Andrew Gastelum

Weekly Picks

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The Bargain Hunter - Week 11

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


I often say this, but I find it so crucial to have a good week heading into the international break. Of course, statistically, it means no more than any other week of the season; but if nothing else, it surely has an effect on the psyche if you can have a good week before the break, especially since the international break kills all possible momentum.

 

And what a week we’ll have entering the international break. Sunday itself is set to be one of the best single days of the season, outside of the final day of course. It starts with Tottenham-Crystal Palace, where Spurs will surely score five. That’s followed by Manchester City-Arsenal, where City will surely score five. And finally, Chelsea-Manchester United, where neither team are likely to score. Should be fun.

 

Looking back at last week, my best pick of the weekend came in Stoke City’s Kurt Zouma, who recorded a clean sheet and two bonus points. Of course, the week I suggest Davinson Sanchez is the week he is rested, but I had luck elsewhere. My recent picks put together impressive performances, including Phil Jones (clean sheet, three bonus points), Tammy Abraham (assist), Wilfried Zaha (goal), Aaron Cresswell (assist), and Pascal Groß (assist, two bonus points).

 

Without further delay, here are the bargain hits and misses ahead of Gameweek 11. 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 – Rob Elliot (Newcastle)

There are currently only six goalkeepers in our latest FPL Draft sample that are available in more than 50 percent of leagues, and I have already written about five of them (the last one, I’m saving for next week, for reasons to be explained later). So it makes the most sense to suggest Elliot, since I suggested him very early in the year when his starting spot wasn’t necessarily locked down with Karl Darlow also competing for the spot.

 

But Elliot has played every minute of every game this season, being hailed as one of the FPL.com heroes of the season for his low price and reliability. Also in FPL Draft, he has been an asset with Newcastle recording three clean sheets this season so far and with more on the horizon: Bournemouth, Watford and West Brom are three of the next four. Taken in just 30 percent of FPL Draft leagues, Elliot is a reliable choice as your backup keeper.

 

 

DEF – Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth)   

To cut to the chase and preface why a Bournemouth defender is so appealing starting this week, here is the club’s upcoming schedule through Gameweek 17: Newcastle, Huddersfield, Swansea, Burnley, Southampton, Crystal Palace. I know the Cherries have only one clean sheet this season, but surely, surely that will more than double in the upcoming six weeks. And when you look at Bournemouth defenders, there is no better choice than Daniels.

 

Even if the club doesn’t perform defensively, Daniels is always a threat to add attacking points. The left-back already has a goal and assist this season, and over the past two seasons, Daniels has recorded seven goals and eight assists as a Fantasy Premier League favorite across the board. In our latest FPL Draft sample, Daniels is still available in 43 percent of leagues. No matter what your defense looks like, you should heavily consider checking the waiver wire for him.

 

 

DEF – Joe Gomez (Liverpool)

After that horrifying performance against Tottenham in Gameweek 9, adding a Liverpool defender may not seem to be the best idea. But other than the 4-0 loss to Spurs, the Liverpool defense has been fairly steady in the last month. And with a very favorable upcoming schedule until the holiday fixtures with West Ham, Southampton, Chelsea, Stoke and Brighton up next, picking up a Reds defender is starting to look like a shrewd transaction.

 

The defense looked strong last week against Huddersfield in a 3-0 win. Meanwhile, Gomez looks to have cemented his spot in the defense, mostly at right-back but also in central defense; he has started and played the full 90 minutes in each of the last five matches. Taken in just 11 percent of FPL Draft leagues, Gomez is widely available and looks to be your best bet at a reliable Liverpool defender for the upcoming month-and-a half.

 

MID– Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City)

I’ve been waiting to select Shaqiri for some time, but concerns about his health have always played in the back of my mind, as they should for any FPL manager. However, the Swiss international, aptly nicknamed the Magic Dwarf, returned to start against Watford last weekend, providing the assist on the match-winning goal to push the Potters up the table after a slow start to the season.

 

For Shaqiri, it was his third assist of the season, and second in his last three matches, to go with his one goal this year. Having recorded seven goals and eight assists in limited action over the past two seasons, we know the winger has a lot to offer, as long as he stays healthy. So far so good, Shaqiri has played in every game but one this season, and he should be available in about half of FPL Draft leagues.

 

 

FWD– Glenn Murray (Brighton)

It has been an extremely difficult year for strikers, as I have documented statistically in previous columns over the last month, but Murray has been a welcome addition to the usual list of productive attackers. The Brighton forward has hardly played this season, yet has seen his patience rewarded with three goals and four bonus points in the last two games, both of which were starts. And with Swansea City and Stoke City up next, Murray should like his chances at scoring a few more.

 

In fact, no forward is in better form, according to the FPL.com metric, than Murray at the moment. However, given such a small sample size and his lack of game-time this season, I can’t offer much more than a tepid recommendation for the former Crystal Palace and Bournemouth striker. If you are in desperate need for some attacking help, give Murray some thought since he’s available in nearly 90 percent of our sample. But if he’s the guy you need to try to turn around your season, you might be in bad shape already

 








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