in the foreseeable.
Chelsea & City Defence
Chelsea: NOR, new, BUR
Man City: bha, CRY, mun
Both teams have conceded a paltry 3 goals each this season. City top the xGC with 4.8 from 8 games, with Brentford a distant 2nd with 8.1. Chelsea are actually tied 9th with 11.3 and are mid-table with 13 big chances conceded. Yet they have racked up 5 clean sheets. With this fixture run, it is worth investing.
Chelsea flying full-backs are tempting to the more risky investor. While Rudiger and Christensen are the go-to options to risk-averse managers. Cancelo has a higher upside and seems quite nailed (no one is fully nailed under Pep). Dias is the ultimate safe pick though, but Cancelo offers creativity and goal threat (with 13 shots and 2 big chances this season).
Gundogan (£7.2m, £7.5m)
bha, CRY, mun
Investors are always trying to beat the crowd and find the next Tesla or Doucoure, so hear me out. Gundogan may have just 1 goal from 5 starts where he then missed out through injury. But the fact is he started 5 in a row shows his position in Pep’s standings. He racked up 8 shots in the box and 2 big chances, decent, but not amazing. But with this fixture swing and City’s lack of a striker, I would not be surprised to see him play in a more advanced role like he did last season where he scored 13 times. I will be watching the Champions League closely this week.
Lukaku (£11.7m, £10.6m)
NOR, new, BUR
4 blanks in a row now for Lukaku for the frustration of his investors. Particularly me! Buying him 2 gameweeks ago and he has had a disallowed goal in each! But we know Lukaku is a flat track bully and what better fixtures could he have to get back to scoring goals?
WAT, wol, TOT
Watford conceded 5 against Liverpool, Wolves 2 against Villa and Spurs 2 against Newcastle. I would expect Everton to move on from their defeat and bag a few goals in the next 3 games. But keep an eye out for Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin returning from injury, as it may impact their returns and starts.
Shaw (£5.5m & £5.9m)
LIV, tot, MCI
Manchester Utd had a kind opening set of fixtures and managed just one clean sheet. In 6 games they shipped 1 goal, showing they can’t keep it tight for 90mins. Before conceding 4 against Leicester which does not bode well for the tough fixtures to come.
Sarr (£6.3m both)
eve, SOU, ars
The manager roundabout at Watford is baffling at times. A horrible start for Ranieri the weekend. It is hard to have confidence in this squad right now. Sarr investors, I would be eyeing up Mebuemo if I were you!
After 2 red arrows in FPL, I managed to rectify that this weekend and I am now up to 80k. I am chuffed with this start. Last week I was unsure if I take a hit for Traore to Mbeumo that week or this week, so I was delighted I waited and to get his assist from the bench.
After a slower start in FanTeam I have improved across the board with my 4 teams, so onwards and upwards (1.6k, 5.2k, 10k and 15k).
Selling Traore is my priority this week. He did get an assist and is back in the side, but that isn’t guaranteed long-term. He is always on the fringe of scoring, but never does. So I am getting Mbeumo in for him. That leaves me with taking a hit to sell Greenwood, which was part of the plan as I still have my wildcard. I am eyeing Gundogan for him, but aside from that, there is slim pickings!
Blue Chip Captaincy
Form, Salah. Fixtures, Lukaku. I am a fixtures man so without hesitation I am giving it to Lukaku. Norwich have been so poor this season but I can’t help but see Chelsea scoring a few goals and Lukaku getting in on the act.
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