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Fantasy Premier League 202/22 | Surviving the five-game Gameweek 18

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Fantasy Premier League 202/22 - Gameweek 18

Fantasy Premier League 202/22 | Surviving the five-game Gameweek 18

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Siddhant Lazar

12/18/2021

With fixtures being postponed every alternate second, fantasy managers know that the game is nothing more than a forethought with what’s going on in the world. But still, with just five games left in the gameweek, it makes the job of managing our teams very very tough. So what do we do?

The good

Ollie Watkins is a must have now

A double figure haul for the first time this season has put Ollie Watkins on many a shortlist but with the fixture list being the way it is, he may be one of your only budget forward options. Danny Ings is definitely on that list as well but with five games out - including Southampton v Brentford, Watford v Crystal Palace, Everton v Leicester City and West Ham v Norwich City – it leaves us with very few options.

It means that Michail Antonio, Patson Daka, Joshua King, Emmanuel Dennis and co are all out which leaves Watkins as the lone option. However, the forward has been far from consistent this season which is why many of us have shifted and swapped around that front-line a gazillion times this season. But at £7.7m, Watkins isn’t a big chunk of change and thus offers the chance to cause a few problems without losing out on too many points per million.

Mohamed Salah is the obvious captain but who are the other options?

Having equalled Jamie Vardy’s record of either scoring or assisting in 15 successive games, Mohamed Salah has reached a level of consistency that is just scary. The Egyptian has done nothing but score points after points after points and is on par to shatter his own record, barely half-way into the 2021/22 season. But since that fact is well known and since most FPL bosses have picked Salah as their set and forget captain, the world needs other options.

There are a few although options are limited in a Gameweek that has just 5 games. Manchester City’s Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling are definitely options after the former delivered 12 points in that Leeds United thrashing and the latter has four goal contributions in his last five games. It’s not the two worst options in the world but for those looking an option from within Jurgen Klopp’s side, Trent Alexander-Arnold is always there.

As a defender, and a very offensive one at that, the English international has thrived and is, at the time of writing, the second highest scoring player this season. Let that sink in for a second because for those who tend to forget, TAA is a defender and has contributed to three goals in his last three games, including a blockbuster strike against Newcastle United. Chelsea’s Reece James is another defender in top form even if the Blues have become a very leaky side while Mason Mount and Ollie Watkins are definitely options as well.

The great

Triple up on Manchester City

Now this may seem crazy. Absolutely insane even but there’s a method to the madness and that means picking everyone possible that Pep Guardiola might choose in his final team. The Spaniard is notorious for spinning a roulette wheel and picking his team based on where the ball lands, but in a Gameweek rocked by postponed games, FPL managers need options and this is your choice. Pick not one or two but three Manchester City players and make sure they’re all across the field.

Now the best options might be Joao Cancelo, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva. Why these three you ask?

That’s very simple. Joao Cancelo missed the mid-week game because of his one game suspension for accumulating too many yellow cards and is arguably the best defender in the team. The Spaniard has been in top form this season and also leads the team with shots on goal away from home. Plus four of his five assists this season have been away from home and Manchester City have kept the most clean sheets so far this season.

Raheem Sterling, much like Cancelo, also missed the mid-week game but more because Pep Guardiola opted not to send the forward on. Instead, he watched his team score goals at will from the bench and thus is in the running to start the game against Newcastle United. Now Sterling isn’t in world-class form by any means but has managed to contribute to four goals in his last five starts which is should be enough to earn him a start. 

Finally, Bernardo Silva. He was the November player of the month for Manchester City, for the third month in a row, but hasn’t quite clicked with greatness so far doing nothing in the Leeds game before he was subbed off at half-time. But that has more to do with the fact that Silva was asked to play a slightly deeper role which could, and hopefully should change against the Magpies. Yet, even with his blank, Silva has contributed to six goals in his last seven games and also gets a small clean sheet bonus, which always helps. 

And the punt

Pick an…..Arsenal defender??!!

No I most definitely haven’t gone insane but if you don’t believe me then you can leave but as it stands, shockingly, Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale has more clean sheets than Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy. I know that statistic stunned me as well and while the Arsenal keeper is definitely one to pick, it’s the defense ahead of him that might actually help you out. Because given their defensive issues in the past, the Arsenal defenders have been given very reasonable prices with Gabriel (£5.2m) their most expensive option.

But with Ben White (£4.5m), Takehiro Tomiyasu (£4.7m) and Kieran Tierney (£4.8m) all available and seemingly a consistent pick for Mikel Arteta, you’ve got options all over the place. However, Gabriel might just be the best pick because somehow, the Brazilian has become a Thiago Silva-esque goal-threat at the other end. He has scored, had one disallowed and had three shots on goal in just his last two games.

Now given Leeds United’s weakness at corners – even if it hasn’t shown as much this season – it does make the defender a good pick but this game could be chaotically uneven. Arsenal tends to let teams struggling have a good day, as witnessed with Everton, and this could be Leeds’ day. It’s why this entire option, just like their defense, is a punt. Pick them at your own risk.

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