As usual, plenty happened again last weekend for the Fantasy Premier League manager, from dramatic comebacks and last-minute goals to surprising results and frustrating performances, but it was Spurs who grabbed the headlines in the build-up to FPL gameweek 14. After more than five years of academy graduates coming through, attractive football and some impressive results, Mauricio Pocchetino was fired and very quickly replaced by good old José Mourinho. The ex-Chelsea and ex-Man United manager just had a few days to prepare his new team for the away game against West Ham, so we’re not sure how much exactly can be taken from their 2-3 victory in regard to Mourinho’s plans for Spurs on the longer term. One thing that’s sure though, is that Spurs have rocketed back into the spotlights and many Fantasy Premier League managers will be keeping an eye on their FPL assets over the coming weeks. Spurs fans may also like to know that their derby fixture against rivals Arsenal is considered the most stressful of the season by this talksport study.
This weekend, Spurs are hosting Bournemouth, Mourinho’s first home game in the PL for the north London club after Tuesday’s home tie versus Olympiacos in the Champions League where they dramatically cam from behind to win 4-2. That’s not the only interesting fixture from a fantasy football perspective, though. What to think of City visiting Saint James’ Park, Chelsea hosting West Ham, or Man United welcoming Aston Villa on Sunday, for example? We best just move on to our player picks for gameweek 14.
Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 14 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Saturday, November 30th..
How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?
|Premium||P-E Aubameyang||Southampton (H)||5|
|Premium||Kevin de Bruyne||Chelsea (H)||7|
|Non-premium||James Maddison||Brighton (a)||3|
|Non-premium||Lucas Digne||Norwich (H)||1|
|Differential||Mesut Özil||Southampton (H)||2|
|Captain||P-E Aubameyang||Southampton (H)||10|
Premium fantasy picks
Sterling in the absence of Aguero, a fit-again Mo Salah at Anfield against Brighton, injury-doubt Tammy Abraham facing leaky Hammers at home. These are just some examples of the premium picks that look promising for gameweek 14, but we feel that we have to start our list of picks with Jamie Vardy (£9.7m). The Leicester striker has been in spectacular form this season, which is underlined by the 12 goals he has scored and the 4 assists he has provided in 13 Premier League games so far. What’s more, Vardy has returned in each of the last five gameweeks (7 goals, 3 assists, 58 FPL points) and if we go back to gameweeks more, we can add another 2 goals to that tally, thanks to his brace against Newcastle in gameweek 7. Also no player has recorded more double-digit hauls than Vardy’s five this season. This weekend, the Foxes are welcoming an Everton side to the King Power Stadium that has taken just 4 points from six away games. Over that run, the Toffees scored just 5 goals and conceded 10. Their 0-2 loss at home to Norwich won’t have done their already brittle confidence any good and we can see Vardy benefiting from that coming Sunday.
Our second premium pick for gameweek 14 is a repeat of one of picks last week, namely Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m). We previously mentioned a few of the premium names with captain’s potential for this weekend, so let us briefly explain why Auba makes it on here after a disappointing run of results for him. Basically, because Arsenal are visiting Norwich, the Premier League’s worst defence (28 goals conceded in 13 games) if we don’t take Leicester’s 0-9 victory over Southampton into account, and because it’s his last chance. The Gabonese striker did not necessarily play badly against the Saints last weekend and he could have had a goal on top of his assist with a bit more luck/accuracy, but his returns are just too low to keep justifying his definitely premium price tag. A goal and an assist from his past three games, as well as 15 points, is not horrible, but not amazing either, especially not with so many other (much cheaper) forwards performing well. In the three gameweeks before that though (Bournemouth and Palace at home, Sheffield United away), Auba blanked three consecutive times. Especially with a home game against Brighton and an away game versus West Ham after this weekend, the away game against Norwich looks like a good opportunity for him to remind us all once again of his goalscoring prowess. Or to remind us not to bank on Arsenal assets this season (or at least until they have a ‘new manager bounce’).
Non-premium fantasy picks
Manchester United’s comeback against Sheffield United was sensational, but it has also led to many people ignoring the fact that the Red Devils were completely dominated by the Blades for about 70 minutes of the game. Despite United’s unreliable form, Marcus Rashford (£8.6m) has been on fire of late. Over the past five gameweeks, the powerful Englishman scored 4 goals and provided 2 assists, resulting in 7 bonus points and a total of 36 FPL points. That’s an average of just over 7 points per game for that period, which really isn’t bad. After his 11-point haul against Sheffield United last weekend, Rashford is now the third-most valuable forward in the official game (74 points), behind Vardy (104 points) and Abraham (83 points), and level with Aubameyang. The return of Anthony Martial up front has seen Rashford move back to the left wing and it seems to have done him a world of good. Over the past four gameweeks, he is the player with the second-most shots (17) and the second-most big chances (6) out of all players in the game. Gameweeks 15 and 16 see the Red Devils face Spurs (home) and City (away), respectively, but this weekend, Aston Villa are visiting Old Trafford. After those two hard fixtures, they host Everton and Newcastle (GW 17 and 19, respectively), and pay a visit to Vicarage Road in gameweek 18. In other words, plenty of opportunities for Rashford to add to his tallies.
