In this weeks FPL Guest Q&A article, we are joined by FPL accounts FPL Tipster and FPL XI who are sharing their thoughts on the most popular questions ahead of GW24. This week we will be discussing blank/double GW plans, best differential players, keep or sell Anderson and whether Lacazette can cover Aubameyang returns.
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.
“Should managers be planning for the blank/double GW’s? How do you personally plan to negotiate the blank/double GW’s?”
If you’re looking for double/blank game week advice, @BenCrellin is the account to follow, but I’ll do my best to cover. Southampton, Huddersfield, Leicester and Liverpool all will be free of blank game weeks, and Leicester in particular have a great run of fixtures from GW31 till the end of the season, which will make players such as Ricardo Pereira and Jamie Vardy much more attractive.
If you have your Wildcard and Free Hit still, I’d be looking to have it for GW31 – 35. There’s a blank on GW31, double on GW32, blank on GW33, then finally another double on GW35. It means that there will be three tricky transitions to get past, one to note in your FPL calendar. And another thing to note, if a team has three blank GW’s it’s very likely there’ll be another DGW for them, so no team misses the rub of the green this season.
Twitter provides great information for the blank and double game weeks. I personally like to start planning as early as possible. I would recommend that managers should be planning for the double and blank game weeks before GW24. After the cup games we will find out who blanks in GW27. This will give 4 free transfers to prepare for the first blank.
I will be looking at having a full starting XI feature in the BGW to maximize points potential. I would avoid taking hits for the blank game weeks unless for premium players. Managers may be tempted to take hits to field a player rather than having a blank spot in their team, but it would mean the player would need to return to gain any points.
I believe points hits will be beneficial over the double game weeks as there is a reduced chance of losing points. However, I would still prefer a good player with one good fixture to an ‘okay’ player with two ‘okay’ fixtures.
For my team, I haven’t used any of the chips or wildcard as I believe they will be important to negotiate the fixtures. It’s first worth noting that the fixtures and dates haven’t been finalised yet, therefore it’s worth to keep a close eye on new information throughout the week. Holding your transfers before GW24 is a wise move.
I think it is smart to monitor the upcoming blank/double and begin to plan now. I’m currently looking at using free transfers to get through blanks GW27 and 31. The plan is to then use my wildcard for GW32, preparing for the double game week and then using the free hit for GW33 to get in blank GW players for that week. The team should then be well prepared for the double in GW35 where I can use my bench boost to hopefully gain a decent score.
As mentioned, information is still very limited right now, and monitoring news on fixtures is the most important thing for managers to do right now.
“Best differential player for those chasing mini-league and rank?”
Differential options can often change very quickly, with attention to one player switching almost instantly to another after a few good games. Here are my choices for ones that will hopefully last the whole season.
One player I’ve been keeping my eye on is Xherdan Shaqiri. It’s been confirmed by @BenCrellin that Liverpool won’t have a single BGW this season after they were knocked out of the FA Cup. Salah is hard to cover, but the Swiss international has a 3.1% ownership and an almost guaranteed starting berth in that attacking midfield slot.
Arsenal’s fixtures are looking up, with 3 fixtures against the top 6 in the next 15 games, and Lacazette at 6.2% ownership has struck up a great partnership with Auba this season, so watch out for that. Widely talked about after returning from an injury, Kevin DeBruyne has slowly been put into Man City’s cup games, but started on the weekend vs Huddersfield and looks to start again vs Newcastle away. We all know what he’s capable of from the past 2 season, and at just 4.0% ownership, he could be one to watch.
The best differential is always one that other people in the mini league do not own. Sterling I believe is a great option. Many players own Sane with 23% live ownership. Sterling has approximately 13% live ownership and has outperformed him, 4 SoT to 3 and 10 Attempted Assists to Sane’s 4.
We have seen how good Sterling has been previously and with Mendy back we may see Sane rested more often. Sterling (£11.3m) is an expensive player and does blank in GW27, however Man City look to be regaining their form and Sterling could be the center of it.
I feel that this question would have been a lot easier to answer before the Alli injury over the weekend. He was my pick with the absence of Kane and Son, I felt Spurs would turn to him for the creative spark. I still think that if his injury isn’t bad, he is worth looking at once he returns.
Jota (£5.9m) put his name into the conversation with a hat trick against Leicester, and owned by only 1.8% of managers, he is a interesting option. Wolves have some brilliant fixtures coming up, and for those managers that don’t have the chance to own Jimenez, Jota could be a cheap option into the team.
Averaging 1.88 shots/90 and 1.05 kp/90 and an xG/90 of 0.34, he is posting some decent statistics. I don’t think it’s enough to jump on, but for those fed up with Richarlison or love the Wolves fixtures, he could be a nice punt for managers.
The other option that I like the look of in the future is Benjamin Mendy (£6.1m). Mendy has finally returned to the Premier League, and while not 100% fit Pep has stated that he is available for team selection now. I wouldn’t jump to own Mendy, he is at least a month away from being a consideration due to fitness and fixtures. However, if managers are looking for a differential, at 6.2% ownership he could prove to be a nice pick.
I discussed more about his stats and my thoughts in a recent Twitter thread:
With Mendy now back in action for Man City, I have looked at whether #FPL managers should be targeting the Frenchman (Thread)
— FPLFootballAdvice (@FootballAdvice5) January 22, 2019
“Keep or sell Felipe Anderson?”
