Sunday, September 23, 2018

Best Picks for FPL Gameweek 14

Dan Steeden in Editorial, English Premier League 28 Nov 2017

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Premier League football on a Tuesday and Wednesday? This must be a dream, but I’ve pinched myself multiple times (mostly as a punishment for my continued belief in Romelu Lukaku) and it appears as if reality has brought us a gift. There are some great fixtures for the conventional big sides, but finding bargains might be tough this week. Thankfully the Best Picks series returns to help you wade through the quagmire of Dean Whiteheads to find the Richarlisons in the rough. 

Goalkeepers

Budget Option: Matt Ryan (4.5m)

The full time Brighton goalkeeper and part time NFL quarterback is playing well as part of a Seagulls side that has flown somewhat under the radar this season, and currently sits in ninth position in the Premier League table. The newly promoted side have conceded 14 times in 13 top-flight games, and Ryan has himself four clean sheets in this campaign. This week he has an almost perfect matchup against a Crystal Palace team that has scored the second fewest goals this season, and he should add to his clean sheet tally as a result.

Premium Option: Thibaut Courtois (5.4m)

Chelsea dealt fairly well with Liverpool’s abundance of attacking talent last weekend, limiting them to just a single goal. Courtois made a total of three saves in that game, which earned him a bonus point, but this gameweek it is all about the matchup for the Belgian shot stopper. The Blues host Swansea, the lowest scoring team in the Premier League, and are almost guaranteed to shut the Swans out on Wednesday evening. Antonio Conte has got his side closer to the elite defence that they were last season, and if they keep improving then owning a Chelsea defender or goalkeeper may become a necessity.

Defenders

Budget Option: Matthew Lowton (4.7m)

Burnley were incredibly unlucky to lose to Arsenal in added time last weekend as the result of a controversial penalty decision. That result shouldn’t shake Sean Dyche’s men up too much however, and they have been in fine form this season. The Clarets will be looking to at least maintain their current seventh place, and continue their impressive defensive performances, as they travel to Bournemouth on Wednesday night. The Cherries have scored just 11 times this season, and while their form has improved of late they may find it difficult to break down a solid Burnley back line. Lowton is both cheap and reliable, which is perfect for FPL.

Premium Option: Sead Kolasinac (6.1m)

Arsene Wenger can perhaps consider himself lucky that he wasn’t answering questions about why his side lost to Burnley last weekend, as the Clarets were much the better side for large spells of the game. The Gunners did however manage to pick up a clean sheet, and while they haven’t been all that reliable defensively this season there is a bright spark. That spark is Kolasinac, who seems to spend 98% of the game in the opponent’s box, making him a great candidate to grab a goal or assist each week. Arsenal host Huddersfield in midweek, which also gives him a decent opportunity to register another clean sheet.

Midfielders

Budget Option: Pascal Groß (6.0m)

The German midfielder has been a revelation in Chris Hughton’s side and has bagged himself three goals and five assists in 13 league games this season. At just £6.0m those tallies make Groß the equivalent of fantasy gold dust, and he faces a brilliant matchup against Crystal Palace this week. The Eagles have conceded a gargantuan 25 times in this campaign, and while Brighton are only netting one goal per game on average, Palace can make any team look prolific. You can be sure that if the Seagulls do score in this game, Groß will be involved.

Premium Option: Mohamed Salah (9.7m)

The Egyptian winger is breaking all sorts of records in his first season as a Liverpool player, and if you don’t own him in FPL at this point then you’re doing something wrong. With an incredible 10 goals and three assists in 13 games, Salah is the highest scoring fantasy player by a crazy 14 points. He has become almost a weekly lock to score and his form makes him fixture and rotation proof. That doesn’t mean that matchups don’t matter however, but at this point we are considering positive matchups as opportunities for big points totals. This week Salah has Stoke, a team that has leaked 26 goals in 13 games, which means that he is a brilliant captain choice.

Forwards

Budget Option: Andy Carroll (5.9m) 

This is perhaps the riskiest suggestion I have ever made in this series. Andy Carroll has not registered a single goal or assist this season, and has featured in just eight of West Ham’s games this season. However he is likely to start this week in the Hammers’ clash with Everton, and the Toffees are abysmal enough to make any striker who plays against them look like an elite level talent. We all know what Carroll can do on his day, and I for one wouldn’t be surprised if he bagged himself a crazy hat-trick to deepen David Unsworth’s misery. At £5.9m he could be worth a punt, but only if you’re feeling brave.

Premium Option: Alvaro Morata (10.6m)

Unfortunately the Spaniard failed to get his name on the score sheet last weekend against Liverpool after I tipped him for greatness, but I’m sticking with Morata for this gameweek. The Blues host a Swansea side who look destined to go down, and while their defence has been passable it will likely crumble against a Chelsea side that is capable of dismantling teams. Morata has an impressive eight goals and four assists in this campaign, making him the second highest scoring FPL forward, and he should add to those tallies on Wednesday.

Bonus Tips

This gameweek spans Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, which means your lineup needs to be set by 18:45 on Tuesday evening. With a hectic schedule coming up it is vital that you maximise your points every week, so don’t be caught out by midweek Premier League.

Despite the layout of the fixtures this is not a double gameweek, so I would advise against using your triple captain and free hit chips this week. Hold out until we have a real double gameweek and you can capitalise on some juicy fixtures.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Steeden


Dan is a recent graduate of the University of Birmingham and an often frustrated Wigan Athletic fan. When not despairing at events unfolding at the DW Stadium he can be found fangirling over Antoine Griezmann or staying up into the early hours of the morning to cheer on the Seattle Seahawks.

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