We’ve got yet another week of FPL action with the deadline looming on Friday at 18:30 BST, coinciding with the Luton v West Ham match-up. Also adding some spice to our fantasy tactics? The transfer window’s last call in the realm of actual football.
Adding to the enigma that is “Pep’s Pick-a-Player,” Matheus Nunes’ jump to Manchester City has made things even murkier. If Cole Palmer and Ansu Fati park their boots at Chelsea and Brighton, respectively, it could cause a stir in the FPL community, affecting the game time of beloved picks like Nicolas Jackson and Kaoru Mitoma.
However, the most seismic shift in the FPL universe would occur if Liverpool chooses to cash in on Mohamed Salah, accepting a hefty paycheck from Saudi outfit Al-Ittihad. This move would elevate Erling Haaland to the status of the only ‘premium asset,’ erasing his primary competition for the captain’s armband and leaving fantasy managers flush with cash but bereft of options. Intriguing, huh? All this drama makes the Friday before gameweek 4 a must-watch.
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The One True Captain
Erling Haaland not only pocketed the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award recently, but he’s also the guy to give the captain’s nod to this week. Why? Manchester City is welcoming Fulham, a team that has already let 55 balls rip through their goalposts in their opening matches against Everton, Brentford, and Arsenal. Yikes.
But hey, if you’re the adventurous type who won’t bow to the Haaland hype—like those Sterling captains who laughed their way to an extra 30 points last week—there are other choices for you. How about Bryan Mbeumo hosting Bournemouth, James Maddison facing Burnley, or Sterling once again but against Nottingham Forest? You can even opt for Haaland’s wingman Julian Alvarez or gamble on Jarrod Bowen, as West Ham tackle Luton. Just a heads-up: Bowen has a killer line-up in his next few games, so tread carefully.
Pick ’em or Skip ’em
Trying to predict the outcomes of Brighton v Newcastle, Liverpool v Villa, and Arsenal v Manchester United is like trying to explain why cats hate water. It’s complicated. Pervis Estupinan owners need to think hard if his attacking prowess outweighs Brighton’s leaky defense. Meanwhile, Joao Pedro’s reduced game time makes him a potential “sell,” and Yoane Wissa seems a decent swap at £6.2 million.
If you’ve already jumped on the Mbeumo train, you might want to skip doubling down on Brentford and go for options like Chelsea’s Jackson or Manchester City’s Alvarez. Or how about Taiwo Awoniyi, who’s been netting goals like it’s going out of style?
Upfront, Darwin Nunez has been on fire, but Liverpool’s frontline is as crowded as a Black Friday sale, so there’s a gamble there. On the flip side, Ollie Watkins seems to be the one to back in Unai Emery’s squad, especially when Villa’s upcoming fixtures look like a cakewalk.
The Attack is the Best Defense
As for the Arsenal v Manchester United clash, expect goals aplenty. Your defense better contribute to the attack if you want those fantasy points, and keep your fingers crossed for save bonuses from your goalkeepers.
Jack Grealish, Dejan Kulusevski, and Enzo Fernandez are flying under the radar with less than 5% ownership. They have great fixtures this week and are solid long-term investments.
The Weekly Gamble
Feeling lucky? Throw £6 million at Everton’s new striker, Beto, who hasn’t even set foot in a Premier League match yet. He showed promise in the EFL Cup and has juicy fixtures ahead. So why not get a ticket for the Beto hype train before it leaves the station?
Alistair Bruce-Ball hosts the Fantasy 606 podcast with former Premier League champ Chris Sutton and Statman Dave. To tune in, search ‘Fantasy 606’ on the BBC Sounds app and hit that subscribe button. To join the Fantasy 606 league, use the code ‘j03mnp’.