FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 14 preview

The FPL gods had fun last weekend, that’s what it feels like when looking at the Gameweek 13 Team of the Week. No player boasts an ownership of more than 15% at the time of writing and that player is the much-criticised André Onana. Besides him, no less than four players are owned by less than 0.5% of all managers: Bournemouth’s Marcus Tavernier (no one scored more than his 16 FPL points) and Justin Kluivert, Fulham’s Willian and… wait for it… Manchester United’s Anthony Martial. Another three members of the GW13 Team of the Week sit in less than 5% of all FPL squads, those being Man United’s Diego Dalot, Luton’s Teden Mengi and Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White. Probably the most actively popular player who made it into the team was Newcastle’s Anthony Gordon, who recorded 13 FPL points for the roughly 14% of fantasy managers who owned him.

We can see a couple of highly owned assets returning to the Team of the Week in gameweek 14 though, as the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa and Liverpool are facing favourable opposition this weekend. The Gunners open the weekend with a home game against Wolves, Villa are visiting Bournemouth and Liverpool welcome Fulham to Anfield. On top of that, Manchester City have a home game against a Spurs side that has lost some of its early-season form. Gameweek 14 is also going to be a big one for the teams towards the bottom of the league, with Everton visiting Nottingham Forest and Burnley hosting Sheffield United on Saturday.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 14 is set at 13h30 (UK time) on Saturday, December 2nd, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per November 30th, 2023)

GKAlisson (LIV), Turner (NOT), Vicario (TOT)Onana (MUN), Kelleher (LIV), Raya (ARS)Alisson injury
DEFCash (AST), Estupiñan (BRI), Romero (TOT)Zinchenko (ARS), Saliba (ARS), Tsimikas (LIV)Estupiñan injury, Romero red card
MIDBowen (WHU), Mitoma (BRI), Son (TOT)Mbeumo (BRE), Gordon (NEW), Saka (ARS)Bowen + Mitoma injury doubts
FORAlvarez (MCI), Nketiah (ARS), Darwin (LIV)Isak (NEW), Haaland (MCI), Darwin (LIV)Alvarez lack of returns, Nketiah benchings, Wilson injury + NEW fixtures

Premium pick

As far as the premium fantasy pick for gameweek 14 goes, there is practically no looking past Mohamed Salah (£13.0m). The Egyptian forward is back at it again this season, having scored 10 goals and provided 5 assists in thirteen league starts so far, and his recent form is red hot as well. He bagged a brace at home to Brentford to clinch the Player of the Week honour in gameweek 12 and then went on to provide the assist for the goal against Man City last weekend, in a game that ended 1-1. Up next are Fulham, who are having a decent first half of the season so far, but who we nevertheless can’t see getting much from their visit to Anfield on Saturday. The Cottagers have conceded an average of just under two goals per away game up until now, which will be like music to the ears of Salah. With Haaland facing Spurs on Sunday, Mo is looking like the stand-out captain for gameweek 14 even with Spurs’ current defensive issues.

Non-premium pick

It has been a fair few gameweeks since Bukayo Saka (£8.8m) scored a goal in the Premier League, as his last one came back in GW7 versus Bournemouth, but that doesn’t mean the England international has been entirely quiet of late. A total of 4 assists over his five league starts since then kept him ticking along quietly, recording 26 FPL points over that run. At his current price of £8.8m, an average of about 5 points per game is somewhat underwhelming, but look at it this way: he’s still involved, he’s still a starter and Arsenal are still top of the league after thirteen rounds. On top of that, Saka has his share of penalty and set-piece duties, and his upcoming two opponents qualify as “favourable” on paper. On Saturday, the Gunners host Wolves and three days later, it’s time for a visit to Luton Town. As far as we’re concerned, a perfect little run for Saka to get his name back on the scoreboard.

The budget enabler

When Andy Robertson got injured a few weeks ago, the Liverpool roster offered us Kostas Tsimikas as a great (short- to medium-term) enabler, and now the Reds are doing it again. That is, if you’re willing and able to make a short-term move for a real bargain goalkeeper. With first-choice goalie Alisson Becker out for at least two gameweeks, according to manager Jurgen Klopp, and possibly more, his back-up Caoimhin Kelleher (£3.9m) can help you free up some funds. Liverpool are amongst the more solid defences this season, having conceded 11 goals in thirteen games so far. An even bigger factor for considering a move for Kelleher though, in our opinion, is the upcoming run of fixtures. As we wrote just above, Kelleher should be between the Liverpool sticks for two to three league games at least, which means he will be there for the visit of Fulham this weekend, and the away games against Sheffield United (in GW15) and Crystal Palace (in GW16).

The differential

When recommending Bukayo Saka as our non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 14, we mentioned Arsenal’s upcoming favourable fixtures, first at home to Wolves this weekend and then away at Luton next Tuesday. Seeing as Gabriel Jesus (£7.8m) got his first start against Brentford in GW13 after missing three consecutive league games due to injury, we want to highlight the possibility of getting to a potential major differential pick early. The Brazilian has not had a great season so far, as injuries have prevented him from recording more than a single goal and assist up until now, but when fit, he should be part of manager Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven. At the moment, Jesus is sitting in just 2.4% of all fantasy teams in the official game, which has put him firmly on our differential radar. He’s not cheap, but if you’re looking for a player to help you catch up in your mini-league, bringing in the Brazilian attacker, who got on the score sheet during the week in the CL drubbing of Lens, could be a shrewd move.

The (vice-)captaincy

Both Mo Salah and Erling Haaland are playing at home this weekend, so you can expect the captaincy discussion to be dominated by these two powerhouses once again. Seeing as Salah is facing Fulham, while Haaland faces Spurs, we have gone with the former, but in reality, either one could deliver a big double-digit haul this weekend.

If you’re looking for an option outside of the usual two suspects, Bukayo Saka at home to Wolves could be a good choice, as could Bryan Mbeumo at home to Luton. Ollie Watkins could also deliver the goods when Aston Villa play Bournemouth on Sunday, if you feel like punting on a proven goalscorer with an away game on the agenda.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 12 preview

After back-to-back high-scoring gameweeks with averages of 67 points and 66 points in gameweeks 9 and 10 respectively, the last gameweek 11 brought us the lowest-scoring round of the 2023-24 FPL season so far. By the time Chelsea and Spurs were ready to kick off for what would turn out to be one of the crazier league games so far, the average FPL score sat at just 28 points. Five goals, including two deep in the added time, and two red cards later, did not do much for the average though, as it settled on 32 points for the gameweek. It was a beautiful Monday if you are one of the 4.4% of fantasy managers who owned Chelsea forward Nicolas Jackson, as he recorded a hattrick against Spurs to crown himself as highest-scoring player of GW11 with 16 FPL points.

Looking at the fixtures in upcoming gameweek 12, it doesn’t look like we’re up for another low-scoring gameweek. With Arsenal playing at home against Burnley, Manchester United hosting Luton Town, Aston Villa playing at home to Fulham, Brighton facing Sheffield United at the AmEx, Liverpool welcoming Brentford to Anfield and West Ham facing Nottingham Forest at home, GW12 boasts what looks like a plethora of (very) favourable home fixtures. Add to that Crystal Palace’s home game against Everton and Newcastle’s visit to Bournemouth, and we can say that fantasy managers will have to make some serious choices this weekend as the points can be coming from practically anywhere.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 12 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, November 11th, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per November 9th, 2023)

GKEderson (MCI), Ramsdale (ARS), Leno (ARS)Johnstone (CRY), Areola (WHU), Vicario (TOT) 
DEFBurn (NEW), Romero (TOT), Udogie (TOT)Mitchell (CRY), Saliba (ARS), Andersen (CRY)Palace fixtures + defensive form, Burn injury, Romero + Udogie suspensions
MIDMaddison (TOT), Odegaard (ARS), Neto (WOL)Doku (MCI), Bowen (WHU), Saka (ARS)Neto injury, Maddison + Odegaard injury doubts
FORHaaland (MCI), Isak (NEW), Alvarez (MCI)Nketiah (ARS), Watkins (AST), Wilson (NEW)Jesus injury, Isak injury, Man City fixtures

Premium pick

After three consecutive gameweeks with at least one attacking return, the on-fire Mohamed Salah (£12.9m) blanked at Kenilworth Road in gameweek 11. After 2 goals against Brighton in GW8, 2 goals versus Everton in GW9 and a single goal against Forest in GW10, hopes for a serious haul against minnows Luton Town were high amongst fantasy managers. But of course, in the purest of FPL fashions, the Egyptian then blanked for a 2-pointer. The only “upside” for those managers who put all their captaincy eggs in the Salah basket last weekend was that his big fantasy rival for the armband, Erling Haaland, blanked as well. This weekend, Salah (and the managers counting on him) can redeem themselves though, because while Haaland has to rock up to Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening, Liverpool are welcoming Brentford to Anfield a day earlier after they are at Toulouse tonight in the Europa League (with Salah on the bench) . The Reds star is therefore our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 12.

Non-premium pick

Our choice for non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 12 ended up being a toss-up between Man United’s Bruno Fernandes and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (£8.6m), and we eventually went with the latter. While Bruno is coming off a winning goal versus Fulham and is now preparing for Luton at home, we opted for a pick from the team that is in better form at the moment and that is definitely Arsenal. Sure, the Gunners suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of Newcastle at St. James’ Park last weekend, but they are still a much more reliable side than United. As for Saka, it has been relatively quiet of late with just 2 assists in his last four league games, but we’re not worried. He is one of the team’s star players, he is a guaranteed starter (when fit*) with his fair share of set-pieces (and penalties?) and he is up against Burnley this weekend. We expect Arsenal to bounce back from their loss in the north and continue their top-4 battle against the Clarets, and we’re hoping Saka will be the one to show them the way on Saturday (* as long as he shakes off the ankle turn he suffered late on against Seville in the Champions League last night).

The budget enabler

“Botman is unclear at the moment. So, we’re going day by day with that one currently”. That’s what Newcastle manager Eddie Howe had to say about the knee injury of central defender Sven Botman a few days ago. With the Dutchman out for the foreseeable future, a fantastic budget option has arisen at St. James’ Park in the person of Jamaal Lascelles (£4.0m). Botman got injured in the build-up to gameweek 7 and since then, Jamaal Lascelles returned to the Magpies’ starting lineup. While lacking any attacking returns or even something of an expected goal involvement worth mentioning, the £4.0m-defender did already record 3 clean sheets. What’s more, last weekend against Arsenal, he even got 3 bonus points. Picking Lascelles as Newcastle are preparing for a visit to Bournemouth on Saturday is a medium-term pick at most, but one that could pay off handsomely, both for the player himself and for your team as a whole because bringing him in will likely free up some funds to spend elsewhere on your squad.

The differential

Over the summer, West Ham United paid around £38 million to Ajax Amsterdam for the services of Mohammed Kudus (£6.5m). While he did show flashes of brilliance since then, both in England and in the Champions League, including a goal from the bench against Newcastle back in gameweek 8, the Ghana international had to wait for his first league start until gameweek 10. The attacker failed to record any returns in that game, but manager David Moyes maintained his trust in the new recruit and was rewarded a week later. In gameweek 11, Kudus started up front once again for the Hammers away at Brentford, and with effect. The former Ajax star scored a goal and provided an assist for a total of 11 FPL points, and recorded a Man-of-the-Match-worthy display against the Bees. Rotation remains a risk for Kudus and the rest of the West Ham attackers, but we’d be surprised to see Moyes drop Kudus from the first eleven for the moment. That makes the Ghanaian a great differential fantasy pick, because he is currently owned by just 0.8% of fantasy managers and the Hammers are playing Nottingham Forest at home next, followed by Burnley away, Palace at home, Fulham away and Wolves at home in the five games after that. West Ham also have the Europa League to contend with including a home match tonight against Olympiacos.

The (vice-)captaincy

As you probably guessed after reading about our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 12, we are slapping the armband on Mo Salah this weekend. Liverpool and the player himself are in decent form, and it’s a home game versus Brentford on Sunday for the Reds this weekend.

Lucky for the managers who don’t own the Egyptian and can’t (or don’t want) to bring him this weekend, there are several other strong candidates for the armband this weekend as well. These include Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah at home to Burnley, Bruno Fernandes at home to Luton Town, and Ollie Watkins at home to Fulham.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 11 preview

We are now ten games into the 2023-24 Premier League campaign, just over a fourth of the season, and Spurs are topping the table. That’s right, Spurs, the Londoner butt of many a joke about silverware (or the lack thereof) over the past years, who just lost one of their all-time superstars to Bayern Munich, and who brought in a new coach from Celtic over the summer. Of course, the season is very long still and the competition is enormous, but it’s starting to look like Tottenham Hotspur might actually be a serious contender for the title this season. Or at least an outside for the title. With a largely favourable set of fixtures coming up, two of the major questions for fantasy managers are whether to pick two or three Spurs players, and perhaps even more importantly, which ones?

Spurs are also one of the sides with a good fixture on paper in GW11. Manager Ange Postecoglou’s men are hosting Chelsea on Monday, and the Blues’ woes and lack of any kind of form is well-known by now. Liverpool away at Luton Town is another stand-out fixture for FPL managers this weekend, especially with Mohamed Salah in top form, as is the encounter between Manchester City and Bournemouth at the Etihad on Saturday. From a neutral point of view, the current-top-six clash between Newcastle and Arsenal at St. James’ Park on Saturday is probably the one to look forward to.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 11 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, November 4th, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per November 3rd, 2023)

GKRamsdale (ARS), Onana (MUN), Sanchez (CHE)Johnstone (CRY), Alisson (LIV), Vicario (TOT) 
DEFUdogie (TOT), Estupiñan (BRI), Trippier (NEW)Andersen (CRY), Tsimikas (LIV), Romero (TOT)Palace fixtures, Robertson injury, Udogie + Estupiñan injury worries
MIDNeto (WOL), Odegaard (ARS), Mitoma (BRI)D. Luiz (AST), Mbeumo (BRE), Hee-Chan (WOL)All transferred-in assets are in form, Neto injury worries
FORIsak (NEW), Alvarez (MCI), Watkins (AST)Nketiah (ARS), Darwin (LIV), Watkins (AST)Jesus injury, Watkins and Darwin form, Isak injury

Premium pick

After two consecutive blanks and then just a single, measly goal against Brighton at home in gameweek 9, a few fantasy managers figured that Erling Haaland (£14.0m) had probably passed his peak… or something of the like. Anyway, to our surprise, he was amongst the most transferred-out forwards in the build-up to gameweek 9, in which the Manchester derby was waiting. OK, so perhaps there is some understandable reasoning behind that move when you looked back at a very recent, very small sample, but this is the same guy who managed 9 goals and 1 assist from nine league starts, and who is only trailing Mo Salah in terms of total FPL points in the overall game. So, of course, Haaland went on to punish the doubters in style, recording a direct involvement in each of the three goals scored by City at home to United: 2 goals, 1 assist. The result? A juicy 16-point haul, which, honestly, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat of when Bournemouth visit the Etihad this weekend.

Non-premium pick

Ollie Watkins (£8.4m) had a relatively slow start to the season, in the sense that he only got his first league goal back in gameweek 6 at Stamford Bridge. He did however, up to that point, already register 4 assists from five league starts, so he wasn’t entirely off the radar. The Chelsea goal seemed to have galvanised him though, because since then, the England international scored 4 more goals and added another 4 assists to his totals, bringing him to 5 goals and 8 assists in ten league starts. At his current price, that’s incredible value territory. We are expecting his price to rise a bit further over the coming weeks though, as Aston Villa have a short stretch of very good fixtures coming up, starting with Nottingham Forest away this weekend. In the three games after that, it’s Fulham at home, followed by Spurs away and then Bournemouth away. In his current form, Watkins should be good for at least three attacking returns over that stretch, including the Forest game on Sunday. And who knows, there might even be a repeat of his monster 26-point haul against Brighton in GW7 among them.

