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
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 23 days ago

    Will Alli be nailed on after his suspension?

    1. FPL Pillars
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

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

    2. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

      Yes imo

    3. Revival
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

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

      1. UnitedRthebest
        • 1 Year
        8 months, 23 days ago

        Thx everyone

    4. teneighty
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

      Mourinho likes dem bad boys.

  2. FPL Pillars
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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
      8 months, 23 days ago

      Very nice

  3. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 23 days ago

    Best option and why?

    A. Lascelles
    B. Aarons
    C. Taylor

    1. Coys96
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

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

      1. DantheManinaPan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 23 days 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
      8 months, 23 days 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.

  4. Wheato182
    • 8 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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
      8 months, 23 days ago

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

      1. Wheato182
        • 8 Years
        8 months, 23 days 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
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 23 days 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
        8 months, 23 days ago

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

        1. Karhumies
          • 8 Years
          8 months, 23 days ago

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

  5. Henning
    • 6 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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

  6. JONALDINHO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 23 days ago

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

    1. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 23 days 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.

  7. The Royal Robin
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 23 days ago

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

    1. Grimo2
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

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

    2. St Pauli Walnuts
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

      Kun for me, higher ceiling.

    3. Johnny Leghorn
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 22 days ago

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

  8. manu4life99
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

      Looks good

  9. Cruz88
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

      Go for it.

    2. Wild Rover
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

      Why wouldn't it?

      1. Wild Rover
        • 10 Years
        8 months, 23 days ago

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

        1. Cruz88
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          8 months, 23 days 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
            • 10 Years
            8 months, 23 days 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
              • 5 Years
              8 months, 23 days 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 🙂

  10. Shatner's Bassoon
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 23 days 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. Shatner's Bassoon
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 23 days ago

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

  11. Grimo2
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 23 days 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.

  12. UnitedRthebest
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 23 days 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
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

      Laporte guaranteed to start both games?

      1. UnitedRthebest
        • 1 Year
        8 months, 23 days ago

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

        1. Would Ed Woodward
          • 2 Years
          8 months, 23 days 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. Jon Walter's Hatty
            • 7 Years
            8 months, 23 days 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. St Pauli Walnuts
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          8 months, 23 days 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.

  13. PascalCygan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 23 days 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
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 22 days ago

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

        1. PascalCygan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          8 months, 22 days ago

          Ha, yes! Nice one, thanks

  14. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 23 days 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.

  15. manu4life99
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 23 days ago

    GW30 only

    A) Sterling Samatta
    B) Mount Aguero

    1. PascalCygan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 23 days ago

      B

  16. grennans2
      8 months, 23 days 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
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 22 days ago

        A

    • Would Ed Woodward
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 23 days 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. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 23 days ago

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

        1. Would Ed Woodward
          • 2 Years
          8 months, 23 days ago

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

      2. Grimo2
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 23 days ago

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

        1. Would Ed Woodward
          • 2 Years
          8 months, 23 days ago

          This is FH.

    • Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 22 days ago

      Best long term defender for 4.3? Also why?

    • FPL Kaka
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 22 days ago

      Only 18% ownership for Kun, wow.

      A captaincy haul from him could be massive