Tips

The Complete Guide to Scout’s tips and advice for FPL Gameweek 26

Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 26 – the longest Gameweek of the season so far. The first match of the inaugural ‘winter break’ kicks off an hour after Saturday’s 11:30 GMT deadline with the last match not taking place until nine days later. 

Between today’s cutoff and FPL updating at the end of the Gameweek, a full 228 hours will have passed. 

The good news for those of a romantic disposition is that we will be completely free to focus on Valentine’s Day next Friday without having to worry about transfers or captain decisions. Our neglected other halves will no doubt be overjoyed!

Although for most Fantasy managers, one love affair could be coming to an end. 

John Lundstram has captured our hearts this season with his swashbuckling flair and rock-solid dependability. We will never forget the unbridled joy we shared when he banged in two goals against Burnley in early November. It felt at the time that this was a relationship that would last forever. 

Although it wasn’t always plain sailing, he has blanked on occasion. And he really shouldn’t have come home empty handed from his trip to Norwich in December. Nonetheless, he’s often surprised and delighted us so he can be forgiven the odd indiscretion.

But sadly it would appear that after six months the honeymoon is over. 

The warning signs were there. Following two early substitutions, he had us worried when he turned up late against Manchester City in Gameweek 24. To then repeat the offence at the next opportunity didn’t go down well. He has since been unceremoniously dumped by thousands of Fantasy managers.

Is there any hope? Can this relationship be salvaged? For those still clinging onto memories of the good times, Neale, who probably knows him better than any of us, had this to say:

Given Wilder’s previous for not for making unnecessary changes – the other eight midfielders and defenders have basically played whenever they’ve been available – then I wouldn’t hold me hopes up. I’ve seen people talking about ‘oh there’ll be rotation now in central midfield’, well that really hasn’t been Wilder’s style this season, Norwood and Fleck, even in the Championship were playing pretty much every game. So I’m not in the slightest bit confident he’ll get his place back.

– Neale, Team News video

Heartbreaking.

The only straw to clutch at is that his attacking threat might be favoured for a winnable home match against Bournemouth. But there are no guarantees. For those still holding him get ready to be let down again.

Indeed when David cast his eye over the new arrival at Bramall Lane, Sander Berge, who appears to have stolen Lundstram’s spot in the Blades’ midfield, he concluded:

It will be hard to expect much more than a series of one-point cameos from Lundstram.

– David

The good news is that there are a number of potential suitors lining-up to take his place in our Fantasy affections. And our friendly Scoutcast trio of Joe, Karam and Tom assessed our options:

Willy Boly of Wolves at just £4.7m finds himself in Joe’s Wildcard team and offers excellent value; we have O’Connell or Egan if we fancy sticking with Sheffield United; there’s Newcastle with Fernandez and Lascelles enticing us ahead of a nice run of fixtures – although Tom cautioned that they have been overperforming their numbers recently; Tom favoured Charlie Taylor who at £4.2m offers a cheap route into a Burnley defence that has kept nine clean sheets this season.

Pro Pundits Az and Ash also had their say, with both opting for slightly more expensive options. Az plumps for team-mate Enda Stevens, while Ash turns to Burnley’s Ben Mee highlighting his improved attacking potential:

What’s telling is that Mee has registered the joint-most number of goal attempts inside the box among all defenders in the past four Gameweeks.

– Ash, Pro Pundit

Out in the Cold

The dispersed nature of the matches over the winter break means that we won’t hear from a dozen managers until after the Gameweek has started. 

There remains the very real possibility, then, that a number of players will be declared as unavailable – or passed fit – long after the Gameweek 26 deadline has been and gone, leaving FPL managers powerless to do anything about it.

– Neale, Guide to the Winter Break

Neale set the scene in his Guide to the Winter Break, while Ginkapo FPL questioned the impact of the mid-season interlude in a hot topic.

Thinking of the captaincy, one strategy Joe is promoting is captaining and vice captaining players from different weekends. Just in case there’s a no show, or perhaps the weather disrupts the fixtures.

Red or Blue?

In the main, this week’s captaincy would seem to be a straight choice between Mohamed Salah and Sergio Aguero. 

Salah currently leads the way in our captaincy poll, chosen by just under 40% of participants compared to Aguero’s 22%. But it was the thought of Aguero taking the armband that prompted Joe to enthuse:

It’s that rare beautiful moment in FPL where you get someone with unbelievable form and stats against the worst defence.

– Joe, Captaincy Video

Over the last four matches the Argentine is top for shots in the box, big chances, shots on target, and he has the best expected goal involvement (xGI) of any player. He faces a West Ham team who have the worst expected goals conceded (xGC) of any team. He also tops this site’s Rate My Team tool.

The only caveat is rotation. As Neale mentioned in his Captain Sensible article, his rival for the centre-forward role is due a start:

And will Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) be again deprived of a place in the starting XI, meaning that he will have gone a full month without any kind of start before City are in action again in Gameweek 27.

