This week in FPL – GW2

Every week, we’ll be recapping the weekend’s action by highlighting some of our star performers, rehashing the highs (and of course, the lows) of the FPL slate, and underlining some key things to look out for heading into the following Gameweek…

The Bulletin Board

Rotation strikes…

Any Mo rotation?

After a stellar Gameweek one that saw Liverpool’s Egyptian debutant rack up both a goal and an assist, FPL managers were left scratching their heads (or perhaps drowning their sorrows, in the case of his 175,000 captainers) after discovering that Mohamed Salah would be confined to the bench during week two’s matchup with Crystal Palace. Though Salah would eventually see game time – coming onto the pitch after 60 minutes to replace Daniel Sturridge – a single point was of no comfort to his FPL backers.

The larger point here, of course, is that when it comes to FPL, security is king. Could Liverpool’s attacking assets already be at risk of an aggressive rotation policy? Such a reality would have many of us rethinking our next moves. Indeed, both Tom and I have already waved so long to Salah, in favour of jumping on another emerging bandwagon…

The Manchester midfield…

Any excuse to use this

Another Gameweek, another series of attacking returns for United’s midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Anthony Martial. Though the latter features only on the fringes of fantasy relevance, the first two are firmly in the sights of many FPL managers after a second straight week of points. An explosive fifteen-point outing (1 goal, 2 assists) saw Pogba leap to the head of the FPL midfield rankings – whilst Mkhitaryan notched another brace of assists, bringing his total to four across just two Gameweeks.

There will be much debate during the coming week over which asset to target (shameless plug alert: for those readers who are members of Fantasy Football Scout, my weekly column features a deep-dive into their underlying metrics of performance). The WGTA team is already split – I have welcomed in the creative Mkhitaryan to my side, while Tom has favoured the goal threat of Pogba. Time will tell as to who has backed the right horse in this race; and whether Nick will be tempted to join us…

Huddersfield keep things tight…

For the second successive week, the Terriers feature prominently within the bulletin. Back-to-back shutouts have vaulted Josas Lössl to the top of FPL’s goalkeeper rankings with 17 points, whilst two Huddersfield defenders (Zanka and Christian Schindler) currently rank within the top 8 at their position.

With a friendly upcoming schedule that sees the Terriers take on Southampton, West Ham, Leicester and Burnley over the next four Gameweeks, can the Huddersfield defence continue to offer such excellent returns on investment?

Strong Market Forces

The transfer market continues to spin up the gears, with relentless rises and falls since the deadline passed us into the new Gameweek. In particular, as the guys mentioned on the pod, “perfect cash bias” – that feeling when you think you need to act if you have perfect cash to make a transfer but can’t tomorrow due to rises/falls – is playing a role for many, with Tom’s Pogba move done on Saturday night to obtain him for the starting price.

As usual at the start of the season, managers are having to judge risk v reward when making the decision to stick or twist. Early movers are rewarded with price rises but threatened by bad news from the press conferences, whereas those taking stock until Friday risk being priced out of marginal single or compound moves but at least know the players they will bring in are almost guaranteed to start.

(WGTA are keeping our eyes on the big bandwagons this season over at FFS – click here for this week’s article.)

The Hero

Nick’s hero
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Marcos Alonso. A stunning two-goal performance saw Alonso remind managers across the board of exactly why he carries such a lofty price tag. The Spaniard continues to lead all defenders with 7 shots on goal, and the weekend’s 16 point return demonstrates his unrivalled attacking potential. Should the clean sheets begin to flow at Stamford Bridge, Alonso could quickly become a must-own fantasy asset.

The Zero

Will he bounce back?

Harry Kane. Haven’t we been here before? Also the nominated zero last week, the striker makes a far-from-swashbuckling return to the segment of ignominy following a second 1-point performance. Amazingly, Kane has registered almost twice as many shots on goal (14) as his nearest competitor (Romelu Lukaku’s 8), yet FPL points continue to elude the Englishman. This has led to more than 100,000 managers transferring him out of their sides – in spite of a positive run of fixtures on the horizon – in order to redistribute funds elsewhere.

Given a plum matchup in Gameweek 3against Burnley, it stands to reason that Kane will fire sooner rather than later. Should he falter again, however, we may have to think about renaming this segment in his honour…

Next week’s one to watch

Will Tricky Richarli do the biz?

I was tempted to push this chip towards Kane, given that the big man clearly needs all of the encouragement he can get right now. But it’s a more unlikely source of points who earns our backing for Gameweek 3: Watford’s Richarlison, who registered an impressive six goal attempts from inside the box in last week’s fixture – and a shot every 13 minutes – and who heads into an appealing home tie against Brighton in Gameweek 3. Indeed, with four promising fixtures in the next five, the Brazilian could make an interesting short-term punt for FPL managers who are planning to use their wildcard between Gameweeks 3 and 7.

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