Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 3
Welcome to Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 3. Back in 1998, The Propellerheads teamed up with Shirley Bassey for a song called ‘History Repeating’. Why am I dropping this random fact into my first article of the season, I hear you ask… Well, game-weeks one and two of the new FPL campaign have well and truly got the tune in my head with how they have shown some things just never change!
Harry Kane is, once again, slow off the mark, leaving managers scratching their heads on whether they should get rid of him, Arsenal are having a mixed time of it with no clean sheet yet meaning a proportion of their fans are going into meltdown on Twitter and we’re starting to see a couple of surprise packages in teams that many had written off before a ball had even been kicked – Watford and Huddersfield, I’m looking at you guys in particular.
Anyway, it’s great to be back writing for this fantastic site. Within my tips below, I’ve taken a look at some of the favourites, as well as the new boys on the block who have hit the ground running and could be Capoue at the start of last season, the Mahrez of 2015/16 or even the Michu of many moons ago.
First up is West Brom’s Ben Foster, one of the few players who managed to stay in my team the whole of last season and could suffer the same fate this time around. He’s the most brought in goalkeeper of this gameweek, with 16.9% of managers able to say they have him in their team. He has a form of 6.5ppg thanks to two clean sheets in as many games, with a defence in front of him that many had written off thanks to an unremarkable preseason campaign.
The Baggies have a good run of fixtures coming up. First up is Stoke at home this weekend, who may have beaten Arsenal last weekend but don’t have a great record down the M6 at the Hawthorns. They have not won there since May 2014, in fact. Next up is a trip to the south coast to play strugglers Brighton and then West Ham come to town on 16 September. Costing just £4.5m, Foster is a great addition to your team, either as a first or second goalkeeper choice, depending how much dosh you want to dish out on a shot stopper.
Next up is a goalkeeper for a team that needs to get going and hasn’t kept a clean sheet yet. So why am I picking Rob Elliot? Well, to quote the great David Dickinson – who I’ve met, I’ll have you know – this guy in gloves is cheap as chips. Just £4.0m will buy you Newcastle’s first choice man between the sticks who can easily fill the goalkeeper gap in your team if you’re running a bit short of cash.
Looking at The Toon’s fixtures, they have West Ham at home this gameweek, who were painfully close to getting a draw at Southampton and have had their cash flashing rewarded already by Chicharito. OK, so maybe rely on your other keeper this weekend, however Swansea away and Stoke at home beckon afterwards, with Brighton away not long afterwards. So, if your main keeper has a tricky fixture in that time – Courtois facing Arsenal in GW5 for example – this man could step up to the plate.
Huddersfield have a good run of fixtures coming up and, as already mentioned, are worthy of their position so high up in the league. The league’s new boys have registered two clean sheets in their victories over Crystal Palace and Newcastle and so, without further ado, I’ll suggest Jonas Lössl who costs just £4.5m. He is joint third on the table of saves with Jack Butland and, with an ownership of just 3.7%, the goalkeeper presents a great differential.
What’s more, Lössl’s games coming up aren’t bad either. Southampton make the long trip up to the John Smith’s Stadium this weekend, before an away day to West Ham and then a return home to welcome Leicester. Whilst they could be tricky games, there is also potential for clean sheets as Huddersfield look to build on their great start.
Ah, another example of history repeating – Marcos Alonso is back isn’t he?! Some may say his rather eye watering price tag of £7.0m is just too much to spend on a player in that position. I am in the other camp, however, in that the points he has already hauled – as well as the potential for the rest of the season – would make him a bargain if he was a midfielder or forward. Let’s face it, this guy is not really a defender on the pitch, anyway.
Scoring twice against Spurs took us back to Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Leicester in January, a fond memory of this writer who had him in their team back then! Unfortunately, of course, the points haul wasn’t quite the same this time round, after teammate Michy Batshuayi scored a wonder goal in his own net to wipe out the clean sheet. Looking ahead, Chelsea host Everton and then travel to Leicester, before then ‘welcoming’ Arsenal to Stamford Bridge. Not the greatest clean sheet potential, however this player is lethal when it comes to goal threat. Go on, I’m sure you can find that spare cash for him somewhere – especially now Man City’s Kyle Walker is unavailable after getting himself sent off!
Following on from my recommendation of Ben Foster, it may not come as much of a surprise when I say another defender pick is Ahmed El-Sayed Hegazi. Speaking to a West Brom fan before the season started, he wasn’t very optimistic for the season ahead, however Hegazi was one of the few highlights for him. Managers who took a punt on including him in their team from the offset were immediately rewarded as he was the only goalscorer in their win against Bournemouth, keeping a clean sheet and earning 15 points in the process. Two bonus points were then given to the player in the match at Turf Moor as they had no need to pick the ball up from the back of the net for a second game, meaning he has a whopping 23 points already.
