Fantasy Premier League (FPL) really is a game where a 50/50 call can make all the difference. Last week, in my Team Reveal ahead of Gameweek 17, I talked up the prospects of a certain Gabriel Martinelli (£5.3m) and how I was considering bringing him into my team as a makeweight for Phil Foden (£8.0m). I also spoke about how I was also considering a “safer” transfer, upgrading Ben Johnson (£4.0m) to Matty Cash (£5.0m). This decision really did come down to the wire, but in the end I plumped for the Arsenal midfielder to add a bit of spiciness to my pretty “template” team. This decision has been worth around a 29-point net positive so far: fine lines, but a big reward.
Making the “right call” is what FPL is all about, but believe me, I know the pain that comes when it doesn’t pay off. Advising people to sell Diogo Jota (£8.1m) for Kai Havertz (£7.8m) ahead of the Gameweek 9 mauling of Manchester United certainly wasn’t my finest moment (thankfully, I didn’t own the Portuguese midfielder at the time!). Similarly, my hokey-cokey of the premium forwards probably lost me around 20 points. I’ve also made bad decisions such as the likes of my one-week punt on Neal Maupay (£6.4m) – and don’t even get me started on Jack Grealish (£7.6m)…
But while it’s easy to focus on the negatives, trusting your gut and backing your hunches has always been the way I like to play the game and in a season where the template is so strong, in my view, we need to jump on opportunities that we identify that others may miss.
Spurs and Leicester players – Opportunities?
So it’s time to look forward to see where opportunities may present themselves. With the likelihood of Double Gameweeks on the horizon (with Gameweek 22 looking the most likely), I firmly believe the next month will be crucial for us to achieve whatever targets we have set for ourselves. Chip use may be key, and getting maximum returns from the Wildcard and Free Hit chip will likely make or break our seasons but similarly, saving a transfer (if you can) this week looks an incredibly sensible move.
With the news of the extra Free Hit dropping, many will be looking to play this in whatever week we get confirmation of a Double Gameweek. Regardless of whether or not you will use this chip, two teams on my radar for investment are Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City. Spurs look ideal for investment either way as they have Watford in Gameweek 21 and a home match against Arsenal in Gameweek 22. Leicester have arguably the two best fixtures over this period, with Norwich (GW21) and Burnley (GW22) lined up, plus whichever teams get added.
There’s probably not a lot of investment in Spurs at the moment, considering they have missed three matches over the last six Gameweeks. Son Heung-min (£10.3m) now has just over 16% ownership, shedding nearly 500,000 owners since Gameweek 13. Harry Kane (£12.1m) sits at 5.7% ownership, with encouraging underlying numbers (he sits fifth on the list for expected goal involvement (xGI) over the last four Gameweeks played). In defence, the likes of Sergio Reguilon (£5.2m) looks like he will offer great value, as can Ben Davies (£4.5m) with just 1.9% ownership. I’ll be grabbing at least two of these players I imagine over the next few weeks, to tap into this promising short-term schedule.
Above: Spurs sit high on the Season Ticker for the next four Gameweeks
Investment in Leicester is also likely to be minimal given that they play Manchester City and Liverpool in their next two Gameweeks. But if the doubles go ahead in Gameweek 21 and 22, as mentioned, we may see people flocking for the likes of Jamie Vardy (£10.5m) and James Maddison (£6.8m) – who by the way, has three double-digit returns in his last four matches played!
Another player to consider may well be Youri Tielemans (£6.4m), who is on course for his best-ever season from an attacking point of view (he already has seven goal involvements, managing ten last season). In his last game, Tielemans registered an impressive mins-per-xGi of 67.2, ahead of all other players in the league. The statistics show that when he plays, Tielemans is far more offensive than we saw last season, registering nearly double the number of shots per appearance (2.4) and averaging 36.8 mins per attempt.
Above: Youri Tielemans’ averages per appearance in 2021/22 (left) vs 2020/21 (right)
Unlike Spurs, I would stay away from Leicester’s defence. Over the last six matches played, only Newcastle, Everton and Leeds have a worse expected non-penalty goals conceded (xGC) tally than the Foxes (10.13). Ouch.
Here’s how I’m set up for Gameweek 19:
So with plugs for Spurs and Leicester assets, I’ll leave it there. Thanks to everyone for reading and I’d like to extend my warmest wishes to readers of Fantasy Football Scout this Christmas season. It’s been another tough year, and I hope you can make the most of the festive season no matter where you are.
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.