Scout Squad

The Scout Squad’s best players for FPL Blank Gameweek 18

The Scout Squad are back to pick their best players for Blank Gameweek 18.

The assets listed will then be narrowed down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83.0m) for the weekly Scout Picks selection ahead of the FPL deadline at 16:30 GMT on Tuesday.

In each writer’s squad, there are requirements for at least:

  • One goalkeeper costing £5.0m or less
  • One sub-£5.0m defender
  • One midfielder listed at £6.5m or below
  • One forward priced at £7.5m or lower

Each panelist is also restricted to no more than three players from the same team, as is the case in FPL.

We will again be adding a captaincy to the Scout Picks, with details of that revealed on Tuesday.

TomAndyGeoffDavid *
GKDavid de GeaKarl DarlowBernd LenoKarl Darlow
Karl DarlowHugo LlorisRui PatrícioNick Pope
Aaron RamsdaleAaron RamsdaleNick PopeVicente Guaita
DEFRúben DiasJoão CanceloJoão CanceloKieran Tierney
João CanceloHarry MaguireAaron Wan-BissakaJoão Cancelo
Kieran TierneyKeiran TierneyKieran TierneyRomain Saïss
Romain SaïssRomain SaissRomain SaïssHarry Maguire
Ciaran ClarkSergio ReguilónChris BashamFederico Fernández
MIDKevin De BruyneBruno FernandesBruno FernandesKevin De Bruyne
Bruno FernandesKevin De BruyneKevin De BruyneBruno Fernandes
Marcus RashfordRaheem SterlingRaheem SterlingMarcus Rashford
Son Heung-minMarcus RashfordMarcus RashfordIlkay Gündogan
Bukayo SakaBukayo SakaPedro NetoEmile Smith Rowe
FWDHarry KaneAlexandre LacazetteAlexandre LacazetteAlexandre Lacazette
Alexandre LacazetteHarry KaneDominic Calvert-LewinCallum Wilson
Callum WilsonCallum WilsonDavid McGoldrickFabio Silva
Dominic Calvert-LewinOllie WatkinsCallum WilsonChristian Benteke
David McGoldrickChris WoodChris WoodChris Wood

TOM SAID

With eight teams blanking in Gameweek 18 I’ve tripled up on four sides in my selections.

Investing in Manchester City looks an obvious tactic, as they host Brighton and Hove Albion. They are clearly the best defensive play this week so a double-up makes sense, with just three goals conceded in their last 12 games in all competitions. Albion tend to defend pretty well from open-play, but given how poor they are at marking corners, I’ve called up one of City’s biggest aerial threats Rúben Dias and dead-ball specialist Kevin De Bruyne. João Cancelo also looks like an excellent option, having really shone on the right with Kyle Walker out of action. When in possession he’s taking up some really nice advanced positions, too.

Manchester United travel to Burnley so David de Gea, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford get the nod. The Red Devils are now unbeaten in 10 in the league, and have done well in previous seasons at Turf Moor. Having scored against Aston Villa last time out, Fernandes now has seven goals and assists across his last six games, while Rashford is yet to blank on the road this term.

I’ve also taken three from Arsenal: Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette. I really like Tierney in a back four, while Saka is a nice enabler with so many premium picks selected. Lacazette has stepped up his output too, scoring five goals in his last four outings. He now has the highest xG within the club this season, and is converting at an impressive 30.4%, comfortably the highest at Arsenal. 

Meanwhile, I’ve also turned to Newcastle United, via Karl Darlow, Ciaran Clark and Callum Wilson. Their opponents, Sheffield United, are still winless after 17 games, making the worst start in Premier League history by collecting just two points. At the back, Darlow has been one of Steve Bruce’s better performers, while Clark carries a bit of threat from set-pieces. Further forward, if they are to find the back of the net, it’s highly likely Wilson will be involved. 

However, I don’t fully trust Newcastle, so in a week where our player pool is vastly reduced, I’ve also opted for Aaron Ramsdale and David McGoldrick.

Despite it looking increasingly likely Aston Villa’s match against Tottenham Hotspur will be postponed, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane have the potential to do well if it does go ahead, while Romain Saiss and Dominic Calvert-Lewin complete the picks.

ANDY SAID

Some of the players in the squad this week pick themselves by virtue of there only being six fixtures to pick from. 

With the opposition they face it seems foolish not to target at least three players from each of Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal. 

