The Watchlist Updated – Young Guns

Filed under: The Watchlist - Posted by: Mark

Our Watchlist rankings have had their regular weekly refresh and can be found in their usual location – in the lower right sidebar. Once again, we’re seeing City’s assets slip with form, fixtures and injuries working against them. Budget defenders continue to offer exceptional value, and while there looks to be just a single slot up for grabs in our attacks, the midfields are seeing plenty of movement, with strong mid-price and budget options pushing for selection.


Adam Bogdan remains at the top of the goalkeeper rankings – partly due to the wealth of defensive alternatives available to cover returns from other teams. The likes of Steven Caulker, Stephen Kelly, Andy Wilkinson, Gareth McAuley and Benoit Assou-Ekotto all offer cheaper or more favourable routes to their respective defences.

Bogdan’s clean sheet potential may be limited but, at 4.0 in the FPL and with exceptionally strong fixtures, the Hungarian offers the cheapest option in Bolton’s defence, allowing us to cover other teams with the aforementioned defenders – all of whom look more favorable than their respective goalkeepers. It should also be noted that Bogdan has returned nine points from saves in his last nine games, including four points in the last three matches – for a miserly 4.0, that’s not a bad solution. He also works well in tandem with both of the top owned keepers – Michel Vorm and Tim Krul, over their run of tough fixtures in the next month.

David De Gea is your heavyweight option with exceptional form and fixtures in his favour. Anders Lindegaard’s imminent return to fitness is a mild concern but, right now, you can be confident in De Gea’s starts for another three to four Gameweeks, with strong clean sheet potential available.

In the mid-price bracket, Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer and Tottenham’s Brad Friedel both offer assured quality acquisitions with decent fixtures ahead. Again though, Kelly for Fulham and Assou-Ekotto for Spurs look stronger routes to the defensive returns on offer. Likewise, while West Brom’s Ben Foster looks to have potential, his appeal is reduced by the availability of Gareth McAuley as an outstanding budget prospect.

In terms of goalkeeping rotation, we like Bogdan with Schwarzer until Gameweek 34, with Sunderland’s Simon Mignolet then replacing Bogdan and rotating nicely with the Fulham stopper until the penultimate Gameweek. The final day lottery is the issue there, with Schwarzer facing Spurs away and Mignolet up against United. Friedel and Mignolet is another pairing worth investigating – they swap home and away up until Gameweek 35 but have favourable fixtures between them right until the season end.


Jonny Evans continues to look an essential bargain purchase who just can’t be ignored for United’s run-in. He’s being chased by Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel, who for us just has the edge on Jose Enrique with greater goal threat. The Glen Johnson/Martin Kelly situation is worth monitoring here though – should Johnson’s injury see him sidelined for a number of weeks, Kelly’s potential, at 5.2 in the FPL, could rival Skrtel on our Watchlists.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto is back on the radar ahead of a run of favourable opponents which should see him supplement assist potential with a clean sheet or two. Steven Caulker, Stephen Kelly and Gareth McAuley then rank next – all offering outstanding value coverage for the Swansea, Fulham and West Brom defences.

City’s defence has seen a decline over the past week or so, hindered by injuries to both Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott. That leaves Micah Richards as the most likely name right now – even he could be under threat once again once Pablo Zabaleta returns to fitness. Suddenly, from being prime stock, the City defence is now in flux with a rough run of fixtures and insecurity playing their part. There looks to be better value elsewhere.


Gareth Bale holds the top spot – but only on the promise of delivering returns over a favourable run of opponents. He’s now under severe threat from both United’s Ashley Young and Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.

Both have very strong form going forward, with the fixtues to translate that into returns. The pair also play second fiddle to heavy-hitting strikers and are therefore “double-up” options respectively. Few Fantasy managers will be concerned by that – both Arsenal and United look good for goals and we could see many squads adopt the duo in the coming weeks. While Young has the edge with a better short-term fixture, Walcott offers greater security and is also cheaper at 8.9. Long-term, then, the Arsenal man could be set for a jump above Young, particularly once the tricky trip to Everton is out of the way.

Clint Dempsey is clinging to a top five ranking – based mainly on favourable home fixtures. He’ll likely need to deliver against Swansea to stave off FPL sales, although with Norwich and Bolton also in the frame in the next four Gameweeks, patience appears to be the best policy.

West Brom’s James Morrison and Bolton’s Ryo Miyaichi – both with fixtures and form in their favour, are your budget option differentials available to shake things up. Newcastle’s Hatem Ben Arfa is also an intriguing option. He could be set for a run of starts following his goal at the Emirates – particularly if Ryan Taylor’s calf injury keeps him out for a number of weeks.


