MyFPL is a series where we will go through our thought process before every FPL Gameweek in the 2018/2019 season.
Current Overall Points: 1349
Current Overall Ranking: 3,167
Last Gameweek Points: 63
The Christmas period is over and your FPL resolutions for 2019 can still be fulfilled. Personally I got gifted a lot of FPL points over Christmas, especially from my very own (Heung-Min) Son. Getting into the top 10k is always my primary goal each season, but now that the season is going so well, I’m going for a spot inside the top 1000, beating my all-time season high of 1348 from the 11/12 season.
Your fortunes might not have been as great, but if you’ve been smart, followed the blueprint from my 18/19 FPL Guide and kept your chips (Free Hit, Bench Boost, Triple Captain and Wildcard), you are in good shape for the home stretch of the season. We’ve seen some FA and Carabao Cup fixtures over the past couple of days and while it doesn’t result in FPL points, it will affect what happens for the rest of the season. Blank and double gameweeks will be coming up before you know it and you have to start to game plan soon.
We’ll get back to how to strategize around those gameweeks when we find out who goes through in the 4th Round of the FA Cup at the end of January, but for now, let’s take a look at which players you keep an eye on heading towards the homestretch of the FPL season.
A couple of interesting goalkeepers, a slew of defensive prospects, a couple of template midfielders and a few, but very intriguing strikers. Let’s go through them.
Personally, I’m sticking with Alisson Becker (£5.9) in goal for the rest of the season. He feels like this year’s David De Gea, getting clean sheets every other week, with none of the other goalkeepers really standing out. Not only has Alisson been a top notch upgrade over a Loris Karius full of holes, but the defensive line in front of the GK has stabilized with Andy Robertson (£5.6) and Virgil Van Dijk (£5.4) nailed on for the whole season. Doubling up on Liverpool defenders from now on seems like a good idea. With Wolverhampton knocking them out of the FA Cup as well, there is a good chance Liverpool go through another season without a blank gameweek.
Penalty stopper and 2nd highest GK scorer Neil Etheridge (£4.6), will have kind fixtures all the way up until gameweek 32, which is around when you should use your 2nd wildcard. If you are looking to cut costs at your GK position, you’d do alright with Etheridge who isn’t leaving for the Asian Cup. Rui Patricio (£4.5), will also get easy fixtures after getting past Man City in GW22, so he’s another option if you don’t trust Cardiff.
If you want defensive talent from Wolverhampton however, I’d rather go for their defenders. I’ve had Matt Doherty (£5.2) since the start of the season and I’m never letting him go. His attacking returns are valuable when Wolves concede their usual 1 goal. Ryan Bennett (£4.1) is a cheap option who looks nailed if you want to double up with a backup defender.
The other player I’ve had since the start of the season is Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.5). I bring him up every time I do a watchlist, and he still deserves to be transferred in if you for some reason don’t have him yet. Crystal Palace don’t have 2 consecutive tough matches in a row until gameweek 34, so this might even be a time to double up on them. I have a gut feeling Patrik van Aanholt (£5.4) will score a couple of his signature goals again soon. Keep an eye on him..
The Battle of the Mid-priced Defenders:
There are plenty more mid price (£4.7 – £5.2) defenders to choose from as well. Namely Lucas Digne (£5.2), Jose Holebas (£4.8), Sead Kolasinac (£4.9), Luke Shaw (£4.9) and James Tarkowski (£4.7). Adding in Doherty, this is probably how I rank them for the next 8 gameweeks, when they all have a solid run of fixtures:
- Luke Shaw (£4.9 – tot/BHA/BUR/lei/ful/LIV/cry/SOU)
- Matt Doherty (£5.2 – mci/LEI/WHU/eve/NEW/bou/hud/CAR)
- James Tarkowski (£4.7 – FUL/wat/mun/SOU/bha/TOT/new/CRY
- Lucas Digne (£5.2 – BOU/sou/hud/WLV/wat/MCI/car/LIV)
- Sead Kolasinac (£4.9 – whu/CHE/CAR/mci/hud/SOU/BOU/tot)
- Jose Holebas (£4.8 – cry/BUR/tot/bha/EVE/car/liv/LEI)
*Unfavourable Clean Sheet Chances
*Favourable Clean Sheet Chances
*Neutral Clean Sheet Chances
My favorite is actually Shaw, who looks completely nailed on under Solskjær, is allowed to go further forward than under Mourinho and who plays for one of the most in-form teams in the league who have an easy schedule to boot. All of that for only £4.9. Man Utd haven’t kept many clean sheets even under Solskjær, but that is down to some flukey goals in big wins. The clean sheets are coming soon for Man Utd and you won’t want to miss them.
The ever reliable Doherty will look to continue a wonderful season, and with mostly winnable games, he looks like a must have. While Wolverhampton are hard to trust defensively, there isn’t a single match I can’t see Doherty either getting a clean sheet or provide attacking returns once he gets past Man City.
Tarkowski only just takes a spot above Digne, because Everton’s defence has been very leaky. With Nick Pope about to return to action, I trust Burnley’s defence more for a clean sheet. Digne’s attacking threat should make it a close race between them, but Tarkowski is no slouch when it comes to goals and the occasional assist either for a centre back.
I will wait and see with Kolasinac, but if he still looks as nailed and offensive when Arsenal face the inept Huddersfield in GW26, I might very well bring him in. If I already had him however, I’d likely keep him, and the same goes for Holebas who will always be a threat from set-pieces.
