Alright, first things first. To those who followed our very well-meant, but ultimately unfortunate, back-to-back recommendations of Aubameyang as a preferred premium: we’ve learned our lesson (again). Stay away from Arsenal assets (again). The club seems in serious disarray at various levels and yesterday’s home loss against Brighton did not do much to help us believe that’s going to change any time soon, so that’s our first decision for gameweek 16.
After a relatively high-scoring gameweek 15, the next round of fixtures is already upon us, just 24 hours after the Arsenal game ended. From an Fantasy Premier League perspective, there are a few interesting games, such as Burnley’s visit to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the clash at Goodison Park between Chelsea and an Everton side currently in the relegation zone, and current leaders Liverpool taking on Bournemouth on the south coast. From a general perspective, and possibly an FPL perspective if the visitors decide to have another off-day, it’s the Manchester Derby between City and United at the Etihad that stands out. With a majority of the clubs in the top-half of the table playing an away game this weekend, it looks like it’s going to be another interesting and hopefully not too upsetting affair.
Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 16 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Saturday, December 7th.
How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?
|Premium||P-E Aubameyang||Brighton (H)||2|
|Premium||Jamie Vardy||Watford (H)||5|
|Non-premium||Raul Jimenez||West Ham (H)||2|
|Non-premium||John Lundstram||Newcastle (H)||1|
|Differential||James Ward-Prowse||Norwich (H)||5|
|Differential||Willian||Aston Villa (H)||2|
|Captain||P-E Aubameyang||Brighton (H)||4|
Premium fantasy picks
Last night, Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) became the third player this season to see his price rise by at least a million, after it happened to John Lundstram and Tammy Abraham a few weeks back. The Leicester forward was already a very premium pick as far as his performances and FPL points total went, but by breaking the 10m barrier, he has also joined the elite price-wise. In the middle of a busy week and a busy month, the certainty of Vardy starting up front for the in-form Foxes can be more than valuable in FPL. It can be decisive. The English striker is playing Villa away this weekend before his team are hosting Norwich in gameweek 17. With Vardy currently being the most-owned player in the official game (selected by almost 50% of teams), you can expect his involvement to be huge over the coming weeks. In gameweek 15, he became the first player in FPL history to be captained by more than two million people and he could well break that record again this weekend or the next. That’s what scoring in seven consecutive games (9 goals, 3 assists, 69 FPL points) gets you (Vardy’s record is 11 successive games so he may not be finished just yet). There are alternatives to the man in form, but if you do choose to keep going without Vardy, your alternative choice better be have a good day.
With most of the official game’s premium fantasy picks playing away games this weekend, we have gone with one of the few who have a home game coming up. True, for Kevin de Bruyne (£10.2m), that home game is a Manchester Derby at the Etihad, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an interesting prospect. First of all, he is starting against United (right, Pep…?!). Second of all, with 2 goals and 20 FPL points from his last three games, he’s in decent form. Third of all, Man United have played 7 away games so far and from that stretch they have taken just 6 points (only six teams performed worse in away games, surprisingly including Arsenal, Spurs and Everton). Fourth of all, in those seven away games, the Red Devils have scored just 8 goals, while conceding 10. In other words, despite Marcus Rashford’s great form, recent performances point at a Man City victory in this derby. The hope is that Kevin de Bruyne is going to be the one orchestrating that victory.
Non-premium fantasy picks
When Jamies Vardy is in title-winning form and you, as a mid-priced FPL asset, outscore him over the last three gameweeks, then you’re going to end up in this list. Tottenham’s Dele Alli (£8.6m) has been sensational of late, scoring 3 goals and providing 1 assist for 29 FPL points over that period. Next up is a Burnley side that are having a decent season, but got outplayed losing 4-1 on their own pitch to Man City in gameweek 15 (and alos lost at home 2-0 to Palace in GW14). The Clarets roll up to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium having conceded 11 goals in 7 away games, while the home team has managed to put 14 in the net in 7 home games. Sean Dyche’s men are no push-overs and we’re more than sure that José Mourinho is aware of this, but we are seeing a Spurs victory here, and a good chance on attacking returns for their shadow striker, Dele Alli, who’s clearly enjoying playing in an advanced role (at times well in front of Kane!).
