FPL Review: Gameweek 17
By Sachin Dholakia
watfordfc.com's resident FPL expert Sachin Dholakia reviews the latest weekend of Fantasy Premier League action.
It was a welcome return to winning ways for the Golden Boys in Gameweek 17 as they secured a 3-2 win over Cardiff despite a late comeback from the visitors.
There were plenty of FPL points to be found, with Gerard Deulofeu (13 points) the standout player and earning himself a spot on the Dream Team with an excellent solo opening goal in the first half. The Spaniard turned provider for the second goal, feeding Jose Holebas (7) to curl a superb effort into the top corner. Domingos Quina (9) added the third, scoring his first Premier League goal with a smart finish past Cardiff keeper Neil Etheridge.
Ken Sema (6) and Abdoulaye Doucouré (5) also provided an assist each to round off a successful week for Watford FPL managers. Late goals from Junior Hoilett (7) and substitute Bobby Reid (6) denied the clean sheet points and gave the Hornets a scare going into the final 10 minutes, but they held firm to take all three points at Vicarage Road.
The Hornets enter a hectic Christmas period with four gameweeks to be played in 11 days. West Ham await in Gameweek 18 and the Hammers are in top form having won their last four Premier League games. A tough home fixture against Chelsea follows on Boxing Day, before games against Newcastle and Bournemouth to finish. Be wary of rotation and play it a gameweek at a time.
Elsewhere in the league, it was the so-called ‘fringe’ players who were the big points scorers with Henrikh Mkhitaryan (14) and Xherdan Shaqiri (14) the joint top-scorers in the week. Mkhitaryan scored a brace albeit in vain as Arsenal fell to a 3-2 defeat against Southampton while Shaqiri made the most of numerous deflections as he scored two goals in Liverpool’s convincing 3-1 home win over Manchester United.
It was another quiet week for FPL strikers, with Danny Ings (13) the standout forward, scoring twice for the Saints and became now the most transferred in player of the week. Gabriel Jesus (13) also contributed well in Manchester City’s 3-1 win over Everton in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.
Eden Hazard (13) looks to be returning to form with a goal and assist as Chelsea beat Brighton, while Javier Manquillo grabbed an assist in addition to his clean sheet as Newcastle snatched a 1-0 away win at Huddersfield.
It was a dramatic change at the top of the Watford global league as Stuart Brant finally conceded top spot as Liam Moretti edged in front by two points courtesy of a well-timed wildcard. Congratulations if you made the Top 10 this week!
Tip of the week
Players to draft in now should be those that are too important to their team to be dropped and rested. There will be lots of rotation and it’s hard to assess when your players will be playing for the ‘easier’ games.
Examples of players likely to play include FPL heavyweights such as Liverpool’s Mo Salah and Tottenham’s Harry Kane but also the likes of West Ham’s Felipe Anderson who has started every game so far this season and has favourable fixtures over the Christmas period.
Don’t forget – the first wildcard deadline is on the December 29!
Players to Watch
1) Anthony Martial (Manchester United, £7.3) has returned from injury and is likely to start following a poor defeat to Liverpool where the Frenchman was on the bench. United have arguably the most favourable fixtures over the next four gameweeks and need to bounce back to have a chance of making the top four.
2) Robert Snodgrass (West Ham, £5.4) is in excellent form having picked up 35 points over the last four weeks and face none of the top eight teams over the Christmas period. He is the cheaper option to the likes of Felipe Anderson and is still available at a bargain £5.4 if funds are needed elsewhere.
3) Nacho Monreal (Arsenal, £5.4) is almost certain to start following a string of injuries to Arsenal’s back line and can be deployed on the left or in the middle. Offers plenty of attacking threat and his five goals last seasons is not easily forgotten.
Likely Price Rises:
Matt Doherty (Wolves, £5.1), Danny Ings (Southampton, £5.4), Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham, £4.6), David Luiz (Chelsea, £5.7)
Likely Price Falls:
Hector Bellerín (Arsenal £5.5), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, £5.2), Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal, £5.1), David Silva (Manchester City, £8.6)
Best of luck for Gameweek 18 FPL managers, and Merry Christmas!