Both Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney look rock solid at the top of the rankings – positions that they could well hold from now until the end of the season. Their form and fixtures could potentially mean that most Fantasy managers are looking to fill just one slot in their forward line – with budget likely to be the deciding factor.

Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor looks to have fixtures on his side and could be the on the cusp of another spurt of profit. West Brom’s Peter Odemwingie is our favoured option further down the price brackets, with City’s Mario Balotelli, stepping over team-mate Sergio Aguero to offer a cheaper route into City’s attacking potential.

Down in the budget market, Norwich City’s Grant Holt and the Blackburn pairing of Yakubu and Junior Hoilett remain decent options. Although with a tag of 6.4, Fulham’s Pavel Pogrebnyak looks to offer the stronger value and will likely be the option of choice, with tempting Craven Cottage fixtures ahead.

About The Author

“Mark created the beast. He's now looking to tame it.”


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  1. So, my team at the moment


    BAE/Skrtl/S Kelly/Evans/Enrique



    Want to transfer out ba 4 Roon, taking out silva wil let me do this and leave me 6.1 2 replace him. Any suggestions?? Morrison/Moses/Ben Arfa/Ox/Miyachi

    • 3 years, 11 months ago
  2. Chasing a 51 Point lead
    my team
    assou-ekotto j.evan Skrtel
    McClean Sliva Nani Bale
    Pogrebnyak Rooney RVP
    Subs Caulker Williamson Pilkington

    j.Enrique kaboul Coloccini
    Chamberlian McClean Ramires Bale
    Rooney RVP Gramham
    Subs Kompany allen warnock

    Any help on how to claw few points back this week?

    • 3 years, 11 months ago

Scout Picks

Gameweek 25

  • Forster
  • Janmaat
  • Williams
  • Alderweireld
  • Wijnaldum
  • André Ayew
  • Dele Alli
  • Roberto Firmino
  • Sánchez
  • Aguero
  • Kane
  • Moreno
  • Arnautovic
  • Giroud

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The Watchlist


Last updated: 26 Jan, 2016 10:34pm
Player Club Factors
Up Hennessey CPL C, Vs, £
Down Butland STO C, Vs
Up Schmeichel LEI A
Up Forster SOT A
Up Courtois CHE B, Vs
Up Fabianski SWA A
No Change Boruc BOU B
No Change De Gea MUN B
No Change Cech ARS B, VsX
Up Foster WBA C, VsX


Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 9:04am
Player Club Factors
Up Ivanovic CHE A, Vs
Up van Dijk SOT A
Down Baines EVE B, Vs
Up Dann CPL C, Vs
Up Cresswell WHM B, Vs
Up Williams SWA A
No Change Dawson WBA C
Down Alderweireld TOT B
No Change Daniels BOU A, £
No Change Fuchs LEI A
No Change Van Aanholt SUN A, VsX
Down Bellerín ARS C, VsX
Down Smalling MUN C
Down Moreno LIV C, Vs
Down Johnson STO B
Down Kolarov MCI B, Rest, Inj


Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 11:14pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Payet WHM B, Vs
Up Roberto Firmino LIV A, Vs, OoP
Up Dele Alli TOT A, Inj
Up Barkley EVE C, Vs
Up André Ayew SWA A, OoP
Up Eriksen TOT A
Down Ozil ARS C, VsX
No Change Mahrez LEI C, VsX
Up Sánchez ARS C, VsX, Inj
Up Antonio WHM A, Vs, Rest, £
No Change Willian CHE B, Vs, Inj
No Change Wijnaldum NEW B
Down Arnautovic STO C, Vs, Inj
Up Silva MCI C
No Change Johnson SUN B, VsX


Last updated: 3 Feb, 2016 11:14pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Aguero MCI A
No Change Kane TOT B
Up Vardy LEI C
Up Diego Costa CHE A, Vs, Inj
No Change Ighalo WAT C, VsX
Up Rooney MUN A
Down Lukaku EVE C, Vs
No Change Giroud ARS B, VsX, Rest
Up Afobe BOU A, £
Down Austin SOT B, Inj

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension
Player Team YC
Colback NEW 9
Byram WHM 9
Lucas LIV 8
Jones SUN 8
Yacob WBA 8
Westwood AVL 7
Diego Costa CHE 7
Huth LEI 7
Can LIV 7
Mangala MCI 7
Shelvey NEW 7
Pieters STO 7
Dele Alli TOT 7
Dier TOT 7
Noble WHM 7

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular