Pro Pundit Teams

Budget FPL options for the festive period – and why I’m favouring Kane over Son

The festive fixture crunch is upon us and this part of the season will pass a lot faster than you know. Much ground can be made or lost in this 40-day period spanning 10 Gameweeks; that’s a lot of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) action.

First up, I just want to talk about a few factors to keep in mind during this period.

BUDGET OPTIONS TO ENABLE A BIG FPL SQUAD

A big squad is going to be very useful in this period. The clubs involved in European competition are pretty much playing twice a week right until the New Year. Even the teams not in Europe are going to have three rounds of midweek Premier League games until January. Keeping this in mind and to protect yourself from inevitable rotation, I think it is very important to have a big squad to pick from.

BUDGET DEFENDERS

This is very much possible given the flurry of good defenders available to pick from. The good attacking premium options from Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have been spoken about and very well documented. But due to inevitable rotation, it might not be a bad idea to have one or two nailed budget options as insurance. Crystal Palace are fourth for ease of fixture difficulty on the Season Ticker until Gameweek 21 and only Manchester City have a better expected goals conceded (xGC) tally than the Eagles. The likes of Tyrick Mitchell (£4.5m) and Marc Guehi (£4.5m) will be great enablers in this period. While Mitchell has some assist threat, Guehi looks good for bonus points. Only six defenders have a higher Baseline BPS score than Guehi and both these Palace defenders look like solid ‘big squad’ enablers that will be very useful in the festive fixture crunch. The schedule below is very convincing:

We obviously have Tino Livramento (£4.5m) in that price bracket and for the more risk-friendly managers, our favorite Mr. Lively, Tariq Lamptey (£4.4m), is back in the fray after a good outing against Newcastle United. He supplied seven crosses in the draw with the Magpies, shooting twice inside the box and clocking eight penalty area touches.  Keeping the above factors in mind, I think having five playing defenders from this great pool of value options is going to be very helpful in the festive fixture period. It doesn’t just insure against rotation but also against taking hits if your team is suddenly having a lot of injury issues.

CHEAP MIDFIELDERS

Another pool of players enabling a bigger squad is the sheer number of options in the £5.5m to £6.5m midfield bracket. My current favorite in this price rung is Jarrod Bowen (£6.3m), who has a really good run of matches from Gameweek 16 onwards. Not that fixture difficulty seems to matter at the moment: West Ham have scored 3+ goals on four occasions already in 2021/22 and have failed to find the net in only one game, as shown by this chart from Andrew Gower below.

In the last six Gameweeks, only Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) has a higher expected goal involvement (xGI) figure than Bowen.

There are a bunch of midfielders in this bracket who can give you five playable options across the middle of the park. The likes of Conor Gallagher (£5.8m) who has a good run of fixtures until Gameweek 21, Emile Smith-Rowe (£5.8m), Raphinha (£6.6m), Maxwel Cornet (£6.0m), Bryan Mbeumo (£5.6m) and Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) are all good picks in this bracket – and that is without considering the Aston Villa midfielders, as Steven Gerrard seems to like his inside forwards.

An injury to Roberto Firmino (£8.8m) along with the upcoming unavailability of Salah and Sadio Mane (£11.9m) in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) also makes Diogo Jota (£7.5m) too much of a gift not to accept for this upcoming run of games. Jota clocked 0.49 expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes last season (only Gareth Bale and Salah had more) and is averaging the same xG/90 figure in the current campaign, as well. His expected minutes for the upcoming period look encouraging, although we admittedly don’t have clarity on the length of Firmino’s injury at the moment.

Having at least 12 playable outfielders looks like it will be very useful in the festive period and given the names I mentioned above, it’s very doable.

GAMEWEEK 12 TRANSFER PLANS

I am currently debating what to do with my own team and there is a big decision to be made. I am looking to sell Kai Havertz (£8.1m) and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (£10.1m) to fund at least one Spurs premium attacker in my team. If I get Son Heung-min (£10.3m), I will transfer in Callum Wilson (£7.3m) alongside him. If I go for Harry Kane (£12.2m), I will bring in one of the mid-priced midfielders mentioned above.

I quite liked Kane’s positioning in the Everton game, where I thought he was playing more as a number 9 under Antonio Conte than under his previous managers, and seemed to show a lot more intent than what we’ve seen so far in 2021/22. I know he only faced Albania but the quality of Kane’s finishes was encouraging on Friday, too. Given his propensity to haul against promoted teams, I do like the idea of chancing upon him. Simply put, he’s a world-class player and Conte is a world-class manager, so I want to put myself in a position to get lucky given the fixtures Spurs have.

What I said about Kane also applies to Son and arguably Wilson is a better asset compared to the midfielders, especially for the next four weeks. One thing playing on my mind, however, is squad structure and I do feel that there are outs I’m more comfortable with if I go with Kane. Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.4m) has a great run of fixtures from Gameweek 16 onwards and it looks like Romelu Lukaku (£11.5m) is going to be back in the conversation very soon. These outs, plus the wide variety of players in the mid-price midfield bracket, have me currently leaning towards Kane. I am also generally more comfortable captaining the Spurs forward and I like having that option should I want to go there in Gameweeks 14 and 15, when he plays Brentford and Norwich City at home. My mind could change before the deadline as it is a very close call but I thought it might be useful to let you know about my thought process.

