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. TNB
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Adams-Bamford-Holding > Kane-DCL-Mitchell (-8)

      Yes or No

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

        Easy

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

        Y

    • Kroos Kontrol
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Just look at the TV fixtures for GW22 to 23. Chelsea & Spurs have only 41 hours of rest?! Are these announced because they look like they are, every fixture seems spaced out. Does anyone know?

      6th Feb: Chelsea vs Tottenham (gw22, 8pm UK, Thursday)
      ------------------
      8th Feb: Sheffield United vs Chelsea (gw23, 3pm UK, Saturday)
      8th Feb: Tottenham vs West Brom (gw23, 3pm UK, Satuday)

      Did they genuinely schedule Chelsea & Spurs with LESS than 48 hours rest (41 to be precise), when their GW22 game could easily be scheduled on Tues/Wed 8pm? This impacts whether I captain Kane/Son against West Brom because they might be too tired for WBA (or one might even rested!)

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

        All about the viewing figures and £$£$ decisions clearly not based on players wellbeing

    • Rinseboy
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 20 days ago

      Sterling and Bamford to Gundo and DCL -4?
      Or just Bamford to Watkins for free
      Or save.?

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

        What's wrong with Sterling and Bamford? I don't understand.

        1. Rinseboy
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 20 days ago

          nothing with Sterling but Bamford has looked poor

        2. TNB
            3 months, 20 days ago

            Bamford is at risk of loosing his place imo

          • Hutchiniho
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 20 days ago

            Bamford subbed before the hour, right after the equaliser too. Needing a goal and he comes off, not great.
            Fixtures poor, form poor.

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

          I'd be keeping Sterling in right now.

          He has to be more likely to score than Gdo.

          Bamford to Watkins if you don't have JG

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

            JG?

            1. Aster
                3 months, 20 days ago

                Jesus Gabriel I guess

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

                  Oh, I wouldn’t go near him. The hit-free moves from Bamford have to be Watkins or Antonio in my book. I’m keeping another week though

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

          Best replacement for Wood:
          A) DCL
          B) Lacazette
          C) Ings
          D) Kane (-4, losing robbo, have Son)

          1. TNB
              3 months, 20 days ago

              A

            • Il Capitano
                3 months, 20 days ago

                Probably A

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

              What to do here?

              Mendy(Johnstone)
              Robbo Cancelo Stones (Holding)(Coufal)
              Salah Fernandes Grealish Gundogan (Soucek)
              Rodrigo Antonio Bamford

              1FT, 6.3 ITB

              A) Rodrigo to Kane
              B) Soucek,Bamford to Son,DCL(-4)
              C) Other

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

                A

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

              Thoughts on James Rod?

              1. Pukki Blinders
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 20 days ago

                Assist the assister

            • carlosice
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 20 days ago

              Any thoughts on the below - much appreciated, cheers!

              Martinez (Johnstone)
              Chilwell, Diaz, Coufel, (Ayling, Stephens)
              Grealish, Salah, Sterling, Bruno, Gundo
              Antonio Bamford (Adams)

              A) Sterling & Stephens to Son and Cancelo (-4)
              B) Save
              C) Something else?

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

                Midfield looks good.

                Adams and Bamford easy drops

            • Il Capitano
                3 months, 20 days ago

                0FT 0.3m ITB

                McCarthy
                Cancelo (VC) Justin Stones
                Salah Bruno Son Raphinha Soucek
                Kane (C) Bamford

                Johnstone - Adams Lowton Coufal

                For a hit:
                A) Raphinha > Gundogan
                B) Bamford > Antonio/Watkins
                C) Adams > Watkins
                D) No hit

              • JBG
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 20 days ago

                Which one?

                A) Martial+Bamford to Kane+DCL -4

                B) Bamford+Dallas to Kane+Cancelo -4

                C) Martial/Bamford to Kane

                1. TNB
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    B

                  • Hutchiniho
                    • 2 Years
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    B.
                    do that right now, if you didn't do it last week!

