Pro Pundits - Tom

The Double Gameweek 30+ assets who could excel both for and against Aston Villa

“Football is the most important of the least important things in life” – Arrigo Sacchi

On June 17, the Premier League will return with two postponed fixtures, Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal – let the countdown begin.

Firstly, it feels good to be writing again. It’s been a challenging few months, but with Project Restart gaining momentum day by day, the buzz is back. So, as focus turns to Fantasy Premier League (FPL), I thought I’d use this piece to discuss several players I’m targeting for the run-in and why I think they can make a difference. I’ll also touch upon their respective teams’ outlooks, along with chip strategy.

It makes sense to start in B6, with my club, Aston Villa. 

The reality is we sit 19th in the table, with the worst defence in the division, having imploded before the break – let’s say I’m realistic about our chances of survival.

But there is a Double Gameweek, and if we’re looking for positives, we sit just two points behind both Watford (17th) and West Ham United (16th) with a game in hand.

We rank 12th for goals scored, and in Jack Grealish (£6.4m) and a fit-again John McGinn (£5.4m), we have a midfield double act who are a level above what most teams around us in the table possess.

We also only have to look to the Bundesliga and Hertha Berlin to see how a team can struggle pre-lockdown and then emerge as one of the form teams following the restart.

For the majority of the season, Dean Smith has used a 4-3-3 / 4-1-4-1 system, designed to try and get Grealish, our talisman, on the ball as often as possible. In an attacking sense, it’s largely worked – Grealish has scored more goals and created more chances than any of his teammates. 

However, our over-reliance on one outlet has often come at a cost – we can sometimes be predictable in possession and lack creativity whenever Grealish isn’t at the top of his game. McGinn’s return to fitness should at least ease the burden on the captain’s shoulders.

This heatmap below illustrates where Villa have created their chances this season, and emphasises just how much we rely on Grealish down our left.


Gameweek 14 Scout Picks includes Spurs triple-up

Looking beyond the double, Son Heung-min (£9.7m) will be in my starting XI in Gameweek 31+ and is a serious captaincy candidate that week when Tottenham Hotspur host West Ham.

Despite missing seven Gameweeks through injury and suspension, the South Korean has racked up five double-digit hauls and 18 goal contributions already this season, and with an ownership of just 4.7%, I feel it’s too good an opportunity to pass up.

Arguably, no team has benefitted from the break more than Spurs, with the likes of Harry Kane (£10.8m) and Moussa Sissoko (£4.8m) now fit for selection, and with some big games to come against teams around them in the table, it’s all to play for.

Having used my Triple Captain chip in Gameweek 24, I’m currently leaning towards activating my Bench Boost chip in Gameweek 30+, with a Wildcard to follow in Gameweek 31+.

The Free Hit chip can then be used as and when it’s needed.

For those still struggling to decide which route to take, check out Zophar’s article, ‘What is the best FPL chip strategy for Double Gameweek 30+ and beyond?’, from earlier this week – it’s well worth a read.

At this stage, I’d usually post my team for the forthcoming Gameweek, but as I’m still debating several selections and the fact that things will no doubt change between now and deadline, there seems little point.

Instead, I’ll jump on the forum early next week and post my final squad, if there is enough interest.

Thanks for reading… until next time. 


Tom Freeman – aka avfc82 – comes onto the team to make most of us feel wildly insecure about our overall rank history. A long-time Fantasy Football Scout user, he has finished inside the top 1,000 a staggering five times since 2009.

Nominated for ‘Best in Fantasy Football – Editorial’ at the Football Content Awards 2020

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947 Comments Post a Comment
  1. UnitedRthebest
      25 days, 19 hours ago

      Will Alli be nailed on after his suspension?

      1. FPL Pillars
        • 3 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        He is part of first team yeah, but spurs will rotate mids on occasion due to ferocity of the fixtures.

      2. Pep Roulette
        • 2 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        Yes imo

      3. Revival
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        Yes, he will have to learn his lesson and behave do.

        1. UnitedRthebest
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            Thx everyone

        2. teneighty
          • 5 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Mourinho likes dem bad boys.

      4. FPL Pillars
        • 3 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        How is she looking
        BB30 WC31

        Leno
        TAA Baldock O’Connell
        Sterling KDB Grealish McGinn
        Aguero Aubameyang Jiménez

        Reina Cantwell Egan Lacelles

        Cantwell May change to Duda
        Reina/Lacelles may change to McCarthy/Targett or Mings

        1. Tempestic
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Very nice

      5. Pep Roulette
        • 2 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        Best option and why?

        A. Lascelles
        B. Aarons
        C. Taylor

        1. Coys96
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          B. Best fixtures, most attacking threat, his team need points the most

          1. DantheManinaPan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            "His team need points the most" a.k.a his team have the fewest points because they are the worst team in the league?

