Vardy vs Kane, latest on Chelsea defenders and what to do with Fernandes

Kacper Wilkins
Kacper Wilkins
9 Min Read

Even with five Gameweeks left of the season there are so many big talking points in the Fantasy Premier League community.

I have taken a closer look at the three most important ones ahead of Gameweek 34…

Vardy to Kane

There was a lot of disappointment from FPL managers who swapped Harry Kane (£11.8m) to Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) after the latter blanked. The key question is should that transfer be reversed.

Both players have pretty good fixtures in Gameweek 34 and 35:

  • Kane = Sheffield United (home), Leeds (away)
  • Vardy = Southampton (away), Newcastle (home)

As we know from Neale’s article earlier this month, there is a chance that Leicester get a Double Gameweek in Gameweek 35 which would add Manchester United into the mix. It’s not the perfect double but it does mean that Vardy has three fixtures in the next two.

We do need to take into account that if that happens it would mean Vardy and Leicester blank in Gameweek 36. So from Gameweek 34 to 36 both Kane and Vardy have the same amount of fixtures but if you delay the switch back until Gameweek 36 you can get an extra fixture.

Both players have penalties in their locker so that doesn’t differentiate them. Looking over their last six matches the stats look like this:

  • Kane = 16 shots in the box, 5 chances created, 5.64 non-pen xGI
  • Vardy = 11 shots in the box, 8 chances created, 4.05 non-pen xGI

Kane comes out on top as you might expect, but Vardy is still chipping away. Over the season their xGI per 90 is Kane (0.69) and Vardy (0.70).

The other thing to consider if Kane’s fitness. We didn’t get a proper look in the EFL Cup final as he didn’t get a huge amount of touches of the ball, so we will need to see what Ryan Mason says about his fitness.

For me I think I’d ride out the Vardy move. You have the potential of an extra fixture and can still look to make the switch in Gameweek 36. I might recommend not watching the Spurs game though…

Is it time to sell Chelsea defenders?

At this point we’re all aware of just how good Chelsea’s defence is. They’ve conceded 25.79xG so far this season, just behind Man City at 24.92, making them an elite defence.

One of the issues we have to contend with is rotation, at this point every defender including César Azpilicueta (£5.9m) has been rested, even the goalkeeper! The only thing in my mind that might reduce the amount of rotation is Chelsea are still in with a serious shot of top four in the Premier League, and Tuchel will want to put his best team out as often as possible.

Looking at the fixtures though, it may be time to jump off anyway.

Fulham (home) in Gameweek 34 and Aston Villa (away) in Gameweek 38 are their easiest fixtures left. Outside of that they have to play Manchester City, Leicester and Arsenal, as well as another Champions League semi final, and the FA Cup final.

I wouldn’t necessarily back against their defence in general, we know how good it is and they won’t concede many goals in that period, but with tougher fixtures and some fear of rotation we can probably start planning to get rid after Fulham.

Stuart Dallas (£5.3m) ends the season with Burnley, Southampton and West Brom. Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m) has West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace, while Vladimir Coufal (£4.7m) has Brighton, West Brom and Southampton.

They are all different prices so it depends on your budget, but there may be other ways to get clean sheets during the run in, depending on when you want to sell your Chelsea defender(s).

Selling Bruno Fernandes

I touched on this in my previous article and thought Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) was probably worth keeping for Burnley and Leeds, but with another two blanks people are getting fed up.

Over the last six matches he has just one goal (a penalty vs Man City) and one assist (vs Brighton).

It’s not all doom and gloom however. Over the last six matches no other midfielder has a higher expected goal involvement than Fernandes with 4.40. Even if you remove the penalty it’s still 3.61 which would put him only behind Mohammed Salah (£12.7m).

Liverpool is a tough match and if you have your Free Hit left I think you can make a case to sell. For any potential Double Gameweeks you could still bring him back in, and as I’ve mentioned in previous articles I don’t see him as the best captaincy option at any point between now and the end of the season.

If you don’t have your Free Hit, you have a much tougher decision to make. A bit like Kane vs Vardy, Fernandes might get a Double, but he would then blank as well. So if you were thinking of selling to Son Heung-min (£9.5m) for example, they’d both have the same number of fixtures, and arguably with Sheffield United up next, Son is better in the short term.

However, you could just keep for Liverpool, hope for a Double and then look to sell in Gameweek 36, given that a double as shown in this article would be Aston Villa and Leicester.

One thing to consider though is a lot of fans think that Fernandes needs a rest, and the ideal time looking at the schedule could be against Aston Villa in Gameweek 35. He’s only not started one game this season, but with Europa League, Liverpool and Europa League to come we could see his second league benching. Top four is all but secured, and the current schedule has the second Europa League leg being played on the Thursday and then Aston Villa on the Sunday, before Leicester in midweek.

If I had him I’d be tempted to stick and hope that he’s not rested. While the points haven’t been coming in the underlying stats still look good and with a double to come it wouldn’t be a fun watch without him.

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