After the final international break of 2018 drew to a close earlier this week, we can finally start thinking about the best players to own for Gameweek 13 of Fantasy Premier League.
As per usual, our panel of seasoned Fantasy managers Paul, Joe, Az and Peter are here to detail the players that made their Scout Squad.
We will then whittle the options down to an XI-man side to act as our official Scout Picks later in the week.
There is a lot of support for Everton, Wolves and Manchester United for Gameweek 13 as a lot of the usual suspects face some frustrating fixtures…
|GK||Rui Patrício||Joe Hart||Jordan Pickford||Rui Patrício|
|Mat Ryan||Jordan Pickford||Rui Patrício||Martin Dúbravka|
|Jordan Pickford||Mat Ryan||Mat Ryan||Mat Ryan|
|DF||Matt Doherty||Lucas Digne||Lucas Digne||Lucas Digne|
|Andrew Robertson||Matt Doherty||Matt Doherty||Matt Doherty|
|Michael Keane||Lewis Dunk||Aymeric Laporte||Andrew Robertson|
|Fabian Delph||Aymeric Laporte||Andrew Robertson||Chris Smalling|
|Shane Duffy||Victor Lindelöf||Diogo Dalot||Cédric Soares|
|Raheem Sterling||Mohamed Salah||Anthony Martial||Mohamed Salah|
|Richarlison||Anthony Martial||Raheem Sterling||Anthony Martial|
|Anthony Martial||Raheem Sterling||Mohamed Salah||Gylfi Sigurdsson|
|Ryan Sessegnon||JB Gudmundsson||Eden Hazard||David Silva|
|FW||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero||Sergio Aguero|
|Raúl Jiménez||Alexandre Lacazette||P-E Aubameyang||Raúl Jiménez|
|Glenn Murray||Raúl Jiménez||Raúl Jiménez||Callum Wilson|
|Alexandre Lacazette||Glenn Murray||Aleksandar Mitrovic||P-E Aubameyang|
|Chris Wood||Callum Wilson||Salomón Rondón||Danny Ings|
Most popular picks: Mat Ryan, Matt Doherty, Mohamed Salah, Richarlison, Anthony Martial, Sergio Aguero, Raúl Jiménez (four), Rui Patrício, Jordan Pickford, Lucas Digne, Raheem Sterling (three)
Wolves and Everton players are likely to populate our Scout Picks due to strong home fixtures.
Both offer great value options in defence and attack, providing Matt Doherty is fit, of course.
Alongside the rest of the obvious names, Fabian Delph and Chris Wood are among my differentials.
Delph recorded 14 points over his two starts earlier in the season.
Man City’s resilience means that, at just £5.3m, he could be a factor over the winter period if he cements the left-back role in Benjamin Mendy’s absence.
Wood’s goal off the bench against West Ham in Gameweek 11 earned him a first start since Gameweek 4 last time around.
At home to a Newcastle defence that rank fourth-worst for shots conceded (184), the Kiwi international is owned by less than 1% of managers for Monday’s match.
I’m also backing Ryan Sessegnon to finally settle into life in the top-flight now that Claudio Ranieri has taken the Fulham helm.
The Italian’s tactical nous can get the best of the young winger, who served up 15 goals and eight assists in last season’s Championship.
Sessegnon also has the schedule to establish himself as a winter target.
A visit from Southampton is the first of five favourable matches in front of his own fans over the next eight Gameweeks.
The first week after an international break can be one of the hardest to call.
Rotation is rife and the unexpected can happen, with jet-setting leaving normally strong performers fatigued.
Nevertheless, I think it unlikely that Cardiff will upset Everton at Goodison Park and have tripled up on Toffees assets.
With a record low two goals on the road, Neil Warnock’s side makes a double up of Merseysiders stopper Jordan Pickford and left-back Lucas Digne a viable option. If only one is selected my top choice is the Frenchman. He offers strong assist potential as the top-ranked defender for chances created and corner taking over the last four Gameweeks.
Richarlison in midfield just edges his team-mate Gylfi Sigurdsson as my attacking Everton selection, partly due to his cheaper price tag and also because the Icelander is currently recovering from a knock.
I’m also banking on Brighton’s strong home form being maintained when Leicester drop by the Amex Stadium. Shutouts in both of their last two matches in front of their own fans make this a good Gameweek to select one of goalkeeper Mat Ryan or centre-back Lewis Dunk, who made his England debut last week. Up front, Glenn Murray’s five goals in as many home starts make him another strong Seagulls prospect.
