Sunday, October 21, 2018

Best Picks for FPL Gameweek 13: Midfielders and Forwards

Dan Steeden in Editorial, English Premier League 24 Nov 2017

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Gameweek 13 presents a lack of decent matchups for budget FPL players, as well as an abundance of high profile injuries, both of which contribute to one big fantasy headache for managers. Luckily the Best Picks series is back, and part two will help you sift through midfielders and forwards that can help you soar to the top of your leagues.

Midfielders

Budget Option: Andrew Surman (4.7m)

Bournemouth had an atrocious start to this Premier League season, even losing to the abysmal Everton, but Eddie Howe’s side have inexplicably turned their season around. The Cherries have recorded back-to-back victories over Newcastle and Huddersfield, and the latter ended up being a 4-0 home rout. Surman has bagged an assist in each of Bournemouth’s last two outings, and this week he faces a Swansea side that has conceded 15 goals in this campaign. For £4.7m you can’t go wrong here, and there is a decent chance that he will pick up a clean sheet point too.

Budget Option: Matt Ritchie (5.8m)

The Newcastle midfielder has picked up an impressive five assists so far this season, despite his side scoring less than a goal per game on average. With a team like Newcastle you have to play the matchups to get the most out of their players, and this week the Magpies line up against Watford. The Hornets present a favourable matchup having shipped 21 goals already in this campaign, and Newcastle’s home advantage should see them at least score one in this game. With Ritchie’s assist record the chances are he’ll be the provider.

Premium Option: Leroy Sane (9.0m)

Pep Guardiola can be an incredibly frustrating manager for fantasy players due to his insane rotation policy, but Sane seems to be one of the exceptions to the rule. At £9.0m he comes in cheaper than Aguero, Jesus and De Bruyne, and the winger has outscored them all in FPL so far. Six goals and six assists in 12 games is a remarkable return, and that only looks set to continue as Manchester City face a Huddersfield side that leaked four goals against Bournemouth last weekend.

Premium Option to AVOID: Alexis Sanchez (11.8m)

There is no denying the Chilean winger’s talent, but his situation regarding an exit from Arsenal complicates everything in FPL and no doubt affects his somewhat. This week Arsenal travel to Burnley, who are historically strong at home, and this is the sort of game that commonly stops the North London club in its tracks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Clarets grind out a 1-0 win here, which leaves Sanchez disappointing his owners.

Forwards

Budget Option: Mame Biram Diouf (5.5m)

The Stoke striker is an inconsistent scorer, but with three goals and two assists so far in this campaign he is certainly worth considering. The Potters have a golden matchup against Crystal Palace this weekend; a side that is conceding two goals per game. Diouf has a decent shot at netting himself, or at least turning provider for someone else, and Stoke haven’t been struggling for goals. A price tag of £5.5m limits the risk associated with picking him, and allows for more high powered options elsewhere.

Premium Option: Alvaro Morata (10.5m)

The Spanish forward has flown slightly under the radar due to the success of the two Manchester clubs, but he leads the FPL forwards scoring charts with 72 fantasy points. That total comes from his eight goals and four assists, which is a sensational return for his first season in English football. The return of Eden Hazard to the Chelsea starting XI has only strengthened Morata’s stock, and he takes on a very beatable Liverpool defence in the game of the weekend. This could be a high scoring affair, and the summer signing seems likely to get on the score sheet.

Premium Option to AVOID: Romelu Lukaku (11.5m)

Manchester United have been in somewhat of a decline since their blistering start to the season, and no one player exemplifies that better than Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian has just one goal in his last five Premier League games, and has been salvaging his fantasy weeks with assists. Following a shock defeat to Basel in midweek, United host a Brighton side that has been fairly solid defensively. It seems fairly likely that the Seagulls will throw lots of men behind the ball to make it difficult for Jose Mourinho’s side offensively, and Lukaku really struggles in games that play out in such a manner.

Bonus Tips

This gameweek brings with it another Friday Night Football fixture, meaning that you line-up needs to be set earlier than usual. Don’t be the sucker who forgets.

Many of the usual cheap options face tough matchups this week, so you may have to take a few risks on teams that have been inconsistent at best. Be sensible, play the matchups, and for the love of god don’t start any Huddersfield attackers.

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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