Fantasy Premier League is seemingly more popular than ever, with over 5.8 million players playing FPL this season on the official site. There’s an ever-increasing number of articles and podcasts dedicated to fantasy football and constant discussion on Twitter and on other social media as a result.
In some ways, this makes it more difficult than ever to make decisions regarding what to do with your fantasy team. Sifting through the almost endless amounts of information available to you has become a valuable skill. How do you know which people know what they’re talking about? Below is a summary of the main debates and conversations around the Fantasy Premier League game ahead of FPL Gameweek 13, rather than a vain attempt to provide a hot take as to who is “essential” or a “must-have”.
The Main Conversation FPL Gameweek 13
The international break has seen a lot of injuries to popular FPL options, causing headaches for a lot of fantasy players. Many are rushing to find replacements for injured players and can’t afford to transfer out players who are fit, but in poor form. This perhaps emphasises the value of ensuring that you have two free transfers heading into an international break.
The biggest name (at least in FPL terms) on the injury list is Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy, and this has opened up discussion about team balance and structure overall. The attacking exploits of fullbacks at top sides and their defensive records have made Marcos Alonso, Andrew Robertson and Kieran Trippier three of the highest-owned players in FPL. In past seasons, FPL players have sought several bargain options in defence in order to fund a top-heavy team with expensive midfielders and forwards, and the ‘holy trinity’ of Robertson, Alonso and Mendy, along with Kieran Trippier’s 59 points this season, have threatened this way of thinking.
Liverpool and Manchester City are both on course to concede fewer goals than any side since Chelsea in 2004/5, and Marcos Alonso surely won’t finish the season with 20+ assists (as he is currently on pace to). Some regression to the mean appears inevitable, and sacrificing a premium defensive asset might be the best way of funding a move for a player like Raheem Sterling. Sterling is only in 9.6% of teams as a result of his £11.2m price tag.
Most Transferred In
Raúl Jiménez (FWD, WOL, £5.8m): Jiménez has been the player most transferred in over the international break as a result of his recent attacking returns and favourable upcoming fixtures. Jiménez has only scored three goals so far this season but Wolves are in the enviable position of playing Huddersfield and Cardiff in GWs 13 and 14. Jiménez is very affordable and unhappy owners of the likes of Mitrovic, Murray and Ings have found themselves turning to Jiménez rather than paying a premium to upgrade to Callum Wilson or Marko Arnautovic. Wolves haven’t scored many goals this season, but Jiménez may still prove to be valuable as a result of how inexpensive he is.
Richarlison (MID, EVE, £6.9m): Richarlison makes this list despite not registering any attacking points in the previous game. This is somewhat rare for a midfielder or forward, and speaks to just how good an option Richarlison looks to be. Cenk Tosun began the season starting up front for Everton but was generally very ineffective. This opened the door for Richarlison to play out of position (at least in FPL terms) as a striker. Richarlison is in good form and seems underpriced at £6.9m, which is why 138,724 managers have brought him in.
Anthony Martial (MID, MUN, £7.6m): There remains a healthy degree of scepticism around Anthony Martial as a FPL option, but he has been transferred in 137,235 times ahead of GW13. Martial has quite uninspiring underlying stats and doesn’t create many chances for his teammates, so Martial owners are really relying on him to continue scoring goals. Martial wasn’t fit to play for France over the international break, but looks likely to play in GW13 after returning to full training for United. Manchester United play Crystal Palace, Southampton and Fulham in the next four gameweeks, representing a good opportunity for Martial to add to his six goals.
Aymeric Laporte (DEF, MCI, £6.0m): Aymeric Laporte is the only outfield player to play 90 minutes in every game for Manchester City this season. This is Laporte’s main selling point, and why he’s risen in price by £0.5m over the season. Aside from Ederson, owning Laporte is the best way of capturing Man City clean sheet points. Laporte has an unspectacular goalscoring and assist record and doesn’t offer much attacking potential, but is City’s top scoring defender as a result of playing every minute. Laporte has been transferred in 115,609 times and may be less likely to get injured than other defenders as he doesn’t feature for France’s national team.