The budget enabler

You might have noticed in the brief transfer overview for gameweek 11 around the start of this article, but Crystal Palace defenders are in fashion at the moment. That’s because the Eagles, at least from a defensive point of view, are approaching ideal FPL territory. They have been solid defensively so far, recording 4 clean sheets (only Arsenal has more with 5), and they’ve got a great run of fixtures coming up, in theory at least. On Saturday, it’s time for Burnley away, before Everton at home, Luton away, West Ham away and Bournemouth at home. In other words, potential clean sheets galore for the Eagles. That’s why we have decided to include Tyrick Mitchell (£4.5m) as our budget enabler of choice for gameweek 11. He is a guaranteed starter for Palace, he has a license to join in attack when possible (though he has recorded just 1 assist so far), and he is slightly cheaper than the more popular Marc Guéhi. There is, of course, Joachim Andersen as well, but the Dane will set you back considerably more than Mitchell, as he costs £5.0m at the moment.

The differential

We honestly can’t remember the last time we included a Wolves attacker in one of our gameweek previews, but here we are. Hwang Hee-Chan (£5.5m) has quietly gone under the radar so far this season, or so it seems when looking at his current ownership 3,6%. When looking a bit deeper though, the Korean attacker actually represents outstanding value over the first ten games of the 2023-24 campaign. He has been a guaranteerd starter for Wolves since the gameweek 5 visit to Anfield and it’s not hard to see why. In six starts since then, including the Liverpool fixture in which he scored, Hee-Chan managed no less than 4 goals and 1 assist, bringing his totals for the season to 6 goals and 1 assist. Another way of looking at these great stats: Wolves’ Korean attacker has registered at least one attacking return in six of his seven last league games. Or how about this: only four players currently have more goals to their names than Hee-Chan, those being Erling Haaland, Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-Min and Callum Wilson. Let’s see if the South Korea can crash into the top scorers top four when Wolves visit Sheffield United on Saturday.

The (vice-)captaincy

We’re pretty sure that the captaincy debate for gameweek 11 will be between Erling Haaland, who is waiting for Bournemouth to roll up to the Etihad on Saturday, and Mohamed Salah, whose Liverpool is set for a visit to Kenilworth Road the day after. Both are in form, so we’ve opted for Haaland, thanks to him playing at home. Also, he is owned by just over 84% of managers.

If you have both premium FPL assets, then it all comes down to who you are captaining and who will be the vice-captain. If this is not the case though, fear not, because there are a few very appealing alternatives available this weekend as well. These include Ollie Watkins away against Nottingham Forest, Julian Alvarez at home to Bournemouth and Son Heung-Min at home to inconsistent Chelsea.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 10 preview

Gameweek 9, the first gameweek after the latest international break, saw several of the popular FPL assets shine at the same time for once. Just five of the players that made it into the GW9 Team of the Week could be considered real differentials with an ownership of 6% or less. As a matter of fact, with Kieran Trippier, Mohamed Salah and Ollie Watkins returning, the Team of the Week contained at least three template players with an ownership of minimum 37% in the official fantasy game. In other words, if you’ve been following the template (more or less) so far this season, chances are that you outperformed the high week average of 67 FPL points in GW9.

Gameweek 10 could very well end up giving us a similar Team of the Week, in the sense that there are quite a few of highly owned players who are facing favourable opposition this weekend, on paper at least. Spurs (as in, the Spurs side that is leading the league at the moment with a 2-point advantage over 2nd placed Manchester City) kick off the weekend at Selhurst Park on Friday. The day after, we’ve got Arsenal hosting Sheffield United for what looks like the game to target for fantasy managers, followed by a Newcastle visit to Wolves. On Sunday then, Aston Villa welcome Luton Town to Villa Park, Brighton host Fulham and Liverpool play Nottingham Forest at Anfield. The Manchester derby at Old Trafford has been saved for last, at 15h30 (UK time) on Sunday.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 10 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, October 27th, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 25th, 2023)

GKOnana (MUN), Ederson (MCI), Ramsdale (ARS)Areola (WHU), Alisson (LIV), Johnstone (CRY) 
DEFEstupiñan (BRI), Botman (NEW), Akanji (MCI)Trippier (NEW), Tsimikas (LIV), Cash (LIV)Estupiñan + Botman + Akanji all injured/banned
MIDRashford (MUN), Bruno (MUN), Mitoma (BRI)Salah (LIV), Douglas Luiz (AST), Saka (ARS)Salah + Saka + Luiz form, lack of Man United returns
FORHaaland (MCI), Isak (NEW), Hojlund (MUN)Watkins (AST), Alvarez (MCI), Archer (SHU)Watkins + Alvarez form, Archer budget enabler

Premium pick

Thanks to four double-digit hauls in the last five gameweeks, Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) is currently the highest-scoring player in the official fantasy game with 75 FPL points. While it can be said that the Egyptian’s owners have been lucky on a few occasions of late, there is simply no arguing with the player’s results this season. He has obviously started each of the season’s first nine league games and blanked only once, back in gameweek 7 against in-form Spurs in London. Right before that blank though, Salah recorded back-to-back 10-pointers against Wolves away and West Ham at home, while he did even better after that blank. In gameweek 8, a brace at the AmEx was good for 15 FPL points, while another brace last weekend in the Merseyside derby brought him 16 FPL points. Up next are Nottingham Forest at Anfield, who have conceded 7 goals in five away games so far this season. Can Salah make it three hauls of 15 FPL points or more in a row this coming Sunday?

Non-premium pick

For the 2023/24 season, we lowered our minimum value for premium fantasy picks to £9.0m in order to be able to include a couple more players in our gameweek previews when useful. At the same time, this means that Bukayo Saka (£8.5m) still qualifies for our non-premium fantasy pick category. The England international is the highest-scoring Arsenal asset so far this season with 58 FPL points, courtesy of 4 goals and 4 assists from eight league starts. He unfortunately missed the home game against reigning champions Man City back in gameweek 8, but if we ignore that, the winger has actually started and returned in every gameweek since GW2. There are no worries about his current form either, as he is just coming off an assist at Old Trafford. In the two gameweeks before he missed out in GW8 due to injury, Saka managed 2 goals and 1 assist for 22 FPL points in total. He scored in gameweek 9 at Bournemouth and put in a man-of-the-match performance a week earlier at home against Spurs (1 goal, 1 assist, 13 FPL points). The Arsenal star is now preparing for what might be the stand-out fixture to target from a fantasy point of view this weekend, a home game against bottom-of-the-league Sheffield United, who have shipped 24 goals in nine games so this season.

The budget enabler

“He’s had his surgery and it all went well, as good as it could be. We don’t know how long it will take but the first step is done”. That’s what Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had to say about Any Robertson’s injury during his latest press conference. As a result of this update, we are repeating our budget fantasy pick of last week, although Kostas Tsimikas (£4.5m) has risen a bit in price already since then. However, the Greek left-back is still a very affordable entry into Liverpool’s defence (and starting eleven) for what could very well be the medium term. His first league start of the season, last weekend at home versus Everton, confirmed what we hoped we for with this budget pick as Liverpool picked up a victory and a clean sheet, with the Greek starting and returning a lovely 6 FPL points. Furthermore, we expect the points to keep rolling in for now, with Nottingham Forest at home this weekend followed by Luton away in gameweek 10. If you have the possibility to temporarily bring in Tsimikas, possibly while freeing up some budget to reshape your squad elsewhere as well, you should probably consider doing so.

