Andrew Gastelum

Weekly Picks

print article archives RSS

The Bargain Hunter - Week 30

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


We’re at the final matchweek before things start to get a bit pear-shaped: There’s the upcoming partial bye week, and then a couple of double gameweeks down the line with only nine matches left in the season.

 

Coincidentally, last week’s picks proved to be one of my best this season. Glenn Murray (see more on him in the forward section below) scored another goal and earned two bonus points, Andy Robertson recorded a clean sheet and Michail Antonio scored a goal for West Ham to continue his form.

 

Meanwhile, recent picks like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Will Hughes recorded assists, Cenk Tosun scored a goal and Orestis Karnezis and Alex McCarthy each recorded clean sheets in goal.

 

Without further delay, here are the bargain hits and misses ahead of Gameweek 30. 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.

 

Long-term Pick (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- Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town) 

I recommended Lossl earlier this season (remember Huddersfield’s three straight clean sheets to start the season?), but it now looks to be as good of a time as ever to put your trust back in the Danish international. Despite not recording a clean sheet since Gameweek 21 against Burnley, the Terriers have an extremely favorable upcoming schedule to end the season, one that should see them guarantee their spot in the Premier League next season, barring some epic collapse.

 

Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Brighton and Watford spell out the next month of the season. Huddersfield has already shut out three of those sides this season and, despite the weekend loss to Spurs, has broken free from that eight-game winless streak with back-to-back wins in Gameweek 27 and 28. Lossl could be extremely valuable in the next month, especially next week when the club plays during a massive bye week. Available in more than half of FPL Draft Leagues, Lossl is an excellent short-term option in goal.

 

 

DEF- Matthew Lowton (Burnley)

While Burnley’s clean sheet production has slowed down—no clean sheets since Gameweek 21—the Clarets are piecing together some positive results (see: weekend win against Everton, Gameweek 26 draw with Manchester City). And while the defensive performances haven’t been there as a whole, Matthew Lowton has excelled from an attacking standpoint since returning from an injury that kept him out for 12 weeks this season. While his starting spot looked to be usurped by the evergreen Phil Bardsley, Lowton has won it back in impressive fashion.

 

Since his return in Gameweek 26, the right-back has found his touch, recording two assists for the Clarets. Since he’s a defender with a limited history in attack, we can’t realistically hope for more of the same; it’s better to rely on Sean Dyche whipping his defense back in shape with West Ham, West Brom, Watford, Leicester City, Stoke City and Brighton filling out the schedule until May. Taken in only nine percent of our latest sample of FPL Draft leagues, I would consider a long-term pick through the end of the season.

 

 

DEF – Craig Dawson (West Brom)

Due to West Brom’s year-long struggle, Dawson’s usually burgeoning ownership has dwindled this season. The club’s current three-match losing streak has made relegation an expected result, but only eight points separate the Baggies from leaving the relegation zone. If anything, their status will be sealed by mid April with Leicester City, Bournemouth, Burnley and Swansea City all next before the schedule takes a turn: matches with Manchester United, Liverpool and Spurs all loom in the final month of the season.

 

But given that schedule and West Brom’s defensive prowess, Dawson looks like a massive bargain with ownership at just 24 percent in FPL Draft leagues. Typically, Dawson is a late-round draft pick, especially after scoring four goals in each of the last two seasons. His goalscoring ability off set pieces in definitely a plus, but to have a talented defender so widely available can only help you down the stretch as a fifth defender in your side.

 

 

MID – Jose Izquierdo (Brighton)

It looks like Jose Izquierdo is finally realizing his potential in the Premier League after taking a couple of months to get used to his new digs. At Club Brugge, Izquierdo shined with multiple 13-plus goal seasons. With just a couple of months before playing for Colombia in the World Cup, the winger is starting to heat up along with his club, which is currently on a five-match unbeaten streak with 11 goals during that run.

 

The Colombian, along with Glenn Murray, has been at the center of that form. In his last four Premier League matches, Izquierido has scored two goals and recorded one assist along with three bonus points. And while he didn’t get on the stat sheet in the club’s surprise 2-1 win against Arsenal, his presence was certainly felt. If you need an attacking midfielder and want to take a chance on him, the playmaker is widely available in FPL Draft.

 

 

FWD – Ashley Barnes (Burnley)

Before I get into what makes Barnes a solid forward, I should note that I still prefer last week’s pick in Glenn Murray to just about any forward not named Kane, Aguero or Firmino. With five goals in the last five weeks, Murray has established himself as a late-season difference maker and is still somehow available in more than half of FPL Draft leagues, but I don’t expect that to last long.

 

If Murray isn’t available in your league, Barnes has been in good form of late. The Austrian international has scored in both of the last two games for Burnley, contributing to two of the club’s last three goals as he sits only one short of his Premier League career high. As I mentioned earlier with Matthew Lowton, the Clarets’ schedule opens up in the next month-and-a-half. If you need a stopgap forward, Barnes isn’t the worst option, but Murray is a must-have.

 






Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Player News: Week 3

    Player News: Week 3
  •  
    Top DFS Values

    Top DFS Values
  •  
    Dose: Browns Win

    Dose: Browns Win
  •  
    Dose: Limited Landry

    Dose: Limited Landry
  •  
    Dose: Wentz returns for PHI

    Dose: Wentz returns for PHI
  •  
    Dose: Mahomes dazzles

    Dose: Mahomes dazzles
  •  
    SNF Success for Engram?

    SNF Success for Engram?
  •  
    Dose: Green Dominates

    Dose: Green Dominates