With an average of no less than 64 points, gameweek 9 was about as action-packed as they come in the Fantasy Premier League. What greatly added to the excitement (and disappointment, depending on your squad) was the fact that, while more than a few decently owned assets delivered, the only real premium pick to haul was Mo Salah. And he didn’t just haul, he HAULED. Three goals, one assist, a clean sheet and three bonus points at Old Trafford were good for 24 FPL points, making him the first player to cross the 100-point threshold in the 2021/22 campaign.
Incredibly though, the Egyptian wasn’t the only player to record a 24-pointer, because a day earlier, Mason Mount faced Norwich at the Bridge, which resulted in exactly the same haul for the academy graduate. Other big-time stand-out performers were Man City’s Phil Foden with 18 FPL points, courtesy of a brace plus an assist, Watford’s Joshua King with 16 points, thanks to a hattrick at Goodison Park, and last weekend’s true differential Maxwell Cornet, who scored twice for Burnley against Southampton for 15 FPL points. The former Lyon man is currently owned by 0.3% of managers and preparing for a good run of fixtures on paper. Anyway, on to the coming weekend!
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 10 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, October 30th.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 28th, 2021)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Raya (BRE), Schmeichel (LEI), Lloris (TOT)||Mendy (CHE), Martinez (AST), Foster (WAT)||Raya injury|
|DEF||Alonso (CHE), Shaw (MUN), Azpilicueta (CHE)||Chilwell (CHE), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Rüdiger (CHE)||Alonso rotation, Azpi injury, Chelsea defensive solidity|
|MID||Pogba (MUN), Raphinha (LEE), Fernandes (MUN)||Mount (CHE), Foden (MCI), Salah (LIV)||Good GW9 for transferred-in players, Salah red hot, Pogba red card, Raphinha injury doubt|
|FOR||Lukaku (CHE), Ronaldo (MUN), Vardy (LEI)||Antonio (WHU), Hwang (WOL), Vardy (LEI)||Lukaku and Vardy injury doubts, Antonio ongoing form, Hwang form+budget|
Look, we know it’s becoming repetitive, but it’s our goal to provide you every week with the best possible advice to help you form a winning squad in the official Fantasy Premier League game. That’s why we can’t possibly justify not picking Mo Salah (£12.9m) as our premium fantasy pick of the week once again. The Liverpool star might just be in the best form of his life at the moment and that’s saying a lot about the highest-scoring, most consistent FPL performer of the past few seasons. He bagged a scandalous 24 points against arch rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, helping him to become the first player to score 100 FPL points this season, and settling his current totals at 10 goals and 6 assists from nine league games. That’s just under 12 points per game. Up next are Brighton, who are having the best Premier League start in the club’s history, at Anfield and even though the Seagulls have been defensively solid in general this campaign, we can really only see this one going one way. Man City put four past Graham Potter’s men last weekend and a similar scenario could unfold in Liverpool thus coming Saturday, with Salah most likely smack in the middle of it all.
Mason Mount (£7.5m) is back. After a busy summer, a slow start to the season and some injury niggles, the England international announced his return in style after earning his first starting spot since gameweek 5 and making the most of it by scoring the first Premier League hattrick of his career. Opponents Norwich were no match for the Blues as they cruised to a 7-0 victory and in the absence of the injured Lukaku and Werner, it was Mount who took the spotlight. You might think that this pick smells a bit like points chasing, but that’s not the case here. The 22-year old midfielder is an integral part of Thomas Tuchel’s attacking set-up as he adds a certain amount of creativity and depth to a part of the pitch where Chelsea were perhaps lacking in previous games. He was initially rested for Tuesday’s League Cup encounter with Southampton, but came on in the 67th minute to end up playing added time as well. Nevertheless, we expect him to line up from the start again this coming Saturday when Chelsea visit struggling Newcastle, where another attacking return or two could be waiting around the corner.
The budget enabler
The cruciate knee ligament injury to Brentford goalkeeper David Raya has caused a bit of a stir in the FPL goalkeeper category. The Spaniard was owned by about 12% of managers before news of his injury was announced, a development that took one of the game’s most interesting budget goalkeepers out of the equation at once. One player who has seen his stock rise as a result of Raya’s bad luck is Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster (£4.0m). When looking at Watford’s performances so far this season, it’s clear what kind of value the English veteran offers. What you’re getting with Foster is a strong budget-enabler who is a sure starter for his side. He has been in the starting eleven since gameweek 5 and his only returns so far have been 3 save points, but he plays and offers you at least an additional half million to invest elsewhere in your squad, and 0.6m is you’re swapping him in for Raya. The Hornets are playing Southampton at home this weekend, a decent fixture that they’ll be looking to win. The hope is that new manager Claudio Ranieri can work his magic at Vicarage Road and who knows, our 4.0m-goalie might even start delivering the odd clean sheet from time to time as well.
Perhaps symbolic for this season so far is the fact that we are recommending Harry Kane (£12.1m) as a stand-out differential in the build-up to gameweek 10. After a noisy summer and a less than optimal start to the season off the pitch, which undoubtedly had its knock-on effects on performances on the pitch, Tottenham’s very own just has a single goal and a single assist to his name this campaign. Both of those returns came against a Newcastle side in disarray back in GW8. That probably explains his current 6.6% ownership and why he has been demoted to the differential category, at least for the time being. Up next are Manchester United at home, which normally would not be an ideal fixture for a player clearly in search of his best form, but this is not a normal season. The Red Devils are not turning up for games at the moment and the 0-5 thrashing in front of their own crowd at the hands of historic rivals Liverpool is not likely to have helped their situation much. The United defence looked suspect, to such a point that we feel this might just be a blessing in United red disguise for Kane. The England striker is, of course, still lethal and a forward of his pedigree is probably the last thing United’s defenders want to face right now, even if he’s part of a Tottenham side that is not firing on all cylinders yet, either.
It’s Mo Salah. We like to think and to analyse and to find those gems in the official game, but sometimes, it’s better to keep it simple. To not overthink. This is one of those times. Liverpool are hosting Brighton at home and even though the Seagulls will surely put up a good fight, it’s bordering the impossible to not captain Salah for this one, based on current form and recent hauls. There are decent alternatives, sure, but let’s put it this way: ignore Salah at your own peril.
Now, about those alternatives, if you must. Reigning champions Manchester City are playing at home to Crystal Palace, which should end in a comfortable victory for Pep Guardiola’s men. Phil Foden is the one to watch, while the likes of Gabriel Jesus and Kevin de Bruyne appeal as well. The ghost of rotation remains ever-present, though. Chelsea are visiting Newcastle, which brings Mason Mount and Kai Havertz (yep, even after his disappointing three-pointer against Norwich) into the picture. Raphinha away against Norwich could be a slightly riskier, but potentially rewarding pick as well, just like Michail Antonio at Villa Park on Sunday and Harry Kane versus Manchester United.
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