Last updated on December 1st, 2023
Who should be your priority players for the next Gameweek, position by position
Written by Keiran Trotter (@fpl_del)
Not a great week for me personally. Midway through the gameweek things were looking up, especially with 13 points from Anthony Gordon, who I had considered offloading and was glad I didn’t. However, as the gameweek went on my nice green arrow was slowly chipped away at thanks mainly to Ollie Watkins breaking my heart and Heung-Min Son not being able to stay onside. I finished with 43 points and a small red arrow down to 1.84m, but at least I carried a transfer again.
Week 13 Review
My picks fared decidedly worse than my actual team and in contrast, would have been considered a comparatively massive red arrow ☹️
Backing a Bournemouth keeper was always going to be risky and Ollie McBurnie’s 90+7 minute strike put paid to my hopes and turned 6 pointer into 2. On a slightly more positive note, there were only 2 clean sheets elsewhere with Andre Onana the pick of the bunch with 9 points as United eased past Everton 3-0 at Goodison.
I did say I’d gone a little punty last week and backing Rayan Ait-Nouri as my defender is the very definition of punty. I don’t know whether it was fortunate or unfortunate that he only lasted 19 minutes as Wolves conceded 3 and not a single Wolves defender managed more than his 1 point anyway. Elsewhere there was only 1 double digit haul with United’s Diogo Dalot picking up an assist, a clean sheet and 3 bonus points. There were also goals for Pau Torres, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jamal Lascelles.
At least midfield pick Mo Salah picked up an assist in the game vs City but even that was a relative disappointment given I’d captained him in my team over Haaland. There were no fewer than 8 double digit hauls from midfielders with Marcus Tavernier and Willian both bagging 2 goals for 16 and 15 points respectively.
It was a better week for forwards last week with 10 of them getting on the scoresheet and 4 of them registering an assist. Anthony Martial nabbed of each but was beaten to top spot by Joao Pedro who netted twice for Brighton off the bench for 13 points. My pick, Dominic Solanke didn’t register, which was disappointing given his recent form and the fact that Bournemouth scored 3.
Solanke’s 2 points made it a measly 10 across the board, so here’s looking forward to a better week in 14.
The short list for keepers was quite easy to happen upon this week. We’d usually try and target goalkeepers playing against Sheffield United or Burnley as statistically the 2 least potent teams in the league. With them facing off against each other this week, I am not a fan of looking at either of them (despite Burnley being ranked 5th most likely to keep a clean sheet by the bookies this week).
Arsenal are rightly the favourites for a clean sheet with a 50% chance at home to Wolves. David Raya (£4.9m) will likely come back in for Ramsdale after he was unconvincing in the narrow win over Raya’s parent club Brentford last week. That said, Wolves definitely rank higher than Luton when it comes to potency residing in roughly 12th place.
Based on that I am more inclined to look at Mark Flekken (£4.5m) at Brentford. They definitely aren’t as defensively sound as Arsenal and have kept half as many clean sheets but they kept Arsenal at bay for nearly 90 mins last week so I’m backing them to go a few minutes longer this week.
With Alisson out for a couple of weeks at Liverpool, Caoimhin Kelleher (£3.9m) will come in providing a great budget, short term option. With an immediate fixture at home to Fulham, he is definitely worth considering. Whilst this article is only ever focussed on 1 gameweek at a time, it does feel difficult recommending him, knowing he’s only likely to play the next 3 games at best.
The only other contender, for me, for this week would be Emi Martinez (£4.9m) whose Villa side travel to Bournemouth. Bournemouth have won 3 of their last 4 outings scoring 8 goals in the process and Villa haven’t kept a clean sheet since gameweek 6 despite a favourable run of fixtures.
So it’s Mark Flekken for me, which is a double up as he will actually be my team’s keeper this week too.
Within the teams just discussed as most likely to keep a clean sheet there are some excellent options. Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.1m) has re-established himself in the Arsenal side and is ranked 3rd for points of all defenders over the last 6 gameweeks. Whilst I favour Flekken over Raya as my Keeper, I would pick Zinchenko over any Brentford defender, given their most in-form defender, Ethan Pinnock (£4.6m) is 8 points behind Zinchenko over the last 6 gameweeks. William Saliba (£5.5m) is only 3 points behind Zinchenko but has played a game more.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.9m) is an obvious choice and given his goal last weekend he should be bursting with confidence. Fulham at home is an excellent fixture for returns at both ends so he has to be high on our list for consideration this week. That said, we should not overlook his team-mate, Konstantinos Tsimikas (£4.7m) who is actually a point ahead of his teammate over the last 6 gameweeks having played a game less.
