Scout Squad

The Scout Squad – Gameweek 16

With three Gameweeks about to be shoehorned into nine frantic days, the Scout Picks selection committee are braced for a pre-Christmas frenzy.

But our ‘expert’ panel of Scouts appear ready for the rush, and they’ve gone big on Chelsea assets this week, with Marcos Alonso, Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata all receiving inevitable backing for the trip to West Ham.

By contrast, the Manchester derby is being viewed almost exclusively as a no-go area. Only Jonty is prepared to buck that particular trend, and even then his selection appears in the graveyard slot that is third-choice goalkeeper.

In fact, shot stoppers could well be a major bone of contention among our Fantasy hounds, with a whole cast of custodians up for consideration.

We’ll be back on Friday to see which players make the Gameweek 16 grade and in the meantime, here are the Scouts’ selections and justifications, logical or otherwise.

 

Paul Jonty Mark Peter
Goalkeepers Lukasz Fabianski Thibaut Courtois Lukasz Fabianski Nick Pope
Julian Speroni Asmir Begovic Nick Pope Jonas Lossl
Jonas Lossl David de Gea Jonas Lossl Mat Ryan
Defenders Kieran Trippier Marcos Alonso Marcos Alonso Marcos Alonso
Marcos Alonso Sead Kolasinac Kieran Trippier Sead Kolasinac
Mamadou Sakho Mamadou Sakho Mamadou Sakho Kiko Femenia
Alberto Moreno Charlie Daniels Alberto Moreno Mamadou Sakho
Kyle Naughton Shane Duffy Christopher Schindler Charlie Daniels
Midfielders Mohamed Salah Eden Hazard Eden Hazard Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard Mohamed Salah Mohamed Salah Mohamed Salah
Son Heung-min Philippe Coutinho Wilfried Zaha Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey Aaron Ramsey Son Heung-min Wilfried Zaha
Richarlison Richarlison Aaron Ramsey Richarlison
Forwards Harry Kane Alvaro Morata Harry Kane Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata Alexandre Lacazette Alvaro Morata Alexandre Lacazette
Alexandre Lacazette Harry Kane Roberto Firmino Harry Kane
Christian Benteke Wilfried Bony Chris Wood Jay Rodriguez
Wilfried Bony Jay Rodriguez Tammy Abraham Glenn Murray

 

Peter Says…

Only Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero let me down last week in terms of midfield and attacking points as, unusually, all the other eight candidates did the business to a greater or lesser extent.

It’s just a shame I swapped my own team’s captaincy from Hazard to Kane at the eleventh hour.

With a few exceptions, I anticipate quite a range of suggestions from the Scouts this week, with no stand-out fixture when you consider Spurs’ ongoing trials at Wembley and the fact that Everton’s recent form suggests the Merseyside derby may not be a home banker for Liverpool.

Despite that, I do fancy Mohamed Salah to bring his one-match goal drought to an end on Sunday afternoon.

I also expect goals at the London Stadium, where I fancy the visiting Blues to continue their recent great form with Hazard, Marcos Alonso and Alvaro Morata dominating the attacking statistics.

Kane retains his place, but remains down in third place again despite his numbers and the prospect of yet another “easy home game”.

I’m going a little off-piste (given the homesick nature of his scoring thus far) by backing Alexandre Lacazette to continue to thrive on the creativity of a resurgent Arsenal which was highlighted in the recent Big Numbers article. Aaron Ramsey is a massive part of that creativity and joins his French team-mate.

Again, I have to resist the temptation to flood the squad with more premium players, with any number of Liverpool or Manchester City options tempting, while Alexis Sanchez will no doubt throw his arms up in disgust at being omitted.

Instead, I’ve gone for a budget-friendly spread from ‘lower’ teams, but my indecision is reflected by the fact that one or two of my attacking players are up against my defensive players – a cardinal sin in the eyes of many.

Last week I described Mamadou Sakho as the “bonus point hoover” and he duly returned eight points, including another two bonus. Selecting him for the second week in a row reflects not only the paucity of budget options this week but also Crystal Palace’s new-found solidity, with only one goal conceded in the last three Gameweeks.

Jonty Says…

Chelsea and Arsenal dominate my thoughts, as they prepare for away clashes against West Ham and Southampton respectively.

I’m expecting full support for my top-placed midfielder Hazard and number one striker Morata, given they scored 23 points between them at home to Newcastle last weekend.

The same applies to my selection of Alonso, who replaces my favoured Blues defensive option of Cesar Azpiliceuta; Alonso was rested for last night’s Champions League match so his start against the Hammers looks assured.

If only Manchester United still had Massimo Taibi in goal, Arsenal would have been looking at their greatest ever victory over their northern rivals when they met on Sunday. As it was, they lost 3-1 as David De Gea’s ‘worldie’ display saw off all but one of their 14 on target shots.

Fraser Forster will surely be having nightmares having witnessed the Gunners’ relentless attacking display, and I’m backing Arsene Wenger’s troops to make some early Christmas mincemeat of the Saints backline.

