We’re into the final stretch of the season and as someone who isn’t using a Wildcard chip this week, I thought it would be a good time to take on some of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) community’s questions.
Also, I just wanted to tell you that I’m very excited at the time of writing, sitting at 812th in the world, which is the first time this season I’ve been in the top 1k. After spending most of 2020/21 outside the top one million, it is a huge relief.
Anyway, let’s dive into the questions.
Q: Top one or two differentials to help finish the season strong (@AdrianLriley)?
There are a couple of differentials I really like for the run-in. League state means that we will see the most important players starting for Liverpool and Manchester City on a consistent basis, which has me looking in that direction. Manchester City face Watford at home and Leeds United away in the next two Gameweeks and except for Joao Cancelo (£7.1m), none of the Manchester City players has an effective ownership (EO) above 10%. That, for me, is a huge opportunity and I think Kevin DeBruyne (£11.8m) is one of the best differentials for the run-in. He’s behind only harry kane (£12.6m) and Son Heung Min (£11.1m) for FPL points in the second half of the season and has great fixtures right until the end. The state of the title race means I expect him to play 90% of the remaining games, as well. The quotes from Guardiola about him being more of a ‘goalscorer’ have encouraged me, too.
“He has been at this level the year we made 100 points, Kevin was incredible. He struggled in the first part of the season, with the injuries, and needed time, but now he’s strong and creating chances. He scores a lot as well as assists. I said to him you have to score to reach another stage. Now he’s scoring a lot of goals, he played in a difficult position, the vision for the last pass is exceptional.”– Pep Guardiola
Another differential I really like for the run-in is Timo Werner (£8.6m). Chelsea have a great sequence of fixtures coming up, including two Double Gameweeks. It is worth mentioning that the second Double Gameweek for Chelsea will not necessarily be a double for many of their players, as the Blues play Leeds United three days before the FA Cup final, and so that means we will see a lot of rotation. That said, they have a good run of fixtures right until the end of the campaign and Werner now has seven returns in his last four matches; that is in addition to hitting both the posts as well as the crossbar against Southampton. He’s always going to get a ton of chances and if you find him on a day where he converts the majority of them, you could find yourself at the end of an explosive FPL haul.
Q. How can those not on Wildcard differentiate or keep up with the large contingent of managers who will be using this chip in Gameweek 34? (@FPLNima)
Thanks for the question, Nima. I don’t really think you need to worry about the Wildcarders too much. You need to play your own game and think about what is best for your team and your structure. I will say, though, that Chelsea and Manchester City embark on a great run of fixtures starting in Gameweek 34 and taking a hit or three this week is not a bad idea if you want to eventually get on those players anyway. The longer you wait to get your Chelsea/Manchester City assets, the lesser the odds of you catching a haul, so I just want to say don’t be afraid of hits this week in particular. I also think it is an underrated week to use the Free Hit chip if you don’t have many Chelsea or Manchester City players because of what I said earlier about the proximity of the FA Cup final.
Q. Double Chelsea attack vs Double Chelsea defence? I think a lot of people are swinging on it. (@TheReevHD)
Hi Reev and thank you for the question. Because of Anthony Rudigers (£6.2m) injury this week and him being unlikely to play West Ham, I am now siding with the double Chelsea attack for the run-in. The Blues play quite a few obliging defenses in what’s left of 2021/22 and there are three legitimate options in attack to pick two from: Werner, Mason Mount (£7.6m) and Kai Havertz (£7.9m). While I have no qualms against anyone going with two players from their defense, I personally prefer the double attack.
Here’s an interesting stat: except for Leeds United, all of their remaining opponents are in the wrong half of the table for xGC in the last six games.
Q. From one Manchester United fan to another… do we get rid of all United assets, even though they have a double coming? (@chanjunming)
I’m going to keep it short: yes. Use the funds to get Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool assets, in my opinion.
Q. Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota or Andrew Robertson for the third Liverpool slot? (@kate_cutler)
You have to go with Andrew Robertson (£7.3m) in my opinion. Firstly, to go with Diaz or Jota, you’ll need to stomach a few 30-minute appearances since neither of them are nailed because of each other. I mean, just look at this tweet:
Q. For a Free Hit in Gameweek 34, which attacker would be your first pick from City, Liverpool and Chelsea? I’m currently on Sterling, Jota and Mount due to likely minutes and the need for differentials in my mini-leagues? (@FPLSecao)
Great question. I agree with Raheem Sterling (£10.5m) and Diogo Jota (£8.3m) as the first two names in attack on the Free Hit because of our assumption in terms of rotation. Sterling in fact has a great record versus Watford and I’m very jealous of all Sterling owners this week. Havertz’s benching versus Arsenal has me leaning toward him as the first Chelsea go-to attacker on a Free Hit as well.
That’s me for this week. Until then, you can watch our episode of The FPL Wire where Zophar and I are joined by Fantasy Football Scout deputy editor, Tom Freeman.
Both Zophar and Tom are on Wildcards, which should make for an interesting discussion. You can watch it below:
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