Pro Pundits - Tom

Should we be targeting teams playing Newcastle for FPL attacking assets?


Five-time top 1k finisher Tom Freeman reveals his latest thoughts and plans for upcoming Gameweeks…


So as I write this, we’re four games into Gameweek 20 and I sit at 244,571 overall in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL).

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a slog having decided to not play any chips, but after picking up 53 points last night, it at least feels like we’re moving in the right direction again.

The plan had always been to Free Hit in Gameweek 18 and Bench Boost the week after, but with Burnley and Manchester United’s fixture getting added to the Blank Gameweek, and then Leeds and Southampton losing their doubles, I shelved that idea, and will now use them in 26 (BB) and 29 (FH).

I’ll talk about that in more detail in future columns, but for now, I thought I’d use this article to discuss a few players and teams on my radar, and then highlight why I’m considering them.

ZAHA IN

I’ve always been a bit sceptical of Wilfried Zaha (£7.2m) as a fantasy asset. In fact, I don’t recall ever owning him before. Crystal Palace have always been a bit uninspiring going forward, but having spent a bit of time over the weekend looking at their upcoming opponents and respective weaknesses, I decided to make a move.

Their schedule really is about as good as it gets for an attacking player, with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle and Leeds in the next three.

Crystal Palace’s Gameweek 21 to 28 schedule

Now, prior to making the switch ahead of deadline, Zaha wasn’t in form. He’d scored just one goal since Gameweek 12. However, I’m a firm believer that fixtures can dictate form (just ask Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.3m)), which is why I think he has the potential to do well in the coming weeks.

Following last night’s opener, he now has nine goals and three assists in 17 league appearances. Eight of those attacking returns have arrived against teams ranked 10th or below in the table too, which is encouraging.

Despite playing in a free role as a second striker, you can see from last night’s touch heatmap (see below) that he naturally moves into areas on the left, which can hurt Wolves and in particular Nélson Semedo (£5.3m), who has often been criticised for his defensive performances this season.

There is a lot of competition for places in our midfields right now, but if you can find a spot for Zaha, I think he’ll do well.

CALVERT-LEWIN NEXT?

Calvert-Lewin offsets longest goalless streak with another Fantasy assist

Everton are a different proposition when they can get Lucas Digne (£6.0m), James Rodríguez (£7.7m), Richarlison (£7.8m) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) all on the pitch at the same time.

In fact, in the six league games they’ve started together this season, the Toffees have scored a massive 17 goals.

Rodríguez is key to unlocking that potential. Against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup he was so, so good, and ended the match with eight key passes, two assists and the man of the match award. That takes his total to seven assists in nine appearances at Goodison Park in all competitions.

With games against Newcastle and Leeds up next, I’m confident Everton will score goals, and I’m looking at upgrading Chris Wood (£6.2m) to Calvert-Lewin later this week.

TARGETING NEWCASTLE

You might have noticed that this week’s transfer (Zaha), and probably next week’s too (Calvert-Lewin), both take on Newcastle in the next seven days.

The Magpies are without a win in 11 games in all competitions and have only scored two goals in nine matches.

(Teams sorted by expected goals conceded from open-play, last six matches)

Towards the end of Steve Bruce’s reign at Aston Villa, they were lacking any kind of structure with the same approach in every game, and there are a lot of similarities at Newcastle now.

There were protests outside St James’ Park at the weekend, and you get the feeling a new manager will be in place sooner rather than later. Surely that instability is worth tapping into and targeting then?

WHO ELSE IS ON THE RADAR?

Cancelo finally delivers big haul as Gündogan shines in KDB's absence 12

Ilkay Gündogan (£5.7m) is getting hard to ignore. I talked him up in my last column ahead of Gameweek 18, and he’s since gone on to score four in four.

I’m considering him as an Emile Smith Rowe (£4.5m) replacement this week, as the no. 10 looks like he might be injured, and will now face increased competition from Martin Ødegaard (£6.0m) for a spot in the starting XI.

I’ll also be closely watching Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel later on, and looking ahead, it’s imperative I have at least one of Son Heung-min (£9.7m) or Harry Kane (£11.2m) in my team for Gameweek 23, with captaincy in mind.

Finally, having watched a fair bit of Leeds this season, something I’ve picked up on is how vulnerable they look when opponents dribble at them. I don’t have any data to back it up, but it makes me think that players like Harvey Barnes (£6.8m), Richarlison and hopefully Zaha can get some joy against them in the coming weeks.

