We pick out 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 for this series in 2021/22, producing a fortnightly piece and discussing the rankings by position.
ABOUT THE WATCHLIST
Our regularly 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
The Watchlist: Best FPL Goalkeepers
Aaron Ramsdale (£4.6m) and Robert Sanchez (£4.6m) retain their spots at the top of the goalkeeper Watchlist. Ramsdale in particular has a great run of fixtures coming up but Sanchez does have a difficult spell in the short term with games against Liverpool and Manchester City after Norwich City.
David Raya (£4.6m) moves up a spot with Brentford’s fixture run looking better after the Gameweek 8 clash with Chelsea. The Spaniard looks great for both saves and bonus points and all the three budget goalkeepers seem like ideal options for those FPL managers on a Wildcard.
The Watchlist: Best FPL Defenders
Joao Cancelo (£6.2m) moves to the top of the defender Watchlist above Antonio Rudiger (£5.8m) due to Manchester City’s superior defensive numbers and the offensive threat that the Portuguese provides. Rudiger is just marginally above Ruben Dias (£6.1m) as the more nailed defensive option due to Chelsea’s short-term fixtures but Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.0m) replaces the rotated Marcos Alonso (£6.0m) as the high-upside Chelsea defensive pick.
Luke Shaw (£5.4m) drops out of the Watchlist entirely with Manchester United’s poor defensive form and daunting fixture run. The absence of Harry Maguire (£5.4m) is likely to affect the Red Devils’ clean sheet prospects significantly and there are better options out there for the next 6-8 weeks.
Kieran Tierney (£4.9m) is a great pick for Arsenal’s brilliant run of fixtures and the north London side have looked a lot more solid with Gabriel (£5.0m), Ben White (£4.4m) and Thomas Partey (£5.0m) in the team. The Scot is often playing as a left winger in the lopsided formation that Mikel Arteta favours and is cheap at just £4.9m.
Lucas Digne (£5.3m) also drops out with Everton’s favourable run coming to an end. The Frenchman does not look worth his price tag at the moment and his creative numbers have tailed off significantly from last season.
Matthew Cash (£5.1m) has impressed in the new back three system that Villa employ and offers a good chance of attacking returns at an affordable price. White also looks a great option if you cannot afford Tierney and is a perfect fourth defender for when the likes of Cancelo gets rotated.
The Watchlist: Best FPL Midfielders
There’s a big shake-up in the midfield department with the fit-again Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) replacing Sadio Mane (£11.9m) as the second premium midfielder of choice. Son Heung-min (£10.0m) is also worthy of consideration ahead of two match-ups against sides that have struggled defensively this season: Newcastle United and West Ham United.
Jack Grealish (£7.9m) is ousted by Phil Foden (£7.9m) as the Man City ‘budget’ midfielder pick. The youngster was electric against Liverpool and with fitness back, should see regular game time.
Raphinha (£6.6m) moves up the list ahead of Leeds’ outstanding run of fixtures, although there are some concerns about his availability in Gameweek 8 due to Brazil’s third game of the international break being played on Friday morning.
Bukayo Saka (£6.3m) is preferred over Emile Smith Rowe (£5.4m) as the go-to Arsenal midfielder ahead of their good run. With Alexandre Lacazette (£8.3m) and Nicolas Pepe (£7.1m) knocking about, I think Saka’s spot in the team is a bit more secure than Smith Rowe’s.
I wasn’t sure about who to pick between Andros Townsend (£5.6m) and Demarai Gray (£5.8m) so I have included both as they’re great options in their own right.
Bryan Mbeumo (£5.5m) will move further up this list once the fixtures against Chelsea and Leicester are out of the way. The ‘out of position’ midfielder is punching with the big boys in terms of the expected goals (xG) numbers.
The Watchlist: Best FPL Forwards
Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m) goes above Michail Antonio (£8.0m) with his upcoming run of fixtures. Antonio is a great option still but the Hammers’ schedule is a bit more daunting and the Europa League fatigue will likely start taking its toll.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s (£12.6m) difficult fixture run sees him drop to fourth with Raul Jimenez (£7.5m) moving to third. The Mexican looks to be getting back to his best after a tough start to the season.
I would have liked to put Adam Armstrong (£6.0m) a little bit higher on the Watchlist given Saints’ run of fixtures but I would like to see a bit more form from him first.
Hwang Hee-chan (£5.6m) is a new entry into the list: the South Korean looks to be striking a great partnership with Jimenez and his displays remind me of the role that Diogo Jota (£7.6m) played for Wolves.