In this weeks FPL Guest Q&A article, we are joined by regular FPL guest LetsTalkSoccer who will be sharing their thoughts on the most popular questions ahead of GW30. This week we will be discussing Bournemouth assets, Higuain or Vardy, ditching Wolves players and the best captaincy options.
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.
“Are Bournemouth attacking assets worth looking into? If so, who?”
Absolutely worth looking into. We’ve had our eyes on a few of them, especially going into this busy, somewhat chaotic, and slightly anxiety-inducing period between Weeks 30 and 35! Look at their fixtures…for the remainder of the season (9 games), only two are above a 2 FDR (a 3 in Week 32 and a 4 FDR in GW37). That means 7 of 9 games have an FDR of 2!
They don’t have any blank game weeks, which adds elements of predictability and dependability. It’s hard to ignore all of this. And, thankfully, Bournemouth have a handful of players that also have the potential to bring in a strong level of FPL points. As a result, it’s not crazy to think about doubling up on a couple of Cherries.
Four players come immediately to mind – two midfielders and two forwards: 1) Fraser, 2) Brooks, 3) King and 4) Wilson.
- Yes, Wilson (£6.3m)! Let’s start at the end and work our way back to the front. Although out injured for several weeks, Wilson is healthy. He’s been in full trainings with the team. In fact, Eddie Howe had considered putting Wilson on last weekend’s team sheet, but decided he wasn’t match fit to an acceptable level. So now it’s just a matter of time. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him come off the bench against Huddersfield, and even bag a goal or assist. Once he’s ready to start, we imagine that King will be given a bit of a rest. King has played 90 minutes for the last 10 consecutive games. That man deserves a rest! So while Wilson might not feature in Week 30, expect to see him starting by Blank GW31. Wilson is a bit cheaper than King, if money is an issue. Wilson has the highest points per match on the team (5.4). Upon return, he will most likely reclaim penalty responsibilities. We think he’s a great differential option.
- Next up, King (£6.5m). Tied with Brooks for third-most PPM on the team (4.2). He’s done quite well in Wilson’s absence with 4 goals and 1 assist. As a differential, King is even stronger than Wilson. Just 6.3% ownership. Paired with Wilson, King could prove to be even more of a threat as defenders will be split marking both him and Wilson.
- Brooks (£5.0m, 3.5% ownership) is a cheap, strong enabler. The youngster was recently out for a few weeks with an injury. But he returned last weekend at the Etihad with a start and 74 minutes played. He looked good against Man City, playing in a very advanced role. He’s an excellent value for the low price. His ability to play combined with his low cost means managers can include him in the Starting XI and have extra cash to invest into other parts of the squad.
- Fraser (4.4 PPM, £6.1m) is a dangerous midfielder that creates chances and is an important element in Bournemouth’s attacked (directly involved in 14 goals so far). With Wilson’s return imminent, expect Fraser to connect with one of his favorite targets soon out of the gates.
If it were us, we’d consider taking two Bournemouth players at least through Weeks 30/31-35. Of the four listed, Brooks and Wilson get the nod. For the value, Brooks can’t be beat. It’s a bit of a flier on Wilson, but should pay off sooner than later. What’s FPL without taking a bit of a risk! Although King is a very suitable alternative to Wilson, although his minutes should decrease, at least temporarily.
Bournemouth have been in some poor form recently, losing 4 of their last 5 league games. It is worth noting however, that 3 of these loses come against a ‘top 6’ team. Although their form has been bad, the Cherries offer managers the key to potentially unlocking the blank gameweeks.
Bournemouth have fixtures in both the GW31 and 33 blanks, including a long run of favourable games:
I believe that the attacking assets are worth considering, especially if you plan on free hitting in gameweek 32. Bournemouth offer some great FPL value, with them being very highly owned players at the start of the season.
There are two players in both the midfield and attack that managers should consider. The first is the cheap option, David Brooks (£5.0m) who has scored 96 points this season. He has registered 6 goals and 4 assists this season, and currently owned by only 3.5%.
