Gameweek 13 FPL Q&A – Wildcard picks & differentials

In this weeks FPL Guest Q&A article, we are joined by LetsTalkSoccer who will be sharing their thoughts on the most popular questions ahead of GW13. This week we will be discussing whether Pulisic is the best mid-priced midfielder, our wildcard team, left-field options and captaincy picks.

Thanks to all those people that sent in their questions to us, we have picked out the most popular ones that have been asked. Like always if you enjoy the content, please give our Twitter account a follow along with our FPL guests this week.

“Is Pulisic the best option in the mid-priced midfielder range?”

LetsTalkSoccer:

In the category, it’s hard to look past Captain America (£7.4m). What started as a slow, under-performing season has ramped up to not only be impressive form for an American outside player playing in the Premier League, but an impressive performance that’s right up there with other in-form players like Vardy, Mane and Abraham.

Since Week 8, he’s produced 5 goals and 1 assist, including a perfect hat-trick against Burnley. Over those same 5 games, he’s tallied 42 FPL points (or 8.4 points per match).

We like him as an option moving forward, but with the caveat that – although it hasn’t happened yet – other players like Hudson-Odoi are eagerly awaiting their opportunities. When Loftus-Cheek is deemed match-fit, Lampard will have a midfield full of young, explosive talent. There could come a time where FPL managers that own Chelsea mids begin to get frustrated because of player rotation. Maybe not as bad as full-on Pep Roulette, but a Lamps crapshoot could be a thing. One other word of caution before running out to spend your free transfer on Pulisic, we suggest waiting for Lampard’s press conference (Thursday or Friday) to hopefully get a much better sense of Pulisic’s playing status.

Some other good options at a similar price point include:

  • Martial (£7.7m) – 1 goal, 2 assists the previous 2 games for what seems to be a surging Manchester United
  • Mount (£6.8m) – Despite blanking in his last 2 games, the opportunities to score and assist have been there, so don’t lose hope on him just yet
  • Tielemans (£6.6m) and Maddison (£7.5m) – 2 goals, 2 assists for 31 FPL points and 3 goals, 1 assist for 35 points in their last 5 games, respectively, who are approaching more favorable fixtures
  • David Silva (£7.6m) – Averaging 8.14 FPL points in games where he’s played a minimum of 60 minutes
  • Plus many others like WillianAyoze and McGinn, for example

There’s no shortage of good options around the £7.5m price point. Pulisic is arguably the most hyped midfielder at the moment because of how his form suddenly skyrocketed, but there’s stiff competition for who might be the best option for your GW13 starting XI.

 

FPLFootballAdvice:

Pulisic always had an impossible task at Chelsea, brought in with the task of trying to fill the great Hazards boots. After a slow start and what appeared to be out of favour by Lampard, the American has answered his critics in spectacular fashion. Pulisic has scored 5 goals in his last 3 league matches, including 5 bonus points over this period. In his 6 league starts this season, he has produced 7 attacking returns along with 1 assist from the bench.

At £7.4m, he is now £0.6m more expensive than the highly owned Mason Mount, another performing Chelsea asset. Pulisic only has 3 less FPL points than Mount, while Mount has played 476 more minutes. In context, Pulisic is currently producing 6.1 points per match in comparison to Mount’s 4.8.

So, should managers be considering him and is he the best Chelsea midfielder? Firstly we must mention that Pulisic is currently carrying a knock, so the press conferences should be monitored carefully. We think that Pulisic is the more explosive FPL asset, however carries a few concerns. It is clear that in this form he is in the starting 11, but with the return of Kante, it will be interesting to see how the Chelsea side lines up. The competition for places in the attacking three is fierce with the likes of Willian, Hudson-Odoi and Pedro, therefore rotation is always a worry.

Mount on the other hand has set piece potential and arguably less of a rotation risk, after Lampard now twice rushed him back from injury to feature.

If we had to pick a Chelsea asset, it would be Pulisic but only because of the higher FPL ceiling. We think he could be a risk in the long term, but on this form it would take a brave manager to drop him.

Outside of Chelsea, we think there are two midfield options that are better FPL assets – Martial and Maddison. Maddison is currently the 5th highest scoring midfielder, already scoring 4 goals and assisting 3. A key player in this thriving Leicester side, Maddison has passed both the eye test and underlying stats over the past month, showing what a great FPL asset he is. With brilliant long term fixtures, we think he should be the top of the list for those managers looking at mid-priced midfielders.

