Scout Picks

Havertz and James selected in FPL Gameweek 9 Scout Picks

After Sam, Az, Neale and Tom submitted their Scout Squad selections earlier this week, we have chosen our best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players for Gameweek 9 ahead of tonight’s 18.30 BST deadline.

We line up in a 3-5-2 formation and, as ever, are limited to a £83.0m budget for our starting XI.


The best goalkeepers for UEFA Champions League Fantasy

Chelsea’s clean sheet prospects look as good as any this weekend, with Gameweek 9 opponents Norwich City failing to find the back of the net in six of their eight Premier League matches so far. And if you remove penalties, they’ve scored just one goal from open play all season. Edouard Mendy (£6.1m) has already kept four clean sheets this term and, unlike many of his premium peers, is racking up the stops to go with his shut-outs: he’s banked seven save points already this season, just three fewer than he accumulated in the whole of 2020/21. The profligate Canaries may struggle to provide him with three attempts to throw his cap on this weekend but with uncertainty raging over which defensive personnel that Thomas Tuchel will plump for, we’ve gone safety-first with one-half of our double-up on the Blues backline – providing Kepa Arrizabalaga (£4.8m) doesn’t get one of his shock run-outs, that is.


Should FPL managers buy Southampton players ahead of Gameweek 8? 7

Chelsea’s teamsheet against Malmo prompts our second Blues selection of the week, with a rested Reece James (£5.5m) surely, surely handed a start this weekend based on his manager’s pre-match comments about the tight turnaround. Right, Thomas? Among the top five first-team Premier League defenders for minutes-per-chance-created this season, James is also ahead of all of his defensive colleagues for minutes-per-xGI, too.

Southampton restricted their opponents to just two shots in the box and 0.42 expected goals (xG) in Gameweek 8 and next face a Burnley side who have scored fewer goals than all teams bar Norwich this season. Tino Livramento (£4.3m) has provided either a clean sheet or an assist in four of his last five appearances, and during that time, ranks top amongst team-mates for take-ons and second for passes received in the final third. It’s also worth noting that Saints’ opponents have conceded 97 crosses from their left-hand side this season – again, only the Canaries have allowed more.

Manchester City have kept six clean sheets in eight matches this season, so there’s almost a permanent spot in the Scout Picks open for a representative from Pep Guardiola’s backline. Ruben Dias (£6.2m) is our rather dullard selection off the back of a rare benching last weekend, with Joao Cancelo (£6.3m) perhaps a mite more of a risk thanks to consecutive 90-minute run-outs. Brighton have been stingy at the back so it might be more of a low-scoring affair at the Amex, which is the type of match in which Dias might prosper on the Bonus Points System: he delivered bonus points in the matches against Leicester and Southampton earlier in the campaign, which featured only one goal across those 180 minutes.


Only those with a Fantasy Football Scout account can read this piece in full but you can pick up yours for free via this link.



Who are the best FPL captain options for Gameweek 9? 2

There was no new manager bounce at Watford last weekend, more of a ‘replacement boss faceplant’ as the Hornets slumped to a 5-0 defeat; anyone who saw the displays of Adam Masina and especially Danny Rose will know why we’ve gone for Andros Townsend (£5.7m) over any other Everton midfielder, with Claudio Ranieri’s side butchered down their left by Liverpool. The winger himself is also the Toffees’ leading shot-taker and chance creator over the last four Gameweeks.

Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) has now scored seven goals, provided five assists and is averaging a massive 10.4 points per match across his eight appearances so far this season. His underlying numbers are equally impressive, too, as he leads the way for goals attempts (33), shots in the box (28) and expected goals (xG), with 5.19. This weekend’s opponents – Manchester United – may have staged a memorable midweek comeback against Atalanta, but the first half once again exposed their defensive frailties, and highlights the huge issues Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are facing at the back. In fact, across the last four Gameweeks, which has seen them take on Leicester City (a), Everton (h), Aston Villa (h) and West Ham United (a), they rank 19th for non-penalty expected goals conceded (non-pen xGC).

With Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner absent, Kai Havertz (£8.1m) will surely lead the line against Norwich City this weekend. The hope is that he can build on his midweek goal and performance against Malmo and use it as a turning point, having lacked self-belief and end-product during the opening weeks of the campaign. Havertz did show promise in a false nine role during the second half of last season, and produced several decisive moments, with the biggest, of course, arriving against Manchester City in the Champions League final, when he slotted in the winning goal. His underlying numbers were encouraging, too, as he ranked top amongst all midfielders per 90 minutes for big chances from Gameweek 20 onwards, and second for goal attempts and xG.

Tottenham Hotspur have looked better in a 4-2-3-1 formation in their last two league outings, posting their highest xG totals of the season in the last two Gameweeks. During that time, they also racked up 31 goal attempts, having produced just 56 across the opening six Gameweeks combined. Son Heung-min (£10.2m) has now produced six attacking returns in seven league appearances and despite Harry Kane’s upturn in underlying stats, Son is still outgunning his strike partner for big chances, shots in the box and expected goal involvement (xGI) over the last four Gameweeks.

