FanTeam 2020-21: €75k Weekly Monster – Gameweek 26 preview

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€75k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €7,500 (or £6,750 if you prefer). FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Gameweek 26 €75K Weekly Monster matches

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 26

Formation: 3-4-3

LEICESTER

The Foxes have entered what looks like another purple patch with three victories in their last four Premier League games, a run that included a home game against Liverpool, and away games against Wolves and Aston Villa. They currently share second place in the league with Manchester United and they have got a major clash with Arsenal at the King Power coming up. The Gunners are not going through their best period at the moment with just a single victory in their last five league games, a run over which they conceded 6 goals. It could very well become a tightly contested encounter on Sunday, but we’re favouring the Foxes to get something out of it, which explains our triple-up.

In the attacking department, we have picked Harvey Barnes, who is listed as a midfielder on FanTeam, and the undeniable Jamie Vardy. The former has been on fire of late with 2 goals and 2 assists in his last two games against Liverpool and Villa, while Vardy is Vardy. When he plays, he’s dangerous, and when he’s dangerous, he’s very likely to return. It’s that simple. The former England international scored a goal and provided an assist in his last two games, and his record against Arsenal is something to behold: 12 games, 11 goals and 1 assist. He is also our captain for this round.

Our third Fox is fantasy favourite Ricardo Pereira, who has finally left his serious injury struggles behind him and seems to be part of Brendan Rodger’s plans going forward. He has started the last five Premier League games for Leicester and often occupied a spot on the right wing, in front of Timothy Castagne. After the win at Villa Park last weekend, Rodgers had the following to say about his plans with Ricardo in attack: “It’s been something I’ve been waiting to do for quite a long time, but this is the first period where both of those boys (Castagne and Pereira) were fit to play. Castagne will run more without the balland penetrate, and Pereira’s the one who can be inside and manipulate the ball.”. The Portuguese defender/winger therefore completes our Leicester trio.

LEEDS

Much has been said and written about Leeds United already this season, with most of it boiling down to the same conclusion, namely that the Whites are a guarantee for goals. Only the current top three plus Liverpool have scored more than their 43 goals, but only West Brom have conceded more than them. This makes it hard to predict their results, but in terms of fantasy games like FanTeam, it makes their attacking assets very attractive. Marcelo Bielsa’s men are playing at home against a solid, but most likely Grealish-less, Aston Villa side and we have opted for three of his main men for our €75K Weekly Monster squad in gameweek 26.

In attack, striker Patrick Bamford and winger Raphinha have been the protagonists so far this season. Bamfy is Bielsa’s undisputed number one for the lone striker position and with good reason, seeing as the Chelsea academy graduate has 13 goals and 8 assists to his name already. Raphinha was brought in from Stade Rennais for £14.4 million last summer and managed to quickly cement his place in the Leeds starting eleven as well. The Brazilian is the man on fire at the moment, with 3 goals and 4 assists from his last seven Premier League games. In terms of form on FanTeam, Bamford is the only player who currently scores higher than Raphinha.

As for our previously discussed Leicester trio, our third Leeds pick is also a defender who also plays out of position. Stuart Dallas has been used as a central midfielder of late by Bielsa and the Northern Irishman has repaid that faith in full. Just a few days ago, the fullback/midfielder/winger scored the second of three goals against Southampton to make it 5 goals and 3 assists for him this season. On top of that, and despite Leeds’ risky defensive tactics, he has also been part of 8 clean sheets. This bodes well for the game against a Villa side that will likely be missing their main creative outlet in Jack Grealish.

WOLVES

Wolves have had an underwhelming season so far, with 33 points from 25 games and a current 12th place. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has been enormously impacted by the long-term absence of their star forward Raul Jimenez, but they seem to have found some form recently. Of their last four league games, they won three and drew one, and this run included encounters with Arsenal, Leicester, Southampton and Leeds. They scored 5 goals over that run and conceded just twice, so it looks like the Wolves have started to find a way to grind out results. We’re aware of this, but with a game against Newcastle coming up on Saturday, we figured a Wolves triple up could be a shrewd differential move.

At the moment, only four teams in the league have scored less goals than Wolves, but the encounter with the Magpies looks like a good opportunity to work on those numbers. Steve Bruce’s men have conceded 9 goals in their last four games and only West Brom have conceded more than their 43 goals. As a result, we have gone with both Willian José and Pedro Neto for our FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster squad this week. The former was brought in this January to fill in for Raul Jimenez and even though he still needs to find the net for the first time in England, he is nailed-on and seems to be getting used to his new team mates. The latter is listed as a midfielder on FanTeam, but used as a winger by Espirito Santo and he is currently Wolves highest-scoring player on FanTeam with 112 FT points, thanks to 5 goals and 6 assists. Our 3rd Wolves player is the effervescent Romain Saiss who is equally comfortable in midfield as he is in defence and deservedly captain of the Morocco national team.

BONUS

Our bonus fantasy pick for GW26 is none less than Liverpool talisman Mo Salah. Now, you might think that spending a large chunk of our budget on a premium Liverpool asset is not the wisest choice considering the Reds’ form of late, but Salah is Salah. Jurgen Klopp’s men are visiting Bramall Lane on Sunday and despite scoring just 5 goals in their last five PL games, four of those goals were scored by Salah. If any Red is likely to make the difference against the Blades and to get Liverpool out of their slump, it’s Momo.

GOALKEEPER

After selecting the ten outfield players of our choice, we still had a decent part of our budget left to spend on the man between the sticks. We ended up going with Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita, who will be featuring in what could be the lowest-scoring game of FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster’s gameweek 26. Palace are hosting an improving, but far from free-scoring Fulham side and the Eagles themselves have, according to Roy Hodgson, taken a more “back to basics” approach since a few weeks ago. That means, a return to more defensive tactics, which bodes well for the Palace defence in this one.

FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 26 preview

“Two home games for in-form Manchester City in DGW26”. (CC by 4.0). Image by: Ank Kumar.

From a fantasy perspective, gameweek 26 might very well turn out to be the week of the season. According to Ben “Mr. Double Gameweek” Crellin (@BenCrellin on Twitter), the upcoming round is likely to be this season’s biggest double gameweek with no less than 14 teams playing twice, including many of the big names. We have posted a quick overview of these teams and their FPL GW26 schedules below:

TEAM1ST FIXTURE2ND FIXTURE
ASTON VILLALeeds (away)Sheffield United (away)
BURNLEYSpurs (away)Leicester (home)
CHELSEAMan United (home)Liverpool (away)
CRYSTAL PALACEFulham (home)Man United (home)
EVERTONSouthampton (home)West Brom (away)
FULHAMCrystal Palace (away)Spurs (home)
LEICESTERArsenal (home)Burnley (away)
LIVERPOOLSheffield United (away)Chelsea (home)
MAN CITYWest Ham (home)Wolves (home)
MAN UNITEDChelsea (away)Crystal Palace (away)
SHEFFIELD UNITEDLiverpool (home)Aston Villa (home)
SPURSBurnley (home)Fulham (away)
WEST BROMBrighton (home)Everton (home)
WOLVESNewcastle (away)Man City (away)

In terms of double gameweek teams, we are more than spoilt for choice this round, which is why our fantasy pick recommendations are heavily based on these teams. Having said that, Leeds United and Brighton have reasonably favourable fixtures as well as they face Aston Villa (home) and West Brom (away). Especially for those managers who are set up with a few players from these teams, it could be worth considering starting them or even Bench Boosting. In any case, expect major activity on the chips front this week from those that don’t have 11 players doubling (or have a good bench) and don’t be afraid to take a hit (or two) in order to set up your squad for the doubles.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 26 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, February 27th.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 25th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKPope (BUR), McCarthy (SOU), Mendy (CHE)Martinez (AST), Ederson (CIT), Areola (FUL)Managers bringing in DGW assets with favourable fixtures.
DEFJustin (LEI), Chilwell (CHE), Cresswell (WHU)Targett (AST), Cancelo (CIT), Digne (EVE)Justin injury, managers bringing in DGW assets with favourable fixtures.
MIDGrealish (AST), Maddison (LEI), Salah (LIV)Barnes (LEI), Gündogan (CIT), Son (TOT)Grealish and Maddison injury doubts, managers bringing in DGW assets with favourable fixtures.
FORIngs (SOU), Bamford (LEE), Antonio (WHU)Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Kane (TOT), Watkins (AST)Managers bringing in DGW assets with favourable fixtures.

