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Pro Pundits - Sam

A position-by-position guide to the FPL assets on my radar for Gameweek 38+

FPL Family’s Sam talks us through her initial thoughts for a Free Hit team in Gameweek 38+.


Gameweek 38+ can make or break a Fantasy Premier League season, might be the difference between winning and losing a mini-league and is when the all-important overall ranks are finally decided. 

Normally for me, I try and roll a transfer into Gameweek 38 to enable me to have a couple of moves for the final day.

However, this season is different as my Free Hit chip sits still unused going into the last weekend of 2019/20.

This is uncharted territory for me, as I have never held a chip so long. In many ways, it’s a really exciting way to end the season, but equally, there is an added pressure of making the wrong decisions at such a pivotal point of the campaign.

However, the decisions are the same regardless of whether you have a Free Hit or are just using normal free transfers.

Which teams have the fixtures? Which sides have the form? Who has both? And then, once the teams are narrowed down, which players within those clubs offer the best chance of FPL returns? Then we also have to consider who has something left to play for, be it European football, a relegation battle, the Golden Glove, the Golden Boot, a pre-retirement send-off or the final game for their club.

The Season Ticker makes picking out the teams easy – especially without having to think about the long-term consequences of the transfer, as it’s a one-week roll of the dice. 

Best fixtures for defenders

Arsenal, Burnley, Manchester City, Spurs, West Ham 

Best fixtures for attackers

Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Spurs, West Ham

Clubs fighting relegation 

Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham 

Clubs hunting European football 

Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester United, Spurs, Sheffield United, Wolves 

Players fighting for the Golden Boot

Vardy (23), Ings (21), Aubameyang (20), Salah (19) 

Players fighting for the Golden Glove

Pope (15), Ederson (14), Henderson, Alisson, Schmeichel (13)

Something special to play for 

David Silva (last league game for Man City), Willian (last potential league appearance for Chelsea)


The amount of teams with a reason to play and put out full-strength sides on the final day of the campaign actually makes transfers and Free Hit planning a challenge, as there are a number of really good options in each of the different positions. 

Goalkeepers

Currently, Nick Pope (£5.1m) leads Ederson (£6.0m) by one clean sheet in the race for the Golden Glove, although the Brazilian does have a fixture against Watford in hand as he hasn’t played yet in Gameweek 37+. 

These two goalkeepers both look like excellent picks for the final Gameweek of the season with both having favourable fixtures: Pope at home to Brighton and Ederson at home to Norwich. 

However, Pope is a full £0.9m cheaper than Ederson and therefore offers better value for money. It was also clear at the end of the last Burnley game that his teammates are fully invested in ensuring that he wins this season’s Golden Glove and this, alongside the excellent defensive run since the restart, make him a better option in my view.

However, budget limitations across the rest of the pitch may result in a need for a cheaper option between the sticks.

If ‘budget-friendly’ is a key driver this week, then Arsenal’s Emiliano Martinez (£4.4m) looks like a good option as, on paper, he has a nice fixture against Watford.

In reality, the Hornets may need something from the game to maintain their Premier League status, which might mean that the clean sheet isn’t as secure as it could be with Pope or Ederson. He will, at least, rack up the save points and he offers a really nice budget option. 

Defenders

Again, Burnley defenders look like great options, either alongside Pope or instead of him.

Erik Pieters (£4.3m), James Tarkowski (£5.4m), Phil Bardsley (£4.4m) and Kevin Long (£4.3m) are all candidates for the final Gameweek of the season and it no longer seems to be a question of ‘should I own a Burnley defender’, but more ‘how many’.

Alongside Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur have been defensively very solid since the restart. With three clean sheets in their last five matches, there is scope for picking a Spurs defender.

Serge Aurier (£5.1m) is the obvious choice with his forward runs and crosses into the box, so there is always the possibility of an assist.

However, Toby Alderweireld (£5.3m) shouldn’t be overlooked, nor should Aurier’s teammate on the opposite flank, Ben Davies (£5.3m)

Liverpool should never be ignored in terms of the defence, especially as they are so highly owned. Newcastle away will be a tricky fixture on the final day, especially as the Reds have made silly mistakes in their recent matches, but a Free Hit team without a Liverpool defender could be costly if they do manage a clean sheet. 