Bryan Mbeumo (£5.6m) comes out very promisingly when compared to all other FPL midfielders for goal threat, ranking third for xG, joint-fourth for big chances and sixth for shots in the box – and bear in mind that we’re talking about all midfielders here, including Son and Salah, not just budget options in Mbeumo’s price rung. Leicester have been shambolic at the back this season, conceding more goals than all bar four teams and keeping only one clean sheet, although the return to fitness of the influential Jonny Evans is one boost to the Foxes.

Vardy on target again as Man Utd's defensive issues continue in Gameweek 8 2

Top among FPL forwards for transfers in ahead of Gameweek 9, Jamie Vardy (£10.7m) is the go-to Romelu Lukaku replacement for many Fantasy managers. Vardy is now the Premier League’s joint-top goalscorer after scoring on five occasions in his last four appearances and while a trip to Brentford is no easy test based on what we’ve seen from the Bees so far this season, opposition difficulty doesn’t seem to be much of a barrier to the veteran hitman anyway: last season, for example, he bagged 10 goals and assists combined in 12 fixtures against the ‘big six’ sides. Vardy hasn’t been adversely affected by the return of Kelechi Iheanacho so far, either, with totals of six shots and five attempts in the box in the last two Gameweeks in keeping with his output in 2021/22 before that. Indeed, it has been Iheanacho who has been playing slightly wider and deeper.

While we may be a little wary about a ‘new manager bounce’ as the well-moneyed Newcastle United enter a post-Brucean era, it sounds like it will still be the same coaching staff at the helm at Selhurst Park, so it’d be a surprise to see any fresh tactical innovations. Newcastle are still without a clean sheet and up against an ever-improving Crystal Palace side who should have defeated Arsenal on Monday, so Odsonne Edouard (£6.5m) – who should return to a centre-forward role following his stint on the left at the Emirates – is our final pick of the week.


We choose the Scout Picks captain using a four-way vote between our Scout Squad pundits.

Our panel voted as follows:

Az: Salah, James, Havertz

Sam: Salah, Vardy, Son

Neale: Salah, Havertz, Son

Tom: Salah, Havertz, Son

Salah is awarded the captaincy, with Havertz nominated as vice-captain.


Each week, one of the Fantasy Football Scout community takes on the Scout Picks by pitting their chosen XI against ours.

The community member who beats our team by the largest margin will win a £100 Amazon Voucher and a place in our Moderators and Contributors League for the following season.

RUN DCL edged us 77-76 last week but Holmes, who triumphed 59-34 in Gameweek 7, has set the target to beat.

Our champion this week is Cakester, who has gone with a 3-4-3 of Guaita, Chilwell, Azpilicueta, Livramento, De Bruyne, Havertz (c), B. Silva, Townsend, Kane, Edouard, Vardy.

The Scout Picks are 5-3 up on the community this season.

Pre-season price offer extended for FFScout Premium Membership 10

Full-year memberships, monthly subscriptions and a FREE trial are all now available.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.



305 Comments Post a Comment
  1. OptimusBlack
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Open Controls back again :/

    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Permalink here

  2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Worth a -4?

    A) Edouard
    B) Hwang
    C) Neither. Bench Lukaku, transfer out next week.

    1. OptimusBlack
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      A he scored 3 goals in 5 matches playing Newcastle I think worth to get

    2. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago


  3. Hunting for points
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 6 days ago

    A) Sarr to Havertz for -4?
    B) Benrahma to Havertz for -4?

    Bench one:
    1) Alonso
    2) Livramento
    3) Toney

  4. K4pril
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 6 days ago


    Hey all, currently on WC

    TAA, chilwell, Rudriger, Cancelo, Livra
    Salah, Raph, Mbuemo, Brownhill, Havertz
    Jimenez Antonio Vardy

    I am missing £££ for all striker and can't decide who to go for?
    Antonio to Toney?
    Jimenez to Hwang?
    Or maybe A.Amstrong, if yes for with one?

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      I'd stick or consider Jesus up front.

  5. Firminoooo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    A) Open controls
    B) Permalink

    On permalink myself.

  6. mabz1303
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Anyone know how long Lukaku will be out for?? Any estimates?

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      Back for the Burnley game?

  7. Mr. O'Connell
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Scout picks looks good bar Reece James

  8. andrewrichter
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Who should 1 of the following should i leave out from my team:


  9. ballsy_b
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Is this worth a -4.
    Mahrez to Havertz?

    Current team is:

    TAA - Cancelo - Livramento
    Raphina - Gallagher - Mahrez - Salah - ESR
    Antonio - Vardy

    Gunn - Semedo - Armstrong - Duffy

    1. Tired and weary
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      I’m doing it

  10. Tsparkes10
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Last wc choice…
    A) Foden
    B) Gray
    C) Hwang
    D) Edouard
    E) Toney

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 6 days ago

      D for me

  11. AC/DC AFC
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    FPL Rockstar with his best info on the Chelsea line up....

  12. ballsy_b
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Mahrez to Havertz for -4
    Yes or no?

    Already done Lukaku to Vardy.
    No Chelsea cover now

    1. golfboy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Mahrez might get a run without KDB but who knows!

  13. 03farmboy
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 6 days ago

    Who’s the better option?
    Son or Kane
    Mbuemo or Toney

  14. golfboy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Bench 1?

    A) Livramento
    B) Gallagher