With a double gameweek on the horizon, it’s time for Fantasy Premier League managers to make some key decisions that could have a major influence on their mini-leagues.
Will you be using wildcard, bench boost or free hit? Or saving your chips for later in the season?
Following the postponement of Southampton’s proposed trip to Leeds, Saints now only play once in Gameweek 19 – away to Leicester – but here are five players who should come into your long-term thinking…
There is quite simply no better goalkeeper asset under £5.0m than Saints’ No 1. Only Emiliano Martinez (£5.1m) and Ederson (£6.0m) have kept more clean sheets than McCarthy this season.
The England international may have missed Saints’ win over Liverpool, but the team still kept another shutout in his absence – that’s three in a row and eight for the season.
With so much clean-sheet potential, it’s hard to ignore Saints’ budget-friendly defenders, with only Ryan Bertrand touching £5.0m.
Bednarek has been the form asset in recent weeks. In Saints’ last eight matches, the Pole has racked up one goal, one assist, four clean sheets and NINE bonus points. His overall tally of 11 bonus points is not bettered by any other defender in the game.
Ward-Prowse’s goals and assists have slowed down a little in recent weeks, but the skipper’s combined tally of eight (four goals, four assists) from 17 games is mightily impressive.
His best ever season total is nine, but the skipper is well on course to exceed double figures this time around. His free-kicks are getting better and better, he never misses a minute and could take over penalty responsibilities if Danny Ings is sidelined.
An underappreciated asset, Armstrong is owned by just 0.5% of FPL managers – less than any other Saints regular.
The midfielder’s tally of seven goals in 2020 was bettered only by Danny Ings and Ché Adams, and he remains a key component in Saints’ speedy transition from defence to attack.
Not many forwards offer better value for money this season than Adams, who is likely to return to Saints’ starting line-up this weekend, refreshed and reenergised.
Adams already has four goals and five assists to his name, and should be on course for many more when his partnership with Danny Ings is reunited. He’s also born in Leicester… a good omen this weekend?
West Ham are looking much more solid this season, and back-to-back home games against Burnley and West Brom offer major clean-sheet potential.
The Hammers have kept three clean sheets in a row in all competitions, and Fabianski is set to return from a thigh strain this weekend.
Doubling up on Manchester City defenders looks a sensible tactic at the moment, and Stones’s affordable price makes this move even more appealing.
Whilst the goals aren’t quite flowing as we’ve come to expect from Pep Guardiola’s side in previous seasons, they’ve conceded just three times in their last 12 games in all competitions, keeping nine clean sheets along the way.
If you can afford De Bruyne and Mo Salah, go for it, but the Belgian is the standout pick based on form and fixtures.
Whether he plays in midfield or as a “false 9”, De Bruyne is seemingly instrumental in every attack. City have back-to-back home games against Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, and face West Brom, Sheffield United and Burnley after that.
There’s a theme developing here – if you’re tempted to use your free hit this week, it’s worth targeting Man City and West Ham players.
Whilst Antonio’s season has been disrupted by injuries, he still has 11 goals in his last 14 Premier League starts, dating back to the summer. After Sebastien Haller’s departure to Ajax, Antonio is guaranteed to be in the team – providing he can stay fit.