Pro Pundit Teams

Do we still need double City defence and is it time to sell Fernandes?

Currently sat at 694th in the world, Let’s Talk FPL’s Andy talks through some ideas for his own team and addresses some trending topics from within the Fantasy community.


Do we need double Man City defence still?

Cancelo finally delivers big haul as Gündogan shines in KDB's absence 17

This question is probably a lot easier to ask when you don’t own Rúben Dias (£6.1m), but as a John Stones (£5.2m) and João Cancelo (£6.2m) owner, I’m considering jumping off.

When I leapt on triple Manchester City back in Gameweek 18, I saw it as almost essential. Aymeric Laporte (£6.0m) wasn’t starting very regularly and they had lots of Double Gameweeks on the horizon (as well as a game in Blank Gameweek 18). Fast forward a bit and Gameweek 27 is their last double and Laporte has started eight of the last 12 games in all competitions. Even going into Double Gameweek 27, I’m not confident of two starts and at that point a defender from another team can potentially do just as good a job and be nailed.

Antonio Rüdiger (£4.6m) seems like a potential ideal replacement. He’s cheaper and since Gameweek 19 hasn’t missed a single minute for Chelsea. In terms of goal threat, there isn’t much to split them when looking at all Gameweeks since Rudiger won his spot back.

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In that same time period, Chelsea have conceded 5.62 expected goals compared to Man City’s 6.70; both are elite defences.

There’s no real need to remove your defenders before Gameweek 27 but it’s something I’m thinking about in the long term, with a potential move for double Manchester City attack instead. Rüdiger seems like an ideal replacement, given the general points ceiling of the likes of Stones.

Free Hit could be better in Gameweek 33 than Gameweek 29

Originally I was looking at using Free Hit in Gameweek 29 but I think I’m pretty well set up for this already. Below shows the eight players that are playing in Gameweek 29.

As always, it’s quality instead of quantity and I think I have most boxes ticked (ignore the pun). With three transfers between now and Gameweek 29, I can cope with it quite easily.

With Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur blanking in Gameweek 33, I’m currently going to be left with five players without a game that take a big chunk of the budget. I could bench three but it would leave me with a lot of money outside of my starting XI.

As it stands, I wouldn’t be looking to sell these players as the fixtures either side of the blank from Gameweeks 31 to 35 are good for both teams:

Manchester City – Leeds (h), Aston Villa (a), Crystal Palace (a), Chelsea (h)

Spurs – Manchester United (h), Everton (a), Sheffield United (h), Leeds (a)

The Gameweek 33 fixtures have the potential for me to do something a little different with players from teams I might not have enough transfers to get to.

While I may or may not own Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) by this point, I’d definitely want him in for Leeds along with another Manchester United attacker. I currently don’t own any Aston Villa midfielder or forward, and while their run-in isn’t great, they do have West Brom in this Gameweek. Liverpool against Newcastle also means a double or triple-up could be profitable.

Could we drop Bruno Fernandes?

What did FPL managers learn from FA Cup fourth round matches

It seems stupid to even be considering dropping the highest-scoring FPL player and I’m sure most people will just skip this part, but it’s something I’m considering.

The way Manchester United set up against the traditional top six is to nullify the opposition while neglecting their own attack. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another blank against Manchester City, just as there was against Chelsea.

That then leaves West Ham followed by a blank in Gameweek 29. There’s potential to do something more interesting with the Fernandes money.

After that, he could be brought back in on a Wildcard or via free transfers. I look at Manchester United’s remaining fixtures and wonder where I’m going to captain him. In every week, there’s arguably another option that could be considered instead. Below are Bruno’s best fixtures with an alternative in brackets.

  • Gameweek 30 v Brighton (Kane v Newcastle)
  • Gameweek 32 v Burnley (Salah v Leeds)
  • Gameweek 33 v Leeds (Salah v Newcastle, although for me Fernandes would be Free Hit in most likely)
  • Gameweek 35 v Aston Villa (Kane v Leeds)
  • Gameweek 37 v Fulham (Kane v Villa)

Not captaining a heavy hitter doesn’t mean you have to sell them but if you’re trying to fit in a certain number of premium players, especially due to captaincy, then something may have to give.

Let me caveat all of the above by saying there’s good reason to keep Bruno Fernandes. Looking at xG per 90 minutes in the Premium Members Area, he is sat top of all midfielders who are playing regularly. That’s equal with Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) and just above Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m).

It would be a brave call to remove him but if you thought that De Bruyne could start realising his underlying statistics, and that Salah could get back to the form that saw him hit almost essential status earlier in the season, then perhaps backing them over Fernandes for captaincy could be a calculated risk-type move of beating the template.

Mohamed Salah is potentially worth keeping

It seems as though people are starting to get a bit frustrated with Salah. I’ve seen lots of comments talking about selling him, and definitely if there was a choice between him and Fernandes, then I know which one people would look to keep.

However, when you look a bit closer at the recent numbers, they’re quite promising. Yes, he’s blanked nine times in the last 12 games. But for those people that like to put emphasis on “form”, he’s also scored four goals in the last six. I am, admittedly, expecting a blank against Chelsea in the second game of the double.

His underlying statistics are promising too. Looking at players’ last six matches, he ranks second for expected goal involvement behind the hero that is Michail Antonio (£6.5m), and by the way, Raphinha (£5.4m)!

We need to see how Liverpool continue to perform without Jordan Henderson (£5.4m), but it’s promising that their full-backs are looking good on the eye again. In fact, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4m) has the highest expected goal involvement (2.03) over the last six matches and is getting forward a good bit with eight shots over that same time period.

Thinking ahead, Liverpool have a great run-in and it might be worth saving a transfer and keeping Salah for the longer term.

Selling any big hitter always feels risky and I wouldn’t want to put anyone off doing it, but with Fulham and Wolves to come, there might be better ways to spend your transfers while giving Salah time to pull through on his underlying numbers.

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545 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Tinfoil Deathstar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 10 days ago

    This week's benching dilemma is which two to start from: Bruno (mci), DCL (che), Maja (liv) or White (LEI)?

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

      Maja white

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

      Nah. I'd stick with Bruno and DCL. Not ideal and they're worth benching if you have the right options, but Maja vs Liverpool and White are really low ceiling options.

      1. Tinfoil Deathstar
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Cheers. Yeah that was my instinct to start Bruno and DCL but possibly overthinking. Will likely remain that way unless Maja has a stormer tonight.

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

    Suggested it only semi seriously a day out so back but is Ederson a sensible captain choice this week? Rather questioning Gundo who would be my other City choice. I'm not sure his ceiling is much higher over the 2 matches.

    Spurs could rip Palace apart. But I'm in the minority of one who thought that Palace defence was a factor in the nil nil last night! Not the only factor of course 🙂

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Not a bad shout, GK captaincy are always fun (if it works)

    2. Pukki Blinders
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Spurs love an away game v the big 6. Definitely wouldn’t be considering Spurs

      1. Benjustjamin
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Another stupid comment, you're so 1 dimensional

        1. Pukki Blinders
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 10 days ago

          You expect a 5-0 win to Spurs? You sound deluded as

    3. Hotdogs for Tea
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Kane is a decent captain choice

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 10 days ago

        He is

        But not sure what his ceiling is next week. Waiting slightly on tonight especially with a view to Bale minutes. But the Kane record over the past few months is of ticking over nicely (at best) and not hauling.

        Don't see Bale starting both Fulham and Palace with EL around the corner and that limits that attack.

        1. Wild Rover
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Lol, Son and Kane were smashing it without Bale

          1. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 10 days ago

            🙂

            Count all those double digit hauls since Christmas - 3 between them. Going nicely but smashing it wasn't on the agenda.

  3. Pukki Blinders
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 10 days ago

    I’d switch my TC to Bruno if I could right now.

    That’s how sh*te I feel with DCL TC...

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

      Brace incoming

    2. Hy liverpool
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 10 days ago

      Bookmarked

      1. Pukki Blinders
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 10 days ago

        Hows your Ederson captain working out for you? Did you enjoy the 4 points?

        1. Wild Rover
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Probably more than my Cancelo TC 2pts 😀

          1. Pukki Blinders
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Now that’s some hard luck

            1. Wild Rover
              • 10 Years
              3 months, 10 days ago

              With a dollop of recklessness

        2. Party time
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 10 days ago

          Son(C). I am not full of rubbish like you

          1. Pukki Blinders
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 10 days ago

            Obviously you got lucky as you couldn’t afford Kane. Well done

          2. Pukki Blinders
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 10 days ago

            The fact you were talking up Ederson (c) speaks volumes about the amount of rubbish you’re full of