Liverpool’s upcoming match against basement boys Fulham has caused a few managers to drop the T-word this week.
The form of both sides means that Mohamed Salah is being talked about as a potential Triple Captain already.
We’ve put that suggestion as well as issues connected with James Maddison, Richarlison and Aleksandar Mitrovic to our latest Question Time panel.
Who’s on the panel this week?
Lejuan Basson – A South Africa-based FPL manager who finished an enviable 24th in the world in 2017/18.
Ben Crabtree – A proud Evertonian and the overall winner of FPL in 2016/17.
Simon March – Another of the select group to have finished first in the world, this time in 2014/15.
Question 1 – Ben
George Williams: Is it a wise move to triple captain Mohamed Salah against Fulham, considering their defensive record?
“My approach to the Triple Captain chip is quite standard: use it in a double Gameweek. However, this has not reaped any noticeable rewards with even my FPL title-winning winning season only bring in nine Aguero points, becoming 27. Not bad, but clearly there were plenty of better single Gameweeks I could have used it in.
“Looking at Salah, or more accurately scouting the Fulham defence, there’s a high chance there’s two goals for liverpool, a huge chance of three goals and a big chance of four goals.
“Salah is directly involved in a large percentage of Liverpool’s attacking returns so returns seem as close to guaranteed as you can get.
“I do think it’s a wise move that should make good use of the chip. Time will tell if the double Gameweeks create a better opportunity but I wouldn’t actually be too sure they will.”
Question 2 – Simon
Craig: What key stats and skills are central to help you look through the noise and pick good FF players while excluding the trend players who don’t always deliver.
“If you are looking at stats to help guide your FPL decisions, I think there are two key rules to follow; make sure you’re looking at enough data, and make sure you’re looking at it in context.
“In general, it’s a good idea not to let yourself be overly-influenced by small samples of data, the most common being the tendency to over-emphasise a player’s most recent performance, particularly when it contrasts with their performance over a longer period.
“Often, we’re using stats to pick between two or three players. One method is to begin with the desired result, e.g. goals for a striker, then look at stats that are most closely associated with that result, such as shots on target, and then work backwards to include ever-broader indicators such as; shots in the box, shot accuracy, total attempts and average position until you have a ‘funnel’ of stats. If a player fares well across the whole funnel, then there’s a decent chance that they’ll sustain their form. If they perform well in one stat and not in others, there’s a good chance that they won’t. Again though, the sample size is key to making good insights here.
“Context is also important. A player’s stats might look good because their fixtures have been favourable and, therefore, they might not be sustainable if their upcoming fixtures are much tougher (and vice versa). It’s also worth looking at a team’s performance as a whole. A player can have good looking stats but, if their team is struggling, they’ll face an uphill battle each Gameweek to convert them into FPL points.
“Finally, it’s important to remember that good stats don’t always tell a positive story. For example, a defender ranking highly for, say, headed clearances could indicate that they play for a team that is frequently under defensive pressure and, therefore, at greater risk of conceding. So, when looking at defenders, in particular, it’s often best to look at the team first, and how defensively solid they are overall, before considering the stats of individual players.”
Question 3 – Lejuan
Mostafa: How long should we keep faith in James Maddison?
“Even though I don’t own Maddison I’ve been very impressed with him the last two games I’ve watched.
“He has provided some very good chances that his team-mates have been close to scoring.
“Two specific examples are Vicente Iborra’s header against West Ham that was straight at the goalkeeper, and his rebounded shot which Jamie Vardy saw handled by Sol Bamba.
“So if I did own him I’d keep him for at least the next four gameweeks where he has some really good fixtures. A home match against Burnley in Gameweek 12 looks particularly appealing.”
Question 4 – Ben
Jpkelly2: Who is best replacement over the next four to six weeks for an off-the-boil Aleksandar Mitrovic?
“It’s hard to judge a Mitrovic replacement without knowing the rest of a team and money in the bank. If someone is eyeing up a mid-priced midfielder and in need of a bit of money, Mitrovic to Jiménez could help.
“The Wolves forward offers good value but I found it frustrating owning him and changed last week to Arnautovic.
“Arnautovic is, without doubt, the best pick, assuming you don’t own him already. If you need a bit of money to get him I’d downgrade the weakest link elsewhere in your team to make it possible.
“Wilson is the man on fire at the moment and while it can’t be considered a bad move to go for him given his form over 11 Gameweeks, I feel Bournemouth’s form is due to dip. In part because of fixtures and also because they’re a team who seem to play in cycles and average out in the end to a solid mid-table finish.
“Personally, Murray isn’t for me although some returns would be likely. I’d rather look to find the money to upgrade to Vardy (fixtures) or Morata (Sarri’s latest enlightened pupil?).
“If money’s tight, you own Arnautovic already and are looking for something different, Zaha could be a shout. Spurs and Man United aren’t looking great defensively and after that, his fixtures become enticing, especially as he’ll be one of the most nailed forwards over the Christmas period.”
Question 5 – Lejuan
Victor Valov: Richarlison or Gylfi Sigurdsson (or both)?
“I think there could be a strong argument for either Richarlison or Sigurdsson.
“The Icelandic international has been on a really nice run lately and is getting into great scoring positions, which is in addition to his fantastic creative ability.
“I do, however, feel Richarlison has more potential and could hurt you more with his ownership. He’s cheaper too.
“If you don’t own either and don’t have a great rank then Sigurdsson would be my choice to propel you upwards.”
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