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)
|TRANSFERS IN||TRANSFERS OUT||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Areola (WHU), Vicario (TOT), Ederson (MCI)||Onana (MUN), Pickford (EVE), Ramsdale (ARS)|
|DEF||Gusto (CHE), Udogie (TOT), Romero (TOT)||Stones (MCI), Shaw (MUN), Gabriel (ARS)||Stones and Shaw injuries, Gusto starter|
|MID||Sterling (CHE), Maddison (TOT), Bowen (WHU)||De Bruyne (MCI), Rashford (MUN), Bruno (MUN)||KDB injury, Sterling performance vs Luton, Maddison form|
|FOR||Wissa (BRE), Antonio (WHU), Jackson (CHE)||Pedro (BRI), Darwin (LIV), Watkins (AST)||Pedro benching, Wissa form, Jackson goal|
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.
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 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.
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.