FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 24 Preview

“Is Jamie Vardy (here pictured playing for England against Belgium) going to outscore the DGW Liverpool assets in GW24?” (CC by 3.0). Image by soccer.ru.

As if Liverpool haven’t been dominating the talk ’round Premier League town already this season, the seemingly unstoppable Reds will also be the main topic of conversation in the Fantasy Premier League universe in the build-up to gameweek 24. That is, as you of course know already, because this mid-week round represents the first double gameweek of the 2019-2020 Premier League campaign. It’s a small double gameweek much to the delight of the membes of our FPL discussion forum, with just Liverpool and West Ham playing twice, with the latter’s appeal as a source for double points severely limited due to the fact that their games are Leicester away and Liverpool home. At a glance, and despite the return of Moyes leading to some careful renewed optimism in East London, that looks like the Hammers will be doing a lot more conceding than scoring.

Still, a punt on a potential differential like Felipe Anderson (if fit) or Haller, or on a cheap starting defender like Cresswell, could pay off handsomely. As you will very obviously notice in this piece though, we have not gone that way with our fantasy picks for this gameweek. Instead, our focus is on Liverpool and the appeal of tripling up big for their two games against Wolves and West Ham (both away). We definitely do not recommend to break up your entire team to accommodate crazy transfers, seeing as there are still 14 rounds of FPL to go after this round, but do keep in mind that many managers will be going all out on Reds assets in GW24. Not joining the herd in this sense might hurt your rankings in a bad way, though enormous green arrows will be coming your way if Liverpool mess up this DGW. The risk assessment of either scenario is up to you.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 24 is set at 18h30 (GMT+0) on Tuesday, January 21st, 2020.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Mo Salah Manchester United (H) 7
Premium Sergio Aguero Crystal Palace (H) 13
Non-premium Danny Ings Wolves (H) 2
Non-premium Todd Cantwell Bournemouth (H) 3
Differential Neal Maupay Aston Villa (H) 4
Differential Alexandere Lacazette Sheffield United (H) 2
Captain Kevin de Bruyne Crystal Palace (H) 4

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per January 20th, 2020)

  TRANSFERS OUT TRANSFERS IN POSSIBLE REASONS
GK Schmeichel (Lei), Ryan (Bri), Patricio (Wol) Alisson (Liv), Foster (Wat), Gazzaniga (Tot) Managers freeing up budget for Liverpool’s DGW and some upcoming swings in fixture calendars.
DEF Söyüncü (Lei), Pereira (Lei), Rico (Bou) Van Dijk (Liv), Alexander-Arnold (Liv), Robertson (Liv) Liverpool’s double gameweek and Leicester drop in form.
MID Richarlison (Eve), De Bruyne (City), Maddison (Lei) Grealish (Ast), Salah (Liv), Traoré (Wol) Managers preparing for Liverpool’s double gameweek with a focus on bringing in the Reds’ star midfielders and more budget-efficient picks from other clubs.
FOR Rashford (Utd), Abraham (Che), Vardy (Lei) Aguero (City), Firmino (Liv), Ings (Sou) A combination of managers making budget space for Liverpool’s DGW, Aguero rocketing to form, and Rashford’s injury.

Premium fantasy picks

Generally, we try to spread our fantasy picks a little bit, so as to cover several promising options for each gameweek. This also helps us to somewhat counter the Premier League’s high level of unpredictability in terms of results, or at least it helps us to feel like it does. For gameweek 24, we’re going all in on Liverpool, though. The Reds are one of two teams to enjoy a double gameweek this round and in their current form, that’s just too good to pass on, even if the two games were Real Madrid and Man City away. They’re not though, Liverpool are playing Wolves and West Ham away from home (on the 23rd and the 29th of January, respectively), so our two premium fantasy picks for GW24 are Mo Salah (£12.4m) and Sadio Mané (£12.4m).

Doubling up on these two is probably not going to be the most common strategy for the DGW, due to the huge impact this would have on budget availability and distribution, but it’s highly recommendable to own at least one of the two. Not just now, by the way, but in general as well. Salah and Mané are remarkably similar in many aspects, from their general positioning on the pitch and their goal involvement this season to their FPL price tag, and we feel that any of the two (or even both) could haul big in gameweek 24. If you’re one of the undoubtedly many FPL managers who needs to decide between these two, it’ll probably come down to a combination of studying the stats of each player and your gut feeling. In order to help you on your way a bit already, we’ll place a simple comparison of some of their key stats here below:

  Minutes Goals Assists Bonus Total points Goals away Assists away Bonus away Tot. pts. away
MANÉ 1745 11 8 18 146 4 3 8 58
SALAH 1619 11 5 15 133 1 4 2 41

Non-premium fantasy picks

When people are talking about Liverpool though, the Reds’ offense is often referred to as the front three, not the front two. Roberto Firmino (£9.4m) is the third member of the Liverpool attack and seeing as his price tag classifies him as a non-premium FPL asset (i.e. under £10m), he fits in nicely as our first non-premium fantasy asset for gameweek 24. The Brazilian is a bit overshadowed by his two partners in crime in attack, which explains his relatively low current ownership of 13.3%, but we expect that percentage to rise a bit still before the GW24. Firmino has already scored 7 goals and provided 5 assists this season, and what’s particularly interesting in regard to the upcoming DGW is that 7 of those goals and 1 of those assists were recorded away from Anfield. In other words, the Liverpool striker doesn’t seem to phased about playing in front of hostile crowds, on the contrary, from the stats it looks like he enjoys it. Liverpool’s opponents this round, Wolves and West Ham, have been defensively decent so far, but they have still conceded 15 goals in 12 away games and 14 goals in 11 away games, respectively. If recent history counts for anything, Firmino could be in for a big one in gameweek 24.

It’s tempting to focus this entire article on Liverpool players, but we shouldn’t forget that there are other games on as well, some of which with a lot of potential for FPL hauls. That’s why our second non-premium fantasy pick for this round is Manchester United’s Anthony Martial (£7.9m). United were beaten by Liverpool last weekend and the Red Devils lost their star man Marcus Rashford to an injury, so we’re hoping that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees the upcoming home game against Burnley as the perfect opportunity to wash away the weekend’s disappointments with a comfortable victory. The Clarets are having another relatively careless Premier League season, but their away form has been below par. They have taken 9 points from 11 away games and in those 11 games, they conceded 20 goals. Martial is United’s starting striker and in the absence of Rashford he will, more than ever, be the focal points of their attacks. He has scored 4 goals in his last Premier League games and for what it’s worth, one of those goals came in the game at Turf Moor in gameweek 20.

A differential fantasy pick or two

We were not planning to include another Liverpool player in this article and we were not really expecting to be able to include one as a differential pick, but we were kind of surprised by the current ownership of Joe Gomez (£5.2m, owned by 3.9%). As a result, he is our first differential fantasy pick for gameweek 24. Basically, the only downside to owning Gomez at this moment is the imminent return to fitness of both Matip and Lovren, who shared his central defensive spot before they both got injured. For the rest, he provides great value, especially this week. Before he came into the team to partner Van Dijk at the back in gameweek 16, Liverpool had recorded 2 clean sheets in 15 gameweeks. Since GW16, the Reds have not conceded a single goal, courtesy of an ongoing streak of seven consecutive games without conceding. There are a lot of factors at play surely, but looking at these results, one might conclude that Gomez is the ideal partner for Van Dijk in the Pool defence. His potential for attacking returns is much lower than that of his fellow defenders, but his price lies well below theirs as well, which makes him an excellent option for the double gameweek 24.

Besides the Liverpool DGW, one of the games that stands out from an FPL perspective is Tottenham at home versus Norwich. Spurs are certainly playing a kind of football under Mourinho, but it’s certainly not the smooth, free-flowing kind. The long-term absence of star man Harry Kane doesn’t help either, of course. These are not ideal conditions for an attacking Spurs asset to shine, but it does create a few interesting differential options. One of those is Lucas Moura (£7.1m), who in the absence of Kane fills in the number-nine spot together with Son and Alli. The Brazilian dribbler has not been in red hot (FPL) form lately, which is illustrated by his 2 goals and 1 assist in his last eight Premier League games, but he does seem to be one of the most threatening Spurs players on a consistent basis. What we are hoping, is that this weekend sees him convert that threat into returns against Norwich at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Canaries are the worst-performing team on the road this season, with just 5 points taken from 11 away games, a run over which they conceded 20 goals. Spurs, on the other hand, are fifth in the table when it comes to home games only and they have scored a decent 21 goals in 11 home games. Hopefully, Moura can add to that total on Wednesday.

For further GW24 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

As you probably guessed by now, we’re captaining a Liverpool player, as we expect most FPL managers around the world will do. The question is: which Liverpool player? It’s between Salah and Mané, with Firmino a serious consideration as a differential captaincy pick for gameweek 24. Mané has performed better in away games than Salah this season, but the Senegalese international has blanked in two consecutive games for the first time since gameweeks 6 and 7. Salah, on the other hand, has been in good form of late with 2 goals and 1 assist in his last three games (against Sheffield United at home, Spurs away and United at home). The Egyptian is also on penalties, so in the end we’ve gone with him as our captain for GW24, but Mané would be an equally promising pick.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW24 shows Salah with the most votes and many using their Triple Captain chip for him.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro Weekly Monster. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 23 Preview

“Is Alexandre Lacazette going to fill Arsenal’s temporary Aubayemang-sized hole with goals and assists?” (CC by 2.0). Image by Ronnie Macdonald.

Well, one thing we learned from gameweek 23 for sure is that Sergio Aguero is definitely back in the mix after his 20-point haul against Villa, courtesy of a hattrick, an assist and 3 bonus points. In combination with Kane’s injury and Aubameyang’s suspension, this could result in some interesting transfer activity over the coming days. The second-highest points scorer in the Fantasy Premier League official game plays for the sky-blue team from Manchester as well, as Riyad Mahrez bagged 2 goals and 1 assist for a sweet 17 FPL points. Watford’s Abdoulaye Doucouré completed the podium for GW23 with 14 FPL points, thanks to a goal and an assist against Bournemouth. Behind the Frenchman, three familiar FPL forum names followed with 12 points (Rashford, Digne and Azpilicueta).

Where gameweek 23 offered a plethora of good candidates for the captaincy and premium players with favourable fixtures, the pickings are slimmer this weekend. Liverpool and Manchester United are meeting at Anfield on Sunday, while earlier that day, Leicester are paying Turf Moor a visit. Chelsea are visiting Saint James’ Park on Saturday to try and break down a resilient Newcastle defence, and Arsenal and Sheffield United are kicking off at the Emirates that same day. The only top-6 team with a favourable fixture, on paper that is, are Manchester City, who are hosting Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. Instead of premium options from the traditional top teams, this gameweek there could be some good alternatives to be found at the likes of Norwich (at home versus Bournemouth), Brighton (at home to Aston Villa) and even West Ham or Everton (who are playing each other in London on Saturday).

