Tips

The Complete Guide to Scout’s tips and advice for FPL Gameweek 18

Our first Blank Gameweek of the season is upon us. Liverpool’s participation in the FIFA Club World Cup means their fixture against West Ham is postponed. And with Manchester City taking on Leicester City this weekend, we are faced with trickier captaincy and transfer decisions than normal. 

This is reflected in the Scout Picks with the starting XI featuring players from eleven different teams. And one of the better captaincy options doesn’t even make the cut. 

What to do with our Liverpool players?

Stick or twist. Andy made his moves early with Trent Alexander-Arnold shown the door. While the Liverpool fullback has continued his attacking potential supplying seven assists this season, the lack of clean sheets is a cause for concern.

Having looked at the Season Ticker, Andy decided there may not be too many shutouts for Liverpool on the horizon. Liverpool are second worst for defence over the next seven Gameweeks. With Alexander-Arnold costing £7.3m, the Pro Pundit feels there is better value elsewhere. 

However Andy has decided to keep Sadio Mané. A decision shared by fellow Pro Pundit Holly, but not by Scoutcast host Joe or Pro Pundit Sam

Holly’s faith in her subs allows her to bench both Mane and Alexander-Arnold this Gameweek. Undaunted by Liverpool’s upcoming fixtures, she observes:

We can see from Jurgen Klopp’s teamsheets in the FIFA Club World Cup exactly where his priorities lie. This season is Liverpool’s best chance of winning the title in the Premier League era, nipping at Manchester United’s heels for the most titles in history.

– Holly Shand

She turns to this site’s Rate My Team tool to justify her decision to hold onto Alexander-Arnold, noting that out of all defenders he’s still top for points projections despite the blank. 

Holly feels so bullish on Liverpool she’s even considering adding Mohamed Salah to her contingent. 

Indeed it’s a desire to own the Egypt international that has prompted Joe to swap Mane for Son. He then plans to bring in Salah after Liverpool’s fixture against Leicester in Gameweek 19.

Joe feels there’s an opportunity because of the Blank Gameweek to forgo a Liverpool player and take advantage of a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur. Sam agrees.

On the cusp of the top 10,000 and with her Wildcard in hand, she feels that benching a player of Mané’s value is a poor use of budget. She too is targeting a Spurs replacement. And, like Joe and Holly, is looking to draft in Salah down the line.

Pro Pundit Tom Freeman has been similarly impressed by the Liverpool attacker. In his latest article the five-time top 1,000 manager noted how a positional change improved Salah’s attacking potential:

Mohamed Salah’s (£12.2m) best goalscoring form has come when leading the line in a 4-2-3-1, with Roberto Firmino (£9.3m) positioned in the pocket just behind, and this trend continued against Watford, with the Egyptian not only scoring twice but also causing the Hornets defence problems all afternoon.

– Tom Freeman

As the Scout Notes on Liverpool v Watford confirmed, Salah’s seven goal attempts all took place inside the box and far exceeded the two for both Mané and Firmino.

Further good news for those favouring Liverpool players was provided by Pro Pundit Zophar who looked at the rest period afforded each team over the busy festive period:

Liverpool (290.5 hours) and Sheffield Utd (293 hours) have the most relaxed schedule. West Ham’s total is inflated by their blank week in Gameweek 18.

– Zophar

Although not many own West Ham players, their Blank Gameweek affords them an actual rest. And an improved performance in Gameweek 17 caught the eye of Tom Freeman, who felt Antonio and Haller thrived in their new striker partnership. 

David Wardale observed in his Scout Notes on the match:

Haller, in particular, was reborn. He’d struggled to replicate the form that had prompted his transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt, partly because he thrived in Germany alongside Luka Jovic, now of Real Madrid. Antonio is unlikely to be moving to the Bernabeu anytime soon, so his presence could continue to galvanise both Haller and the team as an attacking force.

– David Wardale

Finally, before we leave the topic of Liverpool and West Ham, Joe mentioned on the Scoutcast that Ben Crellin is predicting Gameweek 24 as a possible slot for rearranging the fixture. This would make Gameweek 24 the first Double Gameweek of the season:

Liverpool have lost their EFL Cup QF at Villa, so I reckon there’s about an 85% chance that WHU vs LIV will be moved to GW24 (Jan 28-30). It’s the next midweek that both teams will definitely have free.