Premium pick

Double gameweek 26 is offering plenty of interesting premium fantasy picks, including the likes of the ever-present Mo Salah, the fit again Kevin de Bruyne, and the pretty much undisputed king of FPL, Bruno Fernandes. We have gone with a somewhat differential pick in the person of Raheem Sterling (£11.6m), who is still owned by just 12.6% of FPL managers despite returning in ten of his last 12 appearances (6 goals and 4 assists). The 26-year old is also the outfield player with most playing minutes on the Man City roster since gameweek 17 and he even captained his side for the 69 minutes that he was on the pitch against Mönchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday. Sure, rotation is always a risk when it comes to City assets, but Raz once again looks like a key player for Pep Guardiola and he could be of huge value this round.

Non-premium picks

Another player who looks set for a big haul in DGW26 is Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m). The England forward lost some backers due to his absence in DGW24, but he is still owned by more than 38% of fantasy managers. He did not wait to deliver upon his return to action either, winning a huge penalty in the derby at Anfield last weekend. DCL currently sits on 13 goals and 6 assists, and he has returned in his last three appearances for a total of 25 FPL points. In the upcoming round, the Toffees are facing Southampton at home followed by an away game at the Hawthornes. This also explains why he is currently the most transferred-in forward in the official game and why he will probably be amongst the most-captained players overall for this round.

Our second non-premium fantasy pick for DGW26 is a striker as well, and a nailed-on option for his team up front. Ollie Watkins (£6.5m) needed just four games to mark his arrival amongst the English footballing elite and he did so in style, with a hattrick and an assist against reigning champions Liverpool back in gameweek 4. Since then, he has been steadily working on his tallies, which has brought him to 10 goals and 4 assists at the moment of writing. Despite blanking in his last two games, he netted 4 times in the five games prior to that, and he has away games against Leeds and Sheffield United coming up this round. The Villans will probably miss their star man Jack Grealish for one or both games, but Watkins should still be around the top of your watchlists for this week’s transfers.

The budget enabler

It’s true that Fulham are still lodged in the relegation zone and they have been for a while already, but it’s also true that Scott Parker’s men have shown definite signs of improvement over the past months. From their last four Premier League games, they have taken a more than decent 8 points, in great part thanks to a considerably improved defence. The Cottagers conceded just a single goal over that run. With a double gameweek against Crystal Palace (away) and goal-shy Spurs (home), their wing-back and highest-scoring defender Ola Aina (£4.5m) could therefore be a very interesting budget and differential pick. The former Chelsea talent has recorded 28 FPL points over the last three games, courtesy of 2 clean sheets, 1 goal and 1 assist.

A differential pick or two

In the absence of Calvert-Lewin, it was that other Toffee star that needed to deliver in the striker position and deliver he did. Richarlison (£7.9m) scored back-to-back goals against Manchester City and Liverpool, and brought his owners a decent 13 FPL points. Up next is a double consisting of Southampton at home and West Brom away, and despite the fact that DCL will return as the Toffee number nine, his Brazilian partner in crime will get chances to build on his good form as well. With 4 goals, 5 assists and a current ownership of just 7.5%, Richarlison has been having a bit of an underwhelming season so far, but he is a mainstay under Carlo Ancelotti and could prove to be a major differential in DGW26.

For our second fantasy pick in this category, we have gone even more differential. Jack Grealish is currently the highest-scoring Aston Villa midfielder, which is not surprising, but the name following him is. It’s not Ross Barkley or John McGinn, but the tricky Bertrand Traoré (£5.9m). With 5 goals and 3 assists to his name so far, the former Ajax and Lyon star has nailed down a spot as winger in Dean Smith’s starting eleven. He collected 17 FPL points in his last three PL games, courtesy of a goal against Leicester and an assist against Arsenal, and up next are two of the most suspect defences in the league (Leeds and Sheffield United). With an ownership of just 0.8%, Traoré could be the ultimate differential for this DGW.

The captaincy

With so many players playing twice this round and with several of those players actually preparing for a favourable fixture double, there are plenty of captaincy candidates for the armband in DGW26. We have ended up going with Raheem Sterling, who was taken off after 69 minutes in the Champions League on Wednesday. We’re hoping that this points to a spot in the starting eleven against West Ham and Wolves over the coming days for the Pep’s most-used outfield player. Raz has been consistent more than explosive over the past few months with 10 returns in his last twelve games, and we’re hoping for this trend to continue in DGW26.

Not sure about captaining a City asset? Understandable, we have all been there by now. In this case, you can opt for Mo Salah (against Sheffield United away and Chelsea at home), Bruno Fernandes (Chelsea and Palace away), or one of the Spurs boys, such as Kane or Son, as they face Burnley at home and Fulham at the Cottage. More differential picks for the captaincy could be DCL or Richarlison against Southampton at home and West Brom away, Jamie Vardy against Arsenal at home and Burnley away, or even Ollie Watkins away against Leeds and Sheffield United.

Join FISO’s FPL discussion forum for more Fantasy Premier League news and tactics.

FanTeam 2020-21: €75K Weekly Monster – Gameweek 25 preview

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€75k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player that starts from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Gameweek 25 €75K Weekly Monster matches

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 25

Formation: 4-4-2

MANCHESTER UNITED

The core of our team selection for gameweek 25 of FanTeam’s €75K Weekly Monster consists of Manchester United players as the Red Devils are preparing to host Newcastle at Old Trafford on Sunday. Since their 9-0 thrashing of Southampton back in gameweek 22, United have booked two rather disappointing results with draws at home against Everton and away at relegation-threatened West Brom. They are currently 7 points behind leaders Manchester City and their skyblue city rivals have a game in hand as well. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men really can’t afford another misstep against bottom-half-of-the-table opposition.

Seeing as Man United currently boast the league’s most productive attack, we have gone big on their forwards and midfielders. In the midfield we’ve gone with Mason Greenwood and, of course, Bruno Fernandes. The former was rested for the gameweek 24 and is likely to feature from the start as usual against the Magpies, while the latter is irreplaceable for United. The Portuguese playmaker is going through a purple patch once again with 3 goals and 2 assists in his last three games, bringing his Premier League totals to 14 goals and 11 assists. Bruno is also our captain for GW25. The Red Devils will have to face Real Sociedad on Thursday first, so keep an eye on lineups and team news, but in any case, the FanTeam safety net is active.

Our United trio is completed by Edinson Cavani, who looks to have cemented his place in Solskjaer’s starting eleven for now. The Uruguayan goal machine has started the last four league games and completed the 90 minutes in three of those games. Over that same run, he scored 2 goals and recorded 19 FT points. Should he, for some reason, not start against Newcastle, then the FanTeam safety net will replace him with Anthony Martial for us.

BURNLEY

In defence, we have opted for two double-ups, one of those coming from the north of the country. Burnley are one of the sides that has shown most improvement over the season so far and their increased defensive confidence has everything to with it. After 23 games, the Clarets have scored just 17 goals, but they also boast the eighth-best defence in the entire league. They have got 7 clean sheets to their name already, the last of which was booked in their last game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Sean Dyche’s men will be up against West Brom at Turf Moor in gameweek 25, a game that ended in 0-0 back in gameweek 5.

Seeing as we’re hoping for another low-scoring affair on Saturday, we have picked Matt Lowton and James Tarkowski for FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster team. Neither of the two have offered much in an attacking sense this season, though Lowton did score his first goal of the season last weekend, but they are both nailed-on parts of Sean Dyche’s defence. Against a Baggies team that has scored just 19 goals all season, chances of an eighth clean sheet are real and the Clarets know that this one they simply cannot lose if they want to stay clear of the relegation battle.

BRIGHTON

Our second defensive double-up for this weekend comes from the south of England, from Brighton & Hove to be exact. The local pride has finally started to convert decent to very good performances into points and they have been steadily moving away from the very bottom of the table ever since. While scoring goals is still a major point of concern for the Seagulls, their defence is second only to Manchester City’s at the moment. Over the past six games, they have kept no less than 5 clean sheets and it should be noted that this run included encounters with Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool and Villa.

Up next is a home game against Crystal Palace for Graham Potter’s men and the Eagles will once again be without their star man Wilfried Zaha. This considerably increases chances of a sixth clean sheet in seven for Brighton, as their opponents have not yet managed to score a goal in a game in which their Ivory Coast talisman did not start. Hence, our selection of Lewis Dunk and Dan Burn for our gameweek 25 fantasy team. Both defenders are secured of a start on Monday and just coming off a very sturdy 0-0 draw at Villa Park, so we’re hoping they will carry their solid form into the clash with Palace.

