Andrew Gastelum

Weekly Picks

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The Bargain Hunter - Week 10

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Well then, just like that we’re entering double-digit gameweeks. By now, we should have a pretty good idea of where things stand, what’s working and what’s not, and who are the teams and players to watch. But in the new FPL Draft format, everything is still played on a week-to-week basis as we try to figure this out together.

 

Manchester City is the clear runaway favorite, the top five looks just like we expected, Leicester City and Everton are the first teams searching for a new manager—definitely not what we expected—and Harry Kane is doing what Harry Kane does.

 

Of last week’s picks, Brighton defender Bruno had the standout week with a clean sheet and two bonus points in the club’s 3-0 win against West Ham to continue its surprising start to the season. Former picks Abdoulaye Doucoure (one goal, one bonus point), Richarlison (assist), Aaron Mooy (goal), Rob Elliot (clean sheet) and Matt Ritchie (assist) all picked up points as well in a successful week for bargains.

 

Without further delay, here are the bargain hits and misses ahead of Gameweek 10. I’m welcoming all suggestions and debates on Twitter (@gastelumEPL) and hopefully I can include your thoughts here in this column.

 

All of the stats used in this column come straight from the Premier League on a weekly basis. Our friends at FPL.com take the data from a thousand private leagues, all of which consist of eight teams, in order to minimize the impact of data from public leagues where autopick drafting is more prevalent. Of course, it’s just a sample size, so it’s not hard and fast; but it should give us a good idea of the tendencies of FPL Draft leagues and managers. Remember, the waivers deadline is a full 24 hours before the first game of the week, and the lowest-placed team in your league gets the first pick.

 

One-week Pick (OWP) - When a regular is suspended for a match, ineligible to face his parent club as a loanee, or his fill-in looks to deputize for only a week while the regular nurses a minor injury, this is where to find some replacements. They should only be looked at when you really need help at a position that week alone, and not looked at as long term plays. Best for salary cap leagues with unlimited transactions, not so much for draft leagues.

Short-term Pick (STP) - When a regular faces a multi-game suspension, an injury layoff lasting 2-5 weeks, international commitment, etc., this is where you look for players that can offer more beyond one week but do have a limited shelf life in most cases. Worth using a waiver claim or spending a bit more of your free agent budget (FAAB) than the One Week Buys. Can be useful in salary-cap format as long as you are comfortable with possibly needing to transfer them out in a few weeks. Also someone used as a

Long-term Picks (LTP) - When a regular is either facing a month or more out or has lost his spot seemingly to someone better, these are the players that emerge as potential long-term investments and are therefore the most valuable of the group and worth paying up. Great for any format, but especially valuable in draft leagues with limited waiver claims.

 

 

BARGAINS:

 

GK – Heurelho Gomes (Watford)

Watford has been one of the biggest surprises of the season so far with Marco Silva using some of that Hull City magic to lead the team into sixth place. The Hornets started the season even better, with three clean sheets in their first four matches until facing Manchester City in Gameweek 5. However, the club has held tight in the top part of the table despite games against City, Arsenal and Chelsea.

 

Now, the schedule opens up for Watford with Stoke City, Everton, West Ham and Newcastle in the next four weeks. That’s where Gomes comes in. The evergreen keeper has been as reliable as ever, and there are plenty of clean sheets in the next month. He’s taken in only 36 percent of our FPL Draft sample and, as a second keeper, you can’t go wrong with Gomes. 

 

 

DEF – Davinson Sanchez (Spurs)

On an individual level, Sanchez has been one of the biggest surprises of the season in the Premier League. Fans and pundits alike blasted Spurs for their lack of initiative in the transfer window, especially with an inexperienced Sanchez as one of the buys. However, the 21-year-old has been thrust into Premier League action from his arrival, playing all 90 minutes in every game but his debut to earn Mauricio Pochettino’s trust.

 

In fact, Sanchez has been so good in Tottenham’s back three that he has kept Eric Dier and either Serge Aurier or Ben Davies out of the starting lineup. The Colombian international has been a part of four clean sheets already for the club’s formidable defense, and assuredly will be part of more despite facing Manchester United and Arsenal in the next three matches. Available in about half of FPL Draft leagues, Sanchez is your best bet to break into the Tottenham defense at the moment. 

 

 

DEF – Kurt Zouma (Stoke City)

It may seem like a tough sell to recommend a defender from a club that is only out of the relegation zone on goal differential, despite conceding 14 goals in the last four matches. However, half of those goals have come in one match against Manchester City, who could score on a brick wall at the moment and Stoke’s fortunes look set to turn around in the near future.

 

Through Boxing Day, the Potters only have Liverpool and Spurs as imposing fixtures with Watford, Leicester City, Brighton and Crystal Palace in the next month of games. Zouma, meanwhile, has been the club’s best defender, playing the full 90 minutes in every match he was eligible for as a Chelsea loanee. Available in 64 percent of our sample of FPL Draft leagues, Zouma is good option through the end of the calendar year.

 

 

MID– Junior Stanislas (Bournemouth)

I’ve always been a big Junior Stanislas fan, especially after last season when he recorded seven goals and six assists despite playing only 1,476 minutes for the Cherries. The big asterisk around the winger is his health, but when he is fit, Stanislas is a quiet force to be reckoned with, as seen last weekend against Stoke City. Away from home, he contributed to both Bournemouth goals with a goal and assist to help the Cherries break their three-match winless streak.

 

Even more telling than Stanislas’ involvement was the fact that he took a penalty kick against the Potters, giving us even more incentive to pluck him off the waiver wire. In our latest sample of FPL Draft leagues, Stanislas is taken in nearly half (49 percent). As a fifth midfielder, Stanislas could put up some serious numbers; as long as he stays healthy, I would consider him a borderline long-term option.

 

 

FWD– Mame Diouf (Stoke City)

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a striker start at right-back at the rate of Diouf, but the forward stuck with it and now has been rewarded after rewarding Mark Hughes’ trust. Recently, I’ve been keen to recommend Diouf, but his role as a right-wing back with Stoke playing a back-three made me reluctant. However, recent results and a return to the forward position is reason to consider the versatile attacker.

 

It hasn’t mattered whether he is played as a wing-back or striker, the Senegalese international has been in top form, contributing to four of the club’s five goals in the last three matches. Diouf has scored in three straight Premier League matches, and looks to be in the 2014/15 form that saw him score a career-high 12 goals for Hughes’ side. Available in more than 70 percent of FPL Draft leagues, Diouf is a solid short-term option who could be valuable as a third striker.

 








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