FPL Tips Gameweek 9
Welcome to FPL Tips Gameweek 9. When making transfers what type of FPL manager are you? Are you the type to punt on last week’s highest scorer and hope lightning strikes twice? Or more of a ‘Steady Eddie’ who favours consistency over explosiveness? Perhaps you forgo that which has passed entirely and instead gaze longingly into your crystal ball in faint hope you’ll unearth a hidden gem, gaining an advantage over your mate who’s usually rubbish at FPL but is somehow kicking the sh@t out of your mini-league aspirations this season. Well, my friends, you are in luck. This week I have a little bit of something for everyone.
The points chaser
Just 7pts separate the highest scoring and fifth-placed keepers, further reinforcing the long-held belief that switching out your goalie is a fruitless task. This point was further driven home in GW8 by Lukasz Fabianski (£5.1), who jumped to the top of the pile with 41pts following his 15-pointer at home to Fulham, proving that any keeper is only an Ademola Lookman penalty away from a haul. Fabianski has a decent fixture run and proven pedigree, not the worst pick in the world.
Keep the faith
The highest owned keeper Emiliano Martinez (27%) is still a snip at £4.8m, he’s also just a point behind top-scoring keeper Fabianski. If you don’t own him, more fool you. If you’re on a Wildcard or its time to scrap that Pickford punt, don’t be stubborn, get him in. FPL is not a complicated game; pick the best players and you will win the whole damn thing. If only it were that simple. Anyway, what is clear is that Villa are a different animal this season, Martinez will continue to provide fantastic value and with an appealing set of fixtures on the horizon It’s not too late to jump on board.
Trying to be clever
Ok, maybe Kasper Schmeichel (£5.5) can’t be classed as going full Nostradamus given that he’s picked up 19pts in his last 3, and he may not be top of anyone’s agenda given that he’s away to Liverpool this coming game week, and at present is flagged having taken a bump on the noggin on international duty. However, Liverpool will likely field their under 12’s, his heads probably totally fine and following Liverpool the Foxes have a trio of fixtures that could see Peter’s son pick up a tidy points tally.
The points chaser
Every man and his dog is talking about Ben Chilwell (£6.0) and for good reason. You only have to watch Chelsea’s win over Sheffield United in GW8 to see why he’s on everyone’s radar. However, he picked up an injury during England’s defeat to Belgium so I’d swerve him unless we hear he’s fit. Oh, you already bought him? Silly Billy. Should Chilwell be ruled out, then Kurt Zouma (£5.4) looks a decent alternative; top points scoring defender with 3 goals already this season, I wouldn’t dissuade you. However, if you’re looking for defenders in form with an attractive fixture run then might I suggest you look to the newly defensively astute Aston Villa. Tyrone Mings (£5.3) is the standout pick with 2 goals an assist and 4 clean sheets, but if you’re cash poor then both Matt Targett (£4.5) and Ezri Konsa (£4.7) offer not too dissimilar returns – you could do a lot worse.
If like me you have your full quota of Villians, then Southampton’s Jannic Vestergaard (£4.7) is making himself difficult to ignore. The big Dane has now returned in 6 of his 7 games; 2 goals and 4 clean sheets. The Saints have a couple of tricky fixtures up next (away to Wolves and home to Manchester United) but following 3 wins on the bounce you can expect them to head into the weekend full of confidence. Would it be a huge surprise if Vestergaard didn’t come away with points from both games?
Keep the faith
If you held Lucas Digne (£6.1) through his red card then well done you. Everton have a great set of fixtures over the next 3; trips to Fulham and Burnley sandwiching a home tie to Leaky Leeds. Digne could be a go-to Ben Chilwell alternative, with a good chance he’ll add to his 3 assists and a solitary clean sheet.
He’s not nailed! Screams my good friend Smash whenever Reece James (£5.0) is mentioned in our group chats. Well, Smasher, you’re not wrong, but with Chilwell potentially out we may get to see James operating as the swashbuckling fullback, we witnessed in GW1 (14pts away to Brighton). Have at it. Finally, he’s a bit of a poor man’s Lamptey but for those who have held Walkers-Peters (£4.6) all season, those 9pts in GW8 will have seemed quite the windfall. As mentioned above, the Saints have some canny fixtures, yeah, why not eh?
