Gameweek 12, the second (small) blank FPL gameweek of the season, has only just ended with the next round just 24 hours away, but what a gameweek it was. Defensive delight practically all around as the nine mid-week games resulted in just 13 goals overall. Wednesday, in particular, stood out, with just 5 goals in five games, and clean sheets for Brentford, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man United, Newcastle and Southampton. A day earlier, Brighton and Nottingham Forest drew 0-0, while yesterday Fulham and Leicester managed to keep out respectively Aston Villa and Leeds. Like we wrote a few sentences ago, gameweek 12 was about the defenders.
A quick look at what’s to come this weekend makes us think that gameweek 13 might be a different story. While Saturday’s clash of giants between Chelsea and Manchester United at Old Trafford stands out, there are more than a few interesting fixtures from a Fantasy Premier League manager’s point of view. There is, of course, Manchester City at home, though opponents Brighton can be tough to crack, as well as Liverpool’s visit to City Ground in Nottingham, Arsenal’s visit to Saint Mary’s and the Spurs home game versus Newcastle. Even Monday’s game between West Ham and Bournemouth in London could bring fireworks, though more for the differential hunter. More fireworks could be seen playing bingo for real money.
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 13 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday 22nd, 2022.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per October 21st, 2022)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||Sanchez (BRI), Pope (NEW), Mendy (CHE)||Alisson (LIV), Kepa (CHE), Raya (BRE)|
|DEF||James (CHE), Perisic (TOT), Zinchenko (ARS)||Saliba (ARS), Cancelo (MCI), Trippier (NEW)||James injury, Saliba fixtures, Trippier cont’d returns|
|MID||Trossard (BRI), Gross (BRI), Diaz (LIV)||Foden (MCI), Saka (ARS), Martinelli (ARS)||All transferred-in players had a blank GW12, Brighton 1-week BGW12 punts|
|FOR||Kane (TOT), Jesus (ARS), Aubameyang (CHE)||Haaland (MCI), Toney (BRE), Jesus (ARS)||Haaland and Jesus blank GW12, Toney form|
So, Erling Haaland (£12.1m) is back this week and he promptly tops the list for most-transferred-in forwards, which is quite impressive when you consider his ownership was sitting well above 80% already. For the home game against Brighton, he will be the most-captained asset in the official game, we don’t doubt it. Why don’t we doubt it? Because the Norwegian machine has already scored 15 league goals (and provided 3 assists) this season for a lovely total of 104 FPL points. As you well know, City missed out in gameweek 12 and will have had a nice week’s rest in preparation for the visit of Brighton to the Etihad Stadium. The Seagulls defence is statistically one of the best defences in the league, but they are facing the league’s best attack and we find it difficult to see this going anywhere else than a comfortable victory for the home side. Perhaps not a big victory, but big enough to put Haaland on top of our list of premium fantasy pick recommendations.
Despite Southampton picking up their first clean sheet of the season and indeed, their first clean sheet in the Premier League since April 16th of this year in GW33 of last season against Arsenal, we’re backing Arsenal against the Saints this weekend. Like City, Arsenal blanked in GW12, but they did not have a full rest as the Gunners caught up on their postponed Europa League home game against PSV Eindhoven on Thursday evening. The game ended in a 1-0 victory and seeing as they now have two full days to recover before defending their lead in the Prem, our non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 13 is Bukayo Saka (£7.9m). The England international had a bit of an underwhelming start to the 2022-23 campaign, which even led to him losing £0.1m of value in the official game, but he’s been catching up of late. In the last two league games, the youngster collected 3 goals for a total of 24 FPL points, including a brace and 15 points at home against Liverpool in GW10. Next up are Southampton, who kept out Bournemouth on Wednesday, but who also have already conceded 18 goals in the other ten games. In other words, a prime fixture for Arsenal to continue their excellent form and with Saka on penalties, there might just be a third consecutive return in it for him as well.
The budget enabler
Since their return to the English footballing elite back in the 2018-19 season, Wolverhampton Wanderers have never been known to be a particularly free-scoring kind of outfit. Their lack of resolve in front of goal has been taken to new levels this season though, as Wolves have only managed to find the net five times so far. No team in the league has scored less than them. Based on that worrying stat (for Wolves, that is), we have picked Timothy Castagne (£4.5m) as our budget enabler for gameweek 13. Leicester seem to have turned a corner after a terrible start to their season, which is particularly notable when looking at their defensive performances. While not keeping a single clean sheet in the first seven gameweeks of the season, the Foxes have now recorded three of them in the last four. The only side that managed to score against Brendan Rodgers’ men over that run has been Bournemouth in GW10, but that didn’t affect Castagne’s score. Why not? Because the Belgian was subbed off in the 66th minute, when the Cherries had not scored yet. Why is this important? Because it has helped the right-back to a very nice four clean sheets in a row. Over that run, Castagne recorded a total of 27 FPL points, which comes down to just under 7 points per game. Not bad at all for a £4.5m defender who tends to occupy a lot of high positions as well. Up next are Wolves at Molineux and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him make it five shut-outs in a row.
With an impressive 12 goals and 17 assists from 2.987 Premier League minutes for 206 FPL points last season, Jarrod Bowen (£8.2m) saw his price tag being increased from that season’s bargain starting price of £6.5m to £8.5m this season. Unfortunately for him and the fantasy managers who bet on him though, the former Hull man has not yet approached the heights of last season as he did not record an attacking return until his 14-point haul, courtesy of 1 goal and 1 assist, against Wolves in gameweek 9. He followed that up with a goal and 7 FPL points the next gameweek against Fulham, but after that followed two blanks against Southampton in GW11 and Liverpool on Wednesday. Not exactly the start of a purple patch, it seems, but the blank at Anfield in particular needs some context. Bowen played a decent game and could’ve easily made it three returns in four games had he not missed his penalty. Yet another proof of how fickle FPL (and real-life) success can be. West Ham are now preparing for a home game against Bournemouth and the Cherries have conceded 22 goals this season already. As far as away games go, even without including the 9-0 demolition at the hands of Liverpool back in GW4, they have shipped 9 goals in four games. We’d like to think this is perfect opportunity for West Ham to get their fourth victory of the season and for Bowen to add to his current modest totals.
After our glowing recommendation of Erling Haaland as the stand-out premium fantasy pick for gameweek 13, it’s hard not to put the GW13 FPL captain armband on him as well. Manchester City are coming into the home game against Brighton full rested and like we wrote earlier, we can really only see this going one way.
Thinking of going another way this round? It’s a good weekend to try something a bit different, because Liverpool are visiting Nottingham Forest, which means Mo Salah is facing one of the worst defences in the league. The Crazy Trees have conceded 23 goals in eleven games already and despite Liverpool’s mediocre form so far, putting the armband on Salah could be a shrewd differential captaincy decision this weekend.
Have you got neither Haaland nor Salah in your squad, somehow? Gabriel Jesus or Gabriel Martinelli away at Saint Mary’s could be good options, just like James Maddison away at Molineux. Jarrod Bowen at home to Bournemouth is one for the real FPL daredevils.