The second option is Ryan Fraser (£6.1m/19.1%) who is the leading points scorer for the Cherries on 128 points. At 5 league goals, he trails Brooks but leads for assists on 9 so far for the season.
Of the two, I believe that they both offer great value and should be dependent on your budget. I think Fraser will outscore Brooks till the end of the season, with the added bonus of set pieces for Fraser. However, I think both will perform throughout and Brooks will act as a differential for those chasing in their mini leagues.
In the striker position, it is between Calum Wilson and Josh King in my eyes. Wilson has missed the last 6 league games due to injury, but Howe has suggested that he is on track to return for this weekend. Wilson is still the leading points scorer for the attackers, having played 400 minutes less than King. In fact, Wilson averages a point every 15 minutes in comparison to King who scores a point every 20 minutes.
If Howe confirms the fitness of Wilson, then I believe he is the best option to own of the two. However, if there is doubt then King can be a suitable cover for those that are interested in the players at Bournemouth.
“Should managers buy Higuain or Vardy?”
Higuain vs Vardy. For us, it’s a Vardy Party, and here’s why:
First, Vardy is less expensive than Higgy (£8.9m to £9.6m), which could enable player upgrades elsewhere.
Next, Vardy has a higher ICT Index (150.6 compared with Higuain’s 46.0), which is a representation of over 40 match event statistics to help evaluate the value of a player. (ICT stands for Influence, Creativity and Threat). While both scored in their respective games in Week 29, Jamie is a bit more on form according to FPL stats.
On a more subjective level, Rodgers has stated publicly that he likes Vardy and is making it a point for him to get as many touches in a game as possible. He’s instructed his team to get the ball to their striker. Whereas at Chelsea, Higuain arguably takes a backseat to Hazard. On a related note, Vardy is on penalties while Higuain is not.
And, while both teams have favorable fixtures this weekend, Leicester play at home to Fulham who have conceded 65 goals this season, 37 of which were conceded in away games. Meanwhile Wolves, Chelsea’s opponent this weekend, have conceded just 16 away goals.
As an added benefit beyond GW30, both Leicester and Chelsea are schedule to play in each remaining matchweek of the season. Both teams have favorable fixtures over the next five weeks, with a slight advantage in average FDR going to The Foxes.
Both Higuain (£9.6m) and Vardy (£8.9m) were popular transfers for GW29, with both repaying owners with a goal apiece. Vardy attempted 1 shot in his 85 minutes, while Higuain managed 6 shots and 3 key passes in his 90 minutes.
Both players have matches in both of the blanks, and notably Chelsea have a most probable double gameweek in 32 against Cardiff and Brighton. I believe that Higuain will outscore Vardy over this period if he plays the same minutes.
The worry for Higuain owners is the possible rotation he might experience with Europa League commitments. Giroud has been the go to man so far in the tournament, so the match on Thursday should provide an indication to whether this continues. If so, and Higuain is utilised for the league, then I think he will create more goal scoring opportunities.
If owners don’t want to take the risk with their transfers, especially over the blank GW period, then Vardy is a great option. Still only owned by 5.7% of managers, he would be a differential pick along with a proven goal scoring record. Owners will also hope for the ‘new manager bounce’ with the take-over of Brendon Rodgers.
“Best mid-priced midfielder for GW31?”
There are two mid-priced midfielders that have caught our eye for Blank GW31. They are Maddison (£6.7m) and Fraser (£6.1m). Anderson (£7.2m) is just on the cusp for us.
Why Madders and Fraser? Both have high ICT indices. 207.0 for Fraser and 229.5 for Maddison. Among midfielders (and all PL players this season), Fraser leads the way with 17 big chances created. Maddison is 7th overall with 10 big chances created. Fraser is also at the top of the list for assists among mid-priced mids with 9. Maddison is much further down the list with 5.
Looking at fixtures in Week 31, Bournemouth are at home to Newcastle and Leicester are away at Burnley. Both are very favorable matchups for these players. In the reverse fixture in Week 12, Fraser had an assist in a 2-1 loss. For Leicester City, they drew 0-0 to Burnley in Week 12.
Fraser is third in the League with crosses (184) and Maddison is seventh (155). Ritchie is the only other midfielder in the top 7, the other four are defenders. Fraser’s expected assists per 90 (xA90) is 0.34, while Maddison’s xA90 is 0.25.
Beyond BGW31, both teams have very tasty schedules. Bournemouth have just two games above a 2 FDR (one 3 and one 4). About as good as it can get. Leicester’s starts off just as attractive, but then takes a hard turn in Week 36-38.
Using the criteria above, if we had to choose between the two, Fraser is our pick.
As mentioned in the first question, I think either of the Bournemouth midfielders could be great picks for the gameweek. Outside of these two, again looking at Leicester there are a handful of players that could shine.
Barnes (£5.5m/0.4%) has started the last 5 league matches, however has only created 1 assist over this period. Although he hasnt produced big scores in FPL, he has impressed with underlying stats, creating 21 shots and 7 key passes. The risk for Barnes is the potential rotation with Gray that happened in the previous match.
Tielemens (£6.0m) has been a decent FPL option of late, with an assist in each of his last 2 league games. 10 shots and 4 key passes in his 4 league games suggest an attacking threat to his game. If you want to look for the ‘premium’ option in this Leicester midfield than James Maddison (£6.7m) is your man. He has started the last 4 league matches, notching 1 assist along the way. His stats have been impressive in these matches, creating 11 shots and 21 key passes.
I think that if you have the available budget, then Maddison is the best pick of the Leicester midfield. He provides the attacking threat and minutes that managers should be targeting over the blank fixtures.
I think Leicester will have a tricky game against Burnley, who themselves have had an indifferent past month. Although it isn’t a stand out fixture from Leicester, I would expect some attacking returns and as mentioned, are good players to hold beyond the fixture.
Outside of Leicester, West Ham are the team with arguably the best fixture for GW31. Anderson (£7.2m) would have been the star pick, however he has been in torrid run of form, returning only 1 assists in his last 10 league matches. His underlying stats are also poor, therefore I don’t see enough FPL value right now to justify the transfer of the Brazilian.
“Is it time to sell Wolves assets?”
This is a tricky one. Best to do a pros and cons analysis of selling Wolves assets. For simplicity’s sake, and because of their high ownership, we’ll assume most managers are concerned with Jimenez (35.8% ownership) and/or Doherty (25.5%).
- PROS (of selling):
- Over the next 5 gameweeks, Wolves blank twice (Weeks 31 and 33) and have two FDRs of 4 (Week 30 at Chelsea and home to Man Utd in Week 32, which is a double GW for them). Not the most attractive set of fixtures.
- There are other players for similar prices and potential at their price points with much more favorable fixtures.
- CONS (of selling):
- If managers can weather the next 5 GWs, Wolves’ schedule turns for the better in Weeks 34-37.
- Wolves players are excellent values. Among the tops in field players this season. They’re relatively low priced (although they have climbed over the course of the season) while still producing impressive stats and FPL points.
- Because these two Wolves assets have been owned by most managers for extended periods of time, managers that choose to sell will lose value because of how much investment they put into these players.
For managers that do own one or both, the decision to sell or keep comes down to whether there’s a better ROI in replacing them. Meaning, is it worth losing the investment and/or potential points earned? Can replacement players deliver more points during the selected time period? Or, are their higher upsides to replacing other parts of their squads?
For managers that don’t own one or both of them, and are thinking about transferring them in, the right time to make a move for Wolves assets could be ahead of Week 34 when their schedule improves greatly.
Wolves have provided some of the FPL value picks of the season. The likes of Jimenez (£6.9m) and Doherty (£5.5m) have been the stand out options, both being in the top 10 points scorers for their position.
However, Wolves are about to embark on a tricky run of fixtures, including a blank GW in both 31 and 33.
For those owners, especially those that hold all of their chips, it looks a better time than any to sell them and move to players that feature in these blanks.
The saving grace for those that are debating, is that they do have a double GW in 32, although not the kindest of fixtures. Their matches against Burnley (A) and Man Utd (H) could be tough and not provide enough value to justify holding.
