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. Alisson WondHaaland
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 27 days ago

    I want to do a 1 week punt this week before switching to Son in GW 32. It'll be my only booked in transfer post wildcard.

    Some of the options are very expensive and require a few changes to the rest of the team

    Best option?

    A) Sterling, Saka 5th mid
    B) Auba, Saka 5th mid
    C) Ferran Torres, Lingard 5th mid
    D) Mahrez, Lingard 5th mid

    1. Henrik Larsson
        3 months, 27 days ago

        I'm doing this but going relatively "safe" with Gundo.

        Mahrez could also work out nicely but I'd want to be sure he plays. He can be explosive when he hauls..... This leeds fixture is a good opportunity if we can get it right.

        1. Alisson WondHaaland
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 27 days ago

          Gundo could be gold if he plays, I guess he's slightly more likely to start than Mahrez.

          Mahrez and Foden playing mid week really screwed with my plans

      • CONNERS
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        I'd go with A out of those.

    2. Pedaso Pirates
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 27 days ago

      Final draft, head spinning...

      Mendy Forster
      TAA Rudiger Shaw Holding Phillips
      Salah Bruno Son Lindgard Neto
      Kane Nacho Vydra

      Only 0.6 ITB

      Any worries?

      1. ManUtdFan977
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        No jota???

      2. JabariParkersEyelid
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 27 days ago

        No easy route to Jota as you have 3 pool. Would consider Phillips to another cheapie to give you a bit more flexibility there.

        1. Pedaso Pirates
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 27 days ago

          Can't find a cheapie that makes this work. £4m doesn't buy much. Sacrifice Shaw for a cheaper option? Reguilon for the DGW?

      3. Balls of Steel
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        I like it, Jota will be rotated also so no worries not including him! Nice Liverpool double defence..

        1. Pedaso Pirates
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 27 days ago

          Thanks. Reaching exhaustion trying to get this right lol

          1. Balls of Steel
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 27 days ago

            Me too mate 🙂

    3. estheblessed
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 27 days ago

      Is Nacho nailed for the next 5/6 games or should I plumb for Vardy?

      1. Bavarian
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        It's time for Vardy Party

      2. ManUtdFan977
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        There’s no Harvey Barnes yet so nacho should be nailed for the next couple of weeks

        1. Balls of Steel
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 27 days ago

          This

      3. CONNERS
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        I think he'll start most games until Barnes is back but Perez could get a couple of games.

      4. CONNERS
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        (up front with Maddison if midfield)

    4. vova
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 27 days ago

      Play Raphinha or Watkins?

      1. Rassi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        Watkins

    5. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 27 days ago

      Blimey bottomed, last spot long term midfielder
      A. Gundo
      B. Raphinha

      1. Rassi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        B

      2. fr3d
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        Same boat for me. I'm selling one for Jota, and I think I'm keeping Raph

      3. vova
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        B I guess, Gundo is more of a rotation risk and has a blank coming up.

    6. OptimusBlack
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 27 days ago

      Best 3 Strikers for only this GW ?

      1. Rassi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        Laca, Jesus, Ings

      2. CONNERS
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        Jesus, Laca and Ings maybe?

      3. CONNERS
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 27 days ago

        ha, too slow.

      4. Dammit_182
          3 months, 27 days ago

          I’m playing free hit and punting on wood, ings and Jesus.

        • OptimusBlack
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 27 days ago

          Cheers

      5. Henrik Larsson
          3 months, 27 days ago

          I think I'm good to go. What do you think lads?

          Mendy, Forster
          TAA, Shaw, Rudiger, Holding, Fofana
          Bruno, Salah, Jota, Lingard, Gundo (for 1 week then switch to Son)
          Kane, Nacho, Vydra

          It's getting exciting. I'm 4 pts ahead of my mini league rival and he doesn't have his WC.

          1. JabariParkersEyelid
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 27 days ago

            Yeah it's good. I don't like the booked in transfer, but it's good.

            1. Henrik Larsson
                3 months, 27 days ago

                Yeah not something I'll usually do but the city - leeds game is too good an opportunity to ignore, especially if it's just a one week punt to take advantage of.