There was once a time in FPL were Felipe Anderson was one of the most sought after assets in the game, with 5 double-digit returns between GW8-19. But fast forward a few months, and he has 10 points in his last 4 games.
West Ham in particular have been experiencing some good form, bringing in Samir Nasri (£5.5m) and defeat Arsenal in recent weeks, but they still have 5 of the Top 6 yet, and with Antonio, Arnie, Snodgrass, Nasri, Carroll, Diangana and Perez, his game time will surely be limited. At £7.3m, I wouldn’t keep, and with the emergence of Man Utd assets, I certainly would be looking to bring in Pogba (£8.7m) or Martial (£7.3m).
Felipe Anderson (£7.3m), West Ham’s key player. I own Felipe Anderson and I am a big fan of the Brazilian. His points per game across the whole season of FPL is 4.8ppg, compare this with other players of the same price: Sigurdsson 4.8ppg, Richarlison 4.8ppg, Pereyra 4.5ppg. Anderson is right in the mix and although he has been in poor form as of late he has still played well with 7 shots and 8 attempted assists in his last 4 games in which he has blanked in all.
West Ham have Wolves (A), Liverpool (H) and Crystal Palace (A) in their next three. These three teams are all good defensively and it may be hard for Pellegrini’s men to breach their defences.
I would be keen to sell Felipe Anderson if you have the funds to upgrade to the likes of Pogba. I would also consider a straight swap to Martial if you are looking for a player in the same price bracket. Despite his poor form Martial has competed statistically with Anderson and his next three fixtures are Burnley (H), Leicester (A) and Fulham (A), which favors the Frenchman.
I would prioritize other transfers over Anderson in preparation for the Double and Blank game weeks.
Anderson has been a brilliant FPL option this season, scoring 8 goals and 3 assists. However, no attacking returns in his last 4 matches has put question marks over his FPL value.
West Ham face some mixed fixtures, with some tricky away matches and the top 2 in the coming month.
I personally think that Anderson is the best West Ham asset if you still fancy the team over these fixtures. If not, currently priced at £7.3m I don’t see loads of value to go for a straight swap. Everton players are hot and cold, while Fraser (£6.1m) has a tough run of fixtures that don’t scream value.
The high ceiling pick would be Moura (£6.8m), who is returning from injury into a great run of fixtures. While Spurs are significantly weakened – Alli the recent name on the list – Moura could be the man to step up for the team. I believe he is a wait and see over the cup matches to see how his fitness is and how the team play. But at 6% ownership he could be a nice differential for chasing managers.
“Can Lacazette cover Aubameyang over the coming fixtures?”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette have the most combined points between any two players from the same team in the same position. PEA with considerably more points than the Frenchman.
But can Laca cover Auba over the coming weeks?
Yes, but to an extent and here’s why.
It’s clear they play better with each other, all Auba’s and Laca’s double-digit hauls have come together, Auba with 4 and Laca on 2. Laca is £2m cheaper, so if he can match Auba’s output it’ll show more value for money.
Laca has had more spg (shots per game) than Auba, and missed half the amount of big chances that Auba has. While Laca has played an average 65 minutes per game, and started 15 games in all comps, whilst Auba has 79 mpg and started 21, and Auba seems to beat Laca in almost every department. More big chances created, to goals per game, to scoring frequency.
But in the past 5 games, this has changed almost. Laca has now had more shots on target (6), same amount of goals (2) and more assists (1). Auba has less shots on target however (4), same amount of goals (2) and no assists. And Laca has done it in exactly 200 less minutes.
Arsenal have great fixtures coming up and there are two stand out choices in their attack. Aubameyang is in poor form however has been getting chances. Earlier in the season we saw just how clinical he can be. Contrast to this, Aubameyang has now had 13 shots with only 3 on target in the last 4 premier league games he has played. This wastefulness has resulted in only one return.
Lacazette however has taken 11 shots with 5 shots on target in the last 4 games. This is whilst playing fewer minutes but returning twice! In terms of shot statistics, arguably Lacazette is out performing his Gabonese team mate. Aubameyang’s wastefulness is told through the xG statistics. Aubameyang has an xG of 2.7 to Lacazettes 1.5.
Aubameyang is the current penalty taker which could sway the choice, but at a cut price of Aubameyang, Lacazette is definitely an option (in the short term) but if you want a player to play the full 90 minutes I would avoid.
Lacazette scored his 8th league goal of the season in a 2-0 victory over Chelsea in GW23. Aubameyang meanwhile had his second attacking blank in a row, frustrating the 2 million managers that owned him. He did miss a big chance in the first half, which has become a common thing having missed the most big chances in the league.
Arsenal have a great GW24 home fixture against Cardiff and I would expect them to win comfortably against one of the worst defences in the league. The other pull for an Arsenal attacker is there home fixture against Southampton in the blank GW27, a strong captaincy pick for either player.
I personally think that Lacazette is a good option, but doesn’t offer the consistency to match Aubameyang. To compare, since GW18 Aubameyang has scored 4 goals in 6 league matches compared to Lacazette’s 2 over the same period. Aubameyang also has the much higher xG (3.83) compared to his strike partners (1.53).
I think Aubameyang is the better option of the two, and if you can find a way to afford him then you should do so. Lacazette’s minutes are a risk and while Aubameyang is a strong captain option, I don’t feel the same about Lacazette.
Be sure to check out our previous article, Eden Hazard – FPL Troll or Season Keeper?
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