So, thanks for reading all, and best of luck in tonight’s games!

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528 Comments Post a Comment
  1. NETFLIX & CHILWELL
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 20 days ago

    What are people doing with Zouma?

    Currently have Stones - perhaps a move to Cancelo?

    1. PascalCygan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      That's what I did this week. For a -4 and it paid off instantly.

    2. Pasqualinho
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Definitely selling. Have 2 Man City, Justin, Targett and not much in the way of funds so Rudiger, Dallas, Coufal, Mitchell are on the shortlist.

    3. Pegboy
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Sell

    4. Snooze ya lose
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      I was in same position and swapped to dias

    5. Hutchiniho
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Zouma - > gone last week.

      Cancelo an obvious shout

  2. Atimis
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 20 days ago

    Despite of City and Spurs, which would be your top 3 picks for the coming weeks ?

    I'm considering Grealish, DCL, Saka or one of the Lei boys.

    Go with DCL punt?

    1. Boom XhakaLacaSaka
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 20 days ago

      DCL isn't really a punt

  3. Oggle22
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 20 days ago

    Any spurs team news? Injuries etc sure mourinho mentioned a few injuries?

    1. aleksaa2
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Reguilon is out

  4. 1lifesoccer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 20 days ago

    Barnes or Maddison ?

    and why....

    1. Bielsa Murderball
        3 months, 20 days ago

        B, more goal threat imo

      • 2hotty
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 20 days ago

        Think i would go with barnes

      • 2hotty
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 20 days ago

        Maddison to streaky for me

      • Pegboy
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 20 days ago

        Not a fan of either, but Barnes.

    2. Boom XhakaLacaSaka
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Mccarthy Button*
      Mitchell Dias Stones Coufal* Allioski*
      Bruno Salah Maddison Grealish Gundo
      Adams Bamford* Antonio
      -----------------------------------------------------------
      A) Adams + Bamford > Kane + DCL (-4)
      B) Bamford + Allioski > Digne + Kane (-4)
      C) Bamford > Kane

      1. Stoichkov#8
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 20 days ago

        Adams > Kane?

        1. Bielsa Murderball
            3 months, 20 days ago

            This

          • Boom XhakaLacaSaka
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 20 days ago

            Would leave me short in the next transfer I'm targetting

        2. Crunchie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 20 days ago

          A it will pay off (i have to do a -12) though, may do it over two weeks over two -4's

          1. Boom XhakaLacaSaka
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 20 days ago

            Yes it does look interesting tbf but Brighton defensive stats are pretty impressive

      2. Stoichkov#8
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 20 days ago

        Martinez (Forster)
        Cancelo, Stones, Dallas (Coufal, Mitchell)
        Salah, Son, Bruno, Gundo (Soucek)
        Watkins, Antonio, Bamford

        a) Bamford > Kane
        b) Dallas/Coufal > Robo/Chel def
        c) save FT (7.4 ITB)

        1. Boom XhakaLacaSaka
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 20 days ago

          A

        2. Bielsa Murderball
            3 months, 20 days ago

            A

          • 2hotty
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 20 days ago

            A all day

        3. Bielsa Murderball
            3 months, 20 days ago

            Grealish or DCL?

            1. Bielsa Murderball
                3 months, 20 days ago

                For long term

              • Stoichkov#8
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 20 days ago

                Grealish but depends who will get DGW soon

                1. Bielsa Murderball
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    cheers 🙂

              • 2hotty
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 20 days ago

                Bamford and Holding to Kane and Digne for a -4 yay or nay

                1. Bielsa Murderball
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    Y

                2. Hazz
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 20 days ago

                  Fair play West Ham Twitter Admin, fair play...

                  https://twitter.com/WestHam/status/1354768690017931264?s=19

                  1. Bagheri Arce
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    Hahah, so true.

                    My issue with him is that he is a great enabler 4th/5th mid to play every week..... problem is who is he enabling? Budget not an issue just now with so many premium players out or off colour

                    1. Hazz
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Don't know if you can call him an enabler when he has the 12th highest points total in he game.

                      Great pick on his own merit.

