To borrow Andy’s fancy word and a pun from Greyhead – it’s the penultimate Gameweek of the season and everyone’s getting Wood.
Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 37+.
Due to FA Cup action this weekend the Premier League matches are a little more spaced out than we’ve been used to recently – today’s deadline is at the unusual time of 16:30 BST.
Although, frustratingly for Fantasy managers, both semi-finals kick-off after the FPL cut-off. And with their cup ties taking place before their Gameweek 37+ fixtures, players from both Manchester sides, Chelsea, and Arsenal come with a slight health warning.
But, as we all know from painful experience, this is not a reminder we need when it comes to City players. As so often happens, there were more losers than winners on the Pep Roulette in Gameweek 36+.
This is despite Joe’s astute pick on last week’s Scoutcast.
Our generous host singled out David Silva ahead of Bournemouth’s visit to the Etihad – but failed to heed his own advice! Thankfully others benefited from his foresight.
As hinted at in the opening, a certain Burnley striker is getting people all worked up. Yes, a Burnley striker.
In truth, the reason for the attraction has almost as much to do with the opposition as it does with Burnley’s goalscoring.
Norwich’s defence allowed yet another team’s centre-forward upwards of eight chances in a match.– David
Owners of Oliver Giroud were a little unfortunate that the Frenchman didn’t follow in the footsteps of Michail Antonio when Chelsea played Norwich on Tuesday evening. A single goal from eight shots could easily have been more.
Chris Wood, like Giroud, is also strong in the air – a perceived weakness in the Canaries defence. Daniel Farke’s men have conceded 104 headed attempts at goal, only Newcastle United have a worse record.
TheFantasyFreÆK made an strong case for the Clarets’ number 11 in his regular review:
Chris Wood, who is Burnley’s chief goal and aerial threat, looks poised to take advantage. He has already recorded a brace against the Canaries earlier in the season and that goal vs Wolves should give him confidence. Burnley’s strikers are often underappreciated hence this might have gone under the radar but only Vardy, Jesus and Abraham have recorded more big chances in the league than Wood this season.– TheFantasyFreÆK
Pro Pundit Tom Freeman agrees with the recommendation.
Ahead of the Wolves match in midweek – in which Wood scored – the five-time top 1,000 manager noted:
He’s Burnley’s top goalscorer this season with 11, and has accumulated 27 big chances so far this season.– Tom Freeman
Tom has previously highlighted Wood’s strike partner, Jay Rodriguez, in his differentials article. But the former-Southampton forward was withdrawn early in the second half of Wednesday’s game with a calf strain.
Although, as Neale reports in his team news round-up, he has been passed fit to face Norwich. Nonetheless, Tom favours the New Zealander this Gameweek. In fact, Wood even gets the nod over Danny Ings and Raul Jiménez, both good options in their own right.
And if fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester United put you off Pulisic, Willian or Antonio, consider Dwight McNeil as an alternative in midfield. His creativity was emphasised in Tom’s Pro Pundit article.
James Tarkowski’s points potential at both ends of the pitch makes him the stand out option, especially with cut-price full-back Charlie Taylor ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Martial No. 1
And Tom has a lot of confidence in Anthony Martial. Even going as far to say:
Yeah, Martial would be my top pick in the entire game right now.– Tom Freeman
In his Scout Notes from Selhurst Park, Neale included a handy table detailing the performance of Man United’s main attackers since the restart..
|Points per match||Double-digit hauls||Blanks||Goals||Assists|
As mentioned, FA Cup participation puts a slight question mark next to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side, and there’s also the reduced recovery period between matches to consider, which Pro Pundit Zophar detailed last week.
Don’t ignore Bournemouth was one of the messages on the Scoutcast. While Joe’s suggestion of Dominic Solanke wasn’t met with much enthusiasm, Andy was more convinced of the potential of Junior Stanislas.
Indeed, the Cherries midfielder is the headline pick in Tom’s latest differentials offering.
Since Gameweek 30+, Stanislas leads the way at Bournemouth for shots, shots in the box, created chances and crosses, whilst his three goal involvements (two goals, one assist) is more than any other teammate.– Tom Freeman
Striking Options Can Profit
Danny Ings drew more praise from his manager following his goal against Brighton:
Now he’s fit and when Ingsy is fit, he can work hard and also play 90 minutes. Now, in this moment, I don’t need to sub him in the end, like in the beginning [of the season], when after 60, 70 minutes he was finished.– Ralph Hasenhuttl
After rotating against the Seagulls – including a rest for the impressive Stuart Armstrong – it is hoped the Saints will be back to near full strength for the trip to the Vitality Stadium.
Eddie Howe’s side remain without the influential Nathan Ake, who is sidelined with a groin injury.
Also hoping to capitalise on an injured-hit back-line is Raul Jiménez. On the scoresheet for the second successive match, the Mexican comes up against a Crystal Palace rearguard bereft of Gary Cahill and Patrick van Aanholt.
While Jimenez lacks explosive returns – only once this season has he scored more than a single goal in a match – his consistency sees him edging towards 200 FPL points.
How to Play Your Hand
Pro Pundits Simon March and Andy have both taken a look at the tactics you might want to employ over the final two Gameweeks.
Former FPL winner Simon focused on protecting a mini-league advantage. Outlining three potential strategies: ‘Follow the Follower’, ‘Playing it Safe’, and ‘Playing Your Own Game’. Worthwhile reading for those looking to hold off their rivals.
While Andy looked at ownership figures in the top 10,000 to determine who might be some of the best differentials going into the final two rounds of matches.
Looking ahead to Gameweek 38+, Liverpool’s premium pair could be worth considering. Finding themselves in a comparatively low number of squads, Salah and Mané face statistically the worst defensive team since the restart in Newcastle United. The Magpies have an expected goals conceded (xGC) of 14.02.
Since Gameweek 30+ only three players have a higher expected goal involvement (xGI) than Salah.
Expected goals is often a divisive statistic, with as many detractors as it has fans. But when revealing what’s brought him success in FPL, our Hall of Fame number three, Fábio Borges, credits the marmite metric:
Then, four seasons ago, I found out about xG. And since then it’s the only stat I use (along with xA) when making FPL decisions. Of course, it is not perfect but if the model is reliable – and you know how to interpret it – I believe it is, by far, the most useful stat for FPL.– Fábio Borges
Perfect timing then for those who would like to find out more – Fantasy Football Scout is offering free access to the Members’ Area for three days. Discover all the benefits membership has to offer.
Don’t forget to check out the latest Team News and Predicted Line-ups which is updated throughout the day and, as usual, G-Whizz has been kind enough to supply the best odds of a clean sheet. Only three teams managed shutouts in Gameweek 36+ although they were all in the top five when it came to odds.
Finally, a heads up that the final FPL deadline of the season is on Sunday 26 July at 15:00 BST.
A full round-up of Community Competitions will follow this article.
The Head-to-Head leagues have been updated for Gameweek 36+, results and tables are currently showing on the main Head-to-Head page.
The fixtures for Gameweek 37+ are below:
May your arrows be green!