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 23 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Saturday, January 18th, 2020.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Jamie Vardy Southampton (H) 5
Premium Kevin de Bruyne Aston Villa (a) 9
Non-premium Anthony Martial Norwich (H) 8
Non-premium Richarlison Brighton (H) 10
Differential Jonny Castro Newcastle (H) 2
Differential Troy Deeney Bournemouth (a) 7
Captain Jamie Vardy Southampton (H) 10

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per January 15th, 2020)

  TRANSFERS OUT TRANSFERS IN POSSIBLE REASONS
GK Ramsdale (Bou), Pope (Bur), Fabianski (Whu) Ryan (Bri), Henderson (She), McCarthy (Sou) A combination of injuries (Ramsdale, Fabianksi), bad fixtures (Pope), and good upcoming fixtures.
DEF Kelly (Cry), Pereira (Lei), Rico (Bou) Williams (Utd), Alexander-Arnold (Liv), Robertson (Liv) FPL managers starting their preparations for Liverpool’s double GW24.
MID Alli (Tot), Traoré (Wol), Maddison (Lei) Mahrez (MC), Richarlison (Eve), Grealish (Ast) New form players announcing themselves.
FOR Aubameyang (Ars), Jimenez (Wol), Rashford (Utd) Ings (Sou), Aguero (MC), Vardy (Lei) Injury doubts (Rashford) and suspensions (Auba) in combination with Ings’ ongoing goalscoring, Aguero grabbing the headlines, and Vardy returning.

Premium fantasy picks

The clash of the week is taking place at Anfield in gameweek 23, where leaders Liverpool are welcoming their arch rivals Manchester United, and our first premium fantasy pick will be featuring in this match. When it comes to home games, Mo Salah (£12.3m) definitely knows where the goal is judging by the fact that 9 out of his 10 Premier League goals this season have been scored in front of his own fans. Man United have been mediocre when it comes to results away from home, taking just 12 points from 11 away games so far this season, scoring 12 goals and conceding a worrying 15 goals over that run. With the young Brandon Williams most likely filling in for the injured Luke Shaw at left-back for United, more than a few managers will be eyeing the possibility of Salah taking advantage of the situation, despite the United youngster’s good performance in gameweek 22. We’re expecting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to put up a decent fight at Anfield, but it’s hard to imagine Liverpool’s front three not causing them some serious trouble over 90 minutes.

Our second premium fantasy pick for gameweek 23 is Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (£11.8m), who rocketed himself back to the top of the scouting lists of millions of FPL managers after bringing home 20 FPL points last weekend. In many cases, this pick could be seen as a typical “chasing the points” kind of pick, but not in the case of Aguero. After his recital against Villa, the Argentinian striker is now the most prolific foreign player in the history of the Premier League, as well as the player with the most hattricks in the PL to his name. This means that, when it comes to Aguero, you’re never chasing the points as much as you are anticipating the next haul. Despite missing six games entirely and playing less than half an hour in five other games, Kun still has 13 goals and 5 assists to his name as it stands. As a matter of fact, of the 11 games that he started this season, he has only failed to return in three of them. Up next is Crystal Palace, who are expected to dig in deep and hope for a collective off day for City’s offensive line. With Aguero is red hot record-breaking form, that’s probably wishful thinking from the Eagles, though.

Non-premium fantasy picks

In gameweek 7, with Spurs away, Chelsea at home and Wolves away up next, barely anyone even considered Danny Ings (£6.8m). Three goals in three games saw him pick up some exposure, but his consecutive blanks against Leicester and Man City then caused managers to largely ignore the Saints striker again. Between gameweek 12 and gameweek 17, he then scored 5 goals in 5 games again, which made many FPL managers notice him and think “No way he’s going to keep that up”. Well, in the six games since then, Ings scored another 5 goals, bringing him to a more than respectable total of 14 goals and a single assist for the season so far. The Englishman is finding himself in the form of his life now that he has been able to leave his injury troubles behind him for a prolonged period of time and the best thing, both from manager’s Ralph Hasenhüttl’s perspective and an FPL manager’s point of view, is that he seems to be completely fixture-proof. Six of his goals have come against opposition currently placed in the top-8, 2 goals were scored against Everton and Arsenal, and the remaining 6 goals were scored against teams currently placed ninth or lower in the table. Wolves are up next as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men roll up to Molineux and even though this is going to be everything but easy for the Saints, Ings has shown that he can turn up anywhere, at any time this season.

The 2019-2020 Fantasy Premier League campaign brought us a few genuine bargains at the start of the season, with several players having enjoyed considerable price rises already. Norwich midfielder Todd Cantwell (£4.9m) definitely belongs to this category, though his change in price has not been as comet-like as it has been for some other bargain gems like John Lundstram and Caglar Söyüncü. The young English offensive midfielder seems to have made the number-14 jersey his at Norwich, which is not surprising when looking at his tallies this season: 6 goals, 2 assists, 10 bonus points and 86 FPL points from 17 starts. That’s a direct involvement in 36% of all of the Canaries’ goals this season. Add his price tag to the equation and you get value that few other players in the official game can offer. This weekend, Norwich are hosting a Bournemouth side in free-fall who are now just one place above them in the table. A victory could reduce the gap from six to three points and more than a few eyes will be on Cantwell to help orchestrate that victory.

A differential fantasy pick or two

On paper, we feel the Brighton versus Aston Villa game on Saturday could offer some serious differential value on both sides. Considering Brighton’s OK home form (10th in the home games table with 16 points, 15 goals scored and 15 goals conceded from 11 games) and Aston Villa’s problems away from home (19th in the away games table with 7 points, 14 goals scored and 23 goals conceded from 11 games), we have decided to highlight Seagulls striker Neal Maupay (£5.9m) for this one. The French striker has not been overwhelming this season, but 7 goals and 1 assist from 17 starts is not terrible either for a budget asset from a mid-table team. Manager Graham Potter likes to rotate and shuffle his starting lineups around quite a bit, especially in attack, but Maupay has proven to be a constant in Brighton’s starting lineup, as is illustrated by the 16 games in which he played at least 78 minutes. That includes the first four games of the season, which were his first games in the Premier League. We feel that Brighton are the favourites on Saturday and that Maupay could be the one to consolidate that feeling.

For an FPL manager, there is something strangely discomforting about a big name player with a big price tag and a very low ownership. That’s because usually this indicates a premium player who, for whatever reason, is underperforming enormously. In some cases though, it simply means that you have come across a very good player who has simply been overshadowed by a teammate and Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette (£9.3m) is one of these cases. With just 12 starts from 22 games, it’s been an up-and-down season for the Frenchman so far, but Mikel Arteta seems to have big plans for him, considering he let him play at least 81 minutes in each of the four Premier League games since his appointment. Lacazette’s return of just a single assist over that run is disappointing to say the least, but don’t forget that Aubameyang is normally the star man up front for the Gunners. With the Gabonese striker now out suspended and expected to return for the GW25 game versus Burnley, we can see the French forward taking over the role of focal point in attack and building on his current tallies of 5 goals and 3 assists, at least temporarily. His price tag of £9.3m makes him quite an expensive punt, but with an ownership of just 2.0% and a relatively favourable set of fixtures coming up, he could be a big differential as well.

For further GW23 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

We immediately had our eye on the Manchester City versus Crystal Palace game for this week’s captaincy, especially after Pep’s men handed out a 1-6 whooping at Villa Park last weekend, but the problem is, as usual, the danger of rotation. City started with two strikers and Mahrez in a number-10 role in GW22, resulting in a second consecutive benching for Sterling, and it’s unclear whether this will once again be the starting lineup at home to Palace this Saturday or if Guardiola will revert back to the usual 4-3-3. Aguero is obviously a potentially explosive choice for the armband and we find it hard to imagine that Sterling will be benched for a third time in a row, but if you want to play it safe with your captain, Kevin de Bruyne is probably (once again) your best pick. He’s our pick for the armband in any case.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW23 shows KDB with the most votes.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro Weekly Monster. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via the FISO FanTeam forum. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee. FanTeam have also just launched a 500,000 euro Fantasy Premier League game.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 22 Preview

“This weekend and for some weekends to come, Spurs star Harry Kane will be one of the big absentees due to injury” (CC by 2.0). Image by enviro warrior.

After a small break from Fantasy Premier League due to FA Cup obligations this week, we’re now back for gameweek 22 of the 2019-2020 season. Gameweek 21 was another one for the differentials, in most part, with West Ham’s Mark Noble scoring a week-high 16 FPL points. Arsenal’s Sokratis followed with an impressive 15 points courtesy of a goal and three bonus points, while Gabriel Jesus, Jack Grealish and Ayoze Perez all recorded 13 FPL points. Besides Grealish, none of these players currently boast an ownership of more than 5.5%. The most-owned player in GW21’s Team of the Week was Liverpool’s Andy Robertson (12 FPL points) after booking a clean and an assist away at Sheffield United much to the excitement of some of FISO’s FPL Forum members.

Gameweek 22 could be very different though, with many of the official game’s most popular and best-performing assets facing largely favourable opposition, on paper at least. Chelsea, though not that convincing in front of their own fans yet, face a travel-shy Burnley, Leicester are hosting an in-form Southampton, Manchester United see Norwich roll up to Old Trafford, and their skyblue city rivals visit an Aston Villa side ravaged by serious injuries. The clash of the weekend takes place at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium though, where a Kane-less home side must try and find a way to stop the seemingly all-conquering machine that is Liverpool. In other words, plenty to look forward to again this round!

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 22 is set at 19h00 (GMT+0) on Friday, January 10th 2020.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Jamie Vardy Newcastle (a) 0 (injured)
Premium Kevin de Bruyne Everton (H) 2
Non-premium Marcus Rashford Arsenal (a) 2
Non-premium Martin Kelly Norwich (a) 2
Differential Dominic Calvert-Lewin Man City (a) 1
Differential Chris Wood Aston Villa (H) 7
Captain Jamie Vardy Newcastle (a) 0 (injured)

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per January 9th, 2020)

  TRANSFERS OUT TRANSFERS IN POSSIBLE REASONS
GK Pope (Bur), Heaton (Bur), Ederson (Cit) Schmeichel (Lei), Ryan (Bri), Henderson (She) The injured Heaton is being replaced and Pope has a difficult run of fixtures coming up.
DEF Aurier (Tot), Kelly (Cry), Rico (Bou) Alexander-Arnold (Liv), Dunk (Bri), Söyüncü (Lei) Very much a form question, with Aurier and Rico being replaced, in combination with Palace’s unrelenting injury crisis.
MID Alli (Tot), Mount (Che), Martial (Utd) Grealish (Ast), Maddison (Lei), Traoré (Wol) We see a trend for Spurs assets, as performances have been horrendous under Mourinho (though some results were booked). The transferred-in column represents players in good form.
FOR Kane (Tot), Vardy (Lei), Pukki (Nor) Ings (Sou), Calvert-Lewin (Eve), Aubameyang (Ars) Injured strikers (Kane and Pukki) and a striker who was injured but is fit again (Vardy) being replaced with cheap form players and the promise of better times under Arsenal’s Arteta.

Premium fantasy picks

When we recommended Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) as both our first premium fantasy pick and our captain for gameweek 21, we were obviously convinced he was going to play after the birth of his child. He didn’t. And while that was painful from an FPL perspective, we can’t agree with the more than 200,000 FPL managers who transferred him out since then. This is still the man who sits atop the topscorers table with 17 goals and the overall scoring table in FPL with 144 points, and who is about as nailed-on a starter as they come. That’s why we start of our list of player recommendations for GW22 with the Englishman. As we all remember, the last time the Saints looked Vardy in the eyes, he and his teammates put nine past them in front of their own fans, back in gameweek 10. The striker himself bagged a hattrick and 20 FPL points in that game, and while we don’t expect an even remotely similar scenario this weekend (given that it was triggered by an early sending-off), we can see a home game against Southampton as the perfect opportunity for Vardy to get his party started again. Just a heads-up, he’s also our captain for gameweek 22.

