Fantasy Premier League is seemingly more popular than ever, with over 5.7 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 Gameweek 10, rather than a vain attempt to provide a hot take as to who is “essential” or a “must-have”.
Gameweek 10 Captaincy Discussion
Eden Hazard is a potential doubt for Chelsea’s fixture away to Burnley in GW10. FPL’s top performing player has been ruled out ahead of Chelsea’s Europa League fixture against BATE Borisov and there are question marks over his availability for Sunday’s game. Hazard has rarely featured in the Europa League this season, and it’s possible that his absence for Thursday’s game is simply a precaution.
Hazard’s injury is likely to weaken his prospects as a captaincy option in GW10. Hazard may struggle to complete 90 minutes if he’s not fully fit. If he does start, it’s possible that he’ll be substituted if Chelsea find themselves in a comfortable position late in the game. This leaves the 51% of FPL managers who own Hazard in an awkward position.
Mohamed Salah looks a great captaincy option for GW10, as Liverpool play Cardiff at Anfield. Only Fulham have conceded more goals this season than Cardiff and Liverpool’s home form is superb. Liverpool are very likely to keep a clean sheet and could score several goals. Salah is likely to find himself involved in a goal, but Liverpool’s strong chance of a clean sheet opens up the possibility of selecting Andrew Robertson as a somewhat rogue captain choice. Liverpool haven’t conceded at home in the league since February, and Robertson has attacking potential. Robertson will be looking to add to his two Premier League assists on Saturday after assisting Liverpool’s opening goal in midweek.
Who Managers Are Transferring In
Anthony Martial (MID, MUN, £7.3m) – Anthony Martial has a famously strained relationship with José Mourinho and has been out of favour with Mourinho for much of his time at United. Martial has only completed 90 minutes once this season, in Gameweek 8. He’s been involved in four goals over the last two fixtures though and 115,035 FPL managers have opted to gamble on Martial continuing this form. His starting eleven place is far less secure than most other midfield options in this price bracket and Martial represents a big rotation risk.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (FWD, ARS, £10.8m) – Aubameyang was relegated to a substitute role after only scoring twice in his first seven games. Since then, however, he’s contributed four goals and an assist in less than an hour of football coming off the bench. £10.8m is a lot to spend on a player with uncertain game time but 111,048 managers have transferred in the forward despite games against Liverpool, Spurs and Manchester United on the horizon.
Benjamin Mendy (DEF, MCI, £6.3m) – Mendy has completed 90 minutes for Manchester City twice in a row after returning to the side. He earned an assist in GW9, setting up Leroy Sané in a move that might help to lessen concerns that the two can’t play together. City have looked superlative going forward and defensively, and Mendy has a great chance to return points regardless of the fixture.
Roberto Pereyra (MID, WAT, £6.2m) – Pereyra is Watford’s highest scoring fantasy player this season and scored his fourth goal of the season in GW9. Watford’s form has dipped of late but with three favourable fixtures upcoming, Pereyra’s 85,446 new owners will be hoping that Watford can turn things around. Pereyra has already scored more points than he did in the entire 2016/7 season, when he was hampered by injury issues.
Mohamed Salah (MID, LIV, £12.8m) – 77,417 fantasy managers have brought Mohamed Salah into their team, the majority of them after his performance in the Champions League where he scored twice against Red Star. Salah also scored against Huddersfield in GW9 and faces one of the league’s worst performing defences when Liverpool take on Cardiff in GW10. Salah also has a home game against Fulham in GW12 to look forward to and will surely add to his four Premier League goals over the next few gameweeks.
Who Managers Are Transferring Out
Sadio Mané (MID, LIV, £9.7m) – Mané missed Liverpool’s win away to Huddersfield after breaking his thumb on international duty. He is expected to play against Cardiff in GW10 however, after being fit enough to start in the Champions League on Wednesday against Red Star Belgrade. Mané hasn’t rewarded his owners with a goal or an assist since GW4 and 161,139 managers have run out of patience.
Harry Kane (FWD, TOT, £12.5m) – Kane registered consecutive blanks at home to Cardiff and away to West Ham, two fixtures in which fantasy managers were relying on him to score points. Kane has looked tired this season and is perhaps feeling the effects of playing 90 minutes for club and country so often. The game’s most expensive striker has been transferred out 113,134 times despite a goal in the Champions League against PSV on Wednesday.
Lucas Moura (MID, TOT, £7.3m) – Lucas Moura joins Mané in appearing in this list for a second week in a row. Tottenham have scored three fewer goals than at this stage last season, with Eriksen missing time due to injury and Kane in poor form. There aren’t as many goals for Lucas to be a part of and there’s more bad news in that Spurs play Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in their next five games. 107,364 managers have transferred out the Brazilian, who scored the other Tottenham goal in midweek.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (DEF, LIV, £5.1m) – Alexander-Arnold was the player to lose out following Dejan Lovren’s return to fitness as Joe Gomez’s good form was rewarded with a move to right back in order to incorporate Lovren. TAA has been on the bench for each of the last two league games and it’s unclear how often he’ll feature in the Premier League. He played 90 minutes in the Champions League on Wednesday, demonstrating that he is fit and is being left out for tactical reasons. 100,007 managers have sold him.
Kyle Walker (DEF, MCI, £6.6m) – Kyle Walker was a casualty of Pep Guardiola’s wheel of rotation in GW9, spending the game on the bench after six consecutive starts. City have kept five clean sheets in a row but face a trip away to Spurs in GW10 and play Manchester United at home in GW12. Walker has lost his place in 79,493 teams, with many perhaps opting to swap him with his cheaper (and more attacking) teammate Benjamin Mendy.
Under the Radar
Brighton don’t play a top seven side until their match against Chelsea in GW17, and are generally good defensively. Brighton have kept clean sheets in each of their last two fixtures, against West Ham and Newcastle. Mathew Ryan regularly gets save points (he has earned at least one save point in all but two games this season) and picked up five bonus points over the last two gameweeks. Ryan is priced at £4.5m and is owned by just 4% of managers. Shane Duffy (DEF, £4.5m) and Lewis Dunk (DEF, £4.4m) offer some attacking potential from set-pieces at an affordable price.
West Ham face Manchester City in GW13 but have an otherwise attractive schedule of fixtures until after GW21. The London side have struggled to score goals but their defenders are worthy of consideration. Their defence has improved after a poor start to the season, and they are cheap compared to the side’s midfield and forward options. Fabián Balbuena has been ever-present for West Ham this season and he is owned by just 0.3% of managers. The central defender picked up 2 bonus points in GW6 and is available for just at £4.4m.
Newcastle also have a favourable run of fixtures between now and GW19. They have a few options that look interesting, with the likes of DeAndre Yedlin offering attacking potential at £4.5m. Martin Dubravka (GK, £5.0m) and Jamaal Lascelles (DEF, £4.8m) are sure starters but are more expensive. It’s difficult to recommend any Newcastle players despite their good fixtures, though. They’ve yet to win a game and there are cheaper options available for better teams.