SHEFFIELD UNITED

This could very well be the first time this season that we have considered Sheffield United players for our FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster team and certainly the first time that we have opted for a double pick from Chris Wilder’s side. At the moment of writing, the Blades are bottom of the league, where they have been for most of the season, but budget constraints from our side and some promising signs of improvement from their side plus a positive fixture convinced us to take a punt on them. They have become more competitive compared to the start of the season and even though it might be too late to save them from relegation, it makes them an interesting differential for fantasy managers.

The Blades are playing fellow relegation-zone settlers Fulham on Saturday night and the Cottagers haven’t really felt at home in Craven Cottage this season. They have scored just a single goal in their last six home games, while conceding just five at their own end. For both teams, this game is a must-win and we feel Sheffield United have got a bit more momentum at the moment, so we have added David McGoldrick and John Lundstram to our side. This encounter has all the makings of a low-scoring affair, but the Blades know that victory at the Cottage is needed to maintain any hopes of Premier League survival.

BONUS

With the shape they’re currently in and keeping the fact that they seem to be running away with first place, it’s odd not to include any Manchester City players in our team. Even without Kevin de Bruyne who is on the comeback trail, the Cityzens are the best and most consistent team in the league right now. The only downside to their assets is that they are facing Arsenal at the Emirates this weekend. The Gunners are a bit unreliable at the moment and the game could end 0-1 or just as well 0-4. In case of the latter scenario, we figured it would be smart to cover at least some of our bases by picking Raheem Sterling for our gameweek 25 selection. The England international has scored 3 goals and provided 2 assists in the last five league games, and we’re expecting him to turn up from the start against Arsenal as well.

GOALKEEPER

Gameweek 25 offers us plenty of nice fixtures, but from a fantasy point of view, many of them are hard to predict. Lots of this weekend’s match-ups are quite evenly matched when it comes to squad quality and form, which has led to a high average player price on FanTeam. Our outfield picks stretched our budget considerably as a result, which is why we have gone for a cheap starter in goal again. Newcastle’s Karl Darlow is facing our three Man United aces coming Sunday and though we’re hoping for a few United goals (from our captain Bruno, preferably), we wouldn’t be surprised for Darlow to come off with a few save points as well. He is currently ranked third on FanTeam when it comes to saves and he has been one of the best Magpies in an otherwise up-and-down season for them.

FPL season 2020-21: Gameweek 25 preview

“A top-of-the-table clash at the London Stadium this weekend: West Ham vs Spurs” (CC by 4.0). Image by Hammersfan.

With a bunch of postponed fixtures still needing to be allocated somewhere along the existing Premier League schedule, the coming gameweeks look like they will be all be double gameweeks to some extent. Gameweek 26 looks to become a big one, but every round up to blank gameweek 29 is very likely to feature at least a few teams with two fixtures. For the upcoming GW26, those teams are Southampton and Leeds:

TEAM1ST FIXTURE2ND FIXTURE
SOUTHAMPTONChelsea (home)Leeds (away)
LEEDSWolves (away)Southampton (home)

In our last gameweek preview, we strongly recommended to keep an eye on the FA Cup lineups and results. This week, we’re doing the same, but for the European competitions. Liverpool were the first English side to kick off the Champions League knock-out season, and Chelsea and Manchester City will follow suit this week. In the Europa League, Spurs, Manchester United, Arsenal and Leicester City will be in action on Thursday evening. In other words, when it comes to the many excellent FPL assets on the rosters of these teams, keep variables like fitness, fatigue and rotation in mind when planning your transfers and starting lineups for GW25.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 25 is set at 18h30 (UK time) on Friday, February 19th.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 17th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMendy (CHE), McCarthy (SOU), Lloris (TOT)Martínez (AST), Ederson (CIT), Pope (BUR)
DEFJustin (LEI), Chilwell (CHE), Robertson (LIV)Dallas (LEE), Cancelo (CIT), Dunk (BRI)City and Brighton defensive shapes, Dallas DGW, Justin injury, Chilwell rotation.
MIDSon (TOT), Grealish (AST), Soucek (WHU)Gündogan (CIT), Raphinha (LEE), Barnes (LEI)In-form budget assets being brought in.
FORCalvert-Lewin (EVE), Wilson (NEW), Antonio (WHU)Bamford (LEE), Vardy (LEI), Ings (SOU)All transferred-out forwards are injured to some degree, Bamford and Ings have a DGW.

Premium pick

Apart from Manchester United, none of the traditional big teams featuring the traditional premium fantasy picks have a particularly favourable fixture for gameweek 25. Sure, Sterling could explode against an unpredictable Arsenal side and Salah could easily put a few past Everton’s defence at Anfield, but we’ve gone for the “safe” option with Bruno Fernandes (£11.2m). United’s Portuguese talisman is on fire once again with three consecutive weeks of returns (3 goals, 2 assists, 33 FPL points) and will be facing a rather uninspired Newcastle on Sunday. United will, of course, play against Real Sociedad on Thursday in the Europa League, which will not be a walk-over by any stretch, but Bruno should be safe for a start against the Magpies three days later.

Non-premium picks

With a double gameweek coming up, it’s hard to look past Leeds United when it comes to FPL decisions. Marcelo Bielsa’s side is a guarantee for goals this season, both in their favour and against them, as the Whites will attack any opposition at any given time. At the moment, just four teams have scored more than their 40 goals, while only West Bromwich Albion have conceded more than their 42 goals. Leeds defenders, apart from the out-of-position Stuart Dallas, are therefore not the most popular fantasy picks in the official game, but Leeds forwards definitely are.

That’s why we have gone with two Leeds United assets as our non-premium fantasy picks for GW25, namely striker and top scorer Patrick Bamford (£6.8m), and midfielder/winger Raphinha (£5.3m). Thanks to his nailed-on spot in the starting eleven, and his current 12 goals and 8 assists, Bamford has already risen by no less than £1.3m this season. With games against Wolves and Southampton up next in gameweek 25, this rise does not seem to be stopping any time soon.

Very much contrary to the Englishman’s very high ownership (53.9%), Raphinha is still going somewhat under the FPL radar with an ownership of just 3.9%, which is surprising. The Brazilian is a starter under Bielsa, has set-piece duties, and has provided attacking returns in five consecutive gameweeks now (2 goals, 4 assists, 38 FPL points). He totals 4 goals and 6 assists for the season so far, and could be a very good asset for gameweek 25 and onwards.

The budget enabler

Rarely has there been an FPL season in which your squad’s bench mattered as much as it does in the current campaign. Injury, illness, fatigue, and rotation all make predicting lineups and results harder than ever, so a good budget-enabling pick can be gold. We believe that Brighton’s Dan Burn (£4.2m) could be such a pick. While Webster and Lamptey remain absent through injuries for the Seagulls, Burn looks set for a starting spot. With 2 clean sheets and 14 FPL points from his last three Premier League games, he has been returning as well for the 0.5% of FPL managers who own him at the moment. Brighton are facing Crystal Palace at home and West Brom away in the next two, which should put Burn on your watchlists for budget gems at least.

A differential pick or two

So far, we have mainly talked about Leeds as the team to focus on for their double gameweek, but Southampton has one coming up as well. In truth, the Saints have seen their excellent early-season form drop off quite dramatically of late, but a little punt on one of their best performers could be worth it. James Ward-Prowse (£6.0m) is what some would call the beating heart of this Southampton side or at least a very important other organ. He is their captain and main man for practically all set-pieces, which makes him particularly appealing for the upcoming double confrontation with Chelsea (home) and Leeds (away). He currently has 5 goals and 5 assists to his, and he was on target for the last time back in GW23 against Newcastle. JWP is owned by 7.7% of managers and will surely get some chances to improve on his tallies in double gameweek 25.

Our second differential pick is the definition of “differential” with a current ownership of just 0.2%. After Raul Jimenez’ head injury, Wolves were in dire need of attacking reinforcement and they opted for Willian José (£7.0m) to address that need. The Brazilian striker was loaned from Real Sociedad in January and has started the last four Premier League games for Wolves, netting once, back in gameweek 22 versus Arsenal. On Friday, he and his team mates in orange will be facing the league’s second-leakiest defence as they host Leeds United at Molineux. The outcome of the game is unpredictable, but José will almost certainly get a few chances to score his second goal in the English top flight.

The captaincy

Finally, the GW25 captaincy. Based on Leeds United’s attacking prowess regardless of the opposition and the fact that they have a reasonably appealing double gameweek coming up, we have chosen Patrick Bamford as our captain for GW25. Another advantage to this captaincy pick is that Leeds and Bamford have no European games or cup games to worry about, so Bielsa is likely to field his strongest starting eleven against both Southampton and Wolves. Bamford is obviously part of that starting eleven.

