Welcome to AM's Players To Watch for Gameweek 11 of the 2019/2020 Premier League season. As long-time readers of my columns will know, the advice in seasons' gone by had revolved around games that would allow you to make unlimited transfers each gameweek, selecting an entirely new 11 players if you so wished. Unfortunately Yahoo Fantasy Premier League is a glorious but distant memory, as is Togga's Perfect XI game which inspired my previous Rotoworld column.
Starting in August 2018 I made a point of mixing things up by generalising the player recommendations given each week. So now, whether you're playing Official FPL, FPL/Fantrax Draft, Fantrax Salary Cap, Sky Sports, The Sun, The Telegraph or any number of other the fantasy games available to fans each season, I'll now be offering my top picks for the week ahead, mixing "must-haves" with hunch picks and players flying under the radar. Hopefully this will offer something for everyone, whether you're considering captain options, looking to make a transfer or picking up a free agent in draft.
We did ok with last week's recommendations despite missing the Leicester goal avalanche. Captain Raheem Sterling scored and bagged maximum bonus points, David Silva was eventually credited with the goal over Kevin De Bruyne while Wilfried Zaha and Alexandre Lacazette picked up assists in a predictably entertaining game at the Emirates. Admittedly Roberto Firmino and Matt Doherty blanked but this was still a vast improvement over the disaster that was Gameweek 9. On to Gameweek 10 we go ...
Saturday 2 November 2019
Bournemouth v Man Utd
Arsenal v Wolves
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Brighton v Norwich
Man City v Southampton
Sheffield Utd v Burnley
West Ham v Newcastle
Watford v Chelsea
Sunday 3 November 2019
Crystal Palace v Leicester
Everton v Spurs
Gameweek 11 brings us back to a regulation 11:30am GMT Saturday FPL deadline as Bournemouth host Manchester United in the early kick off. Please note that here in the UK we switched from BST to GMT last Sunday and so you'll need to double check how this affects your deadline this weekend depending on location and timezone.
As always our main focus will be on players from the teams that look set for comfortable wins, with goals and potential clean sheet points on the cards. The stand-out fixture by far is Manchester City hosting a Southampton side reeling from that 9-0 pummelling at home to the Foxes, with the only issue being Pep Guardiola's unpredictable rotation plans. Liverpool and Chelsea visiting Aston Villa and Watford respectively are both worth getting involved in and I like Brighton's chances at home to Norwich. The remaining fixtures should all be tightly contested affairs but we'll look to pick out a player or two to act as a decent differential. With that in mind, here are the guys to keep in your thoughts ahead of the deadline ...
Kevin De Bruyne (MF - Manchester City v Southampton) - I mentioned Pep-roulette above, an ongoing issue that has been a thorn in the side of fantasy managers far and wide over the course of the season, and he stung many of us again with his benching of Sergio Agüero last weekend. However, Kevin De Bruyne was treated to a nice bench rest in midweek and so he seems certain to start against the fragile Saints on Saturday afternoon. Ten assists and two goals in nine Premier League starts this season, with the majority being accomplished in front of the Etihad faithful, means KDB only just misses out on the captaincy.
Tammy Abraham (FW - Chelsea @ Watford) - Chelsea are flying in the Premier League and it brings me back to a point made last month: "Frank Lampard's decision to give every member of the squad a clean slate when he joined the club has started to pay dividends, with fringe players given renewed motivation and hope that they could have a future and wouldn't simply be farmed out on loan. Tammy Abraham is personifying the benefits of this new approach and is repaying his manager in a big way - leading the line perfectly with superb hold up play, intelligent movement and top class finishing." The goals may have dried up in recent gameweeks' but Abraham is playing well, getting in to the right positions and can profit against the Premier League's bottom side.
John Lundstram (DF - Sheffield United v Burnley) - John Lundstram is not a defender and has never been a defender, so it remains a genuine mystery how the Sheffield United midfielder ended up assigned the DF position at the start of the season. The fact Lundstram was listed at just £4million, out of position and a guaranteed starter must represent one of the all-time great fantasy bargains and he's rewarded early adopters with phenomenal returns, sitting as the second highest scoring FPL defender behind Ricardo Pereira and ahead of both Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. A home match-up with Burnley should offer both clean sheet and attacking opportunities this weekend. A hat-tip in Benjamin Mendy's direction also, with the Manchester City full-back another smashing options for Gameweek 10.
Anthony Martial (MF - Manchester United @ Bournemouth) - Injury plagued Anthony Martial has managed just four Premier League starts this season and so it's pretty remarkable that the forward has three goals and an assist to his name in such limited game time. The Frenchman impressed on his full return in Gameweek 10 and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be desperate that he keeps himself fit to allow further development of the promising attacking partnership with Marcus Rashford. Manchester United visit Bournemouth this weekend and I'm tipping Martial to find the net once again.
Neal Maupay (FW - Brighton v Norwich) - You could certainly make an argument for including young Aaron Connolly given his budget price in FPL but if you've got a few spare pennies down the side of the couch then Neal Maupays should be the preferred option for Brighton's clash with leaky Norwich. The Frenchman plays the more central role of the two forwards, has scored in his last three games at the AMEX stadium and should find himself presented with plenty of chances against a side that have conceded a frightening 102 shots in the box this season. Only one Premier League side has conceded more.
Vice-Captain: Mohamed Salah (MF - Liverpool @ Aston Villa) - Probably a little too obvious to include in the regular selections above so I've added Mohamed Salah as my vice-captain choice for Liverpool's trip to Villa Park. Another player given a Carabao Cup rest in midweek, Salah's ankle has reportedly healed and so the Egyptian star will be ready to spearhead Jurgen Klopp's attack on Saturday afternoon. And you know I mentioned only one Premier League side has conceded more shots in the box than Norwich? That's right, it's Villa.
Captain: Raheem Sterling (MF- Manchester City v Southampton) - Not much explanation needed given Raheem Sterling's performance last weekend; he's earned back-to-back captain selections. The England attacker wasn't even on the bench in midweek and so like KDB should be assured a start against Southampton. His underlying stats are extremely impressive and show no signs of slowing, so another double digit return could be on the cards. Don't let us down Raheem!
That's it for Gameweek 11's Players to Watch. Check out the Rotoworld PL homepage to access a host of fantastic content to get you ready for the weekend. If you have any questions about a specific player or your own fantasy team then feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@nikarg) and I will get back to you.
Thanks for reading - good luck to all managers this weekend.