In our Watchlist series, we pick out the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players who are the best medium-term targets in each position based on fixtures, form and value.
Unlike the Scout Picks, we’re not just focusing on the upcoming Gameweek with these articles.
Seven-time top 10k finisher and Scout regular Zophar has been taking the reins for this series in 2021/22, producing a fortnightly piece and discussing the rankings by position, and he talks us through our latest update here.
ABOUT THE WATCHLIST
Our regularly updated Watchlist, which is visible on the sidebar, ranks players in each position for the month ahead – or, as is the case in the closing days of the season, the next three Gameweeks.
This allows site users to get a longer-term view on recommended players beyond the weekly Scout Picks.
Players are selected according to factors such as FPL’s form rating*, club injuries, club morale, forthcoming fixtures and whether or not the player in question is likely to be a bargain in FPL.
The table displays the player name and club, along with the abbreviation for the factors that played a part in their ranking. A key for these factors can be found below the player in the table and looks like this:
Arrows before the name indicate whether a player has significantly climbed or fallen in our reckoning since the previous update or if they are a new entry into the tables.
*points divided by a club’s matches played over the last 30 days
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL GOALKEEPERS
Kasper Schmeichel (£4.9m) retains the top spot and is one of three goalkeepers on the Watchlist with back-to-back doubles in Gameweeks 36 and 37. It’s a close call between him and Emiliano Martinez (£5.5m) but the fixtures on paper do favour the Foxes, with Villa playing Liverpool and Manchester City in two of their remaining five matches.
Ederson (£6.1m) looks the pick of the premium goalkeepers and offers a secure route into the City backline. Aaron Ramsdale (£5.1m) meanwhile drops down a few notches with the Gunners showing some defensive frailty and all their remaining opponents – Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United and Everton – capable of scoring. Edouard Mendy (£6.1m) would have been higher on this list usually but the Blues’ recent malaise sees him drop down to fifth.
Vicente Guaita (£4.6m) is a great budget pick, especially if you are looking to Free Hit in Gameweek 37, and even if you’re not, the home games against Watford and Manchester United don’t look too bad on either side.
Alisson (£6.0m) also arguably deserves to be higher up the list but with so many good outfield alternatives from Liverpool, he comes in at seventh.
Nick Pope (£5.4m) drops out and is replaced by Jordan Pickford (£4.8m). The Everton shot-stopper was heroic against Chelsea, pulling off one of the saves of the season to deny Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.6m). With the Toffees looking to prioritise defence in their efforts to stave off relegation, he could be a great pick.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL DEFENDERS
No change at the top with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m), Joao Cancelo (£7.2m) and Andrew Robertson (£7.3m) all showing over the past few weeks why they deserve to retain their spots. There is a case for placing Robertson above the other two given his recent FPL output but I do rank City’s defence higher than Liverpool’s and Alexander-Arnold’s rest is now out of the way.
Reece James (£6.4m) owners have endured a frustrating last few weeks, as Chelsea have failed to keep teams out and Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) has outdone him for attacking returns. I still believe James is the better option and I hope to see him at wing-back rather than at right centre-back over the remaining fixtures but there is rotation looming at Chelsea with the FA Cup final around the corner, which is why Aymeric Laporte (£6.0m) moves above him.
Spurs were unfortunate to concede right at the end against Leicester City and Ben Davies (£4.5m) was on for bonus points despite being carded earlier in the game. At just £4.5m, he’s a great budget option with some attacking potential.
Matthew Cash (£5.3m) got into the box plenty of times against Norwich City, while Villa have now kept back-to-back clean sheets. Despite the return of Lucas Digne (£5.0m) to the side, Cash looks to be offering more of a goal threat and I will back him over the fragile Frenchman.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL MIDFIELDERS
As with the defenders, there is not much room for debate for the top three spots with Mohamed Salah (£13.3m), Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m) and Son Heung-min (£11.0m) the best premium options to own until the end of the season. Salah and De Bruyne both got their rests in Gameweek 35 and should feature in every game from now till the conclusion of the campaign. Son is in with a shout for the Golden Boot, meanwhile, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him take penalties over Harry Kane (£12.4m) in order to achieve that target.
Chelsea’s poor form and rotation concerns see Mason Mount (£7.7m) drop down to seventh spot, while Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka (£6.7m) comes in fourth with returns in three consecutive Gameweeks. Penalty-taking duties add massively to his appeal and the Gunners look to be favourites for that fourth spot at the moment.
For those that can’t afford De Bruyne, Phil Foden (£7.8m) looks to be the best Man City midfield option. He racked up two assists against Leeds and once again showed his versatility playing in a no. 10 role behind Gabriel Jesus (£8.6m).
The introduction of Danny Ings (£7.7m) saw Villa change shape to two up front with Philippe Coutinho (£7.1m) playing behind as a no. 10 in a more central role. He looked far more threatening in this set-up and with back-to-back doubles, he looks like a good option despite the recent blanks.
Wilfried Zaha (£6.8m) was benched against Southampton but Patrick Vieira mentioned that was in part due to the kicks he sustained in the previous game, and he showed his class by scoring the winner. Even though he does not have two fixtures in Gameweek 36, he plays a Championship-bound Watford, who he has a history of doing well against.
THE WATCHLIST: BEST FPL FORWARDS
In this last Watchlist article of the season, it is a pleasant change to actually have a decision to make regarding the forwards’ pecking order. Harry Kane (£12.4m) obviously retains the top spot but there were some tough decisions to be made below the Spurs man.
Gabriel Jesus (£8.6m) has put himself into consideration with his blistering form of late. He is a great differential pick, especially for those looking to come off the likes of Timo Werner (£8.7m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£8.2m).
Everton are showing signs of a fight over the last few games and with penalty duties in his locker, Richarlison (£7.5m) looks the budget forward to own with back-to-back doubles over the next two weeks. Make sure to keep an eye on any disciplinary proceedings surrounding his flare throw in Gameweek 35, however. Ollie Watkins (£7.5m) runs him close but the fixtures do look better for the Toffees on paper.
Eddie Nketiah (£5.5m) landed four shots on target against West Ham United and the fact that Lacazette has been afforded zero minutes despite being in the squad over the last two matches leads me to believe that Nketiah is now Arsenal’s first-choice striker. He’s a steal at just £5.5m.
Teemu Pukki (£6.1m) v Emmanuel Dennis (£5.9m) was a tough decision that could have gone either way but the Finn has failed to land a shot on target over the last couple of matches, which swayed me towards the Watford man.
That’s it for my final Watchlist article of the season. It’s been my pleasure writing these for you; enjoy the off-season and see you again next year.
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