I’ve been a bit slack with my Pro Pundit articles this year, but after seeing Neale, Tom and Marc pick up the “Best in Editorial” accolade at the Fantasy Content Awards, I’m keen to ride on their coattails.
With that said, I’ll be back to doing my regular pieces on here, looking at some of the key issues and deliberations facing Fantasy managers, and major talking points.
Before that though, with eight Gameweeks now behind our belts, I want to do a bit of a stock check for what started out as quite a predictable season but quickly flipped on its head as only Fantasy Premier League (FPL) can, with some surprise options and teams emerging.
Every year, we seem to get at least one promoted team that everyone falls in love with. This year, it is unquestionably Brentford, who have lit up the Premier League with some slick, attacking performances. Priced up at 5/4 to get relegated before the start of the season, these odds have been pushed up to 10/1 after a strong start in which they sit in ninth place with 12 points – that’s more than the likes of Leicester City, Arsenal and Aston Villa have got.
What’s been so impressive about Brentford however is their performances both in attack and defence. Their expected goals conceded (xGC) this season is up there with the best in the division (with only Manchester City’s freakishly imperious backline substantially better than them). The Bees have only conceded more than one goal on one occasion so far this season, and even that was against arguably the Premier League’s best attack right now.
David Raya (£4.6m) is looking a solid pick between the sticks with good fixtures to come, and Ethan Pinnock (£4.6m) and Pontus Jansson (£4.7m) already chipping in with five attacking returns between them.
But Brentford’s success isn’t solely based on good defensive numbers; they are more than holding their own against more established Premier League teams in attacking terms, too. An expected goals (xG) tally from open play of 7.71 puts them eighth, with Ivan Toney (£6.4m) and Bryan Mbeumo (£5.5m) offering cut-price options for our FPL teams. In case you missed it, Mbeumo has hit the woodwork six times already this season! With Burnley, Norwich and Newcastle on the horizon, however, many will be turning to the Frenchman, hoping that his luck will change – and that we don’t have another Adama Traore (£6.0m) on our hands…