Gameweek 19 is peak festive fantasy football season. Less than 24 hours between the end of GW18 and the start of GW18, a preceding gameweek full of rotation and other surprises, and to top it all off, a double gameweek coming up next. What more could you really want?
|FIXTURE 1||FIXTURE 2|
|Chelsea||Man City home (Jan. 5th)||Fulham away (Jan. 12th)|
|Fulham||Leicester away (Jan. 3rd)||Chelsea home (Jan. 12th)|
As usual, the double gameweeks will likely dominate the transfer decision in the build-up to the kick-off between Brentford and Liverpool tomorrow. Having said that, we do have two simple tips in this regard. First of all, if you’re planning to play the doubles, know that most of the coming gameweeks will very likely have a few teams double. Second of all, don’t blindly fixate on bringing in Chelsea and Fulham players. While both teams offer a high ceiling for several of their respective assets, their doubles are not that great on paper. Fulham, especially might struggle with a visit to Leicester and home encounter with Chelsea. We’re not saying they will, the Cottagers have been more than decent so far after all, but they might not be hauling. And Chelsea have City to play.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 19 is set at 16h00 (UK time) on Monday January 2nd, 2023.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per January 1st, 2023)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Alisson (LIV), Ramsdale (ARS), Ward (LEI)||De Gea (MUN), Kepa (CHE), Pope (NEW)|
|DEF||Cancelo (MCI), James (CHE), Saliba (ARS)||Shaw (MUN), Cucurella (CHE), Alexander-Arnold (LIV)||Cancelo benched again, James injury|
|MID||Trossard (BRI), Foden (MCI), De Bruyne (MCI)||Rashford (MUN), Odegaard (ARS), Saka (ARS)||Good form of transferred-in players, Foden benched again|
|FOR||Toney (BRE), Jesus (ARS), Darwin (LIV)||Mitrovic (FUL), Toney (BRE), Havertz (CHE)||Jesus injury, Toney stretchered off in GW18|
With Man City visiting Chelsea and a rather unpredictable Liverpool playing away at Brentford, we’ve decided to make the most of this opportunity to suggest a premium fantasy pick that is not Erling Haaland or Mo Salah. Granted, they might both easily record attacking returns this gameweek, but our eyes are on Bruno Fernandes (£9.8m). The Portuguese attacking midfielder has been underwhelming from a fantasy perspective so far, but few players are as nailed on as he is in manager Erik ten Hag’s starting eleven. He currently sits on just 2 goals and 3 assists, but two of those assists came over the last three gameweeks. Up next for Manchester United are Bournemouth, who have conceded 11 goals in their last five league meetings. We expect the Red Devils to dominate this one from beginning to end, and while it doesn’t say much, it’s interesting to know that the last time Bruno faced Bournemouth at home, he got a goal and a brace of assists.
Our non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 18, Aleksandar Mitrovic (£7.1m), was unlucky not to get a return against Southampton as he fumbled a penalty deep into injury time. Instead of finishing on 6 FPL points plus a possible bonus point or two, this miss gave the Serbian the great total of zero points. Had he scored though, it would’ve been his second attacking return in a row after his 15-point haul against Palace in GW17. What’s more, he would’ve brought his total season tally to 11 goals, while also having provided 2 assists already. The penalty miss was a shame, but it doesn’t change our plans of bringing him in for Fulham’s double gameweek. The Cottagers are preparing for a tough double consisting of a game at the King Power Stadium followed by a home game against Chelsea, and if there is one fantasy pick that could profit in a big way, it’s Mitrovic. Fulham are doing great with a seventh place in the league after 17 games and the striker will continue to be on penalties, so it’s not such a surprise to see him top the table of most-transferred-in players overall at the moment of writing.
The budget enabler
When looking at the current Premier League table, West Ham United are definitely one of the season’s disappointments so far. After qualifying for Europe last season, the Hammers currently finds themselves in 17th place, just one point above the drop zone. They have not won a single point since their home victory over Bournemouth back in gameweek 13, so it’s really time for manager David Moyes’s side to start bringing in some points if they want to avoid being dragged into the relegation battle. Fortunately for them, with Leeds, Wolves (both away) and Everton at home up next, they’ve got the chance to give their season a much-needed boost. This is also interesting from a fantasy point of view, because it looks like Vladimir Coufal (£4.1m) has regained his place in the starting eleven, which adds a very interesting option to the bottom bargain category. The Czech right-back lost his place around gameweek 8, but he completed the 90 minutes in his last two gameweeks. It should be noted though, that he recorded a grand total of zero points over those two gameweeks as the Hammers went down 3-1 at Arsenal and 0-2 at home to Brentford. Nevertheless, we recommend considering Coufal if you’re looking for a serious budget enabler in the mould of Neco Williams or Nathan Patterson.
Our differential fantasy pick for double gameweek 19 is owned by 4.5% of all managers at this moment, after returning in each of his last three league outings. James Ward-Prowse (£6.2m) provided an assist in GW16 at Anfield, scored at home to Brighton in GW17 and then scored again in GW18, away at Fulham for a total of 17 FPL points over that stretch. That total could’ve quite easily been considerably higher, seeing as his goal in GW17 was a rebound from a saved penalty of his (-2 FPL points), while he was given an extremely unfortunate own goal on Saturday against Fulham (another -2). In other words, the set-piece specialist is actually going through a bit of a purple patch, from an FPL point of view at least, despite his side being bottom of the table at the moment of writing. The Saints have an interesting run of fixtures coming up though, including a home game versus Nottingham Forest, a visit to Goodison Park and a home game against Aston Villa in the next three. If you’re looking for a differential fantasy pick that is also more than budget friendly, JWP could be a shrewd choice.
There are a few stand-out captaincy options for double gameweek 19, for different reasons. There are the expected main candidates, like Mo Salah away at Brentford and the unstoppable Erling Haaland at Stamford Bridge, or Harry Kane for Spurs’ visit to Selhurst Park. Excellent alternative options include Marcus Rashord at home to Bournemouth, Darwin Nuñez away at Brentford and even James Ward-Prowse at home to Forest.
We are opting for neither this week though, because we’re placing the armband on Aleksandar Mitrovic for his double. A visit to Leicester is followed by a home game versus Chelsea and despite these fixtures being far from easy for the newly promoted Cottagers, we expect the Serbian to be a popular captaincy pick for GW19. More daring double gameweek captains include Mitrogol’s team mate Andreas Pereira, or one of Chelsea’s Mason Mount or Kai Havertz.