– Neale, Captain Sensible

If the risk of a benching is too much for you then Salah offers an excellent alternative.

TheFantasyFreÆK highlighted his potential in his Gameweek 25 review, noting that the Egyptian tops the charts for several key stats in midfield and should have recorded even more points of late given that only one of the five big chances he created has been converted by his teammates. 

Neale summarised his appeal:

Salah’s form and all-round points potential (in the top two for both shots in the box and big chances created over his last four matches) will understandably see many FPL managers again handing the armband to the Egyptian.

– Neale, Captain Sensible

The Scout Picks feature Salah as part of a heavy-hitting midfield at the expense of Aguero up front. And FFS Members Cup-finalist Pep Pig revealed he will be handing the Liverpool midfielder the armband in his predictions for Gameweek 26.

Meanwhile RichP_LFC decided to take a novel approach and looked at Fantasy Points Against to pick out players for our FPL teams. His research found that “Salah is the clear choice in midfield, and a punt on Redmond could work well.

Redmond is also the headline differential pick as the Saints begin an excellent run of fixtures.

However, the article’s author, Tom Freeman, went for Harvey Barnes as his under 5%-owned option on the Scoutcast. Over the last four matches, only Salah has a higher xGI than Barnes.

Fellow Pro Pundit Sam Bonfield agrees with his selection, noting in her Sam Says video that the Leicester City youngster has four attacking returns in his last four Premier League games.

And we’ve had reports and analysis on two new Premier League recruits. Steven Bergwijn marked his Spurs debut with a goal and travels to Aston Villa this week, Neale considered his potential. And Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes was the subject of a members-only article by David.  

Finally, following last week’s FA Cup replays, we know a little more about how the fixture schedule is shaping up.   

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1,493 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Muscout
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 1 day ago

    If you have both, Aguero or Salah captain guys? And why?

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Kun

    2. Orion
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I’m going Kun

    3. SheBangsTheDrums
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I’m with Kun

    4. JT11fc
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Kun. Home, against worst def, has good form, no CL straight after, normally performs on home turf.

      1. Muscout
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 1 day ago

        The type of answer I was looking for! Cheers I think that’s enough for me to switch from Salah to Kun

        1. JT11fc
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 1 day ago

          Salahs always capable of a brace but surely the odds favour Kun

    5. fabo
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Kun if I had him. I am going KDB

    6. Warby84
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I got Aguero in -4 to Cap

    7. 'Broadsword Calling Da…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Anybody worried about the weather impacting Kun's returns thought (on paper, all things being equal, i get the whole Kun vs worst defence and over Salah this GW...but)?

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

    Need a differential captain this week.

    A. KDB
    B. TAA
    C. Robertson
    D. Fernandes
    E. Vardy

    1. Holmes
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      A

    2. Phlajo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Vardy could be gold. Wolves can't hold a CS, and he's due. I doubt many will C him

      1. Woy_is_back
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Didnt just keep a cs at old traffowd

        1. Muscout
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 1 day ago

          Vardy

    3. Warby84
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      B

  3. Phlajo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Play 1
    A - Lundstram
    B - Soy
    C - Lascelles

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

      Lund

  4. Smelbow
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    WC

    McCarthy Dubravka
    VVD Taa Boly Stephens C.Taylor
    Salah Son Kdb Maddison Grealish
    Ings Jiminez Connolly

    Thoughts? Most bases covered I feel.

  5. Robbieblob
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    So guys, do you think KWP starts, gets minutes off bench or misses completely? In hindsight I should’ve just gone for stephens 🙂

  6. jensonbenderon
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Dunk or Lundy? Don’t trust Brighton, but seems Lundy won’t start again. Which risk is the better one to take. I support Brighton, so in the unlikely event Dunky gets a clean sheet, I’ll be happy anyway

    1. Tony Martial
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Go with Dunk in this case and good luck

  7. JJeyy
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Saiss or Basham long term?

    1. IRBOX ⚽
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Has to be Basham; Sheffield defence is superior to Wolves mate and with Europa league imminent I don’t expect them to tighten up

      1. Tony Martial
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Go with Egan

        1. Klaren
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 1 day ago

          Basham has better attacking potential if you look at the Championship stats.

          Both have no goals/assists this season and each with 1 VAR overturned goals.

  8. Nuno
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Which to play?

    A. Lundstram (BOU)
    B. Rico (whu)
    C. Taylor (sou)

    1. dunas_dog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Lundstram

    2. Woy_is_back
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      b

    3. IRBOX ⚽
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Rico. Lundstram likely 0-1 pointer. Burnley will concede to Saints so go for the assist potential of the Cherries man

    4. Annie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      A, the only one likely to get attacking returns

      1. IRBOX ⚽
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        From the bench ?

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

          No

  9. Muscout
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Harvey Barnes or Redmond?

  10. S.Kuqi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    I let my 3 yrs old daughter to decide my captain.

    Aguero(c) locked in.

