Watchlist

The Watchlist Updated – Gameweek 18

The postponement of Arsenal’s Boxing Day clash has a marked effect on our Christmas Watchlist rankings, with Arsene Wenger’s assets stalling in our thinking, despite a convincing win at Reading last time out. That paves the way for familiar heavy-hitters to return to the upper echelons in midfield, while at the back and up front, the status quo remains. Our updated rankings are now available in your right sidebar; read on for details behind the big movers…

Goalkeepers

The goalkeeper situation remains a minefield for Fantasy managers, with seemingly ever-decreasing options in the mid-price and budget areas who can promise returns. An effective rotation pairing looks hard to find, with a “one stop shop” solution looking a more favourable route right now, at least until injuries clear.

The likes of Joe Hart and Hugo Lloris can also be considered as single solutions to the keeper conundrum but, while they have form and fixtures with them, their price tags are major obstacles and, arguably, there are more attractive routes to covering the City and Spurs defence.

Despite missing the Boxing Day Gameweek, Wojciech Szczesny remains in our thinking by virtue of offering the most secure route into an Arsenal defence that faces an obliging run of opponents going into January. While there are other options in the Gunners defence, notably Kieran Gibbs, the Polish keeper is assured of his number one status and is reasonably priced to offer promise between the sticks.

Ben Foster is now edging a return to the West Brom lineup and so can take his place in our thinking for the Christmas period. He fares well in tandem with Asmir Begovic, who looks set to suffer a torrid time in terms of fixtures. Foster also works well with Villa’s Brad Guzan, while West Ham’s Jussi Jaaskelainen is, at last, coming out of an evil run of fixtures to offer value once more in the New Year.

Defenders

Glen Johnson continues to impress with his forward forays and has the fixtures to maintain his form both in defensive and attacking terms. He remains on top of our rankings, holding off the charge of Jan Vertonghen, who delivered on his promise with the winning goal against Swansea at the weekend. With very strong fixtures over the next five, the Belgian is an expensive punt but, as we mentioned last week, a clear differential who could prove highly effective.

City’s Matija Nastasic climbs in our thinking, despite continued concerns on rotation in the City ranks. The Serbian is priced at 5.6 in the FPL and that’s a big factor which makes the prospect of being rested somewhat more bearable. City’s fixtures are strong enough to warrant the gamble and, with Vincent Kompany likely to be fit for a return, defensive solidity is set to be restored, having conceded at Newcastle.

Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs would have been ranked higher had it not been for today’s news on the Boxing Day postponement. Gibbs showed his attacking qualities in the win at Reading and sneaks in above the less expensive Bacary Sagna. The Frenchman may have lost his fruitful partnership with Theo Walcott on the right flank after the winger was moved inside at the Madejski and that also works in Gibbs’ favour. Neither Arsenal full-back is 100% secure but Gibbs is possibly the safest route, with Sagna threatened by Carl Jenkinson for his starts over the busy festive spell.

The Chelsea defence is edging back into the equation, marked by Branislav Ivanovic’s climb in our rankings. His ascent is not enough to overtake Leighton Baines and United’s Rafael, however.

In terms of mid-price and budget, West Brom’s Gareth McAuley remains a solid option, have returned a clean sheet against the Hammers and with strong fixtures to come. Villa’s Ciaran Clark and Norwich City’s Sebastian Bassong have goal threat to compensate for a testing fixture list, while Joey O’Brien now appears to carry the flag for the West Ham defence – the full-back seems to have cemented his start and offers some attacking intent.

Midfielders

Michu remains top, despite the fact he’s still just a single yellow card away from a one-match ban. His form is strong enough to maintain his ”most wanted” status, regardless of some testing festive fixtures.

The charge of Arsenal pairing Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott is considerable but is tempered by the postponement of their Gameweek 19 fixture. Both players sparkled in the win at Reading but their potential has been somewhat derailed by today’s announcement.

With Arsenal drawing that Boxing Day blank, City’s David Silva earns a top three ranking: the Spaniard remains the most secure and sound investment in Roberto Maninci’s side ahead of the visit of Reading this weekend. Both Gareth Bale and Juan Mata also jump above the Arsenal pairing, despite the Tottenham man being on the verge of a ban and not yet being assured of his start against Stoke, following a recent hamstring injury.

