Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 27.
Dennis and Ciara have bid us farewell and despite their best attempts to throw Gameweek 26 into chaos, the Fantasy Premier League gods managed to keep all the fixtures together.
As life in the FPL universe gets back to normal and managers awake from their mid-winter slumber, there remains just enough time to set your team ahead of Saturday’s 11:30 GMT deadline.
Top of the agenda as ever is our crucial captain decision.
Favoured by the Rate My Team tool, Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) tops the captain poll with 47% of the vote. And Fantasy Football Scout users know what they are talking about: our mini-league is currently the best in Fantasy Premier League.
However, do the underlying statistics back the Egyptian? And which teams have the most obliging defences? David’s Captain Sensible reveals all.
Son Replacements and Triple Liverpool
Sadio Mané (£12.3m) returned to action in Gameweek 26 netting the winning goal for Liverpool against Norwich. For those without a third Reds player, could the Senegalese be the ideal Son replacement?
In an exclusive interview, current World Number One Chris McGowan told us that he thinks Mané forms part of the ideal Liverpool trio, even if it’s just short term:
Alexander-Arnold, Salah and Mane have got to be the optimum trio for potential points but it does hurt your team elsewhere, so I don’t think I’ll have the triple-up for too long.– Chris McGowan, current World Number One
The premium-priced midfielders both feature in this week’s Scout Picks.
Pro Pundit LateRiser12, an elite manager with two finishes in the top 200, described Mané as “a cracking Son replacement”, he reasoned:
The question you need to ask yourself here is: are Mane or Salah poor picks in isolation given the fixtures? Then why do you think that when combined, it isn’t optimal?– Pro Pundit LateRiser12
However, not everyone agrees.
The latest elite manager to be interviewed by Joe for his Meet the Manager series was Darren Wiles. Darren is seventh in our Live Hall of Fame and on target for his third top 1,000 finish in four seasons. The pair discussed the concept of value with Darren emphasizing the importance of ‘points per million’ when judging a player’s worth.
According to this logic, Salah or Mane plus double Liverpool defence is the best allround option. And Darren’s not alone in his thinking with Pro Pundit Az also a fan of the value to be found in the Reds’ backline.
Following David’s piece on the implications of Son’s injury, replacements were debated on this week’s Scoutcast with Arsenal’s Pépé and Man United’s new signing Bruno Fernandes touted as possible options.
TheFantasyFreÆK highlighted the improvement in Pépé’s points potential in his Gameweek review.
With European competition back underway, Neale took a look at the fixture congestion for the Premier League teams involved. Who will be most affected in the coming Gameweeks?
Looking beyond Blank Gameweek 28 and the EFL Cup final – could we be presented with a Double Gameweek 29 for Manchester City?
Site moderator Legomané feels there could be, however FFScout Member Jarvish thinks that’s being optimistic. The favoured strategy is to hedge your bets: play it safe and hold a transfer back just in case.
Neale and Rotation’s Alter Ego brought us their usual team news headlines.
Meanwhile Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson is expected to be out for “three weeks or so”. With Neale predicting Naby Keita will be handed a starting role against West Ham.
What to make of Jamie Vardy?
In his Big Numbers piece, Neale highlighted his flat-track bully status:
15 goals and 20 big chances recorded by Jamie Vardy in 14 matches against teams ranked ninth or below in the Premier League, which are both highs among FPL forwards this season. Vardy has eight such matches following the visit of Manchester City in Gameweek 27.– Neale
However Sam was less enthused about the Foxes forward. She noted in her Sam Says video that Vardy barely touched the ball and was often isolated against Wolves in Gameweek 26. She feels that the problem stems from Ndidi’s absence, and Leicester miss the link he provides between defence and midfield.
She is considering selling Vardy and scouted replacements in her latest Pro Pundit piece.
However with Vardy faltering, Pro Pundit Zophar feels team-mate Harvey Barnes could be one to consider from Gameweek 28.
Pro Pundit Tom Freeman is on the hunt for a Maupay replacement and is considering Calvert-Lewin despite the tricky fixtures for Everton. Encouragement was to be found in Neale’s research into the ‘big six’ – they are not as fearsome as they might seem.
Elsewhere Andy was in reflective mood, trying to figure out where he’d gone wrong after a promising start. And Simon March considered the fairness of early team news and, in his piece on FPL decision making, wondered if the ‘eye test’ is about as reliable as the average office printer.
Greyhead’s review of The Great and The Good included not only a breakdown of Joe and Andy’s Wildcards but a wonderful illustration of the illustrious managers by FPLDoodles. Can you identify all twelve?
Last but by no means least, two stimulating articles from our community.
RichP_LFC looked at Fantasy Points For. He examined which teams have been performing best, and also which players have been contributing the most FPL points to their side.
And ever in search of the winning-formula, FPL Virgin predicted goals and assists for the talisman in each team for the remainder of the season. Has he cracked the code?
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.
Fantasy Football Scout Memberships are now available for a reduced price of £9.99 for the remainder of the season. Rolling monthly subscriptions are also available for £2.99 per month. Click here to sign up or upgrade your account.
A combined article this week given the quick turnaround.
The latest results in the Head-to-Head Leagues can be found on the main page – link here. While the fixtures for Gameweek 27 can be found below:
Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.