With Wolves’ pair Raul Jiménez and Matt Doherty, as well as Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Victor Lindelof, also providing value, there should be plenty of cash spare to invest in a few premium options.
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Aymeric Laporte look strong contenders for returns when they visit a West Ham side with only one clean sheet at the London Stadium
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is another strong armband option when he travels to Watford. In his last two matches against the Hornets, the Egyptian has rifled in an impressive five goals.
Arsenal marksman Alexandre Lacazette is another solid pick, against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, with attacking returns in three of his four Premier League away starts.
At last the International break ends and we are treated to a plethora of football matches over the next month. Hooray!
I get the sense that templates are going to be shaken up over the coming weeks, as Arsenal and Tottenham get a quite incredible run of fixtures until January, but for now, things are looking relatively settled and there are no crazy picks in my selection this week.
I’ve selected three players from Everton and Wolves due to the fact they play Cardiff and Huddersfield respectively. Lucas Digne looks a steal at £4.8 and seems to rotate nicely with Aaron Wan-Bissaka. He’s on some set pieces and is registering some impressive stats. Meanwhile, how Doherty has gone four league games without scoring is baffling. His numbers and heat map are certainly very encouraging. Let’s hope he shakes off his injury to make the line-up. Attacking-wise, Richarlison and Raúl Jiménez both look set to haul at the weekend. If you own these players, I’d be confident!
Elsewhere, Anthony Martial makes his first appearance in my selection this season. A record of six goals in five games is too good to ignore. I’ve also gone for a surprising inclusion of Diogo Dalot, who looks set to start with Luke Shaw banned. This is a big chance for him and if he does well, could make a claim for starting over Ashley Young in future matches, with Antonio Valencia still struggling.
Up front, it’s a trio of cheapies. I wonder how Fulham will line up with their new manager, but Aleksandar Mitrovic looks set to remain their talismanic figure up front. I reckon Claudio Ranieri will look to get the ball to him as much as possible, possibly pairing him with a quick strike partner – just like he did with Vardy and Okazaki.
Salomón Rondón comes into Gameweek 13 off the back of a great game where he got a brace, and although Burnley did keep a clean sheet against Leicester, they have been struggling defensively.
Sergio Aguero and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are just easy picks really. They play West Ham and Bournemouth respectively and are both in great form. ‘Nuff said.
The fixtures don’t give me too much assistance this week, with both Liverpool and Manchester City on the road in potential banana skin fixtures, before Maurizio Sarri’s Blues take on Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs in Saturday’s evening kick-off.
I have therefore cast my net a little wider and acknowledged favourable matches for Everton, Manchester United and Wolves as the backbone to my selections.
Whilst neither team enters this encounter with fantastic form, I still strongly favour the old gold of Wolves to take all three points from Huddersfield’s visit to Molineux.
Matt Doherty has been the nearly-man recently but still offers value, threat and clean sheet potential. He is joined by both Rui Patrício and Raúl Jiménez, with the Mexican absent for his country’s second international fixture this week.
You almost feel there should be a special coloured flag for injuries which are picked up immediately before the international break, with so many players (including Doherty) a doubt at the time of writing
Two players whom I would have been tempted to bring in (Luke Shaw and Ryan Bertrand) will definitely miss Gameweek 13, however, as they each serve a one-match ban.
Instead, I begrudgingly pull in their respective team-mates, Chris Smalling and Cédric Soares in a feckless display of fixtures over form. Neither United nor Southampton have been anything like watertight this season but are up against goal-shy and porous opponents in the form of the Palace and Fulham and both of my selections carry at least some threat in the final third.
The favourable fixtures also partially explain my selection of Anthony Martial and (if fit) Danny Ings, with the Frenchman’s recent good form even prompting some c-word (captaincy) discussion.
Another popular Frenchmen at the moment is Lucas Digne, who tops my defensive billing as Everton welcome Cardiff to Goodison. It was actually quite a tough call between Digne and Michael Keane and I faced a similar dilemma when comparing Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurðsson, before settling on both midfielders in an intrepid (or perhaps idiotic) show of faith in Everton’s attack.
In truth, even ranking my five midfield choices proved a challenge this week with very little to separate the quintet.
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