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Andrew Gastelum

FPL Draft

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FPL Draft Bargain Hunter-GW20

Friday, December 28, 2018


Can you believe that we are officially halfway through the Premier League season? There have been 19 gameweeks at full-throttle with the second half promising a furious race to finish atop the Premier League table. But with all of the Rotoworld content set for today, maybe it’s best we leave those musings until next week.

 

Without further delay, here are the bargain hits and misses ahead of Gameweek 20. I’m welcoming all suggestions and debates on Twitter (@gastelumEPL)— I would love to include your thoughts here in this column next week and throughout the season. If you don’t want your name mentioned, just let me know; otherwise, I’ll be sure to give your Twitter handle a shout-out.

 

 

All of the stats used in this column come straight from the good folks at Fantasy 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 – Ben Foster (Watford)

It’s been a wild ride for Watford so far this season, starting near the top of the table and then plummeting hard in the fall. But the Hornets seemed to have steadying somewhat, and there’s plenty of light on the horizon with such a favorable schedule coming up with Newcastle, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Burnley through Gameweek 24. And that’s why I like Foster as a goalkeeper pick for the short-term. If manager Javi Gracia is going to push this team up the table, it’s going to be now with a chance at loads of points.

 

The club’s 2-0 away win at West Ham last weekend shows plenty of promise and I expect Ben Foster and company to secure a few clean sheets in that time. But what makes Foster such a bargain is that he’s one of the few starting keepers not taken in the majority of FPL Draft leagues. With keepers at a premium, his ownership (hovering around 43 percent of our latest sample) and the club’s upcoming schedule makes for a rare combination at this point in the season at the position. And if anything, he can be a No. 2 keeper that turns into some trade bait.

 

 

 

DEF – Victor Lindelof (Manchester United)

Well it officially looks like the new guard is here at Manchester United with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally giving the youth a chance to run, with the emphasis back on attack. However, when you look at the season as a whole, Victor Lindelof has been one of the few constants this season, missing only one game when he wasn’t fit. He’s actually played the full 90 minutes in 13 games this season and continues to start despite the coaching change and availability of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones.

 

The only problem is that Manchester United’s usually formidable defense has struggled to record clean sheets this season—their last coming in a scoreless draw with Crystal Palace in Gameweek 13. But United’s upcoming schedule gives me hope: Bournemouth, Newcastle, Spurs, Brighton, Burnley, Leicester City, Fulham through Gameweek 26. And with Lindelof available in 70 percent of draft leagues, he could be a long-term pick that pays dividends in competitive FPL Draft leagues if you have a fifth defender spot open and want to take the low-risk, high-reward chance on him.

 

 

 

DEF – Kyle Walker-Peters (Spurs)

Let’s start with praise, but I think we know where this one is going. I think it’s only a matter of time before we see Kyle Walker-Peters starting at right-back for Tottenham with five assists in his last two Premier League appearances that didn’t see him coming off the bench in garbage time. But three assists as a defender and 18 points in one game will have FPL circles chattering away about the 21-year-old’s fantasy potential. But as we’ve seen with this Spurs defense, no one truly has a stake on a starting spot outside of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

 

That doesn’t mean Walker-Peters should be avoided at all costs. Spurs right-backs in Serge Aurier and Kieran Trippier could be ruled out for longer and Walker-Peters could continue to shock us all. But my point is that he will remain a bargain for the next few weeks regardless—his ownerships sits below one percent and I don’t even expect it above five percent for my Gameweek 21 column. That means you can put him on your watchlist, observe and make a more informed decision in the next week or two. Don’t get swept up in an outlier of a performance—only Lionel Messi can put together a handful of three-assist games.

 

 

 

FWD – Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)

Somehow I always come back to Dominic Calvert-Lewin when our forwards selections are in doubt. It’s likely that you have three forwards better than Calvert-Lewin, but for those that are desperate for a third forward, or maybe have the forgotten Cenk Tosun as one of your strikers, then you may want to keep Calvert-Lewin in mind. That’s because the young forward has recorded five points in each of the last three Premier League matches with a goal and two assists in total, and he’s already one goal away from tying his Premier League career high.

 

Calvert-Lewin looks to have earned Marco Silva’s trust for his passing vision and movement inside the penalty area, where he has linked well with Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson in particular. And the fact that he is well-rested gives me hope that he will become a long-term starter given his contributions in the last three starts. Check your other options on the waiver wire, but Calvert-Lewin is not a bad choice at 80 percent availability.






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