FPL Draft Week 16: Risers and Fallers
We all love midweek Premier League matches. We all hate playing Pep roulette. If having to predict Pep Guardiola’s lineup wasn’t enough of a headache for FPL draft managers, Messrs Klopp, Sarri and Mourinho decided to join in by shuffling their own pack, leading us all to reach for the ibuprofen.
By leaving out 100% of his much loved front three, Klopp was the main culprit. When big names are rested, great differential picks become available for FPL draft managers to feast on. If you got hold of Ruben Loftus Cheek, bravo.
As we approach the season’s mid-point, getting on board the latest trends is crucial for FPL draft gaffers. With injuries mounting up and rotation coming into fashion, here are this week’s players to look out for and players to avoid.
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FPL Draft Risers
Callum Chambers – Fulham (defender)
There are few things more valuable in fantasy football than a player playing above their station. Cardiff “defender” Callum Paterson has delighted FPL draft owners by playing as a striker for the last couple of months. He’s played it well, too.
Now, Paterson’s namesake Chambers has joined the party. The arrival of Claudio Ranieri has seen a major shake up at Craven Cottage, part of which has seen the centre back pushed into the heart of midfield. Judging by the gaffer’s comments, Chambers could be there for a while.
The Arsenal loanee’s figures suggest that he will be a great option going forward. Since Ranieri’s arrival, Chambers has 32.25 points over three fixtures, despite the concession of five goals in that time.
Five shots on target and three key passes contribute to those figures, suggesting attacking returns should be on the way.
Florin Andone – Brighton (forward)
Who? You could be forgiven for asking that this time last week.
It’s fair to say that Florin Andone has bided his time at Brighton. After waiting patiently in the wings, the Romanian attacker was handed a start against Huddersfield on Saturday and promptly netted his first Premier League goal.
He was, therefore, unfortunate to lose his place to Glenn Murray when the big rivals came to town in midweek. However, another knock to Murray meant that once again Andone was given his chance. Once again he took it.
Two goals in two games are hard for any manager to ignore, whether that be Chris Hughton or an FPL draft gaffer. It’s hard to see an old war horse like Murray making it through the whole Christmas period without a rest so in form Andone should see some more action.
Another new manager boost is incoming. Inspired by seeing Claudio Ranieri turn a hopeless Fulham side into a more competitive one over the last few weeks, those in charge at Southampton saw a draw against fellow strugglers Manchester United as the final straw for Mark Hughes.
Step forward Ralph Hassenhuttl! Who? Not sure. However, a new manager normally brings with it a huge boost for those involved; to start with at least.
Hassenhuttl was in attendance as Southampton fell to Tottenham at Wembley in midweek. He will have seen numerous encouraging signs and the story could have been different had the woodwork not existed.
Charlie Austin passed his initial audition with a late goal while FPL draft favourite James Ward Prowse could see a return to the starting 11 under new leadership.
Nathan Redmond and Stuart Armstrong have been excellent assets in recent weeks so a new regime should not harm their value.
A baptism of fire at the Cardiff City awaits Hassenhuttl this weekend. Now is a good time to invest in those fringe Southampton players.
FPL Draft Fallers
Joe Gomez and Rob Holding – Liverpool and Arsenal (defender)
Football is a cruel game at times. The midweek injury curse claimed two of English football’s brightest young defenders.
Joe Gomez has been a crucial part of Liverpool’s flying start to the season but he won’t be seen for at least six weeks following a lower leg fracture.
If you thought that was bad news, it’s even worse for Rob Holding. There are reports that the young Arsenal centre back’s season may be over following a serious cruciate ligament injury.
Both (particularly the latter) are probably droppable from your FPL draft lineup. Cruel.
Mesut Ozil – Arsenal (midfielder)
I love Mesut Ozil as much as the next FPL draft fanatic but he’s driving us mad this year. Illnesses, back spasms, reported rifts with the new manager, Ozil’s already done them all.
If his poor form wasn’t worrying enough, Arsenal’s good form bizarrely makes it even worse. Unai Emery has found success in a new 3-4-3 formation and Ozil’s lack of pace and work rate makes it hard to see exactly where he fits into the operation.
If, like me, you used an early draft pick on this old FPL favourite, it may be time to look at moving him on. If you can…
Gerard Deulofeu – Watford (Forward)
This is hard for me to type as an avid Gerry D fan but the man is out of form. Javi Gracia dropped Deulofeu to the bench for the visit of the champions in midweek after a mini run of average performances.
Traditionally, Deulofeu is an FPL draft dream, particularly in advanced scoring platforms like Fantrax where players pick up points for numerous contributions. However, that seems like a thing of the past at the moment.
The Spaniard has underwhelmed his owners, putting in scores of 4, 4 and 0.5 over the past three weeks. In fact, he’s only completed the full 90 minutes on one occasion this season.
A trip to former employers Everton may be what Deulofeu needs to kick start his season. At the moment, Gerry D is far from his brilliant best.
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