Among Arsenal midfield assets, Ramsey gets my vote over Sanchez due to value and a higher points per match average, with the Welshman registering 5.6 to the Chilean’s 4.8. Wing-back Sead Kolasinac’s four assists and a goal this season make him a shoo-in for me, while Lacazette’s seven shots on Sunday prove he is rewarding Wenger’s faith.

Sadly, Kane only makes third billing ahead of Stoke City’s visit to Wembley.

The Spurs talisman’s underlying statistics are on the slide. Over his last four matches he has more attempts (21) than any other player, but he is ranked just sixth for on-target shots and has only had two big chances over the same period. Hazard, by contrast, has had four big chances, and Sanchez six.

Elsewhere, I fancy West Brom’s trip to Swansea City to be this week’s source of cheap “magic beans”, with Wilfried Bony and Jay Rodriguez both considerations.

The Swans striker has racked up 10 shots over his last three starts and scored the opener against Stoke last time out.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez put in a highly promising display on the left flank in Alan Pardew’s debut match in charge, firing six penalty box efforts.

Paul Says…

I’m overlooking both Manchester clubs for the derby at Old Trafford this weekend and have rolled out a handful of differential gambles along with the usual suspects.

Similar to my selection in Gameweek 13, I’ve gone for Kieran Trippier as my Spurs defender for the visit of Stoke. The right wing-back has started all but one of their seven home matches and leads Ben Davies by 16 key passes to 10 at Wembley.

His team-mate Heung-min Son has also started all but one of Spurs’ Wembley fixtures – he’s second only to Kane for goal attempts at their temporary home and faces the second-worst defence in the Premier League.

Christian Benteke and Bony have plum home fixtures against Bournemouth and West Brom respectively.

The big Belgian has now completed back-to-back 90-minute appearances since returning from injury and his aerial threat could punish a Cherries defence that’s second only to West Brom for headed efforts against (40 to 42).

Partnered with Tammy Abraham away to Stoke last week, Bony netted his first of the season and fired five attempts to his fellow frontman’s zero.

New Baggies boss Alan Pardew was hardly renowned for his focus on defence while at former club Palace and I reckon that the Ivorian can deliver again as Paul Clement’s side go in search of a much-needed win.

Mark says…

My two top midfielders – Hazard and Salah – along with both Kane and Morata, surely pick themselves this week.

My faith in Kane remains and, while I’ll entertain the idea that his star is fading with Spurs’ form, I still look at Stoke’s defence and doubt their ability to shut him out at Wembley. One early goal from Kane and confidence could flow back into Spurs legs, and I’m not prepared to risk overlooking that prospect.

That quartet look settled, then. Job done.

Around them, I’m also backing Chelsea and Spurs in defence via wing-backs Alonso and Trippier. I’ve switched allegiance from Davies to the former Burnley man of late, with the quality of his delivery from the flank appearing to be a more assured source of assists based on recent “eye tests” and a study of the numbers.

I regret opting for Scott Dann over Sakho three weeks back and, ever since, the Frenchman has punished me with bonus returns each time. I fancy a third successive Eagles shut-out at home to Bournemouth, so I’ll be pushing hard for Sakho’s inclusion in Friday’s line-up.

I’ll also be endorsing opting for a four-man defence, with Alberto Moreno edging into contention having been rested at Brighton last time out. While Everton will arrive at Anfield with back-to-back wins and some confidence under Sam Allardyce, I’m wary that their tactics may curtail any attacking threat in a typically combative encounter.

But I expect Liverpool to prevail, which is why Roberto Firmino sits third in my selection of forwards., although I doubt very much that he’ll factor in Friday’s XI.

Indeed, Chris Wood is perhaps more likely to earn inclusion on the bench should we go with a 4-4-2. The Clarets will miss Robbie Brady’s supply, but I still feel there’s profit to be had from Watford’s defence at Turf Moor given the confidence in the Burnley camp.

The Community Champion

Representing the community against the Scout Picks in Gameweek 16 will be veteran Sliver, who is in his 12th season, with 2008/9’s finish of 22,208 his best to date.

The Community Champion who has the best lead over the Scouts during 2017/18 will win a £100 Amazon voucher (currently we can only offer Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com vouchers).

Gameweek 15’s champion Lord narrowly beat the Scouts 51-50, but the one to beat remains Gregor, who achieved victory over the Scouts by a 33-point margin in Gameweek 5.

3,318 Comments Post a Comment
  1. alex257
    5 days, 20 hours ago

    ...

    gross , sterling , salah , hazard , surman
    morata , DCL , vardy

    0 FT , 4.8 ITB
    A) gross > coutinho
    B) sterling > coutinho (and save for later , to replace vardy or DCL)
    C) nothing

    Original plan was to get Kane instead of Vardy next GW , but coutinho seems a must

  2. The Mighty Whites
    5 days, 20 hours ago

    2FT, 0.0 ITB

    Foster, Elliot

    Monreal, Simpson, Gomez, Naughton, Lowton

    Salah, Sane, Sterling, Gross, Carroll

    Kane, Morata, Vardy

    A - Carroll & Gomez to RLC and Zeegelaar
    B - Naughton & Sane to Zeegelaar & Coutinho
    C - Vardy & Sane to 6.5 Striker & Hazard
    D - Other

  3. Georgie10
    5 days, 20 hours ago

    Best one?....

