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. JP\'s
      3 months, 19 days ago

      Thoughts on a replacement for Bellerin?

      Current options are:
      Keane
      Tierney
      Maguire
      Stones
      Justin
      Targett

      1. No Professionals
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        stones

      2. Scholes Out Forever
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        Awkward price range. Already got cresswell?

        1. JP\'s
            3 months, 19 days ago

            No Cresswell but already tripled up on West Ham

        2. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Stones

      3. Scholes Out Forever
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        Which move to priortise here:

        A) Bamford --> DCL
        B) Raphinha/Soucek --> Son/Maddison
        C) Alioski --> Digne/Chilwell

        Thinking B+C (Son + Chilwell) for a hit

        1. No Professionals
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          A

          he's the worst player on the list so should be the priority

        2. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          A and C Digne

      4. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        https://twitter.com/LivEchoLFC/status/1354800368656347140

        Congrats Kane and Son owners...

        1. Flair
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Kane -> Son x3 please!

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

          What the actual fluff balls. First Van Dijk, then Gomez, then Matip, then Fabinho and that’s not mentioning Thiago and Hendo constantly being in and out with niggles. This season man

          1. Flair
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 19 days ago

            Do Gomez, Matip and Thiago count? The treatment table is their second home at Liverpool

        3. drughi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          lets go harryson

      5. Snooze ya lose
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        Last chance saloon for salah tonight. Held him for too long. Gundos my man!

      6. Atimis
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        Can't decide whether to punt on DCL or rather go with safer options like Saka, Lei mids or Watkins/Grealish.

        Thoughts?

      7. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        RP

        Bamford to DCL worth -4? Already got Kane

        1. No Professionals
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          question has been asking time and time again by others so you're probably going to struggle for answers.

          Probably would yes.

          1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            I see. Thanks for clarification and your answer.

        2. Team Bobcat
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          I am not sure it is worth a ft. Not aline a(-4). I personally see Bamford as a problem child in my team also but I see DCL the same. Ings may be worth a punt but way mord expensive.

          Difficult to overlook Watkins for value

          1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            Yeah problem is the hit here. Watkins on my radar as well, especially if AVL get DGW in near future.

      8. Jebiga ⚽
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        Please help !!!
        What to do with my team ?

        Leno
        Maguire, Dias, Cancelo, Dier
        Son, Madison, Bruno, Grealish
        Kane, Antonio

        Sub: Forster, Neto, Targett, Brewster
        4.6 in the bank
        1FT

        1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Maguire to Digne

        2. _Ninja_
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Brewster to DCL or Neto to Gundo, bench Maguire.

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

          Thanks !

      9. LT10
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        Who would you start next Gameweek?
        A) Bamford (Leicester away) or
        B) Mitchell (Wolves home)

        Thanks in advance.

        1. royals forever
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          B

        2. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          B

        3. LT10
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Cheers

      10. royals forever
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        Who to sell first

        James
        Coufal
        Dallas

        Any ideas would be welcomed

        1. FF Dirtbag
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          James due to rotation

        2. No end product
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Similar challenge - I think James as not nailed at the moment

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

          Why sell Coufal or Dallas?

        4. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          J

        5. LT10
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          James

        6. Atimis
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Sold Dallas but James may a priority here

        7. dylano21
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          James will probably start against Burnley.

      11. FF Dirtbag
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 19 days ago

        KDB and KWP out for Son and Cancelo for - 4 seems sensible?

        Martinez Forster
        Stones Coufal Dallas *** Mitchell
        Salah Fernandes *** Grealish Soucek
        Antonio Kane Bamford

        1. royals forever
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Yes

        2. No Professionals
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          fo sho

        3. Il Capitano
            3 months, 19 days ago

            It does indeed

          • FF Dirtbag
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            Cheers both!

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

          Bamford to any forward decides Antonio. Kane the obvious option?