The differential

Chelsea do not have the easiest of fixture runs coming up, but the Blues seem to have turned a bit of a corner. The start to the 2023/24 was horrid, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men are now unbeaten in three league games after last weekend’s 2-2 draw to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Both of the away games previous to that game, against Burnley in GW8 (1-4) and Fulham in GW7 (0-2) were won quite comfortably and Cole Palmer (£5.0m) was one of the best players in each of those games. On top of that, the youngster also shone during the draw with Arsenal by scoring the opening goal (from the penalty spot, by the way!). So, what we have here is a very cheap attacker who has been the stand-out player for his side for weeks now and who is still owned by just 2.5% of all FPL managers. The upcoming home game against Brentford is followed by a visit to Spurs, a home encounter with Man City and a game at St. James’ Park, but in his current form, Palmer could be the transfer to make for those managers looking for a major differential impact.

The (vice-)captaincy

Mohamed Salah is combining form and fixture this weekend as Liverpool welcome Nottingham Forest to Anfield. On top of that, he is world class, so no doubts for us this weekend: Salah is our captain for gameweek 10.

Fortunately for those who don’t own the Egyptian dribbler yet, the schedule offers us a few appealing alternatives as well. Erling Haaland against a struggling Man United side can never be disregarded, while Bukayo Saka at home to Sheffield United looks about as safe a captaincy pick as they come, with Ollie Watkins coming in close. Riskier options include Heung-Min Son at Crystal Palace on Friday night, Julian Alvarez away at Old Trafford and Kieran Trippier for Newcastle’s visit to Molineux.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 9 preview

The second international break of the 2023-24 Premier League season is now behind us and it has given us more than a few things to catch up on, especially in terms of injuries and fatigue doubts. Probably the biggest name to came out of the break with an injury is Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, who could be out for a while with a shoulder injury. Other players who are unlikely to feature in gameweek 9 include Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma and Pervis Estupiñañ, Newcastle’s Alexander Isak and Sven Botman, and Nottingham Forest man-in-form Taiwo Awoniyi. The likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw, just to name a few of the big names, are missing out due to injuries that were sustained earlier in the season.

As far as the fixtures go, Fantasy Premier League is returning to action with a boom, as Saturday’s opener is the Merseyside Derby at Anfield. Later that same day, Manchester City are hosting Brighton for what could end up being a footballing festival and, in the evening, last season’s runners-up Arsenal visit Stamfield Bridge for an authentic London Derby. Sunday then brings us a clash between two teams in excellent form, Aston Villa and West Ham, followed by the London Derby between Spurs and Fulham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to close gameweek 9

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 9 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, October 21st, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 19th, 2023)

GKOnana (MUN), Ramsdale (ARS), Ederson (MCI)Areola (WHU), Turner (NOT), Johnstone (CRY) 
DEFEstupiñan (BRI), Botman (NEW), Chilwell (CHE)Cash (AST), Andersen (CRY), Trippier (NEW)Estupiñan + Chilwell injuries, Botman injury doubt
MIDSaka (ARS), Mitoma (BRI), Mbeumo (BRE)Salah (LIV), Maddison (TOT), Son (TOT)Saka and Mitoma injury doubts, Son and Maddison form
FORHaaland (MCI), Awoniyi (NOT), Alvarez (MCI)Watkins (AST), Isak (NEW), Alvarez (MCI)Awoniyi injury, Watkins form, Isak form

Premium pick

Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) hasn’t featured in our gameweek previews very often so far, but in a week where Liverpool host Everton while Manchester City play Brighton at home and Arsenal pay a visit to Chelsea, the Egyptian wizard looks like the stand-out premium fantasy pick. Liverpool’s star man has been in more than decent form so far this season, at least in terms of attacking fantasy returns, with 5 goals and 4 assists from eight league starts. He actually got his highest score of the season so far against Brighton right before the international break, a brace worth 15 FPL points, but he also played two full matches for Egypt after that. We are not worried about that though, as Salah has proven time and time again that his fitness is elite and on top of that, he is Liverpool’s best player, which also explains his penalty duties. We expect him to be present from the start against archrivals Everton to hopefully make it his eighth game with an attacking return in nine.

Non-premium pick

Contrary to Salah, James Maddison (£7.9m) has featured in our gameweek previews a few times already this season. That’s not so surprising though, when you consider his start at Spurs and the price tag he was given at the start of this campaign. Maddison has started each of the first eight league games under manager Ange Postecoglou, and delivered 2 goals and 5 assists in return. The England international only needed very little time to establish himself as a major creative force in the current new-look no-Kane Spurs squad and Fulham at home is providing him with a great opportunity to add to his more than decent totals. The Cottagers have already conceded 13 goals in the league this season and their Expected Conceded Goals ratio is even a bit worse, still. With Spurs flying high at the moment, we find it hard to see Fulham shutting out their fellow Londoners at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The budget enabler

We’ve got two Liverpool assets in our FPL gameweek preview this week, with Kostas Tsimikas (£4.4m) joining Mo Salah this week. As we mentioned earlier, Andy Robertson is very likely to miss out in gameweek 9 due to a shoulder injury and while no official prognosis has been published yet, some reports are talking about a period of multiple weeks on the sidelines for the left-back. This brings his standard replacement Tsimikas into the mix, as the Greek now looks set to start against Everton on Saturday. The way it looks at the moment, a £4.4m investment now gives you a prime entry into the Liverpool backline for at least a few weeks, which is always worth considering. And Tsimikas is more than just an entry, because he will likely be on a decent number of set-pieces as well, on top of his regular attacking style of playing. With Everton at home followed by Forest at home and Luton away, now looks like the perfect moment to get on the Tsimi-train before it really takes off.

The differential

It doesn’t happen often that we repeat a differential fantasy pick who has no returns to his name yet, but we’re doing it this week with Rasmus Hojlund (£7.2). The Dane is actually a bit of a curious case, because this week, he became the first player in FPL history to rise in price twice in one gameweek without having registered a single attacking return. Chances are though, that the people who brought the Man United striker in based their decision on his performances so far in the Champions League, where he already found the net three times in just two games. As far as the league goes, while Hojlund has not had the pleasure of scoring yet, he did get four big chances already. Of course, you want your forwards to convert chances, not just get them, but we see opportunities for improvement in that area when looking at United’s upcoming schedule. After Saturday’s visit to Sheffield United, they are hosting Manchester City before travelling to Fulham, playing Luton at home and then visiting Goodison Park in gameweek 13. Feels like a perfect run of games for a new £70-million striker to get off the mark, or not?

The (vice-)captaincy

Gameweek 9 is offers a few interesting captaincy candidates and seeing as we went with Mo Salah as our premium fantasy pick of the week, we are also slapping the armband on him. While Everton have not been terribly in defence of late, we don’t see them keeping out the Reds at Anfield and Salah might well be the one to the (most) damage.

Of course, if Erling Haaland is not our captain, he has to be our vice-captain. The Norwegian goalscoring machine is playing at home to Brighton on Saturday afternoon and we wouldn’t be surprised to see that game turn into a complete goal fest. Other attractive options for the captaincy in gameweek 9 are James Maddison and Heung-Min Son at home versus Fulham, Kieran Trippier at home to Crystal Palace and Bruno Fernandes away at Sheffield United on Saturday evening.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 8 preview

Another big one for the differentials in gameweek 7, while this season’s usual suspects largely kept quiet. The popular likes of Erling Haaland, Kaoru Mitoma and James Maddison all blanked, while Pervis Estupiñan one-upped them with a juicy -2 FPL points. It wasn’t ALL bad news for the highly owned assets though, as three of the most-selected players made it into the official Team of the Week as well: Ollie Watkins with a 23-point whopper, Martin Odegaard with a 17-pointer, and Kieran Trippier with 12 points. The differential of the week was clearly Nottingham Forest’s Nicolas Dominguez, who made the Team of the Week with 10 FPL points, courtesy of a goal versus Brentford, while sitting in exactly 0.0% of all teams in the official Fantasy Premier League game.