As for a cheap enabler, West Ham could be the go-to side for Gameweek 38+. Issa Diop (£4.3m) and Aaron Cresswell (£4.5m) both offer excellent value for money in a West Ham team that have found some form and are looking to consolidate their Premier League status for next season. 

Midfielders

This final Gameweek throws up some excellent fixtures for attacking players.

Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), Son Heung-min (£9.7m), Kevin De Bruyne (£10.7m), Bruno Fernandes (£9.1m), Raheem Sterling (£11.9m), Riyad Mahrez (£8.6m), David Silva (£7.4m), Michail Antonio (£7.1m), Anthony Martial (£8.5m), Lucas Moura (£7.0m), Sadio Mane (£12.2m) and so many more could all provide good returns this weekend and therefore choosing five from them is really difficult.

For me, Salah is the stand-out pick, with the Egypt international still in the hunt for the Golden Boot.

One of the things that we as FPL managers love about Salah is his selfishness. Sharing the Golden Boot last season will not have pleased the Egyptian and I’m sure a large part of him would love to have that accolade all to himself.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see him only a couple of goals behind Jamie Vardy (£9.7m) going into Gameweek 38+, with Salah playing Newcastle and an out-of-form Leicester facing a Champions League nailbiter against Manchester United.

Salah will undoubtedly stay in my squad for the final Gameweek, while Antonio’s rise to form has come at the perfect moment for a Free Hit team – or indeed for any FPL transfer. At a time when I am trying to construct a side that includes Salah, De Bruyne and at least two premium forwards, Antonio is a perfect pick as there is no compromise on form or fixture. 

David Silva is the romantic pick for Gameweek 38+. He has been unbelievable for Manchester City for so many years now that his final Premier League game for the club will surely bring FPL rewards. Indeed, his last two starts for the club have seen hauls of 17 and 13 points.

In his final Premier League match, versus a relegated, out-of-form, injury-hit and suspension-ravaged Norwich team, I can only see Silva going out on a high and his teammates looking for him at every opportunity.

It may be the romantic pick of the midfielders but Silva was the first player that I brought in when drafting my Free Hit team and his is one of the only names that has remained constant in every single draft.

Forwards

For most of this season, we have talked about the lack of value among premium forwards.

Injuries to Harry Kane (£10.9m) and Sergio Aguero (£11.7m) haven’t helped, of course, but their cheaper alternatives – the likes of Raul Jimenez (£8.1m), Marcus Rashford (£8.9m), Mason Greenwood (£4.8m) and Danny Ings (£7.6m) – have all been so good that it wasn’t necessary to spend the additional money.

However, in this final Gameweek, the situation is slightly different.

Kane and Aubameyang are obvious picks up top this week and both have the form and the fixtures to suggest that there could be big returns.

Aubameyang has the additional drive of rhythm and form going into the FA Cup final, whereas Kane and Spurs have remarkably positioned themselves within touching distance of European football next season.

And then there is Gabriel Jesus (£9.9m). Whilst Pep Guardiola toyed with us FPL managers when Aguero was first injured in terms of Jesus’ minutes, we have consistently seen him start and play for at least 60 minutes. In the last three matches, he has returned eight, 14 and eight FPL points.

There are, of course, other cheaper forward options this week, with Chris Wood (£6.2m), Greenwood and Eddie Nketiah (£4.3m) all looking like lovely third stiker options.

However, we shouldn’t overlook Ings who, although has a difficult fixture against a defensively solid Sheffield United in Gameweek 38+, has scored six goals since the restart. He is not only in great form but also sits just two goals behind Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot, something that will definitely motivate him heading into the final game of the season. 


Free Hit in Gameweek 38+ has provided a wealth of good options for us FPL managers and currently, my team looks like this:

There will undoubtedly be many tweaks and changes as the rest of Gameweek 37+ plays out and as I ponder on how to make my team differential enough for a final climb up the overall ranks without missing out on key ‘template’ assets. 

Moura, Martinez, Nketiah and Alexander-Arnold could easily become Son, Pope, Greenwood and van Dijk, to name but a few of the changes that may still happen.


Sam Bonfield is a member of our Pro Pundits initiative, a team of Fantasy managers here to bring you regular advice and updates on their teams. Sam has served up two top 30k finishes in the last two seasons and is currently inside the top 5k in the world.


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614 Comments Post a Comment
  1. linkafu
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Do you think Branthwaite will play GW38? What are Everton available options as central def?

