GW17 FPL Q&A – Best Premium Midfielder

In this weeks Q&A article, we are joined by fellow FPL accounts FPL_Fantasy_Phenom and LetsTalkSoccer who are sharing their thoughts on the most popular questions ahead of GW17.

Best Premium midfielder for managers to own over the next month – Sterling, Hazard or Salah?

Hazard, Sterling and Salah top the midfield points scoring, justifying their price tags as the premium options in the game. Both Salah and Hazard have had their values questioned in the past month, while Sterling has been in glowing form. However, a hat trick for Salah and 2 assist for Hazard, marked by a blank from Sterling, has questioned which of the three is the best to own over the coming fixtures.

FPL_Fantasy_Phenom:

Premium midfielders is a tricky one. Salah certainly has the form however arguably much tougher fixtures than Hazard or Sterling over the next 5 fixtures. If you have Salah I think keep but if you haven’t I would prioritise getting in Sterling or Hazard first.

Number 1 pick from the premium mids would be Sterling, with Hazard a close second. Ripping up your team and taking hits to fit Salah in now, is a mistake.

LetsTalkSoccer:

Can we pick all three?! All three of these players can light up the pitch. All other things being equal, we’d say Salah. After his impressive hat-trick against Bournemouth over the weekend, it seems safe to say that the “one season wonder” chatter has been quelled. But, Liverpool have a very difficult set of fixtures over the next four weeks.

As such, our pick is Hazard. Chelsea’s fixtures over the next four weeks are favorable. He’s less susceptible to rotation than Sterling (but maybe not as much as Mo) and has just about 1.5% less ownership than Salah – although we suspect after his weekend, Mo’s ownership will increase significantly.

Hazard is a very streaky player: He goes on stretches of great form with lots of goals, followed by stretches of poor form and nonexistent returns. With four assists in the last three games, it seems like he’s coming out of a slump. He seems primed for a few really strong weeks.

FPLFootballAdvice:

We personally think that, although Salah scored a timely hat trick, both Hazard and Sterling offer better FPL value. At £13.0m, Salah is still significantly more expensive than the other two, and arguably has the harder fixture schedule. Liverpool face United, Arsenal and Man City in their next 5 league matches. Although Salah has proved that he is fixture proof, you expect his points ceiling to be lower against this quality of opposition.

Sterling (£11.6m) and Hazard (£10.9m) on the other hand have much more favourable fixtures. Chelsea face 4 bottom-half teams over the same period, while City have back to back home matches. We would personally go for Sterling as our premium choice.

Although Sterling has rotation risks associated, City score far more goals than both Liverpool and Chelsea. This naturally increases the potential for Sterling to be contributing in goals regularly, and the upcoming fixtures they face offers further potential. Although Hazard has great fixtures, the lack of a quality forward is evident and this in turn effects the attacking potential in comparison to Sterling.

Is Torreira a realistic 5th midfield option – if not, who is better value?

Torreira has surprised many FPL managers over the past few game weeks with his attacking threat. The Uruguayan has scored 2 and assisted 1 goal in his last 3 matches, notably against United and Spurs. It has now led to him currently being the most transferred player ahead over GW17, where Arsenal face Southampton away.

FPL_Fantasy_Phenom:

Torreira is a player I was surprised to see many transferring in and I advised caution, he then proceeded to score again. It is worth acknowledging that he’s on 4 yellows and is a defensive midfielder, all warning signs.

Taking all this into account I still brought him in this week in place of Cairney on my bench. His price was going up and I had the exact cash to get him in. For £5.1m, I wouldnt be expecting massive returns but certainly a great 5th midfield option given Arsenals fixtures and form. He also seems extremely passionate and isnt afraid to get into the box and appears to have a sweet strike.

Torreira is a gamble … but I like a punt.

LetsTalkSoccer: 

Torreira has impressed us recently. Two goals and an assist in his last three games, he seems to have found his form in Emery’s system.

With players like Auba and Laca in the attack, it creates options and opportunities for Torreira. He can feed balls to both players, creating chances. Or, as those players attract defenders, it opens spots for Torreira to slip into and take shots of his own. And, his ownership is just over 5%, creating a nice differential for his owners.

For just £5.1, he seems quite the value midfielder at the moment.

FPLFootballAdvice:

Looking at his stats, Torreira has registered 12 shots and 5 key passes in his last 5 league matches. In comparision to fellow teammates – Aubameyang (15 shots), Xhaka (5 shots), Mkhitaryan (11 shots) – he is one of the leading attacking threats in the team. Priced currently at £5.1m, he has proved to be a great 4th/5th midfielder for some FPL managers.

Looking at options priced similar to Torreira, Kante (£4.9m) leads the points scoring after his goal against Man City. Although scoring 2 goals and 2 assists this season, his underlying stats are poor and don’t suggest a sustainable attacking threat throughout the season.

Below £5.0m, the options are few and far between including James McArthur (£4.7m) and Josh Murphy (£4.8m).