– Ben Crellin

Captaincy Conundrum

I declared at the top of the article that one of the better captaincy options hadn’t made the Scout Picks. I was referring to Raul Jimenez, whose Wolves’ team travel to Norwich City. David noted in his Captain Sensible article:

While Norwich have made some improvements on the road recently, their home defence, much as it was even as they won the Championship, tends to suffer from their increased propensity to attack their opponents.

– David

Joe backed that up on the Captaincy Video, observing that Norwich have conceded 12 big chances in their last four home matches

However David did point to the recent return of Christoph Zimmermann has having boosted their defence. Although, as Neale reported in his team news round-up, fellow centre-half Tim Godfrey has been ruled out until February with an ACL injury.

Marcus Rashford was highlighted as a strong candidate in both the Captaincy Video and Captain Sensible articles. Form and fixture align: five goals and two assists in six matches, including two double-digit hauls, is coupled with a match against a Watford defence who have conceded a high number of big chances. 

Vardy and De Bruyne present form options with a tricky fixture. A trip to the Etihad means recent captain-favourite Vardy is not so heavily backed on this occasion.

The bottom line is that the attacking players are arriving at the Etihad in strong form and so are the defences. Not every Fantasy manager will be comfortable placing the armband here.

– David

Nonetheless Manchester City are tipped by G-Whizz in the latest DS stats, fixtures and clean sheet odds. And should De Bruyne continue in his advanced role, he would present an enticing option. 

Spurs duo Son and Alli have attracted a lot of attention this week. Good form meets poor form as Chelsea travel to North London for the last match of the Gameweek. Joe quipped: 

If Chelsea conceded eleven goal attempts against Bournemouth, how many will they concede against Spurs?

– Joe

Son is handed the captain’s armband in this week’s Scout Picks. 

Finally a mention must also go to Danny Ings, who was immensely unlucky not to score against West Ham. In her video review of Gameweek 17, Sam pointed out his talisman status in the Southampton side. And over the last four Gameweeks and the season as a whole, no team has conceded more shots in the box than the Saints next opponents Aston Villa. 

Seeing Double

Despite the Scout Picks featuring players from eleven different teams, attacking double-ups was a popular hot topic this week. 

It’s been a successful tactic for World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, as Greyhead reported in The Great and The Good. Currently third overall, the Norwegian has benefitted from doubling up on Manchester City and Liverpool players at different times this season. De Bruyne and Sterling early on followed by Salah and Mane later. 

With two free transfers many will be wondering whether the chess king will sacrifice one or both of his Liverpool players.

One high-value piece that is coming back into play is Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero. As Rotation’s Alter Ego revealed in his team news summary the Argentina international has returned to training. Could he soon prove a canny differential?

Neal Maupay was one of the three players highlighted by Pro Pundit Ash (aka FPLHints) in his differentials article this week. While 9.1%-owned Richarlison is included in the Scout Picks, he faces Arsenal’s shaky defence this week. And the fixtures look particularly rosy for Everton from Gameweek 22. 

One midfielder who has disappointed recently is Christian Pulisic. The Chelsea forward may have registered 13 shots in the box over the last four Gameweeks but, as Karam pointed out on the Scoutcast, only two of those were on target. Pro Pundits Andy and Zophar have both parted company with the American.

To view all our discussions please visit our Hot Topics page, and if you’ve got some analysis, scout reports or features brewing, be sure to visit our community section to submit your article.

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.

Rolling monthly subscriptions are now available, with the first month costing only £1.99 for a limited time only. Click here to sign up or upgrade your account.

Community Competitions

For an update on all FFS Mini-Leagues and Community Competitions, please click here to read the latest round-up.

For those interested in the Head-to-Head Leagues, the main page can be linked to here. The fixtures for Gameweek 18 can be found below:


Use the drop-down menus to show your league and division. To find out which league and division you are in, follow the instructions on the main Head-to-Head page.

Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.

Best of luck for Gameweek 18!

TopMarx Fan of Fantasy Football and Monty Python. "Archimedes out to Socrates, Socrates back to Archimedes, Archimedes out to Heraclitus, he beats Hegel. Heraclitus a little flick, here he comes on the far post, Socrates is there, Socrates heads it in! Socrates has scored! The Greeks are going mad, the Greeks are going mad! Socrates scores, got a beautiful cross from Archimedes. The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.”