Kieran Trippier (£7.0m) is always a consideration at the moment but Newcastle host Manchester United this week who looked to have overcome a tough start to the season and are starting to find their feet. Trippier is as likely as any defender to contribute when going forward but I feel like Arsenal and Liverpool have a much better shot at keeping a clean sheet.
Matty Cash has really gone off the boil as of late but he is still playing out of position on the right side of midfield for a very attacking team. With Villa travelling to Bournemouth he is worth discussing but I can’t bring myself to go with him as my pick this week, especially as a Spurs fan.
One other to consider might be Reece James (£5.4m). He’s yet to get going really this FPL season but we all know his quality and a home tie against an expansive but often leaky Brighton might be just what he needs to kick off this season, especially with Brighton in action on Thursday Evening this week.
Being perfectly honest, it’s a toss up between the 2 Liverpool defenders for me and whilst I think they are both excellent picks, the obvious call is to go with the increased goal threat, so Trent Alexander-Arnold is my defensive pick of the week.
We can beat around the bush if we want, but let’s be honest, it’s Salah vs Fulham or Saka vs Wolves this week isn’t it? Let’s have a look at their stats over the last 6 gameweeks:
So looking at those stats, it is pretty conclusive. So much so that I may have misread the situation initially. Maybe it isn’t Salah vs Saka at all this week, given there have been significantly better performances of late from many other midfielders.
Bryan Mbeumo (£7.0m), for example, is 12 points better off than Saka over the last 6 gameweeks. He has 2 goals and 3 assists in his 5 games and with the home fixture to Luton, has a great opportunity to improve on those numbers.
Cole Palmer (£5.3m) is 14 points better off than Saka and as highlighted, Brighton could provide plenty of opportunities for him and his team mate Raheem Sterling (£7.0m) who is only 3 behind Palmer and 1 behind Mbeumo over the last 6 gameweeks.
All told, there are 25 midfielders with more points than Saka in the last 6 gameweeks, so given he is a potential transfer target for me this week, I am beginning to rethink if this is the right play.
Regarding my midfield pick of the week this week, this is all pretty irrelevant though, given Salah is 22 points better off than anybody else recently, it’s frankly impossible to look anywhere else.
Forwards (minus Haaland)
The big call for many of us this week will be whether to give the big Norwegian the armband over Salah or not. He’s still 12 points worse off than Salah over the last 6 gameweeks but I genuinely believe he could have an absolute field day against Spurs’ high line. City have more than enough creativity to beat Spurs’ press and it could be a rude awakening for Angeball this week, who whilst losing their last 3 have still maintained some positive performances.
Elsewhere in the forward bracket Nicolas Jackson (£6.9m) is the next best on recent form though those figures are somewhat skewed by the hat-trick against Spurs. He’s ranked 3rd recently for xG with 4.04 but again, a lot of that came in one game. He has managed 2 other goals since the hat-trick and Brighton is a good chance to continue to build on that.
Ollie Watkins (£8.5m) has been the second (arguably first) most consistent striker this season. Another goal last gameweek made it 7 for the season alongside 8 assists. The trip to Bournemouth should offer up further opportunities though, despite winning at Spurs last weekend (undeservedly some might say), Villa haven’t been great on the road.
With Liverpool facing Fulham, Darwin Nunez (£7.6m) is a good option and should get the nod to start despite Cody Gakpo getting the nod and scoring twice midweek. He has 4 goals and 6 assists this season and all 4 assists in the last 6 gameweeks. Both he and Liverpool (as well as some FPL Managers) will want to see him kick on now and really make the #9 spot his own.
Whilst I fully expect Haaland to be the main man for City this week, we always have to consider his partner, Julian Alvarez (£7.1m). Output has dropped off recently with only 1 goal and 1 assist in his last 6 but if Haaland goes big against Spurs, he could be involved in a lot of the goals.
If we look at Fulham’s stats away from home (ranked 19th for xGC, 14th for goals conceded and 18th for big chances conceded), that’s really the clincher for me, so I’m going to make it a hat-trick of Liverpool picks and select Darwin Nunez as my forward pick of the week.
Picks of the Week
Mark Flekken (Brentford GK £4.5m)
Trentr Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool DF £4.5m)
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool MF £13.0m)
Darwin Nunez (Liverpool FW £7.6m)
Best of luck for the week ahead and I’ll see you next week for another review and set of Picks of the Week.