In this weekly article, I’m outlining the key decisions for FPL managers to make before each deadline. This week, I’m highlighting standout players for you to consider transferring in, plus the best captain options for GW2.
Varying slightly from the pre-season watchlist series, each week I will be choosing players I think are worth considering for a transfer into your squad. I’m selecting 4 players this week – a big hitter, a safe bet, a calculated punt, and a risky differential. I will review these decisions every few weeks.
1. Big Hitter
I’m expecting this player to be one of the standout players this week. To make it more interesting, these exclude any of the main captain options in the segment below. Reviewed weekly.
DEF – Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.5m – Liverpool
Fixture: At home to Burnley.
Projected points: 11
Liverpool will want revenge for last season when Burnley ended their unbeaten run at Anfield. With the Anfield crowd back, and Liverpool’s back 4 having 90 minutes under their belt, Trent has a great chance of a second successive clean sheet. And with Burnley’s defence only keeping 3 clean sheets this calendar year, they look there for the taking. Add the fact that against Brighton last week, they conceded 6 chances on their left side, which makes me think this fixture is primed for Trent’s elite crossing on that side of the pitch. I project a double-digit haul for Trent this week.
2. Safe Bet
Safe but unspectacular. I’m expecting this player to average around 5-6 points per match over the next 4 gameweeks. So if you need a consistent player to compliment your big hitters and riskier picks, look no further. I will review this player after GW5.
Last week I chose Danny Ings & Luke Shaw for my team in this category. Ings managed 7 points in the opening matchday with a last-second penalty, and has two favourable home games against Newcastle & Brentford to follow. Shaw had a poor week with only 1 point, but I’m still confident he will come good over the 4-week stretch.
FWD – Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 8.0m – Everton
Next four fixtures: Leeds (a), Brighton (a), Burnley (h), and Aston Villa (a)
Projected points: 5.5ppm
Looking at these fixtures, Calvert-Lewin has a great chance of scoring 3+ goals and around 22 points. That would be 5.5PPM for an 8.0m forward, a great return in the short term. He started last year really strong with 7 goals in his first 5 games. So seeing as he scored in his first game last week, and had 5 chances in the box, I think he’s a safe bet for your team. He’s a borderline differential at 12% ownership, so could help you climb those mini-leagues.
3. Calculated Punt
A player I’m backing to outperform their price tag and prove great value. Not quite as trusted as a safe bet, but they have a better chance of big GW hauls. I will review this pick after GW5.
In this category last week, I chose Gundogan & Greenwood for my team. Greenwood managed 8 points with more good fixtures to come. But Gundogan, unfortunately, got injured. You win some you lose some.
MID – Raphinha – 6.5m – Leeds
Next four fixtures: Everton (h), Burnley (a), Liverpool (h), Newcastle (a)
Projected points: 7ppm
This is a personal one for me. I had a great opening week with 104 points. 8 out of my starting 11 managed returns, but the one curveball was the Gundogan injury. So with Gundogan now likely to miss the Norwich game, the very fixture I had him in for, I’ve had to decide whether to target a new mid-priced midfielder or stick to my original plan of carrying over a transfer for GW3. This led me to Raphinha.
I already own Greenwood & Benrahma, so my safe options are Sarr, Barnes, or Raphinha at this price point. I think the highest upside with the lowest risk is Raphinha. He has the highest ownership out of those mentioned, and with those fixtures above, I think he can have a couple of big game weeks.
Update: Pep has said Gundogan is fit to face Norwich, but is likely to price drop to 7.4m. So it feels like an unfortunate lose-lose situation.
4. Risky Differential
High risk – High reward. If you have a balanced squad, there’s usually space for 1 or 2 players that you can take a bigger gamble on over a few week stretch. Low ownership with an explosive, high upside are the things I’m looking for with this pick. I will review this player after GW3.
In this category last week, I chose Benrahma & Wilson for my team. Benrahma hit big with 12 points and was one of the standout players from last week. Wilson got a steady 6 points. I’ll take that.
MID – Leon Bailey – 6.5m – Aston Villa
Next two fixtures: At home to Newcastle & Brentford.
Projected points: 14
Playing only 30 minutes off the bench, Bailey still managed an assist in his Aston Villa debut. I am backing him to start and get an attacking return in this next game against a Newcastle side that just conceded 4 goals to West Ham. Then his next game is against newly promoted Brentford, who struggled to keep clean sheets away from home last season. With only 2.7% ownership, Bailey’s a gamble that could pay off huge in the short term.
Salah vs Fernandes
Last week it felt like a no-brainer to captain Salah. Fast forward one week and I honestly think it’s a toss of the coin who to pick out of the two. For every argument to captain one, a counterargument has arrived to choose the other. I’m going to list a few key arguments here. Ultimately, I don’t think you can go wrong with either of these two this week.
Salah – 17 points last week. This week he has a home game against Burnley. It’s Liverpool’s first competitive home game at full capacity since they won the league two seasons ago, in the 2019/20 season. So I’m expecting a loud, passionate crowd which is sometimes all Salah needs. On top of that, Burnley has only kept 3 clean sheets all calendar year and looks a shadow of their former selves defensively.
Fernandes – 20 points and a hat-trick last week. Although he is playing away, Manchester United scored 9 past Southampton last season. This same Southampton side conceded 3 against Everton last week and has conceded the most goals this calendar year. Manchester United’s attack looks fluid, and with Fernandes switching with Greenwood throughout the match, He found himself in some dangerous positions.
Differential Captain – If you’re a maverick and somehow don’t own either Salah or Fernandes, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne & Raheem Sterling have a great home fixture against Norwich. But at this point, I think it’s a differential in itself to own either of these players with only 2.7% & 3% ownership respectively.
Don’t forget to vote for which transfer the Undrafted team should select this week. Murray has reviewed the opening gameweek and it looks like we are in need of a transfer. To vote and read the article, click here.
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