With ten days remaining until domestic action resumes, we’ve taken time out to update our Watchlist rankings ahead of a hectic winter period.
For those unfamiliar, the Watchlist rankings offer mid-term player recommendations for the next four-to-six Gameweeks and beyond. They can be found in your sidebar on desktop, or via your slide-in menu on mobile or tablet.
These highlight our current thinking on player selection for each position, listing the factors that are contributing to the given rank.
Our analysis gets underway with a look at the main contenders in our latest goalkeeper standings.
Burnley’s Nick Pope moves to the top of our reckoning ahead of four home fixtures (SWA ARS WAT STK) and trips to Bournemouth and Leicester over the next six Gameweeks.
Since replacing the injured Tom Heaton early in Gameweek 4, Pope has served up four clean sheets in seven starts and has conceded more than one goal on a single occasion – away to Man City’s attack in Gameweek 9.
The Clarets’ stopper offers a steady source of points, too. He’s supplied at least one save point in seven of his eight league outings, with an average of 18.3 minutes per save quicker than any goalkeeper.
Also the number one stopper for bonus points, with a total of seven to his name already, Pope’s price of 4.5 looks outstanding value for money right now. Over 24,000 have snapped him up since last weekend, yet he’s still owned by just 2% of Fantasy Premier League managers.
Clarets’ defenders Ben Mee (4.5) and Stephen Ward (4.9) offer attacking alternatives as routes into a rearguard with five clean sheets and just nine goals against – only the two Manchester clubs and Spurs can better them for either statistic.
Despite a premium price tag, David De Gea’s appeal as a fire and forget option between the posts continues to gain momentum.
The Man United number one has registered eight clean sheets in the first 11 Gameweeks – at least three more than any other keeper.
De Gea is also profiting from save points, earning at least one on as many as seven occasions already.
Indeed, he’s producing a save every 30 minutes so far this term – quicker than last season’s average of 40.9 minutes – and has already matched his total of five bonus points from 2016/17.
The top scoring keeper on 65 points, the Spaniard is second only to Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta (67 points) among all defensive options.
He’s also the second most popular player in the FPL game – only team-mate Romelu Lukaku (47.7% to 40.5%) has garnered more owners.
With Phil Jones now up to 5.5, there’s very little to separate him with the De Gea (5.7) in price ahead of four favourable fixtures (NEW BHA wat BOU) in the next six.
United have testing back-to-back encounters with Arsenal and Man City in Gameweek 15-16, though Jose Mourinho’s bus parking exploits against title rivals may well boost De Gea’s points potential.
Julian Speroni is our favoured budget keeper of choice as Newcastle’s Rob Elliot slips a little in our estimations.
Costing a mere 4.0 and sitting in 3% of squads, the veteran has started each of the last four league matches for Crystal Palace, whose upcoming defensive schedule is regarded as the most appealing over the next six Gameweeks in our season ticker.
Roy Hodgson’s men are set run that looks vital to their bid to beat the drop – they boast four strong home fixtures (EVE STK BOU WAT) as well as trips to Brighton and West Brom over this period.
Encouragingly, since moving to a 4-4-2 in Gameweek 8, Palace have allowed a mere three big chances – no side have conceded fewer. That’s all the more impressive when you consider they faced Chelsea and Spurs, restricting both to just a single goal.
Meanwhile, a total of 19 shots conceded in the box during that stretch is ranked third best in the top-flight and suggests they could soon be delivering the clean sheets.
At 4.7, Scott Dann is slightly more expensive but, having scored eight times in the last two seasons, offers a substantial threat in and around the opposition box.
Elliot, meanwhile, has struggled for returns in recent weeks. Still priced at 4.2, he’s mustered just one clean sheet in the last seven Gameweeks and picked up only three save points across that period.
Trips to Man United and Chelsea now arrive in the next four, while the Magpies also host a Watford side that are second only to Man City for away goals (12 to 14) so far.
Second only to De Gea for ownership (26.7%) in goal, the Newcastle stopper still offers three decent fixtures (wba LEI EVE) to profit from over the upcoming six.
Bournemouth are another team who have struggled to keep out their opponents this season, managing just two clean sheets to date.
Yet, like Palace, they have reason for optimism thanks to an eye-catching schedule (HUD swa BUR SOT cry) that is rated as the most appealing for defensive points over the next five Gameweeks.
That brings Asmir Begovic into out thinking.
Priced at 4.5, the Bosnian is second only to Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski for saves (40 to 42) over the opening 11 rounds of fixtures and has earned nine save points as a result.
Indeed, he’s just one point behind the pricier Charlie Daniels (4.8), by 36 to 37, though the left-back could also be in profit over those fixtures thanks to his raids down the flank.
Simon Mignolet earns a place in our update thanks mainly to Liverpool’s excellent home form.
The Reds remain defensively dire on the road – shipping a league-high 16 goals – yet at Anfield, they have conceded just a single goal so far. Only Man United – with no goals against – boast a better record in front of their own supporters.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have already kept out Arsenal and Man United at home and have just one troublesome match (SOT CHE EVE WBA SWA LEI), against Chelsea in Gameweek 13, in their next six Anfield fixtures.
They play four times at home in six, with trips to Stoke and Brighton also on their short-term agenda.
The Belgian has struggled for save points, though, earning just four to date, and, at a price of 4.9, there may be cheaper attacking options such as Alberto Moreno (4.5) in Klopp’s defence.
Swansea’s Lukasz Fabianski (4.6) and Brighton’s Mat Ryan (4.5) remain valid options in the budget bracket, with both serving up more points (45 and 41) than any defensive team-mate.
Number one for saves (42) this season, the former has four decent looking match-ups in the next five (bur BOU stk WBA).
Ryan, meanwhile, has four strong home encounters (STK CRY BUR WAT) in the next eight Gameweeks allied with a trip to fellow promoted side, Huddersfield.
Again, though, there are viable options in the Seagull’s defence, with Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy impressing for both goal threat and clearances, blocks and interceptions.