Our second premium fantasy pick of the week is Man City’s midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne (£10.6m), who is becoming a bit of a mainstay in this piece. That’s what happens when you consistently perform at a ridiculously high level and combine that with more than decent FPL returns. The Belgian did not record a return in gameweek 21 when City faced Everton at the Etihad, but in the four weeks prior to that, he scored 3 goals, provided 4 assists, hauled in 6 bonus points, and brought his owners a whopping 42 FPL points. This weekend, the Cityzens are visiting Aston Villa, whose recent luck could not have been worse. In GW21, in the same game, both their starting striker (Wesley) and their starting goalkeeper (Heaton) suffered season-ending injuries. As the saying goes though, one man’s tragedy is another man’s treasure, and in this case, we feel the former man could be Villa and the latter man could be City. To be fair, Villa’s home form is not terrible (14 points from 10 games, with 13 goals scored and 14 conceded) and Dean Smith’s men will put up a fight like they did against Leicester on Wednesday, but chances are Kevin de Bruyne is going to be central to a goal fest this weekend.

Non-premium fantasy picks

With one of the Premier League’s leakiest defences coming to Old Trafford on Saturday, Man United’s attacking assets are naturally attracting some attention. Marcus Rashford is an obvious call, but we’ve gone with Anthony Martial (£7.9m) for this one. After John Lundstram, the Frenchman is probably the most obvious and attractive out-of-position player, seeing as he is listed as a midfielder by FPL, but deployed as a starting striker by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Despite various injury issues throughout the first half of this season, Martial has still managed to score 7 goals and provide 3 assists. Of those attacking returns, 3 goals have come in the past three games. Saturday’s opponent Norwich have so far conceded 16 goals in ten away games and the Canaries have shown that they are not a team who dig in and ‘park the bus’ in any game. This should only benefit United, who have proven to experience difficulties at times when it comes to unlocking tightly organised defensive set-ups. Martial looks fit and ready to go for the Red Devils, and he has the potential to return big this weekend.

Another player who could deliver big in gameweek 22 is Everton’s Richarlison (£8.0m). His current ownership of just 11.3% indicates that the Brazilian has slipped under the radar of the FPL community a bit, which is remarkable when you consider that he has performed rather well of late. He has scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist over the last eight gameweeks, a run in which he brought his owners 40 FPL points. As a matter of fact, when looking at the past ten gameweeks, no other midfielder in the game scored more than Richarlison’s 5 goals. The Toffees are hosting Brighton this week and the Seagulls have not been their best on the road this season. Graham Potter’s men have picked up just 8 points from ten away games so far, a run in which they have conceded 17 goals and scored just 10. Everton, on the other hand, are placed sixth in the league when looking only at home games and with Carlo Ancelotti now having a few games as Toffees coach under his belt, we could see this end up as a nice victory for the home side. Richarlison seems to be nailed-on under the living Italian legend and he could be a worth a punt this weekend.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Our first differential pick of the week is a defender who has not seen a clean sheet since gameweek 15. We figured we’d start with that. Now that that’s out of the way, allow us to briefly explain why Wolves left-back Jonny (£5.4m) is on this list. First of all, it’s important to mention that of those six games since that last clean sheet, Wolves faced Spurs, Man City, and Liverpool (those last two in a window of less than 48 hours, by the way), while the remaining three games were away games at  attack-minded sides Norwich and Brighton, and a resurgent Watford under Nigel Pearson. Second of all, Wolves are really quite a good team and up next are Newcastle at Molineux. Out of the seven best-performing Newcastle defenders in FPL, six (!) are currently marked as an injury doubt for Saturday’s game, which means that the Magpies will, in the best scenario, face Jonny and his teammates with a very unstable foundation. Third of all, only Watford and Norwich have scored less away goals than Newcastle’s 9 (in 10 games). Combine all these facts and stats, and we feel this weekend is the perfect chance for Wolves to record their fourth clean sheet of the season,a nd with a bit of luck, Jonny will have some freedom to bomb forward and look for an attacking return or a bonus point as well.

Mentioning a resurgent Watford brought us to recommending one of our own favourites as our second differential pick for this weekend. Troy Deeney (£6.2m, ownership of 1.0%) missed the majority of the first half of the season due to injury, but he looks rearing to make up for lost time since his return to full fitness in gameweek 15. The Hornets striker scored 3 goals in his last four games and recorded a more than decent 21 FPL points over that run. That comes down to just over 5 points per game, which is good for a striker with his price tag. Up next are a struggling Bournemouth at the English south coast who have not won in their last four games and who have scored just a single goal over that period while conceding 8 goals themselves. Watford are have so far been far from prolific away from home, which is illustrated by the 6 goals they have scored in ten away games, but it’s worth mentioning that 4 of those goals were scored in their last five away games. Deeney is definitely a punt, but one that could bring a few very satisfying green arrows.

For further GW22 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

We already lifted the curtain a bit earlier in this piece in regard to our captaincy choice this weekend, because we we’re going with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy for gameweek 22. He missed the last two games, but has been declared fully fit for Saturday’s home game against Southampton, a notice that was underlined by his hard-working 90-minute performance against Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Wednesday (in which he bagged himself an assist). Every Saint and Saint-related individual in the world will remember what happened when Jamie and co came to Saint Mary’s back in gameweek 10, and even though another 9-goal victory seems a bit unlikely, we can easily see Vardy make it 18 or even 19 goals for the season this weekend.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW22 indicates Vardy is the most popular captain.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro Weekly Monster. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via their weekly FISO newsletter. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. Read all about a fiso member who won 30,000 euros on FanTeam from just a 2 euro entry fee.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 21 Preview

“Is Jamie Vardy taking off where he left off in gameweek 18 in the new year?” (CC by 2.0). Image by CFC Unofficial.

If you are one of the lucky Fantasy Premier League managers who largely escaped the rotational chaos that characterised gameweek 20, you just need to take a look at our overview of last week’s fantasy picks to understand what the majority of us had to deal with. Out of Mo Salah, Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli (all of whom were coming into the GW in good form), Willems against Everton at home, Deulofeu against Villa at home and Maupay versus Bournemouth at home, only the Brighton frontman returned something. A single assist. If you think that’s bad, remember that the festive craziness hasn’t ended yet. There is still one gameweek to go, starting tomorrow (January 1st, 2020) just 2.5 days after GW20 and a mere 3.5 days after GW19. In other words, prepare for another rollercoaster of a gameweek.

But then again, how to better start off the year with your captain Salah scoring a brace against Sheffield at home or big time differential Michail Antonio scoring a goal against Bournemouth in David Moyes’ first game back in charge of the Hammers, just to name a few potential scenarios? While Liverpool and Manchester City play at home (against Sheffield United and Everton, respectively), Leicester are travelling to a resilient Newcastle. The fixture of the round takes place on Wednesday evening though, when Manchester United roll up to the Emirates to face a tormented Arsenal side. So just make sure your team is in order before starting the celebrations tonight, welcome the New Year in style, hang out in our FPL Forum and enjoy another full day of Premier League action the day after.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 21 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Wednesday, January 1st, 2020.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Mo Salah Wolves (H) 3
Premium Jamie Vardy West Ham (a) DNP
Non-premium Dele Alli Norwich (a) 2
Non-premium Jetro Willems Everton (H) 1
Differential Gerard Deulofeu Aston Villa (H) 2
Differential Neal Maupay Bournemouth (H) 5
Captain Mo Salah Wolves (H) 6

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per December 31st, 2019)

  TRANSFERS OUT TRANSFERS IN POSSIBLE REASONS
GK Ederson (ManCity), Henderson (She), Schmeichel (Lei) Foster (Wat), Schmeichel (Lei), Alisson (Liv) Fixture swings for some teams, in combination with Watford’s rapidly increasing defensive stability.
DEF Lundstram (She), Pereira (Lei), Aurier (Tot) Alexander-Arnold (Liv), Baldock (She), Dunk (Bri) Lundstram’s injury and Aurier’s continuing inconsistency in combination with TAA’s ongoing returns and Dunk’s GW20 clean sheet and bonus points.
MID Maddison (Lei), Grealish (Ast), Alli (Tot) Traore (Wol), Martial (Utd), De Bruyne (ManCity) Many FPL managers seem to be making space for a few of the in-form players at the moment, at the cost of a few more quiet performers.
FOR Abraham (Che), Rashford (Utd), Ings (Sou) Calvert-Lewin (Eve), Jimenez (Wol), Ings (Sou) It’s a bit odd to see Rashford being transferred out by so many, and the same goes, to a lesser extent, for Abraham after his top performance against Arsenal. DCL and Ings provide outstanding budget value.

Premium fantasy picks

We’re starting this list off with Jamie Vardy (£10.1m), who was not included in Leicester’s squad for gameweek 21 as his spouse was about to give birth. Not only was this an extremely happy occasion for the Vardys, but also a good opportunity for manager Brendan Rodgers to rest his star player. The broken hearts of about four million FPL managers were considered to be nothing more than collateral damage, unfortunately. In all seriousness though, while it hurt in gameweek 20, we can now be quite certain that Vardy will be back for tomorrow’s game against Newcastle, right? What’s more, and maybe this is the Christmas feeling talking, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a hugely motivated Vardy run rampage at Saint James’ Park tomorrow. The gameweek 19 defeat against Liverpool was the first time in 11 games that the English striker did not record a return, while back in gameweek 8, he scored a brace (and 12 FPL points) against the Magpies at the King Power. Is the Vardy party taking off where it left off?

Our second premium fantasy pick for GW21 is Kevin de Bruyne (£10.5m), arguably the best and most complete footballer in the English top flight right now. The Belgian is fixture-proof and has returned in each of his last four games (3 goals, 4 assists, 42 FPL points). That’s right, 42 points in four games, against Arsenal away, Leicester at home, Wolves away and Sheffield United at home, all of them being at this moment inside the top 8. Up next is a home game against Everton, who the Cityzens also played in gameweek 7. In that game, De Bruyne competed for 79 minutes and provided 2 assists for a total of 9 FPL points. The only real risk for the Belgian playmaker is rotation, as he played 66 minutes against Wolves in GW19 and 90 minutes against Sheffield United in GW20. He is the beating heart of the team though, as well as the man in form, and Guardiola knows how much his team can suffer without De Bruyne. As always, keep an eye out for team news, but even if he should be rotated this week, he is an excellent long-term pick as well.

Non-premium fantasy picks

Marcus Rashford (£9.1m) played 62 minutes against Newcastle in gameweek 19 (1 goal, 6 FPL points) and 90 minutes against Sheffield United in gameweek 20 (1 goal, 9 FPL points), so maybe it’s a fear of rotation that is making FPL managers ship him out in such numbers that he currently appears amongst the three most transferred-out strikers. We just find it hard to see another reason, because even though Man United have been inconsistent this season, Rashford has been FPL gold. His 12 goals, 5 assists and 120 FPL points make him the third-best striker and the fifth-best player overall in the official fantasy game. Manager Solskjaer’s United seems to be more comfortable in games where they do not need to take the initiative and where they can wait for the counter, and that’s the kind of game we’re expecting tomorrow, when the Red Devils travel to the Emirates to face Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. The Gunners will want to dominate the ball in front of their home fans, which will give United an excuse to lie deep and figure out how to launch Rashford and co up front. Arsenal have conceded 17 goals in 10 home games so far, and 30 goals in 20 games overall, so the English forward will already be thinking of making it 3 goals (or more?) in three games.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick can be considered a wise choice and not so much an exciting outfield pick with big differential value. As last gameweek showed, the value of a decent bench is a very important during the festive period as it’s likely that one or more of your players will be rested at one point or another. A starting budget defender playing for a defensively solid team can therefore be of exceptional value these days. Like Martin Kelly (£4.4m), for example. The Crystal Palace defender is not a spectacular FPL point magnet nor is he an undiscovered FPL gem (his current ownership stands at 32.5%), but he is an assured starter in a Palace backline that is suffering from an injury crisis. Still, the Eagles are far from leaky. They have conceded just 4 goals in their past seven games, and when looking at away games only, that total comes to a mere 2 goals in four games. He’s priced at just £4.4m and up next are Norwich at Carrow Road, where the Canaries have scored 16 goals in ten games. How productive will they be when Kelly and the rest of the league’s fourth-best defence visit?