                3. wulfrunian
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 20 days ago

                  If you have some time i would appreciate your help here.With 2 ft what would you do?
                  a)Wood+Bamford+Sterling->Kane+Brewster+Grealish(-4)
                  b)Wood+Sterling+Raphinha->Dcl+Gundogan+Grealish(-4)
                  c)Wood+Raphinha+Ogbonna->Dcl+Grealish+Mitchell(-4)
                  d)Wood+Sterling+Raphinha->Dcl+Son+Gundogan(-4)
                  e)Wood+Sterling->Dcl+Son/Grealish

                  1. Karan14
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    A or D

                  2. Bielsa Murderball
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Wow all look good, probably D

                    • aleksaa2
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      D

                    • Bagheri Arce
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Why sell Sterling?

                      1. wulfrunian
                        • 4 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        I think that Gundogan/Grealish/Son can return the same points and they are cheaper.

                    • wulfrunian
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      thanks all

                  3. Karan14
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    Martinez
                    Robbo Cancelo Dias
                    Salah Bruno Grealish Gündo Raphinha
                    Antonio Bamford

                    (Steer Cresswell Mitchell Brewster)

                    A) Raphinha & Bamford ➡️ Son & DCL -4
                    B) Raphinha & Bamford ➡️ Kane & Barnes -4

                    Thoughts?

                    1. 2hotty
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      I like B

                    2. Hutchiniho
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      B

                  4. Steve The Spud
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    with kane and Antonio potentially taking spots up front is anyone looking at Rodriguez in midfield?

                    I can upgrade smithed Rowe to him with kdb>gundo cash

                  5. lugs
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    dismantling my BB team has been a fruitful endeavor so far, this week i did KDB + Benrahama to Gundogan & Rodriguez - 4 which couldn't have worked out much better, for next week i already did Coufal + El Ghazi to Ruidiger & Barnes for another -4, but now i'm still stuck with Bamford & Wilson for another week unless i take another hit which i'm not sure is worth it,

                    Martinez
                    Cancelo, Dias, Rudiger
                    Bruno, Son, Rodriguez, Barnes, Gundogan
                    Kane, Wilson

                    Areola, Bamford, Maguire, Dawson, 0ft, 3.9m itb

                  6. TimoTime
                    • 1 Year
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    Bench 1:

                    A) Bamford
                    B) Antonio

                    Play 1:

                    A) Mitchell
                    B) Coufal

                    1. Traction Engine Foot
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      AA

                      1. TimoTime
                        • 1 Year
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Cheers that was what I was thinking

                    2. Camino Aleatorio
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Bench A: Pukki-21

                      Play A: WBA-21

                  7. Traction Engine Foot
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    Has Tielemans been playing in a more attacking role recently? Or just in better form? Could be a good alternative to Barnes/Maddison.

                    1. Hazz
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      I think it's mostly decent form. He does also have penalties. Statistically, the other two are better.

                      1. Traction Engine Foot
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Ok. I remember him doing surprisingly well for me when I owned him a few years ago

                  8. SchluppsIDidItAgain
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    Gundo and kane

                    Or

                    Son and DCL

                    ?

                    1. hustler7
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 8 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      A

                    2. Hutchiniho
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      A - easy one

                  9. FPLMACKEM
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    Captain for next gw?

                    A Gundogan
                    B Cancelo
                    C Kane
                    D Son
                    E Salah

                    1. Camzy
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      I'm on Cancelo.

                    2. Traction Engine Foot
                      • 3 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      A or C for me

                    3. waltzingmatildas
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      I think D. Also considering DCL

                    4. KunDogan (B.D.)
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      C

                    5. Karan14
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      C or D

                    6. wulfrunian
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      c

                    7. Baines on Toast...
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Currently Cancelo, Gundo VC

                    8. hullcityfan
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Cancelo (c) Digne (v) - who needs attackers anyway

                    9. TNB
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        on Kane atm

                    10. Sabina_S
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      a) Bamford to Kane (-4)

                      b) Fabio Silva to DCL (-4)

                      c) Hold, with Silva benched.

                      What do you think? Already have Son, but no Everton.

                      1. Hutchiniho
                        • 2 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Gotta get Silva out.

                        Even if I| like Kane in

                    11. the vanisher
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      thoughts on Rudiger as an option?

                      1. Pasqualinho
                        • 11 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Potential risk as there's plenty of competition for his spot, but he's very cheap for what looks like will be a solid defensive unit.