Adel Taarabt is your best placed mid-price asset off the back of his outstanding display in the win over Fulham – although he, too, is just a booking away from a ban, with African Cup of Nations commitments also beckoning in January. Yaya Toure is also vulnerable to the call of international duty but offers enough in the short-term to retain a decent Watchist ranking: Silva remains the weapon of choice, however.

Southampton’s Jason Puncheon is the highest rank budget option, just nudging out Raheem Sterling, who looks set to earn a rest of some degree over the next fortnight. West Ham’s Kevin Nolan has poor form but – once his Boxing Day blank is out of the way – has fixtures ahead of him that show promise; look for him to climb further as the weeks roll by.

United’s Ashley Young is now our preferred midfield option in Sir Alex Ferguson’s ranks – ousting Antonio Valencia on form. There’s little doubt that Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney are the prime targets in the league’s most potent side, although Young is a decent compromise in midfield. Rotation remains a concern, however.

Forwards

There’s no let up in the form of both Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney and it’s a brave Fantasy manager who goes forward from this point without one of them enrolled in their squads. Goals look forthcoming as United’s fixtures continue to please and the gap between these two and the rest of the chasing pack is pretty significant in terms of potential goal power.

Jermain Defoe is currently ranked third, with Luis Suarez suffering a blip of late. Dimitar Berbatov’s form is also a major concern, although his fixtures are so strong, he could well climb back into our top three following the trip to Anfield this weekend.

Villa’s Christian Benteke is undoubtedly your differential and man in form below these established names. He has enough in his favour to rank above the City pairing in our thinking – with fixtures falling nicely for the Belgian following the testing trip to Stamford Bridge.

Both Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero have to remain in our thoughts given their quality and the fixtures ahead of them, but there is real uncertainty over just how many minutes we’ll get from this pairing over the next two weeks. Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli remain factors in Roberto Mancini’s squad and this dents the appeal of the Argentine pairing, making Silva all that more enticing as an acquisition in midfield.

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

1,462 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Revival
      3 years, 9 months ago

      Play sterling or Sess this week?

      Open Controls
      1. alsybach
          3 years, 9 months ago

          stess

          Open Controls
        • v12w12
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 years, 9 months ago

          Sterling

          Open Controls
        • JayBomb
            3 years, 9 months ago

            Sterling could be rested but that's what they said last week ?

            Open Controls
            1. Revival
                3 years, 9 months ago

                yeah there seems to be a few posting on a sterling rest here

                Open Controls
                1. JayBomb
                    3 years, 9 months ago

                    Rodgers said he needs a rest but he also said he has nobody to replace him to give that rest and he can't afford another result like against Villa so I wouldn't be surprised to see him start against Fulham and away from home they are pretty poor defensively !

                    Open Controls
              • Locarno
                  3 years, 9 months ago

                  That's my only question this week: Sterling or AJ?

                  Open Controls
              • GreennRed
                  3 years, 9 months ago

                  What a class finish from Nando !

                  Open Controls
                • Roonani
                    3 years, 9 months ago

                    torres!!! el capitano this weekend

                    Open Controls
                    1. ccc
                        3 years, 9 months ago

                        In league play, Torres has only 1 more goal than Nolan.

                        Open Controls
                        1. Roonani
                            3 years, 9 months ago

                            I am ok with him having only 3 more than Nolan by the end of this week 🙂

                            Open Controls
                      • chuckberry04
                          3 years, 9 months ago

                          Can anybody tell me how it's possible to own four players from the same team? I thought you could only own three players from the same team but I saw some people say their cup-opponents have 4.

                          Open Controls
                          1. davoak
                              3 years, 9 months ago

                              buy them when they play for their old club

                              Open Controls
                              1. chuckberry04
                                  3 years, 9 months ago

                                  If you have 4 players from the same team, is it possible than to trade anyone of them to another player from the same team or do you first have to downgrade to 3 players?

                                  Open Controls
                              2. Brutus619
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                3 years, 9 months ago

                                You get some in before they transfer to that other team.

                                Open Controls
                            • Fluffy Bum
                                3 years, 9 months ago

                                Until my wildcard I want a solid keeper and 2 defenders from Spurs, Pool, City (and maybe Cech)

                                I already have Johnson and Nastasic and Rafaael (who I can sell for 6.1m) so any ideas? Thinking ....

