In this weeks FPL Guest Q&A article, we are joined by fellow FPL accounts Arrow FPL and LetsTalkSoccer who are sharing their thoughts on the most popular questions ahead of GW18. This week we will be discussing the FPL value of Danny Ings and Harry Kane, Trent Alexander-Arnold replacements and the best captain for gameweek 18.
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.
“After his heroics last weekend against Arsenal, is there a better budget value striker than Danny Ings? And if so, what other strikers provide better FPL value at a similar price?”
Ings was the first of our “Ones to Watch” for GW18. Back with a bang against Arsenal, he could be one of the ones at Southampton to benefit from their new high pressing style, feeding off the ball being won higher up the pitch.
In terms of raw numbers, Ings is returning at 10.6 pts/£m so far this season. This is actually equal to current top points scorer Hazard for context! To compare him to someone around his value, Rondon (£5.8m) has an average of 8.4 pts/£m and you have to jump an additional £0.8m to Jimenez (£6.2m) then to increase that rate (13.1 pts/£m).
For last weekend, no, there was no better value forward than Danny Ings. But that was last weekend. In our approach to transferring in players, we tend to take a more long-term look at things. Now that we are 17 games into the season, we have a very good sense of who will provide consistency and who might perform well sporadically.
I think Ings falls into the latter group. His brace over the weekend was the first goals he’s scored since Week 11 and first returns since Week 12 (where he had 1 assist). It’s great as an FPL manager when you can catch that kind of lightning in a bottle, but it’s always unpredictable and usually fleeting.
For the money, we think there are better options. In fact, 6 of the top 12 forwards in terms of FPL points earned cost less than £7.0m. Players like Wilson, Jimenez and Arnie (when healthy again) are excellent values for the money. One could make a case that a front line of these three players would generate a lot of points. It would also allow a manager to invest the savings into other parts of the team.
We’re not saying to avoid all premium forwards, but it’s definitely a viable strategy, especially if a manager is looking to free up funds for premium midfielder or two. All that said, if a manager only has less than £6.0m to spend on a striker, Ings or Rondon are the clear front runners.
Returning from injury, Ings scored two brilliant goals against Arsenal to help the Saints pick up 3 valuable points. He started the season in great FPL form, scoring 3 goals in his opening 5 league matches, only valued at £5.5m.
After missing the last 4 games prior to GW17, Ings has firmly reminded managers of his FPL value, now priced at cheaper £5.4m. And with a new manager at the helm at Southampton, it could be the perfect time to consider owning the hitman.
If we look at the FPL strikers priced below £6.0m, then there are only a handful of considerations in this bracket – Rondon, Deeney and Kamara. All three have either been injuried or a rotation risk over the season, which has reflected their goal scoring. Rondon (4), Deeney (2) and Kamara (2) are behind Ings (6) for goals this season, as well as leading the shots/90 with an impressive 3.48.
Southampton face bottom half teams in their next 2 league matches, followed by two tough matches against City and Chelsea. However, we think that at £5.4m, Ings provides FPL managers with guaranteed minutes and a track record of goal scoring. While he might not score every week, we expect him to outperform his price tag and prove to be great FPL value.
“Priced at £12.6m and only returning 6 points in his last 2 matches, should FPL managers hold or sell Harry Kane?”
Absolutely hold onto Kane!
It feels like this season more than most has seen a lot of knee jerking going on. No sooner have people called a player like Kane “essential” they’re casting him aside from their squads once again. We suggest patience. See Hazard GW17 as an example of why premium assets deserve your trust.
Still not sure?
Here’s a couple of reasons to keep:
Consistency: While he might not be as explosive as during past seasons, he’s still returned 91pts so far. Extrapolate this out over 38 GWs and you’re looking at a 200pts+ total, not too shabby when he’s proven in the past that he is captainable most weeks.
Safety of Starts: Possibly the most rotation proof of any of the premium players this season. With Spurs lacking any serious challenger to Kane’s striker spot, he’s going to be almost untouched in that starting XI, even over Christmas.
Finally, with only 3 of Spur’s next 14 games flagging up anything higher than a “3” on FPL’s fixture ratings, he’s going to have plenty of opportunity to score goals against those lesser teams.
If we already owned him, we’d hold onto him. Spurs have a very favorable stretch of fixtures ahead. 9 of the next 10 games have an FDR of 3 or less. Despite the drop in returns, Kane is still the third highest-scoring forward in FPL.
Not too shabby when he’s having an “off season” as some have said.
Also with, you’re almost guaranteed that he will start every game. Of the other comparable strikers like Aguero, Auba or Laca, Kane seems to be a nailed-on starter. And that carries some weight with it too.
Some FPL managers get antsy when a player doesn’t perform perfectly each and every week. This is a game of patience and consistency. So we suggest Kane owners stick by him and he should reward them over the next several weeks.
Even though Kane hasn’t scored big over the last few game weeks, we don’t think it’s anything to worry about right now if you are an owner. He has currently scored 9 goals and 4 assists, and is only behind Wilson and Aubameyang in the FPL striker points. It is very easy to forget his 12-point haul only back in GW15, including 5 straight gameweeks of attacking returns.
His price tag naturally brings negatively everytime he doesn’t score, and his last minute assist on the weekend is an example of the expectation. But for those managers opting for a premium striker strategy, we ask, is there a better striker to own over the Christmas period?
