The weekly precursor to the Scout Picks article returns ahead of Gameweek 3.
In this piece, our four regular panelists – editorial staff Paul, David, Geoff and Neale – each submit an 18-man squad of Fantasy assets (with the focus on the coming Gameweek) and elaborate on their notable inclusions/omissions.
The 72 nominations listed below will then be narrowed down to a squad of 14 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83m) ahead of the Gameweek 3 deadline at 19:00 BST on Friday night.
As we discussed
We have placed stricter regulations on our
As was the case last year, each
We will also be adding a captaincy to the Scout Picks this season, with details of that revealed on Friday.
|GK||Hugo Lloris||Hugo Lloris||David de Gea||Hugo Lloris|
|David de Gea||
|Mathew Ryan||Mathew Ryan|
|Nick Pope||Mathew Ryan||Jordan Pickford||Ederson|
|DF||Kyle Walker-Peters||Aaron Wan-Bissaka||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Aymeric Laporte|
|Aaron Wan-Bissaka||Kyle Walker-Peters||Aymeric Laporte||
|Oleksandr Zinchenko||Aymeric Laporte||Kyle Walker-Peters||Willy Boly|
|Seamus Coleman||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Lucas Digne||Lewis Dunk|
|Dan Burn||Martin Montoya||John Lundstram||Caglar Soyuncu|
|MF||Raheem Sterling||Raheem Sterling||Raheem Sterling||Raheem Sterling|
|Kevin De Bruyne||Sadio Mane||Sadio Mane||Sadio Mane|
|Sadio Mane||Kevin De Bruyne||Anthony Martial||Anthony Martial|
|Leandro Trossard||Anthony Martial||Leandro Trossard||Mason Mount|
|Todd Cantwell||Leandro Trossard||Mason Mount||Leandro Trossard|
|FW||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Harry Kane|
|Teemu Pukki||Gerard Deulofeu||Roberto Firmino||Marcus Rashford|
|Roberto Firmino||Teemu Pukki||Teemu Pukki||Teemu Pukki|
|Ashley Barnes||Diogo Jota||Diogo Jota||Raul Jimenez|
|Moise Kean||Olivier Giroud||Gerard Deulofeu||Ashley Barnes|
Most popular picks: Raheem Sterling, Sadio Mane, Leandro Trossard, Harry Kane, Teemu Pukki (four), Hugo Lloris, Mathew Ryan, Kyle Walker-Peters, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Aymeric Laporte, Anthony Martial (three)
Putting together a Scout Squad submission for Gameweek 3 was certainly harder than it was in the first two rounds of fixtures this season.
For me, Spurs’ defence is a must-have given how lacklustre Newcastle have looked in front of goal.
I’ve opted to throw in Hugo Lloris and Kyle Walker-Peters, who both have the potential for more than just clean sheets.
The goalkeeper was second-best for saves among premium options last season, while Walker-Peters offers some creativity.
I’ve included Harry Kane as the third member of my Spurs contingent after his six shots in the box at home to Aston Villa in Gameweek 1.
Manchester City is another team I want to go big on for Gameweek 3. Only West Ham have conceded more big chances than Bournemouth in the opening two matches, which only pitted them against newly-promoted sides.
As things stand, Raheem Sterling is joint-top of the league for shots in the box, while Kevin de Bruyne is streaks ahead for chances created.
Bournemouth’s attack has underwhelmed so far this season, so Oleksandr Zinchenko is included to capitalise on a potential clean sheet.
I am expecting plenty of goals when Arsenal come to Anfield on Saturday evening, which is why I have no defenders from either team.
Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino get into my Scout Squad after some uninspiring performances from Mohamed Salah in the first two matches, both from an eye test and underlying statistics perspective.
In-form forwards Teemu Pukki and Ashley Barnes also get the nod, while Todd Cantwell and Leandro Trossard are my differentials I expect to continue their good form from Gameweek 2.
There’s something uninspiringly template about the midfield I’ve picked but the differentials can wait for another week, with City and Liverpool’s premium options in form and up against defences of questionable competence.
Given that we’re obliged to have one £6.0m-or-under player in that position, I struggled to look any further than Leandro Trossard for my cut-price option.
Brighton may have only drawn 1-1 with West Ham on Saturday but they carved out multiple opportunities against the Hammers and the Belgian was in the thick of the action, cutting in off the left flank and firing off more goal attempts than anyone else on show.
Southampton still have that ‘work in progress’ feel about them and, although there have a few green shoots in an attacking sense, they still look ropey at the back and haven’t kept a clean sheet in nine Premier League games.
Arsenal continue to look susceptible to headed chances and opportunities created from set plays (they have conceded the most of both this season) so I’m backing Sadio Mane, he of more headed goal attempts than any other midfielder in 2018/19, and dead-ball specialist Trent Alexander-Arnold to exploit the Gunners’ defence – as they so often do at Anfield.