On to gameweek 8 then, which has all the makings of a cracker, both in real life and in fantasy. Spurs and Chelsea are kicking off the weekend with winnable away games on paper, against Luton and Burnley respectively, while struggling Manchester United will try to wash away their Champions League home defeat against Galatasaray with a home game against Brentford. The real fireworks are saved for Sunday though, when Brighton host Liverpool, West Ham faces Newcastle in a clash of the highflyers, and Manchester City tops off the gameweek with a visit to Arsenal.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 8 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, October 7th, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 5th, 2023)

GKOnana (MUN), Ramsdale (ARS), Ederson (MCI)Areola (WHU), Leno (FUL), Turner (SHU) 
DEFEstupiñan (BRI), Chilwell (CHE), Botman (NEW)Cash (AST), Trippier (NEW), Andersen (CRY)Estupiñan and Chilwell injured, Botman injury doubt, Cash and Trippier form
MIDRashford (MUN), Saka (ARS), Mbeumo (BRE)Son (TOT), Maddison (TOT), Bowen (WHU)Saka injury doubt
FORAlvarez (MCI), Haaland (MCI), Morris (LUT)Watkins (AST), Alvarez (MCI), Archer (SHU)Luton DGW over, Archer price, Villa form

Premium pick

Salah traveling to Brighton and Haaland visiting Arsenal this weekend while Heung-Min Son (£9.3m) goes to Luton’s Kenilworth Road stadium a day earlier has us backing the South Korean as our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 8. New Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou deploys the attacker as a striker and it’s understandable why. Son has scored 6 goals in his last four league games, including a brace away at Arsenal in GW6 and a goal last weekend against Liverpool. Luton have already conceded 14 goals this season and despite the Hatters picking up their first win in GW7, we find it hard to imagine them keeping the points at home against Spurs. So much so, in fact, that Heung-Min Son will also be leading our captaincy debate for gameweek 8 later on in this piece.

Non-premium pick

We briefly mentioned Ollie Watkins (£8.0m) in our intro and he is returning here as our non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 8. At least in terms of attacking returns, the Aston Villa striker had a bit of an underwhelming start to the 2023-24 campaign, not finding the net until his goal at Stamford Bridge back in gameweek 6. Over those preceding five gameweeks though, he did provide 4 assists, so he was clearly getting involved in the goalscoring at Villa and it finally all came together last weekend. In what can only be labelled as a superb display, both from Watkins and from Villa as a whole, the Villans wiped the floor with Brighton, beating them 6-1 at Villa Park. Watkins took up the role of chief destruction officer with an incredible 3 goals and 2 assists for a total of 23 FPL points, the highest single-match score for a player so far this season. That monster haul made it three consecutive league games with attacking returns for the England international and it could very well be the start of a serious purple patch for him. After all, Villa’s visit to Wolves on Sunday is followed by back-to-back home games (West Ham and Luton), a visit to Nottingham Forest and a home game versus Fulham. Can Watkins make it seven or eight rounds of attacking returns in a row?

The budget enabler

On Wednesday, the big-money clash between Saudi-owned Newcastle and Qatar-owned PSG took place at St. James Park and it ended up as a night to remember for the Toon. They walked over the French side, beating them 4-1 and allowing just two shots on goal. One of the best performances on Magpie side came from Dan Burn (£4.6m), who initially struggled a bit with Ousmane Dembele’s pure pace, but bit by bit got himself into the game, topping that progress off with a thumping header at the back post in the 39th minute. As a result, he will be full of confidence going into Sunday’s away match versus West Ham, especially when you consider how good of an FPL asset he’s been of late as well. He recorded clean sheets in each of his three last league games and even went into double digits on gameweek 6, thanks to a goal against Sheffield United. In other words, Dan Burn looks to be right around the top of the world right now. Upcoming opponents West Ham are no pushovers by any stretch of the imagination this season and the Magpies have their work more than cut out for them this weekend, but after that it’s Palace at home, Wolves away and Bournemouth away in the next four. At his current price of £4.6m, Burn therefore looks like a very good budget enabler on the short and even the long term.

The differential

We’ve already mentioned Tottenham’s favourable fixture away at Luton this weekend, so for our differential fantasy pick for gameweek 8 we’re moving back to North London. A new-look Spurs side has grabbed a few headlines already this season and with good reason, because the Londoners are looking more competitive than they have done in a long time. Besides the shining stars of James Maddison and Heung-Min Son, Dejan Kulusevski (£7.0m) has been flying under the radar considering his current 1.9% ownership. The former Juventus forward has cemented his spot in Postecoglou’s starting eleven though, and already has 2 goals to his name. Looking at Spurs’ upcoming run of fixtures, starting with the visit to Luton to kick off GW8 and including encounters with Fulham, Crystal Palace and Wolves soon after that, we can see the Swedish international’s ownership get a decent bump soon. His away game at Kenilworth Road this weekend looks like a perfect entry moment if you want to take a differential punt with the Spurs attacker.

The (vice-)captaincy

As we wrote when covering Heung-Min Son as our premium fantasy pick of the week, he is also our first choice for the armband in gameweek 8. The South Korean is in red hot form right now and playing as a striker, while registered as a midfielder in the official game, against a leaky Luton defence. If he can score a brace at the Emirates, he can do something nice for the roughly 27% of managers who own him at Kenilworth Road as well, right?

Seeing as Brighton just shipped six goals at Villa Park, FPL logic dictates to include Mohamed Salah as a very viable option for the armband as well. Liverpool are kicking off the Sunday with a visit to the AmEx. Other interesting options for the captaincy in gameweek 8 include James Maddison away at Luton Town, Bruno Fernandes at home to Brentford and Ollie Watkins for Villa’s visit to Molineux.

FPL 2023-24: Double Gameweek 7 preview

Gameweek 6 saw some well-known faces from last season return to the Team of the Week. Topping the table in terms of FPL points was Kieran Trippier with 18, thanks to a hattrick of assists against helpless Sheffield United. Second place was shared by three players, these being Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son, Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma and Everton’s James Tarkowski, all with 14 FPL points each. The third spot was shared as well, between Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes with 13 points each. As a matter of fact, the only player to make it into the Team of the Week with a single-digit score was Luton’s Carlton Morris with 9 points, courtesy of a penalty versus Wolves.

On to gameweek 7 then, which is actually the first double gameweek of the 2023-24 Premier League campaign. We don’t expect too many managers to pay too much attention to it though, as the two teams doubling are also both in the relegation zone at the moment. Both Luton Town and Burnley have managed just a single point so far this season, though they did play a game less, which they will catch up with this coming Tuesday. Out of the two, Luton looks like the most appealing side if you’re looking for an out-of-the-box differential fantasy pick to shake things up a bit. The Hatters are preparing for a visit to Everton on Saturday followed by a home game against Burnley on Tuesday, while the Clarets themselves will be visiting Newcastle on Saturday before travelling to Kenilworth Road three days later.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 7 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, September 30th, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per September 27th, 2023)

GK Leno (ARS), Areola (WHU), Turner (NOT) 
DEFChilwell (CHE), Gusto (CHE), Henry (BRE)Botman (NEW), Trippier (NEW), Walker (MCI)Newcastle form + fixtures, Henry injury, Gusto suspension, Chilwell benched
MIDRodrigo (MCI), Rashford (MUN), Mbeumo (BRE)Son (TOT), Mitoma (BRI), Gordon (NEW)All transferred-in players recorded double digits in GW6, Rodrigo suspension
FORJackson (CHE), Isak (NEW), Wissa (BRE)Morris (LUT), Alvarez (MCI), Darwin (LIV)Luton DGW7, Alvarez form, Jackson suspension

Premium pick

At £6.6m, Kieran Trippier is one of the most expensive defenders in the official fantasy game and last weekend showed us just why that is. The England international had an underwhelming start to the season in terms of FPL, taking just 5 FPL points from his first four games. Gameweek 5 brought the Toon their first clean sheet though, and with it came the first return for Trips. It proved to only be the start, as Newcastle followed that first shut-out up with a resounding 0-8 victory over Sheffield United last weekend. On top of that second clean sheet in a row, Trippier also recorded a hattrick of assists in that game to make him gameweek 7’s highest-scoring player. Next up are Burnley at home, followed by a visit to West Ham, a home game against Crystal Palace and a visit to Wolves, so it could be right about the moment to bring Trippier (back) into your squad.