    1. DandyDon
      • 1 Year
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Looks like he’s the only option. He was on the bench for my freehit team next week already.

    2. Amey
      • 1 Year
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Mina Holgate situation must be monitored i guess.
      Can be a good bench fodder

      1. linkafu
        22 days, 23 hours ago

        Saw that Carlo said they will be available next season

    3. ElliotJHP
      • 8 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Could fund me going Trent over Robbo

      1. Twitter: @Ze_Austin
        • 1 Year
        22 days, 23 hours ago

        Based on recent stats, I'm not quite sure that's an upgrade

        1. ElliotJHP
          • 8 Years
          22 days, 23 hours ago

          I know I know, but I guess I am scared of going without Trent for the first time all season

      2. Amey
        • 1 Year
        22 days, 23 hours ago

        Not want to be oversmart, but that's a downgrade on current form mate 🙂

  2. Amey
    • 1 Year
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    With only Doherty to play today, if i get a Green arrow after today's games, I'd take it 😛

    1. Old Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      So would I - but that's going to mean a Doherty 15 pointer, and that is extremely unlikely. The likelihood is that we're both going to see the red arrow(s) coming thick and fast.
      But at least you'll be in 38

      1. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        22 days, 23 hours ago

        *Ok in 38

      2. Amey
        • 1 Year
        22 days, 22 hours ago

        Yes.
        Thank you for kind words sir.
        Yesterday was a rough with smooth for me. 😀

    2. AuFeld
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Starting Doherty for GW38?

      1. Amey
        • 1 Year
        22 days, 22 hours ago

        No
        On FH mate. Will sell him for sure

  3. FantasyHero
    • 4 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Help mates.

    My team:
    Martinez ( reina)
    Aurier Egan Azpi (AWB sais)
    Sterling Willian KDB Martial (Foden)
    Auba Jimmy Greenwood

    A. Jimmy & Azpi -> kane & Digne -4, bench foden
    B. Foden & Azpi -> Dilva & robby -4 , bench greenwood
    C. Foden & AWB -> Dilva & Digne -4, bench egan and greenwood
    D. Dont take a hit.

  4. Twitter: @Ze_Austin
    • 1 Year
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Has a GK ever been so bad that he was subbed off during a game without being injured?

    I've seen some GK performances that pretty much begged for a substitution this season, which never happened

    1. Essential
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      If I was DDG last night I would fake an injury

    2. Amey
      • 1 Year
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      No need to remind me !!
      I was having a cool evening man 😀

      Google search gave me:
      https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/football/2019/jan/09/has-a-goalkeeper-ever-been-substituted-for-playing-badly

      1. Twitter: @Ze_Austin
        • 1 Year
        22 days, 23 hours ago

        Thanks!

  5. Tony Martial
    • 1 Year
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Narrowed it down (-4)

    Foden and Justin ➡️DSilva and Pieters
    Ings and Justin ➡️Jesus and Pieters
    Ings and Bruno ➡️Antonio and Auba ( playing Justin)
    Bruno or Justin ➡️Son and Mendy

    Thanks all

    1. jdp219
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      I like 1

    2. Twitter: @Ze_Austin
      • 1 Year
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Foden is the most likely nonstarter here, so he's a priority. Also, Justin can't be in your XI against Man U. This makes option A the best simply due to higher floors

      1. Tony Martial
        • 1 Year
        22 days, 23 hours ago

        Thank you both good views

    3. Amey
      • 1 Year
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      First option.

    4. linkafu
      22 days, 22 hours ago

      A

  6. jdp219
    • 3 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    2FTs, 0itb, TC (rival will FH), ML lead = 6

    Vardy, Pulisic > ...
    1) Rashford, Dilva
    2) Ings, Martial
    3) Wood, Son
    4) + Doherty > Auba, Dilva, Pieters (-4)
    5) + Jimenez > Auba, Dilva, Wood (-4)

    Pope, 3.9
    TAA, Doherty, Aurier (Saiss, Holgate)
    Salah, KDB, Bruno, Pulisic (Douglas Luiz)
    Vardy, Greenwood, Jimenez

  7. Whiskerz
    • 7 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Toying with these two iterations of my FH. Which do you prefer?