Andrew Robertson (DEF, LIV, £6.5m): Ben Mendy’s injury has given fantasy players who don’t already own Robertson a great reason to transfer him in as the two are similarly priced. Liverpool have the joint-best defensive record and Robertson is very effective in the final third, contributing three assists so far. Robertson is also likely to pick up bonus points, and his three bonus points accrued in GW12 bring his tally to twelve for the season. It’s very hard to make a case against Robertson, and 117,769 transfers in bring him up to 32.5% ownership.
Most Transferred Out
Benjamin Mendy (DEF, MCI, £6.4m): Benjamin Mendy has undergone knee surgery and will be sidelined for at least the next few gameweeks. The silver lining is that Mendy’s injury gives FPL players the opportunity to bring in another premium defender (and there are several other good ones), or to bring in a budget defender in order to fund an upgrade elsewhere in their squad. The most popular replacement is Aymeric Laporte, enabling former Mendy owners to continue capitalising on City’s impressive defensive record in the Premier League this season. Mendy has struggled with injury throughout his Manchester City career, and 236,718 managers have been forced to transfer out FPL’s 6th highest scoring defender.
Kieran Trippier (DEF, TOT, £6.2m): Kieran Trippier will miss GW13 after suffering a groin injury. Trippier is just one of several popular fantasy picks to be injured, leaving plenty of players taking hits or relying on their bench options in the upcoming gameweek. Trippier missed out on potential clean sheet points as a result of coming off only 23 minutes into the game against Palace, to rub salt into the wounds of Trippier owners. Spurs do, however, have a very good run of fixtures beginning in GW15 so there’s a good case to bring in Trippier as soon as he’s back, especially if he falls in price over the next two gameweeks. Trippier has been transferred out 218,540 times so far but with almost 30% ownership, he could very easily make this list again next week.
James Maddison (MID, LEI, £6.8m): Maddison may be fit enough to play some part in GW13, but his ownership (and his price) have plummeted since his injury ahead of GW12. Leicester’s fixtures soon turn for the worse and Maddison hasn’t registered an attacking return since GW7. Similarly priced options like Richarlison are firing and cheaper players like Ryan Fraser appear much better value. Maddison is an obvious player to transfer out if you don’t need to desperately transfer out an injured Mendy or Trippier, or a player in even worse form like FPL public enemy number one Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Harry Maguire (DEF, LEI, £5.5m): Claude Puel is quoted as ruling out Maguire ahead of GW13, but Maguire is still in 11.3% of FPL teams (likely due to his World Cup exploits with England). Between Gameweeks 16 and 26 Leicester play last year’s top six, and so Maguire doesn’t look like good value at £5.5m once he does return. Maguire owners would be best served upgrading him to a Liverpool, Chelsea or City defender if they have funds, or downgrading him to a Wolves or West Ham defender with their good upcoming fixtures. Maguire has been transferred out 92,881 times over the break.
Alexandre Lacazette (FWD, ARS, £9.7m): Lacazette withdrew from the France squad due to an injury, but is reportedly back in training and likely to feature for the Gunners in GW13. After working his way into the starting lineup in GW4, Lacazette appeared to be a great fantasy option. The Arsenal striker has only scored once in his last four games, but Arsenal play a number of leaky defences between now and Christmas. 81,568 transfers out are enough for Lacazette to scrape into this list, just ahead of the likes of his teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ross Barkley.
Under the Radar
With the busy Christmas period drawing closer, it might be time to start considering more centre back options. The likes of Virgil van Dijk are less likely to get rotated than Andrew Robertson, who missed a start in GW10. David Luiz (DEF, CHE, £5.6m) stands out as a particularly good option and is only owned by 5.7% of FPL managers. Luiz is £1.5m cheaper than Marcos Alonso, and could be a good differential option instead of or as well as his teammate.
The likes of Wolves and Watford have conceded fewer goals than Arsenal so far this season, but Arsenal have some very interesting budget options and play Huddersfield, Southampton, Burnley and Brighton between now and the new year. Bernd Leno (GK, ARS, £4.8m) and Rob Holding (DEF, ARS, £4.4m) are very inexpensive and are likely to register some clean sheets over this period, as they play some of the league’s worst attacking sides. The pair are owned by 1.7% and 0.8% of FPL managers respectively, so any points they earn will have an added affect on your overall rank.