Non-premium pick

Gameweek 7 could also be a good moment to move some West Ham United assets closer to the top of your scouting lists. The Hammers have had a more than decent start to the season with 10 points from the first six league games and they are about to embark on a run of favourable fixtures. This weekend, it’s time for a visit from Sheffield United, who just conceded eight against Newcastle last weekend. Considering the opposition and their weakness, amongst other things, our non-premium fantasy pick for GW7 is James Ward-Prowse (£6.3m). The free-kick master and set-piece specialist has hit the ground running in West-London with 2 goals and 3 assists in his first five games. As a matter of fact, his blank at Anfield last weekend was his first blank this FPL season. We would be surprised to see him make it two blanks in a row with Sheffield United’s visit coming up. That game is followed by a run of favourable fixtures, apart from gameweek 8’s home game versus Newcastle and gameweek 15’s visit to Spurs, all the way until the end of the first half of the season. At just £6.3m, Ward-Prowse might just be a shrewd pick for the very short and the very long term.

The budget enabler

Our budget fantasy pick for gameweek 7 is also our only double gameweek player recommendation. Carlton Morris (£5.5m) is Luton Town’s talisman and even though the newly promoted side are not expected to score a lot of goals in any game this season, DGW7 might be the gameweek to take a punt on Morris if there ever was one. The Hatters have scored three goals so far this season and 2 were scored by the 27-year-old Englishman. He also provided the assist for the third goal, by the way. In other words, based on a small sample, it looks likely that Morris is involved whenever Luton score a goal. That also makes sense if you know that he is on penalty duties and his 2 goals so far have actually both come from the spot. This makes him extra attractive as a double gameweek target, on top of the fact that he is guaranteed to play 90 minutes and will be facing mediocre opposition. We’re not saying that Luton can easily dispose of Everton at Goodison Park and of Burnley at home, but if they want to have any hopes of staying in the Prem this year, they know this double gameweek will have to yield some points.

The differential

With a 0-8 drubbing in their back pockets and possibly the most positive run of fixtures of all teams in the league coming up, you can expect interest in Newcastle players to spike in the build-up to gameweek 7. Lots of interest will be directed at forwards Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson, and at the defensive likes of Kieran Trippier and Sven Botman. The Magpie roster boasts even more potential though, with Anthony Gordon (£5.6m) standing out for us as a differential fantasy pick. Harvey Barnes is expected to be out with an injury for the foreseeable future, which cements Gordon’s spot in manager Eddie Howe’s starting eleven. The confidence is clearly doing him good, because he already sits on 2 goals and 3 assists this season, including his goal and assist at Bramall Lane last Sunday. What’s more, only Liverpool’s Mo Salah has so far created more big chances than Gordon in the league, which emphasizes the winger’s growing influence on the Newcastle attack. Burnley at home is the Magpies’ next challenge and we can see the young Englishman add to his current totals against the leakiest defence in the league bar Sheffield United.

The (vice-)captaincy

Seeing as Erling Haaland is currently part of 92.4% of all teams in the official Fantasy Premier League, the smartest thing to do is probably to just captain him again this weekend for Man City’s visit to Molineux.

Alternatively, Kieran Trippier or Alexander Isak at home to Burnley could be interesting as well, as could Heung-Min Son at home to Liverpool. Those managers who really want that authentic double gameweek feeling can put the armband on Carlton Morris for his double against Everton (away) and Burnley (home).

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 6 preview

We have had a few truly crazy gameweeks over the years, what some people would label “peak” FPL, in terms of unexpected results, returns (or lack thereof), starting elevens, etc… Now, we don’t immediately want to label gameweek 5 as such, but last weekend was definitely the most “peak FPL” gameweek of the season so far. Here’s just a selection of reasons why fantasy managers might’ve deleted their teams in GW5:

  • There were 4 goals in the Manchester United vs Brighton game, but no returns for Rashford, Bruno, Mitoma or March. To top it off, Estupiñan was left out of the squad.
  • In-form Spurs stars Maddison and Son blanked at home to Sheffield United, and the visitors also prevented a Spurs clean sheet.
  • Aston Villa beat Crystal Palace 3-1 at home, but Watkins and Diaby blanked, while Palace’s Eze blanked and got a yellow.
  • Chelsea keep a clean sheet at the Vitality Stadium, but Chilwell gets the 10 final minutes as sub. Also, the Blues failed to score.
  • Arsenal scrape a 0-1 win at Everton, but Odegaard blanks and Martinelli gets injured. At least Saka got the assist.

Anyway, that’s why we love the game, right? And to soften last week’s disappointment a bit, gameweek 6 is offering several popular assets a chance to redeem themselves, at least from a fantasy point of view. Manchester City are playing at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday, with their rivals United visiting Burnley later that day. Brighton have a home game as well, against Bournemouth, as do Chelsea, though in their current form, visitors Aston Villa could pose a serious problem. The same to an extent goes for Liverpool, who are hosting in-form West Ham United. From a neutral point of view, the North London Derby between Arsenal and Spurs on Sunday afternoon stands out, naturally.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 6 is set at 13h30 (UK time) on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per September 21st, 2023)

GKOnana (MUN), Ramsdale (ARS), Ederson (MCI)Areola (WHU), Leno (FUL), Pope (NEW) 
DEFChilwell (CHE), Henry (BRE), Estupiñan (BRI)Botman (NEW), Gusto (CHE), Trippier (NEW)Henry injury, Gusto starting, Newcastle fixtures
MIDMarch (BRI), Rashford (MUN), Martinelli (ARS)Mbeumo (BRE), Ward-Prowse (WHU), Salah (LIV)Martinelli injury doubt, Mbeumo form + fixtures, Salah fixtures, JWP form
FORJackson (CHE), Isak (NEW), Watkins (AST)Alvarez (MCI), Edouard (CRY), Hojlund (MU), Ferguson (BRI)Alvarez form, Watkins lack of returns

Premium pick

It’s boring and repetitive, we know, but it’s also Manchester City at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday. In other words, time for about 92% of all fantasy managers to select and captain Erling Haaland (£14.1m). Just do exactly that and use the rest of your time to focus on the remaining fourteen players in your squad. Simple as that, on to the rest of our fantasy picks for gameweek 6.

Non-premium pick

Though it feels a touch bandwagon-y, we’re staying with Manchester City for our non-premium fantasy pick of the week. Fresh world champion Julian Alvarez (£6.9m) has been one of the best-value players so far this campaign, starting with a price tag of just £6.5m and already on 2 goals and 5 assists from five league games (all of which he has started, by the way). If that’s not enough to put him firmly on your FPL radar, what about the words from the grandmaster of rotation himself, Pep Guardiola? “Gundo[gan] left and unfortunately with the injury to Kevin [de Bruyne], he has his chance and he is using it”, said Pep a few days ago about his Argentinian attacker, “Now he is almost undroppable”. Hear that? Almost undroppable, with a home game against Forest and a visit to Wolves up next. If you can make room in your squad’s attacking line, it’s still not too late to bring the Man City asset in who also scored two goals on Tuesday evening in the Champions League at home to Red Star Belgrade as witnessed by FISO admin.