Trying to be clever
You’re a fixtures man (or woman) eh? Well after they travel to Spurs this week, Man City have a fixture run that shows only two ‘red fixtures’ through to GW22. Kyle Walker (£6.1) looks your safest bet for added attacking incentive, but if you fancy a gamble with Pep roulette then perhaps Joao Cancelo (£5.4) who has played 90 minutes in the last 4 could be the man for you. You just know he’s getting benched the week you buy him though. If you’re happy to forgo the attacking prowess of the City fullbacks then Ruben Diaz (£5.5) seems to have nailed down his spot in the City back four (I know, I know), playing 90 minutes in the last 5. City defenders are going to pick up clean sheets aplenty in the coming weeks (one hopes), depending on who plays of course.
Not sure if going with West Ham defenders could be classified as trying to be clever given that they already have 3 clean sheets on the board. However, their ownership suggests you could be rewarded as an early adopter ahead of a nice set of fixtures that run through to 2021. Aaron Cresswell (£5.1) is the man I’d go for having created more chances (17) than any other defender in the game. If you’re looking for a cheap alternative, then teammate Vladimír Coufal (£4.5) has more than just a cool name. With 2 assists already, the Czech fullback could be a sound investment, I bought him last week and was rewarded with 8pts in GW8. Nice.
If you really want to be a smart arse, then why not take a punt on Neco Williams (£3.9) or Nathaniel Philips (£4.0). With the Liverpool defence (and everywhere else) looking decimated there’s a good chance one of the youngsters will get a run in the first team (maybe). Which one? No idea. Will Liverpool keep any clean sheets? Probably not. However, if you buy one as your fifth defender in place of someone like the (apparently) injured Trent Alexander-Arnold then you’ll have more dosh than Rockefeller and you can laugh in the face of your rivals as you buy more premium attackers than you know what to do with. Yippee.
The points chaser
Damn you Bruno Fernandes damn you. The £10.6 midfielder has been in and out of my side all season, mainly in when he did nowt, and out when he smashed a double-digit return. Over 300k have added Bruno to their teams over the international break, 17pts in GW8 and West Brom at home this weekend, you can see the appeal. His home form does not match that of his away form, all three of his double-digit hauls have come away from Old Trafford this season. Does that make him a bad option? No of course not. It won’t surprise me if Bruno smashes another 17-pointer to make me weep once more and delight the substantial proportion of managers who will be handing him the Captains armband in GW9.
Like Bruno, over 300k managers have added Hakim Ziyech (£8.2) to their FPL teams. Well, for once I’m ahead of the curve, I chased his 14pts in GW7 and was rewarded with his 11pts in GW8. Check me out. This one is the real deal. A stunning performance that included 2 assists and maximum bonus in GW8, Ziyech continued his impressive form over the international break, scoring twice and grabbing an assist in his countries 4-1 win over the Central African Republic. Eden who?
A goal, an assist and 13pts will have brought Eberechi Eze (£5.8) to the attention of Fantasy managers looking for a sneaky differential (just 0.5% ownership). Given that both his goal and assist were his first of the season, throw in that he has just two full 90 minutes on the season and you have the perfect excuse not to buy the new pretender to the Palace throne. They do have good fixtures mind, but it’s a no from me.
Keep the faith
Why buy the pretender when you can have the real deal? Wilfred Zaha (£7.4) has looked a different player this season, perhaps he hasn’t realised the transfer window has closed. Whatever you think of him, there’s no denying that on his day, he is a great player to own. 5 goals, 2 assists has seen Zaha climb to number 4 in the midfield scoring charts. At 29.4% ownership he can damage your rank if he hits those double-digits, a feat he’s already achieved on two occasions this season. Three very attractive fixtures coming right up, if you have him he’s going to be staying, and if you don’t have other fires to put out, Wilfred will likely do you proud.
Over 250k managers have brought in Jack Grealish (£7.5) this game week, I should know, I’m one of them. Only Salah and Son have more points or owners across all midfielders in the game. He already has 4 goals, 6 assists and two double-digit hauls under his belt. Villa’s upcoming fixture run looks awesome and week by week Grealish is becoming the player that dare I say it, could be worthy of your captain’s armband. Hell, I may even captain him this week.
If you’ve held onto James Rodríguez (£7.9) over the last 4 game weeks you’ll have no doubt felt a little frustrated. Fear not, your patience is about to be rewarded (maybe). Everton’s fixtures take a turn for the better, which coincides with the return of Richarlison following his 3 game red card ban. Will we see another performance that saw the Colombian grab 18 points at home to Brighton in GW4? There’s a good chance. Should you buy him if you don’t already own him? Sure, why the devil not?
