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Hi, and welcome to The Kitsman’s weekly Fantasy Premier League segment. Today marks Gameweek 23, and we are now moving into the second half of the Premier League season, and thus, the business end of the FPL timetable. I will be using OPTA, understat.com, fantasyfootballhub.co.uk, and other stat-based FPL resources to collate a comprehensive summary to advise you in your quest for Fantasy dominance.
Only just over a week since the last FPL segment, we are now already onto Gameweek 23. Luckily for you, The Kitsman’s FPL picks will be relevant for at least two Gameweeks, as I assess player performance and fixtures beyond just a player’s upcoming fixture. With multiple big-name FPL mainstays out injured or out of form, Gameweek 23 has a unique focus on differential picks, and my aim for the upcoming fixtures is to recommend the budget options that are best placed to score big.
Lucas Digne (6.1m) – With Gameweek 24 confirmed as a double gameweek for Everton, Lucas Digne is an interesting option at a fair price. After missing Gameweeks 10-17, Digne has registered two assists in Everton’s most recent four fixtures, displaying his effectiveness on the offensive end. Everton are currently struggling to keep clean sheets, but with DCL breaking his goal scoring duck, I would not bet against Digne improving on his assist tally in the coming weeks.
Ruben Dias (6.1m) – The biggest no-brainer in FPL. Ruben Dias offers the greatest security in the Manchester City defence, as he has yet to be rotated since his first PL game. With a double Gameweek in week 24, there is no need for more explanation, get him in your team.
Nick Pope (5.4m) – Pope is a choice looking ahead to the future. Burnley have three fixtures in their next two Gameweeks, facing the impotent trio of Brighton, Fulham and Crystal Palace. In the reverse fixture, Burnley held Brighton to 0.33 xG, and with their preferred partnership of Tarkowski and Mee, Brighton could struggle again. The Burnley defence hasn’t been so characteristically strong this season, but with three sides whose forwards have been out-of-sorts this season, expect Pope to add to his seven clean sheets.
Timo Werner (9.2m) – Many FPL fans were excited about Tuchel’s appointment, hoping that it would increase the output of Chelsea’s misfiring big-money new striker. Unfortunately, it seems that the same issues are plaguing Werner, namely his profound inefficiency in front of goal. It is encouraging that he has had 7 shots in Chelsea’s last two fixtures, but he is underperforming his xG by almost 4 goals in 20/21, and for such a hefty outlay, I would avoid for the foreseeable.
Alex McCarthy (4.6m) – A popular goalkeeper this season, but Southampton have been very poor recently, especially in defence. In the last 5 Premier League games, Southampton have conceded 15 goals and has had an expected 11.06 goals conceded. These stats are no doubt skewed due to McCarthy conceding 9 goals in their capitulation against Manchester Utd on Tuesday, but The Saints are winless in their last 8 Premier League games and look devoid of confidence.
JURY IS OUT
Heung-Min Son (9.7m) – It took Son 87 minutes to register his first touch inside Chelsea’s box in their Gameweek 22 defeat. In the two and a half games since Harry Kane’s injury, Spurs have created just 1.14 xG. They look out of ideas and are lacking confidence in attack. I would not advise selling the South Korean yet though, as they face WBA in GW 23, who have the worst xG conceded since Big Sam has taken the reins in the West Midlands.
The Kitsman’s RECOMMENDATION
Antonio Rüdiger (4.5m) – Rüdiger is back in the team under Tuchel and looks like THE bargain differential (1.9%) between now and the end of the season. In his most recent four games, the German has kept as many clean sheets, playing 90 minutes in each fixture. Tuchel looks to favour a five-at-the-back formation, and with the recent injury of Thiago Silva, Rüdiger does not look likely to be rotated. Chelsea have also been proficient corner-takers this season, thus Rüdiger registering his first goal of the season versus relegation candidates Sheffield Utd is not improbable.
Author: Elias Burke