    1. FDMS All Starz
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Did you just give her 1 option lol

      1. Ginkapo FPL
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        She knows a lot about football is all

        1. S.Kuqi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 1 day ago

          I think she chose Kun because it is easier to pronounce

      2. S.Kuqi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Hah! 😀

    2. Amey
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Select the VC yourself 😉

      1. S.Kuqi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Hayden it is 🙂

  11. The Yorkshire Pirlo
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Kelly >

    A) Stephens
    B) KWP

    Thanks

    1. dunas_dog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      A

  12. Ibra
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Gtg?

    McCarthy
    TAA - VVD - Rico
    Salah (C) - KDB - Son - Martial - Grealish
    Vardy - Ings

    Button - Lundstram - Greenwood - Williams

  13. Bad Butcher
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    a) Save FT
    b) Vardy Maddi -> Barnes Kun (C) for -4

    Leno
    VVD TAA Dunk
    KDB Salah Madd Traore
    Vardy Ings Auba

    Lund Rico Hayden 1.2 itb 1FT 2,9k overall

    1. Tony Martial
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 1 day ago

      B

  14. amit1964
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    hi, play one :

    a) traore
    b) landstrum
    thank you

    1. fabo
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      A in fear of a 1 pointer from B

  15. TAT
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Taylor or Lascelles on WC – and why?

    1. Tony Martial
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Lascelles better fixtures but Taylor doesn’t blank in gameweek 31!?

      Would be unsure

      1. TAT
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Is it confirmed Lascelles will blank in GW 31? I must admit I haven't thought that far ahead.

  16. JenkoJunko
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Morning all! Just a quick one!
    I really dont want to WC yet but worried this needs it?

    Ryan Button
    Kelly TAA Soy Lund Kiko
    Slaha KDB Grealish Doucoure Hayden
    Vardy Aguero Ings

    Took a -4 last week and dont really want to again this week either but defence is a right mess? What would you do?
    A. -4 in Kelly/Soy/Kiko to someone? Anyone?
    B. Hold and roll FT
    C. WC

    1. Weasel Boy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      A
      Defo sort out defence.
      Kelly injured

      1. JenkoJunko
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Thanks! Would just swap one or take a -4 to sort two?

  17. Tony Martial
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Start 1 (yikes).

    A-G.Cahill
    B-Lascelles
    C-B.Williams

    1. Warby84
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      A

  18. HMC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    which one of Stephens or Dunk would you bench this week?
    Either Martial to Son -4 and bench one defender or play both/no hit

  19. Dele
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Lundstram > Stevens for a -4

    Or play Dunk?...

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

      Play dunk

  20. SheBangsTheDrums
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Everything in order here?

    Ryan
    TAA Baldock Holgate
    Salah KDB Grealish Traore
    Kun(c) Jimmy Ings

    Button Dendonker Kabasele Rico

    1. Weasel Boy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      G2G

      1. SheBangsTheDrums
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Cheers mate

  21. Corgzzzz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Would KWP be a better choice than Stephens ??

  22. Wiseman Resistant ⚽⚠
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Should i bring in Tanganga (spurs) or Taylor (burnley) instead of Kelly ?

  23. Weasel Boy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    What you think?

    Foster (Button)
    TAA Lunns Egan (Soy Williams)
    Salah(c) KDB Grealish Traore (Dendo)
    Vardy Ings DCL

    1)G2G
    2) take hits
    3) WC

  24. IRBOX ⚽
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    @Amey - you playing BB?

    1. Amey
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Thinking about it mate.
      The cup opponent also playing BB from what I've heard.
      Need to give myself a good chance to win the Cup.

      That's why I'm considering Taylor to mariappa FT

  25. Hargo
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Ryan Button
    TAA Holgate Rico Kelly Lascelles
    KDB Salah Martial Grealish Cantwell
    Ings Vardy Firmino

    2FT 0.6 ITB

    Any suggestions?

  26. Brosstan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Any late news casual bros?

  27. AC Yew
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Maddison and Grealish ---> Barnes & Mahrez for -4?

    Only city cover I have is KDB

  28. jimmy.floyd
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Play one:
    1 Stephens
    2 Taylor
    Have Ings and McCarthy

  29. Colby
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 1 day ago

    Keeping faith with ‘Lord’ Lundstram and going Auba captain. Pushing the boat out.

    1. Duffy Dunk
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 1 day ago

      I hope Auba(C) works for you but I wouldn't C him. Would play Lund though.

      1. Colby
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 1 day ago

        Just got a feeling he owes his teammates after the red card Daffy and he loves to play The Toon. I’ve KDB to ‘cover’ Kun.

  30. Mufc202020
      2 months, 1 day ago

      Who to play

      A) Gomez ( with them playing Madrid 3 days later)
      B) Walker-peters