Each week we assemble 4 of the best and brightest from the FPL community.
Our panel will answer the burning questions all FPL managers will be pondering heading into each game week, to make those agonising decisions easier.
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Your #FPLsquaretable Gameweek 11 panel
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>After a 3-0 away win against Norwich in a game which Man Utd also missed 2 penalties have they turned a corner enough to be looking at their assets ?
|I don’t see a lot to get overly excited about with United, despite seeming improvements. They’ve still only scored 5 goals in the last four with zero clean sheets. That doesn’t scream form to me, but it’s not woeful. They come into consideration simply due to four nice upcoming fixtures and a lack of predictability over alternative options. I think if you want a punt and you’ve got an underperforming Abraham or Wilson up front you can consider Rashford, who has been ticking away in recent weeks.|
|Before anything else it needs to be stressed just how bad Norwich are at the minute. They’re very very poor, like catastrophically so – it makes the City win an even bigger fairytale. Every performance against them needs to be taken with a grain of salt. That said, Man U looked great and with Martial back in the team things might start happening again. Bournemouth away is a nice acid test and not a good enough fixture to persuade you to instantly transfer anyone in this week. James, Rashford and Martial are all options I could be persuaded on; affordable, relatively low ownership and a ludicrous run of fixtures to boot.|
|Although I didn’t get as burnt as others did earlier in this season I’m still feeling cautious over their assets due to what happened a few GWs ago when we thought they’d turned a corner then. In saying that, I think Martial at 7.6M offers exceptional value as an OOP player and I am strongly considering bringing him in this week, especially as their upcoming fixtures look good. Bearing in mind their upcoming fixture run it may also be smart to get in one of their defenders because they are so highly owned. Any clean sheet could make it harder to get a green arrow.|
|Let’s not get too excited, Norwich can make anyone look good. And United’s green fixture difficulty rating on the Official FPL site is a bit misleading. Their next three opponents (bou, BHA, shu) are in great defensive form, allowing a combined average of 0.8 goals per game over the last 5 games. Martial and Rashford are still good buys, but I would temper expectations. They won’t be facing cupcake defenses|
> With sterling rested midweek and Jamie Vardy coming off the back of a hat trick , who is the standout captaincy option this week ?
|I don’t think you need to over complicate things this week. City have a great home fixture against Southampton and, Aguero-gate aside, there’s some stand out options there. KDB keeps delivering (especially at home) while Sterling looks to be coming into form, and we know how explosive he can be. They were rested midweek so take your pick of the two.|
|You can’t argue many players are in better form than both Vardy and Sterling right now. City of course have the better fixture so I’d edge my bets there. Sterling looking sharper than anyone else but I’d be happy giving the armband to KdB too. Vardy is justifiable but away at Crystal Palace is a very different fixture.|
|It has to be a City asset for me, the question is more about which one. Interestingly KDB has been performing slightly better than Sterling at home this season from an FPL perspective, so I do think he is a real option despite most looking at Sterling. Sterling has only scored 2 of his 7 goals at home, whereas both of KDB’s 2 goals have come at home as have 6 of his 10 assists. As for me, I’ve captained Aguero the last two weeks and that’s been a disaster, but I am still tempted to go there again this week…|
|Sterling is the best captain option for obvious reasons. But Salah and Mané also have a good a chance of hauling this week against an Aston Villa defense that has allowed 10 goals in the last 5 games. A Chelsea forward or midfielder could also be a dark horse captain option as they travel to Watford this weekend. I don’t have much confidence in Vardy repeating anything close to his hat-trick performance last Friday. Crystal Palace are much more solid than Southampton and have allowed only 4 goals in their 5 home matches this season.|
>If you were free hitting this week who would be the first 3 names on your teams heet based on form and fixtures ?
|I would look to double up on KDB and Sterling given their fixture. And I would then be looking to exploit Brighton’s lovely game against a woeful away (and frankly anywhere!) Norwich as a bit of a punt. Either Connolly or Maupay would do! I also fancy Jimenez to do well against Arsenal.|
|Sterling and KdB first of all, who effectively speak for themselves – they should be in everyone’s teams this week, free hit or otherwise. I’d take Maupay too, playing Norwich at the minute feels like guaranteed points and Brighton and Neal are playing great. He’s also not a player I’d want long term due to his fixtures after this week – hence him being a good option for Free Hit.|
|I’d double on Brighton attacking assets in Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard. Targeting Norwich looks like the one consistent strategy we’ve seen work this season in FPL (City game aside) and these two are the best primed for returns in an ever increasing attacking Brighton side. On a free hit I’d also favour Rashford over Martial for United coverage this week, as he looks like he’s really hit some form and looks ready to go on a run and despite Bournemouth looking a bit more solid recently, I struggle to see them keeping another clean sheet in this one|
|. (1) Sterling: The man is on fire. It doesn’t matter who or when or where he’s playing right now. But in case you were wondering, he is playing a team that allowed 9 goals last weekend. Start him. Captain him. (2) Maupay: Norwich are conceding an average of 2.8 away goals this season. Maupay is taking 4 shots per 90’ over the last 5 games and leads his team in xG by a mile. (3) Haller: Faces a Newcastle defense that is terrible on the road, allowing 12 away goals this season.|
> In his last 4 games Trent Alexander-Arnold has averaged just 3 points per game – will he continue to justify being the most expensive defender in the game or is it time to be looking elsewhere ?
