This is it, my friends. My final Pro Pundit article of the 2020/2021 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) season. What a rollercoaster ride it’s been.
Things have improved for me since the mid-point of the season. In Gameweek 19 I was ranked 1,032,380 and now sit just outside the top 100,000.
My target for the season is to finish strongly enough just to get inside that top 100k, reflect on all that’s transpired this year and gear up ahead of next season, where I’ll attempt to put yet another frustrating campaign behind me.
With two Gameweeks to go I feel as though my modest target is within my grasp, but there’s a couple of key decisions I need to make which I am sure many of you are also wrestling with.
What to do with Diogo Jota?
This is the big question and, with an effective ownership of around 70% in the top 10k (which is usually a fair metric of how many engaged managers own him), some FPL managers with good squad depth may be happy to just bench Diogo Jota (£7.0m) this week and re-assess next week.
However, I am looking to get rid of Jota this week as I am losing my faith in Jesse Lingard (£6.6m). He has blanked in the last four games, in what appears to be a deeper role, and I think I would rather bench him than have Jota’s injury force me into starting the West Ham man.
If I didn’t already own him, my number one target would be Mason Greenwood (£7.2m). As my captain for last week’s chaotic Triple Gameweek he really delivered for me and now goes up against a Fulham side who are conceding a big chance every 27.7 minutes, the worst in the league.
Greenwood has now returned in five of his last seven games, including three double-digit hauls. I was particularly impressed with him against Leicester City where he played in a heavily-rotated team but led the line with a maturity that far exceeded his age. I expect him to start against Fulham, although his minutes against Wolverhampton Wanderers might be limited.
With Greenwood already in place, however, I’m looking to the other end of the M62 and Leeds United, where Jack Harrison (£5.5m) caught everyone’s eye with his 16-point return at Burnley. Harrison is now the best value midfielder in FPL and 152 points in his debut season is a fantastic return for a player who has so often been over-shadowed by the likes of Patrick Bamford (£6.5m), Stuart Dallas (£5.4m) and Raphinha (£5.5m).
Mark Sutherns presented some great stats on Harrison during this week’s FPL BlackBox (48:25). Harrison has really improved on his attacking input over the last eight Gameweek’s (coinciding originally with Raphinha’s injury), boasting improved numbers across almost all of the key areas (shots, big chances, xG, xA etc.).
Raphinha is undoubtedly a class act, but looks like he is still recovering after missing a few weeks and I’m leaning slightly towards Harrison as my replacement. Surely Leeds will pull out all the stops to make his loan from Manchester City permanent in the Summer?
Final day punt
Everyone loves the final day of the season. It’s like a birthday, Christmas and Easter all rolled into one. It’s even more special this year given that we have had so few weekends with multiple games on at the same time and it promises to be a real treat.
One of the best feelings in FPL is throwing caution to the wind and plumping for a player that few others have, or taking a bit of a risk with a captaincy to try and propel yourself up the rankings at the last opportunity.
There are some attractive looking fixtures on Sunday, with Leeds, Newcastle United and Burnley each playing the relegated teams (West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Sheffield United respectively). This will be an opportunity for fans to be in the stadium for Leeds, making their assets even more favourable, perhaps even left-field captaincy options.
I like the look of Joe Willock (£4.7m) for Newcastle, who has a rather incredible five goals in his last five games played, despite only starting two of them. Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m) is another consideration, but I do worry about his ability really to provide goals and make assists directly.
He does undoubtedly make his team-mates more attractive propositions, though, and the likes of Willock are likely to benefit from his strength and trickery.
Chris Wood (£6.5m) had a pretty poor game against Leeds, but that is likely due to the relentless pressing and eventual complete domination of the Whites in the match. Going into it, Wood had eight goals in ten matches and, while I’m not expecting a haul against Liverpool, Sheffield United may prove more obliging opponents. I think a switch from Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) could be on the cards.
Outside of the teams facing relegation-bound opposition, the Aston Villa game at home to Chelsea could be one where we see some interesting differentials emerge. While Tuchel will want to preserve his team as best as he can ahead of their Champions League final, they will need to beat Villa to secure a top-four position. Villa are limping over the line a bit recently, with only one win (against Everton) in their last seven matches.
Kai Havertz (£8.3m), who stung me so brutally at the start of the season, may actually emerge as a decent pick for this game. Lately Chelsea have looked a lot better when he’s played and it may be that he is finally finding his groove after a difficult first season.
Mason Mount (£7.3m) is another reliable, if perhaps slightly less explosive, pick. I’d also love to take a punt on Christian Pulisic (£8.3m), who has started six of the last seven Premier League games. I think any one of these three players could provide decent returns in their most crucial match in the Premier League season.
So that’s that. I just want to thank everyone for reading my articles, for all the kind words Mark and I have received for FPL BlackBox this season and the support I have had in my new role with Fantasy Football Scout. I’m really looking forward to getting involved with the EURO Fantasy game this year for the first time… and, of course, to building my first draft for next season.
Good luck in the final few Gameweeks, everyone!
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