Steve Rothgeb

Weekly Picks

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Fuzzy's FPL Favorites - GW8

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Last week was the last straw. Fuzzy...is on his wildcard.

 

That's right. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, and boy did it drop hard. There are a few reasons why the trigger was pulled -  going without Harry Kane has finally burned me badly, I've experienced red arrows for the last two weeks and it was high time I cleaned up the enablers in my squad who were either hurt or not playing much. But it was one thing that truly drove me to smash the button - my transfer in last week was Petr Cech. My policy on making keepers the last area of your squad to address has always stood firm. I thought I had a window to finally make a move and let go of an ineffective Jordan Pickford and a route to the Arsenal defense looked a progressive idea. In theory, I was right, as the Gunners kept their second clean sheet in a row. But did get to reap the benefits? Hardly. Cech was injured in the match, returning a single point, and is set to be out for several weeks. Maybe emotions played a part in the decision, but it still feels like the right thing to do and I am very pleased with the look of my squad. Yes, one SHOULD be pleased with their wildcard squad, otherwise, why play it? But, I have experienced dozens of wildcards over the years and I usually still feel anxious about a player or two that I could not find space for. That is not the case this time.

 

We have a short week and not much time to spare. So, let's get busy with a breakdown of Week 8's have's and have not's :

 

 

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TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

 

So now it is time to look at the players to think about ahead of Week 4. As a reminder, there are four categories of players which I feel are worth mentioning week to week when making decisions about transfers....

 

1) Players to buy

2) Players to sell

3) Players to hold onto

4) Players to avoid buying

 

I will also include later in the section, my top choices for the captain's armband. While I will consider every player from A to Z, you will normally find the usual suspects there.

 

Right, so let's dive in...

 

GOALKEEPERS

 

*Just as a reminder, keepers should always be the last position to think about using transfers for, unless there is an urgent need. So, when you see who I have listed here, bear in mind that my keeper advice does not carry as much weight as the outfield positions.

 

Player to buy: Rui Patricio - Wolves' defense is in great four, with three clean sheets in their last four. Patricio is also seeing a great deal of opponents' shots coming from outside the box, which is a recipe for GK points. Still, at his starting 4.5m price, this may be your last chance to get him without paying a markup.

  

Player to sell: Jordan Pickford - Yes, Pickford trolled me with a clean sheet last week. But, I still maintain it's time to part with him. Away to Leicester, Manchester United and Chelsea in the next five, the friendly schedule in the opening weeks take a sharp turn.

 

Player to hold: Ben Foster - Foster is among the lowest-scoring keepers in the first seven weeks, with only the one clean sheet in the opening weekend. If the rest of your squad is to your liking and you really want a new keeper, I wouldn't besmirch you for swapping out Foster for Patricio. There is likely a more impactful move for you to make though, and consider Watford's next five - Bournemouth, Wolves, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Southampton.

 

Player to avoid: Hugo Lloris - Lloris is poised to return to the XI for Spurs this weekend and a home game against Cardiff should put him in a good position for a clean sheet straight away. But, Tottenham's defense overall has yet to match their standards in recent seasons. Too many budget keepers just as productive to choose from if you are shopping.

 

 

DEFENDERS

 

Player to buy: Hector Bellerin - Not seeing much talk of Arsenal defensive options at the moment. It's tough to look past the likes of Trippier, Alonso and Robertson along with Wan-Bissaka and another budget options. This could be a good sneaky route to solid points for several weeks to come. Two clean sheets on the trot and Bernd Leno looks to be settling in nicely. Bellerin's attacking returns may not have impressed yet (one assist), but I expect he's due for a big game or two between now and December, with a trip to leaky Fulham this weekend looking very attractive.

 

Player to sell: Ryan Bertrand - Bertrand got off to a nice start, with a goal and a pair of clean sheets in the first four weeks. No returns on either side of the ball in the last three however and it looks to stay that way with tough opponents on deck, starting with Chelsea this weekend. He's already dropped in price once. If I owned him, I would not let it happen a second time.

 

Player to hold: Newcastle options - Whether it be Jamal Lascelles or DeAndre Yedlin, owners may want to ship out ahead of the Magpies trip to Old Trafford. While I would expect Manchester to score at least once, you never know with the current state of affairs there. Then, the fixtures turn very kind after the international break, with three of four at home and playing the likes of Southampton and Brighton next.