Among premium options I’m only considering Kieran Trippier (£6.1) apart from doubling up on Liverpool defenders. If Spurs do go through to the Carabao Cup final and get a blank gameweek in GW27, Trippier wouldn’t stay in my team for long anyway. I’ll get two “big 6” defenders in Robbo/VVD and Shaw and fill up the rest of the defence with mid-price gambles.
Template Midfielders Are the Way to Go
Salah – Hazard – Pogba – Felipe Anderson – Richarlison
I suspect you have a combination of these guys in the midfield at this point, and that is perfectly okay. Paul Pogba (£8.4), is the hottest new name, released from the shackles of José Mourinho. I backed Pogba to have a great season before it even started. I think I guaranteed a 200 point haul over the season if the tension between him and Mourinho was overblown.. Oops. I do think he’ll keep that 6,66 Points Per Match pace for the rest of the season, and he should be a mainstay on your team.
Mohamed Salah (£13.3) even eclipsed the 300 mark last season, for the first time in FPL history and he seems essential as well. I’ve had him for the whole season bar 5 GWs. Gameweeks 4 through 8 where he only got 17 points in total (3,4 PPM). In the 16 gameweeks I’ve had him, he’s earned 134 points (8,37 PPM). Success! He’s expensive for a reason and Liverpool’s fixtures for the rest of the season are fantastic.
Besides those guys you can mix and match however you want in my eyes. I really dread going without Eden Hazard (£11.1) this gameweek and he can get big hauls against a Bournemouth side he always haunts and at home to the lowly Huddersfield. However, he does have 3 dates with top 6 sides in the next 7 gameweeks and it’s hard to trust him with the armband every week. That said, I would definitely captain him this gameweek if I had him.
Felipe Anderson (£7.4) and Richarlison (£6.9), are similar, but have very different trajectories. Anderson has been on fire, but tough matches and Marko Arnautovic returning to be the focal point of West Ham’s offense hampers his appeal at this point. Richarlison has not been in form lately, but now faced with leaky defenses, he should start scoring again soon.
I usually don’t like sideways moves, but I’m considering switching from Anderson to Richarlison this week. I’ll most likely stick for now though, especially considering I need to sell Heung-Min Son (£8.8) next gameweek anyway. I love him, and he has basically kept me close to the top 1000, but Asian Cup and tough matches when he returns means it is time to let go of him. It was fun while it lasted my Son, I’m sure we’ll meet again.
My experience with Leroy Sané (£9.5) was not as enjoyable and I kind of regret selling him. Having a City midfielder when it’s not Raheem Sterling firing on all cylinders is tough, as the Bald Fraud rotation machine can get the best of you. I did something I advice against and sold Sané right after he was rested. Of course I was punished by a goal and 3 bonus last gameweek. If you want him, you should get him now for the next 3 gameweeks before his fixtures get tougher. Liverpool are winning the league aren’t they?
There are some cheap options to consider now as well. Victor Camarasa (£4.6) has been surprisingly efficient for Cardiff, who as I mentioned, have a very kind fixture list. Jason Puncheon (£4.2) just left Crystal Palace for playing time with Huddersfield, giving you bench fodder for the lowest possible price of £4.2, with a good chance of playing time and a decent chants at the odd points return. Gerard Deulofeu (£5.5) might have been the right Watford player to go for, but I’m stuck with Roberto Pereyra myself. I’m keeping the faith in you Hornets!
Star Striker Strife
Do you know who else I’m keeping faith in? Harry Kane (£12.6). Well… not exactly keeping faith, as I have only had Kane for 1 gameweek this season (GW8 at Home to Cardiff…), but I don’t get why people are looking to get rid of him now. Maybe for gameweek 27 which might be a blank for the Spurs before facing Chelsea and Arsenal, but not when he’s about to face the likes of Fulham, Watford, Newcastle and Leicester, with 3 in a row at home. I’m getting him in next week and captaining him straight away.
To get Kane, I will have to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.4) who finally started to get points for me, after a frustrating start of the season with him. I sold him for the aforementioned Kane before he started banging in goals for fun. Somehow I’ve convinced myself to do the same transfer again. Oh well. Auba has slightly tricky fixtures against Chelsea and Man City however, so I’ll survive this time. Can always get him back in gameweek 27 when I might sell Kane.
Right now however, I’m leaning towards getting Sergio Aguero (£11.2) once I’m done with Kane. From gameweek 27 and out, I feel like Aguero could be essential with a Man City squad desperate to catch Liverpool. There might be some tasty double gameweeks to go along with a few blank gameweeks. I have a decent bench for when the blank gameweeks come along. If you are deciding between getting Kane, Aubameyang or Aguero for this week, I’d lean towards the latter. Especially if you have Salah to take the armband most weeks.
Marcus Rashford (£7.3) is a steal for his price and I’m glad I got in on him before it was cool. Rashford has boatloads of talent and will be a pretty sure starter for a resurgent top 6 side, either with or without Romelu Lukaku. I have him ahead of anyone at the same price point, knocking out the wantaway Arnautovic or the Chelsea-linked Callum Wilson.
A notch below that price, I like the look of Raul Jiménez (£6.4), at least once they are done with Man City for this gameweek. He is just a solid point getter who might be on pens. Wolverhampton have a great set of fixtures from GW23 to GW29.
Liverpool defender(s), Doherty, Salah, Pogba, Kane/Aguero essential, Shaw has a good chance of being essential as well.
Captain Hazard this week if you have him, he’s in for a big haul
Stick with Kane until gameweek 27, he’s always a late bloomer every season and has been getting returns nearly every gameweek lately.
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