    A) DDG / Mustafi / Kenny / Ramsey

    B) DDG / Cedric / Kiko / Ramsey

    C) Fabianski / Cedric / Kenny / Coutinho

    D) Ryan / Cedric / Zeeg / Coutinho

    1. zachywacky
      5 days, 19 hours ago

      I like B and D, B if I had to choose

  4. MHG
    5 days, 19 hours ago

    I have 2 free transfers - looking at:
    In Coutinho and Firmino
    Out Aguero and Glob

    ok?

    1. We Will Klopp you
      5 days, 18 hours ago

      Yes

  5. Mattias
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 18 hours ago

    What's my best option of these two:

    A) Silva > Ramsey (FT)
    B) Silva + Abraham > Cout & DLC (-4) & I already have Salah

  6. Catsandhats
    5 days, 17 hours ago

    Squats the new on silva and moreno?

    Moreno I can leave,

    But is it worth

    Silva - Sterling -4?

    1. Magic Box
      5 days, 7 hours ago

      Not for a -4.

  7. JMcCormack789
    5 days, 17 hours ago

    In my Draft league I have a defence of P Jones, Kompany, Kola, Christensen and Duffy - thinking of getting rid of one of them for either Femenía or Sakho. Who should I get rid of, or should I stick with the ones I've got?

  8. marcus0985
    5 days, 16 hours ago

    Sterling, Richarlison or Naughton for this gameweek?

  9. gellinmagellan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 14 hours ago

    Fabianski Eliott

    Davies Azpi Ward Maguire Dunk

    Salah Hazard Choupo-Moting Gross Caroll

    Wlson Morate Kane

    2 FTs and 0.4 ITB. How should I use the FTs?

  10. gellinmagellan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 14 hours ago

    Fabianski Eliott

    Davies Azpi Ward Maguire Dunk

    Salah Hazard Choupo-Moting Gross Caroll

    Wlson Morate Kane

    2 FTs and 0.4 ITB. How should I use the FTs?

    *Plan A* with -4

    Davies> Otamendi

    Azpi> Christensen

    Choupo-Moting>Ramsey

    Wilson> DCL

    *Plan B* with -4

    Davies > Gomez

    Maguire > Femina

    Choupo Moting > Ramsey

  11. beetlejuice
    5 days, 13 hours ago

    Score predictions for CRY vs BOU pls?

    1. Corgzzzz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 days, 13 hours ago

      2-2

    2. Slouchinho
      5 days, 13 hours ago

      Nobody could confidently predict this.

  12. Olle Donelius
    5 days, 12 hours ago

    A or B?

    A) Verthongen, Choupo-Moting
    B) Ward, Richarlison

  13. Whits
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 9 hours ago

    Hi all. I'm at a loss with how to best use my 2 FT and £2m itb. Was thinking Naughton and Brady to Richarlison and Sakho but that leaves me no extra funds to address Niasse if he doesnt play, unless I stick to 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 going forward. Also thinking Niasse and Brady to Benteke and a 4.9 MF is an option. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Cheers

    My team is:

    Fabianski / Elliot

    Mbemba / Mee / Kolasinac / Otemendi/ Naughton

    Salah / Hazard / Sterling / Brady / Loftus-Cheek

    Kane / Morata/ Niasse

  14. Magic Box
    5 days, 7 hours ago

    I need to do one of the following to get a playing keeper (Currently Elliot + Krul):

    A) Krul -> Speroni and risk him not starting
    B) Krul -> Gomes + Mustafi -> Sakho (-4)

    Any advice? Cheers!

    1. G-Whizz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 days, 6 hours ago

      C) Krul -> Gomes

      1. Magic Box
        5 days, 6 hours ago

        Just short of cash, would have to do the -4 to get Gomes in. Could always downgrade Alonso -> Christensen or Abraham -> DCL alternatively.

        1. G-Whizz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          5 days, 6 hours ago

          See below lol or if you fancy downgrade Alonso -> Christensen

  15. G-Whizz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 days, 6 hours ago

    B) Krul -> Gomes + Mustafi -> Sakho (-4) then?

    1. Kiwivillan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      5 days, 6 hours ago

      Don't be Krul to a Hart that's true

    2. Magic Box
      5 days, 6 hours ago

      Cheers! Probably the best move in this situation.

  16. kopite65
    5 days, 5 hours ago

    really struggling which two to bench,anyadvice appreciated
    A mee {if fit}
    B daniels
    C dunk
    D naughton
    Christensen to play, any thoughts,cheers

  17. esho17
    5 days, 1 hour ago

    A) Sterling > Coutinho
    B) Save FT

    TIA

  18. Hodg55
    4 days, 22 hours ago

    Is this feasible...

    Otamendi > Sakho to free up funds for Hazard?

    Also means a -4 point hit?

  19. Garfield1001
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 days, 17 hours ago

    Anyone else down to 10 with Kiko and Mee?

    1. President Giggs
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 days, 17 hours ago

      I am, Scott Dann on my bench too!