Tips

The Complete Guide to Scout’s tips, advice and best Free Hit squads for FPL Gameweek 18

Welcome to the Fantasy Football Scout Guide to Blank Gameweek 18 ahead of today’s 16:30 GMT deadline.

The most important skills to cultivate as a Fantasy Premier League manager is flexibility.

Pro Pundit Sam hit the nail on the head when discussing her plans for the upcoming matches.

The 2020/21 season continues to present challenges – the goalposts moved once again yesterday with more changes to the fixture schedule. But do those changes present us with an opportunity?

Let’s take a look at Legomané’s latest fixture ticker.

This has been updated following Aston Villa’s postponed fixture against Tottenham Hotspur and the hastily rearranged Tottenham Hotspur versus Fulham match, shifted from Gameweek 16. 

There’s talk of Southampton’s trip to Leeds United being moved because Southampton need to play their FA Cup third round match against Shrewsbury – and that must happen before the fourth round matches. 

But there’s also the chance Southampton are handed a walkover because it was Shrewsbury who were unable to field a side. However, at this point in time we don’t know what will happen.

The ‘TBA’ entries are possible slots where postponed matches could be added. These are:

  • Aston Villa v Newcastle (Gameweek 11)
  • Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur (Gameweek 18)
  • Burnley v Fulham (Gameweek 17)
  • Everton v Manchester City (Gameweek 16)
  • Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur (Gameweek 33 – EFL Cup final)
  • Southampton v Manchester City (Gameweek 33 – EFL Cup final)

Given that both Newcastle United and Aston Villa have exited the FA Cup – and their Gameweek 11 fixture needs to be rearranged – it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Aston Villa end up with a Triple Gameweek 19. Although other slots are available.

Looking further ahead, the FA Cup quarter-finals are due to take place in Gameweek 29 and teams reaching that round could see their Premier League matches moved to Gameweek 26. That looks likely to be the next big double Gameweek, with a large selection of teams playing twice.

In general, for teams still in the various domestic and european cup competitions, further postponements are likely. And of course coronavirus (COVID-19) may cause further disruption.

In addition there’s also team news to consider, and a hamstring injury to the highly-owned Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.8m) will no doubt force a rethink for many.

The Best-Laid Plans

With both ‘mice and men’ struggling, assessing the best way forward is very much team specific. 

The Scoutcast provided a perfect example of this with Joe deploying his Free Hit chip, Karam navigating the blank using transfers and Seb undecided. 

For those using their Free Hit this Gameweek, Joe’s side is a good template, featuring triple-ups on Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Joe’s Gameweek 18 Free Hit team

Arsenal, all of sudden, provide a number of budget options. Their improved performances in recent weeks have seen their players appear on the Fantasy radar.

As Neale pointed out in his Big Numbers article, Bukayo Saka (£5.3m) has mustered seven shots in the box over the last three Gameweeks, a total that no other FPL midfielder has surpassed in that time.

And the 19-year-old has been much discussed. David looked in-depth at his prospects against Crystal Palace, where Tyrick Mitchell (£3.9m) has replaced Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m).

David concluded that, despite the change, Saka owners need not be deterred:

There is enough in these numbers to suggest Mitchell has not improved things on the left as much as we might imagine.

But for those needing to squeeze a little more out of their budget, the cut-price Emile Smith Rowe (£4.4m) is a valid alternative.

Despite playing fewer minutes than Saka over the last three matches, [Smith Rowe] has outperformed him for assist potential.

– David

Encouragingly, Smith Rowe came off the bench to score the winning goal in Arsenal’s FA Cup tie against Newcastle United, and he’s been picked out by Pro Pundit Tom Freeman as one of his three differentials for Gameweek 18.

He appears to have established himself as an important component of Mikel Arteta’s side, with Tom pointing out:

What’s noticeable is how much quicker the Gunners move the ball with Smith Rowe in the number 10 role, and having that creative figure in central areas has really helped them click going forward. In fact, since Gameweek 15, no team can improve upon their 6.87 expected goals (xG)

Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) and Kieran Tierney (£5.4m) have impressed recently: no player has had more big chances (five) over the last four Gameweeks than the Frenchman, while Tierney’s total of seven key passes in the last three is bettered by just five other Premier League players (regardless of position).