A differential fantasy pick or two

It’s been a while, but an Everton player has made it back on our weekly list of fantasy picks. Though it’s too early to really say, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.8m) seems to really enjoy the first days and weeks under Carlo Ancelotti’s reign. With the Italian manager in the stands, he scored the only goal against Burnley in gameweek 19 and then followed that up with a brace against Newcastle for Ancelotti’s first game in the Toffee dug-out in GW20. As with practically all players in this period of the year, the threat of rotation is real (DCL played the full 90 minutes in the last two games), but what we know for sure is that his goal instinct is on high alert of late. Next up are Man City at the Etihad, which makes us think that Ancelotti will want to start his most in-form eleven. The Cityzens have conceded 4 goals in the last four home games though, which offers some hope for DCL, while the run after this gameweek offers much more than that. Even if he is rested against Man City, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the young English striker add to his current tallies (8 goals, no assists, 68 FPL points) in the upcoming games against Brighton (H), West Ham (a), Newcastle (H) and Watford (a).

Our second differential fantasy pick and final pick for gameweek 21 is Burnley’s Chris Wood (£6.2m). the Clarets are welcoming Aston Villa to Turf Moor on Wednesday afternoon and they will be looking to take advantage of Villa’s horrendous away form. The Villains are bottom of the league when it comes to away games, with just four points from ten games. The 22 goals they have conceded over that period are more than any other defence in the league. On the other hand, it’s not like Burnley have been scoring for fun this season, but their 13 goals in 10 home games show that they are not completely lost in front of goal either. On top of that, Wood has proven that he can score goals and he has already done so seven times this season. That might not sound like that much, but it does represent almost a third of all of Burnley’s goals. The home team will have marked this as a must-win and many eyes will be on the tall New Zealand striker to bring them victory.

For further GW21 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

Gameweek 21 offers FPL managers a nice selection of candidates for the armband. Brendan Rodgers should send out the usual suspects again against Newcastle after a mass rotation move last gameweek, while both City and Liverpool play home games. We expect most of the captain picks to come from these three teams and our personal preference lies with Leicester striker Jamie Vardy. It’s Christmas and New Year, he will be over the moon with the birth of his daughter and he will be fully rested for the encounter at Newcastle. The Magpies know very well how to frustrate their opponents under manager Steve Bruce, but we doubt whether they will be able to ruin another Vardy party.

If these three teams are not convincing you, there are a few out-of-the-box picks as well. Chris Wood at home to Aston Villa could see you move up the ranks in a big way, while a punt on Troy Deeney against a tired Wolves outfit would qualify as a big punt for the armband as well. Rashford or Martial away to Arsenal don’t look too bad either, especially considering their form and the (lack of) form of their opponent.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW21 indicates Vardy, Salah, KDB and Mane are the most popular captains.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro New Year’s Day weekly monster. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via their weekly FISO newsletter. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 20 Preview

“GW20 kicks off just 14 hours after GW19’s final game has finished. There’s only one Barclay’s Premier League.” (CC by 4.0). Image by Rob Pratt

Maybe they had a really good day and Leicester an average one. Maybe winning the World Cup for Clubs gave them wings. Maybe they were afraid we had forgotten about them after a blank gameweek. Whatever it was, in the end, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Liverpool returned to Premier League action in impressive style in gameweek 19 by hammering a red-hot Leicester side 0-4 at the King Power. The Reds are now an incredible 13 points clear at the top and they still have a game in hand. Assuming they win the rescheduled away game against West Ham on Wed 29 January, Jurgen Klopp’s men are now in a position where they can lose five of the remaining nineteen games and still be leaders. Just let that reality stir for a  moment.

Gameweek 20 of Fantasy Premier League is promising to be one full of rotation, as the first game is kicking off about 16 hours after the final game of gameweek 19 has kicked off. It’s also due to this extremely short turn-around that we have had to write this piece before the Wolves-Man City game that takes place tonight. As a result, we have not included any of their players in our picks. Wolves play away at Liverpool this week, so we wouldn’t have recommended any of their players anyway, but City are at home to Sheffield United on Sunday, which could offer some interesting options. Even though they won’t be in our list, we do recommend to include them in your thinking for GW20 so in the meantime check out our FPL Forum. For the rest we have taken the elevated rotation risk for this week into account by focusing on players who we feel are entering the weekend with a combination of a decent fixture and at least acceptable form, and a very high chance of starting.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 20 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Saturday, December 28th.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Harry Kane Brighton (H) 8
Premium Kevin de Bruyne Wolves (a) (still to play)
Non-premium Dele Alli Brighton (H) 8
Non-premium Tammy Abraham Southampton (H) 2
Differential Jack Grealish Norwich (H) 6
Differential John Fleck Watford (H) 2
Captain Harry Kane Brighton (H) 16

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per December 27th, 2019)

  TRANSFERS OUT TRANSFERS IN POSSIBLE REASONS
GK Henderson (She), Pope (Bur), De Gea (Utd) Ramsdale (Bou), Henderson (She), Schmeichel (Lei) A positive fixture swing for Bournemouth and Leicester, combined with a negative swing for Burnley.
DEF Robertson (Liv), Pereira (Lei), Dunk (Bri) Alexander-Arnold (Liv), Baldock (She), Van Dijk (Liv) Alexander-Arnold’s 24-point haul, Liverpool’s return to PL action and Liverpool’s clean sheet.
MID Son (Tot), Mount (Che), Pulisic (Che) Grealish (Ast), Martial (Utd), Alli (Tot) Chelsea’s disappointing/unpredictable form, Son’s ongoing suspension, in combination with returns from several non-premium midfielders in GW19.
FOR Abraham (Che), Mousset (She), Pukki (Nor) Ings (Sou), Greenwood (Utd), Rashford (Utd) Non-performing strikers being switched out for in-form strikers and/or strikers with decent fixtures.

Premium fantasy picks

Liverpool don’t have the easiest of fixtures coming up in gameweek 20, but if their 0-4 victory over Leicester showed us anything, it’s that the Reds are fixture-proof this season. Despite the ridiculously crowded schedule, we feel this encounter is just tricky enough for Jurgen Klopp to field his strongest starting eleven and particularly his strongest front three. Seeing as Mo Salah (£12.3m) was taken off after 70 minutes on Thursday, while Firmino and Mané played the full 90 minutes, we’ve gone with the Egyptian forward as our first premium fantasy pick. He has been overshadowed by some of his teammates lately (Sadio and Trent, please stand up) and he didn’t return anything in gameweek 19, but before Liverpool’s World Cup for clubs adventure, Mo scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist in the two games. Of his 9 goals so far this season, 8 have come at Anfield, and last season, he scored one goal and created another in two games against Wolves. Add to all this his penalty duties and we’ve got ourselves not just a promising premium pick, but a serious candidate for the armband in GW20 as well.

Our second premium pick for GW20 is Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (£10.1m). Since gameweek 7, the English striker has failed to deliver a return on just two occasions: in GW8 against Liverpool at Anfield and in GW19 against Liverpool at home. In the other eleven games in this run, Vardy scored 14 goals and provided 4 assists, with 106 FPL as a result. That’s an average of 9.6 FPL points per game. Up next is West Ham away and the Hammers have already conceded 17 goals in 8 home games. There is a real risk that Vardy will be rested by Brendan Rodgers this weekend, as the Scotsman stated that his striker will need some rest at some point during the festive football season, but we can imagine he would like to start his star man one more time against a leaky West Ham side after coming off two consecutive losses versus City and Liverpool. Keep an eye on team news from the Leicester camp, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Vardy pick up where he left off in GW18: scoring goals and hauling big.

Non-premium fantasy picks

Spurs didn’t play well against a resilient Brighton side in gameweek 19, that’s a fact. What’s also a fact though, is that Jose Mourinho’s won the game, and Dele Alli (£8.9m) scored the winning goal. To stick with the facts: in the seven Premier League games under Mourinho’s reign, Alli played at least 78 minutes per game, and scored 4 goals and provided 3 assists for a total of 49 FPL points over that stretch. That’s an average of exactly 7 FPL points per game. On Saturday, Spurs are rolling up to Carrow Road to face the Premier League’s leakiest defence (if we ignore Southampton’s 0-9 home loss against Leicester), as Norwich have so far conceded 22 goals in 9 home games. Tottenham have not been particularly impressive under Mourinho so far, but they have at least been booking victories and scoring goals. Alli looks to be central to the Portuguese manager’s plans and he could well be on the scoreboard again his weekend although he did seem to be struggling for fitness towards the end of the Brighton match and may have a groin muscle injury.

Our last three picks for gameweek 20 are all players with an ownership of less than 3.3%, so we’re starting out with the most-owned of the three, Newcastle’s Jetro Willems (£4.7m). The Dutch wing-back has a current ownership of 3.2% and is facing Everton at Saint James’ Park on Saturday. It’s a bit of a punt, because Everton are a bit of an unknown entity at the moment due to the very recent arrival of manager Carlo Ancelotti, but hear us out. In terms of away games, the Toffees are currently ranked 18th in the league with just 5 points from nine games. In those games, they scored a total of just 9 goals and conceded a worrying 18. The Magpies, on the other hand, are seventh in the league when it comes to only home games. Steve Bruce’s men have taken an impressive 16 points from nine home games, scoring just 10 goals, but also conceding just 7. As far as Willems goes, he is a mainstay in Newcastle’s backline and we can see him getting an attacking return (he already has 2 goals and 2 assists to his name) on top of a clean sheet this weekend.

A differential fantasy pick or two

If Jetro Willems wasn’t differential enough for you yet, how about Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu (£6.1m, ownership: 2.1%)? Under Nigel Pearson, the Hornets seem to be slowly climbing out of the enormous slump in form that has led to their current place in the relegation zone. The new manager has taken 4 points from his first three games in charge, including a shock home victory over Man United in gameweek 18, and Deulofeu completed the 90 minutes in each of these games. Gameweek 19’s encounter with Sheffield away from home saw the Spaniard score his first goal under Pearson, his first goal since gameweek 12 and his third goal overall this season. Besides that, he currently also has 2 assists to his name. In other words, he is definitely a gamble, but one that we feel can pay off against Aston Villa at home on Saturday. No team in the league has performed worse on the road than Villa have so far, as Dean Smith’s men have taken just 4 points from nine away games, conceding 19 goals in the process. It could very well end up being a tightly contested encounter between these two sides fighting for Premier League survival, but Deulofeu has match-winner potential for this one.