Crystal Palace were abysmal at Sheffield United last weekend and offered very little going forward, with the Blades giving Wilfried Zaha some special ‘attention’ to nullify him and with it render Palace toothless.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka knows Zaha’s game intimately and if there’s one man who can stop the Ivory Coast international, it’s United’s new right-back – I’m expecting plenty of tackles on the Palace winger to go with a Red Devils’ clean sheet, potentially handing Wan-Bissaka a route into the bonus points to supplement his shut-out.
West Ham’s defensive woes continue and even though they picked up a point at the Amex, Brighton had ample opportunities to bury then.
Manuel Pellegrini’s ongoing search for solidity at the back saw Fabian Balbuena surprisingly dropped on the south coast, a decision which smacked of desperation and had little effect on the volume of chances the Hammers subsequently shipped at the Amex.
I’m backing Gerard Deulofeu to exploit the undoubted defensive weaknesses, then.
Watford haven’t got a point yet but Deulofeu looked much better for a return up front (albeit he did still drift wide) at Everton and attacking returns are there for the taking at Vicarage Road, even if West Ham could have Mark Noble back to give Declan Rice some much-needed help in front of the back four.
Striking a balance between defence and attack looks key this week.
Man City, Spurs and Man United all face obliging opponents that raise the appeal of investing at both ends of the pitch.
Going without Liverpool attackers could be a big risk, though – Jurgen Klopp’s men have put 12 goals past Arsenal in their last three at Anfield.
In midfield, Leandro Trossard and Mason Mount were both on the scoresheet last time around and have the statistics to strengthen their claims in the budget bracket.
No Brighton player has topped Trossard’s four shots and three efforts in the box in the opening two matches – despite him failing to feature in Gameweek 1.
Mount, meanwhile, is second only to Raheem Sterling for shots on target in midfield, by five to seven.
Up top, a home clash with West Ham hands Gerard Deulofeu the chance to open his account for the season.
The Spaniard took advantage of the Hammers’ obliging defence in both their meetings last season, scoring home and away.
Having now dropped to £6.4m, his 4.2% ownership marks him out as a strong differential for the Vicarage Road encounter.
Diogo Jota shouldn’t be overlooked either, as Wolves prepare to entertain Burnley.
At home, the Portuguese played a part in 52% of his side’s goals last term – the same as the pricier Raul Jimenez.
Yet it was Jota who found the net at a faster frequency at Molineux – he scored a home goal every 172.7 minutes compared with the 205.9 of Jimenez.
I see Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris getting a first clean sheet of the season at home to Newcastle, and look to Mathew Ryan as a budget pick for Southampton’s visit.
Aymeric Laporte might be the most secure route into the City backline, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka has looked strong at right-back for the red half of Manchester. I see bonus points if United can keep a clean sheet.
Though Burnley have scored four goals so far, I think Wolves will get their first win of the season and Willy Boly is a cheaper alternative to Matt Doherty who still poses a goal threat – albeit a different sort of one.
At £4.5m, Çaglar Söyüncü is an easy, budget-friendly route into a Leicester defence that has only conceded once.
While Raheem Sterling looks like an auto-pick, I’ve opted for Sadio Mané over Mohamed Salah. Separated by only one FPL point despite Mané not starting in Gameweek 1, Mané could easily score more this week and further underscore his (relative) value for money.
Anthony Martial continues to start up front for United, who next host Crystal Palace, and he has a goal in each game this season.
Mason Mount seems to be one of Frank Lampard’s trusted lieutenants and will be looking for a third straight start after scoring Chelsea’s only goal against Leicester.
Elsewhere in the mid-price midfield bracket, Leandro Trossard made the most of his start against West Ham with a goal and looks good value against winless Southampton.
Up top, Harry Kane has a very strong home fixture against Newcastle, making him an easy first choice among the forwards.
Marcus Rashford is another route into the United team against Crystal Palace and may well be taking the Red Devils’ next penalty after Paul Pogba’s miss against Wolves.
Raul Jiménez has yet to score or assist but I fancy his chances at home to Burnley, while on the other side, Ashley Barnes has three goals in two games. He can continue that against a Wolves team who will have some possession but won’t be able to solely rely on their counter-attack.
The Community Champion
Before most Gameweeks, we nominate a Fantasy manager to challenge our Scout Picks with a starting XI of their own.
The Community Champion who has the biggest lead over the Scouts during 2019/20 will win a £100 Amazon voucher (currently we can only offer Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com vouchers).
The Community Champion for Gameweek 3 is FPL Mike the Knight, who has two top 5k finishes to his name in the last six seasons.
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Lessons learned from Gameweek 2
- Arsenal 2-1 Burnley
- Aston Villa 1-2 Bournemouth
- Brighton 1-1 West Ham
- Everton 1-0 Watford
- Norwich 3-1 Newcastle
- Southampton 1-2 Liverpool
- Manchester City 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
- Sheffield United 1-0 Crystal Palace
- Chelsea 1-1 Leicester City
- Wolves 1-1 Manchester United