Scout Squad

The Scout Squad picks for FPL Gameweek 17

The Scout Squad panel have submitted their player longlists for the coming weekend.

In this recurring feature, our four regulars – editorial staff Paul, David and Neale plus community manager Geoff – each proposes an 18-man squad of Fantasy assets for the coming Gameweek and explain their notable inclusions/omissions.

The 72 nominations listed below will then be narrowed down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83m) for the weekly Scout Picks selection ahead of the Gameweek 17 deadline at 11:30 GMT on Saturday.

There are requirements for at least one sub-£5.0m goalkeeper, at least one defender under £5.0m, at least one midfielder priced £6.0m or below and at least one forward priced at £7.0m or lower.

Each panellist is restricted to no more than three players from the same team, as is the case in FPL.

We will again be adding a captaincy to the Scout Picks, with details of that revealed on Friday.


 DavidNealePaulGeoff
GKNick PopeMathew RyanNick PopeNick Pope
 Vicente GuaitaVicente GuaitaVicente GuaitaVicente Guaita
 Kasper SchmeichelKepa ArrizabalagaDean HendersonMathew Ryan
DFTrent Alexander-ArnoldTrent Alexander-ArnoldTrent Alexander-ArnoldTrent Alexander-Arnold
 Ben ChilwellBen ChilwellRicardo PereiraJohn Lundstram
 Kurt ZoumaReece JamesJohn LundstramCaglar Soyuncu
 James TarkowskiJames TarkowskiReece JamesJames Tarkowski
 John LundstramGeorge BaldockMartin KellyGeorge Baldock
MFMohamed SalahMohamed SalahMohamed SalahMohamed Salah
 Sadio ManéSadio ManeSadio ManeChristian Pulisic
 Kevin de BruyneKevin De BruyneAnthony MartialJames Maddison
 Christian PulisicChristian PulisicJames MaddisonAnthony Martial
 James Ward-ProwseJames Ward-ProwseJames Ward-ProwseJames Ward-Prowse
FWJamie VardyTammy AbrahamJamie VardyJamie Vardy
 Tammy AbrahamJamie VardyTammy AbrahamTammy Abraham
 Danny IngsMarcus RashfordMarcus RashfordMarcus Rashford
 Marcus RashfordDanny IngsDanny IngsGabriel Jesus
 Chris WoodChris WoodChris WoodDanny Ings

Most popular picks: Vicente Guaita, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah, James Ward-Prowse, Jamie Vardy, Tammy Abraham, Marcus Rashford, Danny Ings (all four), Nick Pope, John Lundstram, James Tarkowski, Sadio Mané, Christian Pulisic, Chris Wood (all three).

DAVID SAID…

A Liverpool triple-up against Watford seems wise considering Jurgen Klopp’s record against the Hornets at Anfield in recent years. The Reds have won each of the last three home encounters with Watford by a combined scoreline of 16-0, scoring at least five times in each match.

Nigel Pearson won’t have been around long enough to eradicate an ongoing problem defending set pieces so it should be good news for Trent Alexander-Arnold at both ends of the pitch, while I’m backing Mohamed Salah to enjoy another monster haul against the Hornets, with Sadio Mané also chipping in.

The Burnley defence might be a little shell-shocked after conceding 11 goals in three matches but a home meeting with Newcastle looks like just the right opportunity to get back to winning ways. Just two teams have conceded fewer big chances at home this season than the Clarets, which is why I’ve included Nick Pope and James Tarkowski.

Jamie Vardy continues to be an auto-include option for the Scout Picks. In the last four matches, he is top of the league for shots in the box, big chances and shots on target while upcoming opponents Norwich have conceded the second-highest number of goals this season.

I’m expecting Chelsea to get a much-needed win over Bournemouth as the Cherries come to Stamford Bridge potentially short of two key defensive assets. Tammy Abraham looks likely to get some attacking returns and I’m backing Christian Pulisic to arrest his current slide to get back in the goals too.

Only Vardy has scored more times among forwards since Gameweek 7 than Danny Ings, which bodes well for a Gameweek 17 clash with West Ham. Manuel Pellegrini’s men are still giving up chances at a rate of knots, which should benefit Ings’ ruthless streak of recent months.

NEALE SAID…

The Manchester City midfield exodus is continuing this week but, call it misplaced faith or pig-headed stubbornness, I do think the likes of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus are worthy of serious consideration this week.

Arsenal’s 3-1 win over West Ham United on Monday masked a fairly awful display and they are there for the taking at the back, having allowed their opposition an average of 16.25 shots per game at the Emirates this season.

In the end, a lack of space up front and one eye on the budget led me to plump for Kevin De Bruyne – Arsenal have allowed more chances from set plays than any other team on their own patch this season and they also rank poorly for headed opportunities conceded, which could play into the Belgian’s hands.