Our final fantasy pick for gameweek 20 is also the biggest differential of the lot, at least in terms of overall ownership. Brighton’s Neal Maupay (£5.8m) has gone a bit under the radar this season, which is underlined by his current ownership of just 1.9%, but he is having a more than decent debut season amongst England’s footballing elite. The Frenchman has established himself as Graham Potter’s starting striker (but was benched against Spurs presumably to allow extra rest for the next match), which isn’t so strange if you consider the fact that he has already scored 7 goals for the Seagulls. His current total of 73 FPL points makes him the highest-scoring striker in the category up to £6.2m and what’s possibly even more telling is the fact that he is currently the fifth-highest-scoring striker in the category for strikers up to £8.7m. In other words, Maupay represents some serious value for money, and with games against Bournemouth (home), Chelsea (home) and Villa (away) up next he has the opportunity to improve his value further.

For further GW20 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

After Liverpool’s convincing win over Leicester at the King Power in gameweek 19 and their confidence-boosting victory against Flamengo at the World Cup for clubs last weekend, we’re placing the armband on Mo Salah‘s arm this weekend for the home game against Wolves. The Egyptian was subbed off in the 70th minute against the Foxes, just a few minutes before the Reds were given a penalty (which Salah would have probably taken), so we’re confident he will start this weekend. Eight of his 9 goals have come in front of the Liverpool fans this season, so Mo is probably one of the least risky captaincy picks for gameweek 20.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW20 also indicates Salah will be captain for many.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro Boxing Day weekly monster. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via their weekly FISO newsletter. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 19 Preview

“Boxing Day scenes all over football-loving England. Merry Christmas to everyone!” (CC by 2.0). Image by Gwen’s River City Images.

And after the season’s first blank gameweek, it’s now time for Boxing Day. From about noon to about midnight, the 26th is giving us almost twelve hours of non-stop post-Christmas Premier League bliss, with a single game (Wolves vs Manchester City) left for Friday evening, like a perfect dessert. Gameweek 18 was another one for the differentials and the non-premium (and sometimes even straight-out bargain) players. Willian (owned by 3.7% of Fantasy Premer League managers) took the spotlight with 2 goals and 3 bonus points for a total of 16 FPL points. The likes of Danny Ings (13 FPL points, 14.1 ownership), Ismaila Sarr (13 FPL points, 0.2% ownership) and goalie Dean Henderson (12 points, 9.1%) rewared their FPL forum owners handsomely as well.

On the other hand, and not for the first time this season, the majority of supposed premium assets and players in form disappointed FPL-wise. Aubameyang, Kane, Abraham, Alli and Rashford all blanked, just to name a few. The big fat cherry on top of this cake of disappointment was Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min though, who decided that becoming the most transferred-in FPL asset was a good moment to try to break Antonio Rüdiger’s rib and get shown a direct red. The South Korean with the friendly demeanour has actually become the fifth player in Premier League history to receive three red cards in one calendar year and the first one to do so since Lee Cattermole in 2010. This puts Son in a list with the previously mentioned Cattermole, Franck Queudrue, Dion Dublin and Vinnie Jones. Surprising? Actually, yes. Problematic? Well, it kind of looks like it. Something to think about? Definitely!

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 19 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Thursday, December 26th.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Kevin de Bruyne Leicester (H) 4
Premium Son Heung-Min Chelsea (H) -1
Non-premium Raul Jimenez Norwich (a) 7
Non-premium Jack Grealish Southampton (H) 8
Differential Richarlison Arsenal (H) 3
Differential Joao Moutinho Norwich (a) 4
Captain Raul Jimenez Norwich (a) 14

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per December 25th, 2019)

  TRANSFERS OUT TRANSFERS IN POSSIBLE REASONS
GK Ryan (Bri), Patricio (Wol), De Gea (Utd) Henderson (She), Guaita (Cry), Ramsdale (Bou) Ramsdale has been excellent value so far, while Henderson and Guaita are combining form and fixtures on the medium to longer term.
DEF Rico (Bou), Aké (Bou), Pereira (Lei) Baldock (She), Kelly (Cry), Lundstram (She) Aké is injured, Rico is suspended and Leicester have Liverpool up next, while both Sheffield United and Palace have been resilient and have a run of decent fixtures.
MID Son (Tot), McGinn (Ast), Pulisic (Che) De Bruyne (Cit), Grealish (Ast), Salah (Liv) Son is suspended for three games, Mcginn has fractured his ankle and Pulisic’s involvement has decreased of late, while De Bruyne, Grealish and Salah are displaying fine form.
FOR Rashford (Utd), Abraham (Che), Jimenez (Wol) Ings (Sou), Abraham (Che), Kane (Tot) Rashford has blanked twice in a row, while many managers are considering Chelsea’s home game versus Southampton in GW19, as well as Danny Ings’ form of a lifetime. Managers are clearly in two minds about Tammy Abraham!

Premium fantasy picks

Our first premium fantasy pick is really expensive and he hasn’t returned anything in the last two gameweeks. As a matter of fact, over the past five rounds, Harry Kane (£11.0m) only returned once, a 16-point haul in gameweek 16 at home to Burnley. We’re introducing Tottenham’s Very Own this way to illustrate that this is not a pick without risk, but one with big potential. First of all, because he is Harry Kane, and second of all, because Brighton are rolling up to the New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Seagulls have taken 8 points from 9 away games this season and they have conceded 15 goals during that run. Manager Graham Potter is working hard on his Brighton squad and he has definitely made improvements style-wise, but we feel that Spurs manager José Mourinho will consider this game the perfect opportunity for his team to redeem themselves on Boxing Day after a largely toothless loss against Chelsea last weekend. With Son out suspended, even more eyes than usual will be on Kane’s scoring prowess on Thursday.

The second premium pick for GW19 is Mr. Consistency Kevin de Bruyne (10.4m). The Belgian managed to grab an assist against Leicester last weekend, which was his sixth return in the last six weeks. Over that period, he scored 4 goals, provided 2 assists and brought his owners 44 points, or an average of 7.3 points per game. Speaking about his owners: his current overall ownership currently sits at 46.8%, but amongst the top-10k managers, he is in over 80% of the squads. Son’s idiotic red card last weekend has already led to KDB becoming the most transferred-in midfielder this week, which makes a lot of sense when considering his history this season, his current form and Man City’s upcoming run of fixtures (Wolves away, Sheffield United home, Everton home, Villa away, Palace home). Friday’s opponent Wolves have conceded at least once in their last five away games, a run that included games versus Norwich, Newcastle and Brighton. We wouldn’t be surprised to see De Bruyne being involved in the goal-scoring again in gameweek 19.

Non-premium fantasy picks

One of the reasons for Son’s popularity in the build-up to last week was his upcoming fixture schedule, starting with Chelsea at home (where he got his red card) and followed by Brighton at home, Norwich away and Southampton away. Son is no longer available for this run, but Tottenham’s Dele Alli (£8.9m) is and he could be a really good shout. The young Englishman has enjoyed life under José Mourinho so far, but the reality is also that he has now blanked two games in a row, first against Wolves away and then versus Chelsea at home. Between gameweeks 11 and 16 though, Alli scored 4 goals, provided 3 assists and recorded a total of 50 FPL points. As we stated earlier when discussing Kane’e potential as a premium fantasy pick, Thursday’s opponent Brighton are far from a force away from home. Son’s absence could and should increase Alli’s involvement in the final third, which should translate into more FPL points, preferably starting with Thursday game against the Seagulls.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 19 is both the third-most transferred-out striker and the second-most transferred-in striker at the moment. Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham (£7.9m) didn’t return anything for the 36.2% of FPL managers who own him last weekend against Spurs, but he did put in a very good shift. That could also explain the reason for the transfer activity surrounding Abraham. Those managers who only checked the FPL results probably transferred the English striker out as it was his third consecutive 2-pointer. Those managers who watched the Spurs game (and the games before that) though, will have been tempted to either stick with Abraham or even bring him in as the Blues are preparing to host a Southampton side on Thursday who have conceded 13 goals in 9 away games, and 37 goals in 18 games overall. Only 11 of Chelsea’s 33 goals have come in front of their own fans this season, so do keep this in mind, but we still find it hard to see Abraham not getting chances to improve on his goal and assist tallies (11 goals and 3 assists currently).

A differential fantasy pick or two

The first differential pick for GW19 is not a real differential in the strict sense that his ownership sits below 10% at the time of writing, but we really wanted to include him in this Boxing Day list of fantasy picks. Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish (£6.3m) has seen his ownership surge of late, thanks to his 3 goals, 1 assist and 31 FPL points over the past six games. That sets his average for that run of games at a more than decent 5.1 FPL points per game. He is Villa’s captain and creator-in-chief, with many of the set-piece duties in his pocket as well. The injury of John McGinn will only increase Grealish’ role as focal point for practically all of Villa’s offensive impulses, and we feel that his owners will benefit from that development in Villa’s next game at home against Norwich. As a matter of fact, we can see him being a reliable pick for some time to come, as just one of his next seven game is ranked higher than 3 on the official game’s Fixture Difficulty Rating system. This also explains why he is currently the second-most transferred-in midfielder, behind only the extraterrestrial Kevin de Bruyne.

Where Grealish is not such a differential any more after his recent excellent performances, Sheffield United’s John Fleck (£4.9m) still ticks all the boxes of a player with major differential potential. The midfielder was suspended for the gameweek 18 encounter with Brighton, but he is back for Thursday’s game versus Watford at home and we expect him to slot right back into the starting eleven. He already has 4 goals, an assist and 7 bonus points to his name, for a total of 59 FPL points from 15 games (he missed three games so far). For a player with his price tag, that’s outstanding. The fact that he is absolutely nailed-on as a starter who has just been rested (due to an accumulation of yellow cards) only makes him more attractive as a differential pick for gameweek 19.

For further GW19 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

Gameweek 19 is offering us a few very interesting encounters in which it’s not difficult to imagine certain FPL assets scoring high. Harry Kane, Dele Alli and even Lucas Moura come to mind as Spurs host Brighton on Thursday afternoon. Practically next door, Chelsea are welcoming Southampton to Stamford Bridge, which makes Tammy Abraham a prime candidate for the armband. An away game against Wolves is never an easy task, but City could convert it into three points, especially if the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and, of course, Kevin de Bruyne turn up. In other words, we’ve got some choice and we’ve gone with Harry Kane as our captain for GW19.

For those who are feeling particularly gutsy on Boxing Day, there are a few interesting options as well. What about Jack Grealish against Norwich, for example? Or Wilf Zaha at home versus West Ham? Richarlison against Burnley at Goodison Park for Carlo Ancelotti’s first game in charge could also see you climb the rankings. Finally, we feel anything can happen in the Leicester-Liverpool game, including big hauls for the likes of Vardy, Mané, or Salah.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW19 has very much a mixed bag with Abraham, Rashford & Kane the main contendors.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro Boxing Day weekly monster. FISO members could win free ‘Weekly Monster’ entries (worth 20 euros) via their weekly FISO newsletter. FanTeam are running two 3,000 euro Free Rolls for Boxing Day! There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks and a free chance to win an entry into a comp over two gameweeks where the top prize is a guaranteed 30,000 euros.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 18 Preview

“Gameweek 18 is offering a few top encounters, including the London derby between Spurs and Chelsea at the New Tottenham Hotspur Stadium” (CC by 2.0). Image by Mat Simpson.

After a pretty high-scoring gameweek 17, with an average of 51 points, and a Kevin de Bruyne reminder of why he is always a candidate for a haul, we’ve now come to the first blank gameweek of the 2019-2020 Fantasy Premier League campaign. The Premier League gods ended up giving us a round in which the League leaders and best team at the moment, Liverpool, miss out, while on the fixture front, current 2nd place Leicester are visiting current 3rd Manchester City, current 4th Chelsea are visiting current 5th Spurs, and Manchester United are going to Vicarage Road in the knowledge that breaking down smaller teams who lie deep tend to cause them trouble. In other words, gameweek 18 is going to require some navigation for our FPL forum managers.