There are of course other players to consider as well. It’s tricky to call Wolves v Everton. I expected the Wolves v Brighton game to be close in Gamweek 17 and there ended up being six goals. 

Regardless of clean sheet potential there’s hope for Romain Saiss who’s back in the team as he’s had seven shots in the box over the last four Gameweeks, two more than the second place Harry Maguire with five.

Bruno Fernandes continues to deliver key underlying numbers to back up his returns. Only Anwar El Ghazi has had more total shots (18), than the Manchester United talisman (16) over the last four weeks. 

With 14 chances created, Fernandes is second in that metric only to Jack Grealish. With nine shots inside the box in the same time and penalties in his locker there’s no doubt more returns against Burnley to come.

While most non-free hitters will likely opt for double Manchester City defence over attack for the long term play, if I was free hitting this week or indeed picking a squad for an article then I’d look at double attack instead. 

Kevin De Bruyne (3.31) and Raheem Sterling (2.74) are in the top 5 players for expected goal involvement over the last four weeks. It’s worth mentioning that Fernandes, El Ghazi and Chris Wood make up the other three spots who are all playing in Gameweek 18.

Looking at the last four Gameweeks Keiran Tierney (11) has only been beaten by Luke Shaw (12) for chances created. The only reason I’ve included Maguire over Shaw is because I can’t be completely reliant on minutes with Alex Telles waiting in the winds. 

Tierney and Arsenal are on somewhat of a resurgence over the last few games, with three wins on the bounce they play a Crystal Palace side who are on an average of 1.51 expected goals conceded so far this season, as bad as Sheffield United.

GEOFF SAID

I have serious doubts over the status of the Aston Villa v Tottenham game on Wednesday, and have therefore left out two players I would certainly look at if the game does go ahead, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.

Including the pair would have helped me avoid picking
defenders who play against my attackers, as I’ve looked to include
no more than three players from each team.

Midfield looks like the place to score points this week and a 3-5-2
formation might be optimal. I’ve gone for Bruno Fernandes
and Kevin De Bruyne as my headline picks with penalties and high goal involvement for their sides.

Raheem Sterling has attacking returns in four straight, and
Marcus Rashford has scored five goals in seven. I’ve opted for Pedro Neto as my cheaper option.

Allowed one more from both City and United I look to João Cancelo and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Elsewhere, Kieran Tierney has both form and fixture, while Romain Saïss has an eye for goal.

Sheffield United haven’t had a clean sheet all season but I think this is the week that Chris Basham returns points.

Alexandre Lacazette has four goals in three Gameweeks and has more than twice as many goals as any other Arsenal player; I expect him to score again at home to Crystal Palace.

I’m ignoring Kane and Watkins and have three City and three United already, so look to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has attacking returns in all but four fixtures this season.

David McGoldrick might seem a strange pick but I agree with
RateMyTeam, where he sits third for forwards this Gameweek; a look at his
incredible goal involvement for Sheffield United tells the story here and if the Blades do score, he’ll likely be involved.

I am then left with Callum Wilson and Chris Wood, two players who play against defenders I’ve picked but two players who will likely be involved in goals, if their teams score.

At the back, Bernd Leno is my top goalkeeper this week, with Rui Patricio and Nick Pope serving as possibly-able backups, though
they play against players I’ve picked in attack.

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786 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Black Knights
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 17 days ago

    Play up Pompey!

  2. brianutd-why always we? 20
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 17 days ago

    Cmon Utd

    1. Labile
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Let’s get this win hope Bruno doesn’t play though

      1. brianutd-why always we? 20
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Yes and Rashford too. Ighalo and VDB should play with Mata etc

        1. brianutd-why always we? 20
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Yep pretty accurate apart from Ighalo

          1. Labile
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            What a team!

  3. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 17 days ago

    if i end up using my free hit I can't see myself wasting my time with sheff utd or newcastle players

    1. Fred54
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      And Arsenal.

    2. Black Knights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Who would your 4 man GK and def be? 2x City, United, Arsenal and...?

      1. Black Knights
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Oh that is 4. My bad!

    3. Pep bites Kun
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Wilson v Shu not tempting at all?

  4. Flynny
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 17 days ago

    Is callum Wilson an injury doubt for midweek??

    1. Black Knights
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Not playing as a ‘precaution’, whatever that means. Bruce may tell us more after.