Hegazi is, however, now £4.7m as managers scramble to bring him into their squad. Over 155,000 have already this gameweek, in fact, making him the most brought in defender by a country mile. Games against Stoke, Brighton and West Ham carry with them good potential and so you could do a lot worse than bring in this fella.
Next up is Spurs’ Ben Davies who, like Hegazi, has already gone up in price this season. Now costing £5.6m, he too enjoyed a large points haul in the first game as the team brushed aside Newcastle – thanks to a goal, clean sheet and all three bonus points. He came off before his teammates conceded the second against Chelsea, meaning he registered two points. Davies was one of the few players who presented a goal threat in that game and so, after the first match, there are definitely encouraging signs.
Owned by 9.5% of managers, he is playing Burnley at home this weekend. Whilst The Clarets recorded that impressive 3-2 win the last time they were in London, I can’t help but think Spurs will be wanting to get back on track after their loss against The Blues and keep a clean sheet. One note of caution, however – the signing of Davinson Sanchez from Ajax could endanger Davies’ starting place.
Another defender to consider does come with a high price tag, but should also bring some good value for money, is Eric Bailly. Whilst this guy came out of the Liberty Stadium with a goal to his name, that may not be something you should expect in many gameweeks. What you can expect, however, is great clean sheet potential as Man United have come out all guns blazing so far this season and look a real formidable force as Mourinho looks to keep up his second season tradition. Whilst competition will be strong to get into the squad – Lindelof, Smalling and Darmian are no doubt eagerly sat on the sidelines having not played a single Premier League minute yet – I can foresee Bailly being a dependable asset to your squad.
Man United’s game this weekend is against Leicester City. Whilst Leicester were out of the Premier League for a good few years, it’s still the case The Foxes haven’t come away from Old Trafford with three points since January 1998. The fixture last season ended in The Red Devils celebrating a 4-1 win and, even with Leicester showing themselves as better this season, you still can’t see past Man United in getting the win and, perhaps, a clean sheet. After this, Mourinho’s men have to do it on a cold evening away at Stoke on 9 September, before Everton then come to town.
If money is tight for you and you want a cheap defender, perhaps consider my final recommendation for that position as a one gameweek punt. I am talking about Miguel Britos, who is £4.5m. As you may have read at the start, Watford have been a surprise package so far this season and this guy currently leads the way in their defensive department with 12 points. He scored against Liverpool in their 3-3 draw and registered a clean sheet away at Bournemouth, even if he did pick up a yellow card in the process. The Hornets host Brighton this weekend but then you may want to rotate him as Southampton and Man City are the next games.
Like predicting a well-known character will pop their clogs in Game of Thrones, another thing you could easily foresee was my first pick. With such ridiculous form, Paul Pogba has rewarded FPL managers who were happy to consign his last season to history and have faith in him for this one. Described as the best midfielder in the world by fellow Frenchman Anthony Martial, he has scored in both Premier League matches so far, throwing in two assists for good measure when they demolished Swansea in the early kick off of GW2.
With Henrikh Mkhitaryan and new signings Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic in the frame, Pogba has been energised and well and truly found his feet. He’s a constant threat. Having conceded three away at Arsenal, Leicester could be picking the ball up from the back of their net a few times this weekend and it wouldn’t be a shock to hear Pogba has received at least an assist for his efforts.
At £8.1m, he is cheaper than the aforementioned Mkhitaryan, however I would be more tempted to pick him for my squad. Compared to the likes of De Bruyne and other midfielders who haven’t yet found any form, that price is an absolute steal. At the time of writing, however, over 245,000 managers have brought him into their teams and so I’d make the transfer sooner rather than later to beat the price rises and even start adding value to your squad.
Next up is the old favourite, Christian Eriksen. The Dane very much enjoyed last season, as he was joined by Kane, Alli and Son in the team’s formidable attack. Unlike Kane in particular, however, Eriksen has picked up where he left off with an impressive three assists already, leading to a total points haul of 19. Priced at £9.5m, he’s not cheap, however with two of the next three games being Burnley and Swansea – both at home – it could be a very lucrative signing. Sean Dyche’s men have already conceded three goals in two games, whilst Swansea quickly forgot their clean sheet at Southampton as they let in four against Man United. There may be a few goals and Eriksen will probably be at the centre of them.
A trip to Everton is the sandwich filling between the Burnley and Swansea fixtures, which won’t be such a straightforward affair as The Toffees have only let in one goal so far.