Many of the usual candidates for the armband are facing tricky fixtures this gameweek, so the captaincy could be a fragmented affair this time. One player who will likely attract a lot of attention is Bruno Fernandes as United play Newcastle at home. The ever-dangerous Mo Salah at home to Everton and in-form Raheem Sterling away at the Emirates are good picks as well. For the more adventurous FPL manager, the likes of double gameweek boys Danny Ings and Raphinha could result in big rewards.

Join FISO’s FPL discussion forum for more Fantasy Premier League news and tactics.

FanTeam 2020-21: £67.5K Weekly Monster – Gameweek 24 preview

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €5,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Gameweek 24 €75K Weekly Monster matches

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 24

Formation: 4-3-3

GOALKEEPER

Our goalkeeper was actually the last pick for the upcoming FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster tournament, as we first wanted to see how much budget would be left after filling out the outfield part of the squad. To our pleasant surprise, we had enough left in the bank to bring Hugo Lloris into the side. Of course, Spurs are visiting an in-form Manchester City side and will be heavy underdogs for that encounter, but Lloris is still one of the best shot stoppers in the league. City will dominate the match and Spurs will be looking to strike on the counter, especially now that the heroic Kane-Son tandem is back in business. The French goalie will get plenty of opportunities to stand out with saves and who knows, maybe Spurs can even cause an upset. These are José Mourinho’s favourite games, after all.

WEST HAM

Our ten outfield players are neatly divided into five duos from five different clubs. Our four-men defence is made up of two double-ups, the first of which consists of West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell and Craig Dawson. With 39 points from 23 games and a current sixth place in the table, the Hammers are flying high this season and their defence plays a major part in that success. They have recorded 8 clean sheets already and just six teams have conceded more than their 28 goals so far. West Ham are up against Sheffield Utd in London on Monday, who are improving of late, but still bottom of the league. The Blades have scored just 15 goals this season and a defeat without netting looks like a realistic scenario against the in-form Hammers.

As far as our fantasy picks are concerned, Aaron Cresswell was one of the first names on our team sheet. He is combining consistent form with a favourable fixture and is currently the second-highest-scoring defender on FanTeam. Craig Dawson was chosen with his price tag in mind, it being 0.4m lower than Vlad Coufal’s. Still, he has started the last eight league games and scored twice over that run. Let’s hope that at least one of them can get involved in the attacking returns this gameweek, on top of a clean sheet.

BURNLEY

Our two Hammers are joined in defence by two Clarets as they prepare for an away game at Zaha-less Crystal Palace. With 29 conceded goals in 22 games, only eight teams in the league boast a better defensive record than Sean Dyche’s men and Zaha missing for the Eagles plays a big factor as well. To give you an idea of just how big a factor: Palace have not scored a goal yet when the Ivorian didn’t start. Burnley were kicked out of the FA Cup by Bouremouth on Monday, so their full focus will be on the Premier League now and they will have marked the upcoming game as one where vital points can be won.

Where Cresswell and Dawson are defensive picks with a bit of an attacking ceiling as well, the same can’t really be said for our Clarets Matt Lowton and Ben Mee. Both have 6 clean sheets to their name, but they have been barely involved at the other end of the pitch. The only attacking returns between the two of them are 2 goals scored by Ben Mee back in gameweeks 16 and 20. We’re counting on a seventh shut-out of the season against Crystal Palace.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Our team is quite balanced this week in terms of budget spread, but the one team we have splashed on is Manchester United. With 49 goals in 23 games, the Red Devils have become the most productive team amongst the English footballing elite and they are up against the league’s worst defence on Sunday. West Brom have conceded a worrying 54 goals in 23 games, 11 of which were conceded in the last four matches. Sam Allardyce will have his Baggies lie deep against United, which is a tactic the visitors have struggled with at times, but the differences in quality and form look simply too big at the moment for this game to end with a West Brom clean sheet.

As a result, we have, of course, gone for Man United talisman Bruno Fernandes in combination with Edinson Cavani. The Portuguese playmaker is both the highest-scoring player overall on FanTeam and the most expensive asset for gameweek 24 of the €75K Weekly Monster, and our captain for this round. He has recorded 28 FT points in his last three games and we’re hoping for (much) more of the same against West Brom. Cavani is a bit more of a punt, though how much of a punt can one of the best strikers to grace European football in the past decade really be? The Uruguayan played 135 minutes of Premier League football in the last two games and scored a goal in each of those games for a total of 13 FT points. Should he for some reason not start at the Hawthornes, then FanTeam’s safety net will bring Anthony Martial into our side.

LEICESTER

After seeing how Manchester City largely dismantled Liverpool in gameweek 23, we decided to get some Leicester assets into our selection for this weekend. The Foxes are outsiders for the Premier League title, though City are heavy favourites at the moment, and a sensational result could be on the cards at the King Power this Saturday. They have taken 14 points from their last seven games with the 1-3 home defeat against Leeds being the only really surprising one. Brendan Rodger’s men have scored 10 goals over that same run, whilst Liverpool conceded 9 in that period. A face-off with a fit-again Jamie Vardy and his team mates could not come at a worse moment for the Reds.

With Jamie Vardy, we have also mentioned our first Leicester pick for gameweek 24. The English striker got 29 minutes of playing time in GW23 after an absence of three weeks and 62 minutes in the FA Cup clash with Brighton on Tuesday, so expect him to start against Liverpool. Against a wobbly Reds defence, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him add to his current 11 goals and 8 assists.

Accompanying Vardy is fellow forward Harvey Barnes, who is listed as a midfielder on FanTeam. The young Englishman is having a good season, and currently sits on 7 goals and 3 assists. He will be coming up against Trent Alexander-Arnold this weekend, so if his team mates manage to launch him into the spaces that will inevitably appear behind the England international, he will get chances to build on those tallies.

EVERTON

Finally, Everton. The Toffees are coming off a spectacular FA Cup win over Tottenham and are facing Fulham next in the Premier League. After an excellent start to the season, they have become a bit of an unpredictable entity once more. In the last six league games, victories were booked against Wolves and Leeds and they drew with Leicester and Man United, but they also lost to Newcastle and West Ham, both at the King Power. For the upcoming home game against Fulham, we have gone with two attacking fantasy assets from Carlo Ancelotti’s side. The Cottagers haven’t won a league game since gameweek 12 and they have conceded 6 goals in the last five games.

Keeping the possible absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin in mind, we have opted for Richarlison in attack and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the midfield for our gameweek 24 FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster squad. The Brazilian and the Icelandic internationals were two of the stand-out performers against Spurs in the FA Cup on Wednesday. The former scored twice, while the latter scored a penalty and provided 2 assists, including the final pass for Richarlison’s winner in extra time. After a rest of three days, we expect both players to feature from the start against Fulham as well.

FPL season 2020-21: Gameweek 24

“Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are hosting a Wilson-less Newcastle on Sunday” (CC by 2.5). Image by Andrewi.

And just like that, it’s Double Gameweek season again! Granted, it’s a relatively small one this round with Burnley, Everton, Fulham and Manchester City featuring twice, but it still concerns a more than decent set of FPL assets. That’s also why our fantasy picks for gameweek 24 will be largely based on players from those teams. For convenience, we have placed a quick overview of the teams playing twice here below:

TEAM1ST FIXTURE2ND FIXTURE
BurnleyCrystal Palace (A)Fulham (H)
EvertonFulham (H)Man City (H)
FulhamEverton (A)Burnley (A)
Manchester CitySpurs (H)Everton (A)

Apart from the DGW fixtures, there is also the FA Cup to take into account which is a big event in the sports betting world. The 5th round of the world’s oldest football cup tournament is being played this week and in the middle of an already hectic Premier League schedule, this will surely have its effects on player fitness and starting lineups. In short, the scene for another nerve-wrecking round of FPL action looks to be set. Keep an eye on the starting lineups in the FA Cup and don’t ignore the many teams with a single game this weekend. Points come from everywhere this season.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 24 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, February 13th.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 11th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMcCarthy (SOU), Lloris (TOT), Ederson (CIT)Pope (BUR), Martinez (AST), Ederson (CIT)
DEFRobertson (LIV), Chilwell (LEI), Zouma (CHE)Dias (CIT), Wan-Bissaka (UTD), Justin (LEI)Defenders in form being brought in, new-look Chelsea under Tuchel.
MIDSoucek (WHU), Son (TOT), Zaha (CRY)Gündogan (CIT), Foden (CIT), Sterling (CIT)City’s double gameweek
FORWilson (NEW), Antonio (WHU), Lacazette (ARS)Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Kane (TOT), Watkins (AST)Form strikers being brought in, Wilson hamstring injury

Premium pick

With the return to fitness of popular premium assets such as Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy, gameweek 24 offers quite a few interesting picks in this category, but we feel that it’s hard to look past Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) at the moment. The City winger, who is classified as a midfielder in FPL, in currently the highest-scoring Cityzen in the official game and his recent run of form has a lot to do with that. In his last three starts, Raz collected 27 FPL points, courtesy of 3 goals and 1 assist. In DGW24, he is facing strong opposition in the form of Spurs and Everton, but in his current form, he could be a huge asset for your fantasy team. On top of that, he played just 56 minutes against Swansea in the FA Cup on Tuesday, which should be good news for FPL managers.

Non-premium picks

Sterling’s and City’s recent good goalscoring form aside though, the most value in terms of Man City assets has been in defence this season. That’s why we have included Joao Cancelo (£6.0m) in our selection for gameweek 24. It’s true that for a defender, his price tag definitely flirts with the premium category, but the way he’s playing right now, we’d consider him more like a sixth midfielder. Even though his returns currently don’t show it (1 goal, 2 assists), the Portuguese wingback/midfielder has been one of Pep Guardiola’s best and most consistent performers this season. He passes each and every eye test with flying colors, and the fact that he has been part of 10 clean sheets already makes him a double threat. Spurs at home and Everton away up next for the league’s best defence.

Speaking of Everton, one of the most popular incoming transfers in the build-up to the GW24 deadline will very likely be Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m). The Everton striker is already the most transferred-in forward in FPL, which makes sense, because he is combining form and fixture this round. The Toffees have a double gameweek against Fulham and Man City (both at home) coming up and DCL himself looks to be going on another good run of form with 2 goals and 1 assist in his last two games, as well as a goal against Spurs in the FA Cup on Wednesday. A downside to this pick is that in that same game against Spurs, the English forward was also replaced after 55 minutes with what looked like a hamstring injury. He did walk off the pitch by himself though, and no worrying official reports have been published yet, but we suggest to keep an eye on the situation.

The budget enabler

Our budget-enabling pick for the upcoming gameweek does not feature twice this round, but he’s definitely worth considering for those FPL managers looking to free up funds quickly. Pascal Struijk (£3.9m) has started every game for Leeds United since gameweek 15 and collected 27 FPL points since then. Nothing to get overly excited about, apart from the fact that he costs just £3.9m at the moment of writing. The young Dutchman has no attacking returns to his name yet, though he came close three times in the last game against Crystal Palace, but he does have 3 clean sheets to his name already. As a fifth defender in your team, he could be an excellent addition in a season in which the bench players are more important than ever.

A differential pick or two

For our differential fantasy picks this round, we have come up with the Burnley assets. The Clarets had a horrid start to the season, but they have been steadily improving over the past few months, which has lead to the current 8-point gap between them and the relegation zone. The fact that only eight teams in the league boast a better defensive record than Sean Dyche’s men has more than a bit to do with it. They have conceded 29 goals in 22 matches and they have a double gameweek coming up against two of the shyest attacks in the English topflight at the moment, Crystal Palace (away) and Fulham (home). The Cottagers have scored just 2 goals in their last four games, while the Eagles will be most likely be missing their main man Wilfried Zaha when they host Burnley on Saturday afternoon.

As a result of this seemingly favourable coming-together of circumstances for the Clarets, we figured Matt Lowton (£4.5m) and Ashley Westwood (£5.3m) could be shrewd differential picks. It doesn’t take much imagination to see the former taking 12 points from 2 clean sheets this gameweek, while even 1 clean sheet and an 8-point haul would be acceptable. As far as the latter is concerned, it’s a fact that no team has scored less than Burnley so far this season, but he is on most set-pieces, including direct free-kicks. Westwood has 1 goal and 3 assists to his name, and is the Claret’s main creative outlet at the moment. A return against Palace and/or Fulham could happen and would see you gain some ground in your leagues. While Lowton is currently owned by 2.1% of FPL managers, Westwood features in just 0.6% of all teams.

The captaincy

With a double gameweek coming up and him being replaced in the FA cup before the hour, our FPL captaincy pick for gameweek 24 is Raheem Sterling. The Man City attacker is bang in form at the moment and despite the difficulty of his upcoming encounters on paper, the English dribbler will get chances to score and assist. He was a constant threat against Liverpool in GW23 and we find it hard to imagine him not being very involved in both upcoming games.

If you don’t have the budget for Raz or simply don’t trust Pep Guardiola (we feel you), there are plenty of other good options for the armband to consider as well. There are, of course, Sterling’s defensive team-mates Joao Cancelo, John Stones and Ruben Dias who could deliver big over the coming days. In case of good news surrounding his injury, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a good shout as well. Bruno Fernandes is one of the single gameweek candidates as United visit Sheffield United on Sunday, while Michail Antonio or even Aaron Cresswell at home against a Wilson-less Newcastle could result in pretty differential rewards as well.

Join FISO’s FPL discussion forum for more Fantasy Premier League news and tactics.

FanTeam 2020-21: £67.5K Weekly Monster – Gameweek 23 preview

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€75k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €7,500. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Gameweek 23 €75K Weekly Monster matches

Our team suggestion for the Weekly Monster in gameweek 23

Formation: 4-4-2

LEEDS UNITED

With a home game against Crystal Palace coming up next Monday, we have identified Leeds United as a potential source of points for this weekend’s FanTeam €75K Weekly Monster tournament. The Whites are going through a good season on their return to the Premier League and they are playing very entertaining, attacking football under Marcelo Bielsa. Results are not always easy to predict when it comes to Leeds, but their games usually end with plenty of goals. In 21 league games, they have already scored 36 goals and conceded 38. Their opponents Palace are not in bad form themselves and just coming off two consecutive victories, but they do boast one of the leakiest defences in the League. Only West Brom and Leeds themselves have conceded more than their 37 goals. In the past four games, they have conceded 8 goals, though it should be noted that this run did include encounters with Man City and West Ham.

As far as Leeds assets go, we have gone with an attacking double-up consisting of Patrick Bamford and Raphinha. Both players were a doubt to feature in gameweek 22 due to injury niggles, but both of them started and returned. Bamfy added an assist to his totals of 11 goals and 7 assists, while Raphinha scored a goal to make it 4 goals and 4 assists for himself this season. Both are expected to start against Fulham and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them return for their owners once again. Also, Bamford is on penalties and Raphinha takes corners from the right side.

Our third White is Stuart Dallas, the former winger who has become a very interesting out-of-position fantasy asset over the course of this season. He started as a roaming full-back, and is still registered as a defender on FanTeam, but Bielsa has started to deploy him in a starting central midfield role with plenty of freedom to get in front of goal now. We’re expecting Leeds to dominate against Crystal Palace and Dallas to get chances to add to his current 4 goals and 2 assists. On top of that, the Eagles have scored just 4 goals in their last five games, so points at both ends of the pitch could be coming Dallas’ way on Monday.

WEST HAM UNITED

For gameweek 23, we have also opted for a triple-up of West Ham assets as the Hammers prepare for an away game against Fulham. The Cottagers have improved since the start of the season, it’s true, but they still look like one of the prime candidates for relegation. Scott Parker’s men haven’t won a game since gameweek 10 and they have conceded 6 goals in the last four games. West Ham, on the other hand, have won five of their last six games and currently sit very nicely in fifth place, just two points off 4th placed Liverpool.

David Moyes’ men have scored 11 goals over that run and their attack has been bolstered considerably by the return of Michail Antonio. For our GW23 selection, we have selected the English forward and his Czech teammate Tomas Soucek. Antonio had his first start back in gameweek 19 after an absence of several months, and he has recorded 2 goals and 3 assists since then. Soucek is one of the surprises of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign as he has proved himself to be much more than a controlling midfielder. His current 8 goals and 1 assist are testament to that.

Seeing as their opponents Fulham have also scored just a single goal in their last five home games, we felt that Aaron Cresswell could be a smart fantasy pick for this weekend. Thanks to 8 assists and 7 clean sheets, he is currently the third-highest-scoring defender on FanTeam. He is a fixed part of West Ham’s starting eleven and often involved in set-pieces as well, both in terms of corners and free-kicks. The Hammers are in good form and on track for European football, so they will be looking for the three points at Craven Cottage and Cresswell could be one of the fantasy beneficiaries.

BURNLEY

It’s been a while since we selected more than one player from the Clarets, especially when considering the fact that Nick Pope is not one of those players. For the coming weekend though, we are putting some of our money on Matt Lowton and Ben Mee, two nailed-on elements of Burnley’s defensive set-up. The Clarets found their qualities just in time this season and are currently 8 points above the relegation zone in 17th place. As far as Lowton is concerned, we are aiming for a clean sheet as he has not yet posted an attacking return yet. Mee has done a bit better in that sense with 2 goals in the last seven games.

Sean Dyche’s side are facing Brighton on Saturday afternoon and the Seagulls are going through a bit of a purple patch at the moment. They have taken 10 points from the last four games, and that run included away games against Leeds and Liverpool, and a home game versus Spurs. They did, however, score just 3 goals in their last five games. They play more than decent football, but they are lacking a killer touch up front. Despite their good form, we envision the clash with Burnley at Turf Moor to become a low-scoring affair with hopefully a clean sheet for the home team.

SINGLE SHOOTERS

For this weekend, we have spent a considerable part of our budget on two single picks, namely Bruno Fernandes and Raheem Sterling. We’re starting with the United talisman, who is preparing for an encounter with Everton at Old Trafford, where Southampton were dispatched 9-0 just a few days ago. Bruno contributed to that massacre with 1 goal and 2 assists for a total of 16 FT points. Though we’re not expecting such a haul against the Toffees on Saturday, we do think that he will, as usual, play a central role in most of United’s attacking intentions. Everton have conceded 6 goals in the last four games and it will be a mammoth task for them to keep out the Red Devils.

Our second joker pick for gameweek 23 of FanTeam’s €75K Weekly Monster is Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who has been in reasonably good fantasy form of late. In his last four Premier League starts, he has recorded 3 goals and 1 assist for a total of 30 FT points. The risk is, of course, rotation when it comes to City assets, but the FanTeam safety net will replace Raz with Mahrez of Gündogan should he not be in the starting eleven. In any case, our team will contain one major attacking City asset for when they visit Anfield on Sunday.

GOALKEEPER

Finally, our goalkeeper for the upcoming round of Premier League action. With three victories in their last five games, Sheffield United are actually showing a bit of form for the first time this season and it can’t be seen separately from their improved defensive performances. While the Blades have conceded a total of 35 goals overall this season, just 3 of those goals were conceded since gameweek 22. That’s why we have gone with Aaron Ramsdale for our gameweek 23 FanTeam squad this time. Sheffield United are definitely not favourites when they host Chelsea on Sunday, but don’t write them off too quickly. The Blues have scored just 4 goals in their last five outings and a Blades outfit enjoying a bout of growing confidence could well be a very annoying game for them to play right now.

FPL Season 2020-21: Gameweek 23 preview

“Big game alert on Sunday: Liverpool v Manchester City at Anfield” (CC by 4.0). Image by Yurificacion.

Gameweek 23 already. The Premier League moved fast over the past week and a half with four gameweeks in about 12 days. We saw plenty of rotation, several high-profile injuries, and some serious form fluctuations, and you can count on more of this when GW23 kicks off just 40 hours after gameweek 22’s final kick-off. After that though, teams (and FPL managers alike, of course) will finally get a bit of a breather until gameweek 24.

Back to the upcoming round of fixtures. This weekend presents us with a couple of big clashes, the most eye-catching one being the encounter between an out-of-sorts Liverpool and very much NOT out-of-sorts Manchester City at Anfield. One day earlier, Manchester United host Everton, while Arsenal visit Villa Park for what surely be very two very tightly contested matches. From an FPL point of view, the away game of Chelsea at seemingly improving Sheffield United and Tottenham’s home game against struggling West Bromwich Albion will surely attract a lot of FPL manager suitors.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 23 is set at 11h00 (UK time) on Saturday, February 6th.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 4th, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKLeno (ARS), McCarthy (SOU), Pickford (EVE)Martinez (AST), Mendy (CHE), Pope (BUR)
DEFBednarek (SOU), Tierney (ARS), Saïss (WOL)Wan-Bissaka (UTD), Shaw (UTD), Dias (CIT)Transferred-out defenders are all injured or suspended, the Manchester teams are in good form.
MIDZaha (CRY), Foden (CIT), Salah (LIV)Lingard (WHU), Soucek (WHU), Fernandes (UTD)Zaha injury doubt, Foden rotation, Liverpool unreliable, West Ham and United had a good GW22.
FORKane (TOT), Firmino (LIV), Calvert-Lewin (EVE)Antonio (WHU), Wilson (NEW), Bamford (LEE)Kane injury, Firmino lack of returns, transferred-in forwards providing excellent value.

Premium pick

Another 9-0 victory looks unlikely, but you can be sure that confidence is soaring at Manchester United at the moment. After a home defeat against lowly Sheffield United and a disappointing draw versus Arsenal, the Red Devils seemed a bit down, but they returned to their winning ways in devastating style. Their thrashing of Southampton on Tuesday also meant the first returns for Bruno Fernandes (£11.4m) since GW19 and his first goal since GW17. At the same time, his 17-point haul, courtesy of 1 goal, 2 assists and 3 bonus points, was also his ninth double-digit haul of the 2020-21 campaign and it made him the official game’s highest-scoring player once again. A powerful reminder for the 42.9% of FPL managers who still don’t own him. They are facing an Everton fresh of a hard-fought away victory over Leeds, but Fernandes can still very well deliver big at Old Trafford.

Non-premium picks

Looking back at the past 22 gameweeks, plenty of very good bargain performers have emerged, with Patrick Bamford (£6.6m) probably topping the bunch. The Leeds forward started the season at £5.5m and has made a complete mockery of that price tag by scoring 11 goals and assisting another 8 in 21 Premier League games. Over the last two games, against Leicester at the King Power and Everton at Elland Road, Bamfy has recorded 20 FPL points, courtesy of 1 goal and 3 assists. Up next are Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace who have been in decent form themselves of late, but it doesn’t really matter. Leeds will attack with abandon regardless of the opposition and Bamford will get chances to add to his already impressive tallies.

In Wednesday’s battle at Villa Park between two of the biggest surprises this season, Aston Villa and West Ham United, it was the away side who got away with a deserved victory. The Hammers were a bit unlucky to concede a goal, though it wasn’t undeserved for Villa either, which meant that Aaron Cresswell (£5.6m) could not add a eighth clean sheet to his total for the season. Still, the West Ham defender currently tops the ranking for FPL points scored by a defender, thanks to no less than 8 assists and 11 bonus points on top of his 7 clean sheets. The Hammers are playing Fulham at Craven Cottage next, where the home team have scored just a single goal in their last five games.

The budget enabler

Burnley’s schedule has brightened up a bit after a difficult run of six fixtures from which they nevertheless took 6 points and in which they conceded 8 goals. It should be noted that this run consisted of encounters with United, West Ham, Liverpool, Villa, Chelsea and City. The Clarets face Brighton (home), Crystal Palace (away) and West Brom (home) next though, which brings their right-back right Matt Lowton (£4.4m) into the picture. The 31-year old is a fixed starter under Sean Dyche and already has been part of 6 clean sheets in the Premier League this season. At his current price tag and with an ownership of just 1.4%, he could be a very shrewd addition to your team.

A differential pick or two

Speaking of shrewd additions, how about Leeds United’s Raphinha (£5.3m)? It’s rather incredible that a very budget-priced midfielder who plays as a starter and a winger in the league’s most attacking side is still owned by just 1.3%. Especially when considering that he is on corner duties from the right and has scored 2 goals and 2 assists in his last three games for a total of 27 FPL points. That’s an average of 9 points per game, and those three games saw the Whites face Newcastle, Leicester (both away) and Everton. Is he perhaps only available in our version of the Fantasy Premier League? We’re not sure, but the Brazilian should definitely be on your watch lists.

In many aspects, the same goes for our second differential fantasy pick for gameweek 23. Eberechi Eze (£5.8) is a little bit more expensive than Raphinha, and his team is a lot less attacking than Leeds is, but he is still a differential pick with a high ceiling. He has played himself into Roy Hodgson’s starting eleven at Crystal Palace, and has rewarded his manager with 3 goals and 4 assists so far. He returned in his last two games, at home against Wolves (1 goal, 11 FPL points) and away at Saint James’ Park (1 assist, 7 FPL points), is in charge of plenty of set-pieces, and visits Elland Road next. Whether the Eagles will take the three points back home remains to be seen, but teams get plenty of opportunities against Leeds and so will Palace.