          1. No end product
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            Has to be - only real option unless you think DCL or Watkins will find form

          2. mojoindojo
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            Yes

        5. TAB
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Martinez (4.0)
          Cancelo - Robbo - Dias - Maguire
          Bruno - Salah - Grealish - Gundogan
          Antonio - Bamford

          Dallas - Brewster - Stephens

          6.8 in bank & 1ft

          A) Brewster > Kane(C)
          B) Stephens > Son(C)

          1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            A

        6. Slitherene
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Martinez ¦ Forster
          Cancelo Maguire Lascelles
          Bruno Rashford Barnes Saka
          Jesus Ings Wilson
          ¦ Soucek Holding Coufal

          1 FT, 7.2 ITB

          A) Soucek -> Grealish/Zaha, Bench Wilson
          B) Holding -> Digne, Bench Lascelles
          C) Suggest a transfer?

        7. Make ManeMane Make ManeMane
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Really want to get Gundo in, but also have Saka and Soucek who are red hot. I'm still not convinced Soucek can keep it up, particularly with the fixtures, but it feels wrong to drop after that haul.

          Soucek to Gundo?

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

            There's an arguement to be had that Soucek has been the most consistent of all...

          2. No Professionals
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            i wouldn't be that keen to lose Soucek.

            But Gundogan is the player to own right now in my opinion. City scoring more freely, he's nailed, probably on pens, playing advanced, finishing chances like messi.

          3. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            Saka to gundogan

          4. LT10
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            Do it.
            Gundo very likely to outscore Soucek over next 4-6 gameweeks, in my opinion.

          5. Team Bobcat
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 19 days ago

            I have the exact same problem. I kicked myself lastweek for getting Soucek in for the Double GW but thought it harsh to have judged him on that showing alone.

            Owning all three doesn't seem like a sensible option especially with Vardy out injured.

            Guess you must ask yourself which one of Soucek or Saka you plan on benching most in the medium term and that player may be worth swapping for all the rage Gundogon.

            Either way it is difficult cause seems like all three could haul inequal measure over time so come down to preference.

        8. pundit of punts
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Thinking Martial + KDB > Sterling + DCL for -4 this gw. Gives me -

          Martinez
          Dias - Dier - Mitchell
          Sterling - Bruno - Son - Grealish - Foden
          Bamford - DCL

          Button - Wilson - KWP - Holding

          Thoughts? 🙂

        9. Nespinha
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 19 days ago

          Pick one to bench

          Bamford (lei)
          Raphinha (lei)
          Watkins (sou)

          1. jammie26
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Bamford

            • No Professionals
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Bamford. if there was an option beyond the bench, i'd put him there.

          2. jammie26
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Bamford to DCL &
              TAA to Digne for a - 4?

              Or TAA to Digne this week, followed by Bamford to DCL next week.

              Bamfords form has dropped off and I've been meaning to get rid of TAA for a while, his form is nowhere near last seasons. Obviously will watch tonight's gane 1st to see if he improves.

              Everton have a number of players back from injury and i think they'll start scoring more goals again.

              1. Team Bobcat
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Everton have gotten quite defensive of late. It is not just as easy as flicking a switch. I suspect them to be a little more creative but I wouldn't double up on them personally.

            • diesel001
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Need a Son and Kane special tonight. Robbo haul though would not be appreciated.

              1. Flair
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                3 months, 19 days ago

                EO is much less than 100 for both too, lovely

            • Gudjohnsen
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Thoughts on Digne?

              Good option or a trap?

              1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Bought him already

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

                Great option. Think I’m prioritising DCL in but he’d be my other if I had 2 FT

            • Flair
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Cannot believe I'm captaining Gundogan. Maybe if he was a sexy 12.5M midfielder I'd be happier about doing it

              1. No Professionals
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                he's that good right now that i wouldn't get KDB back even when fit

                1. Flair
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  Definitely, see no reason to break up my Cancelo-Dias-Gundo trio. KDB is unnecessary.

              2. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Well rested, on PK, shooting from everywhere, even assisting in FA Cup in limited minutes. What's not to like?

                1. Flair
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  You failed to mention his dreamy smile

                  1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
                    • 8 Years
                    3 months, 19 days ago

                    Life begins at 30 for him

              3. Miguel Sanchez
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                He's playing centre forwards for the best attacking team in the league, is on penalties and they face the bottom side. You're right though, it's the price that trips us up sometimes.