1,237 Comments Post a Comment
  1. TheTinman
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Went for Grealish captain. Not many weeks like this where you get the chance to take a punt

    1. Dynamic Duos
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Back in a mo mate, just need to be sick.

    2. Joss Ackland’s Spunky…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Fair play I considered this for a long time. I went Alli as the middle ground pick at 18% ownership.

      1. TheTinman
        • 5 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Good luck

    3. Jurgen Flopp
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Richarlison here

    4. DantheManinaPan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Sterling for me.

      Not many weeks like this where you get the chance to take a punt AND the highest points-scorer of last season / expected points-scorer of this season is a punt!

      1. FPL Virgin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Same here. Good luck!

    5. Steirish
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      I also captained Grealish

    6. ragnarlookbrood
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      me 2 grealish (C)

  2. Louis Van Gaalstones
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Brought in Richarlison for Mane last minute, only lose 0.1 so why not

    1. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Also got Richarlison in for Maddison, nothing lost

  3. Uncle Gamst
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Has anyone noticed that FPL has been a little slow recently?

    I needed to make a last minute change this morning and those few extra seconds allowed me to do so.

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      With so many stuff they keep on adding on site, it's not a surprise...

      1. Uncle Gamst
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Well it's a bonus for me as this week I just couldn't decide what to do. I often find that I have my best weeks when I end up sticking. Not sure what this says about my FPL abilities 😉

        In the end I kept Mane and TAA (even though I had 2FTs) and Son (C)

    2. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      It didn't update until 15 second of so after 11:30.

      Doesn't mean that a move made after 11:30 is guaranteed, though. It may revert it.

      Don't know the exact Ings-and-outs.

      1. Tempestic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        I see what u did there

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          9 months, 7 days ago

          I didn't mean to. Auto-correct 🙁

          1. Tempestic
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            9 months, 7 days ago

            Ahaha that's when u know u've been using FFS too much. Real words start to auto-correct to in form budget strikers xD

          2. Uncle Gamst
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            9 months, 7 days ago

            'It's a sign I tell ya' 😉

      2. Uncle Gamst
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        I would hope that if it said 'Team Updated' that it will 'do what is says on the tin'?

    3. DAZZ
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      What about the other 6 days you had to make any changes?

      1. Uncle Gamst
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        I know, I know 🙂

        I have a very busy life and always hoping that I will get a last minute snippet of vital information.

        I suppose it's all down to individual personality traits

  4. JustPark
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Should've started Mane and TAA. At least that would be something to look forward to at the end of this gw.

    1. FDMS All Starz
      • 4 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      4pts is nothing to get excited about

      1. JustPark
        • 4 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Surprised points are always is.

    2. Skull And Gnomes 9 SCOTT TA…
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Ban

  5. Joss Ackland’s Spunky…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Good luck and a merry Christmas one and all!

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      but mostly to me.

    2. Joss Ackland’s Spunky…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Or one and alli in my case.

    3. Skull And Gnomes 9 SCOTT TA…
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      You too Sir!
      May you receive all the Love you give x4 🙂

      1. Uncle Gamst
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Let's hope that the Son shines on the righteous

        1. Skull And Gnomes 9 SCOTT TA…
          • 3 Years
          9 months, 5 days ago

          🙂

  6. Deeney-is-a-god
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Does anyone have any info on lascelles return? Got him for the match he got injuried in after 19 mins, and haven't really bothered with removing him since I didnt need.

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Expected to be out till New Year

      1. Deeney-is-a-god
        • 4 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Thanks. Might have to get someone in later due to christmas being so busy with games

  7. Hutchiniho
    • 2 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Next four matches. Through to 2/1/20

    Moura, Richarlison, Zaha or Grealish?

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Let's see if two of those get a YC today, or not.

      1. Hutchiniho
        • 2 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        What to go in for today. These guys all play four times in the period whilst Liverpool play only twice

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          9 months, 7 days ago

          I mean because if either of the two on 4 YCs already, get another YC today - then they are suspended next match.

  8. Tempestic
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Oh is Rich back out on the left wing instead of in a front 2? His biggest threat is his aerial strength which is why he scores frequently when played up top, not sure that's great news for owners although he could still rip this arsenal team a new one looking at it on paper...

