The 2022/23 season is off and underway but an inconsistent run of performances already has many managers reaching for that precious Wildcard. However, it hasn’t been all bad, especially with more than a few players doing rather well over the last two game-weeks and the hope is, that trend continues.
The Blazing hot superstars
Given that all the hype around Manchester City has solely been around Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne has slipped under the radar and he has made more than a few managers pay for that. The Belgian has started this season on fire, contributing to three goals in the opening two games. Add that with two clean sheets in the same time frame and De Bruyne has scored the third most points already with 20.
Yet what makes it even more interesting is the fact that City don’t face a “Big Six” rival until Gameweek 7 when they lock horns with Tottenham. Until then, it does mean that Pep Guardiola’s side have more, or less, a clean run and the likelihood that De Bruyne is a locked-in pick only increases. But then again, this is Pep Guardiola’s team and the Spaniard does love a good rotation, so if you do pick the Belgian then make sure you have options on the bench.
An understandably questionable choice but since Rodrigo Moreno is currently leading the race for the Golden Boot only two games into the season, he stands out as a superstar in form. The Leeds star has endured a tough couple of years in the Premier League but seems to be deployed as a much more advanced forward by Jesse Marsch as compared to his time with Marcelo Bielsa. And so far, it has paid dividends with Rodrigo netting three goals including a brace in a 2-2 draw against Southampton.
The forward, although placed in the midfielders section in FPL, might also be in the “out of position” section especially given that Marsch fielded him as a centre-forward recently. Combine that with the fact that he boasts the best goal attempts and most shots in the box over the last two Gameweeks, and it makes him a decent pick. Although, Leeds do face Chelsea next and then face Manchester United soon after which might be an issue. Doesn’t change the fact that Rodrigo might be Leeds’ best source of goals, especially with Patrick Bamford injured again.
Some may consider the writer mad by placing Gabriel Jesus in the lukewarm category, especially after his brace of goals and assists in Gameweek 2 but the Brazilian is yet to find his stride. That game against Leicester City showed more than anything that Jesus has it in him to not just play as a striker but possibly do far more than Arsenal expected. The Brazilian was a menace all game and could have, and probably should have, had four goals to his name but didn’t quite get there.
It's why the new Arsenal forward is in the lukewarm although if that game was anything to go by then the Gunners are in for a lovely ride in the near future. That is especially proven by the fact that Jesus not only threatened Danny Ward’s goal 7 times but also created three big chances in the process. That’s excellent news for 78.1% of FPL managers, aka the percentage of managers that own Jesus, because it means that the best is yet to come.
Unlike his blazing hot Manchester City teammate Kevin De Bruyne, Joao Cancelo hasn’t quite found his old self yet with the full-back still re-discovering his best for City. But he showed signs of it in Gameweek 2 as he produced a clean sheet, an assist and two bonus points for a rather tidy 11-point haul. It brings his points to total up to 18 and also places him on the list of players in form although much like Gabriel Jesus, many believe that the best is yet to come.
The Cityzens face Newcastle United next and Cancelo seems to love the Magpies because in his last four meetings against Eddie Howe’s side, Cancelo has produced 45 points. It’s not exactly a bad haul for a defender and that's including a career-high 18 points in the same fixture last term. That alone makes the full-back a valuable asset and the fact that City have a lovely fixture list has only added to everything which is proven by the fact that Cancelo is amongst the top ten most brought-in players ahead of Gameweek 3.
And the punt
As punts go, Pascal Gross might be right up there, especially after Brighton and Hove Albion’s goalless draw against Newcastle United but even then, the German impressed quite a few fans. He has turned into an all-around threat for the Seagulls, not just offering a presence from his set-pieces but playing well alongside Danny Welbeck and Leandro Trossard in the final third. It has seen Gross get into the box at an increased frequency and he also boasts the best-expected goal involvement figure of any FPL midfielder.
Yet, the German has, on average, netted three goals over the last four seasons but did cross that mark in his debut season for the Seagulls where he scored 7 goals and assisted a further 8 more. That’s what makes this move a punt but given that Brighton face no “Big Six” team until after the September international break, it could be a move worth the risk.