It’s back to business for FPL managers after the first international break of the season. The Fantasy Football Scout Gameweek Guide returns to round-up all the latest goings-on covering captaincy, team news, stats (yes, even xG), and opinion. And find out exactly what Az meant when he said Joe had:
Let’s start with the perennial captain dilemma – who should we trust with the armband this week?
The main contenders once again come from Liverpool and Manchester City. Salah currently leads this site’s captain poll with 35%, while opinion is split between City pair Sterling and Aguero on 21% and 14% respectively.
Part of Salah’s appeal is that he is fully rested: the international break was a proper football break for him. Whereas Sterling started both matches for England, playing the full 90 minutes in the second match. FP Elephant kindly summarised the player activity over the international fixtures, while David goes into more detail in his Scout Notes.
To help us decide who we should trust, David dissects the credentials of the leading candidates in his Captain Sensible article. Examining player stats, opposition stats, and the RMT before making his conclusion. Neale also offered his opinion in the Captaincy Video he did with Joe.
Newcastle-fan Neale pointed out that the Magpies are likely to set up defensively with no real attacking ambition. However, discussing Norwich’s ability to contain Manchester City, he noted:
I don’t know whether Daniel Farke’s got it in him to really sit back and defend – he hasn’t really got the personnel to do that anyway – so I think this could be an absolute bloodbath myself.
Speaking of personnel, Neale reported in his team news article on Friday that the Canaries’ fitness issues had reached almost farcical levels: they will be without all four senior centre-halves and first-choice right-back.
So while the potential is there for City to do well, the problem for many is which of their players to get?
Norwegian fantasy expert, Aleksander Våge Nilsen, currently eighth in the Fantasy Football Scout Career Hall of Fame, did his best to decipher ‘Pep Roulette’ in this week’s Panel Consultation. And it looks like he might be buying himself a big sofa to hide behind because Aleksander would go without Aguero:
I just have to take the unavoidable Aguero hat-tricks on the chin and hope KDB and Sterling can keep up.
His third City player, in addition to Sterling and KDB, would be a defender:
After Laporte’s long-term injury, an opportunity to go for the cheaper Otamendi has opened, and on a Wildcard, I think I would take that chance.
And it was on the subject of Wildcards that Az accused Joe of being a little boring with his picks. Joe is known, perhaps a little unkindly, as a dullard manager. Although with seven ranks in the top 10,000 he’s also a very good one.
Joe discussed his Wildcard picks which include Nicolas Otamendi, Sterling, Salah, and KDB, and faced criticism for being too template – for turning his team into everyone else’s team.
In his opinion piece, the FPL General urged managers to think for themselves:
It’s not about following the pack, the goal is to beat the pack… Trust your own judgement/research/instinct/eye test. FPL is a simple game which we overcomplicate. The only ‘Template’ you need to worry about is your own.
Joe, in his defence, pointed out that at this early stage of the season, player ownership numbers haven’t settled so in that sense it’s hard to define the template. One of the ways Joe picks players, we discovered, is through the “ear test”: in addition to watching games – the eye test – Joe also listens to matches on the radio.
It was a topic that was touched upon by his latest Meet the Manager guest, Josh Landon, who wonderfully described himself as “maverick within a box”. Josh uses the eye test to help break through all of the noise, and as the FPL General counselled – to trust yourself.
Stats also play a big part in our decision-making process, but one particular statistic that receives a rather mixed response is expected goals. Essentially a measure of chance quality, there are a number of new xG stats that are available to members, and Neale explained how xG can be used.
Elsewhere, David provided a members-only article on the best fourth midfielder to own. A fourth midfielder is defined as a player under £6.5m. While Neale examined Burnley’s appealing fixture run – which players should we own? Three of their number make this week’s Scout Picks.
Greyhead brought us two installments of The Great and The Good. The first looked back to how our managers fared in Gameweek 4 and the second, a treat for Adele fans, examined The Great and The Good Alumni.
A regular hot-topic, G-Whizz collected all the DS stats, fixtures and clean sheet odds – no surprise that Liverpool and City are predicted to do well. While for fans of Swedish football and true fantasy lovers, Meltens previewed Gameweek 23 in Fantasy Allsvenskan.
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.
Last week we decided to turn the Community Tournaments section into its own article. Updates on the latest mini-league and community run competitions can be found here.
And for those who may have missed it, registration is now open for the Pundit’s Play-Off Community Tournament. The deadline for entry is 30 September.
Best of luck for Gameweek 5!
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