But for Pro Pundit Lateriser, the upside option is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m). On penalties for the Gunners, his form has improved with that of his team-mates. Lateriser made the case:

Aubameyang’s registered 1.42 expected goals (xG) in his last two games, which is the same he managed in five full matches previously. His total of two big chances in the last two Gameweeks is also the same he managed in five full games previously.

His co-host on The FPL Wire, Pro Pundit Zophar, also included the Gabon international in his Free Hit selection for Gameweek 18.

Meanwhile, Pro Pundit Andy explored the option of using the Second Wildcard to set up a strong side for Blank Gameweek 18 and a potential Bench Boost in Double Gameweek 19. Although his article was written when Aston Villa still had a match in Gameweek 18. 

Which Man City Trio?

Elsewhere, form and fixtures have aligned for Manchester City.

Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) was Joe and David’s choice for the armband on the Captaincy video. And Jan Sienkiewicz had the Belgian ahead of team-mate Raheem Sterling (£11.4m) in Captain Sensible:

De Bruyne is certainly the safer of those two considering the most recent fitness update on Sterling but he remains the exciting explosive option considering his hat-trick performance against the Seagulls last season.

Tom Freeman highlighted the improvement at the backRúben Dias (£5.8m) and John Stones (£5.0m) have conceded just one goal in eight starts together.

A double-up on their defence appeals for many, with Joe including João Cancelo (£5.8m) alongside Stones in his Free Hit team. According to Tom, “attacking returns look imminent!” for the Portuguese.

But if you fancied a cheap attacking player then look no further than Ilkay Gündogan (£5.4m).

Karam’s differential on the Scoutcast, a player the creator of Live FPL, Ragabolly, picked out when interviewed by Lateriser and Zophar, and one written about in glowing terms by both Tom and Neale.

His seven shots in the box and four big chances in his last four matches are more than any other City player. And the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder has spoken of a shift to a more advanced position:

… even though I like to be included in rotating the ball, when I am playing as a number eight and more offensive position, I try to put myself in the spaces where I think something could happen or I feel like the space is not occupied by a player of ours or the opponent. Both goals I scored in the last games were similar in the way they were from the right side and Raheem assisted me both goals and I tried to be in a space where I am free and able to get the ball and finish with one touch. It worked out quite well and as long as I am playing in that position I try to continue like that.

– Ilkay Gündogan

How to cope with a rollercoaster season

Mindfulness coach Dominic Watts wrote an excellent piece last week on how to handle the highs and lows of this uniquely challenging season.

On the face of it, I can understand the view that we should not get ourselves worked up about FPL. After all, you’re picking an imaginary team of real players who get points for you and then getting really annoyed when you don’t pick the right ones.

But if you want to pick it apart, you can make similar arguments about most things people care about. The thing is that as human beings we create meaning. We give meaning to the things that we care about and so if we decide to care about FPL, it becomes meaningful to us.

Without doubt FPL matters to those of us who play it seriously.

In his article, Dominic described how we are ‘time-travellers’ who ride the rollercoaster of FPL. He offered us ways to manage this uncertainty but acknowledged how difficult that can be:

Uncertainty relates quite nicely to acceptance because it’s hard to accept uncertainty. When we can’t accept something, we fight it, and this uses up a lot of energy.

The solution he proposed is to learn to look properly and that by connecting to the present, we will be able to see things in a different light. Well worth a read.

Community Competitions and Head-to-Head Fixtures

RedLightning rounded-up the Community mini-leagues and competitions last week.

The ‘open-to-all’ Fantasy Football Scout mini-league and the Community Members mini-league are currently the top two leagues in FPL. Congratulations to the high-flying managers participating in those.

For the 8,000+ competing in the Head-to-Head Leagues, the main page can be linked to here, and the fixtures for Gameweek 18 can be found below:

Use the drop-down menus to show your league and division. To find out which league and division you are in, follow the instructions on the main Head-to-Head page.

Once the Gameweek starts, if you click on your opponent’s name you will be linked to their team on the FPL website.

May your arrows be green!

TopMarx Fan of Fantasy Football and Monty Python. "Archimedes out to Socrates, Socrates back to Archimedes, Archimedes out to Heraclitus, he beats Hegel. Heraclitus a little flick, here he comes on the far post, Socrates is there, Socrates heads it in! Socrates has scored! The Greeks are going mad, the Greeks are going mad! Socrates scores, got a beautiful cross from Archimedes. The Germans are disputing it. Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.”

2,473 Comments Post a Comment
  1. FDMS All Starz
    • 6 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Thoughts on FH team?