Despite the fact that many active FPL managers have already used one or more chips and/or their first wildcard during the topsy-turvy start of this season, we expect quite some activity surrounding these tools this weekend. Besides that, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a surge in the number of transfer hits taken overall. It looks like all the ingredients are there for another rollercoaster ride of a gameweek.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 18 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Saturday, December 21st.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Jamie Vardy Norwich (a) 5
Premium Sadio Mané Watford (H) 6
Non-premium Mason Mount Bournemouth (H) 2
Non-premium James Maddison Norwich (a) 2
Differential Danny Ings West Ham (H) 2
Differential Jonjo Shelvey Burnley (a) 0 (injury)
Captain Jamie Vardy Norwich (a) 10

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per December 19th, 2019)

  TRANSFERS OUT TRANSFERS IN POSSIBLE REASONS
GK Schmeichel (Lei), Ederson (Cit), Patricio (Wol) Ramsdale (Bou), Guaita (Cry), Henderson (She) More expensive goalies from bigger teams traded in for cheaper goalies from smaller teams who have shown defensive solidity recently.
DEF Aké (Bou), Robertson (Live), Alexander-Arnold (Liv) Baldock (She), Lundstram (She), Kelly (Cry) Liverpool’s blank in GW18 and Aké’s injury, in combination with relatively kind fixtures for defensively solid Sheffield United and Palace
MID Mané (Liv), Mount (Che), Pulisic (Che) De Bruyne (Cit), Grealish (Ast), Son (Tot) Liverpool’s blank in GW18, and Chelsea’s decreased overall form and results
FOR Abraham (Che), Firmino (Liv), Aubameyang (Ars) Rashford (Utd), Vardy (Lei), Ings (Sou) Liverpool’s blank in GW18, and Chelsea’s decreased overall form and results, plus managers freeing up funds to redistribute during the Christmas period and adapt to the fixture calendar.

Premium fantasy picks

Premium pick number one for gameweek 18 is Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne (£10.3m). After a 19-point haul against Arsenal last weekend, some might call it logical, some might call it wise, some might call it knee-jerking. However, whatever you want to call it, the reality is that he is one of the very best players English football has seen in the past decade at least and that he hasn’t been mentioned as a premium pick by us in a while (although we did recommend captaining him earlier on this month). The Belgian midfielder already has 6 goals and 11 assists resulting in 116 FPL points, a tally only surpassed by Jamie Vardy’s 133 points. Over his past five games, KDB has scored 4 goals, provided 1 assist and racked up 40 FPL points in the process. That run consisted of Chelsea and United at home, and Newcastle, Burnley and Arsenal away. Until the last couple of games, City were not in the best form at the moment and next up are Leicester at the Etihad followed by Wolves at Molineux. Still, keeping in mind the congested Christmas schedule, De Bruyne’s key role in Guardiola’s team and his ability to get directly involved in goal-scoring against any opponent and at any time, we see few more promising premium assets for the upcoming gameweeks.

One of those premiums up there with KDB is Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min (£10.1). After a quiet start to the season where he produced just a single assist in the first four gameweeks, the South Korean forward has added 5 goals and 9 assists to his name. Since José Mourinho was appointed as the new Spurs manager in the build-up to gameweek 13, Son has brought his owners a sensational 39 FPL points, courtesy of 2 goals and 4 assists in those five games. Also, only Salah and De Bruyne had more shots on goal than Son’s 8 over the past six gameweeks, while no other player in the league created more than the South Korean’s six big chances over that same period. As you would expect, Son is a nailed-on starter on the left wing for Mourinho and we can definitely see him improving his tallies over the coming run of games. During the tricky gameweeks 18 and 19, Spurs are facing Chelsea and Brighton at home, who have conceded 17 and 15 goals in eight away games respectively. After that, Son and his team mates are rolling up to Norwich and Southampton. He could well develop into one of the most wanted FPL assets over the coming weeks (current ownership: 22%).

Non-premium fantasy picks

On paper, this weekend’s encounter between Norwich and Wolves at Carrow Road is one of the most interesting fixtures from an FPL point of view. To put it very simply, that’s because the Canaries have already conceded a worrying 20 goals in eight home games, while Wolves have scored 11 goals in eight away games on their way to mounting another serious challenge for a spot in the top seven. As a result, our first non-premium fantasy pick for this round is Wolves striker Raul Jimenez (£7.5m). The Mexican is an essential cog in manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s machine and the team’s principal focal point in attack. He has not been spectacular in terms of FPL recently, but he has been offering a consistency of returns over the past months that few other players offer in the official game. In his last ten Premier League games, there have been only two occasions on which he did not record an attacking return, namely in gameweek 10 at Newcastle and in gameweek 15 versus West Ham at Molineux. In the other eight games, Jimenez returned either a single goal or a single assist, apart from the game in gameweek 8, when he provided 2 assists for Traoré against City. As a result of this consistency, the Wolves striker has brought his owners 61 FPL points, an average of 6.1 points per game. For a striker with his price tag, that’s very decent and we find it hard to imagine that he will not continue to display his extended fine form against Norwich on Saturday afternoon.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for coming weekend missed a penalty in gameweek 17, but we’re not worried. On the contrary, we’re quite optimistic about his chances of becoming a stand-out player in the FPL universe on the short term. Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish (£6.2m) hit the crossbar with a well-taken spot kick, but only one player on the pitch (Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick) matched his 3 shots in the box. Over the past five games, in which Grealish completed the 90 minutes each time, he has scored 2 goals, provided 1 assist and recorded 23 FPL points for an average of just under 5 points per game. That’s not bad for a player with his price tag. To add to that, the young Englishman also had the third-most shots in the box (12) out of all midfielders in the game over that period, while in total, only five players recorded more than his 12 attempted assists. Up next are Norwich (home), Southampton (home) and Watford (away), exactly the three teams currently positioned below the Villans in the table. In combination with his ownership of 9.6%, this could make Grealish a serious differential pick.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Talking about differentials, what about Everton’s Richarlison (£7.9m)? The Toffees have been criticise a lot this season and with good reason, but meanwhile, their Brazilian star still established himself amongst the eight highest-scoring midfielders in the official game. Thanks to 6 goals, 3 assists and 7 bonus points, he currently sits at 79 FPL points, just 11 behind Son and 12 behind Sterling. It’s also worth mentioning that his 9 direct involvements account for 45% of all Everton goals so far this season. In other words, Richarlison is Everton’s major threat up front. Over the past six weeks, the Brazilian has scored 4 goals and amassed a very nice 33 FPL points in the process. What’s more, over that same period, only Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic and Man City’s Raheem Sterling managed to equal Richarlison’s 5 big chances. In Arsenal and Burnley, who are visiting Goodison Park in GW18 and GW19 respectively, the Toffees are facing two defences that can get leaky on the road. The Gunners have so far conceded 12 goals in eight away games, while the Clarets conceded 16 in eight away games. True, Everton are far from a free-scoring goal machine, but Richarlison (current ownership: 8.1%) should get a return or two on the very short term.

The second differential pick and the final fantasy for gameweek 18 is a second Wolf, after Raul Jimenez, namely playmaker Joao Moutinho (£5.4m). Like the case for his team mate, Moutinho got onto our radar for this weekend, thanks to Wolves having displayed good form recently and the opposition (Norwich) boasting the league’s worst defence (if we disregard Southampton’s freaky 0-9 demolition at the hand of Leicester). The Portuguese midfielder’s single goal and 4 assists indicate that he is not the most prolific provider of attacking returns in the official game, but he does offer considerable potential. There are, for example, only five players in the Premier League who have created more chances from set-pieces than Moutinho (19), which explains why he is the set-piece man at Wolves. At the same time, Norwich have conceded more chances from set-pieces than any other team in the league this season. At a price of just £5.4m and with a current ownership of 5.7m, Moutinho represents an interesting differential pick for the upcoming weekend.

For further GW18 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy

As we wrote earlier, the captaincy choice is not easy this weekend as form and fixtures are not really lining up for a lot of teams. There are Spurs at home to Chelsea, where the likes of Son, Kane, Alli, or even Abraham could get on the score sheet. A day earlier, in-form Leicester are visiting the Etihad to face a Man City side that is currently four points behind the Foxes in the table. Just on the basis of recent past performances, Jamie Vardy enters the equation here as candidate for the armband. For the home team, Kevin de Bruyne stands out after his Player-of-the-Week performance last weekend, while the likes of Sterling and Jesus will also be looking to score in front of their own fans. We have gone with Raul Jimenez though, whose Wolves are visiting an extremely leaky Norwich side on Saturday.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW18 has very much a mixed bag with Rashford currently leading the way from Son, KDB and Kane.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro weekly monster. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. There’s also a free chance to win an entry into a comp over two gameweeks where the top prize is a guaranteed 30,000 euros.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 17 Preview

“How is Freddie Ljungberg’s Arsenal going to fare against Guardiola’s City at the Emirates on Sunday?” (CC by 2.0 ). Image by Gavin Murdock

After a whopping 30 games in just ten days, gameweek 17 offers us a full week to plan and prepare. With three of the current top-4 playing at home against teams that are currently in the bottom-6 of the league, we might see the Fantasy Premier League template score big this week. The likes of Abraham, Pulisic, Vardy, Maddison, Pereira, Mané, Salah and Alexander-Arnold are all clear favourites to win their respective games, and to bring great fortune to the FPL forum managers that own them.

The game of the weekend will probably be the Sunday afternoon clash between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates, though. The Cityzens seem to have already lost the league now that Liverpool are 14 points ahead but they won’t be giving up. The Gunners, on the other hand, just booked their first victory under caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg against West Ham last weekend, which was also the first victory for the club after a run of nine matches without a win. The home game versus the reigning champions will be a good benchmark to see to what extent Arsenal have changed or improved since the dismissal of Unai Emery.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 17 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Saturday, December 14th.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Jamie Vardy Aston Villa (a) 13
Premium Kevin de Bruyne Man United (H) 1
Non-premium Dele Alli Burnley (H) 9
Non-premium Tammy Abraham Everton (a) 2
Differential Gabriel Jesus Man United (H) 2
Differential James Ward-Prowse Newcastle (a) 1
Captain Kevin de Bruyne Man United (H) 2

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per December 12th, 2019)

  TRANSFERS OUT TRANSFERS IN INFO
GK Ederson (MC), Patricio (Wol), Pope (Bur) Guaita (Cry), Schmeichel (Lei), Martin (Whu)  
DEF Van Aanholt (Cry), Tomori (Che), Aké (Bou) Kelly (Lei), Baldock (She), Evans (Lei) Injuries are a big reason for the transfers out
MID De Bruyne (MC), Sterling (MC), Pulisic (Che) Son (Tot), Alli (Tot), Maddison (Lei) Spurs & Leicester form & lack of points for high value MC players
FOR Jimenez (Wol), Aubameyang (Ars), Pukki (Nor) Rashford (Utd), Abraham (Che), Vardy (Lei) The trend for GW17 follows form and fixtures

Premium fantasy picks

Another week, another goal for Jamie Vardy (£10.1m). Or better said, another two goals for Jamie Vardy to bring his current total for the season to 16 goals in the Premier League. The Leicester striker has now scored in eight consecutive games, a stretch during which he scored 11 goals, provided 3 assists, won 14 bonus points and racked up a sweet total of 82 FPL points. With Norwich at the King Power up next, Vardy has a good chance of extending his current run to nine consecutive games in which he scored at least one goal. What’s more, he will very likely be the most popular option for the captaincy this weekend, but more on that later. For now, just be aware of the fact that Norwich have already shipped 34 goals in 16 games, and 14 of those goals were conceded in 8 away games. Leicester, on the other hand, are in outstanding form and have scored 18 goals in 8 home games so far. On paper, this looks like one of Leicester’s stand-out fixtures of the season.