    1. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      I don't think aerial strength is his biggest assets. He is however good in the air.

      1. Tempestic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Theres an article about it on fpl, interesting read actually

    2. Dynamic Duos
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Siggy is the man I think

    3. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Let's see, he will probably be allowed to drift in

  9. seewhyaxe
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Good luck to all Richarlison cappers!

    1. Giggs Boson
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Thanks 🙂

      Chaos is a ladder!

    2. Lecky Legs FC
      • 4 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Cheers

    3. The 12th Man
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Thanks

    4. Tambling5
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      How many Rich captainers also captained him for Norwich at home a few weeks ago? Not many, I bet!

      1. Jurgen Flopp
        • 6 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Different manager

        1. Tambling5
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          9 months, 7 days ago

          True, but he's still very mercurial. However Norwich defenders at least try hard, not an accusation you make about the Arsenal! Seeing their team today, they could get thumped again.

    5. Skull And Gnomes 9 SCOTT TA…
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Respect!

  10. Dynamic Duos
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    You play Jiminez, I play Hanley muahaha , you will lose.

  11. HashAttack
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    FFS seem to have tweeted a joke team for Arsenal .. when are the real team details being released?

    1. tiger
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      It's a prank from Lungberg before he goes...

  12. jason_ni
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Wow.. Ancelotti to Everton.. whod have thought hed end up there 10 years ago!
    Super appointment by the everto nboard, could make everton interesting from fpl perspective..

    1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Siggy at 7.4 could be absolute dynamite

      Just in time to slot in for Pulishit

      1. Dynamic Duos
        • 7 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        V Southampton hmmm ok

    2. Zladan
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Best manager in Merseyside.

    3. Pras Scott Talent
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Looking at DCL as an option if he’s nailed in the team (of course they could buy someone else in Jan)

  13. JustPark
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Everyone is on Richarlison so it seems when Siggy is the real deal

    1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      7.4 looks very enticing

      Digne out will have him back on set pieces? Maybe a job share with Baines

      1. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Oops Digne is back actually 🙂

        1. JustPark
          • 4 Years
          9 months, 7 days ago

          Yep. Didn't see that as well. Thought he would be rested.
          Siggy could be back on fpl radar. Assist and bps could be back in his pocket.

      2. Pras Scott Talent
        • 8 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Digne is playing

      3. SHOWSTOPPERRR
        • 2 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Digne starting lol

    2. Giggs Boson
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      If only we knew Siggy was back.

  14. Zladan
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Is there a date where a 5th YC does not equal a suspension?

    Eg TAA Rico Lundy are all ok the tightrope. But after GWx it resets or something?

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      After gw19

      1. Zladan
        • 3 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Cheers. Need a Rico/ Lunny YC this week then. Would be tough if all 3 were suspended at the same time.

      2. Hazz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        After 19 rounds. TAA can still get suspended if he gets a YC next GW.

  15. Tambling5
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Blimey! Wish I'd gone big on Everton and captained Calvert Lewin seeing that Arsenal team! How can Lacazette not get a game?

    1. Zladan
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      He’s a fraud. Lazy, slow, penalty merchant.

  16. Arse Craic
    • 11 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Who's on pens for Everton?

    1. Hutchiniho
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Good Q?

    2. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Sigurdsson

      1. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        9 months, 7 days ago

        Probably

    3. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Tonsun, Baines? But we don’t know with Ancelotti

  17. RamaJama
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Ancelotti wants to build the team around Richarlison and Digne:

    «Three-times Champions League-winning manager Ancelotti regards the pair as Everton’s most valuable playing assets, a stance shared by the board».

    https://www.footballinsider247.com/ancelotti-seeks-assurances-about-everton-players/

    1. The Train Driver
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      So Digne crosses aimed at Rich?

    2. Pras Scott Talent
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Like Mou has built his team around Kane?

    3. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 7 days ago

      Tempted to get in early on Digne if he gets back his beast mode

  18. threeputt
    • 10 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Not sure why Lacazette never gets a game, seems to have done ok last couple of seasons

  19. Yankee Toffee
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 7 days ago

    Sky sports could do with a better editor: ”Ferguson and Ancelotti's son Davide...“