In the battle to avoid relegation a victory for Grant Barclay keeps him three points above the drop zone. A trio of managers, including Grant, are now tied on 42 points with Harry Vernon (aka Horse) and Glynn Sherwood breathing down their necks on 39.
Elsewhere Abdullah Tamin and Niall Devlin are the two joint highest-scoring managers across all 300 divisions. The pair have amassed an impressive 69 points out of a possible 78. They lead Division 1 and Division 143 of League 8 respectively.
Meanwhile Vladimir Stojiljkovic, who started the season on 17-match unbeaten run, lost for the fourth time in nine Gameweeks to remain on 66 points. He nonetheless enjoys a 12-point cushion over his nearest rival in Division 77 of League 8.
28 points from his captain Kevin De Bruyne helped Damjan Rupnik move up to 100 in the overall standings. He has the best rank out of the 5,983 managers taking part in the Head-to-Head Leagues.
Damjan increased his advantage to eight points at the top of Division 5 of League 6.
Fantasy Football Scout Mini-Leagues
Leagues are ranked using an average score of the top five teams, so congratulations and thanks to the top five managers in the mini-league Chris McGowan, Magnum Dong Carlsen, Mark May, Edward Ridout, Tue Lumbye and Marc Ayres – the last two sharing fifth place. Impressively all six managers are currently in the top 50 overall.
Chris (aka Queens of the South Age) increased his lead to 54 points over second-placed Mark (aka Frankiem) in our mini-league. A regular poster on site, Chris is 15 points ahead at the summit of the overall leaderboard.
There are currently 44,033 people participating in the Fantasy Football Scout mini-league, to join them enter code ooyz44 in your Leagues’ section on the FPL site.
The aforementioned Damjan Rupnik held onto first spot in our Members mini-league. Although former chart-topper Miles Stephens is back up to second following an impressive 87 points in Gameweek 26. He trails Damjan by a dozen points.
The code to join the Members League can be found on the Members page.
Fantasy Football Scout Cups
Philman beat AMEY by a single point to clinch the FFS Cup.
The Meet the Manager guest had luck on his side throughout his successful run. The final hung in the balance until two late Arsenal goals against Newcastle swung the tie in his favour. Not because he owned either of the goalscorers but because it meant Lascelles, owned by AMEY, lost a crucial point. A point that would have handed him victory.
And in round seven he again won by a solitary point, this time because Ings (owned by his opponent) got a yellow card for removing his shirt when celebrating his goal!
The final of the Members Cup was won rather more convincingly.
Community writer Pep Pig triumphed over Just-In-Cider by 15 points to claim the trophy and £150 first prize. The two sides were fairly evenly matched, however double-digit contributions from Son and Calvert-Lewin sealed the win for Pep Pig.
Neale reviewed both two finals earlier in the week.
Community Mini-Leagues and Competitions
The threshold for elimination increases to 16% for Gameweek 27, a minimum 88 managers will depart.
4,556 managers have exited the competition so far with 550 left to battle it out for the coveted title of Last Man Standing. Aside from bragging rights, the winner will receive a free Fantasy Football Scout Membership for the 2020/21 season.
Boris Bodega reviewed the latest round of the Pundit’s Play-Off Community Tournament in which A Whole Lawro B*llocks annihilated Unbelievable Jeff FC 15-0. However they are no closer to catching The Keane Fifteen who extended their lead to 19 points at the top of the overall leaderboard.
David Nataf held onto his leads in both RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league and PDM‘s Top 1k ANY season mini-league. Currently ranked 119th overall, this could be David’s third top 1,000 finish in four seasons.
Managers with a top 10,000 finish may join RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league using the code m0tq9y. And managers with a top 1,000 finish may join PDM’s Top 1k ANY season mini-league using the code eejnyz.
Svein Roald L Usken (aka Firminoooo) tops Chaballer’s Top 1,000 HoF League by a 17-point margin. Ómar Olgeirsson is second.
Champions and Pro Pundits
Pro Pundit Simon March continues to enjoy a seemingly unassailable 84-point lead at the top of his exclusive FPL Champions League. Ony previous FPL winners can enter.
Meanwhile Sam Bonfield (aka Sam FPLFamily) is still the highest ranked of our Pro Pundits but has dropped out of the overall top thousand after scoring only 51 points. Her lead over Lateriser12 is reduced slightly to 21 points.
The highest scoring Pro Pundits in Gameweek 26 were Luke (aka d1sable) with 79 and Ash (aka FPL Hints) with 82, although Ash took a four-point hit.
423 teams have signed-up so far to RedLightning’s January to May League, which started scoring in Gameweek 21.
FFS Members Cup winner, Danny Mallon (aka Pep Pig), remains first although Qian Hao Ong is now just 12 points behind. Six successive green arrows have taken Danny from 386k in Gameweek 20 to 4,499th overall now.
The league will remain open for any others who wish to track their progress in the second half of the season, the code you need is aafkpq.
And for those who fancy another challenge, The Last Ten mini-league will start scoring in Gameweek 29. This covers the last ten Gameweeks of the season, including the biggest double and blank Gameweeks when most will play their chips.
Over two hundred teams from last season’s competition, which was won by Ted Maw (aka Rotation’s Alter Ego), have already entered. The code you need to join is p4unsq.
Thank you to RedLightning for his notes on the mini-leagues.
Best of luck to you all in Gameweek 27, may your arrows be green!
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