FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 29 Preview

“Kevin de Bruyne is likely gameweek 29’s most popular captaincy choice” (CC by 2.0). Image by Brad Tutterow.

If you want to get a real good idea of the general feeling brought about by gameweek 28, just have a look below at how our fantasy picks fared last weekend. Despite all of the so-called favourites playing away from home, we obviously focused our efforts on three encounters: Watford (then number 19) vs. Liverpool (current number 1), Norwich (number last) vs. Leicester (number 2), and West Ham (then number 18) vs. Southampton (then number 12). Well, to be brief, Watford, Norwich and West Ham all won their home games to form the foundation for the lowest average gameweek score of the season. What we’re trying to say? If you averaged about 26 measly points last weekend, you were definitely not alone.

FPL Gameweek 29 brings us a few very juicy home fixtures, like Liverpool at Anfield to Bournemouth and Wolves facing Brighton at Molineux, on top of Sunday’s super clash between Manchester United and Manchester City. The big news on FISO’s FPL forum was the announcement of a double gameweek though, with Arsenal and Man City playing twice this round (see below).

Saturday, March 7th, Arsenal vs. West Ham

Sunday, March 8th, Man United vs. Man City

Wednesday, March 11th, Man City vs. Arsenal

The question each FPL manager will need to ask him or herself is to what extent this DGW really constitutes an attractive piling up of fixtures for the teams involved. What’s for sure though, is that gameweek 29 looks to contain all the ingredients for another explosive round of Premier League football.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 29 is set at 11h30 (UK time) on Saturday, March, 7th, 2020.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

Premium Mo Salah Watford (a) 2
Premium Jamie Vardy Norwich (a) 0
Non-premium Bobby Firmino Watford (a) 2
Non-premium James Maddison Norwich (a) 2
Differential Jonny Evans Norwich (a) 2
Differential Shane Long West Ham (a) 2
Captain Mo Salah Watford (a) 4

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per March 4th, 2020)

GK Ryan (BRI), Schmeichel (LEI), Henderson (SHE) Pope (BUR), Henderson (SHE), Patricio (WOL) Managers bringing in in-form goalie Pope, Patricio as part of the Wolves defence, and Leicester failing to deliver against Norwich.
DEF Lundstram (SHE), Kelly (CRY), Van Dijk (LIV) Doherty (WOL), Alonso (CHE), Saiss (WOL) Wolves solid defence and Alonso’s recent form, combined with Liverpool’s dip and Lundstram’s start in the FA Cup.
MID Traoré (WOL), Martial (UTD), Maddison (LEI) Fernandes (UTD), Sarr (WAT), De Bruyne (CIT) Maddison continues to blank, Fernandes came in hot, De Bruyne has a DGW, and Sarr, though a good player, seems a bit of a knee-jerk move at this point.
FOR Vardy (LEI), Abraham (CHE), Ings (SOU) Aubameyang (ARS), Jota (WOL), Jimenez (WOL) Injuries to Vardy and Abraham, a DGW upcoming for Auba, and Wolves’s favourable upcoming fixtures.

Premium fantasy picks

It’s true that there have definitely been better, or at least more appealing, double gameweeks in FPL history, but any double match-up for Manchester City is worth considering. This is what we did and how we have come up with our first premium fantasy pick for gameweek 29, Kevin de Bruyne (£10.7m) although he need to undergo a fitness test on his shoulder before the derby match v Man Utd. As a result of his current 50.3% of ownership, the Belgian midfielder is about the furthest away from a differential as possible, but he is also practically certain to start both games this gameweek after sitting our the League Cup final last weekend. KDB is one of Man City’s and the Premier League’s stand-out players this season. The Cityzens played United and Arsenal in gameweeks 16 and 17 as well, and while he blanked in the surprising home less against United, he scored a brace and provided an assist one week later at the Emirates for a sweet 19-point haul. The Belgian is as fixture-proof as they come and we would be surprised if he does not build on his current tallies (8 goals, 18 assists) in GW29.

What you want in a double gameweek, to start with, is a player who is guaranteed two starts, like KDB. Even though Arsenal are light years behind Man City in terms of gameplay and results, they do boast a player with a “fixture-proofness”, a consistency and a three-letter name abbreviation comparable to De Bruyne. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m), or PEA for short, is Arsenal’s star player and therefore a nailed-on starter. It makes complete sense when you look at his most basis stats this season: 25 Premier League games, 17 goals and 3 assists. There is a lot of talk about Vardy’s Golden Boot race and Aguero’s incredible goalscoring average, but we sometimes forget that Arsenal’s striker is actually on top of the league’s top scorers list, joint with Vardy, and he has been around there since the start of the season, more or less. In gameweek 29, the Gabonese forward has two games, at home to West Ham and away against Man Cheaty. The first game could be juicy, while the second game is one of the season’s hardest. City will be without Laporte though, and if any striker can score at the Etihad, it’s Aubameyang.

