Pro Pundit Teams

FPL Q&A: Trossard, how many forwards should we play and Salah captaincy

The 40 days of chaos are amongst us and I am very excited for the next ten Gameweeks of football, which will come thick and fast.

I asked the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) community to send in some questions for me to answer, getting many regarding Harry Kane (£12.2m) and Heung-Min Son (£10.3m).

I’ve already written about my thinking with these two in my article last week and spoke about it at length on this week’s episode of The FPL Wire (44:00 onwards), so you can check out my opinion there. I should mention that I have sold Pierre Emerick­-Aubameyang (£10.0m) and Kai Havertz (£8.1m) this week, purchasing Kane and Conor Gallagher (£5.9m) in return. I could have gone for the alternative duo of Callum Wilson (£7.4m) and Son but my reasons are outlined in those links.

Let’s move on to the questions.


Q: Why does the FPL community dislike Leandro Trossard (£6.5m) so much? Brighton and Hove Albion are a rapidly improving side and he is getting close to talismanic status for them. His next four matches scream goals after back-to-back hauls.  (@HinduMonkey)

A. It is interesting that many aren’t looking at him closely but I think that has to do with him clocking an average of just ten returns over the last two seasons. It is worth noting that he is gaining a little bit of traction this week and I think that has to do with FPL managers preferring him as this current out-of-position, false nine option for Brighton, despite not knowing how long this will continue. If he does so for a couple more weeks, I think managers will be quick to jump on him. Many are focusing their transfers on a Spurs attacker or Diogo Jota (£7.5m) at the moment, which also explains the lack of love for Trossard. I have looked into his numbers so far this season and some are interesting. This is his rank amongst midfielders:

  • Touches in final third: 4th
  • Shots: 4th
  • Shots in the box: 4th
  • Expected Goal Involvement (xGI): 17th (second-best over the last two gameweeks, when playing false nine)
  • Big Chances: 27th (two big chances from the two matches as false nine)
  • Chances Created: 14th

Until Trossard moved up front, his numbers were indicative of a lot of low-quality volume chances but the early signs when playing as a false nine are very encouraging. In fact, thanks to your question, I’m paying a lot closer attention to him than before and will have him high on my watchlist if he continues this. However, one player is outperforming these numbers at his price point – Jarrod Bowen (£6.4m), who is behind only Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) for xGI since Gameweek 5 and has a good run of upcoming fixtures from Gameweek 16. Not that fixtures are important for West Ham these days, as they have blanked just once this season and only Manchester City have more Premier League goals this calendar year.


Q: Not a single forward rank inside the top ten for points across the past five weeks and only two are in the top 20. Just a phase, or should we start moving cash and switching to a 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 formation? (@FPL_Banger)

A. I have also noticed that forwards haven’t been doing well lately. Kane’s manager, Romelu Lukaku’s (£11.5m) fitness and Cristiano Ronaldo’s (£12.4m) fixtures are the reasons why these important cogs of the FPL wheel haven’t been a big part of the conversation in recent weeks. I think this is going to change, given the fixtures for all three which is why I think it might be worth reserving a place in your team for a premium striker. Kane and Ronaldo have great fixtures in the festive period and Lukaku plays for one of the best teams in the league.

At a lower price point, I don’t think there are many options but, depending on your team structure and spread of funds, Michail Antonio (£8.2m), Ivan Toney (£6.7m) and Wilson might be important players in the festive fixture crunch. My problem with going 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 is that the cheap bench-filling forward options don’t actually play, which isn’t the case with defenders and midfielders. We will need our benches in December and there is great value in £4.5-5.0m defenders and £5.5-6.0m midfielders. You mentioned that no forward ranks amongst the highest scorers of the past five matches, yet more than half of the top ten for expected goals (xG) in the last six Gameweeks are forwards. Ever-evolving, I don’t think the state of play will remain idle and, given these factors, I think having at least two playing strikers seems prudent.


Q: Is Mohamed Salah still a captaincy lock? I have Reece James (£5.9m) and Joao Cancelo (£6.5m) – if I’d captained them over the last two Gameweeks, I’d be much better off. (@tony_earnshaw)

Hi Tony. I still haven’t seen anything from any other player in the league that would make me remove captaincy from Salah. You’re talking about having done better with James and Cancelo but that is looking at two specific Gameweeks and, when you look at players in a very short sample size, anything can happen. The shorter the duration, the higher potential variance. Over the season, Salah has been in a separate stratosphere of his own when it comes to underlying numbers as well as efficiency. I don’t know how possible it is to consistently rely on these full-backs to produce attacking returns but I do agree that clean sheet potential gives them a high ceiling for points. That said, I think Salah also offers this in his current form. I have noticed the numbers start to dip slightly in the last two Gameweeks but I think I need to see something a lot more from the other players before betting against the Egyptian.

