Welcome to AM's Players To Watch for Gameweek 13 of the 2019/2020 Premier League season. This week I’ll be filling in for Nik. You can normally find my name on Tuesday nights under The Bargain Hunter column for FPL Draft, but I’ll gladly take off my FPL Draft Hat to focus more on the official FPL.com game and similar salary cap leagues.
As long-time readers of Nik’s 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 his previous Rotoworld column.
Starting in August 2018 Nik made a point of mixing things up by generalizing 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, we’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.
Saturday 23 November 2019
West Ham vs. Spurs
Bournemouth vs. Wolves
Arsenal vs. Southampton
Watford vs. Burnley
Brighton vs. Leicester City
Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool
Everton vs. Norwich City
Manchester City vs. Chelsea
Sunday 24 November 2019
Sheffield United vs. Manchester United
Monday 25 November 2019
Aston Villa vs. Newcastle United
The start to Gameweek 13 just got a lot more interesting with Tuesday’s news of Mauricio Pochettino’s dismissal, and then the soccer world exploded when Tottenham announced the hiring of José Mourinho hours later. With the first training session under his belt, Mourinho will coach his first match for Spurs at West Ham in the early afternoon Saturday. Then there’s the intriguing Manchester City-Chelsea match to close out Saturday, which should be rife with goals and lots of action as they jostle for position in the top four and try to stay in this title race. Can Leicester continue their scintillating run? By looking at my picks this week you’ll see that I expect them to do just that against Brighton and hope to put some cushion between them and Chelsea/Manchester City. And with that, I’ll leave you to the week’s picks. Thanks for indulging me in AM’s Players to Watch, I hope I can be your super sub!
Kasper Schmeichel (GK - Leicester @ Brighton) – UnIess you have the much more expensive Alisson, I think Kasper Schmeichel at £5.2 is the best option you can have at keeper for the next two months of action. Leicester City have recorded three straight clean sheets in which the Danish international has recorded 21 points in the official FPL.com game. And then there’s the Foxes upcoming schedule, which starts this week on the road at Brighton and then includes home matches against Everton, Watford, Norwich City, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham over the next two months. I’m betting on a Leicester City clean sheet this week against Brighton as Schmeichel is a very affordable long-term option whose stock will only continue to rise.
Marcus Rashford (FWD – Manchester United @ Sheffield United) – I think Marcus Rashford is starting to understand that there are no more excuses for him anymore, and that this is a team that revolves around him. There is no more of José Mourinho’s stultifying presence, no Romelu Lukaku or Zlatan Ibrahimovic to fight for playing time and no more excuses of age and inexperience given that this is his fourth full season. Rashford has started every match this season and now seems to have found his groove in recent weeks with three goals and one assist in his last four matches. And Rashford now has his favorite attacking partner in Anthony Martial back while Paul Pogba is also close to a return. So on Sunday in primetime against Sheffield United, I’m counting on Rashford to have a strong showing and continue his run toward another career year as Manchester United’s talisman.
Ben Chilwell (DEF - Leicester @ Brighton) – After Jamie Vardy. Chilwell has probably been the biggest beneficiaries of the club’s current run of six wins from seven games, which has rocketed them into a surprise second place standing behind Liverpool. No team has conceded fewer goals than Leicester City’s eight from 12 matches and the club has six clean sheets, including three consecutive shutouts. Since that 9-0 drubbing of Southampton in Gameweek 10 where Chilwell recorded 19 points for his clean sheet, goal and two assists, the fullback has seen his FPL price rise by £0.3. And yet, he’s still fairly affordable at £5.7, still significantly cheaper than his teammate Ricardo Pereira. It’s still not too late to miss out on the Leicester City rise, which I only expect to continue over the festive period.
Richarlison (MID - Everton v Norwich City) – Richarlison was one of my picks of the year last season in FPL.com and he pulled through with 13 goals and three assists. Despite being listed a midfielder this year, the attack-minded Richarlison took a while to take advantage of that designation but has now found his run of form. The Brazilian international has already matched his three-assist total from last season and has contributed to three of the club’s last seven Premier League goals with a goal and two assists in his last four matches. The club’s December schedule leading up to Boxing Day is the toughest I’ve ever seen (Leicester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal) and I don’t expect Marco Silva to survive it without a massive turnaround, but the club has a chance on Saturday against a slumping Norwich City side that has conceded 12 goals in their last five league matches. That’s why I think Richarlison could be a prime pickup for the weekend as Everton’s best attacking option.
Captain: Sadio Mane (MID – Liverpool @ Crystal Palace) – After sharing the Golden Boot last year with two others, including teammate Mohamed Salah, Mane is on a tear to try to claim the prize for himself. Yet the Senegalese international has already recorded more than his three assists last season and leads all midfielders in FPL points this season so far. In his last five matches, Mane has put together quite a run with three goals and three assists, which should be convincing enough to captain him. Then you have the fact that Liverpool will be without Salah and Andy Robertson, while Roberto Firmino is struggling with no goals in his last six league matches. All of these elements combine to create the perfect storm for Mane as Liverpool’s main man against Crystal Palace this weekend. Honorable mention goes to another player with whom he shared the Golden Boot last season: Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang against that leaky Southampton defense.
That's it for Gameweek 13'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 Nik up on Twitter (@nikarg) or me (@gastelumEPL) and we will get back to you.
Thanks for reading - good luck to all managers this weekend!