        2. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Not sure I understand the Norwich hype, other than price. They ship goals for fun.

          Newcastle have some good fixtures and had a run of a few CSs pre-lockdown. They didn't look great playing, I'll admit - but they delivered.

      6. Wheato182
        • 7 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        Whats the general strategy if you still have a wildcard, bench boost and free hit in tact?

        1. Tempestic
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Ulimited transfers to BB this week, WC next gw and then FH whenevever

          1. Wheato182
            • 7 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            Thank you muchly, literally just logged on here since April so now need to have a think about what to do with my team!

        2. Karhumies
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          If you want more time to scout team form, player form and fresh injuries before WC, there is an option to FH now, WC32/33 and BB whenever (34 seems good). There is only 1 day between GW30 and GW31 and it's in the middle of the week so that's going to be absolute WC31 madness here for a day.

          1. Tempestic
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            however if u FH this week u lose out on the unlimited transfers. Still an option tho

            1. Karhumies
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              25 days, 19 hours ago

              Yeah. Working on Tuesday 23rd vs spending the day to panic WC31 are the options for most middle aged middle class FPLers.

      7. Henning
        • 5 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        2.5 m in the bank freehit and BB left

        Would you use unlimited Transfers on this team or is it Good enough so i should use freehit?

        Pope Button

        TAA VvD Stephens Boly Lundstram

        Salah Fernandez KDB Grealish Sarr

        DCL Jimenez Rashford

      8. JONALDINHO
        • 2 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        Is nketiah likely to start? And is Mahrez a better option over Sterling?

        1. Devo-McDuff
          • 1 Year
          25 days, 18 hours ago

          Personally I think Sterling will get more game time over the two, but it depends on what you get to do with the cash freed up by opting for Mahrez. I'm pondering the same thing and it comes down to the below options for me:

          A Stevens, Baldock, Doherty, Mahrez
          B Egan, Basham, Lascelles, Sterling

          I'm leaning towards A.

      9. The Royal Robin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        Auba or Kun? Don't have a WC but will likely transfer out either one, so just for the DGW.

        1. Grimo2
          • 6 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Auba for me, greater chance of minutes vs. Kun.

        2. Devo-McDuff
          • 1 Year
          25 days, 18 hours ago

          Kun for me, higher ceiling.

        3. Johnny Leghorn
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          25 days, 4 hours ago

          And in 2 responses, there lies your conundrum. Personally I'd Aub.

      10. manu4life99
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        Any improvements for BB30+ team (will be using WC in gw31+)

        Reina Leno
        TAA Lascelles Baldock Egan Luiz
        Mahrez KDB Grealish Mount Fleck
        Aguero Aubameyang Jiminez

        1. Henning
          • 5 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Looks good

      11. Cruz88
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        To check, has it been confirmed that no transfers will carry over to next week, should someone not use any this week or play any chips?

        1. Would Ed Woodward
          • 1 Year
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Go for it.

        2. Wild Rover
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Why wouldn't it?

          1. Wild Rover
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            Or more to the point, why wouldn't you?

            1. Cruz88
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              25 days, 19 hours ago

              I likely won't. I'm just curious as i can't see it mentioned anywhere. I have a decent team already without transfers, and could save my BB or FH, though I'll likely still FH just to bring in a few extra DGWers

              1. Wild Rover
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                25 days, 19 hours ago

                There is nothing in the 'new rules' about it and and the standard rules say that if you don't make a transfer or play a chip you get two next gw. Of course it's not normally unlimited transfers so it may not have occurred to them that anyone active would do nothing

                1. Cruz88
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  25 days, 19 hours ago

                  Hmm yes, they must have assumed it would take a special kind of maverick/idiot not to use any of their unlimited transfers I suppose 🙂

      12. FPLGraham
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        I might have cracked the BB here if Lundstram starts against Villa. Four big hitters in! (But some sacrifices).

        Leno
        TAA Lundstram O'Connell
        Fleck Grealish KDB Sterling
        Aguero Auba Samatta

        Reina - Boly - Lascelles - Cantwell

        Sacrifices: Salah (0.2 to buy back); Jimenez (0.3 to buy back); Bruno (0.1).

        1. Grimo2
          • 6 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          What are you thinking long term for Kun? Reckon he will get the regular minutes with tinkering Pep in full flow over a packed schedule?

