Stag's Take - Gameweek 27
In spite of being the longest gameweek in memory, the movement of Man City's clash with West Ham at the Etihad to Wednesday night owing to the violence of Storm Ciara means that we have ended up with little time to digest before we greet Gameweek 28.
Gameweek 27 was a gameweek for the slight differentials as the likes of Dominic Calvert Lewin, Richarlison, Heung-Min Son, Arsenal attackers, and Anthony Martial returned handsomely for owners, however looking forward, it is not Son's goals, but his injury, which is causing headaches.
The curious thing about the midfielders at this point in the season is that there is almost no middle ground in the optimal investment strategy. It seems going "all in" on elite options such as Salah. Mané, and/or KdB, or even punting on Arsenal's Nicolas Pepe, is a solid route to success. Likewise, at the other end of the price scale, lower mid-tier options such as Jack Grealish, Adama Traoré, and Harvey Barners are all performing in terms of delivering bang for managers' buck.
Rather than dwell on the well-known virtues of the elite grouping, especially because the blank fixtures in Gameweek 29 for (amongst others) Man City and Arsenal push de Bruyne et al and Pepe off the agenda, let's instead consider other closer to "like for like" replacements for Son in your squad, all of whom may also be easily reached by selling mid-priced mids with dwindling fortunes or poor fixtures such asthe aforemenetioned Grealish (sou, BLANK, lei, CHE, new, WOL) or James Maddison.
First up and leading the charge in terms for "transfers in" in his position this week is Richarlison, whose season-long strong numbers and recent hauls have made him very popular. A goal and an assist against Crystal Palace brough the Brazilian to nine goals and five assists for the season - when you consider how poor Everton were for a long period in the late summer and autumn, those figures are remarkable, just like Richarlison's underlying statistics. In the last six gameweeks, three goals off 12 shots, 9 of which came in the box, and a non-pen xG of 1.5, place him amongst the highest performers - even more impressive when you remember that he actually missed GW23 and GW24. The early weeks of the Ancelotti era saw Richarlison returning in spite of being forced widee; now we're seeing that the new manager has find a way to put a twin focus in his side between DCL up top and his Brazilian wonderkid.
Injuries had meant that Son was playing as a striker for Spurs, and likewise injuries are giving Anthony Martial the opportunity to make the number nine position his for OGS' Manchester United.Two goals off 14 shots, 10 of which came in the box, over the past six gameweeks is not awe-inspiring by any means, but signs of form are manifesting with the Frenchman. First of all, a headed goal against Chelsea, and a clinical one at that, will have done a lot for him, and he picked up a goal against Club Brugge in the Europa League by surging forward to punish a defender and then place the ball in the back of the net with an extremely composed finish.
Finally, between Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura, someone will have to play as a forward as José Mourinho steadfastly refuses to grant Troy Parrott a chance in the Premier League, though with Spurs' current form, maybe you'd rather skip. Bergwijn has a goal and would have had an assist also to his name had Son converted his penalty first time agaisnt Aston Villa; the new and shiny option who is still clearly in Mou's good books would get my nod ahead of Lucas by a whisker.
Teams to consider/avoid
Wolves and Southampton have amongst the best fixtures in the Premier League, meaning that both Raúl Jiménez and Danny Ings are seeing their ownerships surge again but also option options from their respective sides are coming into play.
Adama Traoré provides amongst the best value for money in FPL this season, but he's not exactly a hidden gem. Piquing my interest also are Wolves defenders; Willy Boly is back fit and helping to guide his side to consistent clean sheets - in his ten appearances, Wolves have picked up five clean sheets. Without him, just one. Decent clean sheet potential provides a solid base for bigger investment in the defence. Matt Doherty, a hero of yesteryear, is flying at the moment, ranking second for defenders in terms of xG in the last eight gameweeks, fourth for goal attempts, and top for shots on target. With Adama providing width, the Irish man is cutting inside to link play more and more, getting into the box to be the man on the near post for Adama's crosses as much as possible.
Wolves fixtures: NOR, tot, BHA, whu, BOU
Danny Ings is taking a mile any time any defence gives him an inch this season, and now has 15 goals to his name. His colleagues midfield are a collection of some of the biggest "traps" in FPL, whose stat's flatter to deceive season after season, but in defence you have a few cheap options in Alex McCarthy and Jack Stephens.
Southampton fixtures: AVL, whu, NEW, nor, ARS
Captaincy for the weekend
Mo Salah (West Ham H)
Kevin De Bruyne's double-figure haul against West Ham just days ago provides another timely reminder of the Irons' struggles just before the European Champions face them.
The long and the short of it is that Salah continues to provide predictable returns for managers since the turn of the year - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Raul Jiménez (Norwich H)
The Mexican frontman provides a twin threat as both a scorer and creator. He is likely to end this season in double figures for both, as he did last term. Only Aston Villa (50) have conceded more than "Jimmy's" opponents this weekend over the course of the season.
Danny Ings (Aston Villa H)
I have given Jiménez the nod ahead of Ings purely because of his twin threat and Wolves' explosivity compared to Southampton, but both are good options. Whne theses two sides met back in GW18, Ings fired a brace.
Stag has been providing #FPL Tips since July 2015 and has been a contributor for Rotoworld.com since August 2016. He is a self-proclaimed wannabe fantasy football genius, a student, and die-hard tea enthusiast.