Pro Pundits - Tom

Why unpredictable Wolves formation has me worried about their FPL assets

Tom Freeman has finished in the top 1k five times in his Fantasy Premier League career. He has been weighing up Wolves and Leicester ahead of Gameweek 31.


As we approach the business end of the season, in this week’s column, I’m going to have a look at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have a tasty run of fixtures from Gameweek 31 to 35.

I will also pick out a few players that I’m considering for the run-in, and include my plans for Gameweek 31.

Shall we begin?

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

With eight games remaining, Wolves sit 14th in the Premier League table, nine points above the relegation zone. It looks like they are destined for a mid-table finish, and with seemingly very little to play for, it’s a tad off-putting. 

However, their next five fixtures come against teams below them in the table, and are as good as you are likely to see in FPL terms:

At the back, Jonny (£5.4m) has suffered another ACL injury, and Willy Boly (£5.4m) is self-isolating having tested positive for COVID-19. 

That raises alarm bells, especially given their performance without them earlier this week, but rather than the personnel available to Nuno Espírito Santo, I am more interested in the system he settles on for the remainder of the season.

The 4-2-3-1 formation they used against West Ham United in Gameweek 30 is naturally more attacking, and boy is it fun to watch, but it does leave them open.

Above: Wolves’ average position map in Gameweek 30.

Results like Monday’s, plus the goal-fests served up against West Bromwich Albion and Brighton and Hove Albion back in January, highlight the unpredictable nature of the setup. 

If they are to persist with it, with one eye on 2021-22, Pedro Neto (£5.7m) becomes an excellent FPL option. In Gameweek 30, the young winger provided an assist, created four chances and had five goal attempts, more than any other player on the pitch. 

The 4-2-3-1 does have implications at the other end though, and definitely makes their defensive options less appealing. The current midfielders just do not offer enough protection to a back four, which often leaves Conor Coady (£4.8m) and Romain Saïss (£4.9m) exposed.

However, in their usual 3-4-3 shape, they look more solid and tend to defend much better. In fact, in their past five games using a back-three they have conceded just six goals, and four of those were at Manchester City. In this setup, Coady becomes more appealing, especially now he is going up for set-pieces.

Frustratingly, at this stage we have no idea which formation Nuno will use in the coming weeks. Due to that uncertainty, I’m avoiding for now, but am hopeful tomorrow night’s meeting with Fulham will tell us more, and reveal if I should be targeting Coady or Neto in Gameweek 32.

JAMES MADDISON

Another player I’m eyeing up for Gameweek 32 is fit-again Leicester City midfielder James Maddison (£7.1m). The playmaker recently missed six matches through injury, but returned with an appearance off the bench against Man City last weekend.

He has already scored 11 goals this season, eight of which have come in the Premier League, and as you can see on the graphic below, he has been shooting in better locations, and closer to goal, since the turn of the year.

Above: Maddison’s shots heatmap from Gameweek 1-16 (left) and 17-30 (right).

Everything goes through him at Leicester, as he leads the way amongst team-mates for final-third touches, successful crosses and chances created, plus expected assists (xA). 

Personal motivation could be a key factor, too. The only way Maddison can force his way back into the England setup is by playing a starring role for the Foxes during the run-in, which sees Brendan Rodgers’ side take on West Brom, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle United between Gameweeks 32 and 35.

GAMEWEEK 31 + CHIP STRATEGY

Having used my second Wildcard in Gameweek 26, and Bench Boosting the week after, I’m left with the Triple Captain and Free Hit chips.

I will probably Triple Captain Harry Kane (£11.7m) in Double Gameweek 32, then FH in 33 or 35.

This week, I’m considering selling Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m), who will probably be benched, for Mohamed Salah (£12.4m), who I will then hand the armband. I may also look at a defensive move, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) a likely target if I do take a hit.

So, thanks for reading all, and best of luck in Gameweek 31.

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1,126 Comments Post a Comment
  1. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    6 months, 10 days ago

    On WC- with Shaw flag is Fofana a better option?

    1. wulfrunian
      • 5 Years
      6 months, 10 days ago

      What happened to Shaw?I wouldn't get a Lei defender.I prefer Coady/Cedric.

  2. artvandelay316
      6 months, 10 days ago

      Does this team look right for subs and captain?

      Pope (Forster)
      Stones, Rudiger, Cresswell (Dallas, Mitchell)
      Salah, Lingard, Gundo (C), Bruno, Mount
      Kane (VC), DCL (Bamford)

      If not Gundo as Cap, then Kane or Salah?
      5 in midfield ok or risky with Gundo?

      Cheers.

    • tom_p77
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      6 months, 10 days ago

      Anyone think there’s a risk that Jota doesn’t start this weekend?

      1. Thomas Magnum
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Yes, there's always a risk but it's even more so now with CL, in saying that he's an impact player so could get a goal off the bench like he has in the past.

      2. Salan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        It's not a risk. Jota on bench looks normal to me.

      3. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
        • 11 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Yep, big game coming up midweek

    • XX SMICER XX
      • 3 Years
      6 months, 10 days ago

      What would you do on a Wildcard?
      A. One week Midfield punt up to 9.4M
      B. Son in now and save free transfer

      If A who would you punt on?

      Thanks

      1. ebb2sparky
        • 10 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        B

      2. Thomas Magnum
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        I was thinking A but couldn't find any option that I knew would start and be worth it in that price range so unless youcan find one you're happy with B

        1. XX SMICER XX
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Only one I could think of would be Periera for West Brom.
          They have just beaten Chelsea and play an out of form Southampton

      3. artvandelay316
          6 months, 10 days ago

          A

        • b91jh
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          A but the only option apart from City, will be Pepe...

          1. XX SMICER XX
            • 3 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Thanks - tempted to stick with Gundagan but forPep rotation, Champs League & FA Cup makes me think he will be benched.
            Would be surprised if both him and KDB are benched though

      4. Jim's Janglies
        • 7 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        So.... is anyone still left in the official FPL cup?

        I think we are down to the last 256 teams

        1. Thomas Magnum
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Got beat a while back by a team with i think like 2 or even 3 auto subs who haven't done anything since lol

        2. Jack Burton
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Yep been lucky furthest I've been

          1. Jim's Janglies
            • 7 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Me too... I only noticed a few weeks ago.... somehow my mismanagement has slipped through the net!

      5. Thomas Magnum
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Better option until BGW33?
        A) Jesus (LEE, avl)
        B) Ings (wba, tot)
        C) Other 7.0 or higher (can't afford Vardy)

        1. ZAMUNDA
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Is Jesus nailed?

          1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            No

          2. Thomas Magnum
            • 6 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Just saw your post below, seems we're in a similar situation. Don't think he's nailed but also don't think Aguero is. It's honestly a toss up between the two, nostalgia tells me Aguero, but Jesus' minutes, form and not starting in CL but getting some minutes leans me to him.

        2. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          B for me

        3. Jim's Janglies
          • 7 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Are you planning to WC later... both may mean an extra transfer if not... Iheanacho possibly?

        4. XX SMICER XX
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Iheanacho

      6. Gudjohnsen
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Already taken a -4 for TAA.

        GTG?

        Pope
        TAA, Stones, Rudiger
        Saka, Son, Bruno, Lingard (VC), Jota
        Kane (C), DCL

        Subs: Martinez, Coufal, Bamford, Dunk

        1. ManUtdFan977
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Yes gtg

          1. Gudjohnsen
            • 4 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Thanks

        2. XX SMICER XX
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Yes, but I would upgrade Bamford to 1st sub

      7. ManUtdFan977
        • 2 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Gundo, Bernardo silva or mahrez for this week

        1. King of Kings.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Heart is saying Mahrez, head is saying Gundo. I've no idea !

          1. ManUtdFan977
            • 2 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            thanks anyway probably go gundo

      8. Jimjam
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Martinez (Forster)
        Cancelo, Shaw, Rudiger (Dallas, Dunk)
        Salah, Bruno, Bale, Gundogan (Raphinha)
        Kane, Antonio, Bamford

        2FT, 0.5 in bank

        Bale, Antonio ---> Jota, Iheanacho?

        1. My heart goes Salalalalah
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          100% for me

        2. XX SMICER XX
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Could you afford to do Raph & Antonio, then upgrade Bale to Son next week?

      9. Stand By Mee
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Is Sterling likely to start tomorrow?

        1. Bonus magnet
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          even Pep doesn't know, roulette machine gone for servicing

        2. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
          • 11 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          no idea

      10. ZAMUNDA
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        One week punt striker options:
        A) Aguero
        B) Jesus
        C) Wood
        D) Ings

        Already have Kane and Nacho

        1. Konstaapeli
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Kun for the memories.

          1. ZAMUNDA
            • 4 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Any Man City pick is a call for distress haha, I'd bring Aguero and captain him definitely if sure to start

        2. Thomas Magnum
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          D seems the safest but one of the City lads feels like the most fun. The question is which...

          1. ZAMUNDA
            • 4 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Currently at 17k and leading MLs. I'd play it safe but I know whoever plays man city game will get points

        3. XX SMICER XX
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Wood

      11. b91jh
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        On WC

        A) Vardy, ESR (bench), Coufal/Dawson
        B) Wood, Maddison, Cresswell

        In B), Wood plays this week, Madders play 32, then reassess striker options in 33/34. Which combo to go?

      12. SHOWSTOPPERRR
        • 3 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Guys repost sorry.Need suggestions.

        Current team:
        Martinez, Areola
        Dias, Cancelo, Digne, Dunk, Dallas
        Gundo, Bruno, Raphinha, Son, Lingard
        Kane, DCL, Bamford

        Activate WC for this team?
        Martinez, Forster
        TAA, Rudiger, James, Coady, Veltman
        Bruno, Neto, Salah, gundo, Jota
        Kane, Vardy, Vydra

        Salah becomes son nxt gw.

        1. drughi
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          salah has leeds though

      13. YoungPretender
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Who to captain?

        A) Jota (AVL)
        B) TAA (AVL)
        C) Kane (MUN)
        D) Gundogan (LEE)

        1. YoungPretender
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          And start one;

          A) Dunk (EVE)
          B) Watkins (liv)

        2. ZAMUNDA
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Gundo

        3. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          TAA and Dunk

      14. Burger
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Chances of Aguero starting this GW?

        1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          62%

      15. gmando2011
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Lacazette or DCL guys?

        1. ZAMUNDA
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Laca

        2. XX SMICER XX
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Laca too much of a rotation risk

      16. Herman Toothrot
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Fofana worth the extra 0.1 over Fofana?

        1. Herman Toothrot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Haha over Saiss

        2. King of Kings.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Yes

      17. wonkeydonkey
        • 3 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        A) TAA, Holding, Neto
        B) Phillips, Castagne, Maddison,

      18. tabby98
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Worth having Mahrez this week on WC and bringing in Son next week?

        1. RamboRN
          • 10 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          This was my plan but then mahrez played the full 90 in cl so just getting son now

        2. XX SMICER XX
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          This is what I’m trying to work out. Is a 1 week punt worth it?

          Likely will just go Son this week

      19. Wolfman180
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        WC team GTG?

        Leno / Forster
        Azpi/ Shaw/ Dias/ Coady/ Philips
        Salah/ Son/ Bruno/ Jota/ Lingered
        Kane/ Nacho/ Vydra

        1. Wolfman180
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          *Lingard

        2. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Yep

          1. Wolfman180
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Sweet 🙂

      20. kysersosa
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Pick 2 please

        A) Neto
        B) Mount
        C) Saka

        TIA

        1. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Neto and Saka

        2. wulfrunian
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          a b

      21. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        (V)ardy!

      22. My heart goes Salalalalah
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Gundo to Salah(C) for a hit? Or take a gamble on Gundo(C)?

      23. GreennRed
        • 10 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Pre-match footage from Spurs and United dressing rooms.

        https://youtu.be/Jm_U4D0QMHk

        😉

      24. Scots Gooner
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Is KDB (c) / Jota (v) high risk considering bench/rest likelihood?

      25. artvandelay316
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Captain:
          A) Gundo
          B) Salah
          C) Kane
          D) Bruno

          1. Gudjohnsen
            • 4 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            B

            would captain him 100% if I had him.

        • Gudjohnsen
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Captain?

          A. Jota
          B. Kane
          C. Lingard

          1. RamaJama
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            A

          2. artvandelay316
              6 months, 10 days ago

              A, and VC Kane

          3. S.Kuqi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Is it madness to take -8? Will bring Son back for double.

            Kdb-> Sterling(c)
            Son-> Jota
            Digne-> Taa

            1. Big Al Stankovic
              • 9 Years
              6 months, 10 days ago

              Just keep son, and do the others. Unless you need the cash for the other transfers, then it could pay off.

          4. Big Al Stankovic
            • 9 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Any thoughts on Fofana vs Castagne?

          5. v3n0m
              6 months, 10 days ago

              a) Azpi + Amartey
              b) Rudiger + James

              b would make Tripple-up Chelsea

              1. Big Al Stankovic
                • 9 Years
                6 months, 10 days ago

                Rudiger and Fofana