Here we are, finally in the final gameweek of the season, and what a season it has been. Despite the lack of drama heading into the final Sunday, there might still be plenty of drama to be had in your fantasy leagues and we’re going to do our best to give you any last-minute help that you can have—so send all your questions our way via Twitter.
Of my picks from last week, only Jan Bednarek put up any differentials with his clean sheet for Southampton against Swansea City before being taken off with an injury. But my recent pick in Cedric had a stellar week with a clean sheet and assist in two games, while Ayoze Perez, Patrick van Aanholt, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Roberto Pereyra each scored goals for their respective sides.
I’d like to take a second to thank all of our readers who make everything worthwhile for us. We at Rotoworld realize how lucky we are to be doing what we do, and we appreciate all of the support and engagement with our readers throughout the years. This being the end of my second term as The Bargain Hunter, I’m already looking forward to a third with you all after an eventful summer ahead. See you in August!
Without further delay, here are the bargain hits and misses ahead of Gameweek 38. I’m welcoming all suggestions and debates on Twitter (@gastelumEPL) and hopefully I can include your thoughts here in this column.
All of the stats used in this column come straight from the Premier League on a weekly basis. Our friends at FPL.com take the data from a thousand private leagues, all of which consist of eight teams, in order to minimize the impact of data from public leagues where autopick drafting is more prevalent.
Of course, it’s just a sample size, so it’s not hard and fast; but it should give us a good idea of the tendencies of FPL Draft leagues and managers. Remember, the waivers deadline is a full 24 hours before the first game of the week, and the lowest-placed team in your league gets the first pick.
One-week Pick (OWP) - When a regular is suspended for a match, ineligible to face his parent club as a loanee, or his fill-in looks to deputize for only a week while the regular nurses a minor injury, this is where to find some replacements. They should only be looked at when you really need help at a position that week alone, and not looked at as long term plays. Best for salary cap leagues with unlimited transactions, not so much for draft leagues.
Short-term Pick (STP) - When a regular faces a multi-game suspension, an injury layoff lasting 2-5 weeks, international commitment, etc., this is where you look for players that can offer more beyond one week but do have a limited shelf life in most cases. Worth using a waiver claim or spending a bit more of your free agent budget (FAAB) than the One Week Buys. Can be useful in salary-cap format as long as you are comfortable with possibly needing to transfer them out in a few weeks.
Long-term Pick (LTP) - When a regular is either facing a month or more out or has lost his spot seemingly to someone better, these are the players that emerge as potential long-term investments and are therefore the most valuable of the group and worth paying up. Great for any format, but especially valuable in draft leagues with limited waiver claims.
GK – Ben Foster (West Brom)
It’s unlikely that you’re looking for goalkeeper help heading into the final week of the season, but in case you current keepers just aren’t doing it for you, give Ben Foster a look on the waiver wire, where he was still available in about 40 percent of last week’s sample of FPL Draft leagues. After two straight clean sheets and three in the last four matches, Foster in the most in-form keeper in the Premier League at the moment with 26 points in his last four matches, a stark figure for any player from a side that spent most of the season at the bottom.
The Baggies have remarkably shut out Tottenham and Manchester United in recent weeks, but unfortunately for them that form came too late as the club was officially relegated on Tuesday night when Southampton beat Swansea City. However, with an away match against Crystal Palace this weekend, Foster has a solid chance to record some more points and end the season on a high note in case your keepers are up against some strong opposition this weekend.
DEF – Konstantinos Mavropanos (Arsenal)
There’s a new name in the Arsenal defense, and it’s incredibly hard to pronounce, but Konstantinos Mavropanos has impressed across the board in his first two starts—the first coming against Manchester United, what a way to start your Premier League career. The 20-year-old arrived from Greece in the winter transfer window and is now getting his shot in the first team following a season-ending injury to Laurent Koscielny in the club’s Europa League loss to Atletico Madrid. Starting Mavropanos is Arsene Wenger going back to his roots in his final games, and it seems to be working.
The young central defender earned his first clean sheet over the weekend against Burnley in a 5-0 win and impressed in back-to-back starts. Let’s see if he starts Wednesday against Leicester City, but the season finale against Huddersfield Town is a definite possibility. The Greek international is a bit of a risk, so I wouldn’t necessarily pick him if you’re looking for a lockdown pick (I still suggest Patrick van Aanholt for you highest upside), but he’s virtually untaken in FPL Draft leagues.
DEF – James Milner (Liverpool)
Going after Milner is more a gut feeling pick than anything else, but there are multiple reasons why I’m considering the veteran midfielder for my team. In the club’s last game before the Champions League final with Real Madrid at the end of the month, manager Jurgen Klopp will surely prioritize shoring up his defense, which Milner gets points for despite playing almost exclusively in midfield this season. And against Brighton, the club will be looking for its third clean sheet in its last five Premier League matches while also pushing for a top-three finish to avoid any playoff round for next season’s Champions League.
Then there’s the prospect of Milner potentially taking a penalty kick, although my guess is Mohamed Salah will get the honors as he looks to break the Premier League scoring record and keep pace with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or race. Regardless, I like Milner as an option in defender. If your league is part of the 40 percent where he is available in free agency, he might be worth a look for the final weekend.
MID – Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Crystal Palace)
The highly touted midfielder has looked great since his return from injury last month, starting each of the last five Premier League games for Crystal Palace. His last two performances have shown that he has regained his form with a goal and an assist, forming a fruitful partnership with Wilfried Zaha in attack that has resulted in the club scoring seven goals in its last two matches.
With the World Cup coming up this summer, Loftus-Cheek is making a final push to be invited to Gareth Southgate’s training camp with the England national team, and the club’s final match against West Brom will be his final chance to shine before the summer. You don’t have to worry about anyone stealing the on-loan Chelsea midfielder from under you as he is available in more than 90 percent of leagues, and I like his potential with everything that is at stake combined with the Eagles’ current form.