Enjoy this little bit of a break because things are going to get very chaotic very soon. See you on the other side.


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651 Comments Post a Comment
  1. tim
    • 12 Years
    16 days, 3 hours ago

    Jota and Kane
    or
    Wilson and Son

    Cheers!

    1. jon.terry.tfh
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      16 days, 3 hours ago

      Wilson & Son.

    2. The Movement
        16 days, 3 hours ago

        Both quality go with your gut

      • BERGKOP
        • 10 Years
        16 days, 3 hours ago

        This seems to be this weeks' conundrum. I think B is better longer term.

    3. JVALDEZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      16 days, 3 hours ago

      Morning all, top 2k pressure becoming very real; thoughts on what to do with this lot would be appreciated:

      Ramsdale
      TAA - Cancelo - Chilwell - Livramento
      Salah(c) - Raphinha - Mbuemo
      Kane - Antonio - Jimenez

      Foster - Rudiger - Saka - Brownhill

      0.2ITB, 1FT

      1. BERGKOP
        • 10 Years
        16 days, 3 hours ago

        You're very well placed. Mbuemo the biggest liability. I'd save this week and play Rudiger.

        1. JVALDEZ
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          16 days, 3 hours ago

          Over Mbuemo? And thanks pal

      2. The Movement
          16 days, 3 hours ago

          Good team, let the transfer roll

          1. JVALDEZ
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            16 days, 3 hours ago

            Cheers mate, will most likely roll.

        • The Movement
            16 days, 3 hours ago

            Also agree it’s a toss up between Rudiger and Mbuemo. If you think Chelsea keep a clean sheet play Rudiger if not Mbuemo

            1. JVALDEZ
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              16 days, 3 hours ago

              Thanks man

          • Tcheco
            • 4 Years
            16 days, 3 hours ago

            If you got Mbuemo for 5.6 you could get Gallagher.

            If not, easy save. Close call between Mbuemo & Rudiger there but the attacking player edges it.

            1. JVALDEZ
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              16 days, 2 hours ago

              Agreed I can't see a Chelsea clean sheet so going to play Mbuemo.

          • DannyDrinkVodka
            • 2 Years
            16 days, 3 hours ago

            Save and play Mbeumo - then you can upgrade to Jota next week (maybe at the expense of Antonio or Jimenez)

            1. JVALDEZ
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              16 days, 2 hours ago

              Thanks mate, solid plan

        • Mahjongking
          • 5 Years
          16 days, 3 hours ago

          Steele
          Livra taa cancelo
          Havertz salah esr foden
          Antonio vardy toney

          Subs sanchez tierney coady rice

          Will u free hit this team?

          1. The Movement
              16 days, 3 hours ago

              No way, why?

            • Tcheco
              • 4 Years
              16 days, 3 hours ago

              Chill

          2. Atimis
            • 5 Years
            16 days, 3 hours ago

            Not in the rush to sell Havertz.
            Surely he can start with Lukaku in the same XI and Lei game should be goals?

            1. internal error
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              16 days, 3 hours ago

              When is Werner back?

            2. The Movement
                16 days, 3 hours ago

                Possible rotation risk, keep him this week and hope for the best

              • Tcheco
                • 4 Years
                16 days, 3 hours ago

                fingers crossed for a goal fest. Have a feeling Vardy will be amongst it the next 2 weeks with people moving him on to fund Spurs players

            3. Pukki Party
              • 4 Years
              16 days, 3 hours ago

              FPL week let's goo

              1. Holmes
                • 8 Years
                16 days, 3 hours ago

                still long way to go...

                but tbh, it didnt felt like I am missing anything this time!

            4. Tcheco
              • 4 Years
              16 days, 3 hours ago

              Captain Kane or Salah?

              1. internal error
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                16 days, 3 hours ago

                Salah. Kane is too risky atm

              2. TKC07
                • 2 Years
                16 days, 3 hours ago

                Foden

              3. CAVEAT KING
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                16 days, 3 hours ago

                Risk and reward? I am a cowboy myself but i am sticking with Salah

              4. DannyDrinkVodka
                • 2 Years
                16 days, 3 hours ago

                I've got Kane and am TEMPTED - Arsenal have tightened up and I don't see a double digit haul for Salah.....famous last words

            5. Arfaish
              • 9 Years
              16 days, 3 hours ago

              Ive got 2FT's this week with Saka > Son earmarked but unsure if it is worth using one on Sanchez:

              Sanchez, (£4m)
              Rudiger, James, Cancelo, Livra, (Duffy)
              Son, Salah, Raphina, Foden, Benrahma
              Jimenez, (Vardy, Archer)

              Is it worth switching from Sanchez to McCarthy/Guita/Ramsdale and if so which? Probably leaning towards Guita.

              1. The Movement
                  16 days, 1 hour ago

                  If you have a non playing backup maybe, who’s your 4.0?

              2. CoracAld2831
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                15 days, 22 hours ago

                Potential WC team for GW12:

                Guaita
                James-TAA-Cancelo-Livramento
                Son-Jota-Salah
                Wilson-Antonio-Jimenez

                Foster-Mbeumo-White-McArthur

                My WC moves would be:

                Vardy, Raphinha, Havertz, Gilmour, Sanchez -> Wilson, Jota, Son, McArthur, Guaita

                Should I do it?

                A: Yes
                B: No