Back by popular demand, the Watchlist articles make a return to Fantasy Football Scout in 2021/22.
In this series, we pinpoint the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players who are the stand-out medium-term targets based on fixtures, form and value.
Seven-time top 10k finisher and Scout regular Zophar will be taking the reins this season, producing a fortnightly piece and discussing the rankings by position.
ABOUT THE WATCHLIST
Our reguarly updated Watchlist, which is visible on the sidebar, ranks players in each position for the month ahead – or rather, the next four Gameweeks.
This allows site users to get a longer-term view on recommended players beyond the weekly Scout Picks.
Players are selected according to factors such as FPL’s form rating*, club injuries, club morale, forthcoming fixtures and whether or not the player in question is likely to be a bargain in FPL.
The table displays the player name and club, along with the abbreviation for the factors that played a part in their ranking. A key for these factors can be found below the player in the table and looks like this:
Arrows before the name indicate whether a player as climbed or fallen in our reckoning since the previous update or if they are a new entry into the tables.
Please note that while we may generally only recommend one player from each club within a position, alternative assets at the same club can always be considered.
*points divided by a club’s matches played over the last 30 days
FPL WATCHLIST: BEST GOALKEEPERS
Robert Sanchez (£4.6m) retains his spot at the top of the keeper rankings but there is a new entrant in second place: Aaron Ramsdale (£4.5m). Arsenal have conceded no big chances since Thomas Partey (£5.0m), Gabriel (£5.0m) and Ben White (£4.4m) returned to the starting line-up and the Gunners have a good upcoming run of fixtures. What I like about Ramsdale is that his baseline BPS are higher than those of his defence, so his potential for bonus points is excellent.
Jordan Pickford (£5.0m) and Daniel Bachmann (£4.5m) drop out of the Watchlist due to injury and a weekend benching respectively, which means that Ben Foster (£4.0m) and Alex McCarthy (£4.5m) come in as new entrants. I thought Southampton might struggle a bit defensively without Jannik Vestergaard (£4.9m) but they have kept out two of the division’s form attacks, West Ham and Manchester City, over the last two games. Foster is a great option if you’re looking for a back-up keeper.
Brentford’s defensive numbers have been excellent which means David Raya (£4.6m) is pretty high on the Watchlist despite difficult fixtures. Leeds are in a bit of a defensive crisis at the moment but as we saw last weekend, Illan Meslier (£5.0m) is always going to rack up save points.
FPL WATCHLIST: BEST DEFENDERS
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m ) retains top spot but I was a bit iffy on whether Luke Shaw (£5.5m) deserves the second berth. Manchester United’s fixtures stiffen a bit after the Aston Villa clash but the left-back has shown an improvement in creativity since Cristiano Ronaldo’s (£12.7m) arrival.
The Man City and Chelsea quartet of Ruben Dias (£6.1m), Marcos Alonso (£5.8m), Antonio Rudiger (£5.6m) and Joao Cancelo (£6.0m) take up the next four spots. Despite difficult opening fixtures, both teams have kept four clean sheets in five games and offer more secure options (Dias, Rudiger) as well as riskier, explosive picks (Cancelo, Alonso). Alonso has replaced Reece James (£5.6m) as the ‘explosive’ Chelsea defender on the back of his recent performances.
Aaron Cresswell (£5.5m) has dropped out as I think at his price point the Chelsea/City defenders offer better potential. I also reckon that Wolves might go to a back four soon which might reduce the attacking license that Nelson Semedo (£4.9m) has been afforded thus far, which sees him drop down a few spaces on the Watchlist.
Lucas Digne (£5.4m) is another player I wasn’t sure merited inclusion. His creative numbers have dropped significantly from last season and it appears he is sharing set pieces now with Andros Townsend (£5.4m) and Demarai Gray (£5.8m). However, with home games against Norwich, Watford and West Ham over the next four Gameweeks, he makes the list.
Kieran Tierney (£4.9m) has been playing like a left winger in Arsenal’s lopsided attack, with the Gunners effectively operating with a three-man defence in possession and Takehiro Tomiyasu (£4.5m) tucking in. Tierney is great value at £4.9m for their upcoming run.
FPL WATCHLIST: BEST MIDFIELDERS
Mohamed Salah’s (£12.6m) place at the top of the midfield Watchlist is unquestionable but perhaps for the first time since his arrival on these shores, Bruno Fernandes’ (£11.9m) stock has dropped. The Portuguese is at fourth spot on the Watchlist, with Sadio Mane (£11.9m) and Jack Grealish (£8.0m) ranked higher.
Ferran Torres (£7.1m) drops out of the Watchlist with the likes of Phil Foden (£7.9m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) returning to full fitness. Diogo Jota (£7.7m) and Mason Greenwood (£7.7m) both look like short-term options presently and the threat of rotation looms large after Gameweek 6.
I couldn’t really decide on an order for the four budget midfielders, Demarai Gray (£5.8m), Said Benrahma (£6.5m), Ismaila Sarr (£6.1m) and Raphinha (£6.5m). They’re all providing excellent value at the moment and it’s hard to present a case against any of them. I would definitely put Adama Traore (£6.0m) a notch below the aforementioned four as his lack of end product continues to frustrate. Conor Gallagher’s (£5.6m) tough fixtures see him ranked 12th.
FPL WATCHLIST: BEST FORWARDS
There is no change at the top with Michail Antonio (£7.9m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.7m) retaining the top two berths. There are some injury doubts regarding Patrick Bamford’s (£8.0m) availability at the time of writing but the initial news is promising, so he stays third.
Romelu Lukaku (£11.6m) will likely move up after the fixture with Man City is out of the way. Gabriel Jesus (£8.6m) drops out of the Watchlist and so does Harry Kane (£12.2m). Neither looks worthy of their price tag at the moment, with Jesus continuing to play wide-right and Spurs struggling for chances.
Jamie Vardy (£10.4m) is a great differential ahead of Leicester’s good fixture run. He looks like he is being used sparingly in Europe so he should see consistent game-time in the Foxes’ league matches.
Raul Jimenez (£7.5m) has failed to register any returns yet but is posting good underlying numbers and is a fixture play at the moment. Teemu Pukki’s (£5.9m) spot above Ivan Toney (£6.3m) is debatable but given the short-term schedule, I’m narrowly leaning towards the Finn.
We discuss these players and more in this week’s episode of The FPL Wire. You can check it out below: