Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers are currently assessing who are the best Manchester City, Everton, Burnley and Fulham assets to own ahead of Double Gameweek 24, as well as Southampton and Leeds players ahead of their double in Gameweek 25.
We asked the Scout Network for their views on who we should invest in ahead of the Double Gameweeks.
The news of Double Gameweeks in 24 and 25 came at a good time for me as I was about to make a goalkeeper transfer. However, with Southampton playing twice in Gameweek 25, I’ve decided to hold Alex McCarthy (£4.6m) and upgrade my second goalkeeper to Nick Pope (£5.5m). This way I have a goalkeeper playing twice in each of the next two Gameweeks.
While most FPL managers will rightly flock to Manchester City assets as a result of their matches against Spurs and Everton, for me there are other teams who have slightly better fixtures and players who are far less of a rotation risk.
Going into Gameweek 24, Man City have an FA Cup fixture away at Swansea. Following their double, they then go straight into a match away at Arsenal in Gameweek 25, and then a round of 16 fixture away at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Champions League. This accounts for five fixtures in just 14 days. It is highly likely Pep roulette will be in full swing and as a result, I’m likely to invest more heavily in other options.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) has returned in each of his last two Premier League games and with the creative elements in the Everton team now back to full fitness, I suspect he will have numerous opportunities to do well in Gameweek 24. In fact, he is highly likely to be my captain as a result of a nice opening game against Fulham and a lack of rotation risk.
Burnley defenders also look like great options. Ben Mee (£5.0m), Matthew Lowton (£4.4m) and James Tarkowski (£5.3m), as well as Pope, all offer the potential of two clean sheets. Pope also ranks second for saves inside the box so the chances of a bonus point or two in a low-scoring, clean sheet game are good.
Mee also offers some potential in terms of attacking returns, having registered a goal in Gameweek 20.
FPL Family – Sam
We are now entering a fun part of the season when different strategies come into play depending on what chips you have left.
I will be going into Gameweek 24 with six Double Gameweek players, which I feel comfortable with as I need to keep half an eye on future weeks and doubles.
Manchester City are the form team and I’ll have three of their players in my team for Gameweek 24, although I half expect rotation will hit so getting two games will feel like a bonus!
I brought Nick Pope in last week ahead of his double. I think he’ll be a popular choice and hopefully he can get one clean sheet and a few save points across his two games.
For Gameweek 25, I’m not too worried about loading up. I expect Leeds’ attackers, Patrick Bamford (£6.7m), Raphinha (£5.3m) and Jack Harrison (£5.4m) to return best for them. Stuart Dallas (£4.8m) playing in midfield might be worth a punt too.
Southampton are on a shocking run currently, largely due to injuries, so I really wouldn’t be looking at them much. Danny Ings (£8.4m) and Che Adams (£5.8m) are out of form and their defence has been badly affected by injuries.
If you wanted a punt I would go for James Ward Prowse (£6.0m). He has four free-kick goals already and is on corners and set pieces so also has the chance of an assist.
In terms of chip usage, I’ve yet to decide when I will Wildcard but at the moment I’m torn between using the Bench Boost in Gameweek 26 or my Triple Captain. I will do some planning on the planner once Gameweek 26 doubles are confirmed to see which suits me best.
Finally, we get to the point of the season where we’ve assembled a squad that we’re happy with – and then along comes Gameweeks 24 and 25!
Nick Pope is a player we’d love to bring in. Burnley’s defence has been notoriously brilliant for FPL managers in past seasons and the Double Gameweek 24 fixtures against Crystal Palace and Fulham look like great opportunities for clean sheets.
However, Emiliano Martinez (£5.2m) has been churning out consistent returns for The FPL Experiment with regularity since October and we’re reluctant to say goodbye.
With Charlie Taylor (£4.4m) on the verge of returning, Erik Pieters (£4.3m) seems a risky pick. So we’ve considered Matt Lowton who looks like a nice cheap route into that Burnley defence instead of Pope.
The other consideration for us is Lucas Digne (£6.1m), who has the second-highest assists for a defender, despite missing a third of the season.
We have Joao Cancelo (£6.0m), Luke Shaw (£4.9m) and Aaron Cresswell (£5.7m) as our three starting defenders though and given that they all have good fixtures in Gameweek 24, it’s hard to see us making any moves at the back unless any injuries crop up.
Given the fixtures, we’re attracted to a Manchester City midfield double up for Gameweek 24. Everton’s defence looks leaky and despite City’s poor recent record against Spurs, Pep’s side are unbeaten in 21 games in all competitions since they lost 2-0 to Tottenham in November.
We already have Ilkay Gündogan (£5.9m), so it’s deciding who takes the second City midfield spot. Given recent performances, there are two front runners for us. Phil Foden (£6.1m) showed against Liverpool he’s a match-winner and worthy of consideration, while Raheem Sterling (£11.6m) has four goals in his last five Premier League starts, making him harder to ignore.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s return to form brings him into our thinking.
We already have three Leeds players, which we’re delighted about ahead of Double Gameweek 25. The problem will be deciding which of those assets to bench this week. Benching Patrick Bamford could be heartbreaking! Decisions, decisions.
We at FPL Froggies are increasingly pessimistic about Double Gameweeks and in every passing season we tend to progressively lower the importance we give to double fixtures.
For example, integrate Player A for a Double Gameweek, that will give you an extra three points compared to your previous player. But you will end up keeping that player for eight Gameweeks because there’s always a more urgent move to do and your previous player will crush the game in that time. Been there before, too many times.
However, there is a huge argument to play punts anyway this time. Most of us still have our Wildcard, and a lot of us will play it on or around Gameweek 25, to prepare a fully loaded Double Gameweek 26 side.
If we make changes these will likely be the players we target.
Ederson (£6.1m) and Nick Pope should provide the most points (especially if Pep puts Ederson on penalties), however our strategy means we rarely invest in an expensive goalkeeper. Therefore we would probably go for Fulham’s Alphonse Areola (£4.5m), who kept a clean sheet against West Ham in Gameweek 23.
Most FPL managers will go big at the back with Man City assets, however Frenchman Lucas Digne should provide the best return on investment, and could turn into a long-term pick as a result of his attacking potential.
Raheem Sterling is the best pick in midfield for his captaincy potential, even with the rotation risk. For a budget choice, in case you already own Ilkay Gundogan, Ademola Lookman (£5.0m) is your man. While Lookman hasn’t produced an attacking return since Gameweek 19, he was unlucky not to in Gameweek 23 where he created plenty of opportunities.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin has proved this season he can maintain his productivity against the top six sides, so he should be in most teams now. If you don’t already own him, then a Double Gameweek against Fulham and Man City looks like a good time to invest in the Everton striker, especially with all of the Toffees’ creative players now back in the starting eleven.
What’s happening in the Scout Network?
El Statto’s final competition of the season, “The El Statto Cup“, began in Gameweek 22 and runs right through to the end of the campaign. El Statto has an amazing number of members from the FPL community taking part this season.
It has also been another busy and successful week for Jumpers for Goalposts with an article looking at differential picks for the upcoming Gameweeks, as well as the launch of a new series of weekly articles with a snapshot focus on a particular FPL asset. The first article looked at Manchester United’s Luke Shaw.
El Statto also released his Gameweek 23 article for the Back to the FPL Future series. The series looks back at past matches to highlight players who have a tendency to score well against their opponents.
Lee and Sam had a busy week last week. Sam appeared on the Official FPL Podcast, while Lee was in the studio for Thursday night’s Official FPL Show. The FPL Family also released an FPL Family x video with Nathan Jobling, who was their Manager of the Month for January.
Sam also recorded some content with the Premier League looking at women in FPL, which will be available on both the Premier League channels as well as on the FPLFamily YouTube channel in due course.
They also recorded their own weekly podcast ahead of the Gameweek 23 deadline.
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