The best Fantasy Premier League (FPL) goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards for Gameweek 13 are discussed and debated by Fantasy Football Scout contributors Az, Sam, Neale and Tom.
For those new to this feature, it’s a weekly piece that always takes the form of a ‘Free Hit’-type selection for the upcoming Gameweek.
All of our panelists propose an 18-man long-list of Fantasy players, explaining their notable inclusions and omissions in the article below.
The Scout Squad also serves as a precursor to the Scout Picks, as the players listed will then be narrowed down to a squad of 15 (with the starting XI not exceeding a total cost of £83.0m) for final our weekly selection ahead of Saturday’s deadline.
Each writer must meet the following requirements:
- At least one goalkeeper costing £5.0m or less
- At least one sub-£5.0m defender
- At least one midfielder listed at £6.5m or below
- At least one forward priced at £7.0m or lower
- No more than three players from the same club
SCOUT SQUAD’S PICKS OF THE BEST FPL PLAYERS FOR GAMEWEEK 13
|GK||Aaron Ramsdale||Robert Sanchez||Aaron Ramsdale||Aaron Ramsdale|
|Tim Krul||Aaron Ramsdale||Edouard Mendy||Vicente Guaita|
|Jose Sa||Jose Sa||Jose Sa||Illan Meslier|
|DEF||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold||Trent Alexander-Arnold|
|Reece James||Reece James||Reece James||Reece James|
|Joao Cancelo||Joao Cancelo||Joao Cancelo||Tariq Lamptey|
|Sergio Reguilon||Matt Targett||Emerson Royal||Joao Cancelo|
|Rico Henry||Sergio Reguilon||Rayan Ait-Nouri||Rayan Ait-Nouri|
|MID||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah||Mohamed Salah|
|Emile Smith-Rowe||Son Heung-Min||Diogo Jota||Bukayo Saka|
|Diogo Jota||Emile Smith-Rowe||Son Heung-min||Lucas Moura|
|Phil Foden||Phil Foden||Phil Foden||Diogo Jota|
|Son Heung-min||Sadio Mane||Bryan Mbeumo||Sergi Canos|
|FWD||Harry Kane||Harry Kane||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang|
|Jamie Vardy||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Harry Kane||Harry Kane|
|Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Hwang Hee-chan||Jamie Vardy||Jamie Vardy|
|Raul Jiménez||Ollie Watkins||Hwang Hee-chan||Raul Jimenez|
|Ivan Toney||Ivan Toney||Ollie Watkins||Josh King|
Most popular picks: Aaron Ramsdale, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Joao Cancelo, Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (four), Jose Sa, Son Heung-min, Phil Foden*, Jamie Vardy, Diogo Jota (three)
*all three Foden picks were selected before his no-show on Wednesday
It’s hard to imagine a time when I didn’t pick Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and Joao Cancelo as these three heavy-hitting defenders continue to deliver the goods week in, week out. WIth Ben Chilwell likely injured for the foreseeable future, a spot for a holy trinity challenger to emerge has become available. Given what I’ve seen so far, Sergio Reguilon looks the most likely to factor into any plans for four at the back. He has four shots in the box over Antonio Conte’s two Premier League games in charge, with an expected goal involvement (xGI) of 1.14, trumping the likes of Chilwell, James and Cancelo over this period.
In midfield, the best options appear to be from a fairly shallow pool. Arsenal attackers will be licking their lips against a Newcastle team who threw caution to the wind in their efforts against Brentford last weekend. In their last four home matches, the Gunners have a chance every 5.9 mins, bettered only by Chelsea (5.2) and Leeds (5.4). I’m backing on Emile Smith Rowe emerging from this game with some returns, and he’s still my attacker of choice from north London.
Up front, may we finally reach a turning point for strikers? Last week, we saw Raul Jiménez and Ivan Toney deliver, and both make the cut on my selection this week. Premium picks of Harry Kane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jamie Vardy all also enter into my thinking, despite being very off form. Encounters against Burnley, Watford and Newcastle respectively, who have no clean sheets between them in the last four games, do at least bode well.
There are wing-backs galore in my picks this week. The rise of the gung-ho defenders has been brilliant for us as FPL managers as we have not for a long time had a group of players who are just as likely to return attacking points as well as defensive ones – maybe even both! Reece James has avoided a blank every week since Gameweek 9, scoring 53 points in that period, while Joao Cancelo has registered more shots on target than any other Man City player so far this season. Trent Alexander-Arnold is potentially captainable this weekend, meanwhile, having registered returns in six of his eight Premier League matches against Southampton. In those six fixtures, he has two assists, four bonus points and five clean sheets. On top of this, he has three double-digit hauls in the last four Gameweeks and so is in excellent form.
In midfield, Mohamed Salah is obviously my first choice and will likely be the most captained asset this weekend. Salah averages 8.75 points per match when he plays against Southampton and like Alexander-Arnold, has returned in six of the last eight fixtures against the Saints that he has been a part of. He also has three double-digit hauls in those eight matches. Teammate Sadio Mane isn’t far behind though with returns in four of his last six games in the Premier League as well as having recorded two double-digit hauls in his last three Premier League appearances against Southampton.
I also expect Emile Smith Rowe to have a good game this weekend. Newcastle showed signs of improvement in their first match under Eddie Howe but Arsenal will want to bounce back from their defeat to Liverpool and Smith Rowe is a key player in the Arsenal attack.
