The aul’ website has been down for a few days due to server issues, but it’s back in time for another gameweek review. Aren’t you a lucky bunch.
Well, this has been the gameweek where everyone and their dog bought Hazard, and what did he do to repay them? He blanked. Fraser did too, spending half the match as a wing-back. The bastards.
A lot more happened than just those two blanking – let’s take a look.
Gameweek 6: Key Stats
FPL Points: Joel Matip (15)
Total Shots: Aleksandar Mitrovic (8)
Shots in the Box: Sergio Aguero, Jamie Vardy, Aleksandar Mitrovic (6)
Shots on Target: Harry Kane (4)
Attempted Assists: Willian (6)
xG + xA – Top Performers (a combination of Expected Goals and Expected Assists):
Ilkay Gundogan – 1.51
Jamie Vardy – 1.26
Harry Kane – 1.25
Mohamed Salah – 1.19
Aleksandar Mitrovic – 1.19
Mendy’s Mysterious Metatarsal
A big area of discussion both going into GW6 and going into the upcoming GW7 has been Mendy’s injury. He’s been a staple in many fantasy sides, with his ownership peaking at 37% a few weeks back.
It’s quite an odd situation, as nobody really knows what’s going on. Will he be out for a few weeks? Will he be back next week? Is it a cover for some form of punishment? Regardless of the reason, the uncertainty has led to plenty of managers getting rid of him, myself included.
His ownership has dropped by over 15%, with plenty of names on the radar when it comes to replacing Mendy. These are based on the assumption that you’ve already got Alonso and one of Robertson or Alexander-Arnold.
Kieran Trippier (6.1m): My personal choice to replace Mendy, Trippier is a very solid option. Another attacking full back, Trippier is also an excellent crosser of the ball. Also, after his antics in Russia, he’s taken his fair share of corners and free kicks this season.
Spurs’ fixture run is also rather kind over the next few weeks, with Huddersfield (A), Cardiff (H) and West Ham (A) on the horizon. Stats-wise, he’s put in 42 crosses and has attempted 9 assists so far this season, putting him right up there in terms of attacking intent.
Serge Aurier started Spurs’ first Champions League game this season, as well as their Carabao Cup game against Watford. It’s a key area to keep an eye on, but it seems as if Trippier will be getting the league games, at least for now.
Aymeric Laporte (5.6m): A bit of a left-field shout, Laporte presents a decent replacement for his club and country teammate. He’s started every match for City so far, quite the feat in itself, and has actually shown some good attacking intent for a centre half.
He’s had 8 shots so far this season, joint-third of all defenders in the league, bagging a goal against Wolves in GW3. It’s curious to note that he’s had a shot in every match so far this season:
Matt Doherty (4.4m) / Willy Boly (4.5m): I’ll clump these two together as I mentioned Wolves’ defensive solidity last week, but a Wolves defensive asset could be excellent going forward.
Doherty represents the attacking threat, playing as a very forward-thinking wing-back. He’s had 9 shots, the joint-second most of any defender, only behind Marcos Alonso. The Irishman has also attempted 7 assists, making him a fine option at a reduced price.
Boly is gaining a bit of traction too, with him doing well in terms of bonus points. On the two occasions where Wolves have kept a clean sheet this season, he’s been involved in the bonus points, claiming 3 so far. He has 124 baseline BPS so far, compared to Jonny’s 100 and Doherty’s comparatively paltry 79.
Harry Kane’s Viability
One of the true kings of FPL over the past few years, Harry Kane hasn’t been much of an option so far. He won the Golden Boot in the World Cup this summer, but still didn’t look like the Kane we know and love. This has also been the case so far this season.
Though the sample size is small, he’s generally been shooting less often than we’re accustomed to. He’s dropped from 5+ shots per game to under 3; quite the regression.
That being said, he picked up the pace a little bit against Brighton in GW6, having 5 shots and even clocking 3 key passes. He had 4 shots on target, the most of any player this week.
He still doesn’t look completely like the FPL juggernaut from days of yore, though he seemed to be getting better. The stats were improved, his penalty seemed to give him a bit of a confidence boost which led to the uptick in total shots, and Kane has even said that Brighton was the first game where he felt happy with his all-around performance.
Could this be a turning point for him?
Spurs’ fixtures are also a reason for his rise in viability. As mentioned, they’ve got Huddersfield and Cardiff coming up next, the latter coming in GW8 where there aren’t really many other captaincy options. City and Liverpool play each other, which has a massive effect on Salah and Aguero’s captaincy credentials. Chelsea are away at Southampton, and Man United are shite.
Time for a Vardy Party?
Another striker who’s firmly back on the radar would be Leicester’s Jamie Vardy. He played his first full match of the season this weekend, scoring 1 and setting up another in their 3-1 win against Huddersfield.
It was an odd match, as Huddersfield decided it’d be a good idea to play a high, aggressive defensive line against Vardy and Iheanacho. Didn’t really work out, to be honest.
In that match, Vardy had 7 shots, as well as 2 attempted assists. Over the past 2 gameweeks, including their game against Bournemouth, Vardy has had 10 shots, with 9 of them coming in the box.
With Leicester’s outstanding run of fixtures coming up, Vardy could provide a bloody good option throughout that run. Though the Newcastle game in GW7 might be a bit of a low scoring affair, Leicester play Everton, Arsenal, West Ham and Cardiff in the weeks immediately afterwards.
Though Maddison has been the apple of many an FPL managers eye this season, Vardy could become a fantastic asset over the next few months.
Targeting Cardiff and Huddersfield
It’s safe to say that Cardiff and Huddersfield have struggled so far this season. Though Cardiff have looked decent in spells, and their run of fixtures has been treacherous as of late, they’re the team that have the most FPL points scored against them this season. Who’s in second place? Huddersfield.
FPL points against so far this season pic.twitter.com/6vLD62CF6Z
— fplkernow (@fplkernow) September 23, 2018
Huddersfield have conceded 15.8 shots per game so far, with Cardiff conceding 14.2. It’s worth noting that they’ve both played City so far this season, which is bound to bump this stat up, even for the best of teams.
They’re both struggling in terms of shots attempted, too – Cardiff have attempted 9.7 shots per game so far, with Huddersfield attempting just 8.2 shots per game.
One potential area to look at, for now at least, would be to try and target these two sides specifically. This would include looking at key players from sides who play these two in quick succession, hoping to capitalise on their lack of form and general quality. Also, that mad high line that Huddersfield fancied playing against Leicester.
Burnley and Spurs play both sides across gameweeks 7 and 8, with Liverpool having a crack throughout gameweeks 9 and 10. Other sides to play them in consecutive weeks include Leicester, Wolves and West Ham. Liverpool are particularly interesting, as they play Arsenal and Fulham in the weeks following those two fixtures, meaning they’ll have a crack at 4 sides who haven’t been the most convincing defensively. all in a row.
Shoutout to this thread over on /r/fantasyPL for identifying this. Will you be looking to bring players in who play these two sides in consecutive weeks?