 

Player to avoid: Burnley options - Back to back wins have the Clarets moving in the right direction. It could be tough sledding for the coming weeks. You may be drawn in by the nice fixture this week - home to Huddersfield - but once that is done and dusted, it's back to back games against Man City and Chelsea.

 

 

MIDFIELDERS

 

Player to buy: James Maddison - Maddison has it all going for him. He's been consistent over the first seven weeks, providing returns in five of them, including involvement in a score against Liverpool's tough defense. He's bursting with confidence getting his first international call-up. Leicester's coming fixtures are very positive. His ownership keeps climbing, so the longer you wait, the less effective owning him will be. So do it now.

 

Player to sell: Luka Milivojevic - I just know this is the kind of player that is going to troll me. Milivojevic has the vast majority of his value tied up as the penalty taker of choice, but he has not had an opportunity yet from the spot this season. A few weeks back, I suggested holding him if you had him, banking on the "he's due" factor, and I think the rationale still stands. But, his price is sinking like a stone and that alone is enough for current owners to make the switch to someone cheaper like Ryan Fraser.

 

Player to hold: Andre Schurrle - It has been three straight weeks with only appearance points for Schurrle but returns look imminent for the winger. In the FPL game, only one midfielder has taken more shots than Schurrle - some guy named Mo Salah. Surely, Schurrle, you are due...just maybe not this week against Arsenal. Hold him though, because after that, the Cottagers get Cardiff, Bournemouth and Huddersfield in successive weeks.

 

Player to avoid: Theo Walcott - Walcott got back in the points with an assist last weekend, and he is the top scoring midfielder from Everton. However, he's likely to become the third best option in the Toffee's midfield, with Gyfli Sigurdsson coming back to life last week and Richarlison re-establishing himself after the red card snafu. 

 

 

FORWARDS

 

Player to buy: Harry Kane - Pochettino would not be so mean as to rest Kane for the home game against Cardiff, would he? It doesn't seem to make sense at the moment, as the striker is coming off a brace and scored again midweek against Barca. Not only do you need him, you need to captain him. His price may cause some managers to have to spend four points to get him in. I fully back that move.

 

Player to sell: Romelu Lukaku - We are at a moment in the season where owning Aguero and Kane looks essential. That means all other premium forwards have to fall by the wayside, because anything other than a budget option as your FWD#3 will see your squad out of balance. There is a negative energy with United these days, so Lukaku has to go...even though I concede he's capable of a goal this weekend.

 

Player to hold: Glenn Murray - After playing every minute of the first six rounds this season, Murray was dropped last weekend. I think it may be a case of rest for the veteran because I'm not sure how much better Brighton can expect their striker to produce, netting four times in six. The thing is, the Seagulls have perhaps the best run of fixtures starting now, playing mid-to-lower table sides only for the next nine weeks. 

 

Player to avoid: Sam Vokes - Vokes made the Dream Team last weekend, and with Burnley finding the net six times in their last two, I can see how he might land on your radar as your budget #3 forward, especially with a home game against Huddersfield next up. But, like my call on investing in their defense, Burnley's fixtures get tough after this weekend. I am also worried about any of the strikers on that squad starting with regularity. Sean Dyche has four options and they seem rather interchangeable.

 

TOP CAPTAIN CHOICES

 

1) Harry Kane

2) Eden Hazard

3) Sergio Aguero

4) Mo Salah

5) Alexandre Lacazette

 

That's it from me this week folks. Please, bear in mind much can change between the publishing of this column and the FPL deadline on Friday night. Remember, some injuries are not revealed until just before the deadline, and there are usually a few extra surprises in this regard coming out of an international break. Always try to refrain from executing your transfers for as long as possible to avoid wasting it on a player who turns out to have had a problem in training. That said, if you only have just enough money for the player you are looking to bring in and that player is at risk of rising in price, then sometimes you need to take a calculated risk and hope the fantasy gods will be kind to you.

 

Good luck, and may your arrows be green.



Steve Rothgeb is a contributor for Rotoworld.com and WorldSoccerTalk.com, a self-proclaimed fantasy sports oracle, and Tottenham Hotspur fanatic. He can be found on Twitter @FuzzyWarbles.
Email :Steve Rothgeb





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