                      2. lugs
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        definitely worth a punt for that price

                    12. waltzingmatildas
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Best move:
                      A) Wood - DCL
                      B) Wood - Lacazette
                      C) Wood - Watkins
                      D) Wood and Robbo - Kane and Mitchell (-4)

                      1. wulfrunian
                        • 4 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        d

                      2. ASOUSA12
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 2 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        A) but C) also good, depends on money available for future moves

                    13. Lovren an elevator
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Early call i know, but...who do you think will be the main man/ threat in Tuchels Chelsea team?

                      1. lugs
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        have a feeling he is going to build the team around Havertz

                        1. Lovren an elevator
                          • 5 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Yeah this is what I'm thinking, he'll go with Havertz behind Werner. And then I guess 2 of CHO, Mount, Ziyech,Pulisic?

                      2. Camzy
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Havertz or Werner honestly but I'd wait two more games out before committing to anyone. Nice little mixed set of fixtures in which to see how Tuchel wants to setup - BUR tot. You can invest after that.

                    14. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Rotating Soucek based on fixtures can only end in tears, right?

                      1. fplking14
                        • 6 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Not if you play him against teams which are bad at defending set pieces.

                        1. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
                          • 4 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Any idea where to access these stats?
                          Don't have FFS membership unfortunately

                            1. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
                              • 4 Years
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              Fantastic, thanks!

                    15. fplking14
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      RMT:

                      Martinez (Button)
                      Dias Stones (Coufal) Dier (Douglas)
                      Salah Grealish Bruno Son Gundogan
                      Kane Antonio (Davis)

                      1. Hutchiniho
                        • 2 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Very Strong

                    16. Sulley
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Really split on how to use my FT this week. What do you guys think?

                      McCarthy
                      Cancelo Dias James
                      Gundo Saka Bruno Salah
                      Bamford Antonio Kane

                      Forster El Ghazi Targett Coufal

                      I am thinking either:
                      James > Digne
                      El Ghazi > Barnes
                      Bamford > Calvery Lewin
                      or maybe El Ghazi > Rodriguez

                      Interested to see if people are exploring similar options and where they are landing?

                      1. Hutchiniho
                        • 2 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        James didn't start, so him out.

                        El G out if not

                        1. Sulley
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Yeah he has been so frustrating this year. Feels like a lot of potential but in and out the team way too much

                      2. jammie26
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Bamford to Watkins, he's scored 2 in 2 after a drout and i expect him to carry on scoring.

                          Villa also have postponed games to play so chance of doubles.

                      3. Shark Team
                        • 3 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Enough with the template captain picks. Im gonna captain DCL Vs NEW(H)

                        1. Hutchiniho
                          • 2 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          ok

                        2. Long ago I drew a walrus
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 10 Years
                          3 months, 19 days ago

                          Don't think there'll be a runaway winner this week tbh. I'm currently on Son and he's like 6th in the poll

                      4. SOTHPAW
                        • 2 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Should I pick Shaw or Saka this week?

                        1. Hutchiniho
                          • 2 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Saka

                      5. Hutchiniho
                        • 2 Years
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Bamford and Neto to Grealish and Saka

                        or

                        Bamford to Gundogan.

                        (Top option would leave me short on Neto and Robertson out to get KDB + a Def, when KDB's back)

                        1. Spike ⚽️
                          • 9 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Do Bamford to Gündagon and then let me know how you managed to do it?

                        2. TNB
                            3 months, 20 days ago

                            Bamford to Gundo

                            1. Spike ⚽️
                              • 9 Years
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              Bamford is a fwd - Gündo is a mid fielder?

                        3. TNB
                            3 months, 20 days ago

                            Pick on for next gw:

                            1. DeGea (Arsenal Away)
                            2.McCarthy (Villa Home)

                            1. Hutchiniho
                              • 2 Years
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              2

                          • mdm
                            • 9 Years
                            3 months, 20 days ago

                            Bench one:

                            A. Bamford (lei)
                            B. Saka (MUN)

                            Thanks.

                            1. TNB
                                3 months, 20 days ago

                                A

                            2. The Mighty Whites
                              • 6 Years
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              Start Johnstone or Martinez?

                              1. Hutchiniho
                                • 2 Years
                                3 months, 20 days ago

                                M.

                              2. TNB
                                  3 months, 20 days ago

                                  Martinez