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Andrew Gastelum

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FPL Draft Bargain Hunter - GW5

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


I used to moan about the international breaks in the following week, and rightfully so in the past. But the addition of the UEFA Nations League has added some much-needed competition to non-qualifiers, to the point that I actually watched games during the break, not including the latest chapter in the Mexico-USMNT rivalry.

 

But, in just a few days, the Premier League season will restart and we’ll feel lost, as usual, trying to recalibrate ourselves to the happenings in the top flight. To recap: Of my last week’s picks, both Andre Schurrle and Danny Ings, who also recorded two bonus points, scored a goal. Meanwhile, Cardiff City goalkeeper Neal Etheridge has risen in FPL Draft ownership two percent to 63 in just three weeks.

 

After my last column was published, @othmannerisms reached out to me on Twitter asking if he should drop Richarlison for an in-form Lucas Moura? While Richarlison is still out with a suspension, the Brazilian’s showing before the red card, positioning as a forward but labeled as a midfielder in FPL, and the return of Heung-Min Son to Spurs this week tells me to keep Richarlison at nearly all costs.

 

Without further delay, here are the bargain hits and misses ahead of Gameweek 5. 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.

 

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 – Rui Patricio (Wolves)

The fact that Wolves was able to lure Rui Patricio from Sporting Lisbon, the only club he has ever known, says a lot about the newly promoted side’s ambitions in a year where the club is expected to do big things. But Portugal’s No. 1 in goal, who helped lead the nation to a European championship in 2016, is now starting to find his feet in the Premier League, along with most of his impressive Wolves teammates. Buoyed by a 1-1 draw with title-holders Manchester City in week three, the Wolverhampton defense has locked down with only one goal conceded in the last two gameweeks.

 

In a 1-0 away win over West Ham last week, Patricio recorded his first clean sheet along with three saves. And I would only expect this trend to continue with a mild schedule through the end of October with Burnley, Manchester United, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Watford, and Brighton next through Gameweek 10. But now may be your last chance to add the keeper, whose taken in 50 percent of our latest sample of FPL Draft leagues. Especially as a platoon keeper, Patricio is a phenomenal bargain pick.

 

 

DEF – Ryan Bertrand (Southampton)

Bertrand belongs to an esteemed list of defenders—Cesar Azpilicueta and Laurent Koscielny are the only others I can find (please let me know if you find others)—that have recorded four straight years of more than 100 fantasy points in FPL.com, and he’s well on his way to a fifth with two points in the first four matches of the season, including a goal, two clean sheets, and a bonus point. But somehow, maybe given Saints poor season last year, Bertrand is not an automatic pick in FPL Draft leagues, leaving his available in 56 percent of our most recent sample.

 

Granted, our most recent sample was taken the day after Gameweek 4 ended, which was more than a week ago, but I wouldn’t expect the former Chelsea left-back’s figures to rise too much since. The club only just recorded its first win of the season, and its upcoming schedule isn’t good or bad until December, when it gets very bad, but the fact that Bertrand is a model of consistency should be enough to make him a long-term pick. If he’s available on the waiver wire, add him immediately.

 

 

MID – Jean Michael Seri (Fulham)

Last week, Andre Schurrle filled this spot and came through with another big week, but his teammate Jean Michael Seri has been right there along with the former Chelsea star. The Ivorian international has recorded 16 points in the last two gameweeks with a goal, an assist, and four bonus points from his attacking role on the wing, playing a massive role in Fulham’s attacking resurgence with six goals in the same span. And like Schurrle, Seri arrived in a massive spending spree this summer that saw Fulham become the first newly promoted team to spend more than £100 million in a transfer window.

 

While a trip to reigning champion Manchester City looms this weekend, Fulham’s schedule opens up well to recommend Seri as a No. 5 forward in your FPL Draft team, especially if Schurrle isn’t available in your league. Seri is available in 80 percent of our most recent sample of FPL Draft leagues, making him a short-term pickup with decent potential for the remainder of the season.

 

 

FWD – Glenn Murray (Brighton)

Every single year, it seems like I come back to the same recommendation with Glenn Murray, where his age is belied by his productivity—I always had a similar feeling when putting Jermain Defoe into my columns. Murray, at 34 years old, is building off the form of a career year last season where he scored 12 goals in the Premier League to almost singlehandedly keep Brighton from going down last season. The striker already has three goals to start the season, including both of the Seagulls goals in a 2-2 draw with Fulham in Gameweek 4 (the man is literally doing it all for Brighton).

 

While everything points to Murray slowing down this season, much like Defoe did when he started a season at 34 years old, I can’t deny the fact that Murray is producing at an incredible rate. The Premier League journeyman is still available in a third of FPL Draft leagues, I wouldn’t expect to find him available. If he is, you have to do everything to you can to sign him this week. Even a well-worked trade wouldn’t be such a bad idea to sign Murray, who may be the key to Brighton’s fortunes once again.

 








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