Fantasy Premier League Insight - Season so far (Part 1)
Season so far (Part 1)
With the Premier League season 7 games in and yet another international break in progress (meh)…Let’s have a look at the season so far and Fantasy assets who have brought #FPL managers joy or misery thus far.
Arsenal have done well to steady the ship after a fairly poor start. After consecutive losses versus Stoke and Liverpool, fans were calling for Wenger’s head once again. Arsenal have been good since their 0-4 loss at Anfield; 4 straight clean sheets with 3 wins at home and an impressive 0-0 draw at Chelsea. With the 4 clean sheets, Arsenal’s defense has been in focus and Nacho Monreal has been the stand out; currently only selected by 6% of teams and at only £5.4, definitely a good #FPL option going forward.
Current league position: 5th
#FPL player to watch: Nacho Monreal
Eddie Howe’s men have had a torrid time in the Premier League so far; they’ve only managed 4 points in their 7 games as the talents who did well in #FPL last season (i’m looking at you Josh King) aren’t hitting the heights they previously did. Jermain Defoe usually has a purple patch in #FPL as he adds to his usual 11-15 goals per season; the trick is getting him while he’s banging them in. Currently owned by 2.3% of managers with a fairly steep price tag of £7.8; he could be a good differential once he starts scoring regularly. Josh King, once he decides to wake up from his slumber is another to watch out for.
Current league position: 19th
#FPL player to watch: Jermain Defoe
Brighton and Hove Albion have had a decent start to the season picking up 7 points (6 of them at home) so far. It’s at home where Brighton have had most of their joy and Pascal Gross has been at the centre of things when The Seagulls do well. Many would have picked him up as a cheap option and he raised some eyebrows when he popped up with 18 points (highest for the GW) in GW4. Ever since #FPL managers have put faith in the German with him currently being owned by a massive 13.5% of teams. Brighton host Everton next, so Gross might be a good option for the next GW at least.
Current league position: 14th
#FPL player to watch: Pascal Gross
Burnley have had an absolutely flying start to the season, currently in the lofty position of 6th having only lost once this season. Burnley have produced some of the more unanticipated results of the season so far with an opening day win over defending champions Chelsea (away) followed up with away draws at Tottenham and Liverpool. Sean Dyche’s men have been solid and difficult to break down with Stephen Ward at the forefront. The defender currently sits 4th highest defender with 41 points; owned only by 7.2% of teams at £4.6, he’s definitely an option. Burnley have a decent run of fixtures to come which could lead to a few more clean sheets for Ward.
Current league position: 6th
#FPL player to watch: Stephen Ward
Champions Chelsea have had an indifferent start to the season; after the opening day shock loss to Burnley they bounced back with a string of good results picking up wins over Spurs, Everton and Leicester. Alvaro Morata has scored 50% of Chelsea’s goals this season and would be a huge miss with him limping off at the weekend in their defeat to Man City. With an assessment to follow Morata looks to be sidelined for around 6 weeks. This causes a problem not only up front but in defense strangely enough as Cesar Azpilicueta has linked up well with Morata providing the striker with 4 assists. Azpilicueta would be the better #FPL option going forward as Alonso has lost some of his mojo and Chelsea having a “winnable” set of fixtures to come. Dave is relatively highly owned (14.3%) and pricey at £6.6 but the Champions are resolute in defense and it’s always good having a Chelsea defender in #FPL
Current league position: 4th
#FPL player to watch: Ceasar Azpilicueta
Palace fans look away! Crystal Palace have had the worst possible start to the season, they have lost 7 consecutive games without scoring a single goal! The Eagles have also sacked manager Frank de Boer after just ∆4 games and replaced him with Roy Hodgson. Things haven’t got any better as Palace shipped 9 goals versus the Manchester clubs, with Chelsea on the horizon. So…after all that positivity, what possible #FPL assets do Palace have? It would be wise to avoid Palace assets for the near future but if your hand was forced or if you’re a hardened Eagles fan, you might want to consider Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The youngster on loan from Chelsea is unable to play against his parent club in GW8 but has shown promise when played and looks lively during games. Still, 6.4% owned.
Current league position: 20th
#FPL player to watch: Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Everton have had their biggest transfer window this season with a net spend of £54.2 million of incoming talent. The Toffees would have expected to keep in touch or at least break into the top 6 positions this season. It hasn’t gone to plan as Everton has only secured 2 wins this season, with last season’s top 6 teams they’ve faced having outclassed them. The fixtures lighten up a bit for Everton where you’d expect them to string together a few good results. They do have a few decent “cheap” #FPL options (Calvert-Lewin; Davies) for the coming weeks. Oumar Niasse burst onto the scene with 2 late goals to snatch a win versus Bournemouth; he’s listed as a forward at £5.0 which is a low-risk option when looking free up some funds for more expensive options. Utilizing Niasse for specific games could be the way to go.
Current league position: 16th
#FPL player to watch: Oumar Niasse
Newly promoted Hudderfield are another team who people have sat up and took notice of. They went unbeaten in their first 3 games with 3 clean sheets which put their defenders and keeper high up in the selected players’ list. This is partially due to their price being low and obviously the 3 clean sheets. Huddersfield were put to the sword against Spurs and have some heavy hitters in upcoming fixtures (Utd – GW9; LFC – GW10), so defenders will need to be used selectively. Now you could select either of their defenders, they all cost £4.5/£4.6 and have all scored 32 points so far this season. Chris Schindler only selected by 5.1% of managers at £4.6, and can be used as an interchangeable/ bench option, it also frees up fees to be invested elsewhere.
Current league position: 11th
#FPL player to watch: Chris Schindler
Leicester City are hovering above the relegation zone in 17th with only 1 win this season. They have shown glimpses of their title-winning team but have failed to convert games into wins. Jamie Vardy has been sharp with 5 goals so far this season and is usually involved when Leicester are doing well. Still only owned by 12.4% and with possibly “better” options available in higher price brackets; you have to look at Vardy as possibly the highest 2nd tier option (Firmino being the other). With the international break and players picking up injuries (Morata), Vardy is a top class finisher in that 2nd tier bracket of strikers; he also frees up funds to invest elsewhere.
Current league position: 17th
#FPL player to watch: Jamie Vardy
The Reds have been devastating at times while being equally frustrating. Results haven’t been what fans have been craving with chances continuously being wasted. Liverpool’s midfield can be unstoppable on their day and it’s the midfield that offers the best #FPL options (avoid their defense). The return to form of Philippe Coutinho has been a shining light for the Reds as he’s managed to drag his team out of tight situations. The little magician has contributed 8.33 points in his last 3 games with 2 goals and an assist; he’s also received 3 bonus points in each of his last 2 games. Mo Salah (£9.2) and Sadio Mane (£9.4) are not to be overlooked as the pair are usually involved when Liverpool score.
Current league position: 7th
#FPL player to watch: Philippe Coutinho
Keep an eye out for Part 2 of the season so far #FPL preview