    DDG
    Shaw - Stones - Dier - Holding
    Son - Kdb - Bruno
    Jesus - Laca - Kane

    (4.0gk - Smith Rowe - Mitchell - Douglas)

    1. LE CHARO
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Not a big fan of double MU defence and the Jesus pick

  2. Slim25
    • 6 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    G2G with this free hit team?
    Lloris
    Tierney, Cancelo, AWB
    Bruno, KDB (C), Son, Gundo, Saka
    Laca, Kane

    Cheers!

    1. umerlfc
      • 5 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Yes, nice

  3. Mr. Funny Name
    • 6 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Foden or Neto?

    1. Rochdale_Cowboy
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Fodeto

  4. Jones Kusi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    FH GTG?
    0.1 ITB

    Leno
    Holding, Cancelo, Stones
    Rashford, Bruno, Kdb, ESR, Son
    Wilson, Kane

    Brewster, Mitchell

    1. LE CHARO
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      I would avoid double Arsenal defence

      1. Jones Kusi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        That's what im thinking too but unsure who to get instead. I could take in Yedlin instead but that feels kinda meh.

  5. Catastrophe
    • 10 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    A) Wilson & Stones
    B) Foden & Maguire
    C) Gundogan & Maguire

    For Bench:

    1) Saiss & Doucoure
    2) Neto & Fernandez

    Currently on A1!

    Cheers!!

  6. umerlfc
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Final decison, A or B?

    A) Darlow + Stones + Son + Rashford
    B) Lloris + Maguire + Sterling + Wilson

    1. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      A

    2. BobbyDoesNotLook
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      A.

  7. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Gtg? Good enough bench?

    Lloris 4.0
    Cancelo Stones Tierney (Clark, Mitchell)
    Kdb Bruno Son Saka (Anguissa)
    Kane Laca Wilson

    1. umerlfc
      • 5 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Yes nice

    2. Fit_to_drop
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Yep

  8. Jinswick
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Anything worth a -4 here? Don’t expect Martinelli to play but not much appeals....

    DDG
    Cancelo, Dier, Bellerin, Mitchell
    KDB, Sterling, Bruno, Son, Martinelli
    Wilson

    Forster, Targett, Bamford, Watkins
    Bank 0.3m, 0FT

    1. ZLNR
      • 5 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      GTG

  9. mynameisq
    • 8 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Fpl down?

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      try another device. Not working on my PC but is working on my phone

    2. Fit_to_drop
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Sorry - I am referring to FPL statistics.

  10. Gazza2000
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Team locked in, saving the FH and going in with 9 ( hopefully ) players

    Dias Cancelo Dier Mitchell
    KDB Rashford Fernandes Son
    Kane

    Good luck all

    1. HonestBlatter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Looks fine. Any hits here?

      1. Gazza2000
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        -4

        Transfers were Salah, DCL and Kilman to Rashford, Kane and Mitchell

    2. umerlfc
      • 5 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Brilliant

      1. Gazza2000
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        Cheers

  11. Royal5
    • 10 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Is sterling fit?

    1. ZLNR
      • 5 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Pep said yes

      1. Royal5
        • 10 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        Ty!

      2. FPLGeezer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        Did he? Thought he never confirmed Sterling by name but the city website had picture of Pep. Hes in my free hit side now anyway

        1. ZLNR
          • 5 Years
          9 months, 19 days ago

          I didn't watch it but Manchester Evening News (online) lists him saying who isn't available and Sterling not there

          1. FPLGeezer
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            9 months, 19 days ago

            Ok my bad was going off the team news scout cast. Was at work heard Pep hadnt named him or misheard maybe.

    2. FPLGeezer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Apparently is reported by the city website not Pep tho.

      1. Pukki Blinders
        • 2 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        rubbish, pep said he's fit

        1. FPLGeezer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          9 months, 19 days ago

          Calm down lad

  12. AzzaroMax99
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Final check. FH squad.
    G2G?

    Darlow
    Tierney Cancelo Maguire
    KdbC Son Bruno Rash Saka
    Kane Wilson

    4.0 Brewster Kilman Mitchel

    GL to all.

    1. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      nice team

  13. Rupert The Horse
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    As I’m on wild card is it better to go with Rashford now to save a transfer next week?

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Instead is Son

      1. S.Kuqi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        I would and have done it

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          9 months, 19 days ago

          Thanks bud.

