The feast of football continues with managers having just a couple of hours to make their transfer and captain decisions ahead of the 11:30am BST deadline.
Gameweek 32+ brings its own particular challenges with eight teams involved in FA Cup action before playing their Premier League games. For FPL managers in a quandary, the Fantasy Football Scout Guide will hopefully answer one or two questions.
The titan of the Team News, Neale, has covered the few press conferences that have taken place this side of the FPL cutoff.
No big surprises – Liverpool are set to rotate, and Pep revealed that a ‘big kick’ to Jesus was the reason he missed out on a place in the starting XI against Chelsea. But with the top two playing each other this Gameweek, our interest, for once, is more focused on the bottom-18 teams.
The predicted line-ups are, understandably, a little harder to predict. But they contain the usual insight and reason we’ve come to associate with them. Essential pre-deadline content.
Likewise David’s statistical breakdown of the captain contenders.
And there’s one metric that could be giving Joe cause for concern.
While he is mentally prepared for an Aubameyang benching, our faithful Scoutcaster is trusting the Arsenal talisman with the armband. He reasons that the Gabonese striker has proven in the past that he can score when he comes on as a sub.
However, David’s research unearthed the somewhat surprising find that Aubameyang’s opponents this Gameweek, Norwich City, have conceded just three big chances over their last four matches. The best performance of any team.
They do, admittedly, allow the opposition a large quantity of shots at their goal – 41 in the box over the last four matches – but very few of those are gilt-edged chances.
Nonetheless, Aubameyang does top this site’s Rate My Team tool for predicted points, so in all likelihood Joe will be rewarded with his armband decision.
But should doubts have crept in, there are plenty of alternatives.
For many, a triple up on Manchester United is a must. Pro Pundit Az summarised the feeling in his recent feature:
Ole is indeed at the wheel, and currently, he’s at the wheel of a Ferrari rather than the Reliant Robin we saw him driving earlier in the season.– Az
Selected in our Scout Picks, Anthony Martial had gone somewhat under the radar ahead of Gameweek 31+ although Pro Pundits LateRiser and Andy both highlighted his potential and brought him into their sides. David notes in the Scout Picks:
Martial is joint-top of the league for shots in the box and big chances over the last four matches, indicating there could be more to come against Brighton.– David
Teammate Marcus Rashford also makes the XI, his nine shots in the box over the last four matches catching the eye.
And TheFantasyFreÆK attempted to ease the worries of Bruno Fernandes owners when answering “Why did Bruno Fernandes blank?” in his latest review. Don’t sell, don’t captain the verdict – and remember he’s still on penalties.
Captain poll favourite Raul Jimenez has a healthy 10 shots in the box over his last four. Although Aston Villa’s defence have conceded just five big chances over the same period.
Wolves take on Villa in the only Premier League match today – a quick turnaround for both sets of players – will that have an impact on performance?
Spurs duo Son Hueng-Min and Harry Kane will be hoping to inflict more misery on a Sheffield United defence that has struggled since the restart. The Blades, however, welcome back goalkeeper Dean Henderson – who was ineligible to face his parent club Manchester United – and John Egan, who was suspended.
For those considering handing one or other the armband, David notes:
Three of Kane’s five big chances over the last four have come since the Premier League returned to our screens, Son mustering just one since Gameweek 30+.– David
Finally, Chelsea. A schedule which hands them a match every three days and an FA Cup tie ahead of their midweek encounter with West Ham, would normally put most off. But they have looked impressive.
As noted in the Scout Picks, Christian Pulisic has re-established himself as an option: two goals in as many games, a shot cleared off the line, and passing the eye test – read David Wardale’s Scout Notes for the lowdown. The American could profit against the Hammers, who have conceded at least twice in eight of their last nine matches.
Often, when struggling to make a decision, it pays to see what the best are up to.
Ville Ronka’s Wildcard is examined in Greyhead’s review of The Great and The Good. The famously patient manager is on the rise, closing in on a tenth top 10,000 finish in 12 seasons of playing FPL.
The football has also resumed in Scandinavia, ReindeerHotdog has been keeping tabs and offering insight on the teams in the Eliteserien. His latest piece asked how we should spend our limited funds.
The Head-to-Head leagues have been updated for Gameweeks 30+ and 31+. Many thanks to Mat (aka matzi11a) for his work behind the scenes to get these up and running again.
The upcoming fixtures are listed below:
There are 5,983 managers taking part in the Head-to-Head leagues and none have amassed more points than Abdullah Tamin and Niall Devlin. The pair have picked up a staggering 81 out of a possible 93. Both are in League 8, Abdullah leads Division 1 and Niall Division 143.
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, Mark May, Christopher Berchoux, Keith Stulberg and Rok Krasna. All five managers feature in the top 25 overall.
Rok replaces Ciaran Keighery in the mini-league top five, with Bill Wilkins having dropped out the week before.
A superb Bench Boost score of 122 helped Mark (aka Frankiem) displace Chris McGowan (aka Queens of the South Age) at the top of our mini-league in Gameweek 30+. Only for Chris to retake first place in Gameweek 31+.
