FPL Season 2022-23: Gameweek 16 preview

Firstly a reminder that Fanteam & The Scout Gaming Group have announced the opening of their World Cup 2022 Fantasy Football Games which carry a £50k and £100k guaranteed prize funds (for the single entry and multi entry games) and we’ve already posted some recommendations for Goalkeepers and Defenders and also Midfielders and Attackers in the Fantasy World Cup 2022 game.

It was a rollercoaster trip back to memory lane for Fantasy Premier League managers last weekend. Pep rotation wreaked havoc in the gameweek opener and the opponent’s star man, Aleksandar Mitrovic (owned by about a quarter of all managers), missed out as well. The Cancelo red card in the 25th minute only made things worse or more spectacular depending on your own squad roster, and that was just the first of ten games. Haaland did get a goal though, somewhat of a symbolic consolation for the 82% of managers who own him, but many of GW15’s big winners were those who captained Mo Salah. Being overshadowed by City’s Norwegian goalscoring machine so far this season, the Egyptian, and indeed Liverpool as a whole, showed that they are not to be written off just yet. A brace for Mo in their 1-2 away victory over Spurs resulted in 30 FPL points for Salah captainers. There could be other big winners from AFL Grand Final betting.

We’ve now come to gameweek 16, the last one before the World Cup break. This means that as soon as the deadline passes, all FPL managers can start making unlimited free transfers up until the gameweek 17 deadline, which is set at 12h00 (UK time) on Monday, December 26th. Much of the transfer activity in the build-up to GW16 should be seen in that light, as more than a few attentive managers will be eyeing this unique opportunity for one-week punts. If you are reading this as part of your prep for gameweek 16, that’s also what we recommend you do. You’ve basically got a free extra Wildcard available after this one, so why not?

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 16 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday November 12th, 2022.

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per November 11th, 2022)

GKPope (NEW), Kepa (CHE), Raya (BRE)Alisson (LIV), Ward (LEI), Pope (NEW) 
DEFCancelo (MCI), Dalot (MUN), Perisic (TOT)Gabriel (ARS), Saliba (ARS), Castagne (LEI)Dalot yellow card suspension, managers forgetting Cancelo served yellow card suspension in League Cup, GW16 fixtures
MIDFoden (MCI), Antony (MUN), Rashford (MUN)Almirón (NEW), Trossard (BRI), Salah (LIV)Antony injury doubt, Almiron and Trossard form, Salah haul, GW16 fixtures
FORMitrovic (FUL), Wilson (NEW), Jesus (ARS)Haaland (MCI), Solanke (BOU), Darwin (LIV)Mitrovic and Wilson injury doubts, GW16 fixtures

Premium pick

So, to end this shortened first half of the season, we’ve got Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne lining up at home against Brentford, Mo Salah (£12.7m) hosting Southampton at Anfield and Harry Kane facing Leeds at home. Four of this season’s stand-out premium captaincy options all playing at home against highly favourable opposition. We could include each of them here, but we’ve only got room for one and seeing as Salah picked up his third double-digit haul of the season last weekend, plus some consistent game-deciding form hopefully, Liverpool’s Egyptian wizard is our premium fantasy pick of choice for gameweek 16. Also, while the Reds are entirely unpredictable in terms of form, they are facing the theoretically easiest opponent out of them, City and Spurs this weekend. Southampton are currently sitting in the relegation zone with 10 points from twelve games and 24 conceded goals. They are coming off a tough 1-4 defeat against Newcastle at Saint Mary’s and we could honestly see no better side for Liverpool to face at home and finish a largely disappointing first half of the season.

Non-premium pick

Last weekend, we recommended Phil Foden (£8.3m) as our best non-premium fantasy pick and that resulted in a 26-minute cameo off the bench for a glorious single FPL point. Our apologies for that, but Pep rotation is unfortunately (for us and those who followed our advice, at least) part of the game. The thing is, you need to take this into account when considering Man City assets. Sometimes they will simply miss a game or two seemingly out of nowhere, but the real question is: are your City picks able to compensate those benchings in the games they do play? In the case of Foden, our answer is a very firm “yes”. Up until he became entangled in Pep’s wheel of rotation in gameweek 13, the youngster started every league game, scoring 6 goals and providing 4 assists in the process. Since then, he was benched for three consecutive games, but according to his manager, it was simply part of his rotation strategy. With Foden not featuring at all during the mid-week EFL clash with Chelsea, we’re confident that he’ll be returning to the starting fold for tomorrow’s gameweek opener against Brentford. The Bees are doing well once again, but the 24 goals they have conceded in 14 games so far make us think that Foden could be an excellent call this weekend.

The budget enabler

It’s true, our budget enabler of the week this week is not the most budget-enabling pick we’ve ever made, but considering his potential upside and the fact that you can restructure your squad’s budget spread at will between gameweeks 16 and 17, we’ve just decided to go for it. Marcus Rashford (£6.7m) is nowhere near his career best yet, but the England international is showing gradual signs of improvement over the past few weeks, just like the rest of his team. The 3-1 defeat at Villa Park in gameweek 15 was a tough one to take for Ten Hag and his men, but prior to that, the Red Devils recorded a good series. Between gameweeks 3 and 14, United booked 7 wins, drew twice and lost only once, back in GW9 away at rivals Manchester City. As far as Rashford is concerned, he’s not been very prolific in terms of attacking returns so far, scoring 4 times and assisting twice, but with the possibility of a one-week punt, we think he could be a shrewd pick for United’s visit to Craven Cottage on Sunday. He is a certain starter up front, he is by far the United asset with most shots in the box over the last four gameweeks (10) and he is playing a side that has conceded at least two goals in ten games this season.

The differential

“I liked the way Richarlison came in and the effort he made showed he has recovered. The same for Deki [Kulusevski] and I hope to have them to start on Saturday. To pick them in the starting XI would be great for us, because it is an important game on Saturday”. Signed, Antonio Conte, Manager at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. Despite the disappointing loss versus Nottingham Forest in the League Cup on Wednesday, the Spurs coach saw the return to fitness of his Brazilian forward as part of the evening’s silver lining, which bodes well for him (and the 0.6% of FPL managers who own him) this weekend. Spurs are up against an energetic, but leaky Leeds United side who have conceded 17 goals in their last eight league games. As far as Spurs at home go, no team has been able to keep a clean sheet at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadion so far this season. Harry Kane is, of course, the main man up front for Spurs and on penalties as well, but bringing in Richarlison (£8.4m) for Saturday’s visit of Leeds could well lead to a nice differential haul before the World Cup break.

The (vice-)captaincy

We expect the FPL GW16 captaincy vote to become rather one-sided again this weekend with Erling Haaland seemingly fit for the home game against Brentford and we can’t really argue. The man’s scored 18 goals in twelve league appearances, after all… Still, Pep mentioned some ongoing foot issues for the Norwegian in the build-up to the mid-week encounter with Chelsea and ended keeping him on the bench for the entire 90 minutes. Good sign or bad sign? Could be either, we have no idea and let’s definitely not forget that this is Pep Guardiola we’re talking about.

So, doubting yet? In case you are, gameweek 16 is offering an abundance of excellent alternatives for the armband, starting with the premium fantasy picks we mentioned earlier: Kevin de Bruyne (home vs Brentford), Harry Kane (home vs Leeds) and Mo Salah (home vs Southampton). Not convinced? Then perhaps the alternatives’ alternatives are more fitting for your squad, like Wilfried Zaha away at Nottingham Forest, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli for their visit to Wolves, or Jarrod Bowen at home to Leicester.