Don’t wish it away
Don’t look at it like it’s forever
Between you and me I could honestly say
That things can only get better
It was heartbreak time last Gameweek as the heavy hitters for much of ATFPL’s community failed to deliver. A global Gameweek average of 38 points was bettered by surprisingly few Fantasy veterans as the weekend results looked bleaker by the minute. Seldom have football results caused so much weekend depression for FPL players, but I guess that’s why they call it the blues. But now is the time to get out of the slump so let us dive into All Things FPL’s (ATFPL) Gameweek 30 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) preview and its captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
Again in the captain picks, Sergio Agüero is a solid pick despite stuttering a bit of late and playing against a solid West Brom side. His eight goal attempts against Burnley last Gameweek is a good indication that goals will come, but three consecutive games failing to convert is causing some Fantasy managers to move him on. It’s likely a mistake as he generally delivers — he has 9 blanks in 24 games, including four games where he played under 25 minutes due to either being injured or coming back from an injury.
Harry Kane has the best Captain Foresight score this Gameweek. In addition, Tommy argues that the statistical logic is behind the Spurs striker so he will be the captain of choice for many a manager. Earning his first senior England call-up this week, Kane should be raring to again show his worth and is likely to do so — he has eight goals in his last seven appearances and is facing Leicester who have conceded the most goal attempts per game away from home this season.
I keep harping on about Olivier Giroud’s consistency in pointing out that he is the best of Arsenal’s players from a Fantasy standpoint. In his nine games since coming back from injury he has scored six goals and provided three key passes, including scoring in his last four games. He’s got the numbers to back it up, with 16 goal attempts and nine key passes in his last four league outings. He’s also a likely differential, being owned by less than 15% of Fantasy managers, and could be your way to win some points back from your mini-league rival.
Eden Hazard registered only his second blank in the last six league games in Chelsea’s draw against Southampton, indicative of the great season the Belgian attacking midfielder is having. What is keeping him away from the captain picks this Gameweek is his difference in points per away game (5.21) versus when plying his trade at Stamford Bridge (7.07). Nevertheless we can’t argue that his away returns are disappointing and thus remains firmly in the heavy hitter category.
Sadio Mané delivered again in the tough away game at Stamford Bridge and is both highlighted in Darsh’s Differentials and is Tommy’s Risk vs Reward pick in the Captain Foresight. Facing Burnley, his 20 goal attempts and 12 key passes in the last six Gameweek’s are fine underlying stats to bet on.
Christian Eriksen’s output has taken a nosedive in the last six league games. He has averaged a little over two points per game compared to the 5.83 points he averaged in the six preceding Gameweeks. However, his underlying numbers point to a random effect as both his key passes (12 vs 14) and goal attempts (16 vs 16) have stayed similar. In fact, looking at the range of attacking indicators (e.g. crosses, through balls, final third passes, big chance creation, dribbles, touches) both six Gameweek ranges look almost identical. So it’s more likely we are seeing an expected fluctuation in output that will soon level off as he’ll get back to scoring according to his underlying numbers.
What a difference a match makes. Two weeks ago, you wouldn’t have touched an Aston Villa attacker with a barge pole and two games and a certain Tim Sherwood later, Christian Benteke again looks like a Fantasy option. The Aston Villa striker has three goals and an assist in his last two games under Sherwood who has led the Villains to three wins in his first five games in charge. More importantly for those considering Benteke, Aston Villa have now scored eight goals in their last four games after a diabolical return under Paul Lambert — amazingly, Villa’s four goals against Sunderland matched the away goals scored by Aston Villa for the whole season. He’s a fine pick this Gameweek but comes with the caveat that Villa’s fixtures get a lot tougher with away games against Manchester United, Tottenham, and Manchester City in the next five.
Diafra Sakho is Sam Allardyce’s lone man forward, with Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia out injured. A feature in Darsh’s Differentials, the Senegalese forward has produced 16 goal attempts in the box in the last four Gameweeks and is likely to get similar joy against struggling Sunderland this Gameweek — although we are yet to see how the Black Cats will fare under new manager Dick Advocaat. He’s a budget pick upfront, available for only 5.4 million and is a fine differential punt ahead of a run of fine fixtures.
You could do worse than going for Aaron Ramsey, an Arsenal midfielder that has largely gone under the radar this season. He has missed large chunks games due to injury, but surprisingly still features in several Arsenal top lists, as featured in the excellent Club Profile pages. He’s top five in top goal scorers and assisters, as well as in the representative underlying statistical categories: goal attempts, shots on target, key passes, and passes in the final third. Most Fantasy managers have a combination of Alexis Sánchez, Santi Cazorla, Mezut Özil, and Olivier Giroud from Arsenal, so an addition of or a swap for Ramsey is a worthwhile differential gamble.
The ATFPL Clean Sheet Consortium likes the look of…
…Toby Alderweireld, the new player in the official ATFPL team, for Southampton’s elite defence at home against Burnley.
…Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany facing a rugged but defensive West Brom side.
…Tottenham’s Danny Rose, playing at home against the struggling Leicester City.
Big ol’ Rumbling Gut Pick
El Garitero’s News article this week highlighted Aston Villa’s on-loan Scott Sinclair as a potential bargain. He’s a fine signing ahead of Aston Villa’s double Gameweek after bagging his first league goal for the Villains in Gameweek’s 26 clash against Stoke. Sherwood has also been singing his praises in the media, highlighting his focus, desire to play, and finishing abilities. ATFPL’s gut rumbles for the quick midfielder.