Is it time to wildcard yet? We’re reaching injury central as Patrick Bamford and Mason Mount will miss the weekend while Raphinha is a doubt. While we'll at least get the return of Trent Alexander-Arnold, niggles and players that we just don't want are beginning to catch up with managers. Unfortunately, due to the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku, more wildcards have been burned before week seven than expected.
This means more -4's will need to be taken or Diogo Jota, Luke Ayling, and Lucas Digne will be stuck in teams. But if you've got more than three spots in your side that you're unhappy with, I would seriously consider wildcarding.
Looking at the NBC Sports league, we've had our first tie of the season so congratulations to Stockton Velo and Bashir Njie. Both managers tied with 110 points apiece and Ivan Toney captaincy choices. Since Stockton's 110 came without the use of a chip, we’ll go through his side first.
Talk about an immaculate defense with Matthew Cash’s wonder strike and a City double-up pacing things. The addition of Ismaila Sarr helped pace things as the rest of the midfield didn’t hold their own with Emile Smith Rowe, Kai Havertz, and Bruno Fernandes only combining for eight points.
Bashir utilized his bench boost but would’ve been better off just starting Josh King (talk about rolling back the clock). Saïd Benrahma and Mohamed Salah were their pacesetters but the double Liverpool and Chelsea defensive investment was key and will be important moving forward although I don’t know how the team will do rotating Edouard Mendy with Alisson week by week.
Top Transfer Targets will take a look at the roster tiers in FPL breaking down the best options in each. The tiers will be broken down as 25-40 percent owned, 15-24 percent, 10-15 percent, under 10 percent which also includes my favorite punt of the week. The 40 percent club includes players who I won’t be writing about as how many teams they are selected in speaks for itself.
Let’s take a look at this week’s schedule:
Saturday 25 September
Chelsea v Manchester City
Manchester United v Aston Villa
Everton v Norwich
Leeds United v West Ham United
Leicester City v Burnley
Watford v Newcastle United
Brentford v Liverpool
Sunday 26 September
Southampton v Wolves
Arsenal v Tottenham
Monday 27 September
Crystal Palace v Brighton
Don’t get caught out in the crowd (25-40 percent rostered at the time of writing):
Michail Antonio (FWD West Ham United 39.1%, 7.9m): Well, nothing like a suspension to knock a player out of a few teams. Antonio started the season on fire before his red card versus Southampton caused him to miss the match versus Manchester United. Antonio has three double-digit returns in his four starts this season and is facing a Leeds defense that will be without their top two center backs, Patrick Bamford, and possibly Luke Ayling and Raphinha. While Antonio hasn’t scored in nine matches versus Leeds, this seems like a lock for a return. If it wasn’t for Ronaldo playing at home, I’d likely be captaining Antonio this week as well.
Worth your consideration (16-24 percent rostered):
Shane Duffy (DEF Brighton 22.1%, 4.3m): When things are going well, you begin to luck into returns and that’s what’s happening for Shane Duffy as he was awarded a fantasy assist on a handball that could have easily been a foul to FPL managers delight. Brighton has gotten off to a good start to the season, but the clean sheets that were anticipated haven’t come yet with only two in their first five games. But for Dufy that hasn’t mattered with a goal and an assist, to put together an excellent return rate for someone who started the season at 4.0m. Considering that Duffy has been one of the most dangerous attackers in the box for Brighton as well, it’s unlikely that he’ll be dropping out of the lineup anytime soon.
Solid if not Steller (10-15 percent rostered):
Allan Saint-Maximin (FWD Newcastle United 13.7%, 6.7m): It’s time for ASM to become the chief budget enabler at least in the short term. With Watford, Wolves, and Crystal Palace in his next four matches, it’s quite the run for Newcastle’s only attacker. While this would stop most players from producing, it has only led to stronger outputs from Saint-Maximin as no one can stop him with only one blank this season in a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa. In the past, one of the biggest concerns with Saint-Maximin was his lack of end product but the underlying numbers support that he’ll be able to keep this up while more of his shots are coming closer to goal as well showing that decision making is improving.
Rolling the dice (under 10 percent rostered):
Andros Townsend (MID Everton 2.4%, 5.4m): If you’re wildcarding soon, you can do worse than Andros Townsend in a one-off match versus Norwich City. While Everton will be without their big guns, that’s no issue as Townsend and Demarai Gray will run the show. Townsend has been finding his form under Rafa Benitez and he’ll find the goal this weekend too.