1 week ago
Yet another international break is over and we can finally enjoy the EPL Weekly Monster with €50,000 up for grabs on Fanteam. A lot of changes at the helm of many an EPL team and the unpredictable nature of post-international break slates make this gameweek truly exciting. The €2 Monster is also on offer with a prizepool of €12,500 this week, making it a great place to start for someone just beginning their fantasy journey.
The budget for GW12 slate at FanTeam is set at 108 million — the highest we have seen to date, although I doubt premium options such as Manchester City and Liverpool are must-haves this gameweek. Liverpool will be hosting Arsenal, who haven't lost in their last 8 league games (6 wins, 2 draws) are ranked 3rd for xGC/90 with 0.96, and I am sure they cause trouble at Anfield. I think that Aubameyang (injury doubt) and Smith-Rowe might offer more value than Salah and co in this fixture.
As is always the case with City, you are never quite sure who is going to explode with goals and assists. Such uncertainty is not what we want paying 13-14 mln. per asset. Cancelo might be a cheeky captain punt though.
Ronaldo will probably be a highly-owned, highly-captained commodity this time around when Ole's troops face Watford away.
As for the rest of the slate, it's all about new faces and new managers. I am curious to see how Norwich, Newcastle and Villa set up after a change of regime. I am expecting a new-manger bounce and will talk about some of these in my preview.
Wolves against West Ham and Burnley against Crystal Palace is where I would look for clean sheets and defensive picks given both decent prices and CS odds.
The budget is set at 108 mln., with 9 games making up the slate. Let's jump right into it.
Crystal Palace are cruising — not only are they playing more attractive and effective football but also have one of the best defences in the league. Since GW6 they boast the 2nd-best xGC/90 with 0.87 — only Manchester City had fared better. Their opponents — Burnley — are 18th in xG/90 with 0.94 over the same timeframe.
Not much to look at from an attacking perspective in Eagles' backline, but Guehi has 6 shots for the Eagles, while Mitchell leads the defenders in xA with 0.53 and 6 chances created.
Wolves have conceded 3 penalties so far, which plays into the hands of Zaha, who is good at earning them and ok at scoring them.
Burnley have conceded the biggest number of headed shots (25) following a set-play, that's why Benteke might be a shrewd pick here. The towering forward is in good form as well with 2.17 shots/90 since GW6, what is important is that most of them come from inside the box (1.83/90). He leads the team with 1.42 big chance per game and 0.62 xG/90 over the same period. Most of his shots are header and come from point-blank range, all we can hope for is his ability to convert these chances.
Crystal Palace are given 32% to keep a clean sheet
Another new-manager bounce pick. Villains haven’t been defending well this season with 1.56 xG/90 (5th-worst) and 14.64 shots/90 (7th-worst). On the other hand, Brighton are not setting the world alight with their attacking performances this season being quietly effective. Despite solid displays and a worthy league position, Brighton are 14th in xG/90 with 1.07 and 17th with 1.27 big chances/90.
I believe many will be looking elsewhere for their defensive stacks meaning lower ownership - what more does a fantasy manager need?
Cash has 29 penalty area touches (3rd), 12 shots (3rd), 0.55xG + 0.99xA. Targett is the team leader in xA with 1.30 and 3rd in chances created with 13.
Watkins is the Villains main man with 2.44 shots, 4.78 box touches, 0.56 big chance and 0.31xG/90. He hasn’t been subbed this season as well, which is great for FanTeam scoring as we know.
Villa have a 31% chance to keep a clean sheet
Leeds have shored up defensively a bit GW6 onwards with 1.12 xGC/90, but their defense is till capable of falling apart when facing a top team. They have conceded an average of 22 shots and 2.57 xGC per game when facing a top side this season (mu, LIV, WHU).
While Tottenham failed to impress in their first game under Conte (8 shots, 0.68 xG), I still believe they can score 2+ goals in this one. Kane had a solid international break scoring galore against lowly opposition, which may ignite him coupled with the explosive nature of his new head coach. I am expecting a new manager bounce I’ve talked about here.
Kane is averaging 0.22xG+0.17 xA per game this season, while Son is at 0.35+0.08. Both fire more than 2 shots per game and I am expecting Kane to be more of a penalty area threat under Conte and build on his 3.8 touches/90.
Spurs are projected to score 1.77 goals, which is only slightly less than that of Liverpool and both Manchester clubs, but their price is 2-3 million lower, which is a big factor and might help you build a more balanced squad.
Tottenham are projected to score 1.77 goals
Yet another chapter in our manager-bounce series. Eddie Howe was notorius for having little care about balls flying into his team’s net as long as they scored more. I am expecting the team to embrace that mentality and get forward from the get-go.
Brentford had a solid start to their Premier League campaign, but the recent results have not been too great. They have lost their last two games agaisnt Burnley and Norwich, conceding 3.65 xG, not somethin you would expect from a team that looked so solid just a month ago. They have allowed 1.22 xG in their last 4 games while Newcastle are dead-last with miniscule 0.39xG/90 in the same timeframe! I am looking forward to seeing how attacking Howe will get in his first game in charge in front of a packed Saint James park. Having been away from the game for a while, he has a point to prove for sure.
Wilson and Saint-Maximin are the runaway leaders in all attacking stats - no reason to overthink this one, just pick the duo, although I must say the price could have been a bit cheaper given their team’s poor stats of late.
Newcastle are projected to score 1.29 goals
A team playing against Norwich, new coach or old coach, always has a chance to keep a clean sheet. Dean Smith is a proven manager, no doubt about that, but I can’t picture this year’s Norwich in Cinderella’s shoes. If a magical transformation is to happen here, it’s going to take more than a week of training.
Norwich are 19th in xG/90 numbers this season (0.85) and only Spurs (Conte to the rescue) have less shots (10.18) per game. Southampton are in the middle of the pack for both shots and xG conceded, so I do side with bookies in this one and will pick Saints’ defensive assets in many of my teams. At 7-8 million, they are more than affordable then some teams with similar clean sheet odds.
Livramento catches the eye with 10 chances created and 6 shots this campaign. The youngster likes getting forward and has 17 penalty-area touches.
Salisu is a 90-minute man with an odd header possible. He has fired 5 shots this campaign.
Southampton are given a 34% chance to keep a clean sheet
Enjoy playing the Weekly Monster with great guarantees on Fanteam this week and may your picks lead you to glory!
Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2500 tournaments played and a 30%+ ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.