    2. brianutd-why always we? 20
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      They hope he is ok apparently

  5. Right In The Stanchion
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Aubamayang was better when he played on the wing.

      1. Black Knights
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Before he signed the ting.

      2. brianutd-why always we? 20
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Done very little today

    • zotter
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Did two early transfers to have 8 players and save FH. However three of them are villa / spurs .... even if the game is on don’t know if Grealish and Martinez are isolating. Looks like FH (unless another game falls away)

      1. Henrik Larsson
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 17 days ago

        I'm in similar situation but still thinking I'll try to keep FH if I can. Might take some more hits to get rid of Villa players and set me up for BB DGW19. Even if I free hit I'll be back with them for GW19 and I've a feeling they will get 2 x games postponed like Fulham did.

        Might even take -12 (3 hits) to give me 7 players this week and keep my FH for later when I can use it for the doubles that will likely come.

    • Warby84
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      On Wildcard

      Pope (Martinez)
      Cancelo Dias Fernandez Tierney (Soucek)
      De Bruyne Fernandes Rashford Smith-Rowe (Soucek)
      Lacazette Wilson (Bamford)

      If Salah goes down to 12.5 I will bring in Dallas, otherwise I’ll stick with F.Fernandez.

      Got Martinez for 4.5 so likely to move Pope on after dbl...

      Bench Smith Rowe/Wilson/F.Fernandez GW19

      3m itb rashford/Lacazette to Ings/SalahTC -4

      1. George James
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        TC Salah over KDB?

        1. dylano21
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Like KDB more as Salah for TC

      2. dylano21
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        I'm also on WC.

        I have Pope over Leno, See more points in 2 games for Leno as in 3 for Pope. Also have Martinez

        I Have AWB, Coufal, Saiss for Tierney (like this pick), Fernandez and ...

        I have Neto for Smith-rowe ( Rotation risk )

        Same Front 3.

        Will do Wilson to Watkins/Adams/ Antonio on gw19 and bb.

        Like the Team overall

        1. Warby84
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          ESM price is ridiculous

    • Jimbo-Jones
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      FH draft if Spurs game is cancelled. Thoughts? 0.1 itb.

      Darlow
      Tierney Cancelo Wan-B
      Bruno Rash KDB Sterling Saka
      Lacazette Wilson

      Clark Mitchell Davis

      1. brianutd-why always we? 20
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Wilson might be a doubt. Try 4-5-1 formation

        1. Silecro
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          And now we just need Lacazette to become a doubt, 4-6-0 formation

    • Labile
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Bruno KDB Cancelo Stones Mitchell Burke and could take a -4 for Rashford or a United defender

      I’m starting to think that would be enough.. I have 4 from Villa Spurs. Enough or should I FH?

      1. brianutd-why always we? 20
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        My gut feeling is that COVID could be even worse when the next DGW and BGW are due. Use FH now you need it IMO

      2. Henrik Larsson
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 17 days ago

        That's enough for me. The FH squads I've seen don't fill me with dread of doing something similar.

      3. Mr. O'Connell
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Scout picks look absolutely crap tbf (just lack of options). City and Bruno aside, i don't think there are many standout options.

    • ChickenTikkaMoSalah
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Would you FH this team:
      Martinez
      Dias,Stones,Kilman
      KDB,Bruno
      DCL,Brewster

      1. Henrik Larsson
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 17 days ago

        No way

      2. dylano21
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Yes

    • tambourineman
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Man Utd XI: Henderson, Williams, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Telles; McTominay, van de Beek; Mata, Lingard, James; Greenwood.

      Substitutes: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Matic, Fred, Fernandes, Martial, Rashford, Ighalo.

      1. Duke Silver ☑
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Finally Bruno gets a rest.

        1. JBG
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Don't like that Bailly is starting, he should be first pick along side Maguire going forward.

        2. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Only till they're 2 down at half time.

      2. Daniel - WC Active
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        It was obvious after those Ole comments

      3. diesel001
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Love that Man Utd are playing the second string (other than McTominay).

    • Daniel - WC Active
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Auba is not fair. He got so much money and now he simply doesn't play

      1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Özil syndrome

        1. tambourineman
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          I think Willian might have it as well

          1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            No doubt

      2. diesel001
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Seems to struggle in this system.

        He isn't good enough at holding the ball up or working the channels to lead the line on his own (i.e. can't do a Vardy). But if you stick him on the left he leaves Arsenal exposed defensively their left side and so they concede.