With a home game against a struggling Hammers side coming up this Saturday, we feel we can’t afford to exclude Chelsea players from this list. There is Christian Pulisic, there is Mason Mount and there is Willian, but we are going with the big man up front, Tammy Abraham (£8.0m) but only if he’s given the all-clear to play after his hip injury last night in the Champions League 2-2 draw. His 10 goals from 13 Premier League games place him second in the current top scorer rankings, only behind Jamie Vardy’s 12 goals. As far as his more recent form is concerned, Abraham has scored 2 goals and provided 2 assists over the past four gameweeks, bringing his owners (current ownership: 50%) 27 FPL over that period. As a matter of fact, his current season total of 83 points makes him the third-most valuable player in the whole official game, behind Mané (92 FPL points) and Vardy (103 points), and level with Man City’s Kevin de Bruyne. This weekend’s opponent West Ham are in disappointing form, which can happen if your last clean sheet was all the way back in gameweek 6 and your last away victory was celebrated three weeks before that, in gameweek 3 against Watford. They have conceded 9 goals in 6 away games and the Hammers defence has only suffered more since goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski got injured in gameweek 7. Since then, West Ham have conceded a worrying average of 2.3 goals per game, and even 3 per game if we take just the last three gameweeks. Chelsea, on the other hand, have no problem with scoring and we see this match-up as a potentially high-scoring affair.
A differential fantasy pick or two
For the first differential pick of the week, we’re looking at Southampton. Danny Ings (£6.0m) has a long history of injuries and inconsistent appearances, which partly explains why has been selected by just 4% of FPL managers at the time of writing. The English striker has nevertheless been in outstanding form since gameweek 7. Up until that point, he had 1 goal and 1 assist to his name for a total of 17 FPL points (an average of just under 3 points per game). Between gameweeks 7 and 13 though, Ings found his goal-scoring boots and netted no less than 5 times for a total of 41 FPL points over that period (an average of just under 6 points per game). On top of that, he seems to be manager Ralph Hasenhüttl’s first-choice striker as he only played less than 72 minutes on one occasion since gameweek 7. Up next for the Saints is a home game against Watford, followed by a home game against Norwich, an away game at Saint James’ Park, a home game against West Ham and an away fixture versus Aston Villa. On paper, all of these encounters with direct rivals are winnable for Southampton and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Ings score a few more goals in December.
Our final pick for gameweek 14 is Burnley third-most valuable player at the time of writing, just behind the excellent Nick Pope and back-to-back FPL gameweek top scorer James Tarkowski. Dwight McNeil (£6.0m) is an assured started for Sean Dyche’s team, and he already has 1 goal and 5 assists to his name for a total of 52 FPL points. That goal and two of those assists have come in the past five gameweeks, a period over which McNeil brought the 1.2% of FPL managers who own him no less than 23 FPL points. In his last two home games, the English winger actually scored and assisted once, with 8 points (versus Chelsea in gameweek 10) and 6 points (against West Ham in gameweek 12) as results. This weekend, the Clarets have a home game against Crystal Palace on the agenda. What makes McNeil a particularly interesting prospect for this game, are the facts that he is Burnley’s most prolific crosser (23 successful crosses this season) and that Burnley have so far recorded 33 headed attempts (fourth-most in the entire league), in combination with Palace’s issues when it comes to defending aerial situations. Only two teams in the Premier League have conceded more than the 38 headed efforts conceded by the Eagles. Add to that, that Palace have not yet kept a clean sheet away from home this season and you understand why we feel McNeil could be a good punt this weekend.
Looking at the latest FPL GW Transfers In/out Stats:
Attackers – Managers are mainly selling Aguero (injured), Aubameyang, Abraham (injury doubt) & Josh King and buying Vardy (ownership now 42%), Jimenez (16.5%), Kane (17%) and Ings (4%).
Midfielders – Sterling and Mount are the big sellers then Richarlison and Salah and the money instead is being used on buying Son, Pulisic, Mane, Maddison & KDB.
Defenders – Digne, van Dijk, Pieters and TAA are being sold with the proceeds then spent on Soyuncu, Lundstram, Tarkowski, Robertson, Chilwell & Aurier.
Goalkeepers – Pickford is the most sold. Schmeichel & Pope are the most bought.
The FPL captaincy
With Liverpool (vs Brighton), Leicester (vs Everton), Chelsea (vs West Ham), Spurs (vs Bournemouth) and Man United (vs Aston Villa) all playing lesser opposition at home this weekend, and with Man City (vs Newcastle) and Arsenal (vs Norwich) facing bottom-half-of-the-table opposition as well, gameweek 14 looks to be offering a whole range of candidates for the captaincy. We would have put the armband on Aubameyang had it not been for Arsenal’s frustrating lack of plans and consistency, so instead we’re going for Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham but due to his injury issue the vice captain will be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in case Abraham doesn’t play. The Blues and Abraham in particular facing the Hammers in their current shape seems to be too good of an opportunity to pass up on.
Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro weekly monster. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks.