As predicted, I got a big old red arrow after last week’s fixtures. From the lofty heights I had reached, I’m now all the way down to 128k, after another disappointing round.
I captained Aubameyang last week, just as seemingly everybody else on FPL Reddit did. He promptly failed to score. If I’d just captained Salah then everything would’ve turned out differently… but Fantasy Premier League is full of coulda, woulda, shoulda’s.
Unsurprisingly, last week’s disappointments also led to a drop in the Full 90 Football FPL league:
(The code to join is 1638548-372960).
Not so very long ago, it was a two horse race between myself and Ismo Moh. One of those two horses is still leading the pack… the other is now involved in a pretty fierce three-through-five battle.
Hopefully, though, I’ve stopped the rot now.
I brought in Son Heung-Min extremely early… earlier than I would’ve liked, following his injuries. I spent the whole mid-week Barcelona game crossing my fingers that he wouldn’t get re-injured, and fortunately he came through unscathed. Son has a very high ceiling for his price tag, so here’s hoping he can help turn things around.
Anyway, enough about my woes. Here’s are my tips for Gameweek 17 of the Fantasy Premier League season.
Goalkeepers & Defenders
As far as goalkeepers go, it’s the same old story. Alisson (5.7) and Ederson (5.8) are still expensive, but still absolutely miles ahead of the competition.
Regarding defences in general, here are the five teams who are most likely to keep a clean sheet this week, according to the bookies:
- Man City
Watford aside, those are four pretty strong back lines. Let’s work down through the list.
Spurs do have great fixtures coming up… but I just can’t see a way to buy into their defence. All of their players are just too expensive for what they offer, and the wing-backs in particular are far too prone to rotation.
For Chelsea, Alonso (7.0) continues to be the standout pick. Yes he’s expensive, but he’s been comfortably the best defender in FPL for what seems like the entire season. If you can’t afford him, then David Luiz (5.7) provides some good cover.
Considering they’re the second-best defence in the league, Man City aren’t actually very FPL-friendly. The only defender I’d consider is Laporte (6.1). Walker (6.5) might be a good real-life player, but he’s far too expensive for what he offers in fantasy.
Liverpool have the best defensive record in the Prem. Robertson (6.5) is a great pick, and has provided consistently excellent returns for his value. I do like Alexander-Arnold (5.3) too, but he’s much more of a rotation risk. If you’re considering bringing in some Liverpool defenders, do bear in mind that they’ve got some tough fixtures coming up.
Outside of those four, the most tempting defence to target is West Ham’s. Are they a good defence? Absolutely not! But, they do have an incredible run of fixtures coming up. For me, the most appealing target is Balbuena (4.4), mostly because of his lovely cheap price.
Elsewhere… honestly, there’s not a huge amount of value to be had. It’s been particularly hard to find cheap, dependable defenders this season. I got on the Doherty (5.1) bandwagon pretty early, and he’s served me well… but outside of him, there really aren’t many appealing options out there.
Despite scoring a hat-trick last weekend, and a worldie in mid-week, the Great Salah (13.0) Debate continues to rage. Primarily this is because he’s got some tough fixtures coming up, starting with Man U this weekend, who he’s never scored against.
Personally, I’m keeping him… but I don’t really have a choice. I have Sterling already, and the only other candidate to swap him out for is Kane, which I can’t do without taking a -8.
The Man City trio of Sterling (11.6), Sane (9.6) and David Silva (8.6) – in that order – all remain strong picks. They’ve got a decent home matchup this week against Everton, and a nice run of fixtures after that.
Elsewhere, I’m seeing the Hazard (10.9) hype train picking up steam again, after his good performance up front against City.
While he did tail off massively after his excellent run of form earlier in the season (shocker)… I am buying this somewhat. Chelsea have an easy schedule coming up, starting with the atrocious Fulham this week. Also, Hazard should be less susceptible to rotation than the big names at City or Liverpool.
Finally for the top tier, we’ve got the big three Spurs midfielders – Son (8.5), Eriksen (9.3) and Alli (8.9). That’s pretty much the order I like them in, based on the value they offer. Personally, despite my longstanding love affair with Eriksen, I went with Son… and he promptly rewarded me with an immediate return.
If you do want any of this bunch, then get them in right now, before Spurs play Burnley at home.
Felipe Anderson (7.3) is continuing to prove his worth. He’s got five goals and an assist in his last six games, and West Ham’s ludicrous run of fixtures is still set to continue for some time:
Your other main candidate in the mid-range is the highly-owned Richarlison (7.1). If you’ve got him (and no major holes in your squad), you might consider playing a little hokey-cokey with Anderson, depending on the pair’s respective fixtures.
Personally, I’m still taking Richarlison out of the two. After tough matchups against City and Spurs, Everton’s fixtures turn in a big way.
As I said last week, there’s really nothing else I like in the mid-range price bracket, which is why I’ve switched to three premium players in midfield.
Down in the Budget Basement, Torreira (5.1) is starting to get some buzz after returning in three consecutive weeks. He’s played well, and Arsenal have some decent fixtures coming up, but I wouldn’t get too excited. He’s simply not attacking enough to make this a regular thing.
Snodgrass (5.3) is a more intriguing proposition. As I mentioned, West Ham’s silly fixture run is set to continue for some time, and he’s a cheap way to buy into it.
Finally, if you’re just looking for a short-term enabler, consider Cairney (4.7) as a temporary fix. He’s super cheap, and Fulham have some very forgiving matchups in the near future.
At long last, Kane (12.6) has reasserted himself as the top forward option in Fantasy Premier League. He’s in excellent form, with four goals and two assists in his last five starts. He’s also super-nailed to start, and Spurs have a pretty inviting schedule coming up too. The downside is that he’s very expensive… obviously.
Aubameyang (11.5) remains a very good option, for considerably less money than Kane. The knock on him early in the season was that he might be a rotation risk. Well, he’s played 90 minutes in five straight games now.
Aguero (11.2) is reportedly returning this week, for the Everton game. Don’t jump on him straight away, though – let’s see him play 90 minutes first.
The only mid-range forward I’d consider is Lacazette (9.6).
He’s a quality player, but he makes me nervous in FPL. Emery loves to tinker, and Laca seems to be a permanent rotation risk. He’ll probably start against Southampton, but on a long-term week-to-week basis… who knows?
As for budget options, Wilson (6.9) has obviously been the standout pick this year. I’ve held off all season, and – if you don’t own him already – I’d advise you to do the same this week, and gauge his post-injury fitness.
Mitrovic (6.8) is probably the best cheap option at this precise moment. Arsenal and Spurs aside, he’s got a mouthwatering set of matchups to look forward to:
Alternatively, you could downgrade all the way to Jiminez (6.2). He’s got a far lower ceiling than either of the other two, but you’ll free up funds to spend elsewhere.
I’m taking Sterling as my captain this week. I don’t really like picking someone on an early fixture, but come on, City love to bang in goals at home.
If you haven’t got Raheem, both Aubameyang and Kane also represent good options.
Hazard is a decent shout… but he lags some way behind the others for me.
Well, that just about does it for your Fantasy Premier League tips this week. Let’s all try to enjoy this relative calm in FPL before the storm over Christmas!
I’ll be back next week with more fantasy goodness. Until then, cheers everyone.