There are currently 44,093 people participating in the Fantasy Football Scout mini-league, to join them enter code ooyz44 in your Leagues’ section on the FPL site.
The leading lights in our mini-league are also fighting it out in the battle to be crowned overall FPL champion.
Mark jumped to the top of the pile in Gameweek 30+ although he was overtaken by Jamie Crisp, the current world number one, by Thursday evening. Chris is second, four points behind Jamie.
Mark is five points further back and level on points with World chess champion Magnus Carlsen.
Good luck to both Fantasy Football Scout managers as they vie for the ultimate prize in FPL.
Congratulations to Tom Russell (aka Monkey Tennis), a new entry to and new leader of our Members mini-league. Tom is currently 25th overall. This is his ninth FPL season and he has a previous best of 5,125th in 2014/15.
He is three points ahead of the previous No. 1, Damjan Rupnik (aka rdamjan).
The code to join the Members League can be found on the Members page.
The FFScout Charity Shield got underway in Gameweek 30+. The early leader was Stan Bern who scored an amazing 159 points using his Bench Boost chip for a Gameweek rank of 4!
Stan dropped to third, however, after Gameweek 31+ as Liam Bondin (aka FPL Meatpie) moved into pole position. Liam followed up his opening score of 133 points with a haul of 110 points on his Wildcard. Liam is in his fourth FPL season and is 52nd overall.
Fantasy Football Scout Cup
The luckiest winner in round three was B’Strikers who made it through with a below-average score of 51, while the unluckiest loser was baingaboyz who bowed out despite an impressive total of 103. The magic of the cup, eh?
Wild Rover is the only former winner still in the competition after Joe and Philman were both eliminated in round two.
Pro Pundit Andy (aka Andy85wsm) can still dream of cup glory, as indeed can I! However for our fellow member of the Mods & Cons, Gregor, it’s time to focus on the league.
Form often goes out of the window in the cup, and so it proved in rounds two and three. All five managers in the top one thousand overall heading into the Gameweek, lost. Commiserations to rdamjan, Forza, Euroalien, Bury94 and prbaker1980.
Neale review round three here.
Community Mini-Leagues and Competitions
4,965 managers have exited the competition so far with 141 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.
There are two matchweeks to go before the leading eight teams will feature in the end-of-season knockout stage. Boris Bodega provided us with an update in his recent review article while Toblerone52 recapped the action since the restart here.
A Whole Lawro B*llocks are holding eighth place by a single point. Back to Square Owen will be hoping to capitalise on any slip up.
Meanwhile Chris James (aka elFozzie) had the misfortune of accidentally cancelling his intended Bench Boost in Gameweek 30+, leaving 26 points on his bench. Ouch!
Rok Krasna remains top of RedLightning’s Top 10k Any Season mini-league (league code m0tq9y) after a combined 214 points over the opening two Gameweeks since the restart. He’s now up to 22nd overall and has opened up a 42-point lead over David Nataf in second.
Rok and David are also first and second in PDM‘s Top 1k ANY season mini-league (league code eejnyz).
Svein Roald L Usken’s (aka Firminoooo) and Denial EASTOP have been contesting the lead in Chaballer’s Top 1,000 HoF League (league code beeps2) since Gameweek 22. The former currently holds the advantage.
The pair are 722nd and 189th respectively in the Career Hall of Fame.
Champions and Pro Pundits
Pro Pundit Simon March has edged away again in the exclusive FPL Champions League. The former champion has opened up a 60-point gap over 2012/13 winner Matthew Martyniak.
Meanwhile, the aptly-named Lateriser12 is surging up the ranks. The Pro Pundit has moved from outside the top thousand to 145th overall following back-to-back centuries.
And a special mention to Sam Bonfield (aka Sam FPLFamily) who recorded an impressive 127 points in Gameweek 30+. She sits at 2,493 overall.
Impressively, Danny has risen from 386k in Gameweek 20 to his current ranking of 2,656th.
Looking on admiringly in second place is yours truly! I have a 22-point gap to bridge if I’m to overtake the high-flying Pig.
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.
The Last Ten started scoring in Gameweek 29, meaning that Gameweek 30+ was only its second round of action. Dylan McCullagh moved into first following a Bench-Boost-assisted 128 points but dropped to second after his 88-point Wildcard.
The new leader is Ahmed Shahin (aka Professor Bear), who followed his 112 points on Bench Boost with a 103-point Wildcard. This is only his fourth FPL season, but he has finished in the top 10,000 every time and is 715th in our Live Hall of Fame.
Two hundred and twenty-seven teams, including last season’s winner Ted Maw (aka Rotation’s Alter Ego), have entered so far. The code you need to join is p4unsq.
If you are running a community competition and would like the latest scores included in future Round-ups, please email us a summary of the current leaders and a link to your league, spreadsheet or head-to-head competition to email@example.com
Thank you very much to RedLightning for his contribution to this article.
Enjoy Gameweek 32+!