Harry Kane‘s record against Burnley is ridiculously good. He has returned in all of his last six Premier League matches against the Clarets, recording seven goals, three assists and eight bonus points in that period. On average, he scores 7.10 points per match against Burnley.
Finally, Ollie Watkins has returned in four of the last six Gameweeks and is top for touches in the final third (136) for forwards over the last six Gameweeks, 13 more than second-placed Harry Kane.
Following Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Juventus, Chelsea have now kept 31 clean sheets in 50 matches under Thomas Tuchel, conceding just 24 goals in the process. As a result, doubling up feels like a bit of a no-brainer, with a visit from a Manchester United side up next who have been unimaginative in attack and shaky at the back all season. To be honest, I don’t think there are many ‘bad’ Chelsea picks this week, but I’ve opted for Edouard Mendy and Reece James, with the latter preferred to Marcos Alonso due to United’s weaker left flank, which has conceded more chances than any other side over the last four Gameweeks.
Meanwhile, Wolverhampton Wanderers are now up to sixth in the table, having won five of their past seven Premier League games, and look a good team for bargain hunting this week. Their opponents Norwich City have struggled in front of goal all season and managed just 0.27 expected goals (xG) from open play against Southampton on Saturday. That leads me to a defensive double-up, via Jose Sa and Rayan Ait-Nouri, who has offered plenty of attacking threat in recent weeks, and is on some set-pieces, too. I’ve also found a spot for Hwang Hee-chan, who steps in as my sub-£7.0m forward option.
Liverpool also supply three picks: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota. After last weekend’s comfortable win over Arsenal, the Reds have now scored at least two goals in each of their last 15 matches in all competitions, and will surely have too much for Southampton in Gameweek 13. I particularly like Alexander-Arnold for this match-up, given that only Burnley have conceded more crosses from their left flank than Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side over the last four Gameweeks.
Elsewhere, Tottenham Hotspur failed to manage a single shot on target in a lacklustre opening 45 minutes against Leeds United on Sunday, but improved after the break to claim a 2-1 win. Despite failing to register an attacking return, Son-Heung-min and Harry Kane did have shots deflected onto the woodwork, while the latter managed four goal attempts, including three efforts inside the box, which is more encouraging. Emerson Royal’s selection over Sergio Reguilon is purely an eye-test thing, as I always feel Charlie Taylor is Sean Dyche’s weaker full-back, and in turn, is more susceptible to giving up chances and crosses.
Aaron Ramsdale is the key goalkeeper to own this week, with team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Manchester City duo Joao Cancelo and Phil Foden, plus Bryan Mbeumo, Jamie Vardy and Ollie Watkins rounding off the picks.
Considering that forwards are so out of fashion in the FPL world at present, there were plenty that caught my eye for this week’s Scout Squad. Ivan Toney is up against an Everton defence that have conceded more big chances than any other over the last six Gameweeks, while Christian Benteke has had more shots in the box than any other forward since Gameweek 8. Then there’s a fully rested Gabriel Jesus and Michail Antonio to consider, the latter of whom scored home and away against Manchester City last season.
And yet, none of these made my picks. Josh King did: since his first start under Claudio Ranieri, he is top among forwards for xGI and will be facing a beleaguered Leicester defence that hasn’t kept a clean sheet since Gameweek 1. The master of the just-below-double-digit scores, Raul Jimenez, has delivered six attacking returns in as many starts, meanwhile. As for the top three forwards in my list, they are all very much fixture over form: FPL is as much about anticipation as reaction and trying to pinpoint when these heavy hitters will come good again, as they inevitably will, is the Holy Grail. At least in Burnley, Watford and Newcastle, my trio of plodding premiums will be facing three backlines with one clean sheet between them – against Norwich – in the whole of 2021/22.
Newcastle’s trip to Arsenal will surely see at least two of the Gunners making the Scout Picks and I’m continuing to bang the drum for Bukayo Saka despite owning Emile Smith Rowe. Whether you’re looking at the season-long data or a shorter timeframe, Saka beats his teammate for everything from penalty box touches and shots in the area to chances created. There are some things aren’t captured by Opta stats (Smith Rowe’s Lampardian ability to drift into space on the edge of the box, for example) but Matt Ritchie will really struggle with Saka’s pace this weekend, should that match-up occur, and that seals the deal for me.
I’ve gone with Sergi Canos over Bryan Mbeumo, meanwhile. Brentford representation seems advisory given the state of injury-hit Everton and Canos has noticeably been getting forward a little more of late, with a near-miss against Newcastle one of seven shots he has had over the last two Gameweeks. Lucas Moura over Son Heung-min is also a penny-pinching move, with the Brazilian at the heart of most of Spurs’ serious attacks last weekend despite attempting to break the record for most losses of possession in a game.
At the back, I’m tipping Brighton v Leeds to be a goal-shy affair. Albion are the joint-lowest scorers over the last six Gameweeks, while a Bamford-less Leeds have scored one goal or fewer in 10 of their 12 league matches to date. Illan Meslier should rack up the save points against the profligate Seagulls attack, while Tariq Lamptey has looked eye-catching with his advanced positions (including nine penalty box touches) since a return to the starting XI in Gameweek 11.
Finally, Rayan Ait-Nouri has banked 20 points over the last four Gameweeks. On a share of set plays, he’s second for crosses, joint-fifth for chances created and eighth for final-third touches among all FPL defenders from Gameweeks 9-12.
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