    Martinez . 3.9
    Robbo . Bardsley . Pieters . 4.0 . 3.9
    Salah . KDB . Dilva . Antonio . 4.1
    Kane . Auba . Jesus

    Or

    Martinez . 3.9
    Tierney . Bardsley . Pieters . 3.9 . 3.8
    Salah . Sterling . Dilva . Antonio . (Dendonker)
    Kane . Auba . Jesus

    Basically. Robbo and KDB
    Or
    Tierney and Sterling?

    1. Amey
      • 1 Year
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      T S
      Definitely

    2. bench boost for every gamew…
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      in contrast to amey i would say def R.K

  8. 20 Timess
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Garcia or A Burnley defender for GW 38?

    Fancy Garcia.. ( 3x city too)

    1. Essential
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Burnley def + 3 City attackers

      1. Abra Dubravka
        • 1 Year
        22 days, 23 hours ago

        This

    2. linkafu
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Tarko or Bardsley

  9. Long ago I drew a walrus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    FH

    Ederson
    TAA Tarkowski Tierney
    Salah Mane Sterling Silva Bruno
    Auba Kane Jesus

    GTG

    1. Firminoooo
      • 4 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Bench who?

    2. RamaLangaDingDong
      • 2 Years
      22 days, 20 hours ago

      Good lord - what's your TV? That team is a monster!

    3. Sun Jihai
      • 8 Years
      22 days, 20 hours ago

      Wow! Best FH team I've seen here - absolutely killer lineup

      1. Sun Jihai
        • 8 Years
        22 days, 20 hours ago

        I like the 4 City players too

      2. Tinkermania
        22 days, 20 hours ago

        Watch it get 39 points. That's fpl for you.

    4. Fred54
      • 5 Years
      22 days, 20 hours ago

      Fake news.

    5. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 6 Years
      22 days, 20 hours ago

      Nice catches

      1. Long ago I drew a walrus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        22 days, 20 hours ago

        Yeah not sure why the catches are rolling in after 2 hours

  10. Abra Dubravka
    • 1 Year
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    How am I looking - benching headache. GTG? Missing any key players?

    Pope
    TAA, Tierney, Pieters (Diop, Bardsley)
    Dilva(c), KDB, Martial, Bruno, Antonio
    Jesus, Auba (Ings)?

  11. Zim0
    • 2 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    If Auba is classed as Mid next year will you get him?

    1. Twitter: @Ze_Austin
      • 1 Year
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      1. Auba is a winger, so he'll be classed as a mid. All wingers are classed as mids. Rashford and Greenwood will join as well, with Martial moving to ST. To see proof of this, check Zaha's FPL position history

      2. There will be many premium mids next season, and it's already hard to choose: Salah, Mane, Bruno, Rashford, KDB, Sterling, Mahrez, Son (maybe, could be ST), Auba

      1. Zim0
        • 2 Years
        22 days, 23 hours ago

        I want Rashford and Aubameyang to be Mids for sure. I've asked before and people think Rashford should be a mid but because Auba played start of season at striker that he won't be changed.

        1. Zim0
          • 2 Years
          22 days, 23 hours ago

          I think they'll be first names on my team next season if they're mids

  12. Fuddled FC
    • 8 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Would you do

    KDB & Jimi > D.Silva & Aub/Kane (-4)

    Yay / nay

    1. Bruno Commando
      • 6 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Yay

  13. 20 Timess
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Do we think Foden starts 38?

    Him or Bruno? Or Martial?

    1. Bruno Commando
      • 6 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Depends on midweek line-up..

  14. Shark Team
    • 3 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    2 years there but still haven't learned how to put a profile pic 🙁

    1. Little Red Lacazette
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      gravatar.com. Set it up there.

      1. Shark Team
        • 3 Years
        22 days, 22 hours ago

        Thank you buddy, you are a life saver. Finally the shark gonna shark!

        1. Jon Walter's Hatty
          • 6 Years
          22 days, 20 hours ago

          Means you cant play like a casual anymore mind

  15. Bruno Commando
    • 6 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Quite fixed on 8 players for my FH 38. Which of these 3 will you pick?

    1) Gomez, Mahrez, Auba
    2) TAA, KDB, Antonio

    Martinez
    Pieters // Bardsley
    Martial // Dilva // Salah
    Kane // Jesus

    1. Bad Kompany
      • 2 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Could you do TAA and KDB to sterling and robbo

      1. Bruno Commando
        • 6 Years
        22 days, 22 hours ago

        Unfortunately not. I can do TAA + KDB to 6.2 defender (Gomez?) + Sterling.

