Three-time top 200 finisher Lateriser takes more of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) community’s questions ahead of Gameweek 8.
The topics range from premium defenders to Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m).
Q) What is the most you would pay for a defender who keeps lots of clean sheets but who has very little attacking threat (e.g. one goal, one assist last season)? Do defenders above a certain price have to offer significant attacking threat for you to consider them? (From Major League Shocker)
In general, I am looking for some attacking threat from my defenders but elite defences like Manchester City and Chelsea are obviously an exception where the rate of clean sheet returns is so high and reliable. In such a case, though, if they don’t offer enough attacking threat, what I do pay close attention to is bonus point (BPS) potential. If a player has a high propensity to get bonus points due to a healthy baseline BPS figure, I am more inclined to go for him. This is why I prefer a Ruben Dias (£6.2m) to an Antonio Rudiger (£5.8m) because he compares more favorably to his peers on baseline BPS.
Q) If you could afford just one, would you pick a City or Chelsea defender? (From Vertigo)
For me, the money position when it comes to a defender from one of these teams is wing-back for Chelsea. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, we don’t have a clear answer in terms of who is the most ‘nailed’. If you can stomach the odd benching, then in my opinion you go for Reece James (£5.5m) or Ben Chilwell (£5.6m) but know that they aren’t nailed at the moment, especially with Marcos Alonso (£6.0m) putting in impressive performances for Spain in the case of Chilwell. We will know more about the fitness of James after Thomas Tuchel’s press conference on Friday and if he is available, he is my favourite option because I think that Chelsea will be very reliant on his delivery to Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m). I have also noticed that James has started getting into the box a lot more this season.
My next favorite options are one of Joao Cancelo (£6.2m) or Ruben Dias (£6.1m) depending on your risk appetite. Dias is definitely more nailed on than Cancelo but doesn’t have much of a goal/assist threat. That said, Dias has a very strong baseline BPS and gets bonus points fairly regularly, having accumulated five of them already this season and 12 in 2020/21. I think the upcoming fixtures for Manchester City will require Cancelo’s creative play-making ability, which is why I prefer him to Dias. I also like that Cancelo can play right-back as well as left-back. If you have a nailed-on fourth and fifth defender, I don’t mind rolling the dice with these high upside defenders from Chelsea and Manchester City.
Q) With Kevin De Bruyne back in the frame, is there a case for proceeding as if “Ron/Rom” never happened? (From Andy_Social)
I don’t think you can ignore either Romelu Lukaku (£11.7m) or Ronaldo (£12.6m), even with Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) back in the frame. I think all three are going to be very relevant at different times of the season based on fixtures but with Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) showing the form and reliability that he is at the moment, you have to pick and choose your battles with the other premiums. I am big on playing the fixtures, which is why I’m going Lukaku for the upcoming run. It is going to be very difficult for anyone to forget Ronaldo come Gameweek 15, so you have to just wait and pick your battles. All of them are going to remain relevant and in our thoughts throughout the season.
Q) I know you touched on this on your Wire podcast but with lots of Wildcards being played, how can we be a little bit different so we don’t all end up with similar Wildcard teams? Who are the players to target early to jump ahead of the pack? (From HMC)
My instinct here is Phil Foden (£7.9m) and Reece James (£5.5m), both of whom are under 5% owned at the moment. I think with James appearing in training at the moment, there is a good chance he will be fit for Chelsea’s upcoming schedule. With Foden, he just looks like he’s City’s best player every time I watch them. I like his versatility and the fact that he can play all four positions but we all know that if he gets minutes, he is definitely underpriced.
We know of the risks associated with these two players (and Ben Chilwell) but I think these are the positions I like to target early to jump ahead of the pack. I also like Tottenham Hotspur’s fixtures, especially from Gameweek 12 onwards, so if you’re in a position to get one of Son Heung-min (£10.1m) or Harry Kane (£12.1m) early, I think their mid-term fixtures aren’t bad on a Wildcard and it is easier to sell them than to buy.
Lastly, I won’t say anything except that I am monitoring Timo Werner (£8.6m) closely.
If you want to know more about the Wildcard, my fellow Pro Pundit Utkarsh and I had a long freestyle discussion on this week’s episode of The FPL Wire.