Here’s Rob Reid’s fantasy premier league monthly review where he looks back at September. There’s his view on a number of topical issues plus his awards for player of the month and donkey and the new FPL Troll of the month. Rob has finished 3 of the last 4 seasons in the top 0.5% of FPL managers
Fantasy premier league review – Rob Reid’s monthly review of September
Hi everyone and welcome to the second of my monthly review articles. Regular visitors to the site will know that each month I write a reflective article about the previous few weeks in FPL. It’s a light-hearted observational piece based mostly on my opinion but with a few stats thrown in as well. As in previous seasons, I’ll also me making a few fun awards, have a look at another team from one of my mini-leagues and look forward to who I might think do well over the next few weeks. I hope you enjoy and welcome feedback as usual. Let’s get started!
A Hazard-ous Player Not to Own
It’s safe to say that all is well in The Garden of Eden Hazard at the moment – 4 double figure returns in the last 5 weeks has put the little Belgian miles clear at the top of the FPL scoring charts. He’s certainly thriving under the tactical regime of the new management at Chelsea, and he’s also reaping the rewards of getting 90 minutes every week. He’s picking up returns late in matches and has become even more of a bonus point magnet. The problem now is his high ownership makes him dangerous player if you don’t captain him, let alone own him. His gradual re-introduction back into the EPL over the first couple of gameweeks has certainly proved fruitful for both Chelsea and FPL managers…
World Cup Hangovers in October?
…which is in stark contrast to others. This is probably most evident at Spurs who boasted more World Cup semi-final players than any other club worldwide. Creative talents Alli and Eriksen are laid low with niggly injuries, Son looks jaded after adding a stint at The Asian Games to his World Cup duties and although he’s got 5 goals and an assist, Kane doesn’t look the prolific predator of previous seasons. That being said, Spurs are still grinding out wins with Trippier and Moura the most prominent players in terms of returns. Check out fellow contributor Joe’s article on Spurs for more details.
Worth their Weight in Gold
If you’re looking for FPL value, look no further than the pack of high scoring players available at Wolves. Full-back Matt Doherty leads the way with a goal and 2 assists to add to the 4 clean sheets his club have picked up in the last 5 matches. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio is also a great option – he’s made 15 saves and racked up 4 bonus points in the last 3 games. Doubling (or even trebling) up on Wolves defence has certainly been a brave but profitable shout over the last few weeks and 4.1m defender Ryan Bennett means that this is easy and great value to do. They’ve even got a cheap striking option – Mexican forward Raul Jimenez is only 5.6m has 2 goals and 3 assists this season. Get them while they’re hot folks!
Another team who have made a great start are Bournemouth, though in contrast to Wolves the value at the Vitality is going forward. Callum Wilson is a bit of an FPL nemesis for me, but he’s the second highest points scorer in the striker bracket with 49 points. He has 3 goals, a remarkable 7 assists and 3 bonus points so far and is superb value at 6.4m. Also great value is 6m midfielder Ryan Fraser, who is only a point behind his striker team-mate, he has 3 goals, 3 assists and 7 bonus points so far. Josh King has also been in the FPL points of late and young 5m priced midfielder David Brooks has 2 goals in his last 2 matches. Will Eddie Howe resist the urge to tinker and allow us FPL managers some consistency in selection? I guess we’ll find out over the next few weeks.
Tales of Woe with Mo?
Mo Salah has been a source of great frustration to the FPL community so far this season. On the face of it, 3 goals and 2 assists isn’t actually that bad a start to the season for most players. The problem is that our expectations are high and at 12.8m so they should be. He’s still posting good stats, but he’s missing chances left, right and centre which means he’s also blanking on bonus points when he does return. And now we’ve got the added unknown of his injury status after he picked up a muscle strain playing against Swaziland on Friday (a ‘cat and pigeons’ injury as fellow contributor Alex referred to it!) Just what are we going to do about Mo? Answers on a postcard.
Good Fixtures Incoming!
There’s a noticeable flip in the fixtures for a few teams over the next few weeks. Brighton and Newcastle are the budget teams that standout in terms of Fixture Ease, though the latter side are in wretched form and are still looking for their first victory. Brighton look a much better option for investment and Paul Williams’ article talked about some their assets last week. I also like the look of West Ham from GW10 onwards, they’ve certainly got a lot of potential going forward as well as a couple of super-cheap defenders. I’ll be discussing them in more detail later. For premium teams, you can’t look past Liverpool’s next 4 fixtures with 3 of them against teams in bottom 4, all of whom have taken a couple of drubbings this season. All of which makes Mo Salah’s predicament even more of a headache!
Player of the Month – Eden Hazard
Pretty much no competition for the aforementioned Belgian for this award. 47 points over the last 4 weeks (5 goals, 1 assist and 9 bonus) have rocketed him to the top of the FPL scoring charts. His price has gone up 0.8m since GW3 and no wonder, as his ownership has quadrupled in this period. He certainly looks set to be a permanent fixture in our FPL line-ups this season.
Donkey of the Month – Christian Kabasele
Watford were well in the game against Bournemouth in GW8 until Kabasele picked up 2 silly yellow cards, the second of which led to a penalty that put Watford 2-0 behind. The upshot of this was that The Hornets struggled against Bournemouth’s quick counter-attacks with just 10 men and eventually got thrashed 4-0. Kabasele therefore ended up with the indignity of a -4 score for the game as well as a ban for GW9. Sorry Christian, it’s The Golden Carrot for you this month.
FPL Troll of the Month (new for 2018-19!) – Harry Kane
It could have all been so wonderful. Kane looked like he was getting back to his usual high-scoring self after a promising brace against Huddersfield in GW7. Next up were Cardiff, another of the EPLs whipping boys at home. With Aguero facing a tough trip to Anfield, Kane looked a great shout for a one week captain punt. The result? A blank topped off with the indignity of him also getting a yellow card. 2 points for us gamblers, while second choice captain Eden Hazard racked up 14 points against Southampton. Thanks for nothing Harold!
Team to Watch – West Ham
I guess the pressure’s on after I tipped Arsenal for a good run last month (and then promptly didn’t follow my own advice as they delivered a steady stream of returns!) This month I’m staying in London and am championing the cause of West Ham. I guess the main question to ask is why? They sit 15th at the moment with only 2 wins from 8 and have only scored 8 goals so far this season. The answer is simple. Fixtures.
The Hammers have faced 4 of last season’s top 6 so far and have Spurs at home in GW9. After that? Man City (at home in GW13) are the only one of last season’s top 6 they have to face until GW22. That’s a run of games that simply can’t be ignored. And there’s plenty of potential points scorers in Pellegrini’s squad.
The obvious one is Marko Arnautovic. He has scored half West Ham’s league goals so far along with getting an assist and 6 bonus points at a price of 7.0m. The big Austrian can be a bit enigmatic, but on his day he can certainly rack up the points. I also like the look of 6.8m Andriy Yarmolenko in midfield, he’s got 2 goals and an assist to his name so far and looks good on the eye test. I’ll be interested to see how he performs against the weaker defences.
At the back there’s some good options, despite The Hammers having kept only 1 clean sheet so far. The most obvious is Polish stopper Lukasz Fabianski, he just loves to rack up save and bonus points alike. At 4.5m, I guess it’s a case of do you go for him or the similarly priced Rui Patricio or Matt Ryan, both of whom are probably better bets for clean sheets. This becomes more of a point when you can pick up even cheaper fillers in the defensive category in 4.3m Pablo Zabaleta (who can pick up the odd assist) and Issa Diop. Finally, if you’re looking for a super cheap 5th midfielder who you need as a guaranteed 2 point bench filler, then 4.4m options Masuaku and Obiang could be just what you need to free up funds elsewhere.
Less of a mini-league watch this week as I look at the top team in Patrick Van Aanholt’s league, which has over 100,000 managers signed up. The leader of this league is also ranked 2nd in the overall rankings, a remarkable feat for a manager who appears to have not played FPL before looking at his history. His score is founded on two 100 point gameweeks, GW2 where he triple captained Sergio Aguero for half of his 120 point score and GW5, a week after he played his Wildcard. Interestingly, he gambled on Harry Kane to no avail in GW8, which ultimately cost him the world No.1 spot. That being said, I don’t think any of us would turn down the world No.2 ranking! I’ll be keeping an eye on his team with interest.
That’s all from me in this article. See you next week for my GW9 Player Picks and look out for this week’s Twitter Poll @Thefpl_vet and be sure to vote!
Yaniv Salomon has activated his wildcard see his options and vote in the poll
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