The budget enabler

Ahead of the visit to Luton’s Kenilworth Road stadium on Saturday, Wolves’ attacker Pedro Neto (£5.5m) finds himself in a rich vein of form. Despite his team’s disappointing start to the 2023-24 campaign, in which they took just three points from the first five games, the Portuguese international collected 22 FPL points over the past three gameweeks. In GW3, 1 assist resulted in 7 FPL points, in GW4, a brace of assists equalled 10 points and just last weekend, another assist at home to Liverpool brought him 5 points. What makes Neto extra interesting, apart from the fact that he is a guaranteed starter under Julen Lopetegui and priced at just £5.5m, is that he is classified as a midfielder in the official fantasy game. This means that he gets an extra points for each clean sheet and against Luton, that might just happen. While Wolves are not exactly a goal-scoring machine, they did manage to score at least once in each of their last four league games and that’s in great part thanks to Neto. Why? Because no other player in the league (!) has created more chances than he has after the first five gameweeks of the campaign. The visit to Luton might end with a second double-digit haul of the season for the 23-year-old.

The differential

To be honest, we were wondering whether to include Neto in the budget-enabler category or in the differential category, because at his current price and with an ownership of just 1.5%, he qualifies for both. We decided to make him our budget fantasy pick of the week, so that we could also include Rasmus Hojlund (£7.0m) in this week’s article. The Danish forward practically meets the definition of differential in every aspect, which makes him interesting for the ballsiest of fantasy managers. There is, of course, his current 3.3% ownership that makes him a differential asset, but that’s not at all. He only just arrived in England after his £72-million-pound move from Atalanta Bergamo and plays for Manchester United, who are having a terrible start to the season. On top of that, Hojlund has played just 86 minutes of Premier League football so far, with no returns to look back on. So, it’s not that he’s just a differential FPL asset; bringing him in now is about as differential as a fantasy move will get. That’s why we end this differential fantasy pick for gameweek 6 with some positives, because in the time he did play for United so far, the Dane looked promising. He could’ve actually scored in the disaster game versus Brighton last weekend, had it not been for a marginal offside call or for Rashford seemingly playing with blinders on. As a matter of fact, Hojlund did score a few days later, in the midweek clash versus German giants Bayern Munich. We’re expecting his second league start in a row on Saturday at Burnley, who have conceded more goals than any other side in the league. In other words, the perfect opportunity to open his Premier League scoring account as well.

The (vice-)captaincy

Erling Haaland against Nottingham Forest at home is our captain for gameweek 6.

If you feel confident to take on the Norwegian’s inevitable double-digit haul, you might consider putting the armband on Haaland’s teammate Julian Alvarez, or perhaps Mohamed Salah, though the Egyptian superstar is playing a resilient West Ham defence. Higher-risk (and hopefully higher-reward) captaincy picks for gameweek 6 include Brighton’s Kaoru Mitoma or Solly March at home to Bournemouth, Crystal Palace’s Odsonne Edouard at home to Fulham, and the previously mentioned Pedro Neto for Wolves’ visit to Luton.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 5 preview

So, that’s the first international break of the 2023-24 season out of the way and it looks like we’ve gotten through it relatively unscathed. Perhaps the biggest news in that regard is the hamstring injury suffered by Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is owned by just over 12% of fantasy managers, followed by the calf injury of one of the game’s current most popular £4.0m enablers, George Baldock, and Destiny Udogie’s sickness at the start of the break. In any case, when looking at your FPL squad and planning your next transfers, we recommend you have a look at how your targets have fared over the international break, not just in terms of injuries, but also in terms of travelling and playing time, as rotation might be a bigger factor than usual come gameweek 5.

As for gameweek 5 itself, we are immediately presented with a few very interesting fixtures from a fantasy point of view. A seemingly reborn Spurs side facing Sheffield United at home probably stands out, though Liverpool’s visit to Molineux to kickstart the weekend and Arsenal’s visit to Goodison Park on Sunday could bring us some big scores as well. It will also be interesting to see how Manchester City will fare away against a tough West Ham and to what extent Chelsea can give their season start some colour away at Bournemouth. From a neutral point of view, the one to look out for is probably Manchester United versus Brighton at Old Trafford, on Saturday afternoon.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 5 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, September 16th, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per September 14th, 2023)

GKOnana (MUN), Pickford (EVE), Ederson (MCI)Areola (WHU), Leno (FUL), Vicario (TOT) 
DEFBotman (NEW), Shaw (MUN), Trippier (NEW)Romero (TOT), Udogie (TOT), Cash (AST)Botman and Shaw injuries, Spurs form
MIDRashford (MUN), Sterling (CHE), Mitoma (BRI)Son (TOT), Maddison (TOT), Mbeumo (BRE)Spurs form, Mbeumo form
FORJackson (CHE), Isak (NEW), Pedro (BRI)Alvarez (MCI), Ferguson (BRI), Darwin (LIV)Pedro benchings

Premium pick

For the sake of variation, we decided to look past Erling Haaland (£14.1m) as our premium fantasy pick of the week in the past few weeks, but with a triple of relatively to very favourable fixtures coming up for City, we feel it’s time to include the big Norwegian once again. Of course, he is currently owned by an unprecedented 92% of all managers in the official Fantasy Premier League game, so this one is really for the 8% of absolute rebels. After his hattrick plus 1 assist at home against Fulham right before the international break, Haaland now has 6 goals and 1 assist from the first four league games of the season and no player in the entire league has a higher Expected Goals ratio than he does, either. West Ham away on Saturday afternoon is not an easy fixture by any stretch of the imagination, but he can still drop a double-digit performance. After that, it’s Nottingham Forest at home (expect 92% of managers to captain him) and Wolves away. In other words, as exaggerated as it sounds, we can quite easily see Haaland rack up another 30 to 40 FPL points over the next three gameweeks.

Non-premium pick

James Maddison (£7.8m) is an interesting non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 5, in terms of his upcoming fixtures at least. With 29 FPL points after four games, courtesy of 2 goals and 2 assists, he is the highest-scoring player on the Spurs roster as of this moment, and he’s got Sheffield United at home up next. From gameweek 8 he’s then got a run of pretty easy fixtures on paper for which many more than the current 27% of fantasy managers will be bringing him in, resulting in a decent price increase. In between gameweek 5 and gameweek 8 though, Spurs are facing Arsenal away and Liverpool at home. So the question is, bring Maddison in now for the Sheffield United home game and the likely price increase on the medium term, or wait until gameweek 8 to avoid the previously mentioned tough fixtures, thus missing out on the upcoming home game and the potential price increase? Considering his current form, we’re opting for the first scenario, especially if you have a good squad to cover. On top of that, Maddison might just get a return or two against Arsenal and Liverpool. He is the key man at Spurs at the moment, after all, topping the team charts for key passes, shots and shots on target.

The budget enabler

Despite a very difficult set of fixtures to kick off the season, Nottingham Forest have managed go into the first international break with 6 points and ninth place. Away games against Arsenal and Manchester United were lost by a single goal, while the home game against Sheffield United (2-1) and the visit to Stamford Bridge (0-1) brought them three points each. The schedule is clearing up a bit now for the Tricky Trees, with home games against Burnley and Luton, and a visit to Crystal Palace, in the next five. First up this Monday are Burnley at home, a perfect opportunity for Forest to record a second clean sheet in a row in our opinion, which is why Matt Turner (£4.0m) has made it into our budget category of the week. He looks like a perfect budget enabler for any squad as a playing second goalkeeper and he might even be first choice in gameweek 5. Opponents Burnley are currently bottom of the table with zero points, in part due to their lack of goals. In three games (they blanked once), they have netted just three times so far, though it should be noted that the opponents were Man City, Aston Villa and Spurs.

