FPL GW18 is nearly upon us and it is a tricky one indeed. Liverpool do not have a fixture ad if you have a decent rank you will most likely have 1 or more of there players. Manchester City face a difficult task with Leicester and Spurs face Chelsea in the other Mourinho derby. These 4 teams have high exposure in the ownership percentages. Basically if you have not prepared the rest o your squad accordingly then you could be in for a tough week.
All is not lost however, with a bit of moving and shaking you could probably field a decent 11. I have been asked a couple of times this week too about taking hits, I can see both sides of the argument to be honest. On the one hand you could not take a hit and an adult instantly be 4 points up on those that do. For me thats properly boring and I do not play that way.
Hit Me Baby!
Personally I will most likely take a hit, the way I see it is that its he perfect storm to take one. You will have people who are holding Liverpool players whether thats 1 to 3 of them, if they have 2 or more most likely there bench will be that much weaker, you have the top sides playing each other too which is really going to mess with overall scores. Then looking forward a bit Liverpool play Leicester, Chelsea look like they have ran out of ideas and City still look like they may be vulnerable at the back despite hammering Arsenal and have some tough fixtures too.
For me I see this as an opportunity, people get a bit too cautious with hits, think that they have be paid back in one week but this is wrong. For the sake of maths and making this easy consider you have 2 free transfers and you also make 2 transfers on top of that at a cost of 8 points. You split that 8 points by the four players, so thats 2 points per player, your 4 players just have to outscores the players you sold them for by more than two points over the length of time you wish to keep them. ANyway thats enough rambling about hits.
I like Wolves for a one week punt and beyond, you would usually see their fixtures and be like god no. However Norwich away is great game for them to get a exult from, also given their record against the so called top 6 sides and their current form would not be a surprise if the clock some fantasy returns. But just who should you be targeting?
Matt Doherty last season was the gift that just kept on giving, he did not leave my team till late on when I used my wildcard. 4 goals and 5 assists plus a shed load of FPL points, he just kept returning. This season however has been slim pickings with just the two goals, he also has that premium price tag of £6.1m. But is he someone you should be targeting?
Well he is definitely taking less shots at goal, he currently only has taken only 12 so far this season at an average of 0.87 last season this was slightly higher at 1.12. He currently has an xG of 1.75 for the season so with 2 goals is where you expect him to be.
The shot map above may lack the volume of last season however for a wing back that is still some pretty tasty output. He has not had a shot in the last 3 matches however but his numbers are still decent, averaging 2.18 touches in the box, 2.04 crosses per game but his accuracy is on the low side at 17.9% ideally you’d like to see that around the 30% mark. His assist output is very low still, register 0.38 xA in the league all season and has only made 6 shot assists.
This is Doherty’s passmap from the Spurs match as you can see he is still involved in the attacking phases but unless he dramatically ups his xA a goal is the only real hope of an attacking return.
I do like a move to Doherty but unless he gets a return against Norwich it feels like you’re on a loss in the short term at least. At £6.1m thats premium outlay, his ownership is attractive at 4.4%. He was initially in my plans but after a closer look I think I am going to pass.
Jimenez is an asset with a sizeable ownership at around 17%, for £7.5m you’re getting the main man in the Wolves attack. 6 goals and 5 assists so far this season represent average returns for fantasy managers. He has been ticking over the points through out the season, 3 assists in his last 4 games have been his source of recent points.
Above is Jimenez’s shotmap from the last 12 games, his average shots is on par with last season. He currently averages 2.89 shots per match last season he recorded an average of 2.84. Currently he is also recording an accuracy of 40% which is 7% up on last season. He has recorded 8.01 xG so far this season scoring 6 goals so he is slightly underperforming in the league.
I think there is merit in getting Raul, he is going to be the main goal threat for Wolves and he is slowly returning points, he has 85 so far this season and is the 7th highest scoring striker so far this season. Again I get the feeling that if he doesn’t return against Norwich then you could be potentially be on a loss.
Norwich currently sit on 31.4 xGA for the season, so the odds are that Wolves are going to have some good chances to score. You just have to hope they don’t fall to the frustrating hold that is Diego Jota.
I was very vocal early in the season that I was dropping Raheem Sterling, I have flirted with the idea of getting him back at various points. He definitely went off the boil for a little while, but he is still the 4th highest scoring midfielder currently sat on 91 points. He has 4 goals in the league since GW4. His patchy form has coincided with City being inconsistent themselves. But despite his inconsistencies I sit here on the verge of doing a madness and bringing him back into the fold. Let’s have a closer look at some of his stats.
City have been switching between 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 systems, Sterling has been predominantly playing out on the left hand side. He has sometimes slotted in at centre forward and been utilised as a second striker or in a false 9 type role. Personally I am never keen on owning Sterling when he plays in the tricking berth on his own. I feel that it seriously limits his points potential.
Raheems shot volume is steady, he has hit 19 shots in his last 7 games resulting in 4 goals across all competitions but 2 of those were scored against Oxford United. Over the season across all all competitions he is averaging 3.09 shots per game, with an accuracy of 37.5%. In the league he still has positive underlying numbers even if his goal output has dropped a little in the last 10 or so games. Averaging 0.45 xG, 8.39 touches in the box, 1.5 shot assists, 3.6 crosses with an accuracy of 31.7% and an xA of 0.28 per game. Could it be time to bring Raheem back in?
Neal Maupay is very much a man in form, I was a huge fan of him during his time art Brentford. When Leeds promotion challenge fell apart I remember him tearing us apart when Brentford beat us 2-0.
Maupay has 3 goals in his last 3 games for Brighton and he really looks to be hitting his stride. Given his ownership percentage of 1.6% and that he costs £5.8m I think he could be the perfect budget fodder for the busy Christmas schedule.
His stats are really encouraging, 7 goals for the season averaging 0.47 goals per 90 minutes, he is bang on his xG too which stands at 0.49. He is averaging 3.11 shots per game with an accuracy of 39.1%. If he can maintain that level of accuracy his goal returns will continue.
As you can see from Maupays shot map above he is getting many chances in the box. Brighton currently sit 12th in the table for xG 23.4 recorded four the season so far.
The fixtures for Brighton are really encouraging, not that I expect many returns initially. But he will most definitely get chances, Sheff United know how to defend but Chelsea, Tottenham and Bournemouth all concede chances. After the perceived difficult games the fixtures are really encouraging. I am targeting Maupay as a makeweight for a bigger move but I still expect him to return points.
So these are my planned moves, triple city attack does make me feel a bit uneasy and I will move Jesus on after this gameweek but the moves are
Vardy to Maupay
Pulisic to Sterling
Mendy to Targett
You probably think I’m insane for dropping Vardy, I have yet to make the move and I wil be monitoring the press conferences closely. If there is any hint that Aguero returns to the first team starting lineup Vardy will become Jesus in the 3 way move. I am just making a short term bet that Vardy stops scoring for a couple of games. I think all those people who was shouting for weeks that Vardy’s returns were unsustainable call it reverting to the mean.
But after looking aft Sterling’s numbers and catching up on a few Man City matches I think Sterling is worth a short term punt at least. SO I will do the madness. I am currently ranked at 7k. I had a couple of stagnant weeks were I dropped to 15k. But I recovered last week and its time to make some maverick moves.
Thanks for reading, all ownership percentages correct at time of writing, and stats taken from wyscout, don’t even @ me with your understat bollocks.
Much Love Chef!