Incidentally, I think Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could have a field day against an unconvincing City backline too, but there was stiff competition for the five centre-forwards berths this week.

Even Lys Mousset, who faces Aston Villa’s porous defence, didn’t make the cut.

Little needs explaining with many of my attacking picks but I went for Chris Wood as my cut-price fifth option, with Burnley’s strength at set plays – and Newcastle’s weakness – the primary reason for the Kiwi striker’s inclusion.

The same logic also applies with James Tarkowski, who gets a mention – along with the Clarets and the Magpies – in my Big Numbers piece.

While Mousset fails to feature, teammate George Baldock gets a look-in.

The Blades wing-back has registered more successful open-play crosses than any other FPL asset this season and Aston Villa concede a lot of chances from their left flank (again, I’ll point you in the direction of the Big Numbers article), which could play into both Baldock and John Lundstram’s hands.

I’ve been very impressed by Brighton and Hove Albion of late, despite their tough fixture run over the last five Gameweeks.

Palace’s anaemic attack offers Mathew Ryan the perfect chance of a clean sheet at Selhurst Park and, as we’ve pointed out before with his saves and pass completion statistics, he is likely to supplement any shut-out points with bonus.

Joining Danny Ings in my Saints double-up is James Ward-Prowse, who hasn’t been at his best this season and who has occasionally incurred the wrath of the St. Mary’s faithful.

Nevertheless, he is joint-second among FPL midfielders for expected goal involvement over the last four Gameweeks (a penalty obviously inflating that figure) and he remains a favourite of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s, being one of only three players in his Fantasy position who has played every single minute this season.

Set-piece responsibilities add to his appeal, while Ward-Prowse and Southampton overall have looked far better in the last four matches, having plumbed new depths in Gameweek 10.

West Ham (along with Bournemouth, hence my Chelsea triple-up) are one of the division’s most out-of-form teams at present, too.

PAUL SAID…

Liverpool, Leicester and Chelsea are very likely to dominate this week’s Scout Picks due to their favourable home fixtures.

Indeed, I’m advocating a double-up on Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane against Watford in light of their recent rests in Gameweek 15 and 16 respectively.

Reece James is my differential at the back at home to Bournemouth.

The right-back has started each of Chelsea last three home matches in the Premier League, returning six points on two of those occasions.

Over the last three Gameweeks, his five successful crosses are joint-top with Willian for the Blues.
Owned by 0.5%, James’ delivery could profit against a Cherries defence that could be without both their first-choice centre-backs, Steve Cook and Nathan Ake on Saturday.

James Ward-Prowse sits in just 2.1% of squads for Southampton’s home encounter with West Ham.

The Saints playmaker looks a handy cut-price option in midfield – he is second only to Neal Maupay for expected goal involvement among all players in FPL at a cost of £6.0m or under.

Crucially, Ward-Prowse has started to deliver on those underlying numbers.

Three of his four goals for the season – and his single assist – have come in the last six matches. Indeed, he has blanked just twice in that period.

Chris Wood’s aerial threat looks set to trouble Newcastle at Turf Moor.

Boasting a mere 1.1% ownership, the Burnley forward has scored three headed goals – joint-top among all players in the opening 16 Gameweeks.

His visitors, meanwhile, have conceded 54 headed attempts, more than any other side.

Furthermore, Wood’s total of 18 big chances is second only to the 22 of Jamie Vardy, underlining his appeal as an overlooked option up front this weekend.

GEOFF SAID…

I see points in the midfield and forward positions this week, so I’ve gone for cheap goalkeepers: Vicente Guaita, Nick Pope and Mathew Ryan.

Guaita has the best form with 26 points in three Gameweeks and could continue that at home to Brighton. Ryan is one of only two players this week who play away from home in my selections, meanwhile.

In defence, I’ve once again opted for the threat of Trent Alexander-Arnold as my top pick but then I’ve looked for cheaper options.

John Lundstram has four attacking returns in his eight home games, and Sheffield United have a good chance of a clean sheet at home to Aston Villa.

Caglar Soyuncu and James Tarkowski both have strong home games and strong home form against non-top six teams, and I’ve looked to George Baldock as my fifth pick for a Blades defensive double-up.

My five midfield selections have home games against reasonable opposition, and that’s topped by Mohamed Salah, who looks back to his best. If he plays, I back him over teammate Sadio Mane this week against Watford.

Christian Pulisic looks on the verge of a big return, while James Maddison and Anthony Martial combine form and fixtures in Gameweek 17.

It’s difficult not to pick Jamie Vardy up front, and a fit-again Tammy Abraham should profit against a questionable Bournemouth defence.

Marcus Rashford is another lock with such strong form, and the same can be said about Danny Ings.