Our second non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 16 is the man who has been on the mind of millions of FPL managers over the past two gameweeks or so. Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham (£7.9m) missed gameweek 14 due to injury and despite the club, the manager and Tammy himself stating that he was very likely to return to action soon, he was transferred out by so many impatient FPL managers that his price dipped below £8.0m again, but it were the patient managers who were rewarded. Abraham returned in full force last gameweek, scoring a goal and assisting another against Villa at Stamford Bridge, and brought his owners 12 FPL points. This coming Saturday, Chelsea are visiting a struggling Everton side that has taken just 10 points from 7 home games. The Toffees conceded 10 goals over that stretch, while the Blues’ 19 goals scored in 7 away games show that Lampard’s men are more than comfortable netting away from their own ground. It’s not that Everton don’t have quality players, because they do, but their current form has seen them drop into the relegation zone and Abraham might well be the one to make things worse for them this weekend. Do bear in mind that Abraham limped off late on against Villa in GW15 so is a slight injury doubt for GW16.
A differential fantasy pick or two
Our first differential pick is one for the short to medium term, but one that could pay off big over that period. Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is expected to be unavailable through injury for at least another two weeks, Gabriel Jesus (£9.6m) seems to be assured of starting spots and playing minutes for the Cityzens. While his first game after Aguero’s injury was disappointing, at least in terms of FPL returns, his second game last round resulted in 2 goals and a wonderful 13-point haul. He played the full 90 minutes in that game at Turf Moor, and we see no reason why that shouldn’t be the case for the upcoming games against Man United (home) and Arsenal (away). It’s true that these are, on paper at least, difficult fixtures, but the Red Devils and the Gunners are not in impressive form, and that’s a bit of an understatement. We can easily see City put a few past each of them, and when they do, chances are high that the 3.4% of FPL managers who currently own Gabriel Jesus will be very happy. Man City dominated their match at Burnley in GW15 and with that much possession and control of the ball it’s likely Jesus will see some chances come his way.
The second differential pick for gameweek 16 is Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m). This is, in essence, another pick for the short to medium term, considering that the Saints are facing Newcastle away this weekend, followed by West Ham at Saint Mary’s and Aston Villa at Villa Park. Saints striker Danny Ings has been taking up most of the spotlight of late, which is logical considering he has scored a goal in four consecutive Premier League games now (and picked up more than one 3 point bonus), but JWP has been just as instrumental for his side. He is their main creator, which is why he is also on most set-pieces, including penalties. The Saints are finding a bit of form, illustrated by a draw at Arsenal and two home victories in the last three PL games. Newcastle at Saint James’ Park are no walk-over (6 goals conceded in 7 home games), while West Ham have conceded 11 in eight away games and Villa 7 in seven home games. JWP and co have their work cut out for them, but that doesn’t mean that the playmaker is not an outstanding option as a fifth or even a fourth midfielder in your squad for the weeks to come.
Looking at the latest FPL GW Transfers In/out Stats:
Attackers – Managers are mainly selling Jimenez (150,000 sold), Aubameyang, Kane & Aguero (injured) to fund the buying of Abraham (225,000 buys but did limp off at near the end of the match against Villa), Rashford, Vardy (ownership now 48%), and Ings (8%).
Midfielders – Martial & Sterling are the big sellers (about 125,000 each) followed by Salah, Pulisic and KDB (!) and the money instead is being used on buying Alli (235,000 buys), Mane, Son, Maddison & Zaha.
Defenders – Chilwell (injury doubt), PVA (injury), Digne, Robertson & Tomori are being sold (but lowish numbers) with the proceeds then spent on the cheap (£4.1m) Kelly, Soyuncu, Pereira, Aurier, Dunk & TAA.
Goalkeepers – Ederson tops the sold list next to Pope. Schmeichel & Ryan top the most bought.
With so many of gameweek 16’s “favourites” playing away from home, picking a captain wasn’t easy. Eventually we went with Kevin de Bruyne, who seems to be combining good form with a winnable (but still derby) game at home this weekend. Tottenham stars like Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli are high up the list as well, seeing as they are playing a home game against Burnley that they are expected to win comfortably.
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. There’s also a free chance to win an entry into a comp over two gameweeks where the top prize is a guaranteed 30,000 euros.