76. That’s the current points average for double gameweek 26 and we’ve still got Arsenal v Wolves to go (considering the turn-around time of less than 24 hours between the end of DGW26 and the start of blank gameweek 27, this piece has been written before the encounter at the Emirates is played). We have not yet had higher points average so far this season and a lot has to do with, surprise surprise, Mo Salah. With home games against Norwich and Leeds, the Egyptian superstar was touted THE stand-out Triple Captain option of the season and stand out he did. Three goals, an assist, a clean sheet, and 5 bonus points saw him bring home 28 FPL points. Multiply that by three and you get 84 FPL points. To say that’s a Triple Captain chip well played would be an understatement and about 16% of all fantasy managers will agree (closer to 72% in terms of managers in the current top10k).
Gameweek 27 has all the making of a different kind of beast though, as we move from a rather massive double gameweek 26 to a gameweek that sees Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea blank. We could very well see another major spike in chip usage, with a Free Hit and even a Wildcard among the serious options for casuals and experts alike. How fitting that is for your own squad depends a lot on, well, your own squad. The appealing fixtures this round, on paper at least, are a Spurs side with one win in five visiting a Leeds side in shambles, Manchester United hosting Watford and Manchester City visiting Goodison Park where fans are nervously eyeing the ongoing relegation battle. On top of that, there is, of course, the Burnley double against Crystal Palace (away) and Leicester (home). Add the blanks to all that and you might conclude that this is possibly one of this season’s most unpredictable gameweeks to date. That’s our conclusion at least.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 27 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, February 25th, 2022.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 24th, 2022)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Ramsdale (ARS), De Gea (MUN), Guaita (CRY)||Sa (WOL), Pope (BUR), Dubravka (NEW)|
|DEF||Reguilon (TOT), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Tierney (ARS)||Livramento (SOU), Mee (BUR), Coady (WOL)||Soton upcoming fixtures + next vs Norwich at home, Burnley double gameweek|
|MID||Jota (LIV), Salah (LIV), Mount (CHE)||Salah (LIV), Son (TOT), Ward-Prowse (SOU)||Soton fixtures, Spurs v Leeds|
|FOR||Saint-Maximin (NEW), Antonio (WHU), Edouard (CRY)||Weghorst (BUR), Broja (SOU), Kane (TOT)||Burnley double gameweek, Soton fixtures, Kane v Leeds|
After his incredible 28-point haul in DGW26, Mo Salah was likely to feature as our premium fantasy pick for gameweek 27, but he has no game this round. Fortunately, there was another premium asset who delivered in gameweek 26 and that’s Harry Kane (£12.2m). In truth, his two-pointer from his double gameweek’s second encounter with Burnley was disappointing, but only a bit, because the England captain had exploded against reigning champions Man City just a few days earlier. With 2 goals, he led his side past the Cityzens in a dramatic 2-3 victory, resulting in a total of 15 FPL points. Not quite Salah’s 28-pointer, but more than enough to bring him in for the upcoming visit against Leeds at Elland Road. The Whites have very serious problems in the back, a situation emphasised by the fact that they have conceded an incredible 16 goals over the past four games. Spurs themselves and Kane in particular have been very much hot and cold, and mostly tepid, for most of the season, but their GW26 fixture looks like an opportunity to take three points while working on their goal difference and their confidence.
Especially now that the European competitions have gotten under way again, Manchester City assets have become extra prone to rotation. Nevertheless, we feel that, after a home defeat against Spurs that led to the gap with Liverpool being reduced to just three points, Pep Guardiola will (have to) keep playing his strongest starting eleven every weekend and Phil Foden (£7.9m) looks to be a fixed part of that lineup. We wouldn’t call him nailed-on, only Ederson really is at City, but he has featured for at least 70 minutes in each of the last five league games. He also started against Sporting in the Champions League last week and scored before taken off in the 61st minute. A clear sign of minute management, it seems, as he then got 90 minutes against Spurs this weekend. Although nothing is certain, we’d expect him to start against Everton on Saturday as well and with the Toffees having won just one of their last eight games (+ 1 draw and 6 defeats, and 15 goals conceded), this match feels like it will go only one way. Picking Foden is a (rotation) risk, but it could pay off handsomely this weekend.
The budget enabler
Our budget fantasy pick of the week is Diogo Dalot (£4.6m) who is facing a toothless Watford attack at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. Not the most daring or exciting pick of the bunch, but it feels like one of the more reliable routes to returns this weekend. The Hornets have scored just a single goal in their last six league outings, less than any other team in the division. Dalot himself was rested for United’s last game against Leeds, where the Red Devils went to town and put six past Marcelo Bielsa’s men, but he started (and completed) ten of the twelve gams prior to the Leeds game, so we’re not too worried about his place in the starting lineup. What we’re hoping for here, essentially, is a clean sheet and possibly a bonus point or two for attacking intent. In an ideal world, the 3.8%-owned Portuguese right-back would even delight with an assist on top, but we’ll leave that to the FPL gods.
We’re finishing our BGW27 preview with a fantasy pick from the only team with a double gameweek this round, Burnley. Since his arrival in January, Wout Weghorst (£6.5m) has scored a goal and provided 2 assists for a total of 23 FPL points. That’s just under 5 points per game he has played for the Clarets. We wouldn’t say he has burst onto the Premier League scene, but he has definitely made an impact and more importantly, it looks like Burnley have brought in a player in who can make things happen up front. The team seems to have gotten a boost of confidence from the Dutchman’s arrival as well, because they have lost just one of their last six league games. What’s more, Burnley is actually on a mini-run of two consecutive victories after beating Brighton at the AmEx and Spurs at Turf Moor in their double gameweek 26. For double gameweek 27, Palace (away) and Leicester (home) are awaiting, and even though Burnley are far from a goal-scoring machine, Weghorst might just be a good punt at his current ownership of just 4.8%.
After some deliberation, we have decided to place the captain’s armband on Harry Kane for blank gameweek 27. As we wrote earlier, his blank against Burnley was a disappointment, but his brace and 15-point haul against City just before that showed what he is capable of. In truth, with any other game on the roll, we would’ve probably not gone with Kane as captain, but seeing as Elland Road is up next for Antonio Conte’s Spurs, we feel confident that goals will be scored on Saturday. Hopefully, by Kane.
If you’re not quite on the same page as us, not to worry, because there are a few good alternatives for the armband as well this week. Any of the main City men up front could do well, from Phil Foden to Kevin de Bruyne, but elevated rotation risk remains as usual. Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo and even Jadon Sancho at home against Watford could be interesting picks as well. For a more differential approach to the captaincy, you can consider Che Adams for his home game against Norwich, Wout Weghorst for his double gameweek against Palace and Leicester, or Allan Saint-Maximin (if fit) for Newcastle’s visit to struggling Brentford.