Will he stay or will he go? Well, on his current form, Leicester will certainly be hoping they can keep hold of Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian has hit the ground running this season, grabbing one assist away at Arsenal, followed by another two in the 2-0 win over Brighton that he was an integral part of, amassing a very respectable 16 points over just two matches.
It may come as quite a surprise for a player who is under transfer speculation – and has Man United away and then Chelsea at home coming up – to be selected in this section. However, his performance at the Emirates on day one has shown he is going through a good patch of confidence that means he has potential to gain points even in tough games and, being on such good form, Leicester must surely do everything they can to keep him. They definitely don’t want to start falling perilously close to the danger zone like they did last season when N’Golo Kanté’s sale and discord in the team really showed, ultimately leading to poor Ranieri’s dismissal.
If you’re looking for some cheap midfielders who will actually bring points into your team as well, there are quite a few players who have raised a few eyebrows. First up is Jesé of Stoke who joined a quite impressive number of players by scoring on his debut, as The Potters saw off Arsenal with their lowest ever possession percentage. The Spaniard costs just £6.0m – the same price as Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie but with eight more points already – and has quite varied games coming up when it comes to difficulty. Over 170,000 FPL managers have put their trust in him already this gameweek, however, raising his overall ownership to 4.3%.
Other cheap midfielders to consider are Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy and Watford’s Richarlison, who cost £5.6m and £6.0m respectively. Both players have good fixtures coming up, along with very respectable points hauls – Mooy with 16 and Richarlison registering 15 – and so you could do a lot worse than have either of these players in your team. Money’s even tighter than that? OK, perhaps give Abdoulaye Doucouré a go, who costs just £5.1m.
With Pogba my first pick for midfielders, it’s only fair I don’t have another Man United player with that accolade in the forwards section – though I expect you can guess who that would be! No, my first selection will actually be a player who has worn the United shirt on his back in the past. Whether you refer to him as Javier Hernández or Chicharito, this guy exploded on to the scene in West Ham’s 3-2 loss at Southampton when he put two in the back of the net and could quite easily have scored more. Indeed, he was pretty much the only decent West Ham player in their defeat at Old Trafford. At £7.1m, he could be an absolute bargain.
West Ham’s next three fixtures could be pivotal in deciding what their season is going to be like. They’re away at Newcastle this weekend, have Huddersfield visit them in GW4 and then travel to sunny West Bromwich to play at the Hawthorns. With their defence already conceding a horrendous seven goals, the Hammers will be hoping and praying they can keep Chicharito fit, on form and still wanting to play for them.
Next up on my list is, therefore, the league’s current top goalscorer – Romelu Lukaku. ‘Blankaku’ this guy has not been, so far this season, with 19 points and three goals to his name already. Whilst he is owned by 56% of managers – making him the most owned player in all positions, meaning he is definitely not a differential – it’s fair to say the Belgian is an essential to have in your squad.
Honestly, if he’s not in there at the moment, put him in before your rank continues to fall. With decent fixtures coming up, as mentioned in the write up about Pogba, he can be in and among the points for further gameweeks, though managers may be moving the captain’s armband to another player this weekend, a certain Spurs forward.
I, of course, mean Harry Kane. No doubt representing the worst points to £m ratio at the moment with a measly two points paired to a £12.5m price tag, it’s fair to say over 30% of FPL managers have been very disappointed to date. Indeed, over 73,000 have waved him goodbye out of their squads. Then you look back to last season and lots of managers brought the Spurs forward in to their teams before this fixture at White Hart Lane and then nothing happened in either that match or against Hull, leading to mass disappointment. Oh and then you remember the fact he apparently has this curse of not scoring in August.
So why am I suggesting you should keep hold of him?! Well, whilst he has not produced in either the Newcastle or Chelsea games, Kane has actually played very well, registering 14 shots – not to mention hitting the woodwork 3 times. Surely he can silence his critics and finally find the back of the net this weekend?!
My final shout is Sergio Agüero. Costing £11.5m, he’s not a cheap addition to your squad; however he’s already got a goal to his name this season as Man City saw off Brighton in GW1. Admittedly, the Argentinian forward only scored two points in their 1-1 draw with Everton, however with Man City’s neighbours showing what they can do, expect The Citizens to pile on the pressure as falling behind their bitter rivals would no doubt be disastrous!
They’re away at Bournemouth who have lost two on the trot. With Agüero turning on the style, it may just be a third successive defeat for The Cherries.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Tips Gameweek 3
The League Codes for FF247 for the 2017/18 season are as follows:
Gameweek Tracker GW3-11