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

                      Upset I didn't do Dallas to Cancelo for -4 this GW... Was considering for so long, but chickened out.

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

                    B

                  • wulfrunian
                    • 4 Years
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    c with Martial

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

                  Which of these moves looks better please?

                  A Welbeck, Taylor to Kane, Cancelo -4
                  B Welbeck, Raphinha, Taylor to DCL, Son, Cancelo -8

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

                    You're really saying Raph and Kane vs DCL and Son

                    B better maybe
                    worth it for -4 ?

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

                      Yeah, just the -8 putting me off.

                3. Rbyrne95
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 20 days ago

                  Who would you rather keep over the next few gameweeks, Raphina or Soucek? its to swap out for Son (Already have Kane too)

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

                    Soucek

                4. Scots Gooner
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 20 days ago

                  Nest replacement for Bamford?

                  DCL or Watkins?

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

                    All fit DCL.

                  2. TNB
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      DCL

                    • ViperStripes
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 11 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Keeping another week, got 2 problems in defence to fix first.

                  3. Pukki Blinders
                    • 1 Year
                    3 months, 20 days ago

                    Best asset to bring in?

                    A. Barnes (352)
                    B. Zaha (352)
                    C. DCL (343)
                    D. Digne (442)

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

                      b or c

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

                    This -8 worth it? Not sure about losing Rash but hes so frustrating to own.

                    Rashford, Bamford & Adam's > Gundogan, Kane & DCL

                    1. TNB
                        3 months, 20 days ago

                        Thinking of doing something similar with Adams, Bamford and Holding to Kane, DCL, Mitchell

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

                          That looks worth it to me. My only hesitation is losing Rash.

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

                            The issue with Rashford is, he scores a lot in away matches and against the traditional top six. But he has been awful for a while now.

                    2. Just For Kicks
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 9 Years
                      3 months, 20 days ago

                      Really stuck who to upgrade this week, 6.3m in the bank.

                      This weeks team on 70 with Kane & Salah to go tonight.

                      Martinez
                      Stones - Cancelo - Maguire
                      Salah - Gundogan - Fernandes - Raphinha
                      Watkins - Kane - Bamford

                      Johnstone - Coufal - Justin - Soucek

                      Was fixed on Raphinha to Son? any better options anyone

                      1. TNB
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          DCL for Bamford?

                        • JBG
                          • 3 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Raph to Son or Bamford to DCL.

                        • Rbyrne95
                          • 4 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Same query here, DCL seems to be a nailed option now. Its just who to replace Raphina in mid.

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

                        Need to get rid of Bailly or Zouma, so which Defender to replace him? Money not an issue.

                        Mitchell - Crystal Palace have a great run ahead of them and he seems nailed and he's only 3.9 but no attacking threat.
                        Shaw - doesn't always start, but ManU also have a good run ahead of them
                        Chilwell - too much uncertainty with Chelsea
                        Dias/Stones - I already have Cancelo, don't want to double up.
                        Robertson - a reasonable differential at the moment, but not on form.

                        Anyone else?

                        Current backline:
                        Martinez/Johnstone
                        Cancelo, Coufal, Dallas, Bailly, Zouma

                        1. TNB
                            3 months, 20 days ago

                            Mitchell

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

                            Take a look at Everton is my view.

                        2. rubberdignerapids
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Soucek and Vardy to Kane and Son for free?

                          Have exact funds

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

                            Yeah, why not.

                        3. MoSalad
                          • 7 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Areolo (Johnstone)
                          Cancelo, Stones, Cresswell (AWB, Coufal)
                          Salah, Sterling, Fernandes, Rashford (ESR)
                          BamBam, Antonio, BobbyDR

                          Considering Rashford, ESR ---> Barnes and Zaha for a -4

                          What do you all reckon?

                        4. PlayPercentage
                          • 10 Years
                          3 months, 20 days ago

                          Chilwell subbed off last night. Probably a tactical change to try to win the match.
                          Will he be a nailed-on starter for Tuchel?