Something that managers need to consider and this applies to all players, is the value that you have accumulated in them. Doherty has risen by £1.0m since gameweek 1, while Jimenez has risen by £1.4m in the same time. If managers do choose to sell, then be aware of the additional costs you will need to pay in order to own them later in the season.
I believe that it is a good time to sell the assets, however of the two I think there is a case to hold Jimenez if you have value tied up. 11 goals and 9 assists speaks for itself, 3 of these coming against ‘top 6’ sides.
It has been mentioned in the Twitter community, but the Wolves turn in fixtures works well with the great Bournemouth fixtures. With both assets from both sides similarly priced, it could provide a great opportunity for a straight swap from the Wolves players.
We have had a similar decision to make with our FPL team, so it’s worth checking out our FPL team article for some detailed thoughts regarding transfers.
“Who is the best captaincy option?”
Week 29 was a crazy week for captain selections. By “crazy” we mean “nightmarish”. Of the top captain choices last weekend, Jimenez (12 points) and Hazard were the only ones to get returns (6 total points). Yes, Higuain, Lukaku and Vardy had returns too, but in terms of captain selection percentage, they were more outliers than top choices.
For the top dogs – Aguero, Salah, Sterling, Hazard, Kane, Pogba, Auba, Laca, Rashy – Week 30 is promising. Their fixtures lean heavily in their favor. Add to this list Vardy, Higuain, Mane, Firmino, and differentials like Zaha, Batshuayi, Anderson, Jesus (possibly), King, Fraser, Maddison, Rondon, Siggy, Bernardo and Jimenez, and there’s a very long, very viable list of options.
There are several ways to size up best captain options for a given gameweek. Here we present one take. We need to narrow this list down a bit. In looking at several online polls, we see Salah, Aguero and Sterling are far and away the most-popular choices for Week 30.
In the last 5 matchweeks…
- 47 FPL points
- 7 goals and 0 assists
- 35 penalty area touches
- 20 attempts on goal, including 15 from inside the box
- 8 big chances
- Reverse fixture vs Watford = did not play
- 19 FPL points
- 1 goal and 0 assists
- 46 touches in the box
- 18 goal attempts with 10 from inside the area
- 2 big chances
- Reverse fixture vs Burley = 1 assist
- 33 FPL points
- 2 goals, 3 assists
- 36 penalty area touches
- 12 attempts on goal, 7 of which were from inside the box
- 3 big chances
- Reverse fixture vs Watford = did not play
According to the oddsmakers, while all three are predicted likely to score, Aguero and Salah are extremely close at the top. Between them, three key questions: 1) Is this the week Mo regains his form? 2) Will Aguero continue his form? 3) Will Aguero start?
In our minds, either of them should prove to be a great choice. We do think Mo will return to his scoring ways (Liverpool need him to perform in order to finish at the top of the table). And, yes, we think Aguero will not only start, but also continue scoring goals at home (Pep has made much about every League game being absolutely critical for his side, so we expect him to put his best XI on the pitch Saturday).
We’ve been loyal to Kun all season, and we’re not abandoning him now. He’s our selection for the armband with Mo being our VC.
While GW29 provided a host of captaincy fails for FPL managers, GW30 looks to be a great opportunity to make up for those lost points. Here is a reminder of the fixtures:
Of the matches, I believe the most FPL value lies in the Liverpool, Man City, Leicester and Chelsea fixtures. I think that Chelsea and Leicester will win their respective games, and due to ownerships in players I think the captaincy of one of these players would be a good differential pick by managers. Those that bought Higuain or Vardy recently, at their ownerships they would be risky in regards to general captaincy ownerships, but high rewards.
I think that Salah or one of Aguero/Sterling would be the best captaincy options this gameweek. Both teams are chasing for the title and will therefore have to field their strongest teams against opposition who have conceded plenty of goals on the road.
If I had to say now, I would put my armband on Salah. I prefer guaranteeing minutes for my captain, and although Sterling has been in great form, Salah provides those minutes. The Egyptian has been in poor form of late, but it is a brilliant fixture to regain that goalscoring touch.
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