FPL Season 2021/22: Gameweek 13 preview

Gameweek 12 was another good one for the differentials, apart from in defence, where the popular premiums delivered nicely. Last weekend’s Team of the Week contained a five-men defence made up of the weekend’s two highest-scoring players overall, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Tyrone Mings with 15 FPL points each, with Antonio Rüdiger (14 points), Reece James (12 points) and Joao Cancelo (12 points) completing the backline. Out of the remaining six players, only Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis, who scored a goal and gave 2 assists against Man United, boasted an ownership of more than 4.5%. The Nigerian forward was also the only non-defensive player who scored more than 12 FPL points in GW12.

Looking forward to gameweek 13, Sunday evening jumps out particularly. Before Chelsea host Manchester United for the last encounter of the weekend, fellow title candidates Manchester City will be welcoming high-and-flying West Ham to the Etihad. Uncomfortable games for the Blues and Skyblues, so Liverpool will be hoping to take advantage a day earlier when Southampton roll up to Anfield. As a Fantasy Premier League Manager, that’s probably one of the games you want to aim for this weekend, while Arsenal versus Newcastle, Brentford at home to a weakened Everton, and Leicester against Watford at the King Power could bring fantasy joy as well.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 13 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, November 27th.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per November 24th, 2021)

GKSchmeichel (LEI), Raya (BRE), McCarthy (SOU)Ramsdale (ARS), Mendy (CHE), Foster (WAT)
DEFDias (MCI), Shaw (MUN), Duffy (BRI)James (CHE), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Cancelo (MCI)Form of the transferred-in defenders, Dias rotation, Shaw injury doubt
MIDBenrahma (WHU), Gray (EVE), Greenwood (MUN)Gallagher (CRY), Smith-Rowe (ARS), Bernardo (MCI)Gallagher and ESR form, Benrahma lack of returns, Gray injury doubt & fixtures
FORAntonio (WHU), Ronaldo (MUN), Vardy (LEI)Jimenez (WOL), Dennis (WAT), Saint-Maximin (NEW)Antonio lack of returns + difficult fixtures, Dennis chasing points, Jimenez vs Norwich

Premium pick

If you regularly read our Fantasy Premier League gameweek previews, you’ll know that we’ve been attempting to add some variation to our premium fantasy pick category. Recommending Mo Salah (£13.0m) every weekend just didn’t really feel like adding value to your weekly decision-making process as a fantasy manager. And while that’s all fine, Salah has just kept on returning. With 4 goals and 3 assists in his last four games, and 11 goals and 8 assists after 12 league games overall, gameweek 2 is still the only round without an attacking return for the Egyptian wizard. He is by far the highest-scoring fantasy asset this season and has so far been offering levels of consistency and reliability that have rarely been witnessed in FPL (‘Thierry Henry esque’). In a weekend in which Chelsea and Manchester City face potentially tricky opposition, Liverpool are playing at home against Southampton. The potential for closing the gaps with both sides is real, the Blues are 4 points ahead in first and the Cityzens 1 point ahead in second place, so we’ve gone with Salah as the stand-out premium fantasy pick for gameweek 13.

Non-premium pick

The FPL enthusiasm surrounding Ivan Toney (£6.7m) was sinking rapidly over the past few months, as the Brentford forward was not delivering on his underlying numbers. Prior to the GW12 encounter with Newcastle at Saint James Park, Toney had not recorded an attacking return for five weeks, but he rewarded the managers who kept faith him by scoring his third goal of the season against the Magpies. A total of 6 FPL points is not earth-shattering, but we’d like to look at it as a good start (on a good run of returns, that is). In order for his goal last Saturday to be just that, he does need to perform again this weekend, against Everton at home this time. The Toffees are going through a difficult period, losing four of their last five league games and conceding a worrying 10 goals in the process. Only Norwich fared worse over that same period. In other words, perhaps an injury-stricken and out-of-shape Everton side is just what Brentford need to deliver on their promising underlying attacking statistics. If it is, expect penalty-taker Toney to be involved.

The budget enabler

Now, with Burnley hosting Antonio Conte’s Spurs this coming Sunday, this pick might not be with hopes of a big haul immediately, but with an eye on the medium and longer term. By scoring his fifth goal of the season last weekend against Crystal Palace, Maxwell Cornet (£6.1m) has become the first Burnley player in Premier League history to score 5 goals in his first six starts for the club. The former Lyon man seems to have hit a serious purple patch of form for his new team and with a decent run of fixtures still to come, there might be more returns on the horizon given the quality of the goals he has scored. After the home game against Spurs, it’s Wolves and Newcastle on the road, followed by West Ham and Watford at home. Apart from that though, Burnley’s current form and sudden accuracy in front of goal mean that even the coming home game against Tottenham could be a source of points for their assets. At a price of just £6.1 and playing as a forward while listed as a budget midfielder by FPL, Cornet looks like a more than appealing budget-enabling pick.

The differential

Think about this for a moment: the fifth-highest scorer in the official game right now is owned by just 4.6% of all managers. That’s right, and that’s not all, because thanks to his 7 goals and 2 assists from 11 league starts, he is also the game’s second-highest-scoring midfielder, outscoring every forward in the game. In other words, Sadio Mané (£12.0m) represents enormous differential value at the moment. The Senegalese winger has quietly been working on his impressive totals in the shadow of his attacking partner on the other wing, Mo Salah. This may also explan why Mané’s ownership is so low, because investment in Salah, which is what just over 72% of the FPL community has currently opted for, reduces the appeal of heavily investing in another attacking Liverpool asset. If you’re looking to close gaps in your mini-leagues though, or if you’re simply feeling like taking a risky punt to try and improve your overall rank, Mané could be a fantastic addition to your squad.

The (vice-)captaincy

Earlier in this article, we highlighted Mo Salah as our stand-out premium fantasy pick for gameweek 13 by some distance, so it’s no surprise that we’re putting the GW13 captain armband on him as well as we suspect will 99% of other teams in the top 10k. Sometimes you just have to keep it simple (and repeat your captaincy choice for weeks on end).

The Egyptian will be the most-captained player again this weekend though, which reduces his relative value as an FPL asset a bit, especially if you’re chasing in your mini-league or just not feeling like following the template. In that case, there is Sadio Mané, while the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith-Rowe at home against Newcastle, Salah and Mané’s team mate Jota at Anfield versus Soton, and Raul Jimenez away at Carrow Road look like decent alternatives as well. If you want to take it a step further, Mbeumo and Toney against Everton, Trossard at home versus Leeds and Jamie Vardy at the King Power against Watford might hold some differential captain value as well.

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