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

                            As a Chilwell owner quite nervous. esp. after missing that chance

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

                          Bamford and vardy > Kane and dcl -4?

                          Can’t imagine anyone will be against it !

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

                            Can you jsut do Vardy > Kane?

                          2. MoSalad
                            • 7 Years
                            3 months, 20 days ago

                            Pretty much a no brainer.

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

                          Which one would you treat as the best option for next few?

                          1) Saka
                          2) Grealish
                          3) Watkins
                          4) DCL
                          5) Barnes
                          6) Maddison

                          1. MoSalad
                            • 7 Years
                            3 months, 20 days ago

                            Zaha?

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

                              Yeah, also one worth considering

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

                            Could add Rodriguez to the list.

                            Hoping Barnes will haul. He’s been really consistent over the last 6 weeks and think he could come really good

                          3. Jo Melon
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              I’m looking at Barnes or Maddison. Lei have nice fixtures.

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

                            OK guys, would you go for option A or B?

                            A. Gundo & Kane
                            B. Son & DCL

                            1. TNB
                                3 months, 20 days ago

                                A

                            2. Rbyrne95
                              • 4 Years
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              Planning taking out Raphina and Bamford for a -4. Who we thinking?
                              A - Maddison and DCL
                              B - Saka and DCL
                              C - Son and DCL
                              D - Zaha and DCL
                              E - Just one player in for no hit.

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

                                C or A, but maybe just one player this week

                                1. Rbyrne95
                                  • 4 Years
                                  3 months, 20 days ago

                                  I've done DCL as my FT. now its just considering whether any are worth a -4 or to leave Raphina in mid.

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

                              Nice article, enjoyed it.

                              1. Zen Arcade
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 2 Years
                                3 months, 20 days ago

                                Agree, makes a chance from Bet365, Football Index, FanTeam and whatever that five-a-side nonsense was.

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

                                Yep really good

                            4. tricpic
                              • 11 Years
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              DCL or Laca for next few?

                              1. Rbyrne95
                                • 4 Years
                                3 months, 20 days ago

                                DCL if Everton are back to full strength.

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

                              Pre-wildcard 7 out of the 8 most recent GWs I had 0 points benched (always had exactly the right number of subs or none at all)
                              Post-Wilcard 9, 8, 8, 20 (BB), 20

                              Is anyone pushing the extra bench money out of their team quickly or waiting until their next WC to consolidate?

                            6. Zen Arcade
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 2 Years
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              This is a very good article. I hadn't realised Palace's fixtures was so good either.

                            7. Ajax Hamsterdam
                              • 6 Years
                              3 months, 20 days ago

                              Please kindly pick 2

                              A son for rashford for a hit
                              B dcl for Wilson
                              C Gundo for Rashford
                              D soucek for Barnes

                              Thank you and gl

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

                                A and b

                                1. Ajax Hamsterdam
                                  • 6 Years
                                  3 months, 20 days ago

                                  Cheers

                            8. KirkhamWesham
                                3 months, 20 days ago

                                Bamford out, Antonio in?

                                He's done naff all, but Antonio has Liverpool next gw.
                                Bamford is, likely, to drop in price.

                                What do you think?

                                1. Ajax Hamsterdam
                                  • 6 Years
                                  3 months, 20 days ago

                                  Go for it

                                2. The Count of Monte Cristo
                                  • 8 Years
                                  3 months, 20 days ago

                                  Logical move

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

                                Calvert-Lewin is probably a decent captain shout this week tbf.

                                1. Ajax Hamsterdam
                                  • 6 Years
                                  3 months, 20 days ago

                                  Owning yes not sure about captaincy though

                                2. Aster
                                    3 months, 20 days ago

                                    DCL a captain with his current form?

                                    Brave.

                                    I'm still in two minds about whether to buy him on FT (for Bamford)

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

                                      I think it's less of a risk when there's no clear standout, and this is arguably the best fixture of all right now.