    2. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Go Rashford if you're gonna get him next week anyway

      1. Rupert The Horse
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        Hmm yeah

    3. Fit_to_drop
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Son will get more than Rashford this week i feel but maybe not by so much to justify a saved transfer so head would say sign Rashy. Still think Sonny outscores him this week though.

      1. Rupert The Horse
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        Thank you.

    4. FPLGeezer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Go Rashford now

      1. Rupert The Horse
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        Thanks buddy.

  14. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 5 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Does Dallas to Stones make sense?

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Nice but shame to lose considering next week

      1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 5 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        I know. Have had Dallas since 3. Will get him back next week if they have double. Losing 0.2 in value which is ok.

    2. jernej93
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      I am doing Dallas to Dias ... I wouldn't do that if Leeds had DGW but must have move now as it seems

      1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 5 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        Same here. Will get him back next GW if they have a double.

    3. LE CHARO
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Yes, especially since Dallas might not have a DGW

      1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 5 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        Ecactly my thought and the reason.

  15. jernej93
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    8 players enough not to use FH? 🙂

    1. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Yeah id save it with 8 there is going to be more messed up game weeks to come im sure

  16. Pukki Blinders
    • 2 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    A. Son + Saka
    B. Sterling + Smith Rowe

    1. janowsc
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      A

  17. Evasivo
    • 11 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Right starting 11?

    De Gea
    Tierney Stones Dier
    Gundog Bruno KDB Son
    Laca Kane Wilson

    Steer Saiss Mitchell Stephens.

    1. Luton_Fan
      • 11 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Nice team

      1. Evasivo
        • 11 Years
        9 months, 19 days ago

        cheers mate!

  18. Millie7
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Yedlin - Dias - Holding - Mitchell
    Reidewald - KDB - Bruno - Son

    DCL > Wilson for -8 or leave as it is?

  19. R_R
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Hi all,

    On WC and trying to make a final call on my cheap picks. Would you:

    A) Holding + Brewster
    B) Mari + Fabio Silva

    Thanks!

  20. corderz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    A) Rashford + Brewster(benched)
    B) Wilson + Gundogan(benched)

    1. janowsc
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      A

  21. Pukki Party
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Why hasn't Aurier started last two PL games?

  22. janowsc
    • 6 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Gundo or Saka?

    1. Pukki Party
      • 4 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Gundo

    2. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Saka

    3. Coys96
      • 4 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      1

  23. ClaireT
    • 11 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Thoughts on this FH team?

    Darlow, Ramsdale
    Tierney, Holgate, Shaw, Fernandez, Dias
    Saka, KDB, Bruno, Rodriguez, Son
    Cavani, Wood, Wilson

    0.3 itb

  24. Pépé Pig
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Burke -> Smith Rowe worth a -4?

    Yay or Nay?

    1. Coys96
      • 4 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Huge nay

  25. RECKLESS
    • 8 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Wilson or Saka to play on WC?
    Wilson not so good form but on penos and Saka plays for better team

    1. RECKLESS
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      FH i mean

    2. jernej93
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Saka

    3. nico05
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Wilson for this week only

  26. Coys96
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    ON FREE HIT:

    1) Pickford
    2) DDG

    Price irrelevent!

    1. jernej93
      • 7 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      DDG

    2. janowsc
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      2

    3. JBG
      • 3 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      2 imo

  27. Riggs
    • 3 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Is that FH team good?
    Leno (4.0)
    Cancelo Dias AWB Saiss (Douglas)
    KDB Bruno Son Rashford (Smith Rowe)
    Kane Wilson (Brewster)

  28. yanky
    • 11 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    HELP PLEASE AHHHH

    Lloris
    Stones Tierney Maguire
    KDB Bruno Son Saka

    a) Cancelo Rashford Kane.
    b) Sterling Wilson Lacazette.
    c) Shaw Sterling Kane SmithRowe (Saka out)

  29. b91jh
    • 4 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Gtg?

    Lloris
    Dias Tierney AitNouri
    KDB Bruno Son Gundogan
    Wilson Kane Laca

    4.0 ESR Yedlin Mitchell

  30. RamaJama
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    9 months, 19 days ago

    Who on FH?

    A) Cancelo
    B) Dias

    Also have Stones

    1. OptimusBlack
      • 8 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      Same Question

    2. Mr Ozil
      • 6 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      same question

    3. Pukki Blinders
      • 2 Years
      9 months, 19 days ago

      b