That’s it from me for this week. I hope you have a good Gameweek and I’ll see you before the next deadline!


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733 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Mr_Barbs
    • 4 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Bench one this week:

    A) Lamptey (Avl)
    B) Havertz (Lei)
    C) Raphina (Tot)
    D) Saint-Maximin (Bre)
    E) Toney (New)

    1. Mr_Barbs
      • 4 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      Sorry, bench two!

    2. wulfrunian
      • 5 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      d

      1. wulfrunian
        • 5 Years
        17 days, 2 hours ago

        c d

    3. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      A & E

    4. TB303
      • 4 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      C & A

      Toney will score !

      1. THE SHEEP HUNTER
        • 4 Years
        17 days, 2 hours ago

        This Xmas or next?

    5. KunDogan (B.D.)
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      AD

  2. wulfrunian
    • 5 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Which one?2ft

    A)Havertz+Benrahma->Son+Gallagher
    B)Havertz+Benrahma->Jota+Mahrez/Gundogan

    1. FATGFC
      • 1 Year
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      A all day

  3. tbos83
    • 1 Year
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    GTG? Torn over captaincy - thinking maybe Ronaldo.

    Steele
    Livra Christensen TAA Cancelo
    Salah(c) Gallagher Benny
    Toney Ronaldo Antonio

    Sanchez ESR White Gray

  4. Will Kane
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    It's always annoying to have a flagged player, but doubly so when it's a player you were really looking forward to watching in a televised game.

    #Foden #Sundayafternoonspoiler

    1. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      Turning into something of a troll

      1. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 8 Years
        17 days, 2 hours ago

        Oh he will do that to you believe me

        1. Will Kane
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          17 days, 2 hours ago

          I felt like a king when he got his jammy 18 pointer but yeah, little bit of a pain other than that.

          Even as I'm writing that, I'm aware that I'm complaining about a player who has averaged 7.25 points per game in the 4 weeks I have owned him....

          1. mynameisq
            • 8 Years
            17 days, 2 hours ago

            Try owning for 3 weeks

  5. TB303
    • 4 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Usual bench headache! Can anyone please correct me if wrong?

    Foster
    Cancelo - Dias - Chilwell - TAA - Livra
    Salah - Gallagher (Bur away)
    Kane -Antonio - Toney (Toon away)

    Ramsdale - Benrahma (Wolves away) - Raph (Spurs away) - brownhill

    1. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      I can't tell you you're wrong but I'd start ramsdale, benrahma over Dias and raph over toney

    2. TB303
      • 4 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      Thanks. Kind of agree with all of that aside from
      benrahma over Dias

      Is this to avoid the city double back line?

      cheers

      1. mynameisq
        • 8 Years
        17 days, 2 hours ago

        Yes, not that I think city won't get a cs I just think Dias is usually a 6 pointer whereas Benny could hurt more, Dias more likely to get the points though

  6. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    I will prefer playing Livra and getting 2 points than even consider benching him.

  7. Ha.
    • 6 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Your suggestions?

    1. Regulion, Kane, Raphina
    2. James, Jiminez, Son
    3. TAA, Jiminez, Raphina

    1. wulfrunian
      • 5 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      3

      1. Ha.
        • 6 Years
        17 days, 2 hours ago

        Care to elaborate?

        Jimi and Raph fixtures turn soon

        1. wulfrunian
          • 5 Years
          17 days, 2 hours ago

          Honestly because of Taa.

          1. wulfrunian
            • 5 Years
            17 days, 2 hours ago

            I can't find many decent mid-price midfielders for gw 13-15.Goof fixtures for Leeds.

            1. Ha.
              • 6 Years
              17 days, 1 hour ago

              ESR hand Cornet have good fixtures

              Jota also an option

              I do worry about not having TAA, however feel there are a lot more options without him

    2. Tactical Frank
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      17 days, 1 hour ago

      4. TAA, Son, Benteke

  8. No One
    • 4 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Which two to sell for TAA & Davis (fodder)

    A. Vardy + Duffy
    B. Jimenez + Duffy
    C. Vardy + Marcal
    D. Jimenez + Marcal

  9. TB303
    • 4 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Chances Foden will play?

    1. Echoes
      • 1 Year
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      With PSG midweek, I doubt Pep risks him. Gutted as I was looking to bring him in this week.