Martial is the other exciting option, playing in more of an unpredictable side at Man United. More of a differential option, his gametime is guaranteed under Solskjaer and playing as a forward he looks to be a brilliant out-of –position midfielder.

“Left field pick not getting enough attention?”

LetsTalkSoccer:

A few under-the-radar players come to mind…

  • Mousset: 2 goals and 3 assists in his last 4 games. On just 2.2% of all FPL teams, a good differential and an inexpensive third striker (only £5.0m). And an increasingly confident Sheffield United about to begin a great run of fixtures from Week 14 to Week 19, he could really deliver for his owners.
  • David Silva: Some points are already mentioned above. When fit, he’s as creative player as there is. With Chelsea on the docket this weekend, Pep really can’t afford to keep him out of the starting lineup.
  • Harvey Barnes: While Tielemans, Ayoze and Madders take the headlines, Barnes is behind the scenes creating chances and delivering assists (4 of them in his last 4 matches). Part of such an in-form, high-powered attack, he’s an affordable way in. And at 1.2% ownership, he could enable larger green arrows than some of the more widely-owned midfielders.
  • Doherty: A player that was a must-have in last season’s squads, he sits at just 3.2% ownership. While Wolves are conceding goals, they’ve allowed just 1 goal per game in their last 4 games. With a favorable run of fixtures pretty much through the rest of the season, short of a couple speed bumps here and there, those clean sheets could be right around the corner. And with his strong performance over the International Break, the attacking returns we loved so much last year could come back too.

 

FPLFootballAdvice:

With the ever-expanding FPL community, it has become increasingly harder to identify hidden gems in a sea of content. That said, we will try our best!

After the shock sacking of Pochettinho and the swift announcement of Mourinho, Spurs offer an interesting FPL option. While there is potential over Spurs assets, managers need to be aware of the risks – not knowing Mourinho’s favoured starting 11, reaction of players and whether Jose still has the magic touch.

Spurs do have a decent run of upcoming fixtures, including some great home fixtures against Bournemouth, Brighton and Burnley. It would be a pricey risk to take investing in Kane, however we do think Son could be a good FPL option. Son currently owned by 7.7%, his £9.6m price tag makes him an affordable midfielder, especially for those looking for a Sterling alternative.

Our other pick is Arsenal’s Lacazette, who unfortunately has become victim to the price and performance of other assets. The forward has only started 5 league matches this season due to injury, but has registered 4 attacking returns over this period.

Priced at £9.3m, managers would be brave to choose him over Vardy – who is £0.3m more expensive. As mentioned, the performance of cheaper options makes Lacazette a difficult player to own, with the likes of Abraham and Jimenez out-performing him at a fraction of the price.

However, for those managers seeking a differential to boost those ranks, we think Lacazette could be a great option owned by only 1.7% of managers. Over the next 4 gameweeks, Arsenal face 3 of the 4 worst defences in the league – serious potential for some hauls for the Frenchman.

As mentioned, if you can afford Vardy, he is the better option. But Lacazette could just be that players managers have been looking for, for those that like to go against the crowd.

“If you were to wildcard, what would your team look like?”

LetsTalkSoccer:

Seems like quite a few are playing their first Wildcard this week. And it’s got us thinking what we’d do if we still had our Wildcard. Casting aside the notion of hitting the budget perfectly, here’s how we’d attack it.

There are the must-haves: either because of outstanding form or because their ownership is so high among most teams that without them you’d stand to see red arrows in any of them has a good gameweek. Then, there are the players who are worthy of consideration because their high ceilings (can generate a lot of points at any time). And, lastly, there are the differentials and/or enablers. Here’s who is in our consideration set…