|I would not be looking to sell Trent at all! Sure his recently scores have been underwhelming, but if you watch him you just know that some hauls are going to come knocking. Furthermore, I just can’t see the draw to any alternatives that would drive me to sell. Frankly premium just isn’t doing the business right now so may as well hold.|
|If I was Wildcarding today, TAA would be one of the first names in my team. He’s created more chances than anyone in the league so far – that’s right anyone. It’s also worth remembering that whilst Liverpool have missed out on 8 clean sheets, they’ve only conceded 8 goals. After City in GW13 they’ve got a lovely run of fixtures which I expect to bring back a consistent flow of points for Trent. He’s also the 3rd highest scoring defender, you have bigger problems in your team right now.|
|Forget stats for a minute, you only have to watch a Liverpool game to know that double-figure returns are just around the corner for TAA. I know there’s a debate on how clean sheets are a defenders bread and butter and they should be picked on that basis, however, if there is an exception to that rule it has to be TAA. I genuinely believe he is the one must own this season.|
|Clean sheets are hard to come by for almost every team, which increases the value of attacking returns for defenders. This makes TAA one of the best (if not the best) defensive assets in the game. Let’s also keep in mind that Liverpool’s clean sheet record is misleading. Their defense is tied with Leicester and Sheffield United for fewest goals allowed this season (8). We’re only 10 weeks into the season, just be patient. The clean sheets will come for TAA.|
> Relatively speaking Watford defenders are super cheap . Daryl Janmaat has scored 27 points in the last 3 games with 2 clean sheets and an assist , is this budget price tempting or is having a Watford defender just too much of a risk ?
|I’m not convinced you would put your Watford defender in your starting 11 to be honest, particularly with great value alternatives like Lundstram, Soyuncu, Tomori and even Rico out there who have all proven playable of late. But there is no denying they’ve improved defensively. I’d call it a wait and see.|
|Whilst cheap, it’s difficult to see any of the Watford defenders offering better value than another Sheffield United defender (assuming you already have Lundstram) or Soyuncu. Janmaat did luck into some of his points too, that 12 point haul in GW9 relied on him being subbed before Watford went on to concede.|
|Do you like pain? If yes, that’s the only justifiable argument I can see for getting a Watford defender in. Lascelles at 4.4 or any of the Sheffield United boys for 4.5 look much better in that range for me.|
|There are so many better options for budget defenders than a player from Watford, who are averaging 2.1 goals conceded per game. Yes, they’ve had three good defensive performances in a row, but these were to three clubs who are really struggling to find the back of the net. I would instead opt for budget defender from Sheffield United (possibly a second if you already own Lundstram), Wolves, or Newcastle due to their fixtures and/or form.|
> Leicester are in sensational form , is it time for a triple up or take a wait and see approach ?
|Double up? Yeah go for it, but a triple up feels like too many eggs in one basket. Consider that Leicester have scored 14 of their 25 goals this season in two matches against 10 men. I think they do really well on their run, but I wouldn’t be anticipating mammoth scores every week|
|Let’s be honest, aren’t most of us close to a triple up already anyway? A defender feels like a no brainer and Vardy is the best forward in the game right now. I’d be super happy if I owned 2 defenders alongside Vardy and they’ve got plenty of tempting options in midfield too.|
|I personally believe a triple up is a bit rich, despite having the best upcoming fixture run. In fact, I may even jump off of Maddison when I get Vardy, although I might consider getting Tielemens in as well if he continues to find returns. At the back I think Chilwell looks good value for money, however I am still uncertain whether his attacking threat truly justifies the extra money over Soyuncu, who could prove to be one of the bargains of the season.|
|It’s really difficult to take away anything from a match where a red card was involved, but Leicester have been consistent all season and look to be a genuine contender for a top 4 spot at season’s end. Their upcoming run of fixtures warrant a triple-up if you have the transfers to make it work, but I wouldn’t take a hit to do it. I would prioritize Vardy, Maddison, and Pereira (in that order).|
> If you were looking at a home defensive rotation with two defenders who are both £4.5M or under what is the best option?
