Gameweek 31 Preview: Fantasy Premier League #FPL
Written by John Wallin @FantasyGaffer
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There are just four matches this weekend and the only match which “guarantees” fantasy returns is Liverpool hosting Watford in the “late game”. That’s right, we’re putting quotes inside the period. We’re flying in the face of conventional wisdom and jinxing your best bet at a 50+ point return. However, one thing Liverpool does is handle teams they’ve handled before and the curtain-raiser ended 3-3. So start all your Reds, plus we’ll add another pick at each spot.
(Ed: Based on the above statement I’ve now put money on Watford to win.)
Defender – Andrew Robertson, Liverpool
Also Defender – Chrissy Schindler, The Sopranos of Huddersfield
Chris-TUH- ferrrrrr is a decent bet this weekend as the Terriers defender has 13 BAPS this season. Think that isn’t a big deal? That is level 7th at his position and just six bonus points fewer than Cesar “Dave” Azpilicueta (19) who leads all defenders. What makes the total more impressive is that Schindler has scored just 80pts total on the back of two assists and a scant seven cleansheets – but just two since GW16. Against a recently healthy and resurgent Crystal Palace this might be a stretch but Newcastle, Brighton, Watford and Everton over the next five means Schindler is a decent bet in GW31 and a good risk thru GW6.
Midfielder – Sadio Mane, Liverpool
Also Midfielder – Aaron Mooy, Huddersfield
Fact: Aaron Mooy has no goals and just two assists since GW18. However, the £5.3m rated, 5.8% selected midfielder has also played only 68′ in the last three weeks. So…he’s got that going for him. Which is nice. When there are only eight teams to select from, the decisions are often between the devil you know and the lesser of two weevils. Aaron Mooy is nothing if not the lesser of two weevils. For moore on Aarooon (those are “o” jokes), listen to Bang Average!
Forward – BOBBY DIGITAL, THE MATRIX
Also Forward – Callum Wilson, Bournemouth
C-to-theA-to-the… you know what? That was getting hard to type. Faux Chaz Wilson is an FPL draft stud, but only in small doses. Plus, it’s hard to know when those doses are likely to be administered. Carrying this bizarro doctor analogy forward – take two and call us in the morning. Because he’s likely to score a brace against West Brom, you see. Don’t believe me (or the literary “us”)? Well, he scored a hattrick against Huddersfield in GW12. The Terriers have allowed a near League average 4 shots on target per away match. The Baggies aren’t much better, allowing 3.67 and, notably, Huddersfield has allowed 1.33 goals per away match while West Brom have ceeded 1.6. He might just manage one goal for every “L”, which would guarantee you plumping for a green arrow.
Captain – Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner Mo Salah, Liverpool
Also Captain – Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace
He’s only been back in the first team for one week, and he was relegated to the bench for much of that. But in Wilf we trust and he delivered with the assist for the Eagles only goal. What is striking is how poor Zaha has been in the OFPL when given minutes – before getting injured he posted eight 90′ blanks on the spin. Is he a better risk for the outsider (he’s just 5.3% owned) or the draft (well, the scoring is just better in Togga TBH)? Yes and yes. But if you’re chasing a top 10k finish or the top of your minileague, there are fewer better differential captains to pick.
Outsider – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (3.1%) and Loris Karius (1.2%)
Also Outsider – Junior Stanislas, Bournemouth
Why Do You Ignore Me? For the past many weeks Bang Average has banged on about Stanislas. This column has either covered or really, like for totally serious, meant to cover Stanislas for the last six weeks. In those six weeks he’s scored three goals with an assist. Stretch back just one more week and you can add another assist. Sure he’s short on BAPS (just 4 this season) but Junior is moving his feet (and we’re feeling united in support behind him). SQUIRREL!
Draft – Emre Can, Liverpool (9.84 PPM / 13.17 L3W)
Also Draft – Xherdan Shaqiri – Stoke
Shaqiri could have – and likely *should* have – been selected as the “Also” pick for midfielder and/or captain. The Swiss wizard banged goals in three on the bounce from GW26-28 and could pillage an Everton side which conceded two to the offensively frugal Burnley in GW29 and which has kept just once clean sheet since GW20. Additionally in his favor? He is 14th in total points in Togga’s scoring this season besting, amoung countless others, Dele Alli, Sadio Mane and Alvaro Morata. His per match average of 11.79 isn’t quite as impressive overall but still outstrips Zaha (11.71), Mkhitaryan (11.05) and Vardy (10.33). He’s 97% owned in draft and is a must-start this weekend.