    2. linkafu
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      1

  16. Bad Kompany
    • 2 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    On fh would you rather have Rashford and Mahrez or Jesus and Martial

    1. Twitter: @Ze_Austin
      • 1 Year
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Jesus and Martial

    2. Little Red Lacazette
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      B

    3. AuFeld
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      Depends on the predicted line-up for City. If both are predicted to start, Rashford and Mahrez

    4. bench boost for every gamew…
      • 3 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      on a FH i would want to have Martial, Jesus and Mahrez which i will barring any changes before kick off.

  17. Starky22
    • 1 Year
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    On freehit:

    Martinez
    Pieters Bardsley Long
    DSilva Mahrez Salah xxx xxx
    xxx Ings Kane

    A. Sterling, Auba, Guendouzi
    B. De Bruyne, Mane, Connolly

    1. Bad Kompany
      • 2 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      A

    2. RamaJama
      • 7 Years
      22 days, 22 hours ago

      A

  18. FantasyHero
    • 4 Years
    22 days, 23 hours ago

    Who is more essential for gw38+
    Dilva or Kane?

    1. FantasyHero
      • 4 Years
      22 days, 23 hours ago

      If i bring in Dilva, I'll bench greenwood
      If i bring in Kane, I'll bench foden

  19. The Red Devil
    • 5 Years
    22 days, 22 hours ago

    My ml rival has kdb & foden currently as city cover, it means I should definitely at least keep kdb on my FH right? Thinking triple city with dilva kdb & sterling/Jesus

    1. linkafu
      22 days, 22 hours ago

      Keep KDB

  20. linkafu
    22 days, 22 hours ago

    GW38+ BB active , 1FT 0.2 itb but have Button and Holgate out.

    A) Holgate to Bardsley free but no 2nd keeper

    B) Holgate and Button to Branthwaite and Reina for - 4 full team

    1. Jet5605
      • 5 Years
      22 days, 20 hours ago

      My theory is that defensive/GK hits aren't worth it on BB unless they are OOP and looking good for attacking returns.

  21. Statsson
    • 1 Year
    22 days, 22 hours ago

    if I use the free hit, can I confirm a few transfers now, and a few others later this week - i.e. use it in a few goes instead of one go? if it's only possible in one-go then I'll need to wait until very last minute which I'd like to avoid. Help please 🙂

  22. bigdip
    • 8 Years
    22 days, 20 hours ago

    TC choices for GW 38:
    A) KDB
    B) Jesus
    C) Dilva
    D) Mane
    E) Kane

    1. Jet5605
      • 5 Years
      22 days, 20 hours ago

      Ask the question after we see how many minutes they get this week

  23. BOB@2005
    21 days, 13 hours ago

    For GW38+
    Who should I remove out of martial and Bruno?
    And should I replace him with sterling or salah?
    (If I bring in salah I have to remove Bruno cause of cash)

    1. garriq
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      20 days, 22 hours ago

      Keeping Martial and bringing in either seems like the right call.. Sterling has been on fire, but could be rotation risk. Salah seems more nailed. That said, Bruno and Sterling seem like a better pairing than Salah and Martial but not by much..

  24. garriq
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    20 days, 22 hours ago

    Final week... worst time to be indecisive so i turn to you.. the community!

    Final 2 are only separated by about 5 points. My opponent has FH, and I have Triple Capt. 3 questions

    1) Worth 4 points?

    2) Transfers: )
    1 - Vardy, Pulisic out - Kane, and (6.5m Mid) in - Thinkinig Trezeguet
    2 - Vardy, TAA out - Kane, and VVD in
    3 - Vardy, Pulisic out - Jesus, Antonio in

    3) Trip Capt.
    Options:
    a) KDB
    b) (D)ilva
    c) Jesus
    d) Kane
    e) Bruno

    Any input is appreciated!

  25. CallmeCrim
    18 days, 23 hours ago

    I need some advice! Is it worth going Auba -> Kane? It will mean going -4, but I've stuck with Auba for weeks now and got nothing in return.

    My team for the week is:

    Pope
    Stevens, Tarkowski, Aurier
    Soucek, D Silva, Salah, De Bruyne
    Jesus, Greenwood, Aubameyang