Two weeks of Fantasy Premier League 2022-23 action and two identical weekly averages. If you managed to score at least 57 points in each week, you’ve managed to keep up quite well. If you haven’t though, for example due to trusting Manchester United too much or as a result of captaincy misfortune, don’t worry. We’ve got 36 gameweeks, 2 Wildcards (for most) and an unprecedented November World Cup to go!
In gameweek 2, a few very highly owned fantasy assets delivered big, including Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus with a gameweek-topping 19 FPL points and a current ownership of no less than 78.9% (!). The other popular picks delivering for their owners came from the Skyblue side of Manchester, with Joao Cancelo (47.9%) and Kevin de Bruyne (21.8%) recording 11 points and 14 points, respectively. There was room for differential delight as well, with seven players owned by less than 5% of managers making it into the team of the week, including Wolves’ José Sá (4.2% owned, 15 FPL points), Brentford’s Ben Mee (3.1%, 14 points) and Brentford’s Mathias Jensen (2.2%, 14 points).
Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 3 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, August 20th.
Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per August 19th, 2022)
|TRANSFERS OUT||TRANSFERS IN||POSSIBLE REASONS|
|GK||De Gea (MUN), Alisson (LIV), Ramsdale (ARS)||Henderson (NOT), Mendy (CHE), Ward (LEI)|
|DEF||Cash (AST), Alexander-Arnold (LIV), Perisic (TOT)||James (CHE), Zinchenko (ARS), Cancelo (MCI)||Cash injury doubt, TAA lack of returns, Perisic start unsure|
|MID||Coutinho (AST), Bailey (AST), Rashford (MUN)||Martinelli (ARS), Rodrigo (LEE), Dasilva (BRE)||Coutinho injury doubt, Bailey start unsure, Rashford + Man United disaster|
|FOR||Darwin (LIV), Mitrovic (FUL), Greenwood (LEE)||Jesus (ARS), Toney (BRE), Haaland (MCI)||Darwin red card, Jesus form, Toney fixtures|
There are a few premium fantasy assets with favourable matchups this weekend, including the Man City stars away at (admittedly defensively solid) Newcastle, and Kane and Son at home against Wolves, but we’ve gone with the inevitable Mo Salah (£13.0m). The Reds are visiting their archrivals Manchester United on Monday and we all know by now of the troubles at Old Trafford. If you don’t, just have a quick glance at the current Premier League standings. Salah is expected to take up the central role after Darwin’s red card versus Crystal Palace in GW2 and in that role, he will be facing one of the leakiest defences of this young season. United have conceded 6 goals in two games and just three teams in the entire league have recorded a higher Expected Goals Conceded ratio than Erik ten Hag’s men. In other words, the perfect opportunity for Liverpool to redeem their own mediocre start to the 2022-23 campaign, points-wise at least. Jurgen Klopp’s men have played good football, but two points from two games is sub-par for the title contenders. Expect them very much ready to pile on the misery at United this gameweek.
After 2 goals and 2 assists in gameweek 2 at home against Leicester, it’s hard to look past Gabriel Jesus (£8.1m) for Arsenal’s visit to Bournemouth. The highest-owned player in the official game got off the mark in style for the Gunners, which had led to him being the most-transferred-in forward in the build-up to GW3. It’s true that the Cherries have had a decent start to the season, beating Aston Villa at home in GW1 before falling 4-0 to reigning champions Manchester City. In particular regard to Jesus, it’s interesting to take into account how Bournemouth managed to mark Erling Haaland out of most of the game. If they manage to do something similar this Saturday against Arsenal, the Brazilian striker could be in for a tough 90 minutes. Still, taking into account Arsenal’s good form and excellent upcoming run of fixtures makes Jesus more than worth considering. At the moment of writing, 78.9% of fantasy managers feel the same way.
The budget enabler
Neco Williams (£4.0m) looked like the budget pick par excellence during pre-season and so far, the 21-year-old right-back is delivering on that promise. After moving to Nottingham Forest for about £18 million last summer, he has nailed down a starting spot as expected and provided outstanding value for his price. While he recorded exactly 0 FPL points in gameweek 1 when Forest visited Newcastle, he brought the almost 30% of fantasy managers who own him 7 FPL points last weekend. Apart from that, he looked lively on the right side, getting plenty of freedom to support the attack, which is simply great for a player with his price tag. Up next for the newly promoted Tricky Trees are Everton, who seem to still be battling many of last season’s demons. The Toffees have conceded 3 goals in the first two games, while scoring just once, a Lucas Digne own goal in the 87th minute against Villa last weekend. They will surely count on three points against Forest, but it’s a whole other thing to make it happen and the visitors are going to prove a serious challenge for Frank Lampard’s men on Saturday. Therefore, with a bit of luck, Forest and Williams record another clean sheet this weekend at Goodison Park.
While Leicester have not had a great start to the 2022-23 Premier League campaign and might struggle to make it into Europe this season, their main man James Maddison (£8.0m) has been rather quietly delivering the goods. The 25-year-old followed up his assist in gameweek 1 with a goal against Arsenal in gameweek 2, bringing his 5.6% of owners a healthy 12 FPL points. The Foxes have got a decent run of fixtures coming up, starting with a home game versus Southampton this Saturday. The Saints have already conceded six goals this season and if Maddison’s underlying stats are anything to go by, our differential pick for gameweek 3 could have a field day against them. Only Liverpool’s Darwin has recorded more shots on target than Madders (9 vs 8), while just three players have created more chances than the Leicester man (6). His price is a bit heavy perhaps, considering the alternatives on offer, but as a differential, Maddison could provide great value this weekend and over the medium term.
Having watched the thrashing of Man United at the hands of Brentford and the Red Devil’s subsequent desperation on the transfer market, we’re doubling down on our Mo Salah premium pick recommendation by giving him the captain’s armband in gameweek 3. Last time the Egyptian wizard visited Old Trafford, he got a hattrick and the way United are conceding at the moment, Liverpool’s high press should more or less be their worst nightmare right about now. Salah will lead the line for the Reds and we’re hoping for a haul.
Not convinced by Salah (or United’s troubles)? No problem, Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne away at Newcastle are good picks for the captaincy this weekend as well, just like Gabby Jesus away at Bournemouth. More differential routes to potential hauls are Wilfried Zaha at home to Aston Villa, James Maddison at home to Southampton and Gabriel Martinelli away at Bournemouth.
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