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. Leif Erikson-Formerly of La…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Peaky Blinders North London Lillywhites news?

  2. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Likelihood on Villa-Spurs being played on wednesday?
    I say 10%

    1. Leif Erikson-Formerly of La…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      31.7% imo

      1. markus808
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        I get xVillaVsSpurs 32.33% I'm using Opta.

    2. DA Minnion
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      0%

    3. Egg noodle
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Considering there are 7 days in a week, the likelihood of the game being played on Wednesday is 14%

      1. markus808
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        That's a nice alternative fact, I take it, I cling to it!

  3. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    No chance Villa game goes ahead right?

    1. Forever In Our Shadow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Zzzzzz

  4. SHOOTER MCGINN
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Any news on villa spurs?

    1. Forever In Our Shadow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Zzzzzz

  5. markus808
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Was there supposed to be any news about Villa-Spurs today, or people just asking? Ok, considering the time, then I guess it is just people asking.

    1. Leif Erikson-Formerly of La…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Do you know something? Any news?

    2. Forever In Our Shadow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Zzzzzzz

  6. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Even if the Villa game takes place, theres no chance the main players play that game right, thats for certain?

    1. Weeb Kakashi
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Zzzzzz

  7. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    DDG, Rashford, Bruno, Dias, Cancel and KDB on gw18 WC?

    1. Egg noodle
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Yes, except DDG

    2. CBonci
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Not crazy about DDG. The rest, yes

  8. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Tuanzebe to play if both Bailly and Lindelof are out?

    1. Gobigorgohome
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      yes

  9. Baps hunter
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    It is absolutely certainly OFF.

    I have Dier, Son and Kane with no FH 28 strategy. Stars are aligned against me this season. Spurs match was and naturally will be cancelled. My team is linked and do read "Rough and rough after rough" topics. They are hulked. If you don't believe me, check the crystal ball or use tea łeaves.

  10. Inazuma X1
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Will there be a United presser before GW18 deadline?

    1. Forever In Our Shadow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      Probably Monday or Tuesday.

  11. GenerationalTalent
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 18 days ago

    Is Luke Shaw likely to start against Burnley?

    1. Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 18 days ago

      He's injured

      1. GenerationalTalent
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 18 days ago

        Damn. Maguire it is I guess

    2. COVID-CASUAL
        1 month, 18 days ago

        Literally a tweet saying he’s injured posted here just minutes ago. I’m not sure what further info you expect to be available?

        1. GenerationalTalent
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          I didn’t know about that or that he was injured mate, I literally just logged on, read the article, and asked a question. Thanks tho

    3. COVID-CASUAL
        1 month, 18 days ago

        Honestly think Villa-Spurs is more likely to be on than off.

        Theory: It’s not the number of cases at the club that determines the decisions, it’s the time to retest and clear the non-infected players and isolated them from the infected. That is, the risk proceeding with the game risks more players.

        At least that’s how a competent league would run things. Would probably also be about 1 millions times more transparent about these processes.

        Also more cynically - the fixtures are piling up, and at the rate it’s going, the entire country is going to have the virus by the end of next week anyway.

        1. Egg noodle
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          Go on then, explain the cancelled man city game then.

          1. COVID-CASUAL
              1 month, 18 days ago

              The Man City outbreak happened the same day as the fixture. The Villa stuff is like a week out.

        2. Gudjohnsen
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          If you were wc-ing now before gw18, who would be in your team except for City and United aasets?

          1. Inazuma X1
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Barry Douglas

          2. S.Kuqi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Bamford, Coufal, Holding,Soucek,Cresswell

          3. Karhumies
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Depends on your chip strategy: BB19 vs TC19 vs no chip?

            Leeds and West Ham DGW19 enablers. Arsenal BGW18 enablers. Forwards are a mess because Kane does not have double fixture, ManU is expected to rotate a lot, Aguero not going to play all three 18-19 matches IMO. Vardy injured.

            Lacazette/Kane, DCL, Silva/Antonio/Watkins/Wilson?

            Smith-Rowe/Saka/Raphinha/Harrison/Neto, Soucek

            Dallas/Alioski, Coufal, Tierney/Holding

            Leno, Areola

        3. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          So will the Southampton game move to BGW18 or nah?

          1. JBG
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Yes, no, maybe, who knows?

          2. Gobigorgohome
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            nobody know

        4. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 18 days ago

          I know it’s midnight but I’ve just woken up in a cold sweat, crippling anxiety

          Does ANYONE have an update on the villa V spurs game ?

        5. yanky
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          Digne on FH anyone? comments are hes fit and ready to play

          DDG
          Tierney Cancelo ____
          cant be arsenal, city or united (3 max already) so thinking Digne or Saiss...

