It’s been a cut-throat week on Fantasy Football Scout and you would be forgiven for thinking that the football had been ditched in favour of Dungeons & Dragons. Talk of swords and shields dominated Tuesday’s Scoutcast. The analogy, picked up on by J0E, originated from FPL Reuser who described highly-owned players as “shields” because they can protect your rank, and differential players as “swords” because they can boost your rank.
To help arm your FPL troops with the best swords and shields on offer, the Gameweek Guide provides the latest cutting-edge statistics, a battalion of experts, and a blast of opinion.
After Make Arrows Green Again began a popular hot topic on captain choices over the season, what better place to start than with this week’s armband dilemma. Two highly-owned shields are the main captaincy contenders in the shape of Salah (45.7%) and Agüero (40.8%). If a shield is captained does he get turned into a sword?
Philosophical questions aside, the pair are proving almost impossible to separate in this week’s captain poll – the City forward currently holds a narrow lead by 29.4% to 27.35%.
Is this significant? According to ritzyd, who analysed how the captain poll choices have performed this season, it might actually be a bad sign:
Where the top captain is backed by less than a third (33%) of managers they averaged only 4.11 pts per week (and this included Agüero’s 17pt week!) with 6 blank (3pt or worse) weeks.
If only Agüero wasn’t the exception. We need the help of a man who has amassed a whopping 506 captain points this season, a staggering 28.56% of his total score, Mr David Munday.
In his Captain Sensible article, David breaks down not only Salah and Agüero’s recent performances but also the strength of Liverpool and City’s next opponents – Burnley and Watford are plum home fixtures. Earlier in the week David shared his thoughts with J0E in the Captaincy video. J0E revealed that he is going to captain Agüero while David was torn between Liverpool duo Mané and Salah.
Manchester City and Liverpool account for five of our Scout Picks ahead of the deadline. Understandably both sides are predicted to bounce back from their slightly disappointing results in Gameweek 29 – Liverpool drew a blank in the Merseyside derby while City scored only once away to Bournemouth.
Outside of the top two in the Premier League there are a handful of teams to consider. With a home fixture against an obliging Fulham defence Jamie Vardy is tipped to do well – he was selected by all four panelists in the Scout Squad. New Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has been speaking highly of his team’s centre-forward:
He’s a player I’ve always loved, we’ve seen in the last number of years, he’s a born goalscorer, but he is perfect for us in the intensity in which he presses and his running ability.
The other attraction with Jamie Vardy is that, unlike Agüero for instance, he has guaranteed fixtures in both Gameweeks 31 and 33. Preparing for the reduced fixture list in Gameweek 31 was the topic of our FPL Question Time. Offering their insights were Always Cheating‘s Josh and Brandon, together with the husband and wife team of Lee and Sam from FPL Family. Brandon explained why:
In FPL, there is a school of thought that says a -4 points hit in a Blank Gameweek is only a -2 points hit.
With that in mind, G-Whizz continued the Blank Gameweek planning by asking what forwards will you have or looking at having for Gameweek 31?
In addition to Leicester players, Bournemouth assets are under consideration. For those opting to play their Free Hit chip in Gameweek 32 and Wildcard in Gameweek 34, their next three fixtures read – Huddersfield away, Newcastle home, Burnley home. A decent trio of fixtures.
The Scoutcast discussed their potential in depth and, despite their recent results, the FPL General feels Bournemouth players could help managers make up lost ground. In the search for a good ‘sword’, joeydelucchi thinks we could be overlooking Ryan Fraser, while Rotation’s Alter Ego has been ‘cherry’ picking his favourites.
Chelsea can also offer a decent sword for consideration. Neale (aka Skonto Rigga) highlighted a 4.4%-owned Blue in his Differentials article:
Higuain has scored three goals in his last four league matches and has recorded more shots in that quartet of games than any other FPL forward when they are filtered by the same criteria.
Elsewhere on the site this week we’ve been treated to a sandwich and serenaded with a reworded karaoke classic. The sandwich analogy was introduced during a discussion on team value. MINUS FOUR argues that with only nine Gameweeks to go it’s time to live and let live, and that we shouldn’t be thinking about saving team value.
It’s a line of thought that Adam Hopcroft articulated very well back in December.
It can put you in a position of weakness when you have a lot of value tied up in a player.
Meanwhile Celt Abroad’s only aim is to ‘survive’.
The week’s team news has been sifted through by Neale and put together in his normal round up. Rotation’s Alter Ego has once again prepared a more concise version of the headlines, with J0E and Neale appearing in a 21 min video covering all the latest press conferences.
In G-Whizz’s regular DS stats, fixtures and clean sheet odds, it’s no surprise to find that Liverpool and Manchester City are predicted to have exceptional Gameweeks. Tottenham and Leicester also feature highly with scores above 300 DS – an indication they too should have good gameweeks.
Also this week, David announced a new article to Fantasy Football Scout called Think Tank. The aim is to help collect the community’s thoughts on the biggest talking points in Fantasy Premier League. Then each week we will create a Google Form for you to submit a poll and some options for fellow Fantasy Football Scout users to vote on.
If you’re a member and are yet to get to grips with the custom statistics tables, you can view this movie for an explanation of how they work. Also, remember to tag them so that people can find the tables with ease.
512 managers took part in the first round of the latest Fantasy Football Scout Cup. There were one or two surprises as Get It Inter Ya, who reached the final of the last tournament, fell at the first hurdle to GRO1994, and four previous winners – MCH, Gribude, A Manager Has No Name, and J0E – all exited the tournament. In my first round tie I lost narrowly to FFS regular G-Whizz, if only my captain Pogba hadn’t picked up that silly yellow card!
In TorresMagic’s Last Man Standing competition the safety score in Gameweek 29 was 38, this saw 77 managers eliminated. 301 teams are through to Gameweek 30, when the threshold for elimination moves up to 20%, a minimum of 61 managers will depart. The final will take place in Gameweek 37.
Still in the Last Man Standing competition, holding onto top spot in both our main FFS League and our FFS Members League, and the new number one in the world is Adam Levy. Adam is the first manager to reach the milestone of 2,000 points this season and has a 25-point lead over world number two Hossam CheLSawy.
The current record points total for an FPL winner is 2,668 by Jon Reeson set way back in the 2009/10 season. With nine Gameweeks to go including the big blanks and doubles, can Adam beat that total? He needs to average 75 points per Gameweek to do it, and he still has his Wildcard, Free Hit, and Bench Boost chips available.
Mark has increased his lead to 54 points in the FFS Mods & Cons as Chris Atkinson (aka RMT’s Professor) moves into second place. Last week Chris made a double transfer selling Son and Aubameyang for Mané and Vardy. His new signings are third and fourth respectively in the RMT for Gameweek 30.
James Wells is still top of RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league. This is his twelfth Gameweek in the overall top hundred, he peaked at eight in Gameweek 24 but is now down to 83rd overall. He holds a 21-point lead over second placed Andy Sullivan.
JOZ V has regained the lead in RedLightning’s January to May League and has an 11-point advantage over Vimal Krishnan. Five green arrows in the last six Gameweeks have seen him rise from 110k to 5,664 overall. JOZ V and Vimal, like the top two in the world, both triple captained Agüero in Gameweek 25.
Finally, Adam Lobatto and Jay Placey are the joint leaders in RedLightning’s The Last Ten Gameweeks mini-league, the pair managed 66 points in the first week of scoring. Surprisingly neither of them captained Pogba.
If you are running a community tournament and would like the latest scores included in future Community Round-Ups, please email us a summary of the current leaders and a link to your league, spreadsheet or head-to-head competition at firstname.lastname@example.org