For more FPL GW23 transfer pick ideas, check out the dedicated FISO forum topic.

The captaincy

After his ninth double-digit haul of the season, we have decided to put the captain’s armband on Bruno Fernandes for his upcoming home game against Everton. The Portuguese playmaker has been a bit quieter in terms of FPL returns since Pogba entered the starting eleven, but he reminded us this week just why he is considered a practically essential FPL asset at the moment. Like his side, he can explode at any moment, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them put a few past the Toffees at Old Trafford coming Saturday.

If you’re not entirely convinced by Bruno or possibly don’t have the funds to bring him in, then worry not. With Heung-Min Son at home to West Brom, Raheem Sterling at Anfield and even Mo Salah against City, there are some other good options as well. In the more differential bracket, you could opt for Patrick Bamford at home against Crystal Palace, Michail Antonio away at Craven Cottage, or Callum Wilson at home against a severely weakened So’ton side low on confidence.

FanTeam 2020-21: £45K Midweek Monster – Gameweek 22 preview

As part of FISO’s special series of weekly articles on FanTeam, Europe’s biggest daily fantasy football provider, we will actually be entering the team we write about each week into the game. Our article will focus on an Early Entry for their Fantasy Premier League tournament held each week in order to help you identify game rules, tactics and the most promising players per gameweek, so you can win some of that large prize money.

Our FISO team below will be entered into this week’s €20 entry (€50k prize pool) Main Event. The winner takes home a cool €5,000. FanTeam also offer a €2 entry Weekly Monster with a lower prize pool for those who prefer to play with lower stakes. Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

Before moving onto our team selection, we want to highlight a couple of FanTeam rules that they apply to their Weekly Monster competition and that represent some of the major differences when comparing the game to the FPL. Do though check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your picks.

Number one is that FanTeam have a rule called the ‘safety net’. The safety net comes into play when a selected player does not start in the Weekly Monster, because the game will then automatically replace this player with the next lowest-priced player from the same position (GK, DEF, MID, FOR) in the same team. This is regardless of whether or not your selected player does take to the field later in the game. This rule helps people who have entered a team into the Weekly Monster not to worry too much about whether their selected players will start or not, particularly if they know there are cheaper players for that same club in that same position who should start instead.

Number two is that FanTeam also have a ‘stacking penalty’ for the Weekly Monster, which penalises teams that have selected more than one defenders/goalkeeper from the same club. The stacking penalty comes into play when you pick more than one defensive player (defenders or goalkeepers) from a particular club and this club records a clean sheet. The points awarded for this clean sheet will decrease by 1 point for each additional defensive player from the same club that you have selected. The stacking penalty has a maximum of minus 3 points. This rule helps stop multi-entrants from gaining an advantage by submitting block defence teams. A reasonable tactic can be to select two players from two different clubs for your Goalie and Defenders, which would see you incur just 2 single-point deductions if you nail both clean sheets correctly.

Gameweek 21 €50K Midweek Monster matches

Our team suggestion for the Midweek Monster in gameweek 22

Formation: 4-5-1

MANCHESTER CITY

Gameweek 22 presents us with a rather complicated set of fixtures from a fantasy point of view, especially with all the injuries and rotation worries going around. As a result, our selection for FanTeam’s €50K Midweek Monster contains just one triple-up, namely of Manchester City players. The Cityzens are in great form defensively and working towards a more prolific attack as well, and they are visiting Turf Moor on Wednesday. Never an easy game for any team, but we can see Pep Guardiola’s men scrape a win with a clean sheet here. Just FYI, the reverse fixture back in gameweek 10, when Burnley were still very much struggling, ended in 5-0.

The Clarets seem to have recovered the success formula that kept them amongst the English footballing elite for several seasons already. Despite losing their last two games, they did manage to take 14 points from the nine previous games. They are a tough, hard-working side, but scoring goals is still an issue. At the moment, only bottom side Sheffield United have scored less than their 13 goals in 20 games. Man City then, boast the best defence in the league with 13 goals conceded in 20 games, which is why we have gone with both Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias for our defence. The former was rested in GW21 and is expected to return against Burnley, while Dias seems undroppable for Pep. Should he not be, then John Stones will replace him with help of FanTeam’s safety net.

For our third Cityzen, it was between Ilkay Gündogan and Raheem Sterling, and we’ve opted for the latter in the end. Raz was rested over the weekend and looks primed for a return to the starting eleven at Turf Moor. His form was growing with 2 goals and 1 assist in his last three games, and we think he could be instrumental in City’s attempts to keep the pitch wide and break down Burnley deep-lying defensive block.

LEICESTER CITY

For our midfield, we have selected Harvey Barnes, who has been on fire in recent weeks. The Englishman has recorded attacking returns in his last four games (2 goals, 2 assists), and he already has 7 goals and 3 assists to his name in the Premier League overall. He plays very much forward, especially in the absence of Jamie Vardy, but is still listed as a midfielder on FanTeam. This could provide some nice added out-of-position value. The Foxes are up against Fulham against Craven Cottage, where they will be heavy favourites to take the three points.

The fact that we feel that they might just do this without conceding, has made us pick James Justin for this Midweek Monster tournament as well. The young full-back is one of the revelations at the King Power Stadium this season, first filling in for the injured Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne, and then turning himself into a starter for the Foxes. He is facing a Fulham side that has scored just 6 goals since gameweek 12, so hopefully Justin and his team mates can keep the Cottagers out for this one as well.

CRYSTAL PALACE

Our fourth and final defender is an Eagle facing the Magpies in gameweek 22. Patrick van Aanholt looked to have lost his place in Crystal Palace’s starting eleven to Tyrick Mitchell, but over the weekend, there the Dutchman suddenly was again. He got the 90 minutes for the first time since gameweek 15 and rewarded his FanTeam owners with a decent 7 FT points, courtesy of a clean sheet and an Impact point. For the away game against Newcastle on Tuesday, Mitchell is marked as a doubt on FanTeam, so we might see PVA start once again. Palace have kept 3 clean sheets in the last five games, while the Magpies scored just 3 goals over that same run, two of which came last weekend against Everton.

Of course, when talking about Crystal Palace, it’s impossible not to mention Wilfried Zaha by name. The Ivory Coast international is their top scorer with 9 goals, their joint-assist leader with 3 successful final passes, and the player with most shots in Roy Hodgson’s side. He was inches away from his second consecutive return against Wolves when he hit the bar and his overall form looked pretty good. Palace aren’t the most free-scoring of sides, but Zaha could be a good pick for your FanTeam €50K Midweek Monster side in gameweek 22.

SINGLE SHOOTERS

Our FanTeam selection for this midweek round also contains three single picks, one of which is Liverpool’s Mo Salah. The Egyptian failed to return in six consecutive gameweeks, but broke that unfortunate spell in GW21 by scoring a brace away at West Ham. He is expensive and Liverpool definitely still have some issues to work through, but they are not as bad as the results imply. Not at all. This week it’s a home game against Brighton, who will be full of confidence after beating Spurs 1-0 on Sunday. We don’t think that they will surprise the Reds at home though, and we feel Salah could be entering a period of consistent fantasy returns again, which is also why we have given him the captain’s armband this round.

A key (attacking) role in his team? Check. Acceptable price for GW22? Check. Good form? Check. Good fixture? Check. West Brom’s Mateus Pereira seems to check all of the boxes that make a fantasy asset great, apart from the “Plays for a good team” box. That could be less of a concern when they are visiting fellow relegation fighters Sheffield United on Tuesday, though. Pereira himself has scored 4 goals and provided 1 assist in his last four league games for a total of 33 FT points. He has the potential to be a match-winner in this hugely important game for both teams, which is why we’re betting on him in GW22.

Our final outfield player pick was partly budget-based as well, as we were running low on budget by the time we had selected nine players for our FanTeam €50K Midweek Monster squad. Southampton find themselves in a bit of a slump at the moment, having lost their last three games in the Premier League. Their star attacker Danny Ings had some injury issues over the past month or so and he hasn’t scored since his winner against Liverpool in gameweek 16 (the Saints did not play in GW18) although a marginal VAR decision in against Aston Villa at the weekend depreived him of a goal. Upcoming opponents Manchester United seem to have suddenly lost a bit of their excellent form with just 5 points from their last four games. This encounter will feature two teams in search of their earlier winning form and at Saint Mary’s, Ings could prove to be the difference.