Trying to be clever
This one feels like the training scene from Rocky Balboa. For those not familiar with the movie, An ageing Balboa is about to start training for a fight with the current (much younger) heavyweight champion ‘ To beat this guy, you need speed. You don’t have it. And you’ve got calcium deposits on most of your joints, so sparring is out’, proclaims his trainer. Essentially listing all the reasons Rocky will fail. Upstep then James Maddison (£7.0). He hasn’t played 90 minutes all season, he has just 3 attacking returns and why would you go with Maddison when he’s away to Liverpool and may not even start? Well, you’re trying to be clever right? Leicester have amazing fixtures game weeks 10 through 12, I’d suggest Harvey Barnes (£6.9) but his benching in GW8 has me nervous. Hell, both have me nervous, but he who dares and all that!
Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5) is not a player you would normally expect to see in this section, however, much like City this season, the Belgian has not looked quite himself. Indeed, City has failed to score more than a single goal since GW3, but despite looking slightly off the pace, Kevin has picked up an assist in his last two. As mentioned previously, City has a fixture run that is green as can be, Burnley and Fulham at home in game weeks 10 and 11 looks as good a place as any for Kevin and his City teammates to finally get their season up and running.
The points chaser
Che Adams (£5.9) has picked 5 attacking returns in his last 4 matches (3 goals, 2 assists). The early season underlying stats backed the Saints man, but it’s only recently that he’s began to actually deliver on his promise. In the absence of Talisman Danny Ings, Che has stepped up to the plate, which is a strange thing to say as he was doing well in the 3 games prior to Ings picking up his knee injury. All in all, you will quite literally not get better at his price. Good fixtures, cheap as chips, chase away.
If however you have £0.2 extra in your back pocket then Ollie Watkins (£6.1) could be worth the extra outlay. 13pts in GW8 will be what attracts the casuals or those happy to just hit Autofill, but let’s face it, those are the managers doing well this season. You know what they say, ‘if you can’t beat em’, and with a plum fixture run for Dean Smith’s men, it’s never been a better time to go all casual.
Keep the faith
Every man and his dog owns Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8) and for good reason. He’s picked up an attacking return in all but one of his 8 games and with a tasty run for the Toffees I pity anyone without him.
It’s got to the point where a return of any kind from Patrick Bamford (£6.1) will hurt your rank thanks to his 34.9% ownership. For those who got him in at £5.5, I raise my glass. Last season, Bamford scored a canny few goals but was still accused of having an aversion to barn doors. This year, in fairness he does seem a lot more clinical, I’ll be honest, I’m pleasantly surprised. Leeds will continue to create chances, Bamford will continue to tuck them away, the fear that he’s Teemu Pukki 2.0 is no more.
If you own Harry Kane (£11.0) don’t sell him, I know the fixtures look bleak, but Kane can score against anyone and invariably will. Would I buy him IF I didn’t own him? No, probably not. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Kane hasn’t blanked since game week 1, and, whilst the games against Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool will have given some managers the jitters, would you be surprised if he scored or assisted in any of them? No me either, and I’m certainly not concerned about holding him through Arsenal at home and Palace away.
Trying to be clever
So don’t sell Kane yeah? Well unless of course, you’re thinking of selling him for Jamie Vardy (£10.1). Even I’m wondering how Jamie has sneaked into this section, he could have easily slotted into either of the previous two. The fixtures offer up temptation on an almost weekly basis. Gameweek 10 will see Fulham visit the King Power and make Vardy (who has 3 goals in his last 3) a very strong contender for your armband. The case for Vardy is further strengthened by their subsequent fixtures away to Sheffield United and home to Brighton. That he has both the form and fixtures means managers are going to have some difficult choices to make next week. Good luck whichever path you choose!
Well, if Jamie Vardy doesn’t belong here, then one man who certainly does is Anthony Martial (£8.7). The Frenchman’s stock is at an all-time low, just 3.9% ownership, no surprise given his paltry returns of 1 assist and just 7 points. However, he has the pedigree. Last season Martial had his best season in front of goal (17) and a lot of those came at Old Trafford. We all know he’s going to smash in a hat-trick and make us all sit up at some point, this week could be that week as West Brom travel to Old Trafford. Imagine how cool you’ll look if Tony is in your side when he goes HAM.
Gabriel Jesus (£9.3) returned to the City side in game week 8 and boy have they missed him. I say him, in truth I’d have said the same about Sergio Aguero, they’ve suffered without a frontman, but you already know that. The caveat of ‘will Aguero be back soon’ hangs over this pick, but with home games against Burnley, Fulham and West Brom in their next 5 mean that if it’s Jesus who gets the nod, you could see some tasty returns from the Brazilian in the coming weeks.
That’s all folks, good luck and may your arrows be green.
Thanks for reading FPL Tips Gameweek 9. This article was written by Rosco.
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