Finally, Gabriel Jesus is my second player playing away from home, but the injury worries and general unconvincing nature of the Arsenal defence make him a strong pick.

THE COMMUNITY CHAMPION

The Scout Squad took a backseat last week but the Scout Picks were published as usual in Gameweeks 14-16.

We were triumphant in all three exchanges winning 48-37, 54-50 and 84-64.

The community member who beats our picks by the biggest margin over the campaign will win a £100 Amazon Voucher and a place in our Contributors and Moderators League for the following season.

Irfansheikh and AK’s 17-point winning margins from Gameweek 6 and 10 remain the current targets to beat.

Our Scout Picks article on Friday will have further details on who is representing the community this week.

Gameweek 16 – FPL Match Reports

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831 Comments Post a Comment
  1. ^Freedom Fighter^
    • 7 Years
    7 months, 1 day ago

    Hey lads play Pukki or Grealesh ?
    Henderson
    Pereira Kelly Lundstram
    Mane. Pulisic son. Maddison. Grealesh*
    Vardy. Rashford Pukki*

    Thanks

    1. ^Freedom Fighter^
      • 7 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      Also hv Tomori/Aurier on bench

    2. It’s gonna Ben Mee
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      Grealish

    3. Fulchester's New Centr…
      • 2 Years
      7 months, 1 day ago

      Grealish - he's involved in nearly everything Villa do and SHU leakier than Leicester recently.

    4. KDB4PREZ
        7 months, 1 day ago

        Grealish

      • ^Freedom Fighter^
        • 7 Years
        7 months, 1 day ago

        Thanks for replies was on Pukki till now

        1. Baganuva Hatty
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          7 months, 1 day ago

          Greslish. He is villas heart.

    5. KDB4PREZ
        7 months, 1 day ago

        Gtg people?
        Gaza
        Taa/Robo/Lundy
        Mane/KDB/Pulisic/Son
        Vardy(C)/ings/Jimmy

        4.0*, Kelly, Fleck, Rico
        1Ft .04 itb

        Frustratingly .01 of Jimmy>Tammy so feel like should prob save?

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 2 Years
          7 months, 1 day ago

          Save unless you're a big fan of hits

          1. KDB4PREZ
              7 months, 1 day ago

              Haha not a big fan but willing to take if I feel will net gain more points.
              Jimmy&Kdb>Rashford&Ali is tempting me

              1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                • 2 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Wouldn't do that this week, can see KDB going the full Genghis Khan on Arsenal.

              2. The Dance
                • 8 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                I’d do it, can see an assist at most for KDB whereas Alli is practically a striker

                1. KDB4PREZ
                    7 months, 1 day ago

                    Feel like both you guys are right which make me more confused 🙂

                    1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                      • 2 Years
                      7 months, 1 day ago

                      In the long run that is of course a decent move, but rather do it for free next week looking at this weekend's games.

          2. Le Bluff
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            7 months, 1 day ago

            Looking ahead to GW 18, does anyone consider Vardy a viable captaincy shouts vs City away?

            Lots flocking to the likes of Jimenez, Martial and Rashford (for good reason because of their fixtures), but having watched Cit vs Utd, I feel like Cit vs Leicester could be a similar match-up. City are nowhere near water-tight at the back and you'd expect Leicester to score.

            Will be offloading Ings soon but feel I might keep him for the Villa away game too.

            1. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 2 Years
              7 months, 1 day ago

              Worth considering, good point.

            2. Jullepuu
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Vardy is a good captain against anyone at the moment

              • KDB4PREZ
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  Yep thought this myself and he will keep the armband vs pool also if scores in the next 2 games as the record is on for him

                • circusmonkey
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  7 months, 19 hours ago

                  Rashford if I had him.

              • Debauchy
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Last thought on UK Elections Turkeys that vote for Christmas deserve what they get

                1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                  • 2 Years
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  Amen to that.

                2. ^Freedom Fighter^
                  • 7 Years
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  Well Iam not British but I'm sure 90% of all political parties are just civilized theives

                  1. Debauchy
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 7 Years
                    7 months, 1 day ago

                    Nah not always. In my country yes ffs we fight on

                3. circusmonkey
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  7 months, 19 hours ago

                  Won bet at 1.4 decimal odds on Conservative majority. Wish I had been braver and gone for + seat margin. Still, a win is a win and don't even support them.

              • Champions united
                • 3 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                ryan
                rico taa soy lunds kelly
                mane son kdb cantwel douglas
                rash vardy tammy
                Gtg? 1 ft and 2.2 ITB

                1. Fulchester's New Centr…
                  • 2 Years
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  Save that

                2. ^Freedom Fighter^
                  • 7 Years
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  Cantwell/Douglas to someone and play 3-4-3

              • ^Freedom Fighter^
                • 7 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Play Aurier over Lund/Kelly ?
                Also hv Henderson as sheff cover

              • g40steve
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Am i benching the correct two?