        6. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          Has anyone on here thought of the possibility of Aston Villa vs Spurs being called off due to Villa’s covid outbreak? Just dawned upon me

          1. Gobigorgohome
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            this is the first time i hear about it

            1. Forever In Our Shadow
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Wow. Really?

        7. Ajax Hamsterdam
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          A lindelof
          B AWB

          On WC

          Thanks

          1. Inazuma X1
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            A is injured so B

            1. Ajax Hamsterdam
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Isn't he fit again ?

              1. Inazuma X1
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                No injured again

                1. Ajax Hamsterdam
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  My bad . Thanks

        8. Aztec Kamara
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          What would you do with AVL players (Martinez Grealish) on a WC?
          Looking most likely the W18 game will be cancelled, but more chance they’ll keep the double in 19 so worth keeping in anyway?

          1. S.Kuqi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            I'll probably keep Martinez have no gk in gw18

            1. Aztec Kamara
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Yep was thinking the same - but also might get Leno (say) to play in 18.

        9. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          Is Holgate nailed?

          1. Camzy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            With Digne and Coleman both back I don't think so.

            Think the first choice back line is Coleman Keane Mina Digne.

            1. Inazuma X1
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Holgate played CB last game with Keane on the bench though

              Keane played CB in FA cup with Holgate rested

        10. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 18 days ago

          I’ve just accepted I probably won’t sleep again until I hear about villa spurs

        11. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 18 days ago

          Any def upto 4.8 who can help me navigate both the blank and the double?

          1. Mr. O'Connell
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            No defenders that have 3 games are any good at that price. Holding goes (CPL, NEW) if that's good enough for you?

            1. Inazuma X1
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              I have Holding. Don't think Mari will play with Gabriel back.

              Hmm

            2. SalahMane Rush T
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Cancelo, Dias, Stones?

              1. SalahMane Rush T
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                ignore that!

          2. S.Kuqi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Holding and Lindelöf if not injured

            1. Inazuma X1
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Lindelof was my top pick but he's injured now. And I have Holding.

          3. COVID-CASUAL
              1 month, 18 days ago

              It was Lindelof and Shaw until one hour ago 🙁

              With AV probably off but maybe still on, I guess there’s only one answer...

              Charlie Taylor is back in everyones radar baby! 3 games in 2GWs!

              I’ve got double Arsenal defense - accident not design. I think could do worse over the next few weeks tho.

          4. Forever In Our Shadow
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            This is worse than an IB

            1. Baps hunter
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Well, it looks like it's getting even worse 🙁

              1. Baps hunter
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                According to Sky news this new strain has R-number that is 1.75x higher than on spring. If that is correct, things won't get any better without much more strict Wuhan-style measures.

            2. Bielsa's Blue Bucket
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              An igloo breaking at this time of year is particularly frustrating, agreed.

              1. Baps hunter
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                They have a lot of snow in Madrid, not many igloos yet, I think.

          5. Bielsa's Blue Bucket
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            What's all this about the villa vs spurs game curing the virus?

          6. Inazuma X1
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Safe to get Coleman now?

            1. Bielsa's Blue Bucket
              • 9 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Now there's a word we haven't heard for a long time

              1. The Mighty One
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                That’s a nice Ben Kenobi reference.

          7. Inazuma X1
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            FPL has flagged Bailly but hasn't flagged Pogba, Shaw or Lindelof

            1. FPL.team
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Probably because he went off today. I imagine they'll catch up with Oles quotes tomorrow.

          8. Labile
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 18 days ago

            Tony rising tonight

            1. Baps hunter
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              You must be a very happy man!

              1. Labile
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Bahahahahahaha

          9. COVID-CASUAL
              1 month, 18 days ago

              Ok, having googled for 5 mins I don’t think there’s much in the Shaw/Lindelof/Pogba injury news.

              They could be significant injuries.

              But all three could be niggles they’d otherwise play through. Injury = rested, in this case. This would especially make sense with Lindelof.

            • The VAR Team
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 18 days ago

              game Villa the is Spurs on?

              1. Homer21
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Square root of 4 is 2

                1. ALI_G
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  or minus 2

                  only half marks for you!

                  1. The Ilfordian
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 18 days ago

                    Presume he was referring to principal square root related to real numbers

                    https://www.quora.com/Why-cant-the-square-root-of-4-be-2-instead-of-2-if-2-times-2-also-equals-4

              2. Arctic monkeys
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                Drunk how you are ?

                1. Homer21
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  Yoda, is that you?

            • Baps hunter
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 18 days ago

              There is still time for another covid outbreak to happen 🙁 I have no idea how high the risk is, but this is getting more and more difficult even with playing bench. Time to spread the money and risk I guess. On the other hand playing safe is not usually best strategy when chasing.

              1. ALI_G
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 18 days ago

                yeah I think decent bench is important

                I actually think 2 playing GK is worthwhile and at least 2 decent outfield subs

                I have Meslier as a second keeper and has come in handy already

              2. COVID-CASUAL
                  1 month, 18 days ago

                  I’ve had a full bench all season (2nd GK and 2-3 active subs every GW). It’s a positive move for chasing IMO. Getting 10-11 out instead of 7-8 if there’s late postponements is golden