|It’s not 100% perfect home rotation but Burnley and Brighton are decent enough in combination for their home fixtures. At £4.5 each you could get Lowton and Burn (though for 0.1 more I would prefer Dunk). They’re easily benchable for one another and both teams are capable of clean sheets in a decent home fixture.|
|Newcastle United and Sheffield United have Home/Away rotation and they’re both fairly defensive minded teams. Sheffield United have an abundance of £4.5m options to pick from and so do Newcastle. Willems is probably my pick for Newcastle, he’s somehow looked like one of their most dangerous players this season.|
|If you got Soyuncu for 4.5M (or if Andy allows me to be a little bit flexible with the rules here) then I would be looking at pairing him up with a Brighton defender (I like the look of Webster 4.4M in particular), providing this run: NOR, ARS, LEI, EVE, WAT, WOL, NOR & SHU over the next eight. If my rule bending is not allowed then my 2nd best suggestion is that Saiss (4.4M) from Wolves and Diop (4.5M) from West Ham would give you NEW, AVL, TOT, SHU & WHU over the next five.|
|Jamaal Lascelles would be a great pick, as Newcastle are tied with Leicester and Crystal Palace for fewest goals conceded in home matches this season (3). Lascelles has a history of getting himself some bonus points too. Sheffield United’s fixtures alternate well with Newcastle’s, and they have conceded only 4 home goals all season. They have decent fixtures too.|
> Is Jesus the differential we should be getting into our teams
|Simply put, no. For much the same reason that Aguero no longer feels an option. Sure Jesus is getting the better minutes right now but for how long?|
|In a word, no. Anyone that owns Aguero will tell you how frustrating the recent rotation has been and it just feels reckless to embrace it even more. Irrespective of his price (which is too high) and his finishing (which has been below par), our Man City slots are simply too valuable. Lacazette finds himself at a similar price with similar ownership, I’d much prefer to take a risk there.|
|Too risky for me, especially when Vardy is a similar price. If you are looking for a differential in that range, I’d much prefer the returning Lacazette.|
|Jesus saves, but he can’t save your FPL team. Yes, it appears Jesus will get more playing time than last season. And yes, it appears he will score some goals. But his rotation risk is going to undo whatever differential points he gets for you. Vardy, Firmino, and Rashford are all in the same price tier, all are significantly outscoring Jesus, and all are guaranteed to start nearly every week.|
> Tammy Abraham has scored once in the last 5 games , he is the most highly owned player in the game should managers keep him at all costs ?
|Not for me. I wildcarded two weeks ago and swerved him entirely. He’s had loads of chances in a high performing attacking side and hasn’t been delivering. I wouldn’t call him a disaster, but I think you shouldn’t let the ownership sway you, he’s not a hot property right now.|
|I have absolutely no idea how Tammy Abraham is the highest owned player in the game right now. He’s managed 19 points in the last 5 gameweeks, that’s less than Vardy, Rashford, Maupay, Connolly and Jimenez. Less than Danny fucking Ings. Less than fucking Jordan Ayew. Yes Chelsea look good and Tammy does look good too, but don’t let his ownership deceive you – he’s far from essential. Be prepared to jump ship, he’s two blanks away from being an absolute dumpster fire and that value you’ve built up burning away faster than you built it up.|
|I don’t think he is essential. I would not be adverse to transferring him out if these poor returns continue, the issue is more about who is worth bringing in for him? At this moment I don’t think there are too many better alternatives in that price range so it’s a hold for me currently, especially with so much uncertainty as to who else truly has a place nailed down in that Chelsea front three, an attack which looks like a priority to cover in some shape or form.|
Abraham’s slump in form can be credited to bad luck more than anything. In his first 5 games Abraham scored 7 goals from a combined 2.77 xG (in other words, he significantly outperformed expectations). However, in his most recent 5 games Abraham’s xG has actually been slightly higher (2.88) despite only scoring one goal. His shots also remain high at 3.5 per 90’. This just looks to me like the scales are balancing out. No reason to panic. He’s playing well and very few players offer the value his price point has. Keep him in your teams.
> If you had a free transfer available which super low ownership player ( -5% ) would you bring in this week based on form and fixtures ?
For this week I would look to Connolly (3%) or Maupay (1.3%). Some decent recent form (and let’s be honest no one is setting the world on fire right now at any ownership or price point!). They have the fixture against Norwich and I would expect some immediate returns.
|I’ve mentioned him briefly before but I think Lacazette is being overlooked. He seems to have knack of getting a return one way or another when he starts and those starts will presumably get regular as he builds fitness. Rotation will always be a risk but he’ll consistently bring in a nice base of points to your team, especially with Arsenal’s continuing run of prime fixtures.|
|Anthony Martial (4.9% as I write this) and I may just do that.|
|At time of writing, Anthony Martial is only owned by 4.9% of managers and just makes the cut for this question. He is averaging 6.68 FPL points per 90’ this season. For perspective, that average would have him in the top 10 of FPL point scorers if had he remained healthy. He has an okay run of fixtures (see my response to question #1), but his ability and consistency ease most of the concerns I have. I don’t think you’re going to find another differential pick with a higher point cieling than Martial.|
So there you have it, your questions have been answered by the panel now it’s down to you to make the important decisions for your squad.
If you have a gameweek 12 question you would like answered: tweet @FPLwildcards.