The only other midfielders offering similar FPL value to Torreira is Robert Snodgrass (£5.3m), who has scored 1 and assisted 3 in his last 3 league matches. Due to injuries for both Yarmolenko and Arnautovic, Snodgrass has started the last 3 matches and snatched at the chance. With West Ham’s fixtures remaining great and their form equally good, if managers can stretch the budget he could be a good alternative to Torreira.

If not, we think that although we don’t expect the Arsenal man to score or assist loads of goals this season, he has shown that he can contribute to attacking plays and great FPL value at £5.1m.

Should Lacazette owners be worried after his 45 minute appearance?

FPL_Fantasy_Phenom:

Lacazette was the victim of Emery’s proclivity to make wholesale tactical changes early in a match if things arent clicking. He missed a sitter and had a goal wrongly ruled offside. Hes’ not injured and has great fixtures in a very good attacking side.

Owners should keep 100%.

LetsTalkSoccer:

Yes, if we owned Laca, we’d start looking at replacements. Over the last four games, he’s played just 115 minutes (or an average of just under 29 minutes/game).

There are other forwards at his price point – or less – that play more often and earn as many FPL points. Jimenez (£6.1m) and Mitrovic (£6.7m) are good examples. That remaining amount of money could be put towards upgrading a number of other players on your team.

FPLFootballAdvice:

Having personally transferred in Lacazette ahead of GW16, like the other 100,000 managers who done the same, was left bitterly disappointed after being substituted at half time. At £9.6m, he has provided managers a cheaper alternative to getting into the Arsenal attack, for those that can’t afford Aubameyang (£11.5m).

Although it isn’t a great situation, we would recommend holding Lacazette for at least another game week to learn how Emery values his contributions. Arsenal face joint bottom Southampton away this weekend, followed by Burnley at home in GW18. We don’t think there’s enough to worry about selling Lacazette right now, and instead wait for the following game week and the line up.

If the worst scenario does happen, then trying to own Aubameyang may be the best move to make in order to own a Arsenal attacking player.

Best budget/mid-priced FPL defender to own over the coming month?

Arrow Question

 

FPL_Fantasy_Phenom:

A lot of managers will scramble to get in Doherty (£5.0m) but I think this is a mistake. His fixtures are very hit and miss and I think you have missed the boat on this one.

My favourite in this category is Sead Kolasinac (£5.0m), who is very attacking and if Arsenal keep the 3-5-2 formation he is an OOP defender with great fixtures. The only caveat to this is Emery and the danger he changes the system. Bellerin is arguably more nailed regardless of the system and he is £5.5m.

Id love to cheat on this and recommend David Luiz at £5.6m, for those who have decided to release the funds locked up in Alonso and are worried about Chelsea’s impressive defensive record(like me), I think this guy is great value. He might soon be in my team.

LetsTalkSoccer:

Doherty (£5.0m) has to be the first name on this list. His price has increased often over the last 16 weeks, but he’s still a very affordable defender. And the amount of value he provides is off the charts.

A second defender that comes to mind is Pereira (£5.1m). With Schmeichel behind him, the opportunity for a clean sheet is almost always present. Like Doherty, Pereira likes to get forward and attack.

A couple of matches missed to being benched, TAA (£5.4m) is on our list (and in our squad), but be wary: Liverpool have some tough games coming up. But his attacking and set piece threats can help compensate for the potential of clean sheets being lost.

FPLFootballAdvice:

Doherty (£5.0m) is currently the leading defender in this price category having scored 3 and assisted 3 goals. Although Wolves have some tricky fixtures, if you don’t already own Doherty we think there is still value in buying him. Facing Liverpool, Spurs and City in their next 6, we would recommend making sure you have a strong playing squad to rotate him over these fixtures.

A budget FPL defender that may return some decent defensive points is Huddersfield’s Schindler (£4.3m). Huddersfield face 5 of the bottom 6 in their next 6 league matches – 3 of which at home. If there was ever a time to own a Huddersfield defender it would be over this stretch of games and could be a great bargain pick for those managers needing the additional funds.

Another punt that we have identified is Man United’s summer signing Dalot (£5.3m). Having started the last 2 matches, he impressed against Fulham for his attacking threat – 3 key passes, 8 crosses (4 accurate crosses). United have only kept 2 clean sheets this season, and we can’t see this improving against Liverpool this weekend.

But after this fixture, United play Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Newcastle. We think that if there was ever a time for them to start getting clean sheets, it will be over this month and Dalot could prove to be a great pick.

We actually highlighted both Dalot and Schindler as great FPL differential picks over the next 5 GW’s. Below is the Twitter thread that we created, discussing the best options in every position (click Tweet to view some of the best FPL value).

 


 

A word from FPL_Fantasy_Phenom:

“A little about myself… playing fpl since 2013 but a shameless casual up until 2016 when I started to take the game serious. A finish of 8,327 that year followed by 14,960 last year. This year I am currently struggling and lounging in 200,000 OR. I’ve taken a few hits the last few weeks and I believe my team is now set up for the christmas period….”

Fantasy_Phenom Team

 

Thanks again to FPL_Fantasy_Phenom and LetsTalkSoccer for contributing in this weeks Q&A article. Make sure you follow both of them on their accounts and give them some support.

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