Kick him out the team, I heard he’s snaking, he’s a cobra
Could have lived the dream but now your days are done, it’s over,
Should have remembered scheming and you’re looking for a shoulder,
To lean on, to wipe your tears on, it’s over.
It’s almost game over as we head into the last Gameweek of the season. Thank you for reading the Foreplay and participating in the Members Lounge and hopefully All Things FPL (ATFPL) has been helpful throughout the season. Now let us head into the last Fantasy Premier League (FPL) preview for a while and its captain picks, heavy hitters, clean sheets, punts, and the big ol’ rumbling gut.
Sergio Agüero has cemented his place as the top FPL player in the last six Gameweeks with an outstanding eight goals, two assists, and seven points for an average of 10.5 points per game. Not only has the lethal Argentine been on song lately, but Manchester City have “found their attacking swagger” since swapping to a system of playing Agüero alone up top. If you are looking for the safest option this Gameweek, the Foreplay and Captain Foresight agree on Agüero as your man.
Sticking to Tommy’s ever helpful Foresight article we highlight Christian Benteke, this weeks Risk v. Reward player. Facing a Burnley team conceding over 17 goal attempts per game in the last four Gameweeks, Benteke is likely to continue his fantastic run of 11 goals in 12 league games since Tim Sherwood’s appointment as Aston Villa manager on February 14th. Worth noting is Aston Villa will likely want to finish the season on a high note after last week’s dreadful loss to Southampton — it often pays to find the teams in the last round with something to play for.
Speaking of last round heroics, Romelu Lukaku’s late brace in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in charge is well remembered by Fantasy fanatics. The last Gameweek of the season more often than not involves a real surprise and Lukaku could well deliver once more. In the last four Gameweeks the Everton striker tops the league in goal attempts, shots in the box, and key passes and has a good fixture in the Toffees’s home game against Tottenham. Spurs have kept only one clean sheet in the last six Gameweeks and have, in the same timeframe, conceded almost 10 shots in the box per game (fifth worst) — that’s Lukaku’s hunting ground.
David Silva tops the ATFPL Midfielders Watchlist thanks in part to yet another high-scoring Gameweek in Manchester City’s win against Swansea. Silva’s two assists puts his season totals up to 12 goals and 12 assists — he has the fourth highest point total in the FPL, behind only Eden Hazard, Sergio Agüero, and Alexis Sánchez. Last Gameweek’s Foreplay waxed lyrical about the silky midfielder so suffice to say he’s one of the best options this week with Manuel Pellegrini needing to prove a point to City’s owners.
Alexis Sánchez underlying threat is clear — the Chilean leads the league in goal attempts (14) and shots on target (8) in the last four Gameweeks despite Arsenal’s relatively barren run. There are reasons to be careful as Arsène Wenger could decide to rest his star player for the FA Cup final, but more likely than not he’ll play and get chances as Arsenal still need a point to secure the final automatic Champions League spot.
With the news the Eden Hazard is unlikely to be fit for Chelsea’s clash against Sunderland, we turn to an unlikely midfielder to have outscored the player of the year in the last four Gameweeks in Ashley Young. Manchester United are one of the few teams facing opponents with everything to play for in Hull but that could offer Young more space on the left as Hull will have to attack. Young is in fine form and has produced a healthy amount of goal attempts and key passes of late, as highlighted in Darsh’s Differentials, and could be a great last week pick
As strange as it may seem, Yaya Touré kicks off this Gameweek’s punts. The Ivorian midfielder was never likely to replicate last season’s form but a drop from 20 to 10 goals and nine to a single assist is quite the drop off, even on less minutes. Nevertheless, he is arguably (James Milner is in with a shout) your best option for a third Manchester City man, if you have the cash and like City’s chances against Southampton.
Jason Puncheon is our “enabler” of the week as per Stoosher’s discussion in What We Learned about cheap midfielders that consistently deliver. In the same match Darsh likes Bafétimbi Gomis who has been a big threat in the last two Gameweeks, managing six goal attempts with four on target in the game against Manchester City.
Leicester City, despite having already secured their spot in the Premier League next season, feature in the Punts in large part due to their opponents. QPR visit King Power stadium on Saturday with some of the worst underlying defensive statistics of the season. They sit next to last in goal attempts conceded per game (16.3), last by some margin in attempts conceded in the box (10.14), and third last in big chances conceded (1.97). The likeliest player to take advantage of this is Marc Albrighton, who sits second in the ATFPL Midfielders Watchlist, and Jamie Vardy who hasn’t blanked in consecutive Gameweeks since being restored to the first team in Gameweek 29.
The ATFPL Clean Sheet Consortium likes the look of…
…Chelsea’s John Terry, looking to finish the season having played every minute of every game for José Mourinho — he will be the first player of a Premier League winning team to do that since Gary Pallister for Manchester United in the league’s inaugural season.
…Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny, as Arsenal look more likely to keep clean sheets than to score these days.
…Wes Morgan, “a cheap defensive option this week for those who are happy with their attacking assets” playing for Leicester City against QPR.
Big ol’ Rumbling Gut Pick
The last gut of the year is quite the punt as we point our belly at a player that hasn’t started a Premier League game since early March. Papiss Cissé has been badly missed at Newcastle and it has shown as they have picked up only one point in their last 10 games. Although it seems crazy to bet on this dreadful Newcastle team, Cissé was lively in his cameo last week, with three shots on target in only 27 minutes. Also worth remembering is that he has scored 11 league goals in only 1037 minutes so ATFPL’s gut rumbles for the Senegalese striker.