Effective attacking double-ups are the theme of our most recent Watchlist update.
With Mohamed Salah (£13.6m) largely dominating the captaincy debate and his ownership increasing each week, Fantasy Premier League managers need other tactics to keep getting green arrows.
As discussed on this week’s Scoutcast, attacking double-ups could be the way to go, and that was confirmed in part when we recently updated our Watchlist.
What we found was that the colleagues of some of the game’s most effective assets are also looking ready for investment.
Starting with Salah’s team-mates, we pushed Sadio Mané (£9.5m) and Roberto Firmino (£9.3m) up in their respective positions. In the last four Gameweeks, both players have had more efforts on goal than the Egyptian. With Liverpool’s fixtures remaining favourable and involvement in all the upcoming Blank Gameweeks, either one from the pair could make excellent partners in our Fantasy teams for Salah.
In spite of their upcoming Blank in Gameweek 27, both Raheem Sterling (£11.3m) and Leroy Sané (£9.7m) have strong credentials. Between Gameweeks 24 and 26, the fixtures still suggest attacking involvements for Manchester City, with Newcastle (away), Arsenal (home) and Chelsea (home) their next three matches. Obviously, the defending champions will have a corresponding Double Gameweek at some point, for which owning both Sterling and Sané could prove a devastating combination. That said, we have pulled the German down a little for now, with the impact of Benjamin Mendy‘s (£6.1m) return currently difficult to assess.
On the other side of Manchester is another strong looking double-up with both Paul Pogba (£8.7m) and Marcus Rashford (£7.7m) at the top ends of their respective positions. The former is the second-best midfield option after registering 10 attacking returns in his last six Premier League outings. However, with his ownership now just under 40%, owning him may not be enough to cover yourself against large Manchester United wins. The recent injury to Harry Kane (£12.5m) has accelerated Rashford’s rise to prominence, breaking the record for most-transferred in ahead of any Gameweek last time around. He has seven attacking returns since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over, making him just as viable as Pogba. The two of them have very high ownership among the top 10,000 FPL managers as well so they both look must-haves for a run of games featuring Burnley (home), Leicester (away), Fulham (away), Crystal Palace (away) and Southampton (home).
The recent injury to Dele Alli (£8.9m), which will keep him out until March sees Christian Eriksen (£9.4m) slot in as the obvious replacement for him on the Watchlist. Even though Spurs are now without a selection of key options, it does increase the likelihood that Eriksen will be involved in their attacking returns. With Son Heung-min (£8.6m) and South Korea now out of the Asian Cup, he may reappear soon, once we know more about a specific return date.
The other big change in midfield is that Wolves man Diogo Jota (£5.9m) has come into the frame, replacing Gylfi Sigurdsson (£7.3m). His hat-trick against Leicester has drawn the attention of the Fantasy community to him and his fixtures make him very appealing. Wolves face West Ham (home), Everton (away), Newcastle (home), Bournemouth (away), Huddersfield (away) and Cardiff (home) in the next six Gameweeks.
Further up the pitch, Gonzalo Higuain (£9.5m) makes a tentative debut appearance among the forwards, replacing the elusive Marko Arnautovic (£6.9m). While the Argentinian comes to England on the back of a bad first half of 2018/19, he does present a potentially appealing cheaper alternative to Eden Hazard (£11.0m), who has slipped down to third in the midfield bracket after struggling in the false-nine position.
In defence, Matt Doherty (£5.2m) holds onto second place, despite his poor form of late. The main reason for his high positioning is the potential the next six Gameweeks offer for Wolves. As we’ve already mentioned, their fixtures look incredible, and with little else to excite us in defence, the man who has shown what he can do earlier this season is tipped to rediscover his spark.
Sead Kolasinac (£4.9m) is the biggest riser in this position, with no defender managing more touches in the penalty box since Gameweek 20 than the Arsenal man. The Gunners are not especially renowned for clean sheets, but shutouts look achievable against Cardiff and Huddersfield in Gameweeks 24 and 26, while Kolasinac’s price makes him conveniently benchable when Arsenal travel to face Manchester City in Gameweek 25.
Everybody’s favourite budget man Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.5m) returns to the Watchlist this week as Crystal Palace’s schedule turns very blue on the season ticker. Only two teams rank higher than the Eagles for defensive potential on it over the next six Gameweeks. Wan-Bissaka takes the place of Sol Bamba (£4.6m).
His Palace colleague Vicente Guaita (£4.2m) goes in the opposite direction though after picking up an injury last time out. Furthermore, Roy Hodgson bolstered his options in the goalkeeping department by confirming the signing of Lucas Perri on Thursday. Conveniently replacing Guaita as the budget option in our goalkeeper section is Brighton’s David Button (£4.0m), still filling in for Mat Ryan (£4.4m) during his Asian Cup exploits.
Meanwhile, Marcos Alonso (£6.6m) continues his freefall down the defensive charts, with his place on the Watchlist very much at jeopardy.