The differential

The other team that has already blanked this season are Luton Town and much like Burnley, the three matches they did play were very much unfavourable for them. They lost away to Brighton and Chelsea and then at home to West Ham in gameweek 4, conceding 9 goals in the process. Not the best start to the season, but one player who did manage to stand out so far is striker Carlton Morris (£5.5m). He scored on his Premier League debut against Brighton back in GW1 and then provided the assist for Luton’s only goal versus West Ham in GW3, resulting in a total of 15 FPL points so far. As far as fixtures go on paper, Luton have now got one of the kindest runs coming up, starting with a visit to Fulham on Saturday. In the five after that, the Hatters host Wolves and Burnley, while visiting Everton and Nottingham Forest. Also, don’t forget that they have got a double gameweek coming up in gameweek 7, featuring the previously mentioned visit to Goodison Park and home encounter with Burnley. Luton, of course, are prime candidates to be relegated this season and in reality, no game is easy for them, but if they want to have any hopes of staying in the Prem this season, they will have to get points from this upcoming run. With that mission and the above in mind, Morris at his current 1.6% ownership could prove to be a shrewd differential fantasy pick.

The (vice-)captaincy

West Ham have had a great start of the season so far and their tough defence definitely plays a big part in that. Having said that, Erling Haaland is still our favourite to wear the captaincy armband for his visit to the London Stadium in gameweek 5. He played 90 minutes of football of the international break and will be captained by about 90% of fantasy managers as well.

If you want to go against the grain with your captaincy, Spurs looks like the way to go with Son Heung-Min playing as a striker and James Maddison. Of course, Mo Salah, who played just 90 minutes over the international break, away at Wolves is in the conversation as well. More “out there” picks for the armband include Marcus Rashford at home to Brighton, Nicholas Jackson away at Bournemouth and Bukayo Saka for his visit to Goodison Park.

FPL 2023-24: Gameweek 4 preview

Could the weekly Luton fixture be the one to eye for the rest of this season? In all honesty, the Hatters have played just twice in the Premier League so far as they blanked in gameweek 2, but picking the right man against them has proven to be fruitful tactic so far. In gameweek 1, it was Solly March who scored a 9-pointer in Brighton’s 4-1 win against Luton, while last weekend, it was Raheem Sterling who came away with 19 FPL points from his home fixture against them. It’s still way too early to confidently identify the league’s whipping boys and a few sides have actually been considerably worse than Luton so far (looking at you, Everton), but we recommend keeping an eye on this potential trend.

As far what’s up next, it’s gameweek 4, followed by the season’s first international break. Traditionally a moment of reflection for FPL managers. Which teams have hit the ground running? Which teams look out of it? What is the state of my fantasy squad, four gameweeks in? If possible, try to roll your transfer this week, as lots of Premier League players will be flying to all corners of the world over the next weeks to join their respective national teams and who knows in what kind of shape they will return. For those managers who are in no such position to roll at the moment though, we are, as usual, providing a few interesting fantasy picks for gameweek 4 and beyond.

Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 4 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, September 1st, 2023.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per August 31st, 2023)

GKAreola (WHU), Vicario (TOT), Ederson (MCI)Onana (MUN), Pickford (EVE), Ramsdale (ARS) 
DEFGusto (CHE), Udogie (TOT), Romero (TOT)Stones (MCI), Shaw (MUN), Gabriel (ARS)Stones and Shaw injuries, Gusto starter
MIDSterling (CHE), Maddison (TOT), Bowen (WHU)De Bruyne (MCI), Rashford (MUN), Bruno (MUN)KDB injury, Sterling performance vs Luton, Maddison form
FORWissa (BRE), Antonio (WHU), Jackson (CHE)Pedro (BRI), Darwin (LIV), Watkins (AST)Pedro benching, Wissa form, Jackson goal

Premium pick

Considering the limited number of true premium fantasy picks currently available in the official game, we have gone with a premium pick in defender terms this time. Ben Chilwell’s (£5.8m) price has already risen by £0.3m this season and that’s for good reason. Despite Chelsea’s wobbly start to the 2023-24 campaign, the England left-back has been more than decent. After the first three league games, which he all started, he sits on 14 FPL points, thanks to an assist in gameweek 1 versus Liverpool and a clean sheet at home to Luton Town last weekend. Of course, based on recent history, injury fears are always surrounding Chilwell, especially now that he will be joining the Three Lions to face Scotland and Ukraine over the international break as well, but for the moment, he’s one of the top defensive picks in FPL. This weekend, Chelsea are hosting Nottingham Forest in which a Blues clean sheet would not be a huge shock. After the international break, they travel to Bournemouth, which is a favourable fixture on paper as well. In other words, we would not be surprised to see Chilwell’s price rise a bit further over the coming weeks.

Non-premium pick

About a month ago, Leicester star James Maddison (£7.7m) was brought in for around £ 40 million by Tottenham and after three gameweeks, it’s starting to look like perhaps one of the best transfers of the English summer transfer window. The midfielder has slotted straight into Ange Postecoglou’s starting eleven by hitting the ground running in London. He opened his attacking returns account immediately in gameweek 1 with 2 assists at Brentford, before playing an excellent game against Manchester United (2-0 victory) and then his first goal in a Spurs shirt last weekend at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium. It’s therefore no surprise that he has been called up by Gareth Southgate to face Ukraine and Scotland over the international break. First though, it’s a visit to Turf Moor for the creative Spurs man in gameweek 4, followed by a home game against another promoted side, Sheffield United, in the first league game after the break. At a price of just £7.7m, Maddison is looking like excellent value at the moment.

The budget enabler

For many fantasy managers, finding a playing £4.0m defender is one of the keys to a successful FPL season. To a certain extent though, the same goes for goalkeepers, as any squad needs two of them and having one absolute playing budget enabler as a back-up can be great for the overall squad structure. We are therefore highlighting Alphonse Areola (£4.1m) in our budget enabler category this week. Before the 2023-2024 season kicked off, we found it hard to imagine anyone but Lukasz Fabianski in the West Ham goal, but that’s exactly what happened. The Frenchman has been David Moyes’ number one pick between the sticks since gameweek 1 and he has not disappointed, because at this moment, only Fulham’s Bernd Leno and Tottenham’s Guglielmo Vicario have scored more FPL points than him. Thanks to a save point in gameweek 1 against Bournemouth, a saved penalty in the victory over Chelsea in gameweek 2 and an incredible 9 saves in gameweek 3 versus Brighton, Areola is currently sitting pretty on 18 FPL points. Not bad for a goalie who finds himself still very much in extreme budget territory. If you’re looking to free up some cash, Areola is the ideal second goalkeeper and even a candidate for a starting position in your squad.

The differential

The earlier mentioned James Maddison is not the only midfielder who has made a big impact from the get-go after making a transfer this summer. Like Maddison, James Ward-Prowse (£6.0m) relegated with his side last season and was then brought in by a Premier League side over the summer. In the case of the set-piece maestro, it was West Ham who scooped him up for about £ 30 million. He missed out on gameweek 1, but then started for the Hammers in gameweek 2 and immediately delivered 2 assists in the home game against Chelsea. West Ham then went on to beat Brighton at the AmEx last weekend, and once again, JWP was instrumental to the result, that time with a goal. As a result, the England midfielder already has 15 FPL points to his name after two games and it’s Luton away for the Hammers tomorrow evening. Do keep in mind that West Ham have a tough run of fixtures after that with home games against Manchester City and Newcastle, and a visit to Liverpool between gameweeks 5 and 8. At £6.0m, you could bench him a few times over that run, though he has proven his ability to pick up attacking returns in any type of fixture. If you wonder why, just check out his free-kick highlights on Youtube.

The (vice-)captaincy

If you read the earlier premium fantasy pick section, you probably wondered why we didn’t mention Erling Haaland for Manchester City’s home game against leaky Fulham. There are a few reasons for that, amongst which are his current 91.3% ownership (!) and the fact that we could mention him every week. We decided to vary a bit with Chilwell this week, but for the captaincy, we’re still going with the Norwegian goalscoring machine. Just captain him, as more than ten million managers will this weekend.

If you feel like going against the grain with the armband though, there are a few interesting alternatives. James Maddison away at Turf Moor could reward ballsy managers, as could Nicholas Jackson at home to Nottingham Forest and, of course, Mohamed Salah when Liverpool host Aston Villa on Sunday.