We are running a harsh rule over some of the premium Fantasy Premier League assets in this latest edition of Question Time.
First on the list is Harry Kane (£12.6m) who underperformed in Gameweek 17 and has some of his owners wondering if they should keep hold of him.
We are also looking at the high-profile defenders as well as how injuries and the Christmas schedule should influence our thinking.
Who’s on the panel this week?
Brandon and Josh from Always Cheating – Both halves of America’s most popular FPL podcast.
Lee and Sam from FPL Family – Well-known YouTube and FPL Show duo
Ben Crabtree – Former FPL winner
Question 1 – Brandon
Anas: Is Kane worth the money?
Brandon: “Harry Kane is the most expensive striker in FPL at £12.6m. It’s tough enough to fit such a high-price striker into your squad, but this season is making matters more complex with a host of premium midfielders vying for our attention: Salah, Sterling, and Hazard, just to name the big ones. In terms of total points, Kane is still at least 21 points off the pace of those heavy-hitters. It was a slow start for the England captain (perhaps due to the demanding World Cup campaign), and he had six blanks in the first ten game weeks of the season. So, yeah, why bother with Kane?
“Kane is actually looking much-improved, with only one blank in his last seven fixtures. Not only are the FPL points finally coming in steadily, but the striker is starting to pass the eye test with more fluid, quicker movement around the pitch. The return of Christian Eriksen is also a positive sign and we saw against Burnly how Eriksen changed the game coming off the bench. Perhaps most importantly, Kane offers what so many of the premium mids and forwards don’t during the festive period: a security of starts and minutes. As mentioned, Kane has only had one blank since GW10, and that was against Leicester City when he was rested. Given Kane’s history of starting 99% of Spurs’ matches, we can expect Kane is now locked into Pochettino’s team sheet for the foreseeable future—a run including matches against the soft defenses of Bournemouth and Cardiff before the January break.
“If you currently have Kane in your FPL side, you should hold him and consider captaining him in one, two, or even three fixtures during the holidays. He will start and he will steadily tick along and I’d bet there’s a big haul in there somewhere. If you don’t currently have Kane, he’s worth considering over Aubameyang and the fully-fit Agüero, who will now be competing with Jesus for starts. In terms of budget strikers competing for Kane’s FPL spot, I find it difficult to justify covering Kane’s points with Callum Wilson, whose fixtures are poor around Christmas. And Mitrovic is playing in a broken team at the moment. Roberto Firmino is starting to emerge as a premium mid-price forward option, but that’s a punt with few guarantees. What you’re left with are budget strikers, like Raúl Jiménez, who you can easily make space for next to Kane. Spurs have not been at their best this season and still look somewhat disjointed, but Kane’s momentum is clearly starting to build and we all know how hungry he is for goals, no matter the circumstance.”
Question 2 – Lee
Jamie: With TAA injured should I switch to a different Liverpool defender or look elsewhere entirely?
Lee: “As we all know, Liverpool have the best defence in the league – with only seven goals conceded all season, that’s largely thanks to the consistency of the back four. However, even those that have come in as replacements have looked pretty solid.
“A clean sheet against Napoli in the Champions League and only a mistake by Alisson prevented another in the league against Manchester United.
“Milner was in line to play at right-back against Man United until a last-minute niggle meant Klopp drafted in Nathaniel Clyne.
“Although the ex-Saints man played well, I still think Klopp prefers Milner there as back-up to Trent Alexander-Arnold. With that in mind, Lovren therefore looks like your key option, given that Gomez is our for a few weeks.
“If you want to stay with Liverpool and can’t afford the pricey Robertson, go for the Croatian. Although, Klopp admitted that Alexander-Arnold is progressing back from his injury quicker than expected.
“If you want to look elsewhere, there’s plenty of good options in TAA’s price range – such as Digne, Doherty or Watford’s Holebas after his screamer in GW 17. However, regardless of who plays, Klopp has Liverpool well organised and resilient at the back this year – so having at least one Liverpool defender seems a very prudent strategy.”
Question 3 – Ben
Seth: Is it time to ditch premium defenders?
Ben: “The season started with with the premium defenders scoring as their price suggested they should do. Mendy and Trippier injuries reduced the field leaving Alonso, Robertson and maybe recently Van Dijk as the only ones who can be relied upon to play regularly over a busy schedule.
“The Liverpool defender’s form has been consistent with Alonso’s form tapering slightly but still being a safe source of returns.
“I think the dilemma comes from the amount of defenders around the £5m mark and below that have fixtures suggesting six points are available, along with an attacking threat which pushes the potential in to double figures.
“Doherty, Digne, Kolasinac, TAA, Holebas if bought now would cost £25.2m giving a reasonable potential of 25+ points from playing just 3 of them in any given week.
“Should this still be too much Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also great value at £4.3m offering a reasonable chance of six to nine points from comfortable home games.
“The desire to take money out of defense is enhanced given the form of expensive midfielders and fixtures of some expensive forwards.
“Personally, I still have Alonso but feel I may have missed a trick not downgrading him recently. That said I feel he’s one free kick away from reminding me why I’m keeping the faith.
“I suggest one premium defender is the maximum to look at holding now as the extra £1-2m doesn’t stretch to enough extra points given the form of cheaper defenders That money is converted in to a greater difference in the amount of points when invested in midfield.”
Question 4 – Josh
Sam: Bournemouth fixtures are about to get tough. Who is the best replacement for Callum Wilson (e.g. should we upgrade a defender)?
Josh: “I’m not actually sure you should replace Callum Wilson. Clearly you don’t want to move him before Gameweek 18 (home to Brighton), but even when Bournemouth’s fixtures toughen up in Gameweek 19 I don’t see him as a must move. He’s shown with goals against Man City and Man United that he’s not a flat track bully – and all of his replacements have their flaws.
“So who are the replacements? Jiménez is the obvious choice – he’s an essential cog in an attack-minded Wolves team and their Gameweek 19 fixture (away to Fulham) is the perfect time for a Wilson to Jiménez swap.
“Rondón is in great form but Newcastle’s fixtures are about to nosedive.
“Chicharito is tempting but indications are Arnautovic may be back sooner than expected, in which case he’ll likely be competing for his spot.
“Marcus Rashford is maybe the most tempting option based on form and fixtures, but that does require you to have faith in Mourinho’s attack. Whether or not you can stomach that is up to you.”
Question 5 – Sam
Mikeypanther: Is it finally time to consider a Burnley defender again? They certainly have looked like a parked bus the last games. Hart is an obvious choice if you need a goalie, but which of the defenders would you go for after the Arsenal game, and why?
Sam: “With only four clean sheets all season and only one of those in the last five matches Burnley are no where near as solid defensively as they were last season.
“However, against a Spurs side who appeared to be suffering from a European hangover Burnley appeared much more robust than they previously had been and were unlucky to concede in added time.
“With Arsenal, Everton and West Ham to come over their next three matches the Burnley defensive face three teams who know how to attack and thus I think it’s too early to consider a Burnley defender as clean sheets look hard to come by in the short term especially considering on average Burnley concede 1.94 goals per match.
“However with Matt Ryan off to the Asian Cup in January, perhaps Joe Hart could be considered as a replacement as additional save points could come his way with the amount of saves he is required to make per match.
“If you really want to invest in a Burnley defender James Tarkowski or Ben Mee look the best options as their influence stats should help with scoring in the Bonus Points System. Of the two Tarkowski offers more in the way of attacking options and therefore is perhaps a slightly better asset.”
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