The essential thing for managers over this time is guaranteed minutes, and there is no better option than Kane for this. If you look at the other premium strikers – Aubameyang, Aguero, Jesus, Lacazette – they all have rotation in either minutes or position.
As mentioned by both Arrow FPL and LetsTalkSoccer, Spurs have some great fixtures coming up. Spurs also face 2 of their next 3 matches at home, and have great long term fixtures leading into February. We think you should not only hold onto Kane, but consider him as a strong captain option over the next month.
“With many favourable matches for top 6 teams, who is the best captaincy pick for GW18?”
Despite just singing Kane’s praises, we don’t feel like GW18 in particular is the week to give him the armband, given the much-improved performances that Everton are showing this season.
We’re thinking 3 other players for our captain favourites this week: Sterling, Hazard or Aubameyang, who each have ideal fixtures (but also the added complication of midweek games). At this point in time, we’re probably leaning towards Sterling. Given a slight rest at the weekend (yet still managing to bag a goal), we feel like City wont take Palace for granted as they look to avoid losing any further points on Liverpool.
If that’s the case, we expect Sterling to bank once again. We will give a caveat on that, and that will be keeping an eye on minutes shared between these 3 midweek.
For us, we advise managers to consider Aubameyang, Wilson (if healthy), Hazard, Aguero (if fit), Sterling, Mitrovic and Kane as captain selections. We’ve patiently waited for Aguero to return from injury. It looks like a home game against Palace could be the right time for us to give him the armband back.
It seems that managers have been spoilt for choice this weekend, with many highly owned players facing nice fixtures. The clubs we have highlighted are: Wolves v Liverpool, Arsenal v Burnley, Chelsea v Leicester and Man City v Crystal Palace.
For us, it seems hard to ignore the City fixture after their impressive home record this season. Averaging 3.6 goals per home match, City are blowing away teams and for many managers it will be a great opportunity to captain Sterling or Sane.
Both have been regularly bought in recent weeks, especially Sane, and have matched each others scoring over the past few months. We personally would put the armband on Sterling, after his rest in GW17 we would be surprised to see him benched again this weekend.
After his goal and assist last weekend, Hazard has put himself back in the minds of FPL managers and faces a great home match. There’s plenty to suggest Hazard will score big this weekend, and now playing as the striker in the team, he is finding himself in some great goal scoring positions.
“Best TAA replacement? Stick with Liverpool or seek elsewhere?”
We’re going to presume that it will be a straight swap with no money ITB… With that in mind, the obvious moves have to be the attack minded pair of Doherty (5.1, 22% TSB) or Digne (5.0, 5% TSB)!
Digne has the more favourable run of fixtures if we’re keeping an eye on the long term, benefiting from an excellent run from GW19-26. With a share of set pieces & corners, we see him banking points from more than just clean sheets.
For Doherty, while Wolves don’t enjoy the same kind run of fixtures as Everton, we feel that his 3 goals, 3 assists & average of 1.4 shots/90 justify playing him week-in-week-out in order to profit from those attacking returns.
As a final note, there’s also the view that Lovren is an ideal swap for TAA, as it means keeping the Liverpool defensive cover. But given how fast fixtures come over the festive period, and how precious transfers can be to cover injuries during this time, we’d warn against bringing in a player who is merely a short term fix and could need swapping back out sooner rather than later.
For a similar price, of course Doherty is top of that list. If you don’t already have him, get him. He’s the gift that keeps on giving! Otherwise, Keane and his teammate Digne are good options.
Holebas should be a good get too. If budget isn’t an issue, Robbo and VVD are great if you’re looking for like for like. Chelsea defenders Luiz, Rudiger and Alonso are strong options too.
Trippier and Laporte are also on our list. A lot of options across a variety of teams, all of which have a good mix of favorable fixtures over the next few weeks.
For the context of the question we will offer replacements that are the same price or cheaper. Firstly, for those that won’t own Liverpool cover after selling Alexander-Arnold and want it, Lovren is a great option. Priced at £4.9m and owned by only 2.1%, due to the injuries to Gomez and Matip his gametime looks guaranteed alongside Van Dijk. However, Liverpool fixtures are tricky over the next month, so although they have the best defensive record, be wary of not getting consistent clean sheet returns.
Outside of Liverpool, the obvious pick is Wolves’ Mat Doherty (£5.0m) who is the leading budget FPL defender. Owned by an impressive 22% of managers, Doherty should be on the radar for those managers that want to cover their rank. He has returned both attacking and defensive points in his last 4 matches, and has been one of the value FPL picks of the season.
For a differential option, Digne (£5.0m) has been in the headlines recently for his impressive attacking displays. Registering a goal and an assist in his last 2 league matches, he has now topped the charts for the most crosses (134) this season. Owned by 4.7%, Everton after this weekend have some great long term fixtures. Also they haven’t proved they are water tight in defence, the additional attacking threat Digne offers is a real asset at his price tag.
A cheeky shout out to Tarkowski, who at £4.7m (4.2%) could prove to be a steal if Burnley find last seasons form. They kept only their 3rd clean sheet in GW16, but Tarkowski has managed to score 3 goals along the way. If Dyche can rejuvenate his men for the 2nd half of the season, he could be a great pick especially with great long term fixtures after GW18.
A reminder of our FPL league:
League Code: 2297733-525881
League Name: Footballadvice.co.uk