                                Lloris - Johnson / Nast / smalling

                                Reina - Walker / Nast /

                                Cech - Walker / Nast / Johnson

                                Hart - Walker / Nast / Johnson

                                All suggestions welcome 🙂

                                Open Controls
                                1. Bébé on Board
                                    3 years, 9 months ago

                                    I don't like Lloris with Friedel around, not a fan of Reina. I would go for one of the bottom two

                                    Open Controls
                                2. Bébé on Board
                                    3 years, 9 months ago

                                    Thoughts on this idea please?

                                    This week Sterling --> Puncheon for free (already done Fellaini --> Walcott)
                                    Next week (GW19) Walcott --> Bale

                                    That would leave me exactly enough for Walcott --> Bale assuming no further price drops / rises

                                    Squad would be

                                    Jussi, Mignolet

                                    Rafael, Enrique, Shawcross, Shorey, Nelsen

                                    Bale, Silva, Michu, Nolan, Puncheon

                                    RVP, Suarez, Lambert

                                    Open Controls
                                    1. Jafalad
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      3 years, 9 months ago

                                      Like it. My only concern is Silva. I can see City fwds running riot this week and am just wondering on a Tevez/Yaya combo.

                                      Open Controls
                                  • ViperStripes
                                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                    3 years, 9 months ago

                                    Sowill Kompany's return have an effect on Zabeleta's returns?

                                    Open Controls
                                  • heeljames
                                      3 years, 9 months ago

                                      My front three is now RVP, Suarez and Tevez. Mind blowing on paper, need Suarez to start scoring though, dreadful run as of late.

                                      Open Controls
                                      1. Jafalad
                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                        3 years, 9 months ago

                                        Ideal front 3 there. What's your midpark like?

                                        Open Controls
                                        1. Mull
                                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                          3 years, 9 months ago

                                          There's a new post mate.

                                          Open Controls
                                        2. heeljames
                                            3 years, 9 months ago

                                            Currently Michu, Pienaar (was felliani) James Morrison, Snodgrass and Schneiderlin. Poor last week but they usually pull in some decent returns for their price.

                                            Open Controls
                                        3. floydy_floyd
                                            3 years, 9 months ago

                                            Good except for tevez

                                            Open Controls
                                        4. TheBabyfacedAssassin
                                            3 years, 9 months ago

                                            any news on rafael, Enrique or fletcher? who will start?

                                            Open Controls
                                          • chunk
                                              3 years, 9 months ago

                                              Whos on the prise move tonight ? Does any1 know cheers?.

                                              Open Controls
                                            • Foolio
                                                3 years, 9 months ago

                                                Think Fletcher -> Benteke is a good move?

                                                Open Controls
                                              • Zep
                                                  3 years, 9 months ago

                                                  TEST

                                                  Open Controls
                                                • blauriecon
                                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                  3 years, 9 months ago

                                                  Szczesny
                                                  Cameron Clyne Nastasic
                                                  Cazorla Mata Michu Toure
                                                  Rooney Suarez Tevez
                                                  Begovic Sterling Cuellar Hughes
                                                  Who should I captain and do I have my starting XI right?

                                                  Open Controls
                                                  1. Foolio
                                                      3 years, 9 months ago

                                                      Looks good. Keep an eye on the team sheets but if Tevez starts, I'd captain him. If not, I'd go Rooney.

                                                      Open Controls
                                                      1. blauriecon
                                                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                                        3 years, 9 months ago

                                                        Thanks, that was my thinking. Of course it'll probably be a contrarion result of 2-0 for Reading.

                                                        Open Controls
                                                  2. Gurdit Lugani
                                                      3 years, 9 months ago

                                                      will enrique play this gw? whats the latest news

                                                      Open Controls
                                                      1. RooneyforLife
                                                          3 years, 9 months ago

                                                          he is fit to play.most probabaly will start.

                                                          Open Controls
                                                      2. fastforward
                                                          3 years, 9 months ago

                                                          thinking of taking a 4 point hit to bring in bale or mata (or silva???) for Jon Walters

                                                          I have defoe for chelsea cover, and tevez for city cover... does that mean mata is the safe bet given silvas form hasnt been the best and bale is injured/suspension worry? thoughts?

                                                          Open Controls
                                                        • RooneyforLife
                                                            3 years, 9 months ago

                                                            should i play with hughes or nelsen in defence ? am decided on sagna and billy jones just a lil bit confused on this .

                                                            Open Controls