          2. ManUtdFan977
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 27 days ago

            Is it worth going for a city midfielder as a one week punt over son and if so who should I go for

            1. Henrik Larsson
                3 months, 27 days ago

                I'm going for Gundo but maybe Torres or Mahrez would also work. As always it's hard to know who will play.

            2. cruzex
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 27 days ago

              1) Who ..to buy? Mane or Sterling?

              2) Who...to captain? Mane (c) Sterling (c) or Auba(c)?

              1. Rassi
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 27 days ago

                1) Sterling for a one week punt
                2) Sterling or Mane

            3. JasonG123
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 27 days ago

              Any concerns with Holding holding his place?

              1. CONNERS
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 27 days ago

                Not with Arsenal's current injury list.

              2. Louis Van Gaalstones
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 27 days ago

                I think the more pressing concern is whether Holding will hold onto a cleansheet any time soon

                1. fr3d
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 27 days ago

                  Surely at Sheffield Utd is a good place to start?

                  1. Louis Van Gaalstones
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    You'd hope right? But they have no cleansheet in the last 14 games in all competitions.

                    1. Balls of Steel
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Ouch!

                2. JasonG123
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  3 months, 26 days ago

                  I’m holding on hope.

            4. Runaway
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 27 days ago

              Which option would you prefer for next 2GWs only?

              A) Auba + Nacho

              B) Jota + Vardy - 4

              C) Salah + Vydra/Watkins/Raphinha -4

            5. Wayne Enterprises
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 27 days ago

              How’s this for a WC squad?

              Mendy. Johnstone

              Dias Shaw TAA Aina Coufal

              Maddison Rashford Jota Lingard Mount

              Augero Ings Kane

              Thanks 🙂

              1. CONNERS
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 27 days ago

                I like it. Something a bit different to the template.

                Aguero to Vardy next week?

              2. JabariParkersEyelid
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 27 days ago

                This is so off the wall I kind of like it.

                I'd reconsider the strikers as all 3 blank in 33.

              3. ManUtdFan977
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 27 days ago

                A lot of differentials
                I like it

            6. FantasyClub
                3 months, 27 days ago

                I’m probably a lil late dunno, but has everyone seen the latest article saying Antonio to miss 4-6 weeks?

                https://amp.theguardian.com/football/2021/apr/09/michael-antonio-could-miss-rest-of-season-west-ham-david-moyes

              • Simmich
                  3 months, 27 days ago

                  Best week to use BB?
                  WC'ing this week...GW32?

                • Atimis
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 27 days ago

                  Which one?

                  1. Castagne/Holding/Davis
                  2. Fofana/Masuaku/Vydra

                  Castagne or Fofana - preferably a regular starter along TAA and Shaw. Others preferably for bench and rotation.

                  1. Alisson WondHaaland
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    2, I dont think Cast is worth the extra

                  2. Henrik Larsson
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      2. But i'm going Fofana, Holding, Vydra.

                      Mainly because of fixtures and Holdings more nailed and cheaper. I think Arsenal and West Ham are both pretty unreliable for clean sheets right now.

                  3. fcsaltyballs
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Mendy
                    TAA Shaw Rudiger
                    Son Salah Jota Fernandes Lingard
                    Kane Iheanacho

                    Forster Holding Vydra Lascelles

                    Is this good to go, starting lineup correct??

                    Thanks

                    1. CONNERS
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Yep looks good.

                    2. drughi
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 11 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      boring but solid

                      1. fcsaltyballs
                        • 5 Years
                        3 months, 27 days ago

                        Thanks mate, means a lot haha

                  4. Dybala10
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Morning all, tried to avoid spamming with RMT posts but any obvious holes in this draft? Would ideally have Mendy instead of Forster but don't really want to downgrade Dias or TAA.

                    Martinez, Forster
                    Dias, Coady, Shaw, TAA, Rudiger
                    Son, Salah, Jota, Lingard, Fernandes
                    Kane, Vydra, Iheanacho

                    0.0 ITB

                    1. JabariParkersEyelid
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      No worries here great team.

                    2. drughi
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 11 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      no city attack might hurt, leeds/villa and palace coming up

                    3. fcsaltyballs
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Your TV must be so high

                  5. Bavarian
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    would you buy Lacazette on WC and then switch to Vardy the week after?

                    1. drughi
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 11 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      will he start

                    2. JabariParkersEyelid
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      I wouldn't book in a transfer.

                  6. The Mighty Whites
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Start Vydra or Kelechi?

                    1. ManUtdFan977
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      I’ve got the same problem I have no idea might start both and bench son

                    2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      K

                    3. rjcv177
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Both on my WC.
                      I'm benching maddison this gw

                  7. Jam0sh
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Still contemplating whether to wildcard now or later. Would you wildcard this lot now?

                    Pope, Martinez
                    Rüdiger, Shaw, Dias, Cresswell, Dallas
                    Gündogan, Son, Salah, Lingard, Raphinha
                    Kane, Watkins, Bamford

                    1. JabariParkersEyelid
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Do you have any transfers left?

                      I think you can get away with holding it.

                      1. Jam0sh
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 9 Years
                        3 months, 27 days ago

                        1 FT

                        1. JabariParkersEyelid
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          3 months, 27 days ago

                          Then yeah I think you can hold for sure.

                  8. JabariParkersEyelid
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Final draft, got work so locking this in if no errors jump out?

                    Schmeichel Forster
                    Trent James Rudiger Shaw Veltman
                    Salah Bruno Son Lingard Jota
                    Kane Iheanacho Davis.

                    .2 itb

                  9. RAFA THE GAFFA
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Play one?

                    A. Coufal
                    B. Bamford
                    C. Raphinha

                    1. JabariParkersEyelid
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      C.

                    2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      C

                    3. drughi
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 11 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      b

                    4. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
                      • 9 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Raphinha is going to terrorise mgaw tomorrow. Hopefully.

                  10. gooberman
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    A) Masuaka or
                    B) Holding

                    1. rjcv177
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      B on my WC

                    2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      B

                  11. rjcv177
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Wc31, city punt for C?

                    A) Sterling
                    B) kun
                    C) Jesus

                    Will move on 32 or 33

                    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      A

                  12. ManUtdFan977
                    • 2 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Fofana or shaw

                    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Shaw

                  13. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Does it look ok? Who do I captain? Thinking of punting on TAA.

                    Forster
                    TAA Rudiger Coady
                    Salah Bruno Maddison Gundo Raphinha
                    Kane DCL

                    Martinez Bamford Konsa Struijk

                    Thanks!

                  14. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
                    • 9 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Play Martinez or Forster?

                    1. ManUtdFan977
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Forster

                    2. Forever In Our Shadow
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 7 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      I’m on Forster

                  15. Forever In Our Shadow
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 7 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Play 2 of 3 or bench one which ever way you want it. Thanks.

                    Son
                    Shaw
                    Nacho

                    1. rjcv177
                      • 6 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Bench Shaw IMO

                  16. Hktrader88
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Think I'm ready with the WC, similar to most others but if there's something I'm missing please let know

                    Mendy / Forster

                    TAA. Shaw James Holding Fofana

                    Salah Jota Bruno Son Neto

                    Kane Iheanacho Davis

                    I have £0.8m ITB which I don't know how to use.

                    I considered Davis to Vydra but in the next 5 gameweeks I would probably only play him this week Vs Newcastle, and that would mean benching Son so probably not worth having him

                    I prefer Neto to Lingard for now, until I see how the hammers do without Antonio.
                    Could get Alonso instead of James but that could leave me short in GW33 if he's rotated out.

                    Any other ideas or gtg? Thanks

                    1. JabariParkersEyelid
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Personally I'd go for Castagne over Fofana as you have the funds spare. More attacking threat.

                    2. Forever In Our Shadow
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 7 Years
                      3 months, 27 days ago

                      Holding to Rudi.

                  17. b91jh
                    • 4 Years
                    3 months, 27 days ago

                    Which one week punt(c) to go? Or just do Salah(c) from the start and keep him until the end?

                    A. Sterling, change to Salah on 32
                    B. Auba, change to Salah on 32/33
                    C. Salah from the start