  • Goalkeepers: Ryan, Pope, Schmeichel, Henderson (no must-haves in this role, but all listed here are worthy of our consideration)
  • Defenders: TAA or Robertson and Lundstram (as must-haves); Pereira, Chilwell or Soyuncu, Rico, Tomori (high ceilings); Wan-Bissaka, Van Aanholt and Doherty (as differentials); Baldock, Montoya, Mings and of course Kelly (as enablers)
  • Midfielders: Salah or Mane, KDB or Sterling and Mount (must-haves); Son, McGinn, Pulisic, Martial, Maddison (high ceilings); Tielemans, Perez or H. Barnes, Deulofeu, James, Grealish, Groß (as differentials) and Traore (as an enabler)
  • Forwards: Abraham (must-have); Vardy, Kane, Aubameyang, Rashford, Jimenez (high ceilings); Lacazette, Mousset, Ings (differentials) and Connolly (enabler)

From this group, our Wildcard squad would likely be…drumroll please…

                                     Henderson + Button

                TAA  +  Soyuncu  +  Doherty   +  PVA  +  Rico

            Mane  +  Sterling  +  Martial  +  Pulisic  +  Maddison

                              Abraham  +  Vardy +   Mousset

Do the math quickly in our heads, it seems like this squad could be even under the £100m budget.

To us, it feels like a good mix of premiums, coverage, high ceilings, differentials and enablers.

 

FPLFootballAdvice:

The international break makes for a great opportunity for managers to play their wildcard. We had considered the option ourselves, with the potential to ride price changes and increase the sides team value.

If we had to play our wildcard ahead of GW13, there are a number of players that we would keep as they are long-term, consistent assets. These include Robertson, Lundstram, Mane, De Bruyne, Vardy and Abraham. These players all either offer incredible FPL value such as Lundstram and Abraham, or have been proven assets for years such as Mane and Vardy.

These players are all ones that should be on the top of manager’s lists, mainly due to the high ownership of each. Abraham has now become the highest owned player in the game, at an incredible 50% ownership. Of those players mentioned, Robertson has the lowest ownership (22%) highlighting the popularity of these players.

Having investments in highly owned players is an integral part of the game to ensure managers protect their rank. However, having a team full of highly owned players can only climb your rank so far. Of course, the combination of owning certain players will help boost your rank, but owning the odd few ‘differentials’ also serve their purpose throughout the course of the season.

Our main picks along these lines are Spurs’ Gazzaniga and Man United’s Anthony Martial. The logic behind the Gazzaniga pick is the hiring of Jose Mourinho and the reputation his previous sides have of being defensively sound. Tottenham have some decent upcoming matches, and we predict Jose tightening the Spurs defence to get some quick wins in his opening games. At 3% ownership, Gazzaniga could be a shrewd pick while Lloris remains on the sidelines.

Martial is naturally the more exciting pick of the two, especially because of his out-of-position role in the United side. 3 goals and 3 assists in 6 starts makes for some good reading, and while Martial has never been an explosive asset, he has started the season in consistent form.

Gameweek 13 wildcard

We think that Liverpool assets over the coming gameweeks are essential considering the excellent fixtures, but are an interesting conversation. For those unaware, Liverpool have a blank gameweek 18 therefore those that invested heavily could require their bench to come into force is reluctant to sell.

Our tip is to triple up if you can support these players with your bench, or have an exit strategy in place over this blank period. Otherwise, double up with one defender and midfielder and ride out the blank with the strength in-depth on the bench.

Pulisic – once a differential – now owned by 12% of managers and looks great FPL value. Both Chelsea and Leicester have provided excellent value, and until their form drops we think managers should continue investing in these assets.

“Captaincy options”

LetsTalkSoccer:

Another week where there’s not a clear-cut captain option (or two), which makes for the opportunity to leapfrog a lot of teams if your captain bangs and theirs don’t.

To us, the players most worthy of the armband are:

  • Kane (whu): Newly-named head coach Jose Mourinho could be the catalyst to jump start a Spurs surge, including a haul from Kane. While he’s been quiet in recent Premier League performances, he’s found good recent form for England over this International Break. At home, West Ham have allowed the third most home goals (11) in the League. Kane has 7 goals and 1 assist in his 10 PL games vs The Hammers.
  • Aubameyang (SOU): Also currently battling a spell of blanks, Aubameyang is looking to recapture the goal-scoring ways from earlier in the season. He’s played Southampton in 2 League matches, scoring once, which isn’t great, but when you consider that The Saints have conceded the most goals in the League (21), it makes Auba a much more appealing option. He could reward those that place the armband on him.
  • Vardy (bha): His recent form is undeniable, and the Leicester City attack is humming right along. Well rested over the IB, he’ll look to continue his League-leading goal scoring. In his 4 PL matches against Brighton, he’s scored 3 times.
  • Sterling (CHE): Yeah, he’s blanked a bit more frequently than his FPL owners would like. Way too much if you ask us! He’s come into a bit of controversy in the England squad. Pair that with the recent loss to Liverpool, and Raz has a lot to prove. He’ll look to punish an in-form Chelsea at home. Chelsea have conceded the 4th most away goals (12) in the PL, while City have scored a League-leading 19 goals at home. Sterling has played Chelsea 12 times in Premier League fixtures, where he’s scored 6 and assisted 3.
  • Aguero (CHE): Another Man City that hasn’t really lived up to expectations recently, but we all know what Kun is capable of doing. In his 18 League games vs. Chelsea, Aguero has put 15 into the net and assisted 3 others.
  • Mane (cry): He’s on good form recently. And if Salah is out of the squad this weekend (as he’s rumored to be), Mane should be the main focal point of the Liverpool attack. Despite a stingy Crystal Palace defense, Mane has performed well against them in his League fixtures: He’s got 7 goals and 2 assists in his 10 games.
  • Salah (cry) (if fit): His ankle injury supposedly hasn’t healed like the club has hoped, so it sounds like there’s a chance he won’t play this weekend (but we’d wait for Klopp to confirm one way or the other before making a transfer). However, if he does play, he could lash out like a wounded animal, which could spell trouble for Palace. In just 3 PL matches against Palace, he’s scored 3 goals and assisted 2 goals.
  • Lots of great differential options too: Jimenez, Lacazette, KDB, Rashford, Martial, Maddison, David Silva, Son, Richarlison

Based on the above, we break the GW13 captaincy options like this:

  • First choice: Sterling/Aguero, depending on which you own
  • Somewhat risky, but could be well worth it: Kane or Auba
  • Differential: Richarlison (home to Norwich) or Lacazette (home to Southampton)

We wish everyone green arrows in Week 13. Cheers, guys!

 

FPLFootballAdvice:

The stand-out fixture this weekend is the big clash between faltering Man City and high-flying Chelsea. With plenty of highly owned players including Abraham, Sterling and De Bruyne featuring in this match, we look at whether there is value in this game.

Man City are still topping the goal scoring charts at home, netting 19 in only 6 league matches – however it must be stated that 8 of those came in the Watford match. Meanwhile, Chelsea have the second best away record, registering an impressive 15 points in 6 away league matches. To match this, they are also the leading goal scorers away from home, scoring 18 over this period. With both sides seemingly struggling to keep clean sheets consistently, it has the making to be a high-scoring affair. While we are a big Sterling fan, 2 goals in his last 8 league matches don’t provide the confidence to put the armband on the City man. While De Bruyne has dipped below his usual high standards, averaging 3.25 points over his last 4 league matches.

Instead, we think there is an argument to put the armband on the highest owned FPL player – Abraham. The Chelsea forward has scored 7 of his 10 league goals away from home, including registering both his assists in these matches. While he is owned by 50% of managers, we think he might prove to be a differential captain option due to the away fixture.

The Man City defence clearly aren’t the same without Laporte, and we think it could be a great opportunity to put the trust in Lampard’s young Chelsea side, in particular Tammy Abraham.

Outside of this fixture, our top captaincy pick would go to the in-form man Jamie Vardy. 11 goals, 3 assists so far this season make the Leicester forward a hard player to ignore in any gameweek. Leicester have shown that they can compete with the very best in the league, and in turn make Vardy somewhat of a fixture-proof asset.

An away match against Brighton seems like a great opportunity for him to continue his goal scoring streak, which includes 8 goals in the last 6 league matches. A further reason is the defensive injury crisis Brighton have themselves in. Both Dunk and Webster are unavailable for the GW13 fixture, forcing Potter to make significant changes to the side.

While Brighton have a decent home defensive record – 6 goals conceded in 6 matches – we think both Leicester City and Vardy will have too much for the Seagulls.

 


 

Big thanks to LetsTalkSoccer for contributing to this weeks Q&A article, be sure to give their accounts a follow for top tips throughout the season.

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