Non-premium fantasy picks

It looks like consistency is the keyword for our article this week, because after De Bruyne and Auba, our first non-premium pick is Raul Jimenez (£8.0m). With 16 attacking returns from 27 Premier League in which he started, he is in the same ballpark as the previously mentioned two players. The Mexican forward currently has 13 goals and 6 assists to his name, and up next is Brighton at Molineux. As far as current form goes, you can’t go wrong with Jimenez, either. He has scored 5 goals and recorded a total of 37 FPL points over the past 6 gameweeks, which represents an average of just over 6 points per game. Jimenez is not a very explosive FPL asset, judging by his record and the fact that he has recorded just three double-digit so far this season, but we can definitely see him return against Brighton. Only four teams in the league have conceded more goals away from home than the Seagulls have (25 goals in 14 games).

Besides the City vs Arsenal fixture, the Villa vs Sheffield United game from GW28 was postponed as well. Like the former, the latter might also be re-arranged to be played this gameweek, giving the Villans and the Blades a double gameweek like that as well. We don’t know yet, but what we do know is that Sheffield United will any way be playing Norwich at Bramall Lane on Saturday, which is why we have picked playmaker John Fleck (£5.0m) as our second non-premium fantasy pick. The English midfielder did not get a minute of playing time in the Blades’ hard-fought, 120-minute battle with Reading in the FA Cup’s 5th Round, so he will feel rested for this game. Out of the 27 PL games United have played so far this season, started and completed the 90 minutes on 23 occasions, so even if the Blades end up with a DGW this round, we’re confident Fleck will start the second game away to Aston Villa as well. The absolute budget asset has scored 5 goals and provided 2 assists this campaign, and the Canaries have already conceded a league-high 51 goals. We’re hoping for a clean sheet point and him being involved in some threatening situations in front of the Norwich goal.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Our first differential fantasy pick for gameweek 29 is another Wolves forward, namely Diogo Jota (£6.3m). The Portuguese attacker has been in red hot form over the past few weeks, scoring 3 goals and providing 2 assists over gameweek 27 and 28. In the 26 gameweeks prior to those, he gave just 1 assist and netted 3 times himself. The underlying stats for Jota look very good and supportive of his recent appearance on the FPL radar. Over the past four weeks, only Salah has had more touches in the opposition’s penalty area than Jota (52), only Calvert-Lewin, Jay Rodriguez and Dele Alli had more chances than him (5), and only two players boast a higher expected goals ratio (2.69). On top of that, for those managers taking the longer term into account as well, Wolves are at the moment one of only six teams with a guaranteed fixture in BGW31.

At the risk of becoming repetitive, our second differential pick and our final fantasy pick for gameweek 29 is another Wolves player, a defender this time. Matt Doherty (£6.2m) is definitely not cheap, but the 5-6% or so of managers who had him in their teams over the past four gameweeks are flying at the moment. The right wing-back’s returns in FPL points over that period: 6, 6, 10 and 12, courtesy of 3 clean sheets, 2 assists and a goal. With a home game against Brighton up next, we feel returns at both sides of the pitch could once again be on the cards for the Irish defender. A total of 111 FPL points actually makes Doherty the sixth-highest-scoring defender in the entire official game and based on Wolves calendar until the end of the season, he might even be a good set-and-forget pick.

For further GW29 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

Despite the double gameweek not providing us with very clearly favourable double match-ups, Arsenal and City are probably going to contain the most captain choices. Our personal pick for this week is Kevin de Bruyne despite his shoulder injury issue, but Aguero could be an extremely explosive option as well. The problem with the Argentinian is his vulnerability to Pep Roulette. Aubameyang is the other stand-out option for the armband, especially due to his double gameweek starting with a home game versus West Ham.

If you are not convinced by this gameweek’s double potential, there are plenty of FPL assets with just one game this weekend who offer plenty of appeal. Salah, Mané and Alexander-Arnold, for example, could all be good picks for their home game on Saturday against Bournemouth. Jimenez at home against Brighton, a currently annoyed-by-injury Vardy at home against leaky travellers Aston Villa, or a Sheffield United wing-back against Norwich at Bramall Lane are all decent, though slightly more speculative names to give the armband to.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW29 shows Salah, KDB & Aubamayeng are the stand out choices.

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. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.