      1. Finding Timo
        • 1 Year
        17 days, 2 hours ago

        Would you transfer out to help fund getting son ?

      2. Will Kane
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        17 days, 2 hours ago

        At least it's simple for you, you just don't sign him this week. Owners like me now have a really irritating dilemma 🙁

        1. Finding Timo
          • 1 Year
          17 days, 2 hours ago

          I am really tempted to transfer out

          1. Will Kane
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            17 days, 2 hours ago

            I can tell! I'm going to go and have a look at my team and reassess....

            1. Finding Timo
              • 1 Year
              17 days, 2 hours ago

              Ha ha love to get CHO but risky

  10. niaz1982
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    I already made my 2 FTs earlier this week [mistake!] but is it worth -4 to swap Foden out for Jota?

    Other mids are Son, Salah, Raph and the subs coming in would be either Duffy or Livra 🙁

    1. TB303
      • 4 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      No

    2. teneighty
      • 6 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      Livra is a great sub. Don't take the hit.

    3. Will Kane
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      Situations like this are the exact point of Livra and Duffy. Don't take the hit just play Livra

      1. Will Kane
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        17 days, 2 hours ago

        As 1st sub I mean

  11. teneighty
    • 6 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Jimenez was supposed to be a set and forget in my team but all these late arrivals is getting frustrating. I'll probably just bench him this weekend because I really don't want to sell before his next two fixtures.

  12. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    2FT 0.2itb

    a) Vardy -> Jesus
    b) Vardy -> Wilson and do Brownhill->Foden next week.
    c) Keep Vardy for avg of 2.3p festive period and do other magic.

    Guaita
    TAA Chillwell Cancelo Livra (White)
    Salah Son Mbuemo Raph (Brownhill)
    Toney Jimmy Vardy

    1. BobbyDoesNotLook
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      Vardy first on bench at the moment. 😀

  13. THE SHEEP HUNTER
    • 4 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Everyone getting Jesus before Xmas.
    What could possibly go wrong.

    1. Ha.
      • 6 Years
      17 days, 1 hour ago

      Should be nailed though, right?

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        17 days, 1 hour ago

        That's easter - you should've paid more attention at school

  14. Isca Extremadura
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Hopefully more info forthcoming for Sunday’s match on Foden
    Pep’s “We will see” doesn’t tell us much - 50/50 ?

    1. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 8 Years
      17 days, 2 hours ago

      PSG in the week and no KDB

  15. Ishmaelito
    • 9 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Hey,
    Haverts > Pulisic and Foster > McCarthy for -4 worth it?
    Have Ramsdale against 'pool and Pulisic could be good differential.
    Thanks

  16. Sturridge Wars
    • 6 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    Which one to bring in?

    A) Gallagher
    B) Bruno Fernandes
    C) Mane *double up with Salah*

    1. Lord Flashheart
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      17 days, 1 hour ago

      A

  17. Lord Flashheart
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    17 days, 2 hours ago

    A havertz to jota and duffy the only reasonable bench
    B duffy to reguilon and keep havertz (livra bench)
    C both for -4

  18. Will Kane
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    17 days, 1 hour ago

    Ah yes, it must be Friday - I can tell because I am reading and re-reading press conference quotes looking for clues as to whether my players are going to play or not

  19. sotiris18
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    17 days, 1 hour ago

    saka to son ? or saka to jota and vardy to kane for -4??

  20. The Movement
      17 days, 1 hour ago

      I’ve already got James

      Bench who

      A) Livra
      B) Chilwell

    • Colonel Shoe 肝池
      • 10 Years
      17 days, 1 hour ago

      Jota or bernardo?

    • Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      17 days, 1 hour ago

      Could really do without the Foden doubt

      Foden + Hwang -> Son + Gelhardt -4pts

      (might have benched Hwang anyway)

    • tractorjess
      • 6 Years
      17 days, 1 hour ago

      Team looking a bit of a mess, what's the priority move? KDB to Son? Anything else/ instead?

      1.0 itb and 2ft

      Sanchez (*) Foster
      Cancelo Christensen Livra White Duffy
      Salah KDB (*) Saka Gray Bissouma
      Vardy Antonio Toney

      1. Eightball
        • 1 Year
        16 days, 15 hours ago

        Do you have enough to do KDB to Son and Gray to Jota?

    • Eightball
      • 1 Year
      16 days, 15 hours ago

      Bench 2:

      A) Dias
      B) Livramento
      C) A.Armstrong
      D) Raphina

      My current thinking is A + B