Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did, I’ve got what I paid for now
See you tomorrow, hey Tommy, can I borrow a couple of bucks from you
To go waltzing CeciXi, waltzing CeciXi,
You’ll go waltzing CeciXi with me
That pretty much sums up my feelings after last Gameweek’s brutal beating, feeling like an innocent victim of a blinded alley having bravely (stupidly?) faced it without Alexis Sánchez. Enough of the crying though as we dive into All Things FPL’s (ATFPL) Gameweek 22 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) preview and its captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
Andy Carroll, despite boasting the highest Captain Foresight score this Gameweek, isn’t a great captain choice. His numbers for the last four Gameweeks are a goal from one shot on target resulting in a unsatisfactory 3.25 points per game average. With West Ham facing Hull who are actually quite decent defensively his popularity in the captain poll (currently fourth with a little over 11% of the vote) goes a long way showing the difficulty of picking a captain this Gameweek.
Harry Kane tops the Forwards Watchlist and is facing a Sunderland team that have conceded 80 goal attempts in the last four Gameweeks, second only to West Ham. The only worrying issue is his crazy goal conversion rate—Pepin’s Foresight warns against putting all your eggs in the Kane basket and even Llama’s Watchlist points tough games in the near future. But for this Gameweek, Kane is a genuine captain contender.
It’s always dangerous to captain a player recently back from injury, especially if that players is the brittle Sergio Agüero. Why then should he be an option? Apart from the paucity of viable captain picks, Agüero is just that good. As Stoosher pointed out in his What We Learned piece, if the brilliant Argentine stays fit “normal service will be renewed at the Etihad“. Despite the supposedly tough fixture, Manchester City look good for a goal or two, with Arsenal showing only mid-table form defensively in the last four Gameweeks.
David Silva is a fantastic player but, frustratingly for FPL players, has often failed to translate that brilliance into Fantasy points. It has been an all to regular sight to watch a man-of-the-match performance from the Spanish international with several key passes his team mates failed to score from and then produce a couple of secondary key passes (assist assists). Nevertheless, he is included in the Foresight, and with a decent Foresight score at that, mostly due to his impressive number of goal attempts and key passes over the last four Gameweeks. With Agüero back, he’s likely to be deployed further back but also much more likely to have his key passes turn into assists.
Diego Costa has been overlooked a bit this season, both due to other options at Chelsea—mainly Eden Hazard and Cesc Fàbregas— and his lack of double-digit Fantasy scores since Gameweek 4. However, you can not fault his consistency as he has only once gone two games without scoring and currently has three goals in the last four league matches. He is pricey, but you often get what you pay for.
Ángel Di María had a dismal game against Southampton, much to my surprise. His passing was off, his placement up top didn’t allow him to use his pace to much effect, and Manchester United were quite poor in attack. But he still managed three shots in the game (although none were on target) but was perhaps rusty coming back from injury. This Gameweek’s match away at QPR will be instructive; if Di María fails to trouble the QPR defence, his status as an elite midfielder will come under scrutiny.
One player that is not under scrutiny is Alexis Sánchez who has been phenomenal this season. He is the top Fantasy player in the game with 141 points, coming from a whopping 12 goals, seven assists, and 22 bonus points. He’s nearing must-own status, if not there already, and is second only to David Silva on the Midfielders Watchlist. The only reservation in my mind is the effect of returning Arsenal players, specifically Theo Walcott and Mezut Özil, but even that could just boost his production (especially Özil’s passing).
Philippe Coutinho has produced attacking returns in four of his last five league outings, credited by Darsh in the Differentials as being partly a result of his move further forward in Brendan Rodgers’s new formation. Priced only at 7.6 million and owned by less than four percent of Fantasy managers, he could prove a shrewd signing for a brave soul.
Danny Ings netted again in last Gameweek’s relegation battle as Burnley recorded an important win over QPR. He now has six goals and three assists in 14 league fixtures, not too shabby for a cut-price of 5.6 million. While never a staple of your team, he could serve a valuable third striker spot, coming in for fixtures such as this Gameweek’s home game against Crystal Palace.
Romelu Lukaku faces his old team as West Brom visit Goodison park on Monday. He has been, like Everton, in a slump, failing to score in his last seven league games. However, Everton played their best game in a while in last Gameweek’s draw against Manchester City and he’s a decent pick this week, despite facing a likely stingy West Brom team under new manager Tony Pulis.
The ATFPL Clean Sheet Consortium likes the look of…
…West Ham’s penalty hero Adrián playing at home against a Hull team without the services of their two main strikers.
…Danny Rose for a Spurs team at home against a Sunderland team with the second fewest goal attempts in the last four Gameweeks.
…Differential pick Kieran Trippier (playing for Burnley) who is second only to Leighton Baines for defenders’ key passes, highlighting his offensive capabilities.
Big ol’ Rumbling Gut Pick
Rémy Cabella looked like a new player for John Carver’s Newcastle against Chelsea. Despite the loss, the attacking midfielder gave the Chelsea defence a torrid time, recording 12 successful dribbles out of 16 attempts as Carver looks to have given him more permission to express himself on the pitch. Should this continue, Cabella is bound to start getting into great attacking positions and so ATFPL’s gut rumbles for the tricky Frenchman.