                1. Flair
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  When you put it like that... 🙂

                2. Mr. O'Connell
                  • 8 Years
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  Well this little thread has convinced me to change from Kane to Gundo for captain next week. Captaining premiums isn't working out for me anyway.

                  Last 9 games base scores from my captains: 2, 2, 2, 3, 2, 6, 3, 1, 2

              4. Warby84
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Pep loves Gundogan... He’s his favourite player, if listen to some of his interviews...

                6:17
                https://youtu.be/91Wt5GHm77M

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

              Already have Sterling, is it worth swapping Neto - Gundogan or should I do Neto - Smith-Rowe and save the cash? Thanks

              1. No Professionals
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Gundogan

                Smith Rowe is an injury doubt.

              2. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Get G

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

                  Thank you guys, I appreciate it!

            • royals forever
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Is it crazy to triple up on Dias, Stones and Cancelo.

              Already got Dias and Stones but thinking of Cancelo for my James replacement

              1. Miguel Sanchez
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Shame to miss out on Gundogan or another City mid though

                1. DMP
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  This. Im currently considering One defender and 2 Mids with Gundo/Sterling.

            • Doctor Evil
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              How’s she looking?

              Martinez

              Chillwell TAA Stones Cancelo

              Bruno Son Salah Gundo

              Kane DCL

              Bench 4.0 Phillips Mitchell Davis

              1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                No Soucek??

                1. Doctor Evil
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  Can’t have them all

            • ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              How much of a benefit would it be to have your WC intact post GW29?

              1. Christina.
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                what answer are you looking for?
                No one knows.

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

                Quite a lot may depend on how GW29 falls.

                If it's a DGW big BGW with non template teams doubling then dead ending in 29 could be great for those without WC.

            • pingissimus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Out of curiosity can anyone recall a City outfield player getting every minute of 20 plus games on the bounce under Pep. Given the jammed packed schedule I can't help but feel that Dias is due a breather.

              1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Hope Pep will rest him in cup games.

            • sunzip14
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Need a Son and Salah masterclass today. Kane can save it for next game 😛

            • Party time
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              I feel really bad for my cup opponent, he benched Soucek & gets knocked out

              1. Team Bobcat
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                I benched Soucek and Saka. I need Salah toremain on sigle digits to advance to the next round.

                Saka has hurt me more than the Soucek benching. Soucek was a certain bencher this week anyway.

                I played Bednerek over both. I somehow fancied Sou to keep Ars out. Ah well..

                1. Party time
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  Yikes. Wish you good luck tonight buddy

            • NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Bought Digne already.

              Not sure DCL is worth a hit, Richarlison and the mids can always steal the show now.

              1. Warby84
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Rodriguez Digne Richarlison are all back, so I’m confident for next 2 fixtures

            • golden skulltula 69
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Hi everyone!

              Best option?
              A. Bamford -> Antonio
              B. Wilson -> Antonio

              Cheers!

              1. NABIL - I had 4 Spurs GW1
                • 8 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                B

                1. golden skulltula 69
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  Thank you!

              2. DMP
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                Wilson. Newcastle sucks. Leeds continue scoring. Its a matter of time before Bam Bam scores again. Help below, pls.

                1. golden skulltula 69
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  Thank you!

              3. sunzip14
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                B

                1. golden skulltula 69
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 19 days ago

                  Thank you!

            • DMP
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 19 days ago

              Crazy??
              Sterling + Vardy + ESW --» Gundo + Kane + Son (-8)

              McCarthy (Johnstone)
              Dias Stones Dallas (Coufal, Justin)
              Son Salah Fernandes Soucek Gundogan
              Bamford Antonio Kane

              Can downgrade Justin or Johstone to fund Vardy to Kane for (-4) either.

              1. sunzip14
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                If Salah and Liverpool look poor again, Salah+Vardy>Son+Kane (-4)?

              2. golden skulltula 69
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 19 days ago

                -8 point hit is too much...
                I would do Johnstone to 4.0 & Vardy to Kane