Written by @IamtheMarkus. Follow him on twitter for regular FPL insights!
Well, I hope you had a decent pair of gameweeks, for many there was turmoil as players went awol via rest and rotation followed by Everton/City & Fulham/Spurs being cancelled, thus testing even the strongest of benches. That wasn’t even the worst of it, in GW15 we had a pretty solid captain blank via Salah but with most premiums blanking it wasn’t as hard felt as it could have been. In GW16, we gave Salah a second crack with the band but to no avail. Overall very few teams/players managed to score points (all bar LEEDS!) and so the average was well below par for the usual GW with so many teams missing 3 or more players from the normal. Over both weeks, some new names featured in the dream team lineups, so well done if you owned any of them.
I’ve yet to process any of the announcements on the 31st regarding upcoming fixtures but focussing entirely on GW17 alone, I’ve penned a few thoughts.
My © will be Kane
Vice – Salah
Mane/Son/Vardy are considerations but I don’t own any and Bruno only misses out as there is very little rest ahead of his Friday night kick-off.
Salah – TSB ~ 46% – Southampton
After only his third and fourth blanks of the season at WBA followed by a solid back five showing from Newcastle. We saw at least 100k managers triple © him at WBA which seemed ambitious.
So we still have this man firmly on our © list almost every week but two back to back blanks did hurt.
Liverpool for all their injuries have somewhat muddled through without too many issues and Salah has just been racking up points all the way. It is difficult to find reasons not to put it on him other than everyone else is captaining him. Mane has merit here too.
Hasenhuttl was confident ahead of the winter schedule that his team would cope, but as we saw on Tuesday Southampton are not currently playing at 100% (but not many teams are tbqh).
They really struggled against what was a pretty average defence at West Ham (they kept the CS though!). A couple of extra days rest over some of the other candidates below (last game Tue/Wed and this game on Monday)
Kane – TSB ~ 42% – LEE
After an unexpected midweek rest, Spurs will hopefully remember to attack the teams they want to keep below them rather than just counter.
Kane had hit 4 consecutive 2 pointers in a row ahead of the Fulham cancellation.
Leeds smashed their way through WBA in the first half and kept a well earned CS, though barring a bit of luck that nearly wasn’t the case but it wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the game.
Leeds are a very capable outfit but as we saw a few weeks ago there are days where they can concede a high number of shots/goals to quality opposition.
This could well be quite an open entertaining game with goals for everyone. Something in my head/heart and gut says Kane/Son are worth the band this week.
Bruno – TSB ~ 45% – AVL
Left it very late to get his assist (probably not an assist) against Wolves but is continuing to tick over nicely through the winter period. The team doesn’t seem to be phased by the schedule and are now just 2 points off the top of the table. Goal involvement is at 50% since he joined which is mad.
Villa have been performing at a high level and that really showed against Chelsea. They have 3/4 full-ish days of rest before this game on Friday night after playing Monday,
Whilst Bruno and co played Wednesday night and only got < 2 days rest. This probably will stop me taking the Bruno © plunge as although MU have not been phased by the schedule so far, this is a very short turnaround after quite a tough game.
Ones to Watch
I don’t own either of these two players.
Vardy – TSB ~28% – New
As expected and mentioned last week a full rest against Palace,
Newcastle didn’t seem to be in the best of spirits or form before the Liverpool game, but they worked so hard and I’m not sure what they will have left in the tank.
So this should be a chance for Vardy and co to get a win after two draws in a row.
Fully rested and playing away.
Son – TSB ~ 62% – LEE
Same as Kane, Third in the midfield points charts but probably only b/c of the cancellation. Huge ownership levels. If you don’t have Kane and then this would be my shout.
Feel free to tweet any queries you may have ahead of the off if I’ve not mentioned someone you are considering but note that my replies may be a bit drunken. Trust your gut and enjoy any time you get with your loved ones over the coming days!