While 2nd place Leicester face 19th placed Norwich at home on Saturday, current leaders Liverpool are hosting the league’s bottom club Watford at Anfield just a few hours earlier. Sadio Mané (£12.3m) put in a man-of-the-match performance in the Champions League versus Salzburg on Tuesday night after being rested in the Premier League last weekend. We expect him to be back in the starting lineup again this Saturday and we couldn’t have wished for a more favourable opponent for the occasion. Liverpool are playing against Watford at Anfield, where the Reds have yet to lose a PL game this season, and where they scored 24 goals in just eight encounters. Watford, on the other hand, are going through a horrid season that could very well end with relegation if the Hornets don’t turn things around soon. They have taken just 5 points from eight away games so far, a run over which they conceded 17 goals. Like for the Leicester-Norwich game, everything in this game is pointing towards a high-scoring win for Mané and his team mates.

Non-premium fantasy picks

Our first non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 17 is Chelsea’s Mason Mount (£6.6m). The young English attacking midfielder saw his stock rise quickly after his consecutive goals in gameweeks 2 and 3, but just a single goal and a single assist in the last eight Premier League games made plenty of managers move him out in favour of Leicester’s Maddison or other similarly priced midfielders. Those who kept the faith were rewarded though, as Mount turned up with a goal at home to Villa in gameweek 15. For this week’s Champions League encounter with Lille, he only came on in the 82nd minute to replace Kovacic. This makes us confident in believing that Mount will start against Bournemouth this Saturday. The Cherries have lost their five last Premier League games and no other team in the league conceded more goals than them over that period (11). With Steve Cook, Adam Smith and most likely Nathan Aké out injured for the encounter, it’s not too hard to imagine a scenario in which Chelsea run riot this weekend, with Mount at the centre of it.

For our second non-premium fantasy pick of the week, form and fixture are colliding in such a way that we can’t ignore it. Leicester’s James Maddison (7.7m) started the season relatively slow, with just a goal and 2 assists in his first seven games of the season. Since gameweek 8 though, the English playmaker has improved considerably on those numbers, with 4 goals and 3 assists. What’s even more relevant, is that in the last two Premier League, Maddison brought his owners an impressive 19 FPL points, courtesy of a goal in gameweek 15 against Watford and a brace of assists against Villa last weekend. This Saturday, one of the league’s leakiest defences is visiting the King Power Stadium when Norwich come to face the Foxes. A total of 14 goals conceded in eight games does not bode well for the Canaries, but Vardy, Maddison and the other Foxes will be licking their lips in anticipation.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Last week’s recommendation of James Ward-Prowse as a differential against Newcastle at Saint James’ Park didn’t work out the way we hoped as the Magpies snapped up a 2-1 victory, but the Saints remain in thoughts. This weekend, they are hosting an out-of-sorts West Ham side that has booked only a single victory in the last ten gameweeks. The Hammers have conceded 11 goals in 8 away games, and five of those goals came in the past three gameweeks. For Southampton, Danny Ings (£6.3m) has been the man on fire recently. The Saints striker has hit the target in five consecutive games now, which has earned his owners a fantastic 39 FPL points over that period. In total, Ings has already bagged 9 goals this season and he has also 1 assist to his name. For the upcoming game against West Ham on Saturday evening, all eyes will be on him to lead the Saints out of the relegation zone.

Our second differential pick and final fantasy pick of the week plays for a team that has scored just 17 goals in 16 Premier League games so far, but hear us out. When Rafa Benitez was replaced by Steve Bruce before the 2019-2020 campaign started, many people placed Newcastle amongst their three most likely candidates for relegation. Sixteen games into the season though, and the Magpies are in 11th, a solid seven points above the drop zone. One of the pillars of Bruce’s Newcastle is midfielder Jonjo Shelvey (£5.1m), who seems to have been dealt a more offensive role by his new manager. As a result, the ex-Liverpool man has already scored 5 goals this season, three of which came in his past three games (1 goal a piece against City, Sheffield United and Southampton). His low price tag and Newcastle’s relatively decent run of fixtures over the coming weeks (Burnley away, Palace home, United away, Everton home) make Shelvey a pretty decent candidate for the slot of fifth or even fourth midfielder in your FPL squad.

For further GW17 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

The captaincy.

We touched on the subject of the captaincy earlier, because with the Liverpool, Leicester and Chelsea all playing at home against weaker opposition, gameweek 17 is offering us plenty of options for the armband. The stand-out names are Liverpool’s Mané and Salah against Watford, Jamie Vardy versus Norwich, and Tammy Abraham as he faces Bournemouth. Both Mané (who was rested last weekend) and Salah played mid-week with the latter deciding the match against Salzburg, and Abraham played Champions League against Lille on Tuesday, while Vardy will have had a week to recuperate from his brace in gameweek 16 and prepare for the Norwich game. In the end, it was between Vardy and Mané for us, and we’ve gone with the former.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW17 has Vardy once again leading the way with well over 50% of the votes (unlike any of the UK’s political parties).

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro weekly monster. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. There’s also a free chance to win an entry into a comp over two gameweeks where the top prize is a guaranteed 30,000 euros.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 16 Preview

“Gameweek 16’s game of the week is taking place at the Etihad, where City are welcoming United on Saturday evening” (CC by 2.0). Image by Riik@mctr.

Alright, first things first. To those who followed our very well-meant, but ultimately unfortunate, back-to-back recommendations of Aubameyang as a preferred premium: we’ve learned our lesson (again). Stay away from Arsenal assets (again). The club seems in serious disarray at various levels and yesterday’s home loss against Brighton did not do much to help us believe that’s going to change any time soon, so that’s our first decision for gameweek 16.

After a relatively high-scoring gameweek 15, the next round of fixtures is already upon us, just 24 hours after the Arsenal game ended. From an Fantasy Premier League perspective, there are a few interesting games, such as Burnley’s visit to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the clash at Goodison Park between Chelsea and an Everton side currently in the relegation zone, and current leaders Liverpool taking on Bournemouth on the south coast. From a general perspective, and possibly an FPL perspective if the visitors decide to have another off-day, it’s the Manchester Derby between City and United at the Etihad that stands out. With a majority of the clubs in the top-half of the table playing an away game this weekend, it looks like it’s going to be another interesting and hopefully not too upsetting affair.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for gameweek 16 is set at 11h30 (GMT+0) on Saturday, December 7th.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium P-E Aubameyang Brighton (H) 2
Premium Jamie Vardy Watford (H) 5
Non-premium Raul Jimenez West Ham (H) 2
Non-premium John Lundstram Newcastle (H) 1
Differential James Ward-Prowse Norwich (H) 5
Differential Willian Aston Villa (H) 2
Captain P-E Aubameyang Brighton (H) 4

Premium fantasy picks

Last night, Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) became the third player this season to see his price rise by at least a million, after it happened to John Lundstram and Tammy Abraham a few weeks back. The Leicester forward was already a very premium pick as far as his performances and FPL points total went, but by breaking the 10m barrier, he has also joined the elite price-wise. In the middle of a busy week and a busy month, the certainty of Vardy starting up front for the in-form Foxes can be more than valuable in FPL. It can be decisive. The English striker is playing Villa away this weekend before his team are hosting Norwich in gameweek 17. With Vardy currently being the most-owned player in the official game (selected by almost 50% of teams), you can expect his involvement to be huge over the coming weeks. In gameweek 15, he became the first player in FPL history to be captained by more than two million people and he could well break that record again this weekend or the next. That’s what scoring in seven consecutive games (9 goals, 3 assists, 69 FPL points) gets you (Vardy’s record is 11 successive games so he may not be finished just yet). There are alternatives to the man in form, but if you do choose to keep going without Vardy, your alternative choice better be have a good day.

With most of the official game’s premium fantasy picks playing away games this weekend, we have gone with one of the few who have a home game coming up. True, for Kevin de Bruyne (£10.2m), that home game is a Manchester Derby at the Etihad, but that doesn’t mean he’s not an interesting prospect. First of all, he is starting against United (right, Pep…?!). Second of all, with 2 goals and 20 FPL points from his last three games, he’s in decent form. Third of all, Man United have played 7 away games so far and from that stretch they have taken just 6 points (only six teams performed worse in away games, surprisingly including Arsenal, Spurs and Everton). Fourth of all, in those seven away games, the Red Devils have scored just 8 goals, while conceding 10. In other words, despite Marcus Rashford’s great form, recent performances point at a Man City victory in this derby. The hope is that Kevin de Bruyne is going to be the one orchestrating that victory.

Non-premium fantasy picks

When Jamies Vardy is in title-winning form and you, as a mid-priced FPL asset, outscore him over the last three gameweeks, then you’re going to end up in this list. Tottenham’s Dele Alli (£8.6m) has been sensational of late, scoring 3 goals and providing 1 assist for 29 FPL points over that period. Next up is a Burnley side that are having a decent season, but got outplayed losing 4-1 on their own pitch to Man City in gameweek 15 (and alos lost at home 2-0 to Palace in GW14). The Clarets roll up to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium having conceded 11 goals in 7 away games, while the home team has managed to put 14 in the net in 7 home games. Sean Dyche’s men are no push-overs and we’re more than sure that José Mourinho is aware of this, but we are seeing a Spurs victory here, and a good chance on attacking returns for their shadow striker, Dele Alli, who’s clearly enjoying playing in an advanced role (at times well in front of Kane!).

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for gameweek 16 is the man who has been on the mind of millions of FPL managers over the past two gameweeks or so. Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham (£7.9m) missed gameweek 14 due to injury and despite the club, the manager and Tammy himself stating that he was very likely to return to action soon, he was transferred out by so many impatient FPL managers that his price dipped below £8.0m again, but it were the patient managers who were rewarded. Abraham returned in full force last gameweek, scoring a goal and assisting another against Villa at Stamford Bridge, and brought his owners 12 FPL points. This coming Saturday, Chelsea are visiting a struggling Everton side that has taken just 10 points from 7 home games. The Toffees conceded 10 goals over that stretch, while the Blues’ 19 goals scored in 7 away games show that Lampard’s men are more than comfortable netting away from their own ground. It’s not that Everton don’t have quality players, because they do, but their current form has seen them drop into the relegation zone and Abraham might well be the one to make things worse for them this weekend. Do bear in mind that Abraham limped off late on against Villa in GW15 so is a slight injury doubt for GW16.

A differential fantasy pick or two

Our first differential pick is one for the short to medium term, but one that could pay off big over that period. Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero is expected to be unavailable through injury for at least another two weeks, Gabriel Jesus (£9.6m) seems to be assured of starting spots and playing minutes for the Cityzens. While his first game after Aguero’s injury was disappointing, at least in terms of FPL returns, his second game last round resulted in 2 goals and a wonderful 13-point haul. He played the full 90 minutes in that game at Turf Moor, and we see no reason why that shouldn’t be the case for the upcoming games against Man United (home) and Arsenal (away). It’s true that these are, on paper at least, difficult fixtures, but the Red Devils and the Gunners are not in impressive form, and that’s a bit of an understatement. We can easily see City put a few past each of them, and when they do, chances are high that the 3.4% of FPL managers who currently own Gabriel Jesus will be very happy. Man City dominated their match at Burnley in GW15 and with that much possession and control of the ball it’s likely Jesus will see some chances come his way.

