It’s League Cup week, so have fun watching some of your bargain picks and underachievers dish out some unsolicited hope to make you judge yourself when it comes to the weekend (looking at you Gabriel Jesus). Other than that, we have a Chelsea-Liverpool showdown looming on Saturday with first place potentially on the line.
After an excellent Gameweek 5, my bargain picks in Gameweek 6 did nothing extraordinary. However, I would absolutely still recommend Willy Boly and Ryan Fraser, if you can find him on the waiver wire—his ownership went from 55 to 89 percent in FPL Draft in the last week alone while Andriy Yarmolenko’s doubled.
But a handful of my picks from earlier this season had success. Joe Hart recorded a clean sheet, six saves and a bonus point; Aaron Wan-Bissaka recorded a clean sheet and three bonus points; Jean Michael Seri recorded two bonus points. Meanwhile, keep an eye on injury news as Virgil van Dijk and Antonio Rudiger left their respective matches early while Marko Arnautovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedro all missed out last weekend.
Without further delay, here are the bargain hits and misses ahead of Gameweek 7. I’m welcoming all suggestions and debates on Twitter (@gastelumEPL)— I would love to include your thoughts here in this column next week and throughout the season.
All of the stats used in this column come straight from the good folks at Fantasy 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.
DEF – Shane Duffy (Brighton)
The Brighton center-half is my lockdown pick of the week and is one of the most under-valued players this season. Duffy has flown under the radar due to Brighton’s four-game winless streak since a monumental 3-2 win over Manchester United in Gameweek 2, where Duffy scored his first-ever Premier League goal. Since then, the Irish international has added another goal and two assists, including a spectacular showing in Gameweek 5 where he contributed to both of the Seagulls’ goals in a 2-2 draw with Southampton.
This week may not be the best week to start Duffy with a trip to Manchester City, but afterward, the Brighton schedule through Gameweek 16 is incredibly promising with West Ham, Newcastle and Wolves next up through the end of October. Meanwhile, Duffy’s consistency makes him an attractive option off the bench in favorable matchups after playing every match but one last season. Available in 90 percent of our latest sample of FPL Draft leagues, Duffy could very well emerge this season as a coveted long-term pick.
DEF – Charlie Taylor (Burnley)
In this spot I’m going to recommend any Burnley defender, especially their two cornerstones in James Tarkowski and Ben Mee, but it is also my job as bargain hunter to highlight new names who have emerged on the scene. After arriving at the Turf Moor two summers ago from Leeds, where he excelled as a left-back Charlie Taylor is finally getting his chance under Sean Dyche. In Gameweek 3, Taylor took over for the injured Stephen Ward, but has since started the last three matches despite Ward returning to the bench.
After relieving themselves of the pressure of their first win and jumping out of the bottom three with a resounding 4-0 win against upstart Bournemouth, Burnley now have a clear path ahead of them for the next two months, with the exception of Manchester City and Chelsea back-to-back in Gameweek 9 and 10. Taylor is practically available in every FPL Draft league, but if you’re more inclined to sign a center-back with more consistency but less potential for attacking points, look at Mee and Tarkowski first.
MID – Anthony Knockaert (Brighton)
Much was expected from Knockaert last season after the Frenchman led Brighton into the Premier League after a 15-goal, nine assist campaign in the Championship in 2016/17. But it turns out the winger just needed a year. Now, the 26-year-old is off to an impressive start, already equaling his four goal contributions from last season with a goal and three assists this year. The former Leicester midfielder has contributed to a goal in each of the last three weeks and opened his scoring account for the year in the final moments of a 2-1 loss to Spurs over the weekend.
With a goal and three assists this season, Knockaert is only getting started with his breakout campaign and Brighton’s upcoming schedule is suggestive of much more to come for the playmaker, who deserves more praise for opening up this weekend about his bout with depression. Somehow Knockaert is available in more than 90 percent of our sample of FPL Draft leagues, making him an must-have bargain buy for the next two months and possibly even the remainder of the season.
FWD – Andre Gray (Watford)
In regards to Watford’s surprising start to the season, most of the attention seems to fall on Troy Deeney, Jose Holebas and Roberto Pereyra, and for good reason. But while the Hornets seem to have lost their momentum over the international break—the club has a loss to Manchester United and a draw with Fulham since—Andre Gray has started to catch fire with a goal in each game to give him three on the season.
Maybe this is finally the year Gray showcases his potential after dominating the Championship with Burnley in 2015/16 and then struggling in his first year with Watford last season. But now Gray has settled into his own alongside Deeney and the club’s immediate schedule (Arsenal, Bournemouth, Wolves, Huddersfield Town, Newcastle and Southampton) only favors more goals. But you may have to act now—Gray is available in about half of FPL Draft leagues.