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)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Onana (MUN), Ederson (MCI), Ramsdale (ARS)||Areola (WHU), Alisson (LIV), Johnstone (CRY)|
|DEF||Estupiñan (BRI), Botman (NEW), Akanji (MCI)||Trippier (NEW), Tsimikas (LIV), Cash (LIV)||Estupiñan + Botman + Akanji all injured/banned|
|MID||Rashford (MUN), Bruno (MUN), Mitoma (BRI)||Salah (LIV), Douglas Luiz (AST), Saka (ARS)||Salah + Saka + Luiz form, lack of Man United returns|
|FOR||Haaland (MCI), Isak (NEW), Hojlund (MUN)||Watkins (AST), Alvarez (MCI), Archer (SHU)||Watkins + Alvarez form, Archer budget enabler|
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?
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.
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.
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.