In the final part of my FPL watchlist, I’m breaking down the risky fantasy assets for the 2021/22 season. Whether it’s due to their lack of Premier League experience, their poor form in previous seasons, or rotation issues, these players pose a larger risk than the other players in this series. But you know the old cliche, high-risk high-reward. If you decide to take a gamble on any of these players and it pays off, you could see yourself at the top end of the fantasy table from the off.
If you haven’t already, feel free to check out parts 1-3 of this series – Mr. Reliable, Calculated Punts, and the Bargain Basement. You can also check out our how-to guide on the benefits of using a watchlist.
Now, let’s take a look at the risky players…
Henderson/De Gea – 5.0m – Manchester United
5.0m for a Manchester United keeper, surely there’s a catch? There is. Which one will be no1? Or will they rotate? Pre-season should clear this up, and if one establishes themselves as the clear first choice, it could be a shrewd decision to pick them. The only counter is you can have Shaw at 5.5m, who offers attacking returns as well as clean sheet points. But there’s always the potential to double up…
Target – 5.0m – Aston Villa
His opening fixtures look great and his price tag is an appealing 5.0m. But with only 4 attacking returns per season in his last 3 seasons, I feel there are much more reliable options for 0.5m more. He could be classed as an all fart and no poop type of player, with his end product often lacking. But I’m backing him to be Mr. Hankie this season and prove to be a shrewd signing at that price. He could be a cheaper way into Aston Villa’s defence than Martinez (5.5m) if you’re premium player chasing.
Manchester City full-backs
Cancelo 6.0m, Walker 5.5m, Zinchenko 5.5m, and Mendy 5.5m. If any of them lock down a position in Manchester city’s defence, we’re talking about a potential must-have asset. But I made this mistake last season. When it was time to bring in the reliable Ruben Dais, I chose Cancelo. Pep immediately let me down by benching him. But when they play, these players offer a high ceiling in terms of fantasy points, but the risk of rotation is ridiculously high. One option could be to double up on city defenders, choosing a safe pick in Dias or Ederson, and then choose one of the 4 listed above.
Nicholas Pepe – 7.5m – Arsenal
He finished last season in great form, scoring 8 of his 10 goals for the season and supplying all three of his assists, in his final 19 appearances. Although he is suspect to rotation, at this price point, if he continues to shine, could end up a regular for both Arsenal & FPL managers this season. In pre-season, I’ll be monitoring his form and his minutes/role. It’s a really important year for Pepe.
Dele – 6.5m – Tottenham Hotspur
The football romantic in me is ready for Dele to reach his potential. Or at least regain his insane early years’ form. The past few seasons have been rough on & off the pitch for Dele. But maybe the motivation of wanting to impress both Nuno and Southgate this year could be enough to catapult his output and unleash the fantasy beast within him. At 6.5m for a player that averaged nearly 190 points in his first 3 seasons, could he be the comeback kid? Risky.
Jota – 7.5m – Liverpool
This is a similar thought process to Ferran Torres (7.0m). If he can lock down a place in this Liverpool team, that price will seem like a bargain at the end of the season. If it wasn’t for his injury last season when he was in such good form, I feel this price could be a million or so higher. In pre-season, I’ll be keeping a close eye on what formation Klopp goes for. As 4-2-3-1 would suggest Jota is a must-have, whereas 4-3-3 he will be a rotation risk.
Antonio – 7.5m – West Ham United
Until last season, I had a bad FPL relationship with Antonio. Felt like every time I transferred him in, he pulled a muscle. But I finally timed it perfectly last year, and it was a great example of a risky punt. But make no mistake, he’s injury-prone. For context, he’s only played 83 games in the last 3 seasons, 65 being starts. But the amazing thing is, he has 43 attacking returns in those 83 games. So with no Europa League qualification this year, I believe the best time to have him in your team is the start of the year – before there’s too much strain on his body.
That’s a wrap for our watchlist series. I will be releasing my final draft before the season starts so make sure you check back to see which players from my watchlist, make my final-15 man squad.
If you’re up for the challenge, we’re running our own FPL private league this year, with a prize for the winner! So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a fantasy wiz or want the chance to beat our experts, why not join the league with the link below. There’s unwavering clout on the line…