          1. FPLGraham
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            Shipping out after 30, most likely for Rashford, Kane, Vardy or Jimenez/Jota

      13. Grimo2
        • 6 Years
        25 days, 19 hours ago

        WC thoughts:

        Pope (Ramsdale)
        TAA - Lundstram* - Boly - (Lascelles - AWB)
        Mahrez* - KDB*(C) - Son - Fernandes - Fleck*
        Auba* - Jimi (Samatta)

        *DGW

        1. PascalCygan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Looks good. Maybe Lundstram to a Sheff U defender who we know is a bit more nailed? Egan or Basham or O'Connell would save you a bit of money too.

      14. UnitedRthebest
          25 days, 19 hours ago

          Current draft. Thoughts?
          Will to Laporte to Doherty after DGW.

          Pope•McCarthy
          TAA•Laporte•Maguire•O’Connell•
          Lascelles
          KDB•Fernandes•Mahrez•McGinn•
          Saka
          Auba•Rashford•Jimenez

          1. Grimo2
            • 6 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            Laporte guaranteed to start both games?

            1. UnitedRthebest
                25 days, 19 hours ago

                I would think so. Stones and Otamendi are his competition so...

                1. Would Ed Woodward
                  • 1 Year
                  25 days, 19 hours ago

                  I don't think anyone doubts that he's their best defender, it's a fitness issue, will they risk him getting injured again?

                  1. GARY AND JAMIE
                    • 6 Years
                    25 days, 19 hours ago

                    Particularly with little in the league to play for. Kid gloves for him, Otamendi at 4.9 to me is a good pick if you want a City def.

                2. Devo-McDuff
                  • 1 Year
                  25 days, 18 hours ago

                  Highly doubtful, he was injured quickly when returning last time. Pep will likely wrap in cotton wool for Champs league and ease hm in.

          2. PascalCygan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            Hi guys, how's it going?

            I think I'm happy with this for now. What do you think?

            I've played with a few different teams. Had Reina and Targett in one but didn't like Arsenal midfield options

            1. PascalCygan
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              25 days, 19 hours ago

              Weirdly, half my post was cut off!

              BB active, WC 31

              Leno Reina
              Bellerin Egan Basham Baldock TAA
              KdB Mahrez Grealish El Ghazi Cantwell
              Aguero Auba Jimi

              Thanks!

              1. Johnny Leghorn
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                25 days, 4 hours ago

                Looks good to me.
                Praying for a double Shef shut out!

                1. PascalCygan
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  25 days, 3 hours ago

                  Ha, yes! Nice one, thanks

          3. _sidney_will
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            A few differentials that I think could get decent returns relative to their prices:

            Willock (4.7m) - can see him getting between 60-90 mins over the two games, scored in both friendlies.
            Mari (4.7m) - expect either Mustafi/Luiz to partner him in DF, Arteta is known to be fond of a left-footed CB which Mari is Arsenal's only one.
            Otamendi (4.9m) - started 4/5 league games prior to lockdown, expect Stones/Laporte to be eased in.
            Fleck (5.0m) - nailed on and has already scored twice vs Villa this season.
            El Ghazi (5.5m) - all four of his goals this season have come at home, took Villa's last penalty and scored.

          4. manu4life99
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            25 days, 19 hours ago

            GW30 only

            A) Sterling Samatta
            B) Mount Aguero

            1. PascalCygan
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              25 days, 19 hours ago

              B

          5. grennans2
              25 days, 19 hours ago

              Bottomed

              A or B better for GW30+ BB?

              A) Henderson, Stevens, Targett, Cantwell, Pukki
              B) Reina, O'Connell, Lascelles, Fleck, Jimenez

              1. Johnny Leghorn
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                25 days, 4 hours ago

                A

            • Would Ed Woodward
              • 1 Year
              25 days, 19 hours ago

              Current FH team, thoughts? I know that Lund is a risk.

              Leno
              Baldock Stevens Lund
              Sterling KDB Pepe Grealish
              Aguero Auba Jota

              bench - complete dross

              1. _sidney_will
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                25 days, 19 hours ago

                Nice side, I'd actually prefer Pukki to Jota, otherwise all good 🙂

                1. Would Ed Woodward
                  • 1 Year
                  25 days, 19 hours ago

                  Yeah, that's a money issue, it's down to Lund/Jota or Egan/Pukki.

              2. Grimo2
                • 6 Years
                25 days, 19 hours ago

                What are your defensive plans after this GW? Two tough GW for SHU after, meaning double CS opps limited?

                1. Would Ed Woodward
                  • 1 Year
                  25 days, 19 hours ago

                  This is FH.

            • Pep Roulette
              • 2 Years
              25 days, 17 hours ago

              Best long term defender for 4.3? Also why?

            • FPL Kakarot
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              25 days, 17 hours ago

              Only 18% ownership for Kun, wow.

              A captaincy haul from him could be massive