With gameweek 14, we have kicked off what’s going to be an action-packed December month of Premier League football. Including GW14, we’ve got no less than seven rounds of fantasy football joy and frustration waiting for us this month. We are now in the first period of quick turn-arounds, as gameweek 15 is set for kick-off on Tuesday evening, followed by gameweek 16’s kick-off Saturday at noon. Add to that the final rounds of the European group stages the week after next and you kind of get the idea of what fantasy managers are up against in the short-term. And soon after that, there is the infamous Christmas period…
First up is gameweek 15, starting with Wolves hosting Burnley tomorrow (Tuesday) at 19h30. That same day, current league leaders Arsenal visit new boys Luton Town and that’s not the only favourable fixture for FPL managers to keep an eye on this gameweek. Sheffield United, who were just hammered 5-0 by Burnley, host Liverpool on Wednesday, which should bring key Reds players on your scouting radar, if you don’t have three of them yet. Gameweek 15 offers the more neutral viewer some world-class fixtures as well, including in-form Aston Villa versus Manchester City, Spurs against West Ham, and of course, Manchester United versus Chelsea at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening.
Check out FISO’s FPL Forum for the latest discussion and don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 15 is set at 18h00 (UK time) on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per December 3rd, 2023)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Alisson (LIV), Pope (NEW), Turner (NOT)||Raya (ARS), Dubravka (NEW), Ederson (MCI)||Alisson and Pope injury doubts|
|DEF||Cash (AST), White (ARS), Andersen (CRY)||Zinchenko (ARS), Trippier (NEW), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)||Zinchenko returns, Alexander-Arnold back-to-back goals|
|MID||Bowen (WHU), Diaby (AST), Mitoma (BRI)||Gordon (NEW), Saka (ARS), Hee Chan (WOL)||Aston Villa fixtures, Gordon (home) form|
|FOR||Watkins (AST), Nketiah (ARS), Alvarez (MCI)||Isak (NEW), Cunha (WOL), Pedro (BRI)||Aston Villa fixtures, Isak return from injury, Alvarez lack of returns|
In gameweek 14, Erling Haaland and Mohamed Salah (£13.1m) both failed to score, but they still managed to match each other’s pace in terms of total attacking returns. The former got 2 assists against Spurs plus a yellow card for 7 FPL points, while the latter picked up a single assist without a yellow card for 5 FPL points. This shows that fixtures don’t really apply to these guys, though in our opinion, the smart money went with Salah at home to Fulham. Our thinking is very similar for GW15, when the Egyptian is visiting a battered Sheffield United side and Haaland will be traveling to Villa Park. Salah has now made it three consecutive league games with at least one attacking return, and a total of 10 goals and 6 assists in the Prem overall so far, and Liverpool face Sheffield United, who just shipped a surprising five goals at Turf Moor. If Zeki Amdouni can record an impressive 11-pointer, imagine what Salah can do on Wednesday.
In our preview for gameweek 14, we spoke about Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (£8.8m), about him not scoring a league goal since gameweek 7 and about the fact that he still ticked along at an acceptable pace with 4 goals in his last five games. We also figured that his fixtures in GW14 and GW15 looked like a great opportunity for the England international to get his name back and on the scoreboard, and he promptly did just that. Saka needed just six minutes to get the Gunners off the mark and he ended up with 8 FPL points, thanks an added bonus point as well. As a result, we’re sticking with the Arsenal star for gameweek 15 when the Gunners visit Luton Town. With his fair share of penalty duties and set-pieces, we expect him to play another key role in keeping his side top of the league, especially now that he’s coming off an excellent performance against Wolves over the weekend. At his current price of £8.8m, he is still firmly in non-premium territory, but that might end soon if he gets another return (or two) on Tuesday.
The budget enabler
When looking at real budget enablers in the official fantasy game in the build-up to gameweek 15, it’s hard to look past Matheus Santos Carneiro Da Cunha, simply known as Cunha (£5.5m). After half a season on loan from Atletico Madrid last season, Wolves made his transfer permanent in exchange for about £45 million over the summer. The Brazilian youngster had a bit of a quiet start to the 2023-24 Premier League campaign in terms of fantasy returns, but he has been on fire of late. He got an assist against Spurs in GW12, followed by a goal against Fulham in GW13 and another goal against Arsenal in GW14. In other words, that’s three attacking returns in his last three league games for a total of 17 FPL points. Not bad for a forward who is currently priced at just £5.5m. It gets even better though, because on top of his current form, Cunha also has two favourable fixtures coming up. Tomorrow it’s Burnley at home, followed by Nottingham Forest at home on Saturday. This places him amongst the stand-out budget fantasy picks, at least for the short term.
A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned Mohamed Kudus (£6.6m) as one of the differential fantasy picks to keep an eye on and the Ghanaian international did not disappoint since then. While it should be noted that he has been overperforming his Expected Goals ratio by quite a bit over the past few games, he did record an impressive 2 goals and 3 assists in his last four league games. He also seems to have conquered a spot in manager David Moyes’ starting eleven, which naturally helps his appeal as a differential fantasy pick with a current ownership of just 2.8%. Kudus has also got a decent run of fixtures coming up on the short term, with a visit to Spurs followed by a visit to Fulham and then a home game against Wolves. The former Ajax man is also listed as a midfielder in the official game, which means that he gets an additional FPL points per goal, plus an extra point for every clean sheet recorded by the Hammers.
Our captain in gameweek 15 will be Mo Salah, who has been in good form of late, ahead of the visit to Bramall Lane. After their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Burnley in gameweek 14, the Blades boast the leakiest defence in the league with 39 conceded goals in 14 games.
Of course, the first alternative to Salah as captain is Erling Haaland, despite his challenging away game against currently fourth-placed for Aston Villa. Other (more than) decent options for the armband include Bukayo Saka away at Luton, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and even the seemingly inevitable Ollie Watkins at home against Manchester City.