Gameweek 5 was Cristiano’s Ronaldo’s gameweek. There were, of course, plenty of other players who played well and hauled big, but whether you liked it or not, in the end the biggest spotlights were really all on the Portuguese superstar. With a brace on his return to Man United, slotting straight into their starting eleven, he lived up to the huge hype and then some. To be fair, Newcastle’s defence did not put up too much of a fight, but then again, was there ever going to be any stopping Ronaldo? Probably not.
From an FPL point of view though, gameweek 5 was interesting for a whole other reason as well. With fitting various premium picks into one team being one of the major challenges of this season’s early stages, the quest for good budget options seems more alive than ever in the FPL community. In that light, the fact that no less than five members of last week’s Team of the Week can be considered serious budget-enablers is very interesting. Wolves defender Marçal (now at £4.6m) and Chelsea midfielder Matteo Kovacic (now at £5.1m) were the round’s joint top scorers with 13 FPL points, while Andros Townsend (£5.4m, 12 points), Odsonne Edouard (£6.5m, 12 points) and Leandro Trossard (£6.4m, 11 points) also provided real differential value.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 5 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, September 17th. If you’re considering a GW5 FPL wildcard then check out this FISO forum topic.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per September 16th, 2021)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Martínez (AST), Lloris (TOT), Foster (WAT)||Sánchez (BRI), Schmeichel (LEI), Steer (AST)|
|DEF||Tsimikas (LIV), Shaw (MUN), Dier (TOT)||Marçal (WOL), Duffy (BRI), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)||Dier dead-leg, TAA and Marçal hauls in GW4|
|MID||Fernandes (MUN), Son (TOT), Benrahma (WHU)||Gray (EVE), Pogba (MUN), Gallagher (CRY)||Gray and Gallagher form at bargain price|
|FOR||Antonio (WHU), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Ings (AST)||Ronaldo (MUN), Lukaku (CHE). Bamford (LEE)||Antonio red card, DCL injury, Ronaldo debut, Lukaku form, Bamford stats & fixtures|
With 3 goals and 2 assists from the first four games and a home game against Crystal Palace up next, Mo Salah (£12.5m) looks set to become the most-captained player once again this weekend. The Egyptian forward is also our premium fantasy pick of choice. Remember when he came on for a half-an-hour cameo at Selhurst Park last season? Exactly. Salah did play 84 minutes in the Champions League against AC Milan on Wednesday (and scored the all-important equaliser right after the break after missing a penalty), but he should be OK for Saturday’s clash at Anfield. Palace have conceded 5 goals in four games so far and despite their confidence-boosting victory over a 10-men Spurs side in gameweek 4, we can really see this encounter only going one way. You will see Salah return in our captaincy segment as well.
After an incredible 2020-21 campaign with 17 goals and 11 assists, and an inevitable price rise as consequence, Patrick Bamford (£7.9m) has had a relatively quiet start to the current season. It should be noted though, that Leeds have not had the easiest of starts to the season with an away game at Old Trafford in GW1 and a home game against Liverpool last weekend. Still, Bamfy has managed a goal an an assist overall for a total of 16 FPL points and has had plenty of shots in the box. Up next are the League’s leakiest defence when the Whites are travelling to Newcastle on Friday night, followed by an appealing run of fixtures until at least November. Based on Leeds’ and Bamford’s performances last season, we’re still confident that they can return to their winning and goal-scoring ways. A free-flowing victory over the Toon might be just what they need to be on their way.
The budget enabler
We mentioned the growing category of budget-enablers in the Fantasy Premier League universe earlier, so we were a bit spoilt for choice here. We would’ve gone with Crystal Palace’s Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher had it not been for his away game at Anfield this weekend. Instead, we’re recommending Everton’s extremely clinical forward Demarai Gray (£5.7m). The 25-year old winger, who is listed as a budget midfielder in FPL, has so far scored with every shot on goal, which is why he currently sits on 3 goals and 24 FPL points from his last three outings. Everton are in excellent goalscoring form and this weekend’s away game at Villa Park is followed by a home game against Norwich. With Gray having earned himself a nailed-on spot in Rafa Benitez’ starting eleven, more points could be on the way in the near future for the very kindly priced attacker.
One of this Premier League season’s early themes is the Curious Case of the Wolverhampton Wanderers. Despite posting some of the attacking and defensive underlying statistics after four games, Bruno Lage’s men find themselves back in 13th place with just three points. While their expected goals ratio currently sits at just over 7, they have actually scored just twice and one of those goals was an own goal last weekend. Their tough opening fixtures (Leicester away, Spurs at home, United at home) surely didn’t help, but their schedule has cleared up now. This means that several of their fantasy assets might be due a purple patch or at least a haul soon, and one of those assets is striker Raul Jimenez (£7.4m). Despite a total of 12 shots in the box and 12 provided key passes, the Mexican forward does not have a single attacking return to his name so far. As a result, his current ownership is just 4.4%. With Brentford and Newcastle (both at Molineux) and Southampton away coming up in the next three weeks, now could be the moment to bring the big man in and fully benefit from his extreme differential status.
With Ronaldo back in the Premier League, you can expect him to return to this segment weekly bar some kind of force majeure. He’s coming off a dream return to Old Trafford and a mid-week goal in the Champions League, and he has West Ham in London in his sights now. Still, for the GW5 Captain we’re opting for that other powerhouse Mo Salah, when Liverpool host Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday. Putting the band on his arm seems like the safest option this weekend.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, the Leeds game at Saint James’ Park should interest you as well. Both Bamford and Raphinha look like they could have some fun on Friday night, with the former carrying the additional appeal of penalty duties. To go even more differential, you could opt for Ismaila Sarr at Carrow Road or indeed Teemu Pukki for the home side. The final game of the weekend also offers an interesting option in the person of Romelu Lukaku as Chelsea visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to take on a battered Spurs defence.