Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Gameweek 2, don’t forget the new normal deadline of 11:00 BST – half an hour earlier than last season.
Captain set? Transfers made?
Before delving into the nitty-gritty of the best advice for the next round of matches, we received a welcome reminder this week on how to enjoy FPL.
If you find yourself clicking a little too often on transfers page, Community Member and Mindfulness trainer DomWatts23 explained why:
We get a dopamine hit released in our brain every time we look at our team and remember that we might be rewarded in the future for those players doing well this weekend.– Dom Watts
Which is of course exactly what we want but, realistically, doesn’t always happen.
Dom’s thoughtful article is full of tips that help put FPL in perspective, and could possibly improve your decision-making process.
And remember, even the best can have a bad Gameweek, as three-time top-200 finisher Lateriser proved with a below-average 43 points. Well, he wouldn’t be called ‘Late Riser’ if he didn’t start slowly. Reflecting on his pre-season decisions, the Pro Pundit considered:
Being stubborn will not make you a good FPL player. You have to respond to what you see on that television screen.– Lateriser
It’s an exciting Gameweek with both Manchester clubs returning to action following their opening blank, and let’s not forget Aston Villa and Burnley too. Man United-fan Lateriser is sensing an opportunity to give Anthony Martial (£9.0m) the armband.
Although writing in Captain Sensible, Jan Sienkiewicz identified a weakness on Crystal Palace’s right flank that could be exploited by Marcus Rashford (£9.5m).
Encouragingly for Man United backers, the latest clean sheets odds provided by G-Whizz reveal that the Eagles are the team most likely to concede in Gameweek 2.
However, double-points king Jan notes that the safe captain pick is the popular Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£12.0m):
We can trust Aubameyang, who has been in fantastic goalscoring form over recent months and does have the underlying statistics, as well as penalties, to back it up.– Jan
Arsenal entertain West Ham this weekend and, reflecting on the Hammers’ home defeat to Newcastle, David struck an ominous tone in the Best Captain video:
It’s quite rare to see a team get – I don’t want to say played off the park – but Newcastle were in full control of that game and I can’t remember the last time I really saw Newcastle be in control of a game and be on the front foot.– David
One person who no doubt enjoyed that win was Neale. This week, our resident Geordie cast his eye over the statistics from Gameweek 1 in his latest Big Numbers offering. Among the many pearls highlighted was the frailty of the newly-promoted defences:
2.83 expected goals conceded (xGC) by West Bromwich Albion in Gameweek 1, the worst total in the division. In fact, the three newly promoted clubs had the worst xGC tallies in the first round of 2020/21 matches, with Leeds United (2.76) and Fulham (1.97) not far behind.– Neale
That could be good news for owners of Everton players, with the Baggies visiting Goodison Park in the early kickoff.
The Toffees topped Pro Pundit Andy’s Gameweek 1 take-aways: underestimated following a series of sub-par performances during Project Restart, Andy noted how the arrival of midfield trio Allan (£5.5m), Abdoulaye Doucouré (£5.5m) and James Rodríguez (£7.5m) transformed their attack.
Calvert-Lewin will get the plaudits for the goal (and what a header it was), but Richarlison (£8.0m) was brilliant. He managed seven shots, with five of them in the box and his non-penalty expected goals (nPxG) was 0.74, not a bad start. He’ll be a hard sell because of the extra £1m he costs over Calvert-Lewin, but he could be a shrewd pick for the next three fixtures.– Andy on Everton
Although investing heavily in Carlo Ancelotti’s troops might be tricky without a Wildcard, especially with the Manchester clubs back on the menu. Pro Pundit Zophar weighed up the Pros and Cons of making wholesale changes to your squad this early in the season.
Depending on the make-up of your team, you may want to act fast to take advantage of low-owned players from Manchester City as well capitalising on the appealing fixtures for Everton and Manchester United. Although, typically cautious in nature, Zophar ultimately prefers to wait until he has a little more data to go on and the transfer window is closed.
However, rumour has it that his fellow member of the FPL Wire, BigManBakar, has pushed the button ahead of Gameweek 2. Does this mean he’s sold Salah? His latest Gameweek review suggests he might have:
I would be more tempted to sell Salah however, if I was on a wildcard because that would have meant that I could have upgraded elsewhere easily. And I think that might be a smart strategy, because this is where the concept of VORP (value over replacement player) comes into play and if you are unlikely to captain Salah in the next four (che ARS avl eve) that ploy might be fruitful.– BigManBakar
If you are looking for further encouragement to play the early Wildcard, Pro Pundit Tom Freeman was on hand with a selection of enticing differentials. Raheem Sterling led the way with nine goals during Project Restart:
Five of his nine double-digit hauls arrived following the resumption, which ensured he outscored teammate Kevin De Bruyne (£11.5m) by 86 FPL points to 73.– Tom on Raheem Sterling
And a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers is not necessarily such a bad fixture for the Englishman, argues Tom:
Sterling also thrived on his travels – 70% of his league goals arrived during away games, while his 26 big chances in such matches was comfortably more than any other player.– Tom on Raheem Sterling
The Aston Villa fan also ran the rule over the Villans’ new striker Ollie Watkins (£6.0m):
Amazingly, every single one of [his] 26 goals came from open play and, when you exclude penalties, Watkins scored more league goals than any other player in English football last season.– Tom on Ollie Watkins
A partnership with Jack Grealish could bear fruit, and Tom suggests the time to invest might be Gameweek 6 when the fixture ticker turns blue for Dean Smith’s men.
This week’s Scoutcast featured former FPL winner and Pro Pundit Simon March. Despite concerns about their defence, one player who caught the eye of the Chelsea fan was Reece James (£5.0):
We saw the goal last night, I watched that back without the crowd noise and just the sound it makes when it leaves his boot – it was like a sonic boom! Just an absolute pile driver of a shot.– Simon on Reece James
With new signings like Timo Werner (£9.5m) and Kai Havertz (£8.5m) to get on the end of his deliveries, Simon feels that £5.0m could be a steal. And, excluding his goal, Neale pointed out that the 20-year-old could benefit from the bonus points system:
20 baseline bonus points (BBPS) registered by Reece James on Monday night, the joint-highest total in Gameweek 1. Baseline BPS is simply a player’s BPS score with all the appearances, goals, assists and clean sheets stripped away.– Neale on Reece James
Another defender who posed a goal-threat on the opening weekend was Matt Doherty (£6.0m). Spurs were rightly criticised for their defeat to Everton but the former Wolves player made a couple of encouraging “underlapping” runs into the box: the best resulting in a glorious chance from six yards out that Jordan Pickford (£5.0m) blocked with his legs.
Before making any final decisions ahead of Gameweek 2 be sure to check up on the latest team news and the predicted line-ups.
Pep Guardiola has revealed that Sergio Aguero and Aymeric Laporte will miss out this weekend:
Meanwhile Frank Lampard has confirmed that Timo Werner is fit to face the reigning Champions.
The Head-to-Head leagues are back! The Gameweek 1 results and tables are currently showing on the main Head-to-Head page.
The fixtures for Gameweek 2 are below:
This is your last opportunity to join The Great and The Good mini-league, the entry code is jxisbl.
And Greyhead is also recruiting for a Community Team to take on the established glitterati. Put your name forward in this Hot Topic if you are interested in taking part.
For an update on all featured FFS Mini-Leagues and Community Competitions, please click here to read the latest round-up.
Finally, Pro Pundit Sam brought us the latest on the Scout Network, a new initiative this season, highlighting both new and established voices in the FPL Community.
Enjoy Gameweek 2 and may your arrows be green!