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FPL Draft Week 13: Risers and Fallers

In all fairness, the Nations League has been alright this week. Don’t get me wrong, International week is still as appealing to FPL draft managers as a Boxing Day without football (wait for it…) but at least UEFA’s latest baby has brought some joy.

The downside? Injuries, plenty of them. Saturday will bring more clarity on the injuries on the bogus end of the scale (I’m referring to messrs Martial and Lacazette) but owners of Romelu Lukaku and Matt Doherty may want to look away now. An injury to Jonny has left many feeling rotten.

Twelve weeks in and tables are beginning to gain shape. Here are the latest risers and Fallers.

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FPL Draft Risers 

Ruben Vinagre – Wolves (Defender)

Vi-na-gre. Not Vinegar. Every mid to long-term injury (brutally) has a beneficiary and six weeks on the sideline for Jonny Castro Otto should see Ruben Vinagre make an appearance.

Wolves fans speak highly of the Portuguese wing-back who should fit seamlessly into Jonny’s spot. Good going forward and an eye for goal, Wolves supporters fondly speak of when Vinagre famously gave Kyle Walker a difficult night at the office in the Carabao Cup.

The Wanderers full backs provide valuable FPL draft assets. The wing backs are free of most defensive responsibility and this week’s matchup at home to Huddersfield gives Vinagre the perfect chance to hit the ground running.

Bernard – Everton (Midfielder)

What a great name. The latest Brazilian silkster to try his luck in the Premier League has taken his time to settle in but Bernard looks like he’s going to be a great FPL draft asset.

For someone not let near set pieces, 14 key passes in nine games is impressive. Bernard isn’t dependant on attacking returns to gain decent points but will certainly add to the two assists he’s already provided. With Gylfi Sigurdsson a doubt for this week’s visit of Cardiff, Bernard may even play behind the striker in a very favorable matchup.

Salomon Rondon – Newcastle United (Forward)

Tyneside craves a good number nine. A tall, muscular unit to lead the line. Could their latest folk hero be Salomon Rondon? His powerful double against Bournemouth in Gameweek 12 suggests there may be something in that opinion. The FPL draft managers who took the gamble enjoyed a 28.5 point haul.

More of the same on the horizon? I think so. The Venezuelan beefcake bullied Steve Cook and co and now enjoys a friendly run of fixtures up until Boxing Day, starting with this week’s trip to Burnley. Rondon’s ownership has grown considerably over the last fortnight but is still only at 56%. Definitely worth a go if he’s available in your league.

FPL Draft Fallers 

Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United (Forward)

You’ve rolled the dice on Romelu Lukaku in the first round of your FPL draft. A gamble? Sure, but a sure starter guaranteed 20-plus goals a season. Fast forward three and a half months. Lukaku is stuck on 4 goals having failed to register since September the 15th. He’s struggling to hold his place.

Can it get any worse? Throw in a hamstring injury and there’s your answer. Disaster. The Belgian has been a nightmare to own this season. However, for the wheeler-dealers in FPL draft, it’s time to pounce. Strike while the iron is very, very cold. His run can’t continue, surely…

Benjamin Mendy

A fully fit Benjamin Mendy is an elite FPL draft asset. Six assists in nine games from fullback is a ridiculous return. The biggest problem with the original statement is that it very rarely happens.

Just as last year’s injuries demons looked to have been banished to the closet, Mendy’s curse struck again in the form of his other knee. Mendy joked on social media that his other knee got jealous. FPL draft owners won’t be laughing at reports of six weeks on the sidelines for the French star.

I’ve seen talk on Twitter of people dropping Mendy from their rosters: don’t do that. However, if you have a spare roster spot you can afford to leave for a while, now is a good time to swoop in with a trade offer. Remember, this guy has the same doctor as Kevin De Bruyne…

Christian Eriksen – Tottenham Hotspur (Midfielder)

Christian Eriksen is the most curious case of this year’s FPL draft season so far. An old FPL favorite, Eriksen will have been highly drafted last summer, and rightly so. But a mixture of fitness worries and a deeper role has vastly limited his FPL potential.

Getting on the scoresheet for Denmark in the international break suggests there’s life in Eriksen as an FPL draft asset yet but managers who drafted him as high as 4th overall pick will be devastated by his lackluster returns.

Tottenham have a kind run of fixtures coming up which represent an excellent chance for the Great Dane to get back on track. A continued lack of attacking returns would raise even more alarm bells. No goals and two assists at this stage is unheard of.

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