image from kitbag.com
Hi, and welcome to The Kitsman’s weekly Fantasy Premier League segment. Today marks Gameweek 27, we are 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.
Normal service resumed this week. Sort of. Manchester City and Southampton are the only clubs with a DGW this time around, so unless you have stockpiled assets on the aforementioned teams, there is no immediate need to cash in on your remaining Fantasy Chips. In addition, the majority of fixtures this weekend are fairly evenly matched, barring the theoretical mismatches of LIV vs FUL and TOT vs CP, and the chances to score big do not seem as great as in recent weeks.
Mason Mount (6.8m) – Chelsea have a spectacularly enticing next 5 PL fixtures, facing WBA, Leeds, Crystal Palace and Brighton following this weekend’s home fixture vs Everton. Mason Mount has increased his attacking production since Tuchel’s introduction and now finds himself with two goals in three appearances and ranks in the top 10 for expected goal involvements. If you are looking to replace Harvey Barnes, Mount represents an equally attractive option as an almost assured starter.
Jesse Lingard (6m) – Lingard has exploded since his deadline day loan signing with West Ham, contributing to five-goal involvements in as many PL starts. With one of the PL’s in-form teams facing the 19th leakiest defence in Leeds, Lingard might look to feast on the apparently fragile backline. There are doubts whether he can continue to overperform (1.81 xG and 1.34 xA) but capitalising on an in-form budget goalscoring midfield player has never been a bad FPL tactic.
Antonio Rüdiger (4.6m) – Here I am, doubling down on a previous Kitsman’s Recommendation and imploring you to add this gem to your XI. Chelsea are now visibly a much more stable outfit, and their average of under 0.5 xGc per game since Tuchel’s tenure demonstrates they don’t just pass the eye test. Rüdiger is not a goalscoring centre back, but with Chelsea’s kind fixtures ahead, Rüdiger will undoubtedly accrue clean sheet points.
NOT SO HOT
Ollie Watkins (6.6m) – An obvious casualty of Jack Grealish’s injury, Watkins has seen a concerning decrease in attacking output since Villa’s talisman has been sidelined. In Grealish’s absence, Watkins’ xG is under 0.3, suggesting he is not finding himself in the same threatening attacking positions as he was a few weeks ago. Encouragingly for Watkins owners, Villa are facing Wolves this weekend who ship big chances away from home on a scale only matched by WBA and Fulham, so there is a chance he might rediscover his good form on Saturday.
Jamie Vardy (10.2m) – Vardy is a costly forward option because he has consistently performed for FPL owners over the past few years. This is not me saying that Vardy will not score, but with two of Leicester’s primary creators (Maddison and Barnes) absent, and Vardy possibly suffering with fatigue after 270 minutes in the past week, he is not the most attractive option considering the hefty financial outlay.
JURY IS OUT
Mo Salah (12.6m) – Come on, surely Salah and Liverpool’s torrid time in front of goal cannot continue to persist. Right? He has now blanked in 10 of his previous 13 Premier League fixtures for Liverpool, and if it were anybody else, the ownership would likely be at 10% of his current 39.8% rate. Yet the Egyptian is still top for big chances over the past four FPL fixtures, and is facing Fulham who are in the relegation zone (but have improved their defence considerably since the turn of the year).
The Kitman’s RECOMMENDATION
Richarlison (7.9m) – A beneficiary of Ancelotti reverting to 3-5-2, his favoured formation of the 19/20 season, Richarlison is being paired with Calvert-Lewin in a central striker role, which has increased his attacking underlying numbers and output considerably. In the past 3 GWs, where he has netted in each and registered 25 points, the Brazilian has averaged just under a big chance a game. At just an 8.6% ownership rate, Richarlison is a uniquely in-form striker option, who happens to be an astute differential pick, and could be the reason you climb your private leagues.