GOALKEEPER

Finally, our goalkeeper. Once again, we have opted for a very much budget-enabling pick with high saves potential. Burnley shot stopper Nick Pope currently ranks second on FanTeam for saves (80 saves), 7 of which were made against Chelsea last weekend. As we discussed earlier in this piece, the Clarets are facing in-form Man City at Turf Moor, where they will be the heavy underdogs. A clean sheets looks unlikely, but a few save points definitely don’t.

Join the discussion on FISO’s FanTeam forum.

FPL season 2020-21: Gameweek 22 preview

“London derby time on Thursday night as Spurs are welcoming Chelsea to the Tottenham Stadium”. (CC by 2.0). Image by Daniel.

As has become usual this season, gameweek 21 was another bag of surprises for FPL managers around the world. First of all, of course, our sympathies to the 700-something-thousand managers who had high hopes for their City trio of Cancelo, Stones and Sterling against Burnley in GW21. Just a reminder of how real rotation is at Man City. Second of all, you were not entirely alone, as the five most transferred-in players last weekend (Calvert-Lewin, Gündogan, Cancelo, Watkins & Sterling) returned a majestic 7 FPL points between them. Of the top five captains (Bruno Fernandes, Salah, Son, Kane, Gündogan), only the Egyptian Red didn’t blank. Despite the round’s 48-point average score, it was a tough one for many of us.

The next gameweek is already upon us and all 20 Premier League clubs will be back in action during the upcoming midweek round, which arrives hot on the heels of a full weekend of Premier League action. Opening on Tuesday evening are Sheffield United and West Brom with a very real bottom-of-the-table clash. Seeing as Fulham hosts Leicester the day after, both teams will be be more than aware of the value of a potential three points. The encounter of the week takes place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where London rivals Chelsea will look to build on their decent performance against Burnley last weekend. There are also games between Manchester United and Southampton, form teams Aston Villa and West Ham, and Wolves versus Arsenal, just to name a few. Plenty to look forward to once again, though keep in mind that rotation might very well strike big again over the coming days.

Don’t forget, the deadline for gameweek 22 is set at 16h30 (UK time) on Tuesday, February 2nd.

Do check out the Predicted Line-Ups for the Premier League clubs as well as the latest injury news (click on ‘Team’ to sort per club rather than the default ‘date’) before finalising your transfer(s).

Most transferred in/transferred out players (as per February 1st, 2021)


TRANSFERS OUTTRANSFERS INPOSSIBLE REASONS
GKMcCarthy (SOU), Lloris (TOT), Ryan (BRI)Martinez (AST), Ederson (CIT), Leno (ARS)
DEFChilwell (CHE), Walker-Peters (SOU), Zouma (CHE)Dias (CIT), Cresswell (WHU), Targett (AST)Manager change at Chelsea, excellent defensive performances by City, Villa and West Ham.
MIDSon (TOT), Saka (ARS), Sterling (CIT)Salah (LIV), Grealish (AST), Gündogan (CIT)Salah back to scoring, Spurs disappointing, Sterling rotated.
FORKane (TOT), Calvert-Lewin (EVE), Lacazette (ARS)Wilson (NEW), Antonio (WHU), Bamford (LEE)Kane injury, Wilson brace, Antonio and Bamford form.

Premium pick

It’s been a bit of a massacre for the premium fantasy assets in FPL over the past few weeks. Either injuries (e.g. De Bruyne, Kane, Vardy) or largely lacking returns (e.g. Bruno Fernandes, Mané, Salah) seriously decimated the candidate pool for our premium category. After six consecutive blanks, Liverpool’s Mo Salah (£12.6m) showed a serious sign of line against West Ham over the weekend, though. The Egyptian wizard scored twice for a total of 15 FPL points and Liverpool as a whole looked pretty good against an in-form Hammers side. Though there are definitely some things Liverpool need to work on still, we do believe that their recent slump in form and results was a bit of a freak occurrence. Hopefully they can prove us right on Wednesday when Brighton visit Anfield.

Non-premium picks

Our first non-premium pick is based on a combination of undeniable quality and form as Aston Villa host West Ham on Wednesday. The home team currently sits in ninth while the visitors are up in fifth place, so this is a clash between two teams in good form. Villa star Jack Grealish (£7.7m) could be the one to make the difference in what we feel should be a tightly contested encounter. The England international has posted attacking returns in his last three gameweeks, with 1 goal and 2 assists for a total of 20 FPL points. Despite playing two games less, the Villans are amongst the top-five teams for many of the important attacking stats, including goals scored, shots on target and big chances. West Ham at home won’t be a walk in the park, but Grealish could deliver this week.

The second non-premium fantasy pick that caught our eye in the build-up to gameweek 22 is Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m). Even more than Grealish at Villa, the Ivorian forward is the principal source of offensive creativity at the Eagles. He is their top scorer with 9 goals, their joint-assist leader with 3 successful final passes, and the player with most shots in Roy Hodgson’s side. Palace are playing at Saint James’ Park in GW22 and have a rather favourable set of fixtures following that one, including home games against Fulham, Burnley and West Brom, and away games at Leeds and Brighton over the next seven rounds. Zaha was inches away from his second consecutive return against Wolves when he hit the bar and his overall form looked pretty good. Palace aren’t the most free-scoring of sides, but Zaha could be a good investment for the short and medium term.

The budget enabler

Goalkeepers are heavily under-represented in most FPL previews, including ours, but our budget-enabling fantasy pick this week stands between the sticks. Brighton’s Robert Sanchez (£4.4m) has gone a bit under the radar since becoming Graham Potter’s first-choice goalie back in gameweek 13, which explains both his more than friendly price tag and his current ownership of just 1.3%. Brighton are not a bad side, but they lack goals, which weighs on the team as a whole. At the back though, the Seagulls are really quite stable, which they managed to translate into actual results recently as well. They have not conceded a goal in the past three rounds, which has led Sanchez to collect a very nice 21 FPL points. He could represent the perfect way to free up those final £0.something million for bringing in that field player you feel is going to explode soon.

A differential pick or two

The first differential fantasy pick for gameweek 22 is Leicester forward Harvey Barnes (£6.9m), who has been on fire in recent weeks. The Englishman has recorded attacking returns in his last four games (2 goals, 2 assists), and he already has 7 goals and 3 assists to his name in the Premier League overall. The Foxes will be looking at their midfielders to make up for Jamie Vardy’s absence and Barnes seems to be stepping up. He is their highest-scoring midfielder in FPL and has a decent run of fixtures coming up, starting with Fulham at Craven Cottage this Wednesday. His ownership has been growing recently as a result of his performances, but it still sits at 7.3% at the time of writing this. We can see him growing out of differential status soon, so do consider him for your midfield if you’re looking for picks that make a difference at a kind price.

Recent weeks have been a festival of differential value in the FPL and few players have brought more differential joy than Mateus Pereira (£5.6m). It’s true that his side West Brom is possibly the worst in the league, but in theory, the Brazilian has it all: the key (attacking) role in his team, the budget price tag, the form and the fixture. In a period in which rotation and such are abundant, he could provide exceptional value, both in terms of planning, fantasy selection stability and actual real-life form. Pereira has scored 4 goals in his last four league games for a total of 39 FPL points and up next are Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. The improving Blades will be eyeing this encounter as well though, as three points here would suddenly see them back in the mix for Premier League survival. We find it hard to predict the result for this one and goals could be scarce (or abundant), but West Brom’s Pereira has the qualities to make an impact in this game.

The captaincy

With many of the usual suspects for the armband out injured or out of form, and with relatively few really clear-cut match-ups in gameweek 22 from an FPL point of view, we expect Mo Salah to be the number-one GW22 captaincy candidate this week. We have also gone with the Egyptian as he prepares for a home game against sturdy Brighton on Wednesday night. Salah finally got his name back on the score sheet in GW21 with a brace against West Ham and we hope that he’ll repeat this feat against the Seagulls this week.

If you don’t have Salah or gave up on him after six consecutive blanks, you could opt for one of the Man City boys when they roll up to Turf Moor on Wednesday. Sterling is likely to return to the starting eleven after being rested for the GW21 fixture versus Sheffield United, as are Joao Cancelo and John Stones. Either of these three feel like decent captaincy picks, seeing as City are getting back into form and can count on the league’s best defence by some distance. Riskier picks for the armband include Harvey Barnes away at Fulham, Patrick Bamford at Elland Road versus Everton, Dominic Calvert-Lewin away against Leeds, Wilfried Zaha at Saint James’ Park, and Mateus Pereira away against Sheffield United.