                TAA, Lundy, Soy, benching Kelly & Rico.

                1. plt
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  7 months, 22 hours ago

                  I'm playing Kelly, but I don't have TAA. Looking at Soy vs Kelly, though, the latter has the better points in recent weeks

              • Debauchy
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Guess most know I have a more conservative outlook. Why well its the policy that largely works , is that a bad thing ? When a country like China adapts to the Capitalist system after a century of fail is it not so fn obvious ? Yet we have many young kids that still believe in the impossible. Crazy

                1. Rupert The Horse
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  I haven’t voted at all.
                  Not particularly bothered.

                  1. Debauchy
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 7 Years
                    7 months, 1 day ago

                    Ffs Rupe vote brother

                    1. Rupert The Horse
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 7 Years
                      7 months, 1 day ago

                      But for who?
                      Don’t follow this sort of stuff and I’ve always been happy regardless the outcome.

                      1. Debauchy
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 7 Years
                        7 months, 1 day ago

                        Venuzuela, ever lived there ?

                2. clodhopper
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  It is a very selfish way to vote the tories are evil

                  1. Debauchy
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 7 Years
                    7 months, 1 day ago

                    Hmmm Clodd so simplistic eh

                    1. clodhopper
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      7 months, 1 day ago

                      Simplistick but true

                      1. Debauchy
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 7 Years
                        7 months, 1 day ago

                        Yeah but pragnatism runs a country not sweet dreams

                        1. clodhopper
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 6 Years
                          7 months, 1 day ago

                          Yawn your thread has become boring it wont affect me either way i am a millionaire i just think of the less well off

                          1. Debauchy
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 7 Years
                            7 months, 1 day ago

                            Ahh yeah sure cmon you convince none

                          1. Debauchy
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 7 Years
                            7 months, 1 day ago

                            Ahh simplistic argument but thanks

                            1. soup natsi
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 5 Years
                              7 months, 1 day ago

                              says the guy whose argument is "it largely works so why not"

                              1. Debauchy
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 7 Years
                                6 months, 26 days ago

                                I return , not to gloat but just to say consider - you boys got it so far wrong

              • korbendallas82
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                A.+Baldock
                B. + Dunk
                C. Aurier.

                1. korbendallas82
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  + is error.

              • Ole Trafford
                • 7 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Thoughts on hot to use a ft here?

                Henderson
                Soyuncu, Aurier, Lundstram
                Salah, Mane, Maddison, Mount
                Vardy, Jesus, Rashford

                Button, Saiss, Cantwell, RICO .1 itb 2ft

                Thinking Saiss to Cahill and rolling one over

                1. valurth
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  7 months, 16 hours ago

                  Sounds good, or Jesus to Abra

              • Debauchy
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                I suppose Brits are so tired of years of indecision. Understand the feeling. But to the kids that think they can dictate the future , first get a job , add to the economy then you will have an ear. Till then just well party hey

                1. Devo-McDuff
                  • 1 Year
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  Not the board for this. You're pissin people off (including me)

              • BobbyDoesNotLook
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Everybody going Vardy C? Quite similar situation as last week with Salah and Mane as options.

              • evilfish
                • 4 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Who to start, Lord or Kelly?

              • SantaCruz87
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                7 months, 1 day ago

                Any advise who should start for me?

                Pope
                Baldock Lundstram Robbo Kelly Aurier
                KDB Alli Pulisic Mane Ward Prowse
                Rashford Abraham Vardy

                Thanks

                1. valurth
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  7 months, 16 hours ago

                  Tough one, bench i this order: ward prowse, Baldock, Kelly

                  1. SantaCruz87
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 8 Years
                    7 months, 11 hours ago

                    Thanks for the advise. Yeah tough choices for this week. Everyone looks a possibility

              • wendyztb
                  7 months, 1 day ago

                  Kurt Zouma? Seriously, David?

                • valurth
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  7 months, 16 hours ago

                  ryan (button)
                  (rico) taa soy lunds aurier
                  mane salah maddy Alli (hayden)
                  jiminez vardy tammy

                  2 ft and 0.7 in the bank
                  1) Rico to Kelly (not to burn a transfer)
                  2) Upgrade Hayden to?
                  3) Jiminez to Tammy

                  Any suggestions

                  Next week one Liverpool out

                • Young Lingard
                    7 months, 1 hour ago

                    Was there any word on Liverpool rotations for the game v Watford
                    I need to make up gains and have made a silly punt on TRENT as captain
                    Does anyone have anything in Liverpool’s plans , I have both fullbacks