      3. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        One last payday obtained

        He’s comfortable now. Another ageing player on a massive contract

        It’s as if arsenal don’t learn

    • Duke Silver ☑
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Andy Carroll throwing a trantrum like a 3 year old child.

    • Worsle90
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Thoughts on this?

      McCarthy
      Mitchell, Mee, Holding
      KDB, Bruno, Son, Salah, Saka
      Antonio, Vardy

      Nyland, Struijk, Amartey, Brewster

      £0.1m in bank

      1. Fulchester's New Centr…
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Bit more background please

        1. Worsle90
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          I’m currently on Zaha and DCL instead of Salah and Antonio with £3.8m ItB. Worth making those transfers?

    • Slitherene
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      A) Kane, Watkins -> Martial, Jesus
      B) Salah, Watkins -> Sterling, Richarlison

      Which option to punt on?

      1. Worsle90
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Can’t count on Jesus minutes or Martial form so B for me. Or stick.

      2. Warby84
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        B and bring Salah back for 19

      3. dylano21
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Like B

      4. Fulchester's New Centr…
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        B becuae of what Worsle said

    • drughi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      safe to play the FH now ? no more news other then villa

      1. Fulchester's New Centr…
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Not safe yet, who knows what tomorrow will bring

    • Right In The Stanchion
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Great keeping from Leno

      • Right In The Stanchion
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Red Smith Rowe

        • g40steve
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          ESR RED

        • Black Knights
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Smith-Rowe red. 18 in tatters.

          1. Black Knights
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Smith-Rowe yellow. 18 alive.

        • waldo666
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Can't believe Newcastle didn't score there!

        • Right In The Stanchion
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Should be overturned

          • drughi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            never a red that

            1. Pasqualinho
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              VAR wins this time. You can’t referee a game on how loud players scream.

          • davewg59
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            If youve done 3 tfrs for a -4, can you then change to a free hit instead?

            1. Jimmers
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Yes

              1. davewg59
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                What happens to the tfrs ive made?

                1. Black Knights
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 17 days ago

                  They won’t exist next week.

          • leo_messi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            WC draft if AVL - Spurs game is cancelled.

            DDG*
            Cancelo* - Stones* - Holding - Mitchell
            KDB* - Bruno* - Rashford* - Smith Rowe
            Lacazette - Wilson

            subs: Forster - Salah* - Bamford* - Dallas*

            0.0 itb

            GW19 - Wilson -> Antonio* and KDB/Salah TC with 0.3 ITB (gives me Son for Rashford GW20 or 21).Any thoughts?

          • Flynny
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Is Shaw the best United defender on free hit given rested tonight?

            Or play safe with awb or maguire

            Thanks

            1. waldo666
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Play it safe, imo.

            2. WE GO FOR IT
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Should start. Ole prefers him I guess.

              AWB/Maguire is a safer bet though. If you have the cash, go AWB or Harry. If not, Shaw is fine.

              1. Flynny
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                I'll play safe if can afford....

          • FFS Ultras are for Kinnear
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Tactical masterclass from Arteta and Bruce.
            Mourinho, Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis should take note

          • Bishopool
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Who would you rather start (other one benched)?

            a) Watkins (home TOT)
            b) DCL (away Wolves)

            1. waldo666
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              b

            2. WE GO FOR IT
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              B

              Not sure whether A's game is on or no!

              1. Salarrivederci
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                And even if A's game is on A is not gonna take part in it 😉

                1. WE GO FOR IT
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 17 days ago

                  If Villa game is on, that means the first team is playing. So, he should play.

          • dunas_dog
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            With Dubravka’s performance tonight no certainty that Darlow starts v Crystal Palace I guess.....

            1. waldo666
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Was just thinking similar, I think Darlow is safe for now though.

              1. Flynny
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                Can't see him dropping darrow who has been outstanding all season based on this

          • The Train Driver
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Arsenal look terrible again, form didn't last long...

            1. Gobigorgohome
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Form is temporary
              Class is permanant
              😉

            2. Salarrivederci
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Not gonna go with ESR on WC now.
              Think he has looked poor after being subbed on.

              1. The Train Driver
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                Saka seems enough

                1. Salarrivederci
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 17 days ago

                  Might take a 1 week punt on Lacazette before moving him to Antonio and upgrading Rash to Mané/Salah

            3. TheDragon
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Tierney & Saka look good

              The rest look abysmal