Now that we’ve ticked off the hectic festive period, it’s time to re-group and plan our squads for the second half of the season!
On The Rise
Smith – If you’re shopping for a cheap defender, look no further than Bournemouth’s right back. Priced at 4.1, Smith is a bonus point magnet! I’ve seen quite a bit of him this season and rate him very highly. Not to say he’s as good as this bloke, but I see a lot of similarities in how he plays compared to Gareth Bale when he started at Spurs (left back). He has managed 3 clean sheets and gathered 8 bonus points on those occasions, also adding 2 goals to his name since nailing down a starting birth. Great rotation player.
Alderweireld – I must admit I’ve underrated Toby this season. I thought Alderweireld was just over hyped, but he now has 3 assists to go with his 2 set piece goals. Perhaps these long through balls are less flukey than first thought! He is on the expensive side now at 6.1, but is clearly the pick of Spurs’ defence. Great option.
Koscielny – While Bellerin and Monreal provide solid value and an attacking threat, Koscielny has shown on multiple occasions that he is capable of going big. He is deadly off set pieces and carried many managers through a tough gameweek last time out.
Payet – Dimi is back!!! The template squads are finally being shaken up with the return of our early season stars, none better than this man. Payet showed he has class during his 20 minute cameo off the bench and should get back to his early season form… You would hope. It could take him a month or so to regain that form, which makes trading him in early a risk. A calculated risk that I have taken! We know he has the quality, hopefully West Ham can pick up their goal scoring ways once again.
Alli – Every week he seems to get even better! Alli looks like he’s going to become a star and is now a contender to start on your field. I’m happy to avoid this bench headache, but he’s a brilliant option to have for your team. I still wouldn’t rush to make room for him though.
Costa – Is Costa really back? Are Chelsea really back? Or is this just another false reality… It’s hard to tell, but Costa has looked more like the powerhouse striker who tore up the League during 2014. For just two games mind you. He isn’t cheap, and he’s competing against the likes of Kane, Ighalo and Lukaku who have been scoring for fun. I’m not even considering him, there’s better options out there in my opinion. Costa just doesn’t pick up enough assists/bonus points for my liking.
Aguero – Kun is slowly working his way back into form, and it culminated with a match winning goal and 3 bonus points last weekend. That’s a good enough sign for me, he’s in! If he gets injured so be it, you can pick from every striker in the league! He is the best striker in the PL and I feel infinitely more comfortable with him in my squad! Tick.
Leicester – It was fun while it lasted, but it seems that the Leicester train is starting to come to a grinding halt. They were poor against Liverpool, struggled against City and then failed to kill off Bournemouth. Having been the most exciting team in the league for the first 17 gameweeks, they have now failed to score in 3 consecutive gameweeks. Not a good sign. Vardy is struggling and has undergone groin surgery, so he has to be traded. Mahrez missed a penalty last week, hurting many of us who decided to captain him. You can look at this one of two ways. He was one kick away from another double figure points haul and we’d still be hailing him a must have. On the other hand it could be a sign of Leicester’s faltering confidence. There’s no way I’m getting rid of Mahrez just yet, but he’s enough coverage for my liking. I really hope Leicester can bounce back! They were simply fantastic to watch in full flight.
Coutinho – Klopp has ruled Coutinho out until February, meaning he has to be traded. This could be a blessing in disguise. Aside from a 3 week hot patch, it’s the same old Coutinho. Cut in, ignore pass, shoot, miss, repeat. Glad to say I picked this one, even though I was sweating for those few weeks!
Wijnaldum – It must be hard to trade him knowing a 15 point haul could be just around the corner, but at the moment you’re carrying deadweight. With Payet back and guys like Arnautovic firing, Wijnaldum can’t be carried any longer. Trade.
Ramsey – It was a worthy gamble, but one that unfortunately didn’t pay off. He had a golden chance at the end of the game against Newcastle, before proceding to put wide 1v1 from 10 yards. Thanks for nothing Aaron!
Deulofeu – Deulofeu has been hugely impressive this season, and to be fair we couldn’t have expected anymore. Unfortunately he hasn’t scored over 6 points in his last 9 appearances, not managing a single bonus point for his goal or 3 assists. Trade.
Lukaku – The cup fixtures are stacking up for PL clubs and it has finally hurt one of our template picks. Having already scored, Lukaku picked up an injury in Everton’s 2-1 Capital one cup semi final win over Man City. It isn’t serious and he should be back for GW21, but there’s enough doubt there to cause concern. Keep an eye on how Lukaku is travelling in Martinez’s press conference early next week.
Player of the Week
Willian – Forget the ‘are Chelsea back’ chat, Willian hasn’t gone anywhere! However now that his teammates are starting to pick up his game, Willian’s hot form is finally being converted into FPL points. He has now picked up a goal and 3 assists in his last 4 games and is finally appearing on our radars. I rate him hugely as a player, I even think one of the bigger European clubs could come in for him in the Summer if Chelsea’s demise continues. I’m not so sure he’s suited to FPL though. He hasn’t picked up 3 bonus points all season, even for his goal and assist last week. He seems more likely to assist, in fact 2 of his goals have been attempted crosses from set pieces. At 7.1 he is a great differential, I’m just not sure he will pick up the fantasy points his play deserves. A risk, but if you’re a Chelsea believer then he may be the perfect option!
Remember that it’s FA cup fixtures this weekend, so we kick things off again with GW21 MIDWEEK. Let’s just pray there’s no injuries across this weekends fixtures! Let’s be honest, we’re probably going to be in for some pain come Monday…