The second differential pick for gameweek 16 is Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m). This is, in essence, another pick for the short to medium term, considering that the Saints are facing Newcastle away this weekend, followed by West Ham at Saint Mary’s and Aston Villa at Villa Park. Saints striker Danny Ings has been taking up most of the spotlight of late, which is logical considering he has scored a goal in four consecutive Premier League games now (and picked up more than one 3 point bonus), but JWP has been just as instrumental for his side. He is their main creator, which is why he is also on most set-pieces, including penalties. The Saints are finding a bit of form, illustrated by a draw at Arsenal and two home victories in the last three PL games. Newcastle at Saint James’ Park are no walk-over (6 goals conceded in 7 home games), while West Ham have conceded 11 in eight away games and Villa 7 in seven home games. JWP and co have their work cut out for them, but that doesn’t mean that the playmaker is not an outstanding option as a fifth or even a fourth midfielder in your squad for the weeks to come.

For further GW16 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

Looking at the latest FPL GW Transfers In/out Stats:

Attackers – Managers are mainly selling Jimenez (150,000 sold), Aubameyang, Kane & Aguero (injured) to fund the buying of Abraham (225,000 buys but did limp off at near the end of the match against Villa), Rashford, Vardy (ownership now 48%), and Ings (8%).

Midfielders – Martial & Sterling are the big sellers (about 125,000 each) followed by Salah, Pulisic and KDB (!) and the money instead is being used on buying Alli (235,000 buys), Mane, Son, Maddison & Zaha.

Defenders – Chilwell (injury doubt), PVA (injury), Digne, Robertson & Tomori are being sold (but lowish numbers) with the proceeds then spent on the cheap (£4.1m) Kelly, Soyuncu, Pereira, Aurier, Dunk & TAA.

Goalkeepers – Ederson tops the sold list next to Pope. Schmeichel & Ryan top the most bought.

The captaincy

With so many of gameweek 16’s “favourites” playing away from home, picking a captain wasn’t easy. Eventually we went with Kevin de Bruyne, who seems to be combining good form with a winnable (but still derby) game at home this weekend. Tottenham stars like Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli are high up the list as well, seeing as they are playing a home game against Burnley that they are expected to win comfortably.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW16 has Vardy leading the way but this gameweek there are other good options.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro weekly monster. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. There’s also a free chance to win an entry into a comp over two gameweeks where the top prize is a guaranteed 30,000 euros.

FPL Season 2019/2020 – Gameweek 15 Preview

“Is Jamie Vardy making it 7 Premier League games with at least one goal in a row in gameweek 15?”
(CC by 4.0). Image by Sisto Micheli.

With gameweek 14 behind us, we have now officially entered FPL’s December period, one of the season’s busiest periods as Premier League games come flying in thick and fast now. Including gameweek 14, England’s elite clubs are turning up no less than seven times before the 1st of January, 2020, and that’s not including cup games and European football. Just take this week: by the end of it, we will have two more gameweeks behind us. As if the season wasn’t unpredictable enough yet, squad depth and good planning are going to be especially important keywords for Fantasy Premier League managers over the coming weeks. In that light, also check out our lineup prediction articles in the build-up to each gameweek.

Ine gameweek 15, we see Manchester City visit Burnley, Chelsea host new boys Aston Villa, and, of course, José Mourinho’s Spurs roll up to Old Trafford (will he know which dug-out to sit in?), just to name a few games. Oh, and there is a Merseyside Derby at 20h15 (GMT+0) on Wednesday night. Plenty to look forward to, so here are our fantasy picks for gameweek 15.

Finally, don’t forget that the deadline for FPL gameweek 15 is set at 18h30 (GMT+0) on Tuesday, December 3rd.

How did our fantasy picks for the previous gameweek fare?

PICK PLAYER OPPONENT POINTS
Premium Jamie Vardy Everton (H) 6
Premium P-E Aubameyang Norwich (a) 13
Non-premium Marcus Rashford Aston Villa (H) 5
Non-premium Tammy Abraham West Ham (H) 0 (injured)
Differential Danny Ings Watford (H) 9
Differential Dwight McNeil Crystal Palace (H) 1
Captain P-E Aubameyang Norwich (a) 26

Premium picks

If you read our preview for gameweek 14, you might remember that one of our two premium fantasy picks for that round was Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m), for whom the Away game against Norwich was the very last chance he got from us to show that he is still worth consideration as a premium asset. Well, a brace and 13 FPL points later we can say that the Gunners striker took that chance and with Brighton at the Emirates up next, he’s faced with the perfect opportunity to really put himself back into the fold. Only Norwich have fared worse than Brighton in Away games this season, as the Seagulls have just taken four points from seven games away from Home. Over that run, they conceded 13 goals, which equals to an average of just under two goals per game. Aubameyang, on the other hand, seems to have found back some of his earlier-season form with 3 goals and an assist in the last four gameweeks. Despite Arsenal’s issues, the Gabonese forward has still manage to score 10 goals and provide 2 assists for a total of 87 FPL points. With Brighton up next and West Ham away next, we can see him building on those tallies in the very near future.

They say the sweet spot for FPL player picks is located right there where form meets fixtures. That’s why we can’t ignore Jamie Vardy (£9.9m) for the third time in the last four gameweeks. The Leicester forward has scored an incredible 11 goals in his last eight Premier League games, a run that includes at least one goal in each of the last six games. He was the first player to reach 100 FPL points this season last weekend and he’s currently still the only player to have crossed that milestone. As a result of all this, Vardy has also become the most-owned player in the official game (ownership of 46%). With the rest of the Foxes, he is welcoming bottom-of-the-table Watford to the King Power on Wednesday. The Hornets have fired manager Sanchez Flores last weekend after just three months in charge, so it remains to be seen how they turn up against Leicester, both tactically and mentally, but what’s certain is that Vardy will most likely be causing them all kinds problems. Only Newcastle have conceded more goals in away games (16) than Watford’s 15 in seven games, so don’t be surprised if the English attacker makes it seven FPL returns in a row.

Non-premium picks

After four gameweeks with consecutive returns and with a home game against West Ham coming up next, this feels like as good a time as any to recommend Raul Jimenez (£7.7m). The Mexican striker has scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist in his last four Premier League games for Wolves, helping him to a current FPL points total of 73. As a matter of fact, when looking back further, Jimenez has returned 4 goals and 3 assists over the last seven games, and he returned 49 FPL points in that time. The only forward to do better over that same period is Leicester’s Jamie Vardy. We will see soon enough if West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has found a permanent solution to his team’s troubles or if the 0-1 victory over Chelsea last Saturday was just an accident, but Wolves will be hoping to meet the Hammers side that lost 2-3 at home to goal-shy Newcastle in gameweek 12, lost 3-0 at Turf Moor in gameweek 13 and lost 2-3 at home to Spurs last weekend. We’re betting on Jimenez making it five consecutive gameweeks with attacking returns in gameweek 15.

The second non-premium fantasy pick for this week is a defender, but not really. John Lundstram (£5.0m) is not a defender, but a box-to-box midfielder with scoring abilities in the form of his life who was classified as a defender by FPL at the start of the 2019-20 campaign. And not just any defender, but the cheapest possible kind, with a starting price tag of £4.0m. Oh, if they had only known… The highest-scoring defender in the official game after 14 gameweeks (Lundstram that is, tied with Ricardo Pereira at 75 FPL points) is facing Newcastle at home in gameweek 15 and returns at both sides of the pitch could be on the cards. No team in the entire league has conceded more goals in away matches than the Magpies (16 in 7 games), while they netted only six times in those games. Only Norwich (3) and Watford (5) have scored less away goals. Sheffield United is not the most prolific team in front of goal either (9 goals in 7 home games), but their 7 conceded goals in seven games do not bode well for Newcastle. We count on a Sheffield United clean sheet and at least a few chances for Lundstram to get some attacking returns. Lundstrum is the 2nd most owned player in FPL just behind Vardy at 45.6%.

A differential pick or two

Our first differential fantasy pick for gameweek 15 is Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse (£5.8m). The young Englishman’s form has been picking up considerably over the past four gameweeks, considering the three goals he scored over that period. His season tallies now stand at 4 goals and no assists, which is a  bit odd considering the fact that JWP is in charge of most set-pieces for the Saints. He hasn’t missed a single minute of Premier League football yet this season and Southampton have one of the kinder fixture schedules out of all clubs for this December month. After Norwich at Saint Mary’s this Wednesday, they are facing Newcastle (away), West Ham home) and Aston Villa (away) before the fixtures turn more difficult. Southampton have so far taken just four points from seven home games and scored just 7 goals during that run, while the Canaries have taken 7 points from seven away games, a run over which they conceded a worrying 18 goals. This bottom-of-the-table clash could go anywhere, but don’t be surprised if JWP finds some FPL returns for the 1.8% of FPL managers who own him in the process.

Our second differential pick and final fantasy pick overall is Chelsea’s Willian (£7.1m). The Blues suffered a disheartening home defeat against West Ham in gameweek 14, but their 66% of possession and 19 attempts on goal (6 of which hit the target) should give them something to hold onto. Last weekend, Willian was somewhat surprisingly omitted from the starting eleven for a Premier League game for the first time since gameweek 5. This probably has to do with the cramped upcoming schedule and the availability of other players who deserve playing time, so we expect the Brazilian winger to return against Aston Villa this Wednesday. His 2 goals and 3 assists are somewhat underwhelming for Willian, but so is his current ownership (2.9%), especially when considering he is a starter and a principal set-piece taker for a team that knows how to find the goal. The likes of Mount, Abraham and Pulisic have overshadowed the Brazilian so far, and perhaps deservedly so when looking at their current tallies, making him a differential to seriously consider against Villa.

For further GW15 transfer ideas look at this fiso FPL forum topic.

Looking at the latest FPL GW Transfers In/out Stats:

Attackers – Managers are mainly selling Abraham (325,000 sold but he could play in GW15) & Aguero (injured) and buying Jimenez ( ownership now 23%), Mousset (5.5%), Vardy (46%), and Ings (8%).

Midfielders – Mount is the big seller then Martial, James & Salah and the money instead is being used on buying Alli (only 3.6% ownership), Zaha, Son, Cantwell & KDB.

Defenders – Digne, AWB & Pieters are being sold (but low numbers) with the proceeds then spent on Lundstram, Soyuncu, TAA & VVD (who had been sold a lot recently).

Goalkeepers – After his red card, Alisson tops the sold list (but it’s just a 1 game ban) next to Pope. Henderson & Schmeichel top the most bought.

The captaincy

After his brace at Carrow Road, which followed his assist in gameweek 13 and his goal in gameweek 11, we feel Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be a good option for the captain’s armband. With Arsenal being who they are, the result against Southampton at the Emirates is far from certain, but PEA seems to be on the way back to some good form again. A third return in three gameweeks could well be on the way for the differential pick amongst the premium assets in FPL.

The FISO Forum Captain poll for GW15 puts the armband firmly on Vardy.

Finally if you like FPL but want to have a go at a weekly Fantasy Premier League type competition for prizes then have a look at FanTeam’s 50,000 euro weekly monster. There are freerolls for new entrants if registered within the last 8 